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Match Reports

📝Match Report: Grimsby Town 0-1 Mansfield Town

Town slip to rare home defeat

1 January 2019

Lee Blease

Grimsby Town started 2019 with a rare home defeat as promotion-chasing Mansfield Town won at Blundell Park.

After an excellent run of victories in the run-up to Christmas and over the festive period, the Mariners were unable to add another win as Neal Bishop's first-half header proved decisive.

Town, with a defence heavily hit by injury and suspension, played well but were unable to find a goal to claim a share of the spoils.

Two changes were made to the team after Saturday's heroic win at Exeter, with Mitch Rose replacing the suspended Alex Whitmore and Ben Pringle coming back into the line-up as Martyn Woolford dropped to the bench.

James McKeown started in goal, with Rose in an unfamiliar right-back role as Reece Hall-Johnson and Luke Hendrie formed a new centre-back partnership and Andrew Fox began on the left.

Harry Cardwell, Harry Clifton, Jake Hessenthaler and Pringle were the midfielders, with Elliot Embleton behind striker Wes Thomas.

Woolford was joined on the substitutes' list by John Welsh, Jordan Cook, Charles Vernam, Ahkeem Rose, Mattie Pollock and Sam Russell.

Mansfield made the relatively short journey to Cleethorpes looking to continue an excellent unbeaten away record so far this season.

The Stags began the day in the third automatic promotion place in the League Two table but just eight points ahead of the Mariners in 13th.

Embleton had the first shot of the afternoon after Hessenthaler had brought the ball forward but the Sunderland loanee's 25-yard effort flew over the bar.

A good chance came when a long ball forward was headed on by Cardwell to put Thomas through but he was unable to find a finish to take it past visiting keeper Conrad Logan.

Midfielder Bishop was spoken to by the referee after a foul on Embleton but no further action was taken and from a throw-in soon afterwards, Hessenthaler tried his luck with a shot that went over the bar.

Mansfield's first opening came on 14 minutes and saw a dangerous low cross sent over from the right by Tyler Walker but nobody was in the right place to get a touch to the ball and it went out for a goal kick.

Walker fired a first-time shot wide from 20 yards, before a good chance for the visitors to take the lead came when the ball was slid through for Chris Hamilton but McKeown did well to save the shot with his feet.

The Town keeper could do nothing from the resulting corner though, as Mansfield took the lead when the flag-kick was met by BISHOP with a bullet header that flew into the net.

Grimsby's response saw Clifton hit the side-netting with a volley from a narrow angle on the right, before another shot by the midfielder was deflected away for a corner, which was gathered by Logan.

A foul by Pringle gave Mansfield a free kick inside the Town half but Mal Benning's delivery into the box was collected by McKeown.

Hall-Johnson had to concede a corner on the half-hour after Danny Rose made his way into the penalty area but this time, the delivery into the box did not cause a problem as Ryan Sweeney's header went away from goal.

The visitor were still on top and the went close to a second goal when a cross was headed down for Walker but his shot went just wide of the target.

Walker dragged another effort wide fom 20 yards on 36 minutes, before Clifton found Thomas with a through-ball at the other end but the striker slipped as he looked to turn his man on the edge of the box.

A good build-up by the Mariners eventually led to a close-range shot by Thomas being blocked by Logan for a corner, which produced another one when Clifton's diving header was deflected behind.  This time, it did not lead to a chance in front of goal.

One added minute was played at the end of the half and with no further chances before the half-time whistle, Mansfield's lead remained intact.

Woolford replaced Fox for Town before the restart and an early shot by Embleton was pushed up into the air by Logan before being headed out for a corner.

Another shot by Embleton was parried away for a corner by the keeper but again, the Mariners were unable to make it count.

Rose was booked after a foul on Jacob Mellis near the dugouts on the hour, before a low cross from Benning on the left was sent off-target by Hamilton.

Timi Elsnik replaced Mansfield's Rose as they made their first change, with Ahkeem Rose coming on in place of Pringle for Town at the same time.

Bishop went down injured after a challenge midway inside the Mansfield half but was eventually passed fit to continue.

An attack by the visitors through Hamilton on the right was then stopped by Hall-Johnson at the expense of a corner, which was eventually dealt with.

Sweeney was booked for a foul on Cardwell, before Walker hit the top of the Osmond Stand with a wild shot from 25 yards.

A cross from the away right was blocked by Woolford for a corner and the flag-kick was headed away by Cardwell but Mansfield worked the ball back to Walker, who was denied by the onrushing McKeown.

The visitors continued to threaten and Rose had to concede another corner when a low cross came over from the right.  Again, the ball from the flag was dealt with.

Vernam was sent on in place of Cardwell with 11 minutes to go as Town looked for a way back into the game with Logan's goal coming under little threat.

They were given an opportunity to create some danger when Mitch Rose was fouled on the right, although Embleton's free kick was scrambled away.

A cross from Mitch Rose after good play by Embleton was headed out for a corner but the kick was cleared by Mellis.

Thomas got to the by-line after getting on the end of a ball from Clifton but when he pulled the ball back, it was collected by Logan.

Elsnik shot wide at the other end with four minutes remaining, before a Town penalty shout was turned down after Vernam went down under a challenge inside the box at the end of a good run from the left.

McKeown saved a shot by Hamilton and the loose ball was headed out for a corner as four minutes of added time was signalled.

Town pushed forward in search of an equaliser but it was not to come and they were left to taste defeat at home in the league for the first time since late September.

Thoughts will now turn to Saturday, when the Mariners travel to face Premier League Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.


1 James McKeown (C) 
8 Mitch Rose 
19 Andrew Fox 
2 Reece Hall-Johnson 
27 Luke Hendrie 
7 Jake Hessenthaler 
22 Elliot Embleton 
15 Harry Clifton 
39 Wes Thomas 
30 Ben Pringle 
17 Harry Cardwell


23 Sam Russell 
31 Matthew Pollock 
11 Jordan Cook 
4 John Welsh 
16 Martyn Woolford 
21 Ahkeem Rose 
18 Charles Vernam

Mansfield Town

1 Conrad Logan 
17 Ryan Sweeney
5 Krystian Pearce (C) 
4 Matt Preston 
2 Hayden White 
3 Malvind Benning 
8 Jacob Mellis 
32 Danny Rose 
6 Neal Bishop 
19 Tyler Walker 
22 CJ Hamilton


21 Jake Kean 
11 Will Atkinson 
16 Calum Butcher 
20 Timi Max Elsnik 
10 Otis Khan 
29 Jordan Graham 
26 Jason Law

Referee: Matt Donohue

Attendance:  5,931 (865)

Next Up: Crystal Palace (A)

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