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Stagsnet wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Season 18/19 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Grimsby Town  
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 
 Bishop 22
Attendance: 5931 (865 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 1 January 2019

STAGS CONTINUE RUN WITH FABULOUS WIN AT IN-FORM GRIMSBY

Martin Shaw at Blundell Park

Mansfield Town continued the remarkable unbeaten run with a fabulous and thoroughly deserved win at in-form Grimsby Town thanks to a bullet header from Neal Bishop midway through the first half. The win extended Mansfield’s club record unbeaten run away from home to 15 away games. And the Stags are unbeaten home and away for 17 games, the club’s best since a 20 game unbeaten run in 1976. Grimsby came in to the game in great form having won five successive home league games and four successive league games home and away. But Mansfield produced a fine display to complete a thoroughly convincing victory which in truth should have been by more than a single goal.

The only goal came from a corner from the right by Jacob Mellis on 22 minutes. Bishop met it with a bullet of a header from 12 yards which flew past James McKeown in the Grimsby goal. Quite different to his two other goals this season, at West Brom and Morecambe, but every bit as spectacular. The corner came from a shot from CJ Hamilton where he just had the keeper to beat but McKeown got something on it to turn it wide after great set-up play by Tyler Walker. Then Walker had a glorious chance to extend the lead on 35 minutes as Mal Benning headed down Hayden White’s cross and Walker took the ball off Hamilton’s toe to shoot inches wide from 12 yards with the keeper completely beaten. The Grimsby defence was makeshift with several defenders out through suspension and injury and was being made to look it. Only one real chance for Grimsby in the first half as McKeown’s huge punt forward skewed off Sweeney into the area putting Wes Thomas through 1-on-1 with Conrad Logan but Thomas completely missed his kick as Logan was out quickly to make himself look big.

Early in the second half Logan made two good saves, both from Elliott Embleton. The Stags had a golden chance to seal the game on 74 minutes as Mellis headed forward into the area following a Benning corner, and Walker only had the keeper to beat but McKeown pulled off a great save as Walker sunk to his knees in frustration. Then Hamilton did well to get into the area and his low shot was again very well saved by McKeown on 90 minutes. There was one heart-stopping moment for the Stags, on 89 minutes, when sub Charles Vernam got goalside of Matt Preston just inside the area on the left near the byline, and went down. From the pitchside footage Preston had his arm on Vernam’s back but the referee probably decided Vernam went down too easily. I think some referees could have given it but the referee made the right call here, and he was in a perfect position to view it.

The full time whistle brought great celebrations from the 865 Stags fans, the players and management. It was Mansfield’s first win at Grimsby since 1987, and very enjoyable it was. That win in 1987 was by 3-2, and a game I particularly remember because it was the last time I missed the kick-off in a Stags game, arriving 15 minutes late and vowing not to let that happen again!

Happy New Year everyone!


Mansfield made one change from the side that drew with Swindon. Danny Rose came into the side in place of Timi Elsnik. The logic was sensible, Grimsby were short of defenders, and so Mansfield wanted to take the game to them. It was a 3-4-3 formation with Walker, Rose and Hamilton up front. No other changes on the bench, with news that Craig Davies will be out for a couple of months, and no return date for Alex MacDonald.

In-form Grimsby were without all their recognised central defenders, the last of which who wasn’t injured, Alex Whitmore, was sent off on Saturday in their win at Exeter. Former Stags midfielder Mitch Rose filled in at right back. Up front was Wes Thomas, who has scored 8 goals in 7 games this season, including 4 goals in his last 4 games. Grimsby had won all 7 of the games he had scored in, but the Stags kept him quiet today apart from one effort where he missed his kick.

It was a gloriously sunny New Year’s Day in Cleethorpes. It was slightly breezy outside the ground but at pitchside, there was no wind at all.

Inside the first minute, White misplaced a pass, Hessenthaler surged forward and laid off to Embleton who fired a powerful shot over the bar from 25 yards.

A chance for Grimsby on 8 minutes. McKeown’s huge punt forward skewed off Sweeney into the area putting Wes Thomas through 1-on-1 with Conrad Logan but Thomas completely missed his kick as Logan was out quickly to make himself look big.

On 12 minutes, Bishop was lectured by the referee after an off the ball incident with Embleton while waiting for a Grimsby throw-in. From our pitchside video, the incident is off camera. From the main camera video, Bishop puts his arm on Embleton’s shoulder and Embleton throws himself to the floor. From that throw-in, Grimsby found Hessenthaler who fired over the bar again, this time from 20 yards.

A great cross from Walker from the right on 14 minutes, Rose tried to turn it goalwards but couldn’t get anything on it and the ball ran away for a goal kick.

Great defending from Pearce on 15 minutes as Grimsby headed a ball forwards towards the Stags area.

On 17 minutes, great play from Rose who found Walker, Walker played inside to Hamilton who should have had a chance to shoot but his first touch was poor. The ball eventually came to Rose who fired a half chance well wide.

On 21 minutes, a shot from Hamilton where he just had the keeper to beat but McKeown got something on it to turn it wide after great set-up play by Tyler Walker. From the resulting corner from the right by Mellis, Bishop met it with a bullet of a header from 12 yards which flew past McKeown. Quite different to his two other goals this season, at West Brom and Morecambe, but every bit as spectacular.

On 23 minutes, Clifton’s shot from a tight angle was into the side netting and was never going to trouble Logan.

On 25 minutes, Logan bowled the ball out to Mellis who pushed forward and found White who but White’s low cross was poor.

A great break from the Stags on 33 minutes led by Walker with a great run, he found Hamilton who in turn found Mellis but Mellis’ cross was poor.

Walker had a glorious chance to extend the lead on 35 minutes as Benning headed down White’s cross and Walker took the ball off Hamilton’s toe to shoot inches wide from 12 yards with the keeper completely beaten.

A minute later, Walker’s long range shot was well wide of the left post.

On 39 minutes, a close range shot from Wes Thomas was brilliantly blocked by Sweeney for a corner.

The Stags were good value for the lead at the break thanks to Bishop’s bullet header. The Stags should have doubled the lead through Walker while Hamilton had been denied one on one with the keeper. The Grimsby defence was looking makeshift while Grimsby provided little as an attacking force.

Half time 0-1

On 47 minutes, Embleton cut inside from the left and his shot was punched away by Logan from above his head, with Benning heading the loose ball behind for a corner.

A minute later, Embleton fired in another shot from the left which Logan saved well at his near post for a corner.

Great tackling and ratting from Bishop as the Stags prevented Grimsby getting a foothold in the game.

Mitch Rose was booked on 60 minutes for kicking out at Mellis leaving Mellis on the floor. The contact was only minimal though I think. From the video, it was more of a trip from Mitch Rose and he did just catch him. Booking was the correct decision.

On 62 minutes, a great move from the Stags culminating in a super cross from Benning to the far post where Hamilton fired over the bar from a tight angle. It was a bit like Hamilton’s goal against Charlton but from a tighter angle.

Elsnik replaced Danny Rose on 62 minutes. Rose had done ok winning plenty of headers and one or two free kicks.

Mellis chipped a great ball forward to Walker on 63 minutes, Walker was clipped from behind by Woolford outside the area but no foul was given. From the video, it was a foul and should have been a free kick and yellow card. It wouldn’t have been a red as Walker was slightly going away from goal and there was a covering defender.

Bishop went down with an injury to his right knee on 65 minutes but after a while he was ok to play on.

Great play from White on 66 minutes as he embarked on a long, surging run. He found Hamilton who won a corner.

Sweeney was booked for a foul on 68 minutes, after the referee had played on giving Grimsby the advantage. The booking was a little harsh.

On 70 minutes, Benning found Walker from a throw in and Walker fired well over the bar from 30 yards.

The Stags had a golden chance to seal the game on 74 minutes as Mellis headed forward into the area following a Benning corner, and Walker only had the keeper to beat but McKeown pulled off a great save as Walker sunk to his knees in frustration. From the resulting corner from Benning, Preston headed wide.

Sweeney put in a perfectly timed tackle on 75 minutes. He had to get it right, having already been booked.

A teasing cross from Elsnik from the right on 77 minutes which Mitch Rose put behind for a corner. A minute later, a chance for Benning to get a shot at goal but he couldn’t control the ball as it came to him and the chance was gone.

Benning did well to head Mitch Rose’s teasing cross over the bar on 83 minutes as Grimsby were momentarily getting up a head of steam. Two minutes later, Logan safely pouched Thomas’ low cross.

On 86 minutes, a great move from the Stags on the right. Elsnik had a chance to shoot from the edge of the area but fired wide when I expected the net to bulge.

There was a heart-stopping moment for the Stags, on 89 minutes, when sub Charles Vernam got goalside of Preston just inside the area on the left near the byline, and went down. From the pitchside footage Preston had his arm on Vernam’s back but the referee probably decided Vernam went down too easily. I think some referees could have given it but the referee made the right call here, and he was in a perfect position to view it.

On 90 minutes at the other end, Hamilton did well to get into the area and his low shot was again very well saved by McKeown.

Four minutes of time were added on and in the second of those, great defending from Pearce just outside his own box and he even came away with the ball and surged upfield.

Great celebrations at the end. With the game being an early kick-off at 1pm, the Stags momentarily moved up to second place, but ended the day in third place, two points behind MK Dons with a game in hand, and two points above the chasing pack, with games in hand. Another very tough game for Mansfield on Saturday, at resurgent Carlisle, who are just three points behind the Stags.

Man of the match: Neal Bishop


Report by: Martin Shaw at Blundell Park



Line Up:
(3-4-3)
Logan 7.5 Two good saves from Embleton early in the second half. Also made himself big when Thomas was through on goal.
Preston 7 Solid game. Unwisely gave the referee a decision to make in the 89th minute when Vernam got goalside of him just inside the area and he put his arm on Vernam’s back, though the referee correctly decided Vernam went down too easily in my opinion.
Pearce 8 Several pieces of great defending.
Sweeney 7.5 Good game. Perfectly timed tackle in the second half, which needed to be, after he’d earlier been booked.
White 8 Some good runs and crosses.
Mellis 8 Great corner for Bishop’s goal. Some good balls to Walker.
Bishop 8.5 Bullet header for the winning goal. Some great tackling and ratting to keep the Stags in charge of the midfield.
Benning 8 Good header down for Walker’s chance. Great cross for a Hamilton chance. One good defensive header.
Walker 7 Missed two glorious chances, when he fired wide after taking the ball off Hamilton’s toe, then had a shot blocked by the keeper when he only had McKeown to beat. Great play to set up a chance for Hamilton. A couple of great runs.
Rose 6.5 Did ok winning plenty of headers and one or two free kicks. Didn’t really have any chances to score.
Hamilton 7 Twice denied by good saves from McKeown.
Sub Line Up:
Elsnik (for Rose, 62 mins) - Shot wide from the edge of the area near the end.
Subs not used: Kean, Law, Atkinson, Butcher, Khan, Graham.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-1-1) McKeown; Mitch Rose, Hall-Johnson, Hendrie, Fox (Woolford, 46); Hessenthaler, Clifton, Cardwell (Vernam, 79), Pringle (Akheem Rose, 62); Embleton; Thomas. Subs not used: Russell, Welsh, Pollock, Cook.
Referee:
Matt Donohue 7 The key decision of the match was not awarding a penalty to Grimsby after 89 minutes, and he got it spot on. One or two other contentious decisions and I think he mostly got them about right.


Season 18/19 Reports