Thursday, 23 February 2017

FORTHCOMING GAMES FEBRUARY & MARCH 2017

"We'll skin ya and we'll win ya!"
February 2017:
Thu 24 Feb - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Birmingham City - EFL Championship - 7.45pm
Sat 25 Feb - Mansfield Town v Newport County - EFL League 2 - 3pm
Tue 28 Feb - Frickley Athletic v Matlock Town - EvoStik NPL Prem - 7.45pm
March:
Wed 1 Mar - Retford v Bilsthorpe - CMFL North - 7.45pm
Thu 2 Mar - Swallownest v Espial - NMU19L - 7.45pm
Fri 3 Mar - Birmingham City v Leeds United - EFL Championship - 7.45pm
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Sat 4 Mar - York City v Mansfield Town - EFLYA U18 - 11AM
Sat 4 Mar - Maltby Main v Pickering Town - NCEL Prem - 3pm
Tue 7 Mar - Handsworth Parramore v Barton Town Old Boys - NCEL Prem - 3pm
Wed 8 Mar - Lee Scratch Perry at Leeds, Brudenell Social Club - Doors 7.30pm
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Sat 11 Mar - Rainworth Miners Welfare v Maltby Main - NCEL Prem - 3pm
Tue 14 Mar - Colchester United v Mansfield Town - EFL League 2 - 7.45pm
Wed 15 Mar - Worksop Town v Handsworth Parramore - NCEL Prem - 7.45pm
Sat 18 Mar - Mansfield Town v Hartlepool United - EFLYA U18 - Noon
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Sat 18 Mar - Mansfield Town v Carlisle United - EFL League 2 - 3pm
Tue 23 Mar - TBC
Wed 22 Mar - Retford v Collingham - CMFL North - 7.45pm
Sat 25 Mar - Maltby Main v Bridlington Town - 3pm
Wed 29 Mar - Maltby Main v Cleethorpes Town - NCEL Prem - 7.45pm
More fixtures to be added in due course

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Retford FC 4 v Harworth Colliery 2 - CMFL Floodlit Cup QF

Wednesday 22nd February 2017
Central Midlands League Floodlit Cup Quarter Final
at Cannon Park, Leverton Road, Retford
Retford FC (1) 4
Luke Tong 37, 72, Paul Middleton 52, Jason Bradley 86
Harworth Colliery (1) 2
Gary Mundy 31, Lewis Francis 80
Admission £3. Programme £1. Attendance 90
Brenda and Paul. Harworth Colliery stalwarts
Having been postponed twice already, due to the recent inclement weather, tonight's 'Bassetlaw Derby' finally got underway at the third time of asking.
When the two sides last met at Cannon Park, back in August, Harworth won 2-1, but tonight it was payback time for their neighbours, as Retford took the spoils from an entertaining game and progressed to the semi final.
Will Tomlinson and Arron Blakey were both unavailable for the home side tonight, though they had both turned out to support their teammates, it was good to them out together, they make a smashing couple.
Tom Walker, Harworth's resident battering ram, is currently serving a suspension for speaking out of turn during a recent game... Walker gobbing off!? I was flabbergasted to hear of such a thing.
Both teams were clearly raring to go from the off, as the game ebbed and flowed, one way and then the other, but it was the Colliery who struck first when Gary Mundy crashed a shot from just inside the Retford area past Jamie Houseley in the 31st minute.
Mundy had been making himself busy from the off and impressed me a lot tonight.
The Colliery also appeared to have Johnny Bownes in their ranks tonight, but it couldn't have been him. Surely he wouldn't be seen dead with a 1980's style roll neck sweater under his shirt.
But the home side were on level terms, when Luke Tong played to the whistle (i.e. there wasn't one) and  chased a down a through ball, took it in his stride and powered forward before planting the ball past Matty Leese as he advanced from his line.
If Tong wasn't offside when the ball was played, then he could probably give Usain Bolt a run for his money, but let's give the lad the benefit of the doubt because he's been injured and out of action for ages, so he deserves a bit of luck for a change.
Tom Cooke was looking strong at right back for the visitors as Retford looked to unlock Harworth down the left flank, while Paul Middleton stood out for the Cannon Park outfit and was obviously relishing having the chance to link up with Tong again... it wasn't a surprise to see him among the goals tonight.
Gareth Campion brings an aura of calm and a lot of organisation, to the home side's defence and though he left the field with 19 minutes still left to go. he had already made a significant contribution towards the final result. Jason Swannack, as always, could be seen weighing in at the back for Retford one minute and then tearing up and down the left flank and tracking back the next.
Greg Archer will always be a class act in the middle of the park and gives Harworth so many options, it is like having an extra player at times; it is one of the greatest mysteries in local football, why he isn't still playing at a higher level, he obviously must enjoy being a part of the Bircotes based club.
An evenly matched first half finished all square, but seven minutes after the break, amidst a goalmouth scramble, Middleton got a decisive touch on the ball and nudge it past Leese to put Retford in front.
Tong almost added to Harworth's woes, but having lobbed the ball over Leese from the edge of the area, he saw it drop narrowly wide of the left hand post.
Houseley pulled off a quality save at full stretch to tip Josh Paskell's fifteen yard shot over the bar.
And the visitors were unlucky to see (the legendary) Greg Fox's header clear the bar as well, after Josh Davies had picked him out from a right wing corner.
The Colliery pushed forward again from Lewis Francis' knock down the left flank, but Oli Bilham cleared up at the back for the hosts from Shawn Mundy's knock into the goalmouth.
Having found his range when he went close earlier in the game, Tong made no mistake from the edge of the area, when he lobbed Leese again and the ball dipped into the top left hand corner.
Central Midland's  League clubs beware. Luke Tong is back on the scene and just as effective as he was before his prolonged lay off.
Joe Knowles tackled (S) Mundy on the edge of the area and when the loose ball fell to Paskell he blazed his shot into the car park.
Cooke made an uncharacteristic error, when he knocked an intended back pass past his own keeper, that went out over the dead ball line with Tong chasing it and the referee awarded a corn... err, a goal kick! Oh well, if players can make mistakes, so can match officials.
Harworth swamped Houseley's goal area in a bid to force their way back into this compelling game and when Aaron Hutchinson hooked the ball away out of the box, Francis latched onto to it and pulled a goal back with a sublime dipping shot. 80 minutes gone... game on!?
Inside the closing five minutes, Retford introduced Jason Bradley from the bench and he scored with his first touch, diverting Hutchinson's well delivered cross.
(G) Mundy, (S) Mundy and Davies all went close for the visitors as they piled forward and made a concerted but vainglorious push to salvage the game and force extra time, but a combination of Houseley and Lee Gallagher kept them at bay.
And in the last minute of stoppage time, Middleton put the ball onto the roof of the stand behind Leese's goal after Paskell had knocked a sideways pass into his path.
FT: Retford 4 v Harworth Colliery 2
A great advert for the CMFL all told. Both teams are at home on Saturday, in league games. Harworth entertain Dronfield Town Reserves at Scrooby Road and Welbeck Lions

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Lincoln United 0 v Basford United 0 - EvoStik NPL Div 1 South

Tues 21st February 2017
EvoStik Northern Premier League Division 1 South
At the Sun Hat Villas and Resorts Stadium
Ashby Avenue, Hartsholme, Lincoln
Lincoln United 0
Basford United 0
Admission £8 Programme £1 (inc team sheet)
Attendance 130
Anybody who attends football on a regular basis, will know that there are goalless draws where the two teams play up tempo, box to box football... and the aesthetically pleasing and flowing entertainment on offer, punctuated with plenty of goalmouth action, makes for a mighty fine spectacle, which clearly demonstrates that there is far more to this beautiful game than mere goals alone.
And other times; there are nil-nil draws like tonight's.
Sixth placed Basford United, travelled to take on Lincoln United who are in twelfth, nine points behind their Nottingham based visitors and the majority of this hard fought battle for a point apiece took part in the midfield, while both defences stuck ruggedly to their respective tasks.
In the final analysis: Basford will probably have been happy to have picked up another point towards their play off push, in a game that could have gone either way, while the Whites will probably have been content to take the draw against a team from higher up the league table, as they look to climb the table in the second half of the season, as they tick their games in hand off.
The draw was a fair result, with  Lincoln having the better of the first half, when Danny Brooks was unlucky not to break the deadlock with a thumping long range strike, while the visitors looked more likely to force the issue after the break, when Courey Grantham teamed up with Kieran Wells in attack.
Saul Deeney went in courageously at Jack McGovern's feet, inside the opening five minutes, making a save that was almost as brave as wearing the pink shirt he had on in Hartsholme after dark.
Wells made a good run between the two Lincoln central defenders, but when Kyle Dixon picked him out with a low corner kick from out on the right, the ball sat up awkwardly in front of the prolific striker and gave the whites captain, Michael Jacklin the opportunity to clear.
After the break, Brooks improvisation almost caught out Deeney as he drilled a shot towards the near post from out on the right, when everyone else seemed to be anticipating a cross, but Basford's former Notts County keeper got down at the last moment to smother the ball.
Wells, Grantham and Grayson all had half chances for the visitors, but the home side's defence were getting back in numbers, holding their ground and keeping things tight, and were obviously well versed about who the posed the main threats within the visitors ranks.
They also kept a close eye on Fabian Smith, limiting his options as a supply line for his forwards.
The home side seemed to struggle to stay onside, with Basford defending high up the pitch and moving out as a very tight unit whenever the need arose.
Grantham nearly scored late in the day for the visitors, but having rode two challenges as he attacked the Lincoln goal across the dead ball line from the left, but Luke Hornsey blocked his shot and put the ball wide of the right hand post at the expense of a corner.
Late in the game, both teams seemed to settle for a draw and were obviously taking no risks, but surely that was just common sense and I don't blame them for hanging onto the point apiece at all.
One thing that I would have to give both sides a lot of credit for tonight, was their unrelenting hard graft and effort, on a night when the wind blowing straight across the 'lumpy and bumpy' surface must have made even basic passes and accurate shooting difficult. At times like this, all you can ask of players is that their work ethic and commitment doesn't falter... and to that end everybody passed with flying colours.
When the going got tough, the tough... well y'know!
FT: Lincoln United 0 v Basford United 0
On  Saturday Basford entertain AFC Rushden & Diamonds at Greenwich Avenue, while Lincoln United have a long trip to Northwich Victoria to look forward to.
If you haven't been to Lincoln United before, get yourself along, they are a very friendly, welcoming and accommodating club. Their next home game is on Tuesday 28th February (next week) against Belper Town.
What  a fine example of topiary and tree maintenance 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Market Warsop Ladies 6 v Mansfield Town Ladies (Dev) 2 - Notts Ladies League

Sunday 19th February 2017
at the John Fretwell Centre
Notts Ladies League
Market Warsop Ladies (3) 6
OG 25, Kelly Clayton 31, Jodie Ellis 41, 52,
Stacy Bridge 69, Becky Braithwaite 79
Mansfield Town Ladies (Dev) (1) 2
Claire Burrows 28, Elizabeth Harris 89
Click here for a few more photos from this game
Market Warsop:
Emma Horsnall, Jenna Ellis, Stacey Bridge, Emma Potter, Gemma Hodgkinson, Shelley Marriott-Smith, Kelly Clayton, Marie Wayne, Tracey Marriott-Smith, Becky Braithwaite, Jodie Ellis
Rolling subs - Georgie Herring, Anji Cooper, Justine Turley
Mansfield Town:
Jay-Leanne Fenton, Charlotte Meads, Natasha Ingleby, Amy Scott, Charlotte Maxted, Elizabeth Harris, Chloe Elphick, Brigette Warrender, Claire Burrows, Nicky Flood, Kelly Crunston
Rolling subs - Saffron Ball-Jones, Lauren Steer, Kasie Coyle, Rebecca Wood
Market Warsop Ladies flicked on their cruise control this afternoon, as they covered another stretch of the journey towards promotion to the East Midlands League... and fate smiled on them twice today, as second placed Keyworth Ladies went down 9-0 at Gregory Boulevard, against Sherwood Youth Ladies, meaning that with just one league defeat all season and ten wins under their belts, today's home side have now opened up a five point gap at the top of the table, with just three games left to play.
Although Mansfield Town Ladies kept their momentum going for the entire duration of the game and contributed to the afternoon's entertainment with two very well taken goals, Market Warsop had that little bit too much in reserve going forward for thee visitors to deal with at times.
It did look at one point as though the promotion contenders were going to rack up an even bigger margin of victory that they actually did in the end, but if anything, they were possibly in a bit too much of a hurry to pile forward like a cavalry charge at times, which saw them 'spooning' one or two rushed chances over the bar; when in fact, they might have benefitted more from slowing the tempo down a bit around the Stags goalmouth and adopting a more patient approach, rather than shooting on sight at every given opportunity.
Obviously, that isn't meant as a criticism, not by any stretch of the imagination, after all they have just won 6-2, and very comfortably, to complete the double over Mansfield, who they had already beaten 6-1 back in November  And a thirty point haul from eleven games tells it's own story.
I think what I'm trying to say is, that although they are obviously a good side, in fact a very good one, from what I've seen today, they have the potential to be even better with just one or two minor tweaks, which will stand them in good stead when/if they go up to a higher division next season.
But don't take any notice of me, when all is said and done, I only have a limited knowledge on the subject of football... and my own personal tactical incisiveness and nous, stems from the fact that I recently read Johan Cruyff's autobiography 'My Turn'.
So keep on, keeping on ladies.
Shelley Marriott-Smith broke forward into the visitors area inside the first minute and tested Jay-Leanne Fenton, the visitors keeper, who saved with her feet.
Play switched to the other end and Brigette Warrender carried the ball through the right channel into the home side's last third, but planted her shot from twelve yards into the side netting.
Natasha Ingleby blocked Tracey Marriott-Smith's shot at the expense of a corner and then cleared (S) Marriott-Smith's header from Kelly Clayton's delivery off the goal line. Before denying the (S) Marriott Smith on the line again, when she latched onto the loose ball, after Fenton had parried a close range effort from Jodie Ellis.
Despite Ingleby's dogged determination and bravery, she was unlucky to open the scoring with an own goal in the twenty fifth minute when Fenton kicked the ball against her while attempting to clear Kelly Clayton's shot from the edge of the area.
Elizabeth Harris almost replied immediately for Mansfield, but steered thee ball narrowly wide of the upright, but three minutes after going behind the visitors were on level terms, when Claire Burrows struck a long range free kick from out on the left flank, that beat Emma Horsnall as it dipped just under the crossbar.
(S) Marriott-Smith went close to restoring Market Warsop's lead, as she hooked a fifteen yard shot just wide from fifteen yards, but Clayton beat Fenton via the left hand post in the thirty first minute and the league leaders were back in front.
Nikki Flood almost put the visitors level again straight from the restart, but she shot over from the edge of the area.
Fenton ran from her line to clear, as Gemma Hodgkinson chased the ball down on  the edge of the Stags area, and her opposite number 
Mansfield failed to defend a right wing cross and the ball found it's way through to Jodie Ellis who had ghosted in at the back post and turned the ball into the back of the net.
Horsnall did well to save from Warrender, who had been played in on goal by Flood and as play switched from one end to the other.
On the stroke of half time, Ellis was unlucky twice, as she saw her close range effort deflected past the post and then headed inches past the post from the resulting corner. 
HT: Market Warsop 3 v Mansfield Town 1
Mansfield launched the first attack of the second half but Horsnall was equal to it as she prevented Flood getting a clear shot on goal from Chloe Elphick's forward pass.
Ingleby made another goal line block from (S) Marriott -Smith's header as the home side began to turn the screw on the visitors, and seven minutes into the second half Ellis underlined the way the game was now going, when she broke through the Stags back line and lobbed the ball over Fenton to net Market Warsop's fourth goal, just inside the right hand post.
(S) Marriott-Smith and Ellis, both put efforts high and wide as they peppered Fenton's goal. Their was still a high level of urgency in the home side's approach play, but with a three goal cushion to sit on, they could afford to relax and take their time now.
Warrender cleared (T) Marriott-Smith's header over the bar and Ellis planted a header inches over from Georgie Herring's right wing delivery.
In the sixty ninth minute, Stacey Bridge got forward and met another Herring corner kick from the right with a firmly placed header that beat Fenton to put the home side 5-1 up.
And Becky Braithwaite put the result beyond doubt when she got in front of Fenton from a left wing corner and nudged a header over the line.
Bridge nearly added a seventh but skimmed the left hand post with a header from (S) Marriott-Smith's cross from the right.
Ellis and (S) Marriott-Smith both went close to finding a seventh for the rampant home side, but they had to settle for six. While Mansfield scored their second in the last minute, when Elizabeth Harris hooked the ball over Horsnall from just inside the area, to end the afternoon with a well taken strike.
FT: Market Warsop Ladies 6 v Mansfield Town Ladies Dev. 2
The Stags next Notts Ladies League fixture, as an away game at Sherwood Youth next Sunday, while Market Warsop don't play again until 12th March, when they travel to the Oaklands Sports Ground to face Retford United Ladies.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Grimsby Town 3 v Mansfield Town 0 - EFL League 2

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Saturday 18th February 2017
SkyBet EFL League 2
at Blundell Park, Cleethorpes
Grimsby Town (1) 3
Chris Clements 40,
Callum Dyson 61, 73 pen
Mansfield Town (0) 0
Admission £18. Programme £3
Attendance 5,550 (inc. 1.246 Mansfield fans)
Photo gallery to follow
Blundell Park hasn't been a happy hunting ground for the Stags in recent times.
Since picking up a 3-2 away win in 1987, they haven't won in Cleethorpes in any of their eight subsequent visits, and today marked their fifth consecutive defeat all told against the Mariners.
My least favourite of those games was on New Years Day 2011, when the home side recorded a 7-2 win.
Omar Bogle (who recently left the Mariners for Championship side Wigan Athletic), scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot, when these two sides last met, back in September at Field Mill (the One Call Stadium).
Before the game, after securing a good parking spot near the ground, we took a stroll along the seafront into Cleethorpes.
Or, to be more precise, we tip toed very carefully along a dog poo strewn footpath, that runs between a railway line (that is in severe need of some tender, loving care) and the nearby Humber Estuary.
As irresponsible dog owners let their pesky pets run amok on the beach, distributing their mess all over the place, a golden retriever cocked it's leg and relieved itself against a signpost, that read: NO DOGS ALLOWED ON THE BEACH: BY ORDER. Anarchist existentialist symbolism is alive and kicking among the canine walking fraternity of North East Lincolnshire it would seem.
Having passed the numerous police vehicles tucked discreetly into the side streets around the railway station, we circled back up towards the ground, via the Grimsby Road, after doing the 'touristy' bit for a quarter of a hour or so (obviously, there isn't very much open down that way in February) and headed to the famous Mariners chippy, where the fish and chips are renowned for being mighty fine... and I could vouch for that on numerous previous visits.
At this point I must thank Mr Peter Wright and his family and friends, who were gathered outside the said establishment and warned us that the substandard dinner they were masticating (mainly because they had already paid for it) was of a very poor standard and that the overcooked fish they were chiseling the overcooked batter off of, wasn't up to much. So we walked back a hundred yards to the County Fish Bar where the freshly cooked fare was delicious. Away fans planning a trip to Blundell Park, take note!
Last weekend, Grimsby manager, Marcus Bignot, actually went across to the visiting supporters in the away end, after their game at Crewe, to apologise, face to face, to those who had travelled across to Cheshire to watch his side lose 5-0.
But he was far more optimistic and upbeat in midweek, after picking up a point from a goalless draw at bottom club Newport County.
Ten years ago, long before he became the Stags boss; Steve Evans, was escorted away from Blundell Park, by Humberside Police, for his own safety, after an unsavoury incident occurred while he was taking charge of a game here, in a managerial capacity, for Boston United.
Today, having been red carded for a comment he made to the fourth official, shortly before home side scored their third goal, the Mansfield manager had to watch the remainder of the game, from the old main stand, surrounded by 'welcoming' home fans.
He took the sensible approach however and abandoned his vantage point, before heading to the away team changing room, to avoid an obvious flash point instead.
According to an internet rumour he had to leave the stand following an altercation with GTFC security staff. That is untrue.
For the record: there were no security staff, stewards or police in the vicinity.
Don't believe the hype.
Apparently that nice Mr Evans isn't universally loved throughout the footballing world... who could ever imagine such a thing!?
In the build up to the game, a local newspaper, demonstrating a crass example of sensationalist irresponsibility and a distinct lack of class, dedicated a whole page to stoking up animosity towards Evans.
And then these low key, inferior publications, have the temerity to blame the accessibility and immediacy of the internet for their own dwindling circulation figures.
Of course, I'm not going to deny that Steve Evans and his assistant Paul Naylor, who was sent to the stands in midweek when the Stags drew with Accrington, aren't infamous for their verbal input from the bench wherever they go and 'possibly' contribute to their own downfall from time to time, by not exactlybeing shrinking violets.
But, certain sections of the media lazily play on that reputation, when they run out of anything else to say... and the Stags gaffer is an easy target.
Prior to Evans' appointment, today's visitors had only won one game out of eleven starts, under their former manager.
I like Adam 'Muzza' Murray (a lot), but the parting of the ways and the timing of a collective fresh start for everyone, was best for all concerned.
Ironically, Murray now occupies the hot seat at one of Evans' old clubs, Boston United.
Look closely enough, a bit like when you used to watch 'Thunderbirds' on the telly, you can see the strings that attach everything together in football.
Team sheet usurped from Martin Shaw's Facebook
If he had waited just a short while longer to get back into management, he might have had a shot at taking over the reigns at a bigger Lincolnshire club this week, when Dominic Roma stepped down at Gainsborough Trinity, but good luck to him at York Street.
By the way, the former Lincoln United and Spalding United manager, Dave Frecklington, got the Trinity job this week, good luck to him too. The former Football League club are in dire need of points to edge themselves away from the National League (North) drop zone.
But moving swiftly back to this afternoon, Mansfield went into this game occupying seventh place in the table, AKA the last play off spot, six places and six points ahead of the host club Grimsby, while riding on the crest of a nine match unbeaten run in the league.
The Stags had scored four times in their last two outings, against Hartlepool United and Accrington Stanley respectively, but would have been hoping that their defensive capitulation on Tuesday night was merely a one off; after having built their surge up the table since November (where they have climbed from eighteenth to seventh), on the foundation of having a solid rearguard.
Alas, Grimsby Town had other ideas.
Upon entering the ground, the sun was finally trying to make an appearance, the PA announcer invited the away fans to purchase a half time draw ticket, with the cheery riposte:
"You could win £350 today folks, just think how much of a great night out in Cleethorpes you could have with that!"
Hmm, from what I'd just seen you could probably actually buy the place for such an amount...  while a friendly steward advised us:
"It's sit where you want to really. We'd appreciate it if you sat on the same seat that it says on your ticket, but if someone is already sat there, you'll have to find one somewhere else"
Having experienced the kind of 3PM chaos that such a loose cum non existent to organisation can often entail, especially when there is likely to be a large away following, I inquired what would happen if we did have to relocate and somebody turned up at five to three saying that I was in their allocated seat:
"Ah well, then you would either have to move or tell them to look for another seat".
Anybody arriving just before kick off, was told to walk across to the far side of the away end because there were loads of seats available there.
In the event, a large number of Stags fans were denied access to those seats until 3.25PM, causing an unpleasant start to the afternoon for a few hundred visiting supporters, who were either forced to stand in gangways, or had their view obstructed by those that were stood in front of them.
It was widely known roughly how many Mansfield fans would be travelling and Grimsby had already mentioned a figure on their website on Friday night, so why did they appear to be so badly prepared when it came to dealing with 1,200+ people?
Hmm... somebody obviously failed his geography 11 plus exam then.
Hopefully lessons will have been learned today.
I'm not out to badmouth Grimsby Town, I have been known to visit Blundell Park several times over the course of a season and I am glad that they are back in the Football League, but generally speaking, even when the Stags are in town, I usually sit upstairs in the Findus Stand, to avoid the dubious pleasantries of being treated to the full away fan experience.
While all of these sideshows and irritating distractions were going on, there was actually a game of football in progress a short distance away.
Arguably, Mansfield were the better side in the opening stages, using their width well to pin Grimsby back, but they really needed to get something on the end of some of the chances they were creating, if they were to impose themselves on the game and continue with their impressive run of results.
But... and I picked up on this on Tuesday night too against Acrrington too; although Alex MacDonald, is a powerhouse force to be reckoned with when he surges down the left channel in support of the Stags attack, when they lose possession and he is still in an advanced position, it leaves a gaping hole behind him for the opposition to exploit.
I suspect that Grimsby's scout had spotted this flaw in midweek too, because Bignot's side seemed to instinctively know to attack down the right when they broke from defence, where Mal Benning would be left out numbered. There were those who thought the Mansfield left back had a  poor game on Tuesday, but the truth is, he was being left exposed and over run, by having to cover the work of two men, while Stanley's Jordan Clark excelled in having the space and time to express himself.
One player who was enjoying the room to manouvre this afternoon was the former Stags player Chris Clements, who actually had a decent game today for his new(ish) club.
Sections of the away following loudly booed his every touch, but Clements was revelling in and even took the time out to dish out a few cheeky verbal responses.
There are two unwritten rules in football: 1) ex players, except the very select few, will get abused when they play against their former clubs. And 2) ex Mansfield players frequently uphold the tradition of scoring against the Stags.
Just like today's hate figure did in the fortieth minute.
The former Stag had said earlier in the week, that when he was at the club they were a long ball and direct team and that he preferred to play with the ball on the deck these days now he had joined a footballing side. Might I suggest that Adam Murray bypassed the midfield to avoid having to give the ball to Clements ;-)
Joking aside, it was inevitable that when the deadlock was broken, it was Clements who got the final touch, while the free kick it came from was conceded by an overstretched defence just outside the left hand side of their area. Jamey Osborne's delivery was met by Sam Jones, his shot deflected to Tom Bolarinwa whose diving header ran across the face of the goal, to where Clements forced it over the line, before celebrating enthusiastically in front of his formerly adoring fans.
Which provoked a fairly hostile reaction, but nowhere near as much of a kerfuffle as when a group of a dozen or so Mariners fans burst out of McMenemy's bar in the bowels of the Findus Stand and taunted the away fans, beckoning them to come and have a go.... and there were plenty of takers.
The police and stewards and some makeshift fencing prevented a fairly large number of people from the away end from reaching the Grimsby fans before they were ushered up the stairs, where they continued to goad the angry mob from on a balcony.
But the tipping point for what was already becoming an afternoon that will be remembered more for the open aggression and hostility on show, than for the actual football had been reached and the blue touch paper lit, for anything that may or may not have happened out on the streets after the game. Personally I heard a lot of shouting and sirens, but saw nothing untoward happening myself and I completely forgot to take any pictures of the verbal exchanges inside the ground too.
But enough of those frivolities...
Early in the second half, Rhys Bennett came to the Stags rescue, making a last ditch clearance, after Clements (who else), had put Jones through one on one with Jake Kean and the attacking midfielder nudged the ball past the Stags keeper.
Meanwhile at the other end, Shaq Coulthirst tested McKeown with a stinging shot that he kept out at full stretch.
Calum Dyson, who is at Blundell Park on loan from Everton, picked up the ball on the right wing from Bolarinwa's forward knocked and sped towards the Stags goal, picking up pace through a gap that Mansfield still hadn't plugged, before weaving past two challenges and driving an angled shot past Kean and into the far side of the goal.
Then came the Evan's red card incident, which was probably greeted by even more celebrating from the Mariners fans than any of their goals.
My friend who runs the Cleethorpes branch of the Evans and Raynor fan club, told me that t-shirt sales were down this week, but was still hopeful that he will be able to shift a shed load outside Wembley Stadium in May.
With just over fifteen minutes to go, Benning tripped Bolarinwa inside the Stags penalty area and was Hayden White was subsequently sent off for a second yellow card offence, when he remonstrated with the referee.... and the visitors miserable afternoon was compounded when Dyson emphatically thumped the resulting spot kick past Kean, to seal the win for Grimsby.
Adi Yussuf, who also recently left the Stags to join Grimsby recently as well, came on late in the game, but I didn't hear a murmur of dissent or a single person booing when he entered the fray.
It was all over bar the shouting (but there was plenty of that) and to be honest, although the match statistics show that it was a fairly even game, with Mansfield having more efforts on target than their victorious hosts, I don't think that the visitors could really complain too much that they had got nothing out of the game.
I personally think ultimately, Dyson was the main difference between the two sides and that Mansfield paid for not finding the net before the break, when Grimsby upped their game in the second half and just about merited their win, even if a three goal margin was probably a bit flattering.
Despite today's result, Mansfield still occupied seventh place in the table at the end of the game, but are now eleven points off of automatic promotion, while there are eight teams within six points of them lower down the table, several of who have games in hand.
Grimsby are now twelvth, three points behind today's opponents.
Pleasure Island at Cleethorpes wasn't open, it may even have shut down altogether for all I know, but 2017 is proving to be one big roller-coaster ride for Stags fans already.
Well blow me down. If Grimsby Town had made a right pigs ear of getting all the away fans into the ground, they excelled themselves at full time, with disorganised stewards telling you to leave via one exit and then another, which were being open and then locked again (and again) at wearingly frequent intervals. 
Eventually they let a handful of us through one of the gates and we meandered back to the car, knowing that there was no need to rush, because one of our travelling party had been forced to leave via the far corner of the ground and make a circuitous route march to where we were parked, two minutes walk from Blundell Park.
I must stress that the stewards at Grimsby were all very friendly and tried to be helpful and accommodating, but the people in charge of them weren't very good at their jobs and were creating more problems than they were ever likely to solve.
Away days, it's a way of life innit!
They even have replica Craig Disley's in the GTFC shop
The Stags next game is at home against Newport County on Saturday, while Grimsby travel to take part in the rundown seaside resort 'derby' against Morecambe the same afternoon.