REPORT: Grimsby 1-1 Mansfield Town - Stags remain unbeaten after draw
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Midfielder Abo Eisa’s sixth minute strike – his third goal in as many games - put the Mariners ahead at Blundell Park as they looked to threaten the Stags’ impressive unbeaten record so far.
But second-half replacement Oates had other ideas equalised for the visitors with a smart finish just before the hour mark, latching on to a long ball and slotting home for his second goal in as many league games.
The Stags struck the post late and struck the crossbar as they came close to securing a famous comeback win.
Eisa gave the home side the perfect start when he scored with a potential goal of the season contender.
His 30-yard right-foot rocket into the top corner left Stags shot-stopper Christy Pym no chance.
And the Marines went agonisingly close to doubling their lead just three minutes later when Welsh midfielder Harry Clifton rifled a left-foot shot just wide of the near post.
Irish midfielder Stephen Quinn had a chance to level matters soon after, but he frustratingly smashed over the bar.
Fellow midfielder George Maris shot straight past Mariners keeper Jake Eastwood as the visitors kept pushing for an equaliser, before midfielder Davis Kellior-Dunn rattled the crossbar with a thunderbolt strike.
The Scot went close again to restoring parity again just three minutes later, but an alert Eastwood thwarted him with a fine fingertip save to divert the ball past his post.
Maris tried his luck from the edge of the box just before the break, but he blasted high and wide as another decent chance went begging.
Irish midfielder Gavan Holohan thought he’d won a penalty for the hosts after going flying after a challenge with defender Jordan Bowery, but referee Will Finnie was having none of it.
Striker Will Swan could have put the Stags ahead for the first time in the contest, but he shot wide from a decent position.
Maris smashed over the bar having been picked out with a lovely pass from Keillor-Dunn, before Maris turned provider and defender Aden Flint was unlucky to see his powerful header strike a post with nine minutes remaining.
Grimsby (4-1-4-1): Eastwood; Mullwarkey, Waterfall, Rodgers, Amos; Conteh (Hunt 82); Gnahoua (Pyke 63), Holohan, Clifton, Eisa (Green 82); Rose.
Unused subs: Cartwright, Efete, Vernam, Khouri.
Mansfield (4-3-1-2): Pym; Bowery, Flint, Cargill (Oates 45), MacDonald; Maris, Reed, Quinn (Clarke 45); Keillor-Dunn; Akins, Swan.
Unused subs: Flinder, Cooper, Williams, Anderson, Abdullah.
Referee: Will Finnie