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Match Reports

📝 Match Report: Mansfield Town 0-1 Grimsby Town

Mariners make it back-to-back victories

4 January 2020

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)

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