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Match Reports

Match report: Grimsby Town 0-1 Stags

1 January 2019

Match Reports

Match report: Grimsby Town 0-1 Stags

1 January 2019

Mansfield Town carried their excellent league form into the New Year with a 1-0 victory over Grimsby Town at Blundell Park.

Neal Bishop powered home a bullet header from a corner on 22 minutes to give his side a first-half advantage.

And with real chances falling few and far between throughout the 90 minutes, the Stags were able to earn three points and yet another clean sheet in Sky Bet League Two.

David Flitcroft made a single alteration for his side’s clash with Grimsby as Timi Elsnik made way for Danny Rose.

The game started in ponderous fashion at Blundell Park with neither side carving out any early, clear-cut chances.

Elliot Embleton did look to profit from a loose Mansfield ball in the middle of the park, but he cleared Conrad Logan’s crossbar with his 25-yard effort.

Soon after, Wes Thomas found himself in-behind the Stags’ back-line only to be denied the opener by a combination of both Logan and Krystian Pearce.

And Jake Hessenthaler was next to fire wide of the mark for the Mariners with his long-range strike as the Stags had yet to burst into life.

However, under the low sun in north east Lincolnshire, Flitcroft’s side began to find their attacking verve.

Tyler Walker made two excellent runs down the right flank that were not capitalised on, before Rose fired off-target from the edge of Grimsby’s penalty area.

The Mansfield striker was soon involved once more though – being superbly denied by Reece Hall-Johnson’s standing tackle.

This would not thwart the Stags’ desire to take the lead as they did so on 22 minutes.

CJ Hamilton won a corner following a smart save by James McKeown, and the subsequent delivery by Jacob Mellis was met by Bishop.

From some distance, the midfielder powered home with his head from 10 yards to give his side the advantage.

The Mariners looked to respond after winning a corner of their own soon after, but the Yellows countered with pace and could have easily notched their second in a matter of minutes.

Mellis, who owned the assist for Bishop’s opener, fed Hayden White’s overlapping run yet saw his cut-back intercepted in the nick of time.

The game continued to ebb and flow as Walker almost doubled his side’s tally just past the half-hour mark.

White’s delivery to the back post was cushioned into the striker’s path by Mal Benning; but he could only fire it wide to his obvious disappointment.

Grimsby continued searching for in-roads when Ben Pringle found Thomas inside the Stags’ area. Fortunately from a Mansfield standpoint, he slipped as he looked to pull the trigger, having to therefore settle for a corner.

This was the last notable action of the half – meaning Bishop’s thunderous header mid-way through the half had given Mansfield the lead at the interval.

Early into the second half, both Thomas and Embleton were thwarted by the palms of Logan as the hosts sought after a quick response.

Hamilton had then made a clever run to meet Benning’s cross but lacked the composure to find the back of the net, on this occasion.

The winger continued to make space as he saw his next attempt blocked from the right-hand side.

Michael Jolley’s side had evidently ramped up the intensity of the afternoon’s clash heading into the final 20 minutes.

Tackles began to grow harder when both Mitch Rose and Ryan Sweeney were booked in quick succession.

But for all of Grimsby’s intent to level up proceedings, they should have been two-down in the 75th minute.

Walker, lurking in an offside position, watched as the ball fell to him from a miscued Grimsby head. However, as he swivelled on the spot he could only fire into the chest of the on-rushing McKeown.

The hosts were then awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, yet it was hooked away as it began to bounce around Mansfield’s penalty area.

Thomas was able to escape the attentions of Sweeney moments later, but Logan was on hand to alleviate any pressure by claiming the Grimsby striker’s low cross.

Back down the other end, Elsnik, on as a substitute, fired wide from 18 yards.

Hamilton was then denied once more by a sprawling McKeown as the clock ticked towards full-time.

Flitcroft’s men battled hard into four minutes and added time, digging deep to stretch their unbeaten league run to 17 games.

And they will be hoping to make it 18 when they make the trip to face Carlisle United this forthcoming Saturday.

STAGS' XI: Logan (GK), White, Benning, Preston, Pearce ©, Bishop, Mellis, Sweeney, Walker, Hamilton, Rose (Elsnik 62’).

SUBS NOT USED: Kean (GK), Khan, Atkinson, Butcher, Law, Graham.

GRIMSBY XI: McKeown (GK), Hall-Johnson, Hendrie, Fox (Woolford 46’), Hessenthaler, Clifton, Embleton, M. Rose, Pringle (A. Rose 62’), Thomas, Cardwell (Vernam 79’).

SUBS NOT USED: Russell (GK), Welsh, Cook, Pollock.

REFEREE: Matthew Donohue.
ASSISTANTS: Geoffrey Liddle & Stephen Wade.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Samuel Barrott.

ATTENDANCE: 5,931 (865 away).

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