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26 December 2017 Venue Blundell Park Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

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Match Reports

Match report: Grimsby Town 1-1 Stags

26 December 2017

Striker Lee Angol was the hero for Mansfield Town this afternoon as he climbed off the bench to score the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Grimsby Town at Blundell Park.

In truth, one point could have been all three with some of the chances Stags created, particularly after drawing level.

Former Stags' midfielder Mitchell Rose put the home side ahead in the tenth minute when he pounced on a mistake from right-back Hayden White, and Stags were forced to be patient before claiming their equaliser, which was undoubtedly deserved.

After being introduced in the 78th minute, frontman Angol struck in the 80th minute as he rifled home an effort from 12 yards, via the left-hand post.

Stags' boss Steve Evans made four changes to the side which beat Morecambe on Saturday, as he switched his side up for their second game in the space of three days.

Imperious central defender Krystian Pearce made his second start in three games in place of Rhys Bennett, whilst left-back Johnny Hunt replaced Mal Benning, who wasn't named in the 18.

In midfield, Paul Anderson, who provided the assist for striker Danny Rose's winner on Saturday, was named on the right-hand side of midfield, whilst Jacob Mellis lined up in central midfield. Anderson and Mellis replaced Calum Butcher and Paul Digby in the Stags' team; the former taking a spot on the bench whilst the latter was omitted from the squad.

The hosts came flying out the blocks in the first minute, winger Siriki Dembele darting into the Stags' box before left-back Johnny Hunt dived in to produce a solid block when the Grimsby winger tried to cross.

In the third minute, striker Danny Rose picked up a loose ball 35 yards from goal and immediately tried to slot it through for his strike partner Kane Hemmings, but it went beyond the Oxford United loanee and was collected by Grimsby goalkeeper James McKeown.

It was an even start to the encounter and Stags created a good chance in the ninth minute when winger Paul Anderson created himself some space on the edge of the box, but his cross was headed away by Grimsby captain Nathan Clarke.

A minute later, however, Stags were behind. Right-back Hayden White cut inside but lost possession to former Stags' midfielder Mitch Rose 30 yards from goal. The Mariners' midfielder drove into the box and after a fortuitous bounce allowed him to get the better of defenders Krystian Pearce and Johnny Hunt, Rose dispatched it confidently past goalkeeper Conrad Logan from 10 yards.

Despite going behind, Stags looked like the side with more confidence following the opening goal.

In the 13th minute, White, looking to make amends for losing the ball in the build-up to the Grimsby goal, curled a low cross into the box and Pearce excellently brought the ball under control for slightly snatching at his shot, which went wide.

Two minutes later, midfielder Alex MacDonald whipped a lovely ball onto the head of skipper Zander Diamond, but he could only plant his header straight at McKeown.

Stags continued to come forward and in the 19th minute, winger CJ Hamilton's deflected cross found its way to Paul Anderson on the right and he clipped it back into the box, but Danny Rose could only volley over on the turn.

Goalscorer Mitch Rose was the first man in the book in the 23rd minute when he dived into a challenge on Alex MacDonald.
However from the resulting free-kick, MacDonald's delivery was too close to McKeown, who claimed above Diamond.

Grimsby were forced into an early change in the 33rd minute when long-serving goalkeeper James McKeown was forced off with an injury, being replaced by Ben Killip.

Hayden White was the next man in the book in the 35th minute, receiving a yellow card for bringing down the impressive Sam Jones, who just got to the ball before the former Peterborough United man.

In the 39th minute, Stags came forward once more as CJ Hamilton, who had a quiet first half, fizzed a cut-back into the area, but the ball was just behind the run of the arriving Paul Anderson.

The trickery Siriki Dembele drew a foul from Johnny Hunt in the 43rd minute, which earned the Stags' man a yellow card.

The final chance of the half fell to the hosts and they should have doubled their lead. Right-back Hayden White was harshly penalised for a foul on Jamille Matt near the corner flag and from the resulting free-kick, goalscorer Mitch Rose met midfielder Luke Summerfield's wicked delivery but somehow headed wide from five yards out.

Stags made a change at the break, defender Hayden White being replaced by Rhys Bennett in a straight swap, with the former Rochdale man slotting in at right-back.

The hosts shaded the opening stages of the second half and after skipper Zander Diamond had missed a header, the ball hit Pearce in the chest and fell for Sam Jones, who prodded it wide from eight yards.

Stags came forward in the 54th minute as substitute Rhys Bennett clipped a cross to the near post, where Paul Anderson stooped and flicked a header straight at the grateful Ben Killip.

Frontman Danny Rose went into the book on 55 minutes for kicking the ball away.

From the free-kick for which Rose was fouled, Grimsby had another good chance to extend their lead. The ball was pumped long and Dembele clipped a low cross into the box where Mitch Rose was arriving, but the former Stags' man stabbed it wide from eight yards after beating Logan to it.

Two minutes later, Stags had a great chance to equalise. Wideman CJ Hamilton rifled a cross to the back post where Paul Anderson got on the end of it and thumped it into the side-netting.

After 64 minutes, substitute goalkeeper Ben Killip had to be alert as he darted off his line to block Kane Hemmings' shot after Danny Rose's excellent flick on.

For the ten minutes which followed, Stags dominated the game without creating any real chances.

They were enjoying relative success down the flanks, but any crosses into the box were well dealt with by the Grimsby backline.

On 76 minutes, Kane Hemmings had to do some important defensive work when he headed Nathan Clarke's powerful header off the line.

Looking for a way back into the game, manager Steve Evans made two substitutions in as many minutes, introducing winger Alfie Potter in place of Johnny Hunt before striker Lee Angol replaced Kane Hemmings.

And within two minutes of coming on, Angol grabbed the equaliser. The summer signing rolled his defender in the box and after Hamilton's cross bounced back into his path, Angol slammed the ball home via the left-hand post.

The goal ignited real life into the Stags and they had chances to win it in the time remaining.

Just two minutes after drawing level, Stags had a golden opportunity to win it. The impressive Paul Anderson curled a cross into the box where Danny Rose met it but lofted an effort over the bar from six yards out.

In the 85th minute, substitute Alfie Potter drove into the box down the left-hand a flashed a shot across goal which went whiskers wide of the far post.

Stags were pressing for a winner and in the 87th minute, Alex MacDonald found the head of Krystian Pearce, but he slammed a header wide of the target from 12 yards out.

That proved to be the last meaningful chance of the game as Stags defender two Grimsby corners resolutely to claim a point on the road.

GRIMSBY XI: McKeown (Killip 33'), Mills, Clarke ©, Davies, Woolford, Collins, Rose, Summerfield, Jones (Hooper 75'), Matt (Vernon 69'), Dembele

SUBS NOT USED: Osborne, Jaiyesimi, Berrett, Dixon

STAGS' XI: Logan, White (Bennett 46'), Pearce, Diamond (C), Hunt (Potter 77'), Mellis, MacDonald, Anderson, Hamilton, Rose, Hemmings (Angol 78')

SUBS NOT USED: Olejnik, Atkinson, Spencer, Butcher

ATTENDANCE: 5,704 (682 away)

REFEREE: Darren England

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