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Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

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Parky: Late Goal
Parky: Late Goal

Grimsby 2 Mansfield 1

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 14/01/2006

GRIMSBY were made to work hard for three points today against industrious Mansfield. As against Carlisle, Town went into an early lead through Reddy, but looked to have thrown away three points when Mansfield were awarded a late penalty. The final twist, however, came as Town bagged an 86th min winner.

On loan Lincoln defender Matt Bloomer once again started at right back, alongside his former team mate Ben Futcher, making his debut for the Mariners in central defence.

Futcher almost got off to the worst possible start in his Grimsby career when the big defender almost conceded a penalty with a late challenge on Russell. The referee thankfully never awarded a spot kick.

Town scored somewhat against the run of play after just eight minutes. Top scorer Michael Reddy latched onto a ball bouncing around in the box and slotted it home from a narrow angle.

Town then almost conceded from a Mansfield free kick. Rob Jones managed to hook a ball off the line from a Russell shot, which had been headed back to him by Barker.

There were few chances in a first half which Mansfield generally had the better of. Town struggled defensively, but Michael Reddy always looked dangerous up front when he had the ball.

Reddy almost put Town 2-0 up just before half time but his header from a Bloomer cross went just past the post.

In the second half Mansfield continued to look for an equaliser and Mildenhall was twice called upon to make great saves from Dawson. The Town 'keeper was also harshly booked for his part in an altercation with Mansfield substitute Reet, with the Stags' striker incredibly going unpunished.

In the 76th minute the referee awarded a penalty against Paul Bolland, and Barker stepped up to level the scores. It was no more than Mansfield deserved.

Town almost scored immediately but their "goal" was disallowed for offside against Rob Jones.

Just when it looked like the Mariners would have to settle for a point, Tom Newey launched Town forward with a great run starting inside his own half. The ball broke to Reddy, whose shot was parried by veteran 'keeper Pressman into the path of Parkinson, who converted the chance.

Town survived the remaining six minutes plus four minutes of injury time. Three points may have been a shade fortunate, but in their previous game against Carlisle they were unlucky to come away empty handed.

Town's win and Carlisle's defeat at Shrewsbury means the Mariners have returned to second spot, but still have a game in hand over leaders Wycombe Wanderers.

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