STAGS LOSE TO TEN MAN GRIMSBY
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 0 - 1 Grimsby Town
Benning OG 66. Waterfall sent off 9.
Attendance: 5840 (1337 from Grimsby)
Date: 4 January 2020
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town were beaten 1-0 by a Grimsby Town side that played for more than 80 minutes with ten men at the One Call Stadium. Former Stags defender Luke Waterfall was sent off after just 9 minutes for a bad challenge on Jacob Mellis, as he flew in with feet off the ground. Remarkably it was the second time Waterfall has been sent off at Mansfield since leaving the club, the first was for throwing a bottle back into the crowd when playing for Lincoln City.
The Stags gave a good example of how to play against ten men at Cambridge on New Year’s Day, but this performance couldn’t have been further from that as Mansfield were frustrated by a packed defence and rarely looked like breaking it down.
In truth, the Stags were awful, lacking any quality in terms of creativity, providing width, or using the extra man to their advantage, and instead resorting to simply pumping balls into the box from distance which were easily cleared time and time again.
To compound matters, the Stags gifted Grimsby a goal after 66 minutes which you’d expect to turn up on a Bloopers own goals compilation as Liam Gibson crossed from the left and Mal Benning inexplicably thundered the ball into his own net from 6 yards. Benning was facing his own net and simply smashed it hard into the roof of the net. It’s hard to work out what he was trying to do, but it was no laughing matter for Mansfield and was the only goal of the game.
Mansfield didn’t create many chances but should have been ahead after 27 minutes when Danny Rose flicked a header into the path of Nicky Maynard who was through 1-on-1 with keeper James McKeown. Maynard shot from just inside the box and McKeown got a little touch on it to turn it a foot wide of the right post. Superb goalkeeping from McKeown but Maynard should have scored.
In the second half, Mellis fired just over the bar from 18 yards, Benning stung the keeper’s arms with a powerful shot, and Maynard also fired just over the bar. But chances were too few and far between. When it looked like Mansfield had run out of ideas, they nearly rescued a point with almost the last kick of the game as Maynard fired a great shot from 30 yards over the keeper, who somehow managed to tip it over the bar.
A dreadful performance from which no-one in the Stags side came out with any credit. There was no quality at all and Mansfield had no answer as to how to break down a side that packed its defence.
It was bitterly disappointing for most the biggest crowd of the season, 5840. But the 1337 Grimsby fans, which was the biggest away following this season, couldn’t believe their luck having been gifted the three points, albeit they defended very resolutely, wanting to impress new manager Ian Holloway.
Mansfield were unchanged from the side that won at Cambridge. It was surprising that manager Graham Coughlan didn’t freshen the side up, as he had said he would at Cambridge, with so many games in quick succession. Shaughnessy remained out with a hamstring injury, Gordon with a back injury, and Tomlinson also with injury. Afolayan has returned to West Ham at the end of his loan spell. No place for Sterling-James in the squad again, which would hint that he doesn’t feature in the manager’s plans, barring injury that we’re unaware of.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Mel Benning own goal brings more home misery as Mansfield Town lose to 10-men Grimsby Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 04 January 2020
It may be a New Year, but Mansfield Town's abysmal home record continued today as a Mal Benning own goal gave 10-men Grimsby Town a 1-0 win at the One Call Stadium.
Stags have only won twice in League Two at home all season and rarely looked like penetrating a well-drilled Mariners side, managed for the first time by new boss Ian Holloway.
Ex-Stag Luke Waterfall's dismissal as early as the 10th minute boosted home hopes against their fellow strugglers in front of the season's biggest home gate so far, boosted by over 1,300 visitors.
But, in a poor game of few real chances, the Grimsby shut up shop superbly and had their moment of luck through Benning on 66 minutes to leapfrog Mansfield in the table.
The afternoon began with a minute's applause for supporters who had passed away from both clubs in 2019.
Grimsby defended two home corners in the fourth minute as Stags started with purpose.
Two more quickly followed, but again they were cleared.
The game then exploded on 10 minutes when ex-Stag Waterfall went in late, high and hard on Mellis in the middle of the pitch and was shown a straight red card as players piled in for a shoving match.
But the visitors knuckled down and almost carved out an opening when Vernam sent in a low cross from the bright on 17 minutes and Ogbu's miscued touch saw the ball loop easily to Logan.
Benning tested McKeown from 30 yards with a low shot on 25 minutes which he comfortably gathered.
Two minutes later the keeper did well to get something on to Maynard's finish after Rose had sent him away one on one from Pearce's forward ball and Stags won only a corner.
White was booked for his foul on the powerful Ogbu on 31 minutes, Pearce added to the book for blocking the same player in added time.
A poor pass that Bishop could not control almost let in Grimsby in the fourth of the four added minutes, but Logan made a fine save to keep out Vernam's stinging shot as the first half ended in stalemate.
After defending an early Grimsby corner, Stags went on the attack and MacDonald had a couple of efforts blocked in a 50th minute scramble.
To boost their firepower against the 10 men, forward Cook took over from midfielder Bishop on 51 minutes as Stags went three up top.
But they were almost caught on a 53rd minute counter as Clifton raced forward, drew two defenders and then poked his low finish wide.
A minute later Mansfield worked a superb opening of their own with some quick passes that ended with Maynard teeing up Mellis for a rising shot from 18 yards that went over the bar.
Coughlan went to retrieve the ball from outside his technical area and then had heated words with the referee which saw him booked.
On the hour Stags came so close as Benning's first time shot forced McKeown into a save before Rose headed a White cross into the ground and over, only to see an offside flag up anyway.
But Stags fell behind on 66 minutes as Benning put through his own goal. Gibson sent in a superb cross from the left and, in stretching to clear, Benning smashed an unstoppable finish into the home net.
Clarke replaced the tiring White on 74 minutes and, seconds later, MacDonald had a shot easily saved from distance.
Gibson's time wasting at a throw earned him a 77th minute booking.
Stags were pushing forward but leaving holes at the back, Rose too high from an 80th minute counter.
Davies rook over from Rose on 86 minutes and soon after Maynard was too high from 20 yards.
Five minutes were added on in which Davies was booked for his shove on Clifton.
With the last kick McKeown turned over a long range dipping effort by Maynard as the day ended in agony.
MANSFIELD: Logan; White (Clark 74), Pearce, Preston, Benning; MacDonald, Mellis, Bishop (Cook 51), Hamilton; Rose (Davies 86), Maynard. Subs not used: Olejnik, Khan, Knowles, Smith.
GRIMSBY: McKeown, Hendrie, Davis, Waterfall, Gibson (80), Hessenthaler, Clifton, Robson, Ogbu (Rose 56), Vernam, Wright (Pollock 13). Subs not used: Russell, Öhman, Hewitt, Cardwell.
REFEREE: James Oldham of Derbyshire.
ATTENDANCE: 5,840 (1,337 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Alex MacDonald.
Match Report: Mansfield Town 0-1 Grimsby Town
Ten-man Grimsby Town made it back-to-back wins as they secured a hard-earned victory at Mansfield Town in new manager Ian Holloway's first game in charge.
The Mariners were forced to play almost the entire game a man short after Luke Waterfall was shown the red card inside the opening 10 minutes.
But after withstanding long spells of home pressure in the first half, Town were the better side after the break and got the vital breakthrough when home defender Mal Benning volleyed into his own net.
One change was made to the Grimsby side after the New Year's Day victory over Salford, with Moses Ogbu replacing the injured Jordan Cook.
James McKeown started in goal, with Luke Hendrie, Harry Davis, Waterfall and Liam Gibson forming the back four.
Harry Clifton, Jake Hessenthaler and Ethan Robson lined up across the midfield, with Max Wright, Moses Ogbu and Charles Vernam in attack.
Ludvig Ohman came back into the matchday squad and began on the bench, alongside Sam Russell, Elliott Whitehouse, Ahkeem Rose, Harry Cardwell, Elliott Hewitt and Mattie Pollock.
Mansfield also had a return to winning ways last time out, beating Cambridge 3-2 away from home.
Manager Graham Coughlan would look to the likes of Nicky Maynard, Danny Rose and CJ Hamilton to cause problems for the Town defence.
The hosts won the first corner on three minutes and Neal Bishop's header from Alex MacDonald's delivery was deflected over the bar for another one.
The Mansfield pressure continued when a shot frrom Rose was deflected wide for a third corner and it was headed behind by Waterfall for a fourth, which was cleared.
Town were dealt an early blow as hey were reduced to 10 men with less than 10 minutes on the clock when Waterfall was dismissed for a poor two-footed challenge on Jacob Mellis near the halfway line.
Pollock was sent on to fill the gap at the heart of the defence, with Wright the unfortunate attacker to come off.
Town recovered and started to come into the game, with Vernam sending a low cross over from the right for Ogbu but the striker could not get the power or direction needed to beat home keeper Conrad Logan.
A shot from Vernam on 20 minutes was deflected though to Logan, before a foul by Pollock on Rose gave Mansfield a free kick inside the Town half, which was cleared before a follow-up shot from distance was stopped by McKeown.
A great chance for Mansfield to open the scoring came when Maynard got in behind the Town defence but he could not beat the keeper, who came off his line to deflect the shot away for a corner and then caught the ball from the flag-kick.
Gibson won a corner at the other end on the half-hour but Hessenthaler's low ball from it was cleared at he near post.
Mansfield's Hayden White was booked for a foul on Ogbu soon afterwards but Robson's free kick was poor and the ball sailed out for a goal kick.
A good block by Pollock topped a cross from Hamilton on the left, at the expense of another home corner, which was cleared by Clifton at the near post.
A low ball from White was cut out for yet another corner on 34 minutes but again, it was dealt with by the Mariners.
Another corner came after Gibson showed good awareness after a clever Mansfield free-kick routine, although the hosts were unable to cause significant problems from the flag.
A flick by Vernam sent Hendrie away down the right as Town attacked on 45 minutes but his cross caused no danger for the home defence.
Four added minutes were played at the end of the half and Mansfield's Krystian Pearce was booked in the second of them for a foul on Ogbu.
Town had a chance after a mistake by Bishop in midfield but Vernam's shot from 20 yards was saved by Logan.
That proved to be the last opportunity of the half, with the Mariners producing a solid defensive effort after going a man down to keep the scores level at the break.
No further changes were made before the restart and Ogbu won an early corner, which was headed away.
MacDonald saw two shots blocked in quick succession at the other end on 50 minutes, before former Grimsby striker Andy Cook was sent on in place of Bishop in the home side's first substitution.
A good chance for the visitors came when a nice touch by Ogbu sent Clifton away through the middle. The midfielder's run took him past two defenders but he could not hit the target with his shot, instead firing wide.
Mellis fizzed a shot just over the bar from 20 yards before Ogbu was replaced by Rose in Town's second change on 54 minutes.
A shot by Benning was pushed away by McKeown, before he keeper produced a brilliant save to keep out a close-range header from the home side, although the offside flag had already gone up.
And when the deadlock was finally broken on 66 minutes, it was the 10 men of the Mariners who took the lead. A good move down the left led to Gibson sending a brilliant low cross over and Benning volleyed it into his own net.
McKeown was shown the yellow card soon afterwards for time-wasting over a goal kick, before Clifton created a chance for Rose but he was crowded out and Logan dived on the loose ball.
A good challenge by Gibson stopped a dangerous-looking run by Hamilton and ensured the only damage was a corner, which led to a Town free kick after a foul.
James Clarke replaced White for the hosts on 75 minutes, before a MacDonald effort from 25 yards was comfortably stopped by McKeown.
Gibson was yellow-carded for taking too long over a throw-in, before Rose sent a shot over the bar into the travelling Town fans.
Whitehouse replaced Gibson with 11 minutes to go, with Town now looking comfortable as Mansfield searched for a way back into the contest.
Maynard fired harmlessly over the bar as the clock ticked down, although the home side were given an additional five minutes to try to force an equaliser.
And they almost had it with the last kick of the game as Maynard spotted McKeown off his line and tried to lob him. The keeper managed to get a hand to it though and his touch took the ball over the bar.
The final whistle blew straight afterwards and Town and their 1,337 travelling fans were left to celebrate a superb win.
The Mariners are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Leyton Orient.
Mansfield: Logan, White, Benning, Preston, Pewwarce (C), Bishop, MacDonald, Mellis, Hamilton, Maynard, Rose
Subs: Olejnik, Clarke, Khan, Smith, Cook, Knowles,
Town: McKeown (c), Hendrie, Davis, Waterfall, Gibson, Hessenthaler, Clifton, Robson, Ogbu, Vernam, Wright. Subs: Russell, Öhman, Pollock, Hewitt, Whitehouse, Rose, Cardwell.
Referee: James Oldham
Attendance: 5,840 (1337)
Grimsby Town player ratings after ten men beat Mansfield in Ian Holloway's first game
grimsbytelegraph.co.uk, By Liam Wood, Grimsby Town FC writer
An own goal from Mal Benning settled the scores as Grimsby Town started life under Ian Holloway with a hard-fought victory against Mansfield.
After being reduced to ten men when Luke Waterfall saw red inside ten minutes, the visitors rolled up their sleeves to record back to back wins at the start of 2020.
It was a result that also saw Town leapfrog the Stags into 17th place in the table - with two games in hand on several clubs.
Here, sports writer Liam Wood runs the rule. As always, you can share YOUR views with our Grimsby Town player ratings widget below.
James McKEOWN: Came up with two stunning saves to deny Maynard - one right at the end 8/10
Luke HENDRIE: Had a tough task up against Hamilton out wide - and he stuck to it throughout 7/10
Luke WATERFALL: Shown a straight red card inside ten minutes, but was it the right decision? 4/10
Harry DAVIS: Another composed display helped Town keep a thoroughly deserved clean sheet 8/10
Liam GIBSON: Had one of his best games for the club and assisted the own goal 8/10 (STAR MAN)
Harry CLIFTON: Showed great heart in each of the five or six positions that he was deployed in 8/10
Jake HESSENTHALER: Did the basics well and kept things ticking over against the extra player 7/10
Ethan ROBSON: Ran his fellow loanee close for ‘Star Man’ with an industrious show in midfield 8/10
Max WRIGHT: Unlucky to be the one who was sacrificed when Waterfall saw red on ten minutes N/A
Charles VERNAM: Stung the palms of Logan on the stroke of half-time as he drifted in and out 7/10
Moses OGBU: Held the ball up well, at times, but naturally found himself a bit isolated up front 6/10
FROM THE BENCH
Mattie Pollock (Wright 12): Aside from one early slip, the Youth graduate slotted in seamlessly 7/10
Ahkeem Rose (Ogbu 55): Did what he could to stretch play and injected more speed and energy 6/10
Elliott Whitehouse (Gibson 80): Added some fresh legs to help see out the victory 6/10
NOT USED: Russell, Öhman, Hewitt, Cardwell.