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Archived News from August 2023

23rd August 2023 9:50

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Grimsby Town 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Eisa 6. Oates 59
Attendance: 7,100 (1,188 from Mansfield)

Date: 19 August 2023

Martin Shaw at Blundell Park

Mansfield Town drew 1-1 at Grimsby Town this afternoon. Abo Eisa put Grimsby ahead with an absolute screamer from 30 yards after 6 minutes. The second game running that Mansfield have gone behind to an unstoppable strike from distance.

The Stags equalised after 59 minutes when Jordan Bowery's fine long ball from the back was chased down by Rhys Oates, who showed incredible pace to get to the ball first, ahead of the keeper, and then roll it into an empty net.

That's how it finished and yet again Mansfield were left rueing poor finishing, bad luck, and that screamer, for not winning the game.

The Stags were miles better than Grimsby. The Stags have been miles better than every team they have played this season. Mansfield had 20 shots to Grimsby's 8.

The Stags hit the woodwork twice, Davis Keillor-Dunn smashing a great shot against the bar from 18 yards after 35 minutes, and Aden Flint heading against the post from a corner after 81 minutes, the keeper actually getting a fingertip on it to turn it onto the post. Keillor-Dunn missed a 1-on-1 after 54 minutes when a flicked header from a defender put him onside and yards clear of the defence, but with only the keeper to beat, he shot wide. He certainly should have scored.

In the first half, Keillor-Dunn made a great run to the edge of the box, but the keeper did well to tip his shot wide. At the other end, Christy Pym made one brilliant save tipping a shot from 18 yards from Gavan Holohan over the bar. Pym had little else to do.

Mansfield once again lost players to injury: Baily Cargill forced off at half time with a tight hamstring, while Stephen Quinn got a whack on his knee and was also forced off at half time. On came Oates and Ollie Clarke for the second half.

Meanwhile there was confirmation that Callum Johnson, Aaron Lewis and Hiram Boateng will all miss 4-6 weeks after their respective injuries on Tuesday. We already knew the devastating news that Alfie Kilgour will miss the rest of the season.

With George Williams not fully fit, though on the bench for the first time, Bowery replaced Johnson at right back. Then when Cargill went off at half time, Bowery switched to centre half, with Lucas Akins moving to right back. Bowery was outstanding in both roles. A brilliant performance using his height and pace to good effect. Akins was again very good at right back, getting forward effectively. Oates was really dangerous in the second half and showed great pace for his goal. The reason he didn't start the game was he hasn't trained for two weeks with a sore hip. Flint was excellent again at the back. He continues to show what an immense signing he was. Keillor-Dunn though wasn't at his best. While Will Swan played his first 90 minutes of the season and looked a little off the pace, but he missed most of pre-season and will get better with game time. Ollie Clarke played the second half, and looked less rusty than his previous two sub appearances; again he will get better with game time after missing most of pre-season.

Overall, frustrating for Mansfield to only draw. Again it was largely impressive from the Stags, albeit a little less so than other games, but again with 20 shots. Both Doncaster and Grimsby have earned a point with an unstoppable worldie from 30 yards. While the Stags have spurned too many chances and need to be more clinical.

The next game is at home to Stockport next Saturday.



Grimsby Town 1-1 Mansfield Town
Eisa (6'minutes)
Oates (59'minutes)
Conteh (6'minutes)
Bowery (59'minutes)

Match report supplied by PA Media.

Mansfield Town came back from a goal down to earn a point against Grimsby Town at Blundell Park and preserve their unbeaten start in League Two.

In-form Grimsby winger Abo Eisa opened the scoring before Mansfield striker Rhys Oates came off the substitutes bench to grab an equaliser.

It was a perfect start for Grimsby as they went in front after six minutes when Eisa picked up a loose ball and fired into the top corner with his right foot from 25 yards for his third goal in two matches.

Harry Clifton blazed one attempt over as Grimsby pushed and probed for a second, but at that stage it was Mansfield who looked more likely to score with Davis Keillor-Dunn twice setting his sights from distance.

Keillor-Dunn passed up a golden opportunity to restore parity shortly after half-time when he went clean through with Grimsby goalkeeper Jake Eastwood and, somehow, fluffed his lines inside the six-yard box.

Mansfield did eventually get back on terms, though, when Oates rounded Eastwood before routinely slotting home from close-range.

Match Stats
Home Team Grimsby Away Team Mansfield
Possession Home 40% Away 60%
Shots Home 8 Away 20
Shots on Target Home 3 Away 4
Corners Home 4 Away 6
Fouls Home 7 Away 11


REPORT: Grimsby 1-1 Mansfield Town - Stags remain unbeaten after draw

Super sub Rhys Oates bagged a deserved equaliser as the battling Stags came from behind to secure a precious away point against the Mariners.

Midfielder Abo Eisa’s sixth minute strike - his third goal in as many games - put the Mariners ahead at Blundell Park as they looked to threaten the Stags’ impressive unbeaten record so far.


But second-half replacement Oates had other ideas equalised for the visitors with a smart finish just before the hour mark, latching on to a long ball and slotting home for his second goal in as many league games.

The Stags struck the post late and struck the crossbar as they came close to securing a famous comeback win.

Eisa gave the home side the perfect start when he scored with a potential goal of the season contender.

His 30-yard right-foot rocket into the top corner left Stags shot-stopper Christy Pym no chance.

And the Marines went agonisingly close to doubling their lead just three minutes later when Welsh midfielder Harry Clifton rifled a left-foot shot just wide of the near post.

Irish midfielder Stephen Quinn had a chance to level matters soon after, but he frustratingly smashed over the bar.

Fellow midfielder George Maris shot straight past Mariners keeper Jake Eastwood as the visitors kept pushing for an equaliser, before midfielder Davis Kellior-Dunn rattled the crossbar with a thunderbolt strike.

The Scot went close again to restoring parity again just three minutes later, but an alert Eastwood thwarted him with a fine fingertip save to divert the ball past his post.

Maris tried his luck from the edge of the box just before the break, but he blasted high and wide as another decent chance went begging.

Irish midfielder Gavan Holohan thought he’d won a penalty for the hosts after going flying after a challenge with defender Jordan Bowery, but referee Will Finnie was having none of it.

Striker Will Swan could have put the Stags ahead for the first time in the contest, but he shot wide from a decent position.

Maris smashed over the bar having been picked out with a lovely pass from Keillor-Dunn, before Maris turned provider and defender Aden Flint was unlucky to see his powerful header strike a post with nine minutes remaining.

Grimsby (4-1-4-1): Eastwood; Mullwarkey, Waterfall, Rodgers, Amos; Conteh (Hunt 82); Gnahoua (Pyke 63), Holohan, Clifton, Eisa (Green 82); Rose.

Unused subs: Cartwright, Efete, Vernam, Khouri.

Mansfield (4-3-1-2): Pym; Bowery, Flint, Cargill (Oates 45), MacDonald; Maris, Reed, Quinn (Clarke 45); Keillor-Dunn; Akins, Swan.

Unused subs: Flinder, Cooper, Williams, Anderson, Abdullah.

Referee: Will Finnie

Attendance: 7,100


As if by magic
Cod Almighty, by Tony Butcher

It's hot pants in the Pontoon, knotted hankies in the Mansfield end on a gloriously glamourous afternoon. Blundell Park, it's the hottest ticket in town. Apart from parking tickets in the Cartergate car park, perhaps the only ticket in town. Coo-ee, even Uncle Keith's turned up. Go on wave back to him. Well, he isn't my Uncle Keith, is he yours? Perhaps he's a universal Uncle Keith.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps today things will be different and we can stop being diffident.

Town lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation as follows: Eastwood, Mullarkey, Rodgers, Waterfall, Amos, Conteh, Gnahoua, Holohan, Clifton, Eisa, and the blinding smile of Danny Rose. The substitutes were Cartwright, Efete, Hunt, Green, Khouri, Vernam and Pyke. Same as Tuesday. Why change horses midstream?

Mansfield. Men in shorts. They be big men and little men and behold the mighty Flint, kinda broad at the shoulder and broader at the hip. A big man in big shorts with a big hairband.


Right, now we've got some proper players playing, let's see what's what. It's far too hot to wear a tall hat with a tattooed frown, save that for a rainy day.

1st half - Hocus pocus
Town kicked off towards the Osmond, crammed full of Townites in the covered corner and 1,188 happy holidaymakers sunning themselves in the cheap seats. Well, for the Mansfielders a day in Cleethorpes is an upgrade from a week in Mablethorpe, isn't it? Chalets with roofs! Caravans with doors! Well, sometimes.

Swanning about, Eastwood swept out and swept up. Wear your hair long, Will, and you can't go wrong.

Raiding on the right by Mullarkey, ambling Amos on the leftage. Prods were probed, probes were prodded. Knicks were knocked with sparring from striping. Izzy-wizzy, let's get busy. A muddle in the middle and Conteh tackle-passed perfectly to the awaiting left-line hugger. Salford was merely a practice run. Eisa swished and swayed, espied Pym idling in the centre of goal and ka-boom, za-zoom, abracadabra. You blinked. You missed it. Where is it? Back of the net. Top corner, top shot. Now that's magic.

Fiddling and faddling with faffing about as yellows hustled and hassled. A moment here, a moment there. Harvey back-heeled himself out of danger when cornered by the corner flag.

Rambling Rose rising above the mountains of Mansfield but flicking on to who? He's g-neither man nor moose, oh g-no g-no g-no, it's a g-nu. Oh Arthur, one day you may sweep majestically across the plains. Teasing triangulation from Town. Toby mudlarking, Little Harry turned and shanked unknowing of the time, the place, the moment. And the moment was gone, the beat goes on.

A staggering amount of possession, probing and pressure. Keep us shape!

Bowery chucked in from the shadows of the Frozen Horsebeer Stand. Striped slackery, Quinn allowed the ball to run across his little leggage, turned and wibbled wayly overly as we waved him goodbye. Maris flubbed straight at Eastwood. Keillor-Dunn chinkled down the left with Arthur absent, swinging past Mullarkey and passing inside to Maris. And? Shins and shinkles, go eat some winkles, it'll do you good and keep the economies of Kirkcudbright and Cornwall going for a few more days. Keep the Celtic fringe alive.

And Rose kept falling. And the referee kept falling for his falling. And Town's free kicks were pantaloons. Nibbling their toes and a stray Town corner bumbled through to Pym as flailing legs failed to connect. Conteh the Caretaker swept up and Amos shot crossly. Rose cheeked across to wrong-footingly divert and deflect over as Pym wandered lonely as a cloud. Holohan hopped before the near post to glance a rightist corner over.

Actually, what shall we call Conteh? Is the Caretaker catchy enough. How about The Sweepologist, The Binman, The Cleaner, Mr Benn? Mr Benn? Well, suddenly, as if by magic, KC does appear just in the nick of time.

Just as well as yellow hordes streamed forward. Akins roaming, Swan upping the tempo, Maris piping a merry tune. A chuck in the dark shadows, Akins jived, Keillor-Dunn jinked and wellied against the bar straight out to Bowery, whose shot was dive-bombed away by Rodgers.

As tick became toc Mansfield unpicked our lock. An idle moment of nothingness. A throw-in halfway inside their half bounced up and Conteh was mugged by Keillor-Dunn. On and on the little lad did run, slicing through the void of nothingness. As stripes finally approached he bedraggled lowly, leftly and Eastwood's fingers did tip. It's always good to tip.

Double blond bobbing doing things nearly, twice. You ask if Eastwood was required to touch the ball. No he wasn't, but grasping hands saved some sausages from disturbage in the furthest reaches of the Pontoon.

Tipping and tapping and Mr Benn shrugged aside a Staggerman, mugging a Mansfielder. A caress to Eisa, a tickle across the face of the penalty area and Holohan's big sweep was spectacularly finger-flipped over from under the bar. Town's corner was of no use to man or beast.

Ah, some common sense: one minute was added.

Conteh clamping but Mansfield might be glamping by the seaside for Town were fraying and slowly frying against menacing noodles.

2nd half - Fishbones chokus
Mansfield replaced Cargill and Quinn with Oates and Clarke, changing personnel and formation. Akins moved from being a mobile menace to being a mobile speed camera, from striker to right-back. And no nay never no more would Eisa be our wild rover.

There's oodles of noodles and Town are poodles. Oates wriggled free, Waterfall intercepted whatever needed intercepting. Parries and thrusts, feints and foraging, the Stags are roaming the valleys and mountains. Near here, even nearer there. Blocks from socks, Town on the rack stretched, stretching, stretching again. When will we snap?

Forget the football, Nigel, just hoof and run, that's the way to do it. A wallop up their right. Swan ducked and allowed Amos to pivot over the top and mis-head back into the Town half. We gazed, slightly dazed, some sighed, some cried as Keillor-Dunn ran on to the perfect graze. Off he chortled towards Eastwood. And on. Closer, closer, closer, closer. Closer still. Jake stayed frosty, stayed upright and finally sank as the waddling Weirsider broke into the penalty area. Alas the footballer with time to think as a paltry dink apologised past the left post to much mirth in Marinerland and much muttering down Mansfield way.

We got away that one. Keep it tight lads.

An underhit back pass and Eastwood comically tapped under the leaping Swan who landed on Jake's back. Well, it amused us for a few seconds.

We said keep it tight.

With the ball in their keeper's hands everyone knows there's nothing doing, everyone you see is half-asleep as minds drifted, phones were checked and idling chattery abounded. What a day, eh, how's your boy been? I've nothing to say, but it's…oh what happened there?

Archaeologists found evidence under the Blundell Park car park, just near that big pothole where they let the refs park, that in the summer of the year 2023, just on the hour of a sunny day, Bowery blampled very longly from deeply deep inside the Mansfield half. On the ball sailed, over Rodgers and Waterfall and on, bouncing, bouncing through to Eastwood. Except it didn't. Instead of skipping through it just gave up and plopped in no-man's land. Waterfall stared at Eastwood, Eastwood stared at Waterfall, out came a yellow boot as Oates toe-tippled past and round the wallflower to walk into the empty net.

Hardly a surprise, was it. The warning lights had been flashing for some time, we just chose to ignore it. OK, batten down those hatches and bring on the empty horses.

I know you expected to able to see Arthur sometime. Well, there he is, somewhere between the land and the sea, walking away as Pyke replaced the phantom menace. Or is Pyke the phantom menace? A question we may never resolve no matter how many times we ask it. The hope in the home stands is that he is not fit. Still.

Hello there Mansfielders, having fun in the sun? Do you want to play with our ball. Yes they do, and they keep it just for fun, for a laugh, ha-ha-ha. So where did you get to, Nigel's lovelies? Just the facts, loads of this and that. Flashing down the flanks and Swan turned to slash wide. Clarke slobbered a slither wide, Keillor-Dunn crossed and Maris managed to avoid scoring, leaning back and heading over. More of this and much less too, 'tis just a procession of yellowness, Eastwood's goal held together by sticky-backed plaster and Harvey Rodger's extendable legs.

And the wooden work. A corner from their left, hooped high to the old bruiser beyond the back. Flint nodded, Eastwood plunged low and left to finger flip agin. What else is on the Mansfield menu? Scrambled eggs on toast by the coast. Waterfall was bandaged up and sent back into the battle, Green and Hunt replaced Conteh and Eisa but for all the subbing and shapeshifting, nothing shifted the momentum.

At times Town almost got into their penalty area. I said almost. So rare was it to be close to Pym, that whenever a stripe threatened to cross the white line they fell over in fear of the unknown. It's a strange local phenomenum, a lugubrious existential crisis, it's the Grimsby player's fear of the penalty area.

Do suckers get punched? Sometimes. Is this the time for suck punching? A chip and chase and Holohan was suddenly running free towards the existential crisis point. Bowery pursued the Irish rover and the ball bounded on, as did the feet of men. Poor old Gav had the expression of a man purchasing some fruit pastilles at the kiosk and realising his train is leaving the station, right now. The concrete and clay beneath his feet began to crumble and Gav began to tumble before the man mountain beside him had the chance to haul him down. It was a long way to run in that heat. Poor old Gav.

Five minutes were added. One of their bearded and bald, or perhaps bearded or bald, back-roomers was booked for some surreptitious watering. Or maybe he was standing on the cracks in the pavement during daylight hours. Heinous stuff. We must be protected from this sort of thing.

Look, it was all them, we did nothing. They didn't score again, that's that.

The grass needs cutting.

Mansfield are just better, they were utterly dominant in the end and ground Town down. There we are, a fact of life. But they only scored because we gave them the goal. Well, that's their problem, not ours. And this is our problem not theirs: Mansfield played an entire half with two strikers in defence, and Town had absolutely zero efforts or chances during that half. Think on that.

We got away with it. A point gained.



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