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21st July 2021 0:36

Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town 0 - 1 Grimsby Town
Sousa 66.
Attendance: behind closed doors

Date: 20 July 2021

Martin Shaw at the RH Academy

Mansfield Town lost 1-0 to Grimsby Town in the third pre-season friendly of the 2021/22 season this afternoon. The game was played behind closed doors at the RH Academy.

After the game, Nigel Clough said it was another good runout for his players, though some of his players need to be better and that will improve in the next few weeks. Once again he said the game was mainly about getting fitness.

Six players were returning from self-isolation so were getting their first minutes of pre-season and are behind the other players in their preparation for the season.

The players returning from self-isolating were: George Shelvey, Marek Stech, James Perch, Farrend Rawson, George Maris, Jordan Bowery.
Absent, still self-isolating: Ryan Burke (new signing from Birmingham).

The team that started the game was:
George Shelvey (on loan from Nottm For);
Kellan Gordon, James Perch, Elliott Hewitt (new signing from Grimsby), Stephen McLaughlin;
George Maris (the defensive midfielder in the diamond), George Lapslie, Stephen Quinn, Rhys Oates (front of the midfield diamond, new signing from Hartlepool);
Oli Hawkins (new signing from Ipswich), Danny Johnson (new signing from Leyton Orient).

The team after 63 minutes, subs made after 63 minutes (except Stech for Shelvey at HT, and Ollie Clarke for Lapslie at HT):
Marek Stech;
Corey O'Keeffe, Farrend Rawson, Elliott Hewitt, James Clarke;
Keaton Ward (the defensive midfielder in the diamond), Ollie Clarke, Stephen McLaughlin, Tyrese Sinclair;
Nathan Caine, Jordan Bowery.

Later sub: George Cooper for Hewitt, 80 mins.

So there were four changes in the starting XI from the side that started at Matlock: Shelvey for Mason, Perch for James Clarke, Quinn (returning from injury) and Maris for Ollie Clarke and Charsley (thigh injury).

Absent injured: Harry Charsley (thigh injury), Jimmy Knowles (jarred his knee in the warm-up at Matlock), Jason Law (twisted ankle in training last week, told me at Matlock he hoped to be back training this week), Josh Scott (injured).
Absent: Nathan Bishop (on loan from Man Utd, at pre-season with Man Utd).
Not involved: George Scott (trialist, released from Rotherham academy last season who played in the previous two games).

It was forecast to be a scorcher in Mansfield. It rained through the whole of the first half! Please excuse any errors in my report, my notes were completely soaked through! It was very hot in the second half. I asked Nigel Clough after the game whether it was better that it rained rather than was boiling in the first half and he said definitely yes.

A word on the pitch at the RH Academy. It looked immaculate. Well done to the groundstaff.

The first chance of the game came after 7 minutes when Kellan Gordon made a good run down the right and delivered a fine cross for Oli Hawkins who headed wide.

Three minutes later, a good run forward from Rhys Oates and he fired wide of the left post.

Joel Grant, veteran of Aldershot, Wycombe and various other clubs, did well to create space for a shot but fired wide of the right post for the Mariners after 19 minutes.

Hawkins headed across goal to Danny Johnson after 31 minutes and Johnson fired just wide.

Oates got himself in position for another shot after 33 minutes but scuffed his effort wide of the right post.

At the other end, John McAtee, who played against the Stags for Scunthorpe last season, had a shot deflected wide after 34 minutes.

Not too many chances for either side in the first half though the Stags had more of them.

Half time 0-0

A couple of changes for the Stags at half time: Shelvey went off feeling his thigh according to Nigel Clough, and George Lapslie had a slight ankle problem after a couple of tackles he went in to. They were replaced by Marek Stech, who remains available for transfer, and Ollie Clarke.

Ollie Clarke tried to up the intensity by flying into a tackle on former Stag Luke Waterfall 3 minutes into the second half. The two players then squared up to each other. Both players were rightly booked. Waterfall normally gets sent off against the Stags since leaving the club but didn’t here!

Rhys Oates let fly from 25 yards with a low shot after 50 minutes but it was straight at Grimsby’s keeper James McKeown, who has a testimonial game this week and has been playing against the Stags for a decade. It was the first save of the match.

A minute later at the other end, Marek Stech saved comfortably from Max Wright.

After 55 minutes, Oates headed over the bar from just inside the area from a George Maris pass. It was Oates’s fourth effort at goal, and he looked lively. A minute later very good defending from Stephen McLaughlin from a cross. McLaughlin had a good game though was very annoyed with himself for a couple of stray passes.

Elliott Hewitt was booked for a deliberate foul after 57 minutes. Hewitt was of course playing against his teammates from last season.

McAtee fired over the bar from the edge of the area after 61 minutes.

It was the last action before both sides changed most of their team after 63 minutes.

Mansfield had been the better side in the opening 63 minutes, with more chances than Grimsby, though neither side had been that close to scoring.

Mansfield made 7 further changes on 63 minutes to add to the 2 at half time. Hewitt and McLaughlin stayed on from those who started the game. McLaughlin moved into left midfield, James Clarke took his place at left back.

The Stags team was now:
Marek Stech;
Corey O'Keeffe, Farrend Rawson, Elliott Hewitt, James Clarke;
Keaton Ward (the defensive midfielder in the diamond), Ollie Clarke, Stephen McLaughlin, Tyrese Sinclair;
Nathan Caine, Jordan Bowery.

Grimsby made 10 changes.

For the remaining 27 minutes, Grimsby were the better side.

They took the lead after 66 minutes. Erico Sousa fired low past Stech from 17 yards after being fed by Fox, after a mistake by Keaton Ward who was dispossessed by Fox.

Ollie Clarke tried to fire the Stags back into the game after 68 minutes, and his 30 yard shot was deflected just wide for a corner. From the resulting corner from Tyrese Sinclair, Mariners keeper Battersby parried away.

Hewitt put in a good sliding challenge to stop a Grimsby break. Then Stech saved well from a low shot from Fox as Grimsby got slightly on top.

Hewitt was replaced by George Cooper in central defence after 80 minutes.

No more chances as Grimsby saw out a victory with the referee adding no additional time in either half, despite some long stoppages.

Not the best of games, but as Nigel Clough said, it was all about getting fitness. The Stags had been the better side in the opening hour in my opinion, Grimsby the better side in the last half an hour after the mass change of players.

You’ll be able to watch the full match replay of this game with commentary tomorrow on iFollow Stags.

The next games are on Friday night at Alfreton Town, and Saturday at midday at Hull City. Nigel Clough explained to me at Matlock that he will pick the team to play at Hull, then work backwards to pick the team for the Alfreton game. Again we will not have live coverage on iFollow Stags but the full match replays with commentary will be available on iFollow Stags the day after each game.

Efete, Waterfall, Pearson, Crookes;
Clifton, Coke, McAtee, Wright;
Scannell, Grant.

Team after 63 minutes:
Battersby, Khouri, Goundry, Longe-King, Sears, Spokes, Braithwaite, Fox, Sousa, Milner, Essel.

Ref: unknown