Saturday, 8 October 2011

Mansfield Town 2 v Grimsby Town 1 - BSBP

Saturday 8th October 2011, at Field Mill
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town (0) 2
O'Neill 71, Connor 77
Grimsby Town (1) 1
Coulson 30
Admission £12, Programme £3,
Attendance 2982 inc. 587 from Grimsby
Rob Duffy missing a sitter at Field Mill ... who'd have thought it!?

Mansfield Town
1 Marriott, 2 Naylor, 16 O'Neill , 17 Sutton , 26 Futcher,
4 Worthington, 11 Murray, 20 Todd, 10 Green, 15 Dyer,
24 Meikle (Connor 55)
Unused Subs - 23 Redmond, 6 Riley, 8 Stevenson, 14 Bolland
Left click for enlarged image

Grimsby Town
13 McKeown, 3 Ridley, 5 Kempson, 6 Garner, 4 Church, 8 Disley, 19 Wood (Silk 87), 29 Eagle (Makofo 79), 7 Coulson, 10 Hearn ,
12 Duffy (Elding 66)
Unused Subs - 15 Pearson,11 Artus
The archetypal 'game of two halves' ... yes you pedantic lot, I know all completed football matches in the BSBP are required to have two halves ... but you know what I mean.
Grimsby Town had the better of the first half and the Stags had the better of the second.
Both teams had ample chances to win the game, but it was Mansfield Town who found the reserves in their tank to push the issue when it mattered.
Michael Coulson missed a free header to put the Mariners in front on 23 minutes, but he was on target in the 30th minute with a shot from the edge of the box.
Alan Marriott got a hand to it, but the ball still crept in over the line via the post.
On the balance of play in the first half, Grimsby deserved to go in at half time ahead.
The referee had an 'interesting' take on the rules of the game and baffled the fans of both teams at times.
I'm sure he called for a break in play on twenty minutes, while he went to pick up the Grimsby Town scarf he'd dropped, though he did seem to switch allegiance in the second half.
On 37 minutes McKeown in the Grimsby goal saved well from a Luke O'Neill free kick and then recovered in time to throw himself at the feet of Ben Futcher as he went in for the rebound.
Grimsby recovered quickly and within minutes had a goal at the other end disallowed ... it was Rob Duffy, a Stags reject who's effort was ruled out for a foul in the build up play ... a moment that was appreciated by everyone in the ground who was rooting for Mansfield Town.
The prat in front of me kept standing up at inopportune moments, throughout the first half.
See what I mean ...
... I 'politely' suggested that one of us should move and he did!
I don't know where he usually sits/stands, or where he relocated to, nor do I care ... but I'm really glad this individual 'chose' to bugger off somewhere else and that our calm and restrained 'discussion' about seating and viewing arrangements, reached a mutually suitable, amicably agreed, solution.
Luke O'Neill was Mansfield's second half hero.
His dead ball prowess saw him thump home a direct free kick from the edge of the box on 71 minutes and deliver a chance on a plate for Stags second half substitute Paul Connor to head the home side in front on 77 minutes.
A few eyebrows were raised when Paul Cox replaced Lindon Meikle in the 55th minute, because he had been playing so well, but the change in tactics and shape of the team turned the game and Meikle's replacement headed home the winning goal, so obviously Coxy knew what he was doing all along ... as if any of us ever doubted it!
In Cox we trust!

Darran Kempson at the back did a good job of keeping a watchful eye on/man marking/kicking Matt Green out of the game* (delete as apt), but he was very effective and did what he was being paid to do. He's one of those players that you call a dirty so and so, when he's playing for the opposition, but you'd regard him as a cult figure and chant 'Psycho!' every time he won the ball, by fair means or foul if he was in your team.
Green did escape his attentions deep into injury time, but he hit his effort straight at McKeown.
Both sets of fans will have felt their sides could've won today ... and their was plenty of evidence in favour of both teams case.
But the only statistic that really mattered at the end, was that Paul Cox had turned the tables on Rob Scott and Paul Hurst and his team had dug deep to get back in the game and take all three points after coming from behind.
I'm not entirely sure, but I think the guy parked in front of us was a
Gainsborough Trinity fan ... I'm going to watch them next weekend

Next up ... a full week of football ahead, just for a change, but I'm not publishing my plans in advance, because I know how much the anticipation tantalises you all to the point of climax and I wouldn't want to spoil the surprises I have in store for you.