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24Forest Green22-1920

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Preview: Mansfield v Grimsby

By: Kevin Dolan
Date: 16/02/2007

A seemingly revitalised Grimsby Town look to continue their high scoring and winning form as they make the trip to Mansfield.

Home > 2006-2007 Season > Previews > Mansfield (h)

The Opposition

After a few up and down seasons (promotion in 2001/02, relegation in 2002/03, play off final losers in 2003/04) Mansfield have endured a disappointing couple of seasons. The play off final defeat on penalties to Huddersfield in 2004 signalled an all too familiar hangover and the following season they finished 13th. Last season they made a nightmare start, winning only one of their first 12 games, before Carlton Palmer resigned with the club bottom of the league. Peter Shirtliff took over and slowly, but surely steered them away from relegation trouble. A strong run of 17 points out of 24 in February and March pushed them into the top half and gave them an outside chance of the play offs. However, they failed to win any of their last six games and finished 16th.

After such an impressive turnaround by Shirtliff, Mansfield were outsiders for promotion this season, but have had a disappointing campaign so far, culminating in Shirtliff being sacked at the end of December. Billy Dearden (left) was then appointed manager for the second time; he had managed the Stags for two and a half years between 1999 and 2002 before taking over as Notts County manager and despite The Stags being in a strong position (Town assistant Stuart Watkiss then steered the club to automatic promotion that season).

The Team
Mansfield currently lie 16th in League 2, three points ahead of Town. The Stags have had a really stop-start season, only once managing to win consecutive league games. Since Dearden’s arrival, the club has continued in the same vein although he has overseen a win against leaders Walsall and the biggest win of the season (5-0) against Torquay.

With this season’s curse of the ex-Mariner (see John Daly, Junior Mendes, Jason Lee, Ben Futcher, Jamie Forrester, Simon Ramsden and Lee Thorpe). Town now face another two in the shape of Michael Boulding and on-loan Martin Gritton (left) who has,five goals from his seven appearances. The Stags started the season with the formidable partnership of Richie Barker and Danny Reet, but Barker was sold to Hartlepool in the transfer window whilst Reet has struggled with injury and not scored since October; Barry Conlon was recruited to help plug the gap and has three goals to add to,the six he scored for Darlington. Midfielder Matt Hamshaw scored at Blundell Park in the 1-1 draw,earlier this season and also scored for Stockport at Blundell Park last season. Defender Alex Baptiste is the only ever-present so far this season.

Key Player
After retiring in the summer of 2005, Michael Boulding (left) made a surprise comeback to professional football last summer when he rejoined his first club. A crucial figure for the Mariners during the successful 2002 relegation campaign and with an impressive goals to games ratio, Boulding failed to show his Town form in spells with Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Barnsley and Cardiff. This season he was initially used on the wing, but has been recently been moved to his more effective central position. He has five goals so far this season.

Recent Form

WBristol R(h)4-3
Currently 18th in League Two.
Currently 16th in League Two.

Top Scorers

Peter Bore8
Martin Paterson6

Team News


  • James Hunt is available for selection after being ineligible last week.

  • Martin Paterson is fit again after injury, and is expected to return to the side.

  • Ciaran Toner is a major doubt with a back injury sustained in training this week. Nick Hegarty would be a natural replacement on the left side of midfield.
  • Striker Barry Conlon returns after a three-match suspension
  • Probable Teams

    1Phil Barnes
    29Matthew Bloomer
    6Justin Whittle
    5Nick Fenton
    3Tom Newey
    16Danny Boshell
    8Paul Bolland
    23Nick Hegarty
    18Peter Bore
    14Martin Paterson
    22Danny North
    1Jason White
    2John Mullins
    6Alex Baptiste
    12Jake Buxton
    3Gareth Jelleyman
    8Stephen Dawson
    10Simon Brown
    TBAJonathan D'Laryea
    7Matthew Hamshaw
    11M Boulding
    20Martin Gritton


    13Robert Murray
    24Simon Grand
    25James Hunt
    19Gary Jones
    7Isaiah Rankin
    19Carl Muggleton
    5Jon-Olav Hjelde
    16Nathan Arnold
    30R Boulding
    9Barry Conlon

    Head to Head

    The Mariners are well overdue a win at Field Mill, recording their only ever win in 1955/56 and losing the three trips there within the last two years.

    P 37 W 10 D 10 L 17 F 46 A 58

    Mansfield Head-to-Head (85th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    Town’s last trip was Graham Rodger’s penultimate game in charge when The Mariners were comfortably eliminated from the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

    Mansfield3 - 0Grimsby
    Butler 37(og)
    Beardsley 79,85

    Mansfield Team: White, Mullins (Wood, 84), Buxton, Baptiste, Sheehan, Hamshaw (Brown, 74), D'Laryea, Lloyd (R Boulding, 58), Coke, Beardsley, M Boulding
    Subs (not used): Jelleyman, Birchall

    Grimsby Team: Barnes, McDermott, Fenton, Butler, Croft (Harkins, 72), James (Hegarty, 67), Ravenhill, Boshell, Toner, Bore (North, 46), Rankin
    Subs: (not used) Whittle, Murray

    Attendance: 1,761   Report

    Bookings: Rory Boulding, Sheehan (Mansfield) Harkins (Grimsby)


    Mansfield 1-2 Town

    Reader's POMs


    Click on the link for directions to Field Mill (left).


    Click on the link for pubs around Field Mill.

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