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Interaction in Mansfield Part 2
By: Andrew Doherty
TOWN started with purpose. Hunt continued to provide intelligent passes and set up a move which led to Paterson nearly getting through. A Toner, Boshell and Bolland move on 48 minutes led to Bolland blasting wide when Bore was waiting on the right.
A Boshell tackle then set up Bore whose cross was well saved by the goalkeeper. The Mansfield defence and goalkeeper were starting to look under pressure. Shortly afterwards a poor cross from Newey was cleared, but Hunt set up another attack after switching. Paterson tried to blast through but the defence held firm.
On 52 minutes, Mansfield won a corner after aggression from Gritton. A poor Barnes punch led to the ball being headed out for another corner. This time Barnes caught the cross to ironic cheers. Mansfield attacked again, but soon Bolland had a shot at the other end before Paterson tried to burst through before being dispossessed.
On 56 minutes Barnes pulled off an excellent save to a low shot to his right. Toner set up the next move, and in spite of excellent skill from Paterson to lay off the ball, Bore couldnâ€™t quite latch on to it. Town seemed to step up a gear at this point and Bolland won a ball when he had no right to, setting up Bore who fired in. The ball was cleared but Toner struck a fierce shot which went just wide.
A momentary scare occurred on 60 minutes when Whittle seemed to make a good tackle on Boulding outside the penalty box but a foul was given. Boshell was booked for a foul on Dawson. Mansfield won a corner on 62 minutes, but Town were soon back and Paterson won a free-kick by the corner after being obstructed by the Mansfield defender. Toner shot just wide. Bolland then put Bore through but Boreâ€™s cross led to a good save. Hunt set up Bolland with a short pass but after beating two defenders, there was no power on the shot.
Bore was hacked down by Mansfieldâ€™s Hamshaw on 67 minutes. Bloomer wasted the free-kick but Town were on the march. Boulding went off on 68 minutes to hoots of derision from the Town fans. Newey battled to keep the ball in play, epitomising Townâ€™s fighting spirit and shot just wide on 70 minutes with a strong shot. Hunt was bolstering the midfield with his intelligent passes. Mansfield won a corner on 70 minutes but it was still Town who looked the more dangerous.
Even the drivers of the free coaches left to rapturous applause as they returned to their vehicles. There was a carnival atmosphere, Grimsby style. Townâ€™s other ex-player Gritton came off on 72 minutes. Town continued to press, with Bolland winning balls, Hunt finding the right options and Bore causing problems with his pace. On 79 minutes North came on for Paterson who although not so incisive today, had put in an impressive and aggressive performance.
Fenton pulled off a brave tackle as Mansfield threatened to break through. Town continued to press and wear down the Mansfield defence. On 82 minutes, a passing move saw Toner put the ball through to the fresh legs of North who raced clear of the defenders and once inside the box, drove the ball low past the advancing and helpless goalkeeper to make it Mansfield Town 1 Grimsby Town 2.
On 86 minutes Hunt sent North away up the right and Town gained a throw-in deep in Mansfield territory. Mansfield were being worn down by incessant pressure from a constant wave of Town attacks. Play stopped for a moment as Newey was flattened. On 90 minutes, Boshell created another attack after winning the ball in midfield. North had a chance to break through from the right but maturely opted to wait for support and keep possession with time running down. Mansfield had a brief attack on 91 minutes when Newey won a goal kick but Town were soon on the attack once more, and the game ended with Grimsby in possession deep in the Mansfield half. Final score: Mansfield Town 1, Grimsby Town 2. Most of the Mansfield supporters had left already.
Verdict. This was a hard fought victory. Town proved again their resilience and ability to come back from behind. Whilst Mansfield were the better side in the first half, creating more chances, Town were far and away the better side in the second, wearing down Mansfield with their passing and pace. The Town goal was a triumph for Alan Buckley who brought on North at a time when he could and did exploit a tiring defence. There are weaknesses still at the back but the midfield unit and both Paterson and North up front were magnificent. Once we got going, we were creating opportunities on both sides of the field. Man of the Match for me was midfielder James Hunt, who right from the outset played with authority, winning balls and giving himself time to weigh up his options before delivering the right passes to set up the next wave of attack. Town have some important games coming up. If we play like we did in the second half here, we have nothing to fear. The spirit, the work rate and the skill are all there. This was footballing interaction of the first order.
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