Grimsby boss Dave Artell believes his side have a mental block away from home after Tuesday’s 2-0 Sky Bet League Two loss at high-flying Mansfield meant they remained winless away from Blundell Park this season.
The Mariners had the better chances in the first half but found themselves 2-0 down at the break and then saw the home side batter them through a one-sided second half without further score.
“I think there is a mental aspect – the record says that,” Artell said.
“There is no point in trying to sugarcoat it. You can’t go half a season without winning away from home. We have to work on their brains as much as anything.
“I thought we were the better team first half even though the scoreline suggests otherwise – we should have been 4-1 up.
“But the second half was a non-event from our point of view. We didn’t turn up.
“We didn’t compete enough and a Mansfield team that is up there on merit deserved to run out easy winners in the end.
“We should have had two stonewall penalties. And we hit the post and the bar and had great chances – all in the first half. As it is, we go
in 2-0 down due to two crazy mistakes. Not once did Mansfield carve us open in that half.”
Grimsby had some big chances in the first half with Christy Pym denying Rekeil Pyke and Arthur Gnahoua with his legs while Kieran Green rattled the crossbar.
Gnahoua had already hit the home post before the Stags took a fortunate lead on 19 minutes as a deflection on Davis Keillor-Dunn’s shot left keeper Harvey Cartwright helpless.
The Mariners twice went close in added time before they allowed George Maris to fire home a low 25-yard shot in the fifth added minute.
The second half was one-way traffic with Cartwright making a string of fine saves, Ollie Clarke hitting the bar and Lucas Akins having an effort ruled out for offside.
It was a third straight win for the promotion-chasing Stags, leaving boss Nigel Clough pleased overall despite a slow start.
He said: “We didn’t start particularly well – they started the brighter and had a couple of chances.
“We looked a bit sluggish in the first 10-15 minutes.
“But once we got into our stride, especially in the second half, I can’t work out how we’ve not scored more than those two goals.
“There was poor finishing, good saves, blocks and a bit of bad luck. We could have gone on and won three or four.
“If we’d have got that third goal at any time, I think we’d have gone on to score four or five. But I would be more concerned if we were not creating the chances. We’ve had 39 shots today.”