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Season 19/20 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
2 - 0
 Scunthorpe United
Preston 31, Rose 54
Attendance: 4772 (554 from Scunthorpe)
Date: 7 September 2019


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town beat Scunthorpe United 2-0 at the One Call Stadium this afternoon to register the first home win of the season, and the first home win for manager John Dempster. Mansfield’s defence has let them down this season, but today the central defensive threesome of Matt Preston, Krystian Pearce and Ryan Sweeney looked back to their old selves and more like the best defence in League Two from last season. Bottom of the table Scunthorpe were limited to a few efforts off target with goalkeeper Conrad Logan not given a save to make. At the other end, the Stags won it with goals from Preston and Danny Rose. The first goal came after 31 minutes as CJ Hamilton crossed left footed from the right hand side following a corner, and Preston at the far post found himself unmarked to stretch and turn the ball past keeper Rory Watson, who was wrong-footed, with the outside of his right foot from 5 yards. The second and decisive goal came after 54 minutes when Conor Shaughnessy, on his Stags debut, headed the ball forward into the area, Scunthorpe defender Andy Butler tried to head it back to his keeper but didn’t get enough on it, and Rose anticipated well, nipping in to poke it past the keeper from 9 yards, for his sixth goal of an excellent season. The Stags had surrendered a two goal lead at home to Leyton Orient a couple of weeks ago but there was no mistake here as the Stags stayed firm at the back. The Stags move into mid-table, two points outside the play-offs, ahead of the trip to Crawley next Saturday.

Mansfield made two changes from the side that was so poor in defeat at Exeter last Saturday. CJ Hamilton came in at left wing-back for Mal Benning, while Conor Shaughnessy, signed on loan for the rest of the season from Leeds, replaced Will Tomlinson in midfield. The Stags employed a 3-1-4-2 formation, with Shaughnessy in front of the back three, and MacDonald (right) and Mellis (left) behind the front two of Maynard and Rose. Neal Bishop returned from injury to the bench, and was to come on late on. Omari Sterling-James was perhaps unlucky to miss out on the starting XI after good recent performances. New signing Dapo Afolayan, who was on the bench at Exeter, was not in the squad due to a niggle in his knee, but should be fit to train on Monday. Hayden White, who was also on the bench at Exeter, also missed out, with that knock on his leg where it was broken still sore, but he should be fit to train during the week.
Scunthorpe, bottom of the league with just one point from six games, included former Stag Junior Brown at left back.

The Stags were off to a poor start with Jacob Mellis sending a free kick straight out for a goal-kick after 2 minutes. At the other end after 11 minutes, a foul by Mellis on George Miller gave Scunthorpe a free kick 26 yards out in a central position, but the wall did its job well blocking the shot from Abo Eisa.

After 13 minutes, a loose ball out from Logan, Scunthorpe got the ball out to Eisa on the left, he cut inside and fired over the bar.

The Stags had the ball in the net after 14 minutes but the whistle had long gone. Sweeney knocked a ball forward, Rose challenged the keeper for it and barged him to the ground as he caught the cross, and the whistle had already gone as Maynard swept the loose ball into the net.

Good play by Shaughnessy after 16 minutes, Hamilton got the ball on the left and with a good run forced his way into the area but the ball was eventually cleared.

The dangerous Abo Eisa, brother of Mo Eisa, went down in the area under pressure from Preston after 19 minutes, but the referee was perfectly placed to spot that it was a dive from Eisa, and the Scunthorpe left winger was booked. Good refereeing.

A chance for the Stags after 22 minutes, when Maynard profited from Scunthorpe giving the ball away, and curled in a shot from 22 yards which the keeper did well to push away. Straight to the other end, and good defending from Pearce to intercept a ball forward. Moments later, there was another good interception from Pearce as Miller broke forward.

After 31 minutes, good play from MacDonald, who got the ball out to Gordon on the right, Gordon made a good run into the area, and his cross-shot was deflected for a corner.

The Stags took the lead (after 31 minutes) following that corner, as Hamilton crossed left footed from the right hand side, and Preston at the far post found himself unmarked to stretch and turn the ball past keeper Rory Watson, who was wrong-footed, with the outside of his right foot from 5 yards. Preston’s first goal of the season.

MacDonald had a side-footed shot blocked, then had another side-footed shot well wide after 38 minutes following brilliant play from Rose to win the ball and lay-off to Maynard who in turn laid off to MacDonald.

The Stags conceded another free kick in a dangerous position after 31 minutes when Sweeney tripped the tricky Eisa inside the D. The free kick, 19 yards out, in a dead central position, was fired just wide by Jamie Proctor as no-one moved and the Stags crowd help their breath.

Eisa got to the byline on the left after 44 minutes and crossed across the face of goal at head-height but no-one got on the end of it. Two minutes later, from Slater’s corner from the left, Proctor peeled away from Pearce at the near post and headed over from a tight angle.

The Stags ahead at the break through Matt Preston’s goal. Scunthorpe had caused Mansfield problems down the left through the dangerous Eisa but hadn’t forced a save from Logan. For the Stags, Conor Shaughnessy had started well, looking an imposing figure in midfield in front of the defence, and looking composed on the ball.

Half time 1-0

Mansfield made it 2-0 after 54 minutes when Shaughnessy headed the ball forward into the area, Scunthorpe defender Andy Butler tried to head it back to his keeper but didn’t get enough on it, and Rose anticipated well, nipping in to poke it past the keeper from 9 yards, for his sixth goal of an excellent season. Calamitous defending from Scunthorpe which perhaps gives a clue to their league position.

Hamilton made a good run down the left after 58 minutes before being chopped down by right back Jordan Clarke, who was booked.

Hamilton made another really good run a minute later, having been set free by a great ball from Shaughnessy, Hamilton cut inside and fired into the side netting.

Mellis was chopped down after 60 minutes by Butler who was booked.

Bishop replaced the limping Mellis after 68 minutes.

Gordon was booked after 69 minutes for stopping a quick throw-in. A silly yellow card that came just moments after the referee had clearly warned captain Krystian Pearce about his side time-wasting.

Scunthorpe had made a double change at the break, including bringing on right winger Ryan Colclough, and Scunthorpe were now making all their play down the right, rather than utilising the dangerous Eisa on the left. Colclough however was playing well, and put in a great cross after 74 minutes, Proctor got above Preston and headed just wide. A minute later, Eisa got on the ball for just about the first time in the half, and forced his way into the area before having his shot blocked.

Bishop laid a super ball forward after 76 minutes for Hamilton who ran on to it, but Hamilton was adjudged just offside, before he knocked the ball into the net past the keeper. He looked onside to us. From the video, it’s not possible to tell if he was onside or offside.

Moments later at the other end, great defending from Preston who cleared from Proctor.

A good run from Rose after 77 minutes, he got into the area and fired in a shot which was saved but spilled by the keeper, but there was no Stags player lurking for the rebound. The loose ball was cleared for a throw-in. The resulting throw-in from Hamilton came out to Gordon who had a glorious chance, unmarked 17 yards out, but he skewed his shot wide of the right post. He should have got it on target as he was unmarked.

Straight to the other after 78 minutes, and Colclough cut inside from the right and fired a bullet of a shot into the side netting.

The Stags made a surprising substitution after 80 minutes, switching to a 5-4-1 formation, bringing on Benning for Maynard. Maynard was clearly displeased with the change. Benning went into a defensive left wing-back position, with Hamilton in front of him. Rose was left on his own up front.

Preston picked up a leg injury, having earlier suffered a clash of heads with a Scunthorpe striker, but bravely carried on.

The Stags were no longer looking comfortable and continually conceded possession with Rose isolated up front, and inviting Scunthorpe to regain the ball. After 86 minutes, poor defending from the Stags in the area, but they got away with it, as Benning played a terrible backpass to Logan, whose clearance hit Benning and ricocheted away, luckily not to a Scunthorpe player. This was not a great example of running the clock down.

Great play from Rose after 90+1 minutes, cutting inside into the area, and his shot was blocked, but he had no help from his teammates.

Super defending from Preston after 90+4 minutes to shield Eisa away from the ball.

Nearly a bizarre ending to the game after 90+5 minutes as Sweeney launched a ball into orbit from 10 yards inside his own half, and the keeper had to backpedal furiously as it landed on the roof of the net.

Full time and much relief for Mansfield at the first home victory of the season. The Stags now need to build on this at Crawley next Saturday.

Man of the match: Conor Shaughnessy

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Line Up:
Logan 6.5 Valuable clean sheet. Didn’t have a save to make.
Preston 7.5 In the right place to stab home the all-important first goal. Bravely carried on after a head injury and a leg injury. Defended well.
Pearce 7 Solid, some good interceptions.
Sweeney 7 Good game, as the back three looked more like their old selves.
Shaughnessy 8 Really good debut. An imposing figure in midfield in front of the defence, and looked composed on the ball. Good heading, and good distribution.
Gordon 7 Really good first half. Missed a glorious chance to make it 3-0.
MacDonald 7 A terrier in midfield.
Mellis 6 Some disappointing set-pieces.
Hamilton 7 Good cross for the first goal. Several good runs.
Maynard 6.5 Didn’t get a huge amount of service. One good shot which was saved.
Rose 7.5 Showed great anticipation and poacher’s instinct for his goal. Several good pieces of play.
Sub Line Up:
Bishop (for Mellis, 68 mins) - Good to see him back, and got a good reception.
Benning (for Maynard, 80 mins) -
Subs not used: Stone, Smith, Tomlinson, Khan, Sterling-James.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2): Watson; Clarke, McGahey, Butler, Brown; Lund, Songo'o, Slater (Colclough, 46), Eisa; Proctor, Miller (van Veen, 46). Subs not used: Eastwood, McArdle, Bedeau, Gilliead, McAtee.
John Busby 7 Had a good game, correctly ruling against Eisa for his dive in the area.

Season 19/20 Reports