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Match Reports

Match Report: Grimsby Town 1-1 Mansfield Town

Late equaliser denies battling Mariners maximum points.

26 December 2017

Carl Leslie
Mitch celebrates after scoring against Mansfield Town.

Grimsby Town were forced to settle for a share of the spoils as a late equaliser denied them victory over Mansfield Town at Blundell Park.

In an entertaining, full-blooded Boxing Day contest, the Mariners took an early lead when Mitch Rose struck after 10 minutes.

Town, who lost goalkeeper James McKeown to injury just after the half-hour, had opportunities to add to their lead but their visitors came into the game more after the break.

A superb defensive performance from the hosts had started to look like it might bring the reward of three points but in the end, substitute Lee Angol brought Mansfield level when he scored with his first touch on 80 minutes.

After that, both sides pressed for a winner but neither was able to grab that decisive goal an the game finished level.

One change was made to the Town side that lost at Luton on Saturday, with Martyn Woolford making a return to the starting line-up in place of Diallang Jaiyesimi.

Otherwise, it was as you were, with McKeown lining up in goal behind a defence of Zak Mills, Nathan Clarke, Danny Collins and Ben Davies.

Siriki Dembele, Rose, Luke Summerfield and Woolford were the midfielders, with Sam Jones and Jamille Matt continuing their partnership in attack.

The Grimsby substitutes were Ben Killip, Karleigh Osborne, Scott Vernon, James Berrett, Paul Dixon, JJ Hooper and Jaiyesimi.

Mansfield boss Steve Evans made four changes to his side after their win against Morecambe at the weekend, with Krystian Pearce and Johnny Hunt coming into the defence and Paul Anderson and Jacob Mellis chosen in midfield.

Mansfield sat three points and three places above the Mariners in the League Two table at kick-off, with the visitors looking to go as high as third with a win ahead of the rest of the day's fixtures, while Grimsby would be aiming to get closer to the play-off positions by taking maximum points.

Town were straight on the attack with a piece of trickery from Dembele on the right earning a throw-in, before Mansfield's first attack saw striker Danny Rose take advantage of a mistake at the back to play the ball for Kane Hemmings, although it went harmlessly through to McKeown.

After a low-key opening to the game, the Mariners took the lead on 10 minutes when ROSE picked the ball up in midfield and took it forward, working his way into the penalty area and getting the ball back from a ricochet before picking his spot to beat visiting keeper Conrad Logan from 12 yards.

Mansfield's reply saw a free kick from Hayden White headed clear, before Pearce fired wide fom the edge of the box.

Another White free kick from the right on 14 minutes was half-cleared and the away side worked the ball back into the box but Zander Diamond's header was held by McKeown.

Town then attacked again, with Woolford seeing a shot blocked ater good play by Matt and Dembele, before Jones sent an effort over the bar soon afterwards.

Mansfield's Rose fired a first-time shot over the bar at the other end, before a foul by Town's Rose on 23 minutes earned him the first yellow card of the game.  The resulting free kick from Alex Macdonald caused no problems as the ball was caught by McKeown.

A foul on Matt gave Town a free kick in a promising position on the right four minutes later but Summerfield's delivery was glanced away for a throw-in, which was then turned into a corner when Clarke's long throw was put behind.  Summerfield's dangerous delivery from the flag initially looked to have caused problems but the ball was eventually claimed by Logan.

The Mariners were forced into making a change in goal just after the half-hour when McKeown, who had received treatment shortly before, pulled up with an injury and signalled that he could not continue.  Killip came on in his place.

White was booked for bringing Jones down on the Town left after the striker had pushed the ball past him on 35 minutes.  Summerfield's free kick was too close to Logan, who caught the ball.

Jones battled well to win a throw-in near the corner flag on the right soon afterwards but Clarke's long throw was headed clear by Pearce.

After creating little of note so far, Mansfield were beginning to apply more pressure as half-time loomed, albeit without troubling Killip.

Town were given another opportunity when Rose was hauled down by Johnny Hunt as he looked to burst into the box on 43 minutes.  The left-back was booked before Sumerfield took the free kick, which was flicked clear by Mansfield's Rose before it could reach Clarke at the far post.

Four added minutes was signalled to be played before the referee stopped the game again to have words with Mansfield boss Evans.

A foul on Matt by White then gave Town a free kick on the left but Summerfield's ball was headed wide.

No further chances came before the referee's half-time whistle, meaning the Mariners' one-goal advantage remained intact at the break.

Rhys Bennett replaced White for the away side before the restart and an early attempt from distance by striker Rose caused no concern as it sailed over the bar.

A cross from Hunt soon afterwards was headed back across goal by Rose but was caught by Killip.

Town had an opportunity to make it 2-0 on 50 minutes when a cross from Davies on the left was blocked and the ball came to Jones but he could only divert it wide.

A free kick from Summerfield on the left was then headed away, before Killip had to be alert to stop a header from Macdonald at his near post.

Mansfield's Rose then became the latest to go into the referee's notebook as he was booked for kicking the ball away.

Another great chance for Town to double their lead came on 55 minutes when Matt's pass found Rose but he could not get his feet right to find the net, instead appearing off-balance as he put his shot wide of the near post.

The game had livened up, with chances now coming at both ends as a shot was hit into the side-netting by Anderson after a cross had been fired by CJ Hamilon from the left.

Matt was then booked for a foul inside the Mansfield half, before a cross-shot from Mills hit the side-netting.

Killip raced off his line to beat Hemmings to a through-ball and clear the danger on 63 minutes, then Matt was penalised for a foul near the halfway line but Macdonald's free kick was headed away by Clarke.

A Hunt cross was blocked for a corner by Mills on 67 minutes but Macdonald's delivery from the flag was dealt with by the Town defence and a follow-up effort from Pearce was blocked.

Mills became the latest to be booked for delaying a free kick by kicking the ball away, then Grimsby's second substitution saw Vernon come on in place of Matt.

A cross from Macdonald on the right was headed away by Clarke as Mansfield continued to put pressure on the home backline in search of an equaliser.

Hooper replaced Jones in Town's final change with 15 minutes to go and his first contribution was to win a corner on the right.  Summerfield's delivery found Clarke at the far post but his header was blocked, with another corner the result.  This time, the referee spotted an infringement as the ball came across and blew for a Mansfield free kick.

Alfie Potter replaced Hunt for Mansfield just before Dembele combined with Vernon on the right to launch another Town attack, which eventually led to a free kick.

Lee Angol was the final Mansfield substitute to be sent on as he replaced Hemmings in attack with 12 minutes left on the clock and the game still in the balance.

And this time, the substitute had an immediate impact as he brought the visitors level with his first contribution to the game.  The ball bounced around inside the box as Town, for once, failed to clear their lines and when it broke to ANGOL, he smashed it into the net off the post.

Mansfield's tails were now up and they could have taken the lead when a low cross found its way to Rose but he sent it over the bar.

Town's Rose then won a corner on the right with six minutes left but Logan came off his line to collect the ball from the flag-kick and managed to hold onto it.

Potter fizzed a shot wide of the far post as Mansfield looked for a winner, then a cross from Vernon was eventually cleared.

Angol won a corner on the left which was dealt with by the Town defence, then Pearce planted a header wide after a cross from the left.

At the other end, Dembele did well to work his way into the box before playing a low ball across that eventually led to a shot from Summerfield being deflected away for a corner.  That led to a throw-in, which in turn saw a penalty appeal from the home fans turned down after Rose went down inside the box.

Both sides were continuing to push for a winner as three added minutes was signalled, but that crucial goal was not to come and instead, it ended honours even.

Town are next in action on Saturday, when they host Accrington Stanley.

1 James McKeown 
12 Zak Mills 
2 Ben Davies 
5 Nathan Clarke (C)
6 Danny Collins 
19 Luke Summerfield 
27 Siriki Dembele 
8 Mitch Rose 
25 Martyn Woolford 
29 Jamille Matt 
10 Sam Jones


30 Ben Killip 
3 Paul Dixon 
14 Karleigh Osborne 
7 James Berrett 
20 Diallang Jaiyesimi 
9 JJ Hooper 
21 Scott Vernon

Mansfield Town

1 Conrad Logan 
16 Hayden White 
19 Johnny Hunt 
6 Zander Diamond (C)
5 Krystian Pearce 
8 Jacob Mellis 
10 Paul Anderson 
7 Alexander MacDonald 
22 CJ Hamilton 
23 Kane Hemmings 
32 Danny Rose


12 Bobby Olejnik 
2 Rhys Bennett 
11 Will Atkinson 
24 Callum Butcher 
17 Alfie Potter 
9 Lee Angol 
15 Jimmy Spencer

Attendance: 5,704 (682 away)

Referee: Darren England

Next Up: Accrington Stanley

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