Match report: Town play out goalless draw at Mansfield
Grimsby Town were held to a goalless draw at promotion-chasing Mansfield Town in League Two this evening.
There were a number of chances in what was an entertaining game, but neither side were able to break the deadlock at Field Mill.
Paul Hurst made five changes from the side that were defeated at Brighton in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday, with Josh Emmanuel, Bryn Morris, John McAtee, George Lloyd and Ryan Taylor all coming into the starting lineup.
Town started the game brightly and had an effort on goal within the first minute, but after good build-up play, Andy Smith’s low shot was comfortably saved by Christy Pym.
They had a superb opportunity to go ahead a couple of minutes later through McAtee after he latched onto a throw-in, beat a defender and forced the keeper into making a good save down to his left.
The frenetic start to the game didn’t let up, as the visitors went close again through Niall Maher, who fired a fierce effort across the six-yard box that the stretching Lloyd just couldn’t quite a touch on.
Despite Mansfield growing into the game and having a decent spell of pressure, it was the Mariners that had the next best chance, with Luke Waterfall’s close-range header from Anthony Glennon’s corner being superbly tipped over the bar by Pym.
After starting the game really well, Town were desperately unlucky to not take the lead on 20 minutes when McAtee worked some space inside the box and clipped an effort towards goal that came back off the inside of the post before being cleared away from danger.
The hosts had a chance to test Max Crocombe for the first time just past the midway point of the half from a free-kick about 25 yards out, but Davis Keillor-Dunn sent his curling, right-footed effort a few yards wide of the post.
After weathering the early Mariners storm, Mansfield had the better of the next 15 minutes or so, putting pressure on the visitors’ backline without managing to force Crocombe into making any saves.
Town had a huge chance to take the lead six minutes before half-time when McAtee’s strike was blocked before the ball broke to Waterfall and, with just a defender between him and the goal, he skewed his shot wide from inside the six-yard box.
McAtee then had another superb opportunity on the stroke of half-time, as Glennon pulled the ball back to him about 10 yards out from goal, but the forward slipped as he went to shoot and didn’t get any real connection on the ball.
The second half began in similar fashion, with the Mariners having an early opportunity through Morris, whose effort towards goal was blocked and his midfield partner Gavan Holohan then struck the ball over the bar.
The Stags had their best moment of the game 10 minutes into the half, as Lucas Akins’ shot was well blocked by Waterfall and Elliott Hewitt’s powerful, long-range strike on the follow-up went just wide of the post.
The hosts were the better side over the next 15 minutes and went close to opening the scoring on 71 minutes when Jordan Bowery’s curling effort was palmed away by Crocombe, with the ball just evading Akins on the follow-up.
Some sloppy play from Waterfall saw his pass out from the back intercepted, before Akins played in Oates and the forward’s low, left-footed effort was blocked behind by Maher for a corner.
There were very few chances towards the end of the game as it ended all square, with both sides likely disappointed that they were unable to break the deadlock after creating some good opportunities.