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Season 21/22 Stagsnet Match Report
Papa John’s Trophy (English Football League Trophy)
Harrogate Town  
3 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Orsi 44, 53, 69.
 
 Lapslie 66. Bowery missed pen 52
Attendance: 825 (135 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 31 August 2021

STAGS BEATEN AT HARROGATE IN EFL TROPHY

Martin Shaw at Wetherby Road (EnviroVent Stadium)

Mansfield Town were beaten 3-1 in the opening game of the Papa John’s Trophy at Harrogate on Tuesday evening. The Stags back line was young and inexperienced and against a much more experienced Harrogate side, it showed as Harrogate profited from a number of lapses at the back. Despite that, things could have been different had Jordan Bowery converted a penalty after 52 minutes with the Stags trailing 1-0 as George Lapslie hit the underside of the bar, the ball came out to Tyrese Sinclair, whose goalbound shot was stopped in the six yard box by the arm of Alex Pattison. It should have been a red card for Pattison but the referee only showed a yellow card. Worse was to follow as Jordan Bowery stepped up and sent the penalty against the bar. And within 15 seconds, the ball was in the net at the other end as Danilo Orsi’s very weak shot somehow crept through Stags keeper George Shelvey, making his debut. There’s no other way of describing it other than a goalkeeping howler but the whole 60 seconds was a catalogue of errors. Earlier it was another mistake by Shelvey which gifted Orsi the opening goal after 44 minutes.

George Lapslie pulled a goal back after 66 minutes thanks to yet another goalkeeping mistake as Harrogate keeper Joe Cracknell parried his shot from 18 yards but the ball looped up behind him and into the net. But the home side sealed the win after 69 minutes when Orsi completed his hat-trick turning into the net from close range. The Stags were unlucky as both Bowery and James Clarke hit the woodwork, Bowery with a header in the first half, and James Clarke with a cracking volley in the second half. But overall, Harrogate were much the better side deserving their victory and Mansfield gave the ball away too often in dangerous positions gifting possession to the home side.

After the game, Stags boss Nigel Clough was again unhappy with the officials, for the fourth game running, and rightly so. He told iFollow Stags: “How the lad is not given a red card for deliberate handball right in front of the goal. The message came back the referee said the ball wasn't going in the net, which when you look at it back is quite staggering really.” Clough himself was booked later. When I asked him the last time he was booked, he could not remember. He told me he was booked for laughing at the poor decision. The Stags will be hoping the luck from refereeing decisions turns very soon.

This was the opening game in the competition. The Stags will also play Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United U21.

The Stags made nine changes from the side that lost at Swindon. Rawson and Lapslie started from the side that started at Swindon. George Shelvey made his Stags debut in goal. Ethan Hill, grandson of Paul Matthews who played in the Stags’ 1974-75 Division 4 winning side, also made his debut. He played in front of the back four. It was a proud moment for young right back James Clarke who was selected as captain. Keaton Ward, who has generally played in midfield in the few appearances he’s made for the club, started in central defence. Ryan Burke made his second start, at left back, having started against Preston in the Carabao cup.

Clough explained about the make-up of his team after the game: “We used tonight as an opportunity for youngsters to get their debuts, with the likes of Ethan Hill getting his first start. It was an absolutely invaluable experience for them. We’re short of central defenders at the moment, so he (Keaton Ward) played back there with Faz Rawson. Ideally we wouldn't want Faz to play either but the rules state you've got to have four experienced players in there or four who played last Saturday. So that was Faz, Jordan (Bowery), Harry Charsley and Laps made up the quota. Lapslie has been a bit stop-start, even through pre-season. He’s going to have to get a run somewhere which is why we played him tonight, and I thought it was the sharpest he’s looked so far this season. There was a big difference in the age tonight. They (Harrogate) had senior players, albeit squad players. Our fringe players tend to be younger players who we're trying to bring through. So it was a big difference, men against boys sometimes.”

Harrogate made seven changes from their side that drew with Exeter on Saturday. However they had very few youngsters and the players they brought in were experienced.

After 5 minutes, great play down the left from Simon Power, he got past James Clarke, and fired in a shot heading for the top corner before Shelvey tipped it over the angle. Two minutes later, a poor clearance from Ward, Aaron Martin got into the area and fired into the side netting.

The Stags were unlucky after 11 minutes. A great cross from Burke from the left and Bowery headed against the base of the left post.

After 13 minutes, Lloyd Kerry nicked the ball past Rawson, into the area and fired over the bar.

The Stags gave the ball away just outside their own area after 19 minutes as Shelvey tried to play short to Ethan Hill, but Pattison intercepted and fired wide via a block from the sliding Ward. The resulting corner came out to Pattison who fired just over the bar.

After 22 minutes, it was Harrogate with an error as Charsley was gifted the ball by Kerry on the halfway line, Charsley pushed forward to the edge of the area and laid off to Bowery, who was offside. Charsley got the timing of his lay-off all wrong. A pig’s ear made of a gift.

A good tackle by Burke to put the ball behind for a corner after 25 minutes.

Harrogate also hit the woodwork after 27 minutes as Power crashed a shot against the right post from the edge of the area.

Sinclair had a cross-shot blocked for a corner two minutes later.

A good tackle from James Clarke on Power on the edge of the area after 32 minutes.

A mistake by Shelvey after 34 minutes. Thomson crossed from the right, Shelvey came out for it, didn’t get there, and Martin headed over. Six minutes later, Shelvey saved low on his line as Thomson turned and shot from the edge of the area.

Harrogate deservedly took the lead after 44 minutes. Pattison’s low shot from 30 yards was fairly weak, Shelvey got down and saved but didn’t hold it. The ball squirmed free, and as he went to retrieve the ball, Orsi got there to nick it away, turned and fired into the empty net from 6 yards. Shelvey complained that he had both hands on the ball as he went to retrieve it but the referee said he didn’t. I think the referee got it about right.

After 45+1 minutes, Sinclair was fouled 27 yards out. Sinclair dinked the free kick into the box. It came back out to him, he lobbed the ball up, and volleyed towards the left corner of the net, but the keeper made a brilliant save to tip it away. A superb effort from Sinclair.

So Harrogate ahead at the break. They had been the better side. The Stags gave the ball away in their own half too much. And a mistake from Shelvey gifted Harrogate the lead.

Half time 1-0

After 49 minutes, Power cut inside from the left and his cross-shot was just wide.

Lapslie did well to break forward after 51 minutes, he found Bowery whose first touch was good and his shot was deflected into the side netting.

The Stags should have been level after 52 minutes. From Jason Law’s corner from the left, Lapslie hit the underside of the bar with a first time shot from 10 yards, the ball came out to Tyrese Sinclair, whose goalbound shot was stopped in the six yard box by the arm of Pattison. It should have been a red card for Pattison but the referee only showed a yellow card. Worse was to follow as Bowery stepped up and sent the penalty against the bar. And within 15 seconds, the ball was in the net at the other end as Orsi’s very weak shot somehow crept through Shelvey. There’s no other way of describing it other than a goalkeeping howler but the whole 60 seconds was a catalogue of errors.

Oates replaced Rawson on 53 minutes before the game restarted. Bowery moved back into central defence.

The Stags hit the woodwork after 59 minutes. Oates did well on the left. He crossed for Law whose shot was blocked. The ball was cleared as far as James Clarke who met it on the volley 22 yards from goal and he smacked a cracking shot against inside of the right post. So unlucky for Clarke not to net his first Stags goal on the occasion of being made captain.

After 64 minutes, another mistake from Shelvey as lost the ball inside his area trying to dribble the ball away after receiving a difficult backpass from Ward. The ball was played to Power who shot wide.

The Stags pulled a goal back after 66 minutes thanks to yet another goalkeeping mistake as Harrogate keeper Joe Cracknell parried Lapslie’s shot from 18 yards but the ball looped up behind him and into the net. The goal came as Burke crossed into the middle and Oates cushioned the ball nicely for Lapslie to shoot.

Burke and Thomson were booked for grappling with each other sparking a brawl after 68 minutes.

Before play restarted, Nathan Caine replaced goalscorer Lapslie (68 minutes).

But the home side sealed the win after 69 minutes when Orsi completed his hat-trick turning into the net from close range. Fallowfield crossed in from the right, Shelvey pushed the cross away, Power lifted it high back into the middle, Martin beat Ward to the header to turn it goalwards, Shelvey parried the header, but Orsi turned it into the net. Shelvey not to blame this time. Ward could have done better by stopping Martin’s header.

A good move from the Stags after 72 minutes, the ball was played to Sinclair who fired wide of the left post.

A minute later at the other end, Orsi’s shot was saved by Shelvey.

Sinclair had to go off after 77 minutes, looking groggy after going down with a knock to the head. On came George Cooper for his debut, at centre half. Bowery moved up front again.

Andy Garner and Nigel Clough were booked after 81 minutes (see above).

No more action of real note.

Harrogate were much the better side deserving their victory and Mansfield gave the ball away too often in dangerous positions gifting possession to the home side. Not many Stags players staked a claim to force their way into the side on Saturday, apart from Sinclair and Lapslie.

The Stags play Harrogate again on Saturday, this time in the League at the One Call Stadium. Get down to the game if you can. But if you can’t, the game will be available to watch with a match pass on iFollow Stags (because Saturday games on international weekends are available to view on iFollow, whereas normal Saturday games are not).

Man of the match: Tyrese Sinclair

Here’s a running tally of goal stats:

Goals: Hawkins 3, O.Clarke, Johnson, Hewitt, Lapslie, Maris 1

Assists: Oates 2, O.Clarke, Hawkins, Johnson, McLaughlin, Quinn 1
(note: in the case of a penalty, the player who earns the penalty gets an assist. In the case of a solo goal, such as Maris against Newport, nobody gets an assist.)


Report by: Martin Shaw at Wetherby Road (EnviroVent Stadium)



Line Up:
(4-4-2, diamond in midfield)
Shelvey 4 At fault for the first goal when he didn’t hold the shot. At fault for the second goal when he somehow let a weak shot creep under him. Other mistakes too, as he came for a cross and didn’t get there as Martin headed over, and lost the ball in his area in the second half and Power shot wide. A very poor debut.
J.Clarke 6 A proud moment to be selected as captain. Very unlucky with a cracking volley against the inside of the post.
Rawson 6 Started in order to make up the quota of four experienced players.
Ward 5 A bit unfair to judge a young player when playing out of position. Beaten to a header in the build-up to the third goal. Gave the ball away a few times, including a poor clearance and a difficult backpass.
Burke 5.5 Good cross for Bowery’s header against the post. Good cross in the build-up to Lapslie’s goal. A difficult game against the experienced Thomson.
Hill 5 Debut. Gave the ball away a few times. A difficult game against more experienced opponents.
Charsley 5.5 Made a mess of a break when he was gifted the ball.
Law 5.5 Nowhere near the fine form he hit last season.
Lapslie 7 His best game of the season which is promising. Scored with help from the keeper, unlucky to hit the bar. Some good passing.
Bowery 5 Missed the penalty which might have changed the result of the game. That won't have helped his already fragile confidence. Unlucky with a header against the post in the first half.
Sinclair 7 Good game. Always a threat. So unlucky with a superb effort at the end of the first half. His goalbound shot was blocked with an arm to win the penalty.
Sub Line Up:
Oates (for Rawson, 53 mins) 7 A nice assist for Lapslie’s goal. Did well in the build-up to James Clarke’s shot against the post.
Caine (for Lapslie, 68 mins) -
Cooper (for Sinclair, 77 mins) - On for his debut.
Subs not used: Bishop, Gordon, O.Clarke, Johnson.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2): Cracknell; Fallowfield, Smith, Hall (Burrell 64), Sheron; Thomson (Muldoon 78), Pattison (Falkingham 77), Kerry, Power; Orsi, Martin. Unused substitutes: Oxley, Page, McArdle, Armstrong.
Referee:
Andy Haines 5 Should have shown a red card in the penalty incident.


Season 21/22 Reports