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Season 20/21 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Leyton Orient  
2 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Johnson 82, Sotiriou 90+2.
 
 Bowery pen 52, Cook 72
Attendance: behind closed doors
 
Date: 19 September 2020

STAGS THROW AWAY TWO GOAL LEAD AT ORIENT

Martin Shaw at the Breyer Group Stadium, Brisbane Road

Mansfield Town threw away a two goal lead in the closing stages at Brisbane Road this afternoon and are still looking for the first win of the season in league and cup.
It really should have been three points for the Stags who cruised into a two goal lead. Andy Cook chased down a lost cause after 52 minutes and forced Orient left back James Brophy into an error as he took a bad touch and then brought Cook down just inside the area for a penalty. A penalty out of nothing and reward for Cook’s hard work. Jordan Bowery converted the penalty into the top right corner giving the keeper no chance. The Stags doubled the lead after 72 minutes, with great work from Harry Charsley. George Maris played a nice ball forward for Charsley who got to the byline on the left and pulled back for Cook who rolled a cool finish past the keeper from 8 yards. Earlier Charsley had been denied with a great shot from 20 yards which was brilliantly tipped over the bar by the keeper.
It should have been game over, but the Stags allowed Orient a lifeline on 82 minutes as Stech kept out a deflected shot from Josh Coulson just inside his post and the defence stood and watched as Danny Johnson was quickest to react knocking the loose ball into the empty net. Sleepy defending.
The Stags resorted to trying to play for time with some poor game management. For example, having done well to win a free kick and then a corner with around 4 minutes of the 90 to go, the Stags tried to keep the ball in the corner and wasted both, with only one player in the box on both occasions. Too early for this tactic in my opinion. Then a minute into the 4 minutes of stoppage time, Ollie Clarke, the captain, tried to shoot from inside his own half, instead of building an attack. Manager Coughlan was furious on the touchline throwing his water bottle down in disgust. Worse was to follow for Ollie Clarke as he lost his man Brophy, allowing him to get to the byline and pull back for Ruel Sotiriou to slot home from close range with just two minutes of stoppage time remaining. It was a gutting end to the game for the Stags. Such a disappointment. Ollie Clarke will be feeling terrible for his part in it, but he had a very good game before that.
Graham Coughlan was still fuming well after the final whistle when he came out for post match interview, complaining that the players “went off their own hymn sheet in the last 10 minutes” and saying that “he smashed everything in the bloody dressing room”.
Plenty of positives from the performance though with Cook playing so well again, as he did last week, and Charsley also giving a stand-out performance. But it’s a tough result to take.
The first half had been an even affair until Orient were unlucky after 43 minutes as Danny Johnson turned away from Menayese and hit the right post. Stech also produced a good save as he pushed away a shot from Sotiriou who had got past Menayese. Orient will feel they maybe deserved a draw because of that, but the Stags should certainly have come away with the points.

The Stags were unchanged from the side that drew with Tranmere. One change on the bench as new signing Stephen McLaughlin replaced Kellan Gordon. Coughlan explained that McLaughlin is not yet ready for 90 minutes, and is about a week behind Maynard, who was also on the bench.
Leyton Orient had won all 4 matches out of 4 in league and cup this season, with Danny Johnson scoring in all 4 to add to the last 2 of last season. So including his late goal today, he has now scored in 7 consecutive games. Former Stag Lee Angol was on the bench and came on in the second half.

The Stags played in the smart new blue away kit for the first time in a competitive game.

Once again, the match was played behind closed doors. Such a disappointment especially to all those regulars who travel to every away match. We can only hope that the world returns to some sort of normality this season. I hope that at least we brought you good coverage on the live stream on iFollow Stags.
Apologies however to iFollow audio subscribers who received commentary of Harrogate v Walsall. Clearly not acceptable. At half time, we reported it to the technical people who assured us they would look into it. Even more disappointing to later hear that it was not fixed until the closing minutes of the game. The club will complain in the strongest possible terms to ensure that this doesn't happen again. It should not have happened in the first place, as the audio was correct on the live stream video feed.

Before the detailed match report, I wanted to mention something that I mentioned in today’s commentary on the live stream, that this coming week sees the 10 year anniversary of John Radford taking over Mansfield Town FC. Heightened by all that has happened at Bury and Macclesfield in recent times, and potentially at some other clubs in the near future, I’m sure Stags fans are so very grateful for what John and of course Carolyn have done, in taking over a non-league club, and returning it to the Football League as a stable club, in addition to getting back the ownership of the ground, the building of the Radford & Hymas Academy training facility etc etc. Thank you John!


Orient created the first chance of the game after just a minute as Maguire-Drew’s free-kick from 26 yards was saved by Stech. At the other end two minutes later, Maris fired well over the bar from 35 yards. On 7 minutes, Clay scuffed a low shot well wide of the left post from 2 yards.

The best chance thus far came after 18 minutes as Stech produced a good save as he pushed away a shot from Sotiriou who had got past Menayese.

After 21 minutes, great play from Charsley on the right, and then a great cross to the far post where Cook headed wide, though Cook was penalised for fouling his man anyway. Two minutes later at the other end a good clearance by Ollie Clarke.

Brilliant play by O’Keeffe after 24 minutes to win the ball, and push forward, and eventually Charsley’s left footed shot was saved low down by the keeper.

Stech dropped a cross after 33 minutes, and was relieved to see his defenders get him out of jail with a clearance.

The Stags got into good positions in the box after 35 minutes but didn’t get a shot in. A minute later, a good lay-off from Bowery to Maris who had the ball taken off his boot as he was about to shoot.

Orient were unlucky after 43 minutes as Danny Johnson turned away from Menayese and hit the right post. And on 45 minutes, Ollie Clarke cleared away from a low shot by Sotiriou.

No goals at the break, and the Stags lucky to get away with the shot against the post just before half time, after an even game before that. Charsley and O’Keeffe had impressed for the Stags.

Half time 0-0

A good clearance from Rawson after 50 minutes, from Sam Ling’s cross from the right.

The Stags took the lead after 52 minutes. Andy Cook chased down a lost cause and forced Orient left back James Brophy into an error as he took a bad touch and then brought Cook down just inside the area for a penalty. A penalty out of nothing and reward for Cook’s hard work. Jordan Bowery converted the penalty into the top right corner giving the keeper no chance. It was Mansfield’s first competitive goal of the season.

O’Keeffe was booked for a foul after 55 minutes. A mistake by Menayese after 56 minutes as he allowed a high cross from Maguire-Drew to bounce in the box and Sotiriou headed across goal but it came to nothing.

On the hour, Charsley was denied with a great shot from 20 yards which was brilliantly tipped over the bar by the keeper. Following the resulting corner, Benning crossed, Rawson headed forward and Sweeney nearly nipped in to nick it past the keeper but the keeper was just able to clear.

After 68 minutes, sub Dennis shot from 23 yards, and Stech watched it all the way go wide.

The Stags doubled the lead after 72 minutes, with great work from Harry Charsley. Maris played a nice ball forward for Charsley who got to the byline on the left and pulled back for Cook who rolled a cool finish past the keeper from 8 yards.

Ollie Clarke volleyed just over the bar on 78 minutes. A minute later, Maris shot straight at the keeper after Charsley picked the pocket of a defender. And a minute after that, Ollie Clarke won the ball well, squared to O’Keeffe whose shot was deflected for a corner.

The Stags were right on top.

But the Stags allowed Orient a lifeline on 82 minutes as Stech kept out a deflected shot from Josh Coulson just inside his post and the defence stood and watched as Danny Johnson was quickest to react knocking the loose ball into the empty net. 2-1 and Orient back in it. Sleepy defending.

Cook was booked for stopping a quick free kick after 85 minutes.

The Stags resorted to trying to play for time with some poor game management. Having done well to win a free kick and then a corner with around 4 minutes of the 90 to go, the Stags tried to keep the ball in the corner and wasted both, with only one player in the box on both occasions. Too early for this tactic in my opinion.

Maynard replaced Cook after 90 minutes. Cook had had a terrific game.

Then a minute into the 4 minutes of stoppage time, Ollie Clarke, the captain, tried to shoot from inside his own half, instead of building an attack. Manager Coughlan was furious on the touchline throwing his water bottle down in disgust.

And disaster was to follow for Ollie Clarke and the Stags within a minute as he lost his man Brophy, allowing him to get to the byline and pull back for Ruel Sotiriou to slot home from close range with just two minutes of stoppage time remaining, to make it 2-2. Coughlan was unhappy that just before the goal, O’Keeffe may have been fouled by Lee Angol with a little push in the back. From review of the video, there’s a case that it was a foul, but it’s certainly not nailed on.

It was a gutting end to the game for the Stags. Such a disappointment. With the way Orient had started the season, we would probably have taken a point before kick off, but to throw it away in this manner will take some getting over.

The Stags have a week to prepare for the visit of Exeter next Saturday. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Andy Cook

Footnote: it was revealed 48 hours later that several Orient players tested positive for COVID-19, infuriating the Stags.
See https://stagsnet.net/news/newsdetails.php?newsid=9900 and https://stagsnet.net/news/newsdetails.php?newsid=9904


Report by: Martin Shaw at the Breyer Group Stadium, Brisbane Road



Line Up:
(3-5-2)
Stech 7 A couple of good saves in the first half. Good save from deflected shot from Coulson but could only parried into path of Danny Johnson for the first goal, which was not his fault in my opinion. Dropped a cross in the first half.
Menayese 5 Both Sotiriou and Johnson got away from him in the first half to get in shots. Mistake in the second half as he allowed a cross to bounce.
Rawson 7 Solid game. One good clearance
Sweeney 7 Did well.
O'Keeffe 7 Good game, especially in the first half.
O.Clarke 5.5 Very good game for 85 minutes, especially defensively. Then a nightmare last few minutes as he inexplicably tried to shoot from inside his own half, instead of building an attack, infuriating his manager, and then worse was to follow as he lost his man Brophy who set up the equaliser.
Maris 6.5 Decent game. Played a part in the second goal.
Charsley 8.5 Stand-out performance in midfield. Great work to provide an assist for the second goal and earlier denied with a great shot from 20 yards which was brilliantly saved.
Benning 6 Did ok.
Bowery 7 Great penalty giving the keeper no chance. One good lay-off for Maris. Worked hard defensively.
Cook 9 Terrific game. A reward for hard work chasing down a lost cause to win the penalty. Cool finish for the second goal.
Sub Line Up:
Maynard (for Cook, 90 mins) -
Subs not used: Stone, O'Driscoll, McLaughlin, Perch, Sinclair, Reid.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-3-3): Vigouroux; Ling, Coulson, Happe, Brophy; Dayton, Cisse (Angol 76″), Clay (McAnuff 62”); Maguire-Drew (Dennis 62”), Sotiriou, Johnson. Subs not used: Sargeant, Widdowson, Wilkinson, Thomas.
Referee:
David Rock 7 Good game. Got the penalty right.


Season 20/21 Reports