Mansfield Town reserves ran out 5-3 winners over Grimsby Town reserves at Cheapside Training Ground this afternoon, despite trailing the game 3-1 early in the second-half.
Lewis Gibbens netted twice for the Stags, with Jason Law, Aiden Walker and Rhys Sarson also getting their names on the scoresheet.
The game was a battle from the off, and Stags did well to withstand some early pressure from the home side.
Despite Grimsby starting on the front foot, it was Mansfield who took the lead through Gibbens. He towered above his marker as the ball fell to him in the box, heading home the game’s opening goal.
Gibbens was the hero once again soon after, as he rushed to block an effort from JJ Hooper, saving a certain goal to keep Stags’ lead intact.
It was then our turn to attack, as Henri Wilder saw his close-range shot well saved by Grimsby ‘keeper Ben Killip after a mazy run. The Stags worked the ball well beforehand, and had it gone in, the goal would have been spectacular.
In the 42nd minute, Stags conceded an equaliser, but there was not much anyone could do to prevent it. Hooper found space at the edge of the box, and his strike to the near post gave Stags’ ‘keeper Xavier Sundby no chance.
In the opening moments of the second-half, Mansfield found themselves behind. Sundby got down to his right quickly to make a superb reflex save beforehand, but the resulting corner saw Harry Cardwell volley home for Grimsby.
Stags’ second-half got worse soon after, as Grimsby were awarded a seemingly soft penalty. Sarson seemed to win the ball with his sliding challenge, but the referee pointed to the spot. Diallang Jaiyesimi stepped up, and rolled the ball home.
Stags reacted well to conceding two quick goals, scoring one of their own through Jason Law just five minutes later. The wide-man found space on the right-wing, before cutting in on his left-foot and firing home to the near post from just outside the box.
In the 70th minute, Stags found their equaliser, once again through Gibbens. The defender arrived late at the back post from a free-kick to poke in Mansfield’s deserved equalising goal.
Stags then won the game in dramatic fashion, scoring two in as many minutes to put the game to bed. First, Walker found space on the right-wing, and from the corner of the box, curled in a stunning effort with his left-foot.
Sarson then put the game beyond Grimsby’s reach. The forward seemed second favourite in a race for the ball with the Grimsby ‘keeper, but managed to get there first. From there, the rest was easy, as he rolled the ball into an empty net to push Stags up to the summit of the Central League North B table.
STAGS’ XI: Sundby, Law, Johnson (Bircumshaw 67’), Healey, Gibbens, Walker, Wilder, Ward (Harrison 76’), Sarson, Smith, Gooden (Sinclair 77’).
UNUSED SUBS: Mars, Purvin