REPORT | Town defeated in Carabao at Mansfield

Grimsby Town were knocked out of the Carabao Cup in the first round as they fell to an away defeat at Mansfield Town.

The home side dominated the first half and created several chances but went in only one goal ahead at the break, scored by Lucas Akins from the penalty spot.

The Mariners improved after the interval but rarely seriously threatened in front of goal and Mansfield’s passage to round two was secured when Rhys Oates made it 2-0.

Five changes were made to the Grimsby starting XI after Saturday’s goalless draw with AFC Wimbledon, with goalkeeper Harvey Cartwright handed a debut and Arthur Gnahoua making his first start for the club.  Luke Waterfall, Gavan Holohan and Kieran Green were the others to come in as Jake Eastwood, Niall Maher, Harry Clifton, Kamil Conteh and Alex Hunt made way.

Cartwright lined up behind a defence of Toby Mullarkey, Harvey Rodgers, Waterfall and Anthony Glennon, with Holohan and Green in midfield behind Gnahoua, Abo Eisa and Charles Vernam as Danny Rose led the attack.

Eastwood, Clifton, Hunt and Conteh were all named on the bench, alongside Michee Efete, Rekeil Pyke, Danny Amos, Evan Khouri and Jamie Bramwell.

Mansfield were also looking for a first victory of the season following their 2-2 league draw at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.  Manager Nigel Clough made just two changes to his team, with Aden Flint and Jordan Bowery coming in.

Mullarkey put in an early block after Bowery had cut inside from the home left, then Rodgers was called into action to stop the progress of Callum Johnson on the opposite flank.

The hosts won the first corner on six minutes and it eventually led to Louis Reed firing wide from the edge of the box.  The pressure continued with another corner soon afterwards but this time, Rose headed clear.

Town’s first attack came on nine minutes and saw Eisa break through the middle before playing a ball through for Vernam, although he could only shoot at goalkeeper Christy Pym from a narrow angle.

The home side were still on top though and only a brilliant, last-ditch challenge from Eisa stopped them from taking the lead after Stephen Quinn looked to have a tap-in at the far post when Oates pulled the ball back across the six-yard line.

Another Mansfield corner had to be headed over his own bar by Waterfall, before Oates missed the target from the hosts’ next chance after being sent clear through the middle.

Akins lifted an effort over the bar from 20 yards as Mansfield kept coming forward, with the Mariners yet to make an impression in attack as the 20-minute mark passed.

Mansfield were given an opportunity to open the scoring on 28 minutes after Cartwright was unable to control a back-pass from Rodgers.  Oates nipped in to get the ball and after he was brought down by the keeper, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.  AKINS stepped up to send Cartwright the wrong way from 12 yards and make it 1-0.

Akins was denied by Cartwright as the home side looked for a second goal with a sweeping move down their left but after that, Town began to come into the game and a free kick from Vernam led to a corner when Rose’s header was saved.  The flag-kick led to Eisa shooting wide from the edge of the box.

At the other end, Cartwright had to make a good save from Lewis after Oates beat Waterfall down the left, then Oates was unable to control a ball into the box at the end of another good move by the hosts.

Town won a corner two minutes before the break when a Glennon cross was headed behind by Bowery, although Waterfall’s header from it was straight at Pym.

Mansfield then had a chance to double their lead when Akins sent an excellent cross over from the right but Davis Keillor-Dunn could not keep his volley down and the ball sailed over the bar.

Two added minutes were played at the end of the first half and with no further chances coming for either side, Mansfield held a deserved lead at the interval.


Hiram Boateng replaced Quinn for the home side before the restart and Town won a corner within 30 seconds.  Vernam’s ball from the flag found Green but the midfielder could only direct his header wide of the far post.

Mullarkey had to concede a corner at the other end soon afterwards to stop a low cross from reaching Boateng, although Akins’ header from it was straight at Cartwright.

Another home corner came when a cross from the right was well-defended by Rodgers and this time, Aden Flint sent a header wide.

The next time Mansfield went forward, they doubled their advantage as OATES got the ball near the edge of the box, worked his way through the Town defence and prodded past Cartwright.

Clifton and Khouri replaced Vernam and Gnahoua after the goal, before Green was booked for a late challenge on Keillor-Dunn near the halfway line.

The Mariners had an opening on the hour when Clifton broke down the right.  The move eventually led to a corner when a cross from Mullarkey was put behind but Glennon’s delivery from the flag was headed clear by Bowery.

Flint and Lewis were replaced by Baily Cargill and George Maris for Mansfield on 63 minutes, before Pyke came on in place of Rose in the red of Town five minutes later.

A neat move by the hosts around the Grimsby box led to a corner when Keilor-Dunn’s shot was blocked but the danger from the flag was dealt with.

At the other end, a great cross from Holohan found Khouri at the far post, although the midfielder was unable to convert it from close range.

Efete replaced Glennon in Town’s latest change on 73 minutes but they again had Rodgers to thank for keeping the score at 2-0 when he slid in to make a vital interception at the end of another slick home move.

Ollie Clarke came on in place of the impressive Oates with 14 minutes remaining, then Eisa missed the target with a strike from 20 yards as Town looked for a way back into the game.

McKeal Abdullah replaced Reed as the game moved towards five minutes of added time and Mansfield saw out the extra minutes to confirm their victory and their place in Wednesday night’s draw for the second round of the competition.

For the Mariners, attention now turns back to the league, with a trip to Notts County next up on Saturday.



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