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STAGS BEATEN BY LINCOLN IN CHECKATRADE TROPHY
6th September 2017 0:31


English Football League Trophy - Checkatrade Trophy
Mansfield Town 1 - 3 Lincoln City
Potter 6. Whitehouse 40, Palmer 79, Green 90+6.
Attendance: 2495 (898 from Lincoln)

Date: 29 August 2017

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield were beaten at home by Lincoln City in the Checkatrade Trophy this evening. The Stags made 10 changes from Saturday, and Lincoln made 6 changes from Saturday. It was an opportunity for players to impress and force their way into the side for the next league game, and one of those certainly did that as Alfie Potter capped an outstanding first half display with a super goal on 6 minutes to put Mansfield in front. Potter won a header from a Bobby Olejnik kick to glance the ball into the path of Jimmy Spencer. Spencer took one touch to turn and played an immaculate ball back into the path of Potter who broke into the area and lifted a shot over keeper Paul Farman from 12 yards. It was a fine goal, a perfect pass from Spencer and a clinical finish from Potter, who had started it off with a good little header. The Stags played some good football in an opening 40 minutes in which they were very much on top. George Taft headed an Alex MacDonald free kick over the bar. Then Mansfield had a glorious chance to extend the lead on 33 minutes. Jack Thomas cleared a Lincoln corner to Potter who ran from his own half, and played a perfect ball into his path of Omari Sterling-James but from inside the area, Sterling-James fired across the keeper from the right and wide of the left post. Outstanding from Potter, but Sterling-James should have hit the target. Lincoln had not been in the game, but out of the blue and from the first bit of quality they had shown on the evening, they were level on 40 minutes. Long put in a fine cross from the right and Whitehouse headed down and past Olejnik. No chance for Olejnik. Johnny Hunt and Alex MacDonald had doubled up trying to stop Harry Anderson getting a cross in, but then allowed Long too much space to put in a cross. When the ball came in, Whitehouse got a free header, escaping the attentions of George Taft and Jack Thomas. On the stroke of half time, another good chance for the Stags with great play from Sterling-James on the left wing and his cross found Potter who fired into the ground and over the bar via a deflection. A good first half from Mansfield. At the break, the Lincoln official website reporter said to me that Mansfield should have been out of sight at half time. But it was only 1-1. However the second half was a different affair as Lincoln gradually got on top. On 52 minutes, Olejnik made an excellent save, tipping over a shot from 10 yards from Ollie Palmer. The Stags were close to retaking the lead though on 77 minutes when Hunt put in a great free kick from the right and Paul Digby glanced a header against the bar. Within two minutes, Lincoln were in front. Long appeared to foul MacDonald on the right, but play carried on, Long played a super 1-2 with Harry Anderson, got to the byline, and slid a hard low ball across the 6 yard box where Ollie Palmer forced the ball into the net from close range under pressure from Hayden White. Good play from Lincoln, and a similar goal to Luton’s first on Saturday. The Stags pushed for an equaliser, sub Will Atkinson fired a shot just wide and against the back stanchion on 86 minutes. Then on 90+6 minutes, Evans sent keeper Olejnik up for a Stags corner, the ball came out to Johnny Hunt, his shot was charged down, Lincoln broke, and Matt Green fired into an empty net with Olejnik still trying to get back, and despite Will Atkinson’s late attempt to stop the shot going in. Lincoln celebrated wildly in front of their 900 travelling fans and why shouldn’t they. Disappointing for the Stags. The Stags lost the first game in this competition last season, and went on to qualify with wins over Port Vale and Derby U23, so still have a chance but will need to beat Notts County and Everton U23 in October. Alfie Potter was my man of the match after an outstanding first half, though he faded later on, and he will have forced himself into contention for Saturday at Carlisle. Bobby Olejnik had a good game, with one excellent save from Palmer and may take over from Conrad Logan in goal. Alex MacDonald also had a decent game on his return to the side. Johnny Hunt started very well, but made a couple of mistakes after that. Krystian Pearce had a fine game.

Steve Evans made 10 changes from the side that drew with Luton, and he would have made 11 if he was allowed to. The rules of which players you can select based on the previous game, the next game, played a certain number of games in their career, number of appearances during the season etc, are extremely complex this season. The player keeping his place was Krystian Pearce. Zander Diamond continued to miss out through injury but should be fit for Saturday. Jimmy Spencer started with Steve Evans saying that he needed game time, while Danny Rose did not start as he did not need game time as he is now “supremely fit” according to Evans pre-match. Jack Thomas started and needed to show what he could do. Alex MacDonald returned from injury for his first appearance since Malta. It was Johnny Hunt’s and George Taft’s first game since pre-season. Hence it was Hunt’s competitive debut for Mansfield. All players were looking to stake a claim to play at Carlisle.

Lincoln had five ex-Mansfield players in their 18. Ollie Palmer and Luke Waterfall started. Palmer played against Mansfield for both Leyton Orient and Luton last season. This was his first start for Lincoln. Matt Green, Matt Rhead, and Nathan Arnold were on the bench.

The Lincoln manager is Danny Cowley, assisted by his brother Nicky. The last time we came across them was as manager of Concord Rangers, who we played in the FA Cup three years ago. The Stags won the replay at Concord with a goal by Ollie Palmer, now signed by Cowley.

FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE

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MATCH REPORT: Stags old boys come back to haunt them in City fightback
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 29 August 2017

Former Mansfield Town strikers Ollie Palmer and Matt Green made sure their old club suffered a losing start to their Checkatrade Trophy campaign with two late goals as Lincoln City fought back from behind to win 3-1 in the group opener at the One Call Stadium tonight. Palmer, barracked by the home fans all night, had twice forced saves from Bobby Olejnik early in the second half before he stole in near the end to score from close range. Mansfield vs Lincoln - Elliott Whitehouse of Lincoln City levels the scores - Pic By James Williamson Mansfield legend Green then added a third in the sixth added minute, rolling the ball into an empty net with keeper Bobby Olejnik upfield for a last ditch corner. Defender Johnny Hunt impressed on his Mansfield debut as the Stags made 10 changes and dominated the early proceedings. Alex MacDonald and Alfie Potter were in lively form, City struggling to handle them and Potter fired the home side ahead after just six minutes. But the home failed to build on that and City were level against the run of play with their first goal attempt as Elliott Whitehouse headed in five minutes from the break. Mansfield players regroup after Elliott Whitehouse levels the scores. Pic By James Williamson That goal woke the visitors up and they were much improved in an end-to-end second half with Paul Digby heading against the crossbar just before Palmer and Green stole victory. The game had its usual ‘local derby’ edge with tackles flying in and City manager Danny Cowley sent to the stand just before half-time for something he said to the fourth official. Despite the result there were some decent performances to give boss Steve Evans some food for thought for Saturday’s trip to Carlisle. Evans had promised wholesale changes, though it was still a strong side comprising first team squad players and no youngsters to blood on a very strong bench. Mansfield vs Lincoln - Alfie Potter of Mansfield Town scores the opening goal - Pic By James Williamson There was also a first start of the season for George Taft in the centre of defence and Jack Thomas in midfield. Winger Alex MacDonald made a welcome return from a knee injury for his first outing of the season. Lincoln made six changes from the side that beat Carlisle at the weekend with starts for ex-Stags Ollie Palmer and Luke Waterfall and another three former Stags on their bench in Green, Nathan Arnold and Matt Rhead. Early balls in from both flanks by Potter and MacDonald had Lincoln on the back foot. And the home side were ahead on six minutes through an excellent goal by Potter. He began the move, finding Spencer to his right who then picked out the perfect return pass as Potter burst clear down the centre to slot home a finish wide of Farman for his first goal of the season. It looked certain to be 2-0 on 14 minutes as Potter and Spencer passed the ball superbly to give Hunt sight of goal 10 yards out only for Long to slide in with a crucial tackle. Taft was too high with a header from a MacDonald free kick on 17 minutes as the home side continued to press. Taft then made a block to stop a Palmer shot - Lincoln’s first - from getting much more than six yards into the penalty area on 21 minutes. Stags defended Lincoln’s corner on 33 minutes and quickly broke with Thomas sending Potter away down the centre with a well timed pass. He found Sterling-Thomas overlapping him to his right on the edge of the box. But the finish flew across the face of goal and wide. MacDonald was booked on 38 minutes for taking both Anderson’s legs in a sliding challenge. The winger then sent in a free kick from the left which Digby headed over six minutes from the break. But on 40 minutes, against the run of play, City were level with their first real effort. Long sent in a cross from the right which Whitehouse flicked past Olejnik with a deft header to square it up. Two minutes later Digby was booked for kicking the ball out the keeper’s hands which provoked some strong words from Danny Cowley on the touchline. The fourth official called over the referee and the Lincoln boss was sent to the stands. Stags almost retook the lead on 45 minutes as Sterling-Thomas found Potter at the far post. But his shot hit the turf and shot up before deflecting over for a corner. Buoyed by their equaliser, City began the second half well and Olejnik had to touch round a Palmer shot on 50 minutes. Stags again broke well from the corner until Thomas made the wrong choice to pass to a heavily marked Potter. On 52 minutes Olejnik again denied Palmer, turning his rising shot over the bar. City forced another corner on 55 minutes with their big away following now noisly behind them and this time Waterfall headed straight at Olejnik. Mansfield broke back downfield where MacDonald had a deflected shot easily smothered by Farman at his near post. On 62 minutes MacDonald forced a better save from Farman after a fine, flowing series of passes had worked the ball to him in the box, City then blocking MacDonald’s follow-up from a tight angle. Olejnik timed his challenge well to take the ball off Palmer’s toes as he chased a through ball. Then Knott wasn’t far off with a speculative long range curler on 66 minutes. Stags sent on Atkinson for Thomas on 72 minutes and, having already made a double change, City sent on Stags legend Green on 77 minutes. The game restarted with a free kick from Hunt on the right which found Digby’s head, only to see the ball hit the bar. Instead it was City who went in front on 79 minutes. Long got down the right and drilled the ball hard and low in front of goal where Palmer turned it home from close range. With eight minutes to go Mansfield threw on the pace of Hamilton and goalscoring ability of Rose in place of Sterling-James and MacDonald, who deserved his ovation. Eardley was booked for time-wasting with five minutes left. Atkinson came close to levelling the game on 86 minutes as he volleyed a half-clearance inches wide into a back stanchion. Waterfall was booked for a foul on 90 minutes as five minutes were added on. That went into a sixth minute in which Stags won a corner. Keeper Olejnik went up for it, but the ball was cleared and City broke downfield where Green was never going to miss his shy at the empty net to kill off the Stags.

STAGS: Olejnik, White, Taft, Pearce, Hunt, Potter, Thomas (Atkinson 72), Digby, MacDonald, Sterling-James (Hamilton 82), Spencer (Rose 82). Subs not used: Logan, Bennett, Benning, Byrom.

LINCOLN: Farman, Long, Habergham (Eardley 65), Whitehouse, Waterfall, Palmer, Knott, Maguire-Drew (Green 77), Dickie, Anderson, Woodyard (Bostwick 65). Subs not used: Vickers, Rhead, Raggett, Arnold.

REFEREE: David Webb of Lancashire. ATTENDANCE: 2,495 (898 away).

CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Alex MacDonald.

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/match-report-stags-old-boys-come-back-to-haunt-them-in-city-fightback-1-8727614

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Mansfield Town 1 Lincoln City 3: Imps make superb start to Checkatrade Trophy campaign
BY ALAN JOHNSON, 29 AUG 2017, lincolnshirelive.co.uk

Ollie Palmer and Matt Green returned to haunt their old club as Lincoln City came from behind to make a winning start to their Checkatrade Trophy campaign.

Alfie Potter put the Stags ahead in the sixth minute before Elliott Whitehouse equalised five minutes before the break.

http://www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/mansfield-town-1-lincoln-city-397716

Palmer and Green were the goal heroes in the second half with the former tapping in from close range and the latter rolling the ball into an empty net as the Stags looked for an equaliser deep into added time.

On an eventful night, Imps boss Danny Cowley was sent to the stands following an altercation with Stags boss Steve Evans, who then refused to shake hands with the City coaching team at the final whistle.

Imps: Farman, Long, Waterfall, Dickie, Habergham (Eardley 64), Anderson, Woodyard (Bostwick 64), Whitehouse, Maguire-Drew (Green 76), Knott, Palmer.

Subs not used: Vickers, Rhead, Raggett, Arnold.

Goals: Whitehouse 40, Palmer 79, Green 90 (+4)

Attendance: 2,495 (898 visitors).

It was Mansfield who enjoyed the majority of the early possession and they soon made their dominance count.

On six minutes a clearance from goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik was headed on by Paul Digby to the feet of Jimmy Spencer. Spencer then carved open the City defence with a through ball that allowed Alfie Potter a clear run on goal. Potter made no mistake, calmly firing the ball over the despairing dive of Paul Farman.

The Stags could have doubled their lead seven minutes later but Sean Long was on hand to deny Johnny Hunt with a superb last-ditch tackle. It was Long, however, whose mistake led to the chance when the right-back failed to win a goal-kick by kicking the ball against Alex MacDonald on the by-line.

Moments later hearts were in City mouths once more after Rob Dickie brought down MacDonald on the edge of the area. MacDonald dusted himself down and saw his free-kick headed over by George Taft though.

The Imps were struggling to get to grips with the slippery surface, over-hitting a significant number of passes.

Lincoln’s first sight of goal arrived four minutes later when Billy Knott was brought down by Paul Digby 20 yards from goal. However, Sam Habergham, making his first start of the season, blazed well over.

By the half-hour mark City were getting a foothold in the game and won a second corner through Palmer. Maguire-Drew’s kick was punched clear by Olejnik and Mansfield broke through Potter. His cross found Omari Sterling-James, who fired just wide from 12 yards with Farman seemingly beaten.

In a bid to boost City’s threat, Maguire-Drew and Harry Anderson switched flanks and it was a move that soon paid dividends. Great work on the right by the latter found Long and his pinpoint cross was coolly headed home by Whitehouse on 38 minutes.

Drama soon followed as Jack Thomas was booked for preventing Farman from taking a goal-kick. In the protests that followed, Danny Cowley received his marching orders.

Cowley was mystified by the decision, claiming after the match that he had merely ‘stood his ground’ after Evans had encroached into the visitors’ technical area.

Both sides emerged unchanged after the break and it was City who appeared in the ascendency.

Palmer was twice denied in the opening stages by Olejnik - the second of which saw the Stags goalkeeper react brilliantly to keep out the striker’s volley from 12 yards.

The resulting corner saw the Stags break through Potter, who ran the length of the field before squaring to Thomas, but his return ball was poor and City were able to clear.

At the other end, another City corner from Maguire-Drew found Luke Waterfall arriving unmarked, but the City captain headed straight at Olejnik.

By now it was a pulsating, end-to-end contest and another break from Potter resulted in the goalscorer being denied a second thanks to a brilliant one-handed save by Paul Farman, who got down low to his left.

On 64 minutes City made a double substitution, replacing Habergham and Alex Woodyard with Neal Eardley and Michael Bostwick.

Still on top, a fifth City corner on the right saw Maguire-Drew’s centre again find Waterfall unmarked. His header into the danger area resulted in a melee which left Whitehouse on the floor, but the referee saw no foul play and waved play on.

City introduced Green 15 minutes from time, which brought a rousing reception from both sets of fans.

Moments later the Imps took the lead through Green’s striker partner and fellow ex-Stag Palmer. Long did brilliantly again down the right and fired a low ball across the face of the goal which Palmer tapped home from close range.

Green was soon in the thick of things and won yet another corner on the right flank. Knott’s corner led to another appeal from Whitehouse, but much to the dismay of the Imps’ travelling faithful referee David Webb awarded a free-kick to the hosts.

Mansfield put pressure on the Imps throughout the final 10 minutes and earned a free-kick when Waterfall brought down Taft on the edge of the area. Sterling-James fired the free-kick straight at the wall, however.

A corner for the Stags in the fifth and final minute of added time saw goalkeeper Olejnik run upfield. It proved to be in vain though as City broke with Knott. To make matters worse for the stopper, Knott found Green, who rolled the ball into an empty net from 25 yards.

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