No festive cheer for Grimsby Town in Mansfield Boxing Day clash

There was no late festive cheer for Grimsby Town who remain winless on the road this season after falling to a 2-0 defeat in their Boxing Day clash away at Mansfield Town.

The Stags could and perhaps should have made the scoreline more convincing in the second half, after Davis Keillor-Dunn and George Maris had scored in the first period, but Harvey Cartwright was on form to prevent further damage, with the Mariners suffering back-to-back defeats either side of Christmas.

David Artell made three changes to the team that started the home defeat to Harrogate Town, with the man who scored for Grimsby that afternoon, Kieran Green, coming in as well as Michee Efete and Rekeil Pyke.


Town started positively and had the first real chance of the game through Arthur Gnahoua, who received the ball in the inside right channel and struck the near post with a strong effort from just outside the box.

Mansfield responded quickly to that chance with an opening of their own inside the first ten minutes of the game, with Lucas Akins’ shot looping just over the bar, blocked well by a sliding challenge from Harvey Rodgers.

Despite making a competitive start to the game, Town found themselves behind before the 20th-minute mark in unfortunate circumstances, with a deflection off Rodgers taking Keillor-Dunn’s weak shot past Harvey Cartwright, who was left stranded by the late touch.

It seemed Town lacked fortune on both ends of the pitch in the first half, behind due to a deflected effort and denied an equaliser ten minutes later by the crossbar, which Green struck with a powerful strike on the edge of the box.

Rekeil Pyke during the Sky Bet EFL League Two football match between Mansfield Town FC and Grimsby Town FC
Rekeil Pyke during the Sky Bet EFL League Two football match between Mansfield Town FC and Grimsby Town FC

The ball rebounded back to the midfielder, who headed the ball into the path of Gnahoua, denied by the woodwork himself earlier, to shoot low and test Christy Pym, with the Mansfield stopper keeping the ball out of the net with his feet.

Despite Town’s confident play up top, the hosts were always a threat to score at the other end, and Cartwright was called to action when Stephen Quinn was able to get into a shooting position but only found the Grimsby ‘keeper from short range.

Quinn popped up again, this time from outside the box, to test Cartwright five minutes before the break, with a curling effort that was not set out wide enough to evade the goalkeeper. In a half that ebbed and flowed in momentum, Town bounced back with another flurry of chances just before half-time, first with Rodgers who was denied at close range at Pym to force a corner before Eisa bent a shot just wide after picking up a loose ball on the left flank.

Instead of finding a deserved equaliser, Town went into the interval two down, backing off slightly too much for the final attack of the half as Maris gratefully accepted the space and time offered to him to fire past Cartwright.

Quinn who was in the chances in the first period, had the first after the break, with Mansfield working the ball well across the width of the pitch to the Irish midfielder on the left side of the area, with Cartwright alert to push Quinn’s shot wide.

The Town goalkeeper was on form to stop the game from getting out of reach early in the second period with a quick reaction save off Maris from close range, getting down low to his left as the ball was cut across goal from the right.

Mansfield were showing their class in possession having settled into the contest with a comfortable two-goal lead and without their goalkeeper playing as he did, Grimsby would have been buried by the hour mark.

Cartwright made a couple more smart saves before the final whistle to keep the score as it was, with Mansfield firmly in control of proceedings for most of the second 45, with Artell not having the attacking quality he would hope for to change the game.

Original story at https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/

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