DREADFUL STAGS WELL BEATEN AT CHELTENHAM
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Cheltenham Town 3 - 0 Mansfield Town
Graham 51, Morrell 70, Wright 88
Attendance: 2480 (204 from Mansfield)
Date: 26 September 2017
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Whaddon Road
Mansfield were well-beaten 3-0 at Cheltenham this evening. The Stags had played well for 30 minutes in the first half, creating a number of chances, mostly thanks to excellent play from Jacob Mellis. But Cheltenham were unlucky not to take the lead on 43 minutes hitting the post and having a goal disallowed seconds later. And the second half was a horror show from the Stags with Cheltenham scoring 3 and it could have been more, as they also hit the post again, Logan made saves and there were clearances off the line. There was controversy when the home side made it 2-0 on 70 minutes as Stags sub Sterling-James appeared to be fouled 30 yards from his own goal. The referee didn’t give a foul, the Stags players stopped expecting the free kick, meanwhile Morrell simply swept a shot low into the bottom right corner from 25 yards, with Logan watching it. I thought it should have been a free kick for the Stags, but that does not excuse the Stags who stopped playing and allowing the free shot into the net. Poor from the Stags who should have known better and played to the whistle. Schoolboy error. Steve Evans was sent to the stands soon afterwards, and several Stags players were booked on the night. A very bad night at the office for Mansfield after a promising first half, but we move on. Saturday is another day as Notts County come to Mansfield for the big local derby, and the Stags will be looking for an improved performance. Credit to Cheltenham, who produced an outstanding second 45 minutes and final 5 minutes of the first half.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Evans sent to stands as Stags crash to Robins
chad.co.uk, by SPORTS REPORTER, Tuesday 26 September 2017
Steve Evans was sent to the stands as his side lost their first game in six, crashing 3-0 at Cheltenham Town tonight.
The Stags have been hard to beat so far this season, but goals from Brian Graham, Joe Morrel and Joe Wright handed them only their second League Two loss of the season.
That dropped them to eighth, two points off the play-offs on a night when they had hopes to break into the top three.
Evans had a number of run-ins with the officials and it all boiled over after referee Brett Huxstable allowed play to continue after Omari Sterling-James was felled in the build-up to the second goal.
Evans named a much-changed side to the one who beat Cambridge United at the weekend with five players coming into the starting line-up. The Stags rued their missed chances before the break.
Lee Angol had a great chance early on with Scott Flinders tipping his effort past the post after Mellis counter-attacked with a surging 50-plus yard run. Mellis was a great source of creativity going forward for the visitors, with Rose unable to hit the target. The Robins almost had the opener two minutes before half-time as Daniel O’Shaughnessy headed Kevin Dawson’s whipped in free-kick against the post, with Grimes’ rebound ruled out for offside. But the rampant Robins took just six minutes to get on the board after the interval. Cheltenham Town v Mansfield Town - Conrad Logan claws away a goal bound effort - Pic By James Williamson It was another delightful Dawson delivery with Conrad Logan unable to do anything about Graham’s pin-point header. The Stags had to weather a storm after the hour mark. Logan was forced into a mind-blowing one-handed stop to deny Joe Morrell after the visitor’s defence was torn apart - with David Mirfin on hand to mop up the scraps on the line. Moments later Harry Pell left the post rattling with an exceptional half volley from outside the box after controlling the ball on his chest.
Twenty minutes from time Morrell sealed the points with a well-taken finish with the visitors incensed after Sterling-James was brought down in the build up. And substitute Wright added salt to the wounds with a third late on.
CHELTENHAM: Flinders, Winchester, Moore, Grimes, O’Shaughnessy, Pell, Storer, Morrell, Dawson (Hinds, 87), Graham (Wright, 79), Eisa (Sellars, 87). Subs not used: Flatt, Atangana, Boyle, Davey.
STAGS: Logan, Bennett, Pearce, Mirfin, Hunt, Atkinson, Mellis, Digby (Butcher, 58), Anderson (MacDonald, 58), Rose, Angol (Sterling-James, 68). Subs not used: Olejnik, Spencer, Potter, Hemmings.
REFEREE: Brett Huxtable of Devon. ATTENDANCE: 2,480 (204 away).
Dominant Cheltenham Town brush aside Mansfield Town with second half goal blitz
Cheltenham Town 3 Mansfield Town 0
BY JON PALMER
Brian Graham and Joe Morrell both scored their first Cheltenham Town goals in a rousing 3-0 home win over Steve Evans’ much vaunted Mansfield Town side.
Substitute Danny Wright added the third in the 88th minute, by which time Mansfield had been completely demoralised at Whaddon Road.
Scottish striker Graham would have liked to have broken his duck a little earlier, having seen a penalty saved against Colchester United and missed a glorious chance at Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
But in the end it was worth the wait as he nodded in Morrell’s free-kick six minutes into the second put the Robins on their way to the most impressive result of the League Two campaign so far.
They made a confident start, passing the ball around well in the opening 20 minutes, without seriously testing away goalkeeper Conrad Logan.
Mansfield have been backed by many to challenge for promotion this term after a summer overhaul.
The Stags arrived with a reputation of being solid, well organised and dangerous on the counter attack and they lived up to their billing in the first half.
Several charges forward, led by midfielder Jacob Millis, resulted in clear cut chances for Steve Evans’ side, but they were also forced to do plenty of defending.
It took less than 10 minutes for Evans to be warned over his conduct on the touchline by referee Brett Huxtable.
The Scotsman was his usual animated self and not pleased with what he saw in the early stages, but Mansfield did improve as the half progressed.
Their first quick break came in the 11th minute with Lee Angol’s effort turned around the post by Scott Flinders at the near post.
Graham had already seen a header caught by Logan before Kevin Dawson shot over the bar after Mohamed Eisa’s pass.
Harry Pell and Jamie Grimes both had their names taken by the referee after a challenges on the impressive Mellis.
Danny Rose sent a low effort wide of the near post, with Flinders having it covered.
A shot from Pell trickled wide of the right post from inside the six yard box, but the offside flag was raised anyway.
Pell made an important block to deny Mellis and former Peterborough United forward Angol became an increasing threat.
Paul Anderson saw a shot from 40 yards land on the roof of the net, with Flinders watching it clear the bar.
But the closest either side went to an opener in the first half was when Daniel O’Shaughnessy’s effort hit the post.
The rebound was sent goalwards by Graham and flicked over the line by Jamie Grimes, who was in an offside position.
O’Shaughnessy was handed his first League Two start of the season at left-back due to the absence of Jordan Cranston, whose partner had gone into labour early on the morning of the game.
The only other change saw Kyle Storer return from a calf injury in place of Nigel Atangana, who dropped to the bench.
Storer was sent off in the first half of last season’s 0-0 draw with Mansfield at Whaddon Road.
But the deadlock in this season’s meeting came six minutes into the second half.
Eisa was tripped by Paul Digby right on the edge of the penalty area and Morrell’s fine delivery was dispatched by Graham, who enjoyed his big moment in front of the home end.
Cheltenham pinned Mansfield back and were so close to adding a second.
Morrell was kept out by alert goalkeeping from Logan, but Cheltenham kept the move alive and Dawson was denied by a last ditch block by Krystian Pearce.
Pell then thumped a shot against the right post from long distance with Logan beaten in the 65 minute.
The second goal did arrive in the 70th minute and it was a perfectly placed shot from Morrell from 25 yards, with Mansfield standing and watching the Bristol City youngster scoring his first for the club.
It was all too much for Evans, who was sent to the stands for his histrionics on the sidelines.
He has still not been on the winning side as a manager at Whaddon Road and his side were well beaten by Gary Johnson’s improving Cheltenham team, who were able to celebrate again with two minutes left as Wright latched onto Jerell Sellars’ pass and calmly beat Logan.
It was Cheltenham's first home win over Mansfield since 2004 and one of the best performances since they returned to the Football League in 2015, lifting them to 16th in the table.
Cheltenham Town: S Flinders; C Winchester, T Moore, J Grimes, D O'Shaughnessy; H Pell, K Storer, J Morrell; K Dawson (F Hinds 90), B Graham, M Eisa (J Sellers 87). Subs not used: J Flatt, N Atangana, W Boyle, A Davey.
Mansfield Town: C Logan; R Bennett, K Pearce, D Mirfin, J Hunt; P Anderson (A MacDonald 58), P Digby (C Butcher 58), J Mellis, W Atkinson; D Rose, L Angol (O Sterling-James 68). Subs not used: B Olejnik, J Spencer, A Potter, K Hemmings.
Referee: B Huxtable.
Attendance: 2,480 (204 away).
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