MATCH REPORT: Walker at the double again as Stags beat Grimsby

Mansfield Town v  Grimsby Town.'Tyler Walker gets in on goal early in the first half.
Mansfield Town v Grimsby Town.'Tyler Walker gets in on goal early in the first half.

Striker Tyler Walker continued to be the man of the moment as his brace saw Mansfield Town overturn an interval deficit to beat visiting Grimsby Town 2-1 to move into the play-off places tonight.

That made it 12 for the season and five goals in three games for the young Forest loanee as Mansfield deservedly extended their unbeaten run to 11 games in the end.

But Grimsby made them work hard for it.

The struggling Mariners rode their luck and had keeper James McKeown to thank for some good goalkeeping in the first half when they led at the break through a Mal Benning own goal.

But Mansfield, with Jacob Mellis and Neal Bishop in superb form in midfield and CJ Hamilton running riot down the wing, stuck at it and Walker levelled just after the break before snatching the winner eigtht minu6tes from time.

It was a third defeat in a row for the visitors while for Mansfield it was a win in the first of four successive home matches.

The Stags side showed just one change with Ryan Sweeney restored to the back three in place of Hayden White.

Lofted forward by Grimsby keeper McKeown almost straight from the kick-off, Cook lifted a hopeful long range effort over the home bar in the opening seconds.

But on three minutes when a tackle on Walker saw the ball break in the box for Rose, the striker was one-on-one with McKeown only to see him block with his legs.

Mellis was wide with a low 30-yarder soon after from a free kick routine.

The visitors responded with a couple of corners, Collins flashing a shot over from the second of them on seven minutes.

On nine minutes a superb chipped pass from Mellis sent Rose into space on the left. He squared to an unmarked Walker 10 yards from goal, but the keeper was quickly off his line to prevent the finish.

A loose pass from Benning set up the visitors for an attack that ended with Preston blocking Cook’s attempt.

Walker tried to find the Grimsby top right corner with a 20-yard curler on 16 minutes and wasn’t too far over.

When Stags’ first corner was fed back to taker Elsnik, he picked out Walker at the near post, but his header was inches over the angle.

When Elsnik was pulled back after picking up a loose ball on 24 minutes play was waved on and he played it to Mellis, who saw McKeown get down well to thwart his attempt to beat him low at his near post.

Three minutes late a Mellis corner went goalwards off Sweeney’s leg and Famewo cleared off the line.

Grimsby had a rare chance on 34 minutes when Cook curled in a delicious low cross from the right and the ball skidded inches away from the boot of the incoming Thomas in front of goal.

However, Mansfield were behind on 36 minutes through a Benning own goal.

Thomas drove to the left by-line and drilled in a low shot which deflected at Benning, almost on the line, and off him into the net.

Elsnik’s snapshot forced McKeown into another save two minutes later as Stags tried to bite back immediately. Then Walker was wide from 20 yards. And sent a diving header wide seconds later.

Stags continued to press and Walker turned well onto an Elsnik cross, but whipped his finish wide as Stags somehow went in behind.

Stags made a double change at the break with Elsnik and Preston replaced by Davies and White.

Davies had an immediate chance but wanted too long to finish and was crowded out.

But Walker hauled Mansfield level on 50 minutes.

Mellis’ corner was half-cleared and fed back to him by Benning. He whipped it is superbly to the near post and Walker raced in to direct it home high into the net from close range.

On the hour a superb searching pass from Mellis sent Davies into space on the left. But his finish was wide of the far post.

Grimsby sent on Embleton and he was quickly yellow-carded for time-wasting at a free kick.

Walker was so unlucky on 69 minutes when his 20 yard shot took a huge deflection wide with the keeper helpless, Sweeney heading the resulting corner over.

With 12 minutes to go Mellis sent in a cross from the left and Rose jumped well to send a header into the top of the crossbar.

But Stags were finally and deservedly ahead with eight minutes to go. Hamilton skipped to the left by-line and lifted up a perfect far post cross where an unmarked Walker buried his close range header.

Mansfield finished strongly and Walker had another good shot saved while young sub Graham saw the keeper stretch out a hand to deny his deft flick.

STAGS: Olejnik; Sweeney, Pearce, Preston (White HT); Hamilton, Bishop, Elsnik (Davies HT), Mellis, Benning; Rose (Graham 80), Walker. Subs not used: Logan, Smith, Atkinson, Butcher.

GRIMSBY: McKeown, Hall-Johnson, Famewo, Collins, Hendrie, M. Rose, Hessenthaler, Woolford (A. Rose 83) Cook (Vernam 71), Pringle (Embleton 63), Thomas. Subs not used: Dixon, Welsh, Clifton, Russell.

REFEREE: Keith Stroud of Hampshire.

ATTENDANCE: 4,118 (544 away).