Attendance: 4,336 (381 from Rochdale)
Date: 18 September 2021
STAGS STOP THE ROT IN DRAW WITH ROCHDALE
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town stopped the rot of four consecutive defeats in the league with a 1-1 draw against Rochdale at the One Call Stadium. The Stags were behind after 50 minutes and it was yet another defensive howler as Kellan Gordon attempted to dribble the ball out from the back, was dispossessed by Matt Done, and Danny Cashman turned home Done’s low cross. But the Stags equalised after 72 minutes after good play on the left by Jordan Bowery, and Ollie Clarke got to the byline on the left before pulling back to Danny Johnson who stabbed the ball into the net from 8 yards. Johnson’s goal came just two minutes after he came on as substitute, and was his second goal in consecutive games having come off the bench.
The first half was goalless with few clearcut chances for either side. Mansfield were better defensively than they had been in recent games, apart from one occasion when Aaron Morley crossed from the right, Elliott Hewitt missed it, Farrend Rawson left it, and Jake Beesley knocked it wide unmarked at the far post.
In the second half, after Rochdale took the lead, Jordan Bowery, restored to the starting line-up and having a good game, curled a shot wide from 20 yards.
After the Stags equalised on 72 minutes, both sides had a very good chance to win the game. After 75 minutes, George Lapslie, who also had a good game, made a brilliant last ditch tackle on Matt Done as he was about to shoot from inside the area. A goal-saving tackle.
And on the stroke of 90 minutes, Ollie Clarke drove into the area and as he was about to shoot from 10 yards, sub Harry Charsley took the ball off his boot and smashed a left-footed shot goalwards, only for keeper Joel Coleman to save brilliantly above his head.
In the end, a draw was a fair result. Still no clean sheet this season though. It was an important point for the Stags who have been rocked by one piece of bad news after another recently. James Perch has been ruled out for the season with a skull fracture, desperately bad news for him, and for the club. Richard Nartey has been ruled out with injury for 6-8 weeks. And Will Forrester, signed on loan from Stoke on deadline day, is out through injury until October. Three central defenders injured, leaving just Farrend Rawson and Elliott Hewitt as fit central defenders, albeit other players such as Hawkins, Bowery and McLaughlin could fill in there. On top of that, Stephen Quinn is banned for 6 games, with another 3 games being added on top of the initial 3 games, with the FA’s independent panel deciding that an alleged headbutt on Harrogate’s Falkingham (not seen by the match officials) warranted an additional 3 game ban on top of the 3 game ban for kicking out at Pattison (which was seen by the linesman). And all that on top of four consecutive league defeats, and five games without a win, games littered with dreadful defending and two or three critical refereeing howlers.
The Stags will look to build on this point at Leyton Orient next Saturday.
DETAILED REPORT :
Mansfield made three changes to the side that lost at Walsall. Richard Nartey has been ruled out for 6-8 weeks through injury, and was replaced by Farrend Rawson. Nigel Clough explained after the game: “He got a whack in the Harrogate game and played with it last week. He had a scan and he’s got some sort of problem with the bone around his shin area.” The injury may have partially explained his dreadful performance at Walsall. Meanwhile, Ollie Clarke returned from suspension to replace Ryan Stirk. And finally Jordan Bowery replaced Tyrese Sinclair on the left up front. It was a 4-3-3 formation. Maris was just in front of the back four in midfield, with Ollie Clarke and Lapslie either side just in front. Up front, Hawkins was in the middle, with Oates and Bowery either side, just behind.
Hewitt kept his place in the starting eleven after his very poor performance at Walsall. He had to play, unless Clough was prepared to move Hawkins, Bowery or McLaughlin from their positions. Danny Johnson was on the bench despite scoring and playing well off the bench at Walsall. I would have started Johnson actually, but he was a very effective substitute here. Surely he will start at his former club Leyton Orient next week.
With only two fit central defenders for the next few weeks, Nigel Clough might reconsider going into the market to sign a non-contract player. Last week, Clough said “We have had a look at free agents but we don't really see anybody out there who will massively improve the situation.” However he may have to reconsider now with the injury situation deteriorating. As for the situation in January, I wonder if Clough might recall Rollin Menayese, who has been playing well for Walsall this season. Clough told Dean Foulkes and me last week that he would not have sent Menayese out on loan if he'd known how it would pan out with injuries. Menayese is out on loan for the season, but Clough has previously said that he always inserts a recall clause in loan moves.
Rochdale made two changes from their side that started in their win over Tranmere Rovers. Corey O’Keeffe, on loan from Mansfield, was not allowed to play against his parent club. The iFollow Rochdale commentators told me that he has been excellent this season at right wing-back. (As an aside, he is undoubtedly better in that position than at right back, where he might have played had he stayed at Mansfield). O’Keeffe was replaced in the Rochdale side by Matt Done. And Danny Cashman replaced Abraham Odoh up front. Cashman had scored Rochdale’s winner over Tranmere last week, off the bench.
Rochdale came into the game with 3 wins and 1 draw in their last 4 league games, in stark contrast to Mansfield’s 4 defeats.
Rawson put in an early tackle after 2 minutes to stamp some authority on the game. Gordon then did well to block a cross for a corner after 6 minutes. From the resulting corner, Matt Done’s shot was blocked.
At the other end a minute later, a shot from Oates from 25 yards was also blocked.
Beesley headed over the bar after 14 minutes from a cross that sailed over Hewitt.
After 22 minutes, Aaron Morley crossed from the right, Hewitt missed it, Rawson left it, and Jake Beesley knocked it wide unmarked at the far post.
Hawkins was winning several free kicks. On 26 minutes, he was brought down 38 yards from goal. The free kick was taken short to McLaughlin whose shot from 35 yards provided an easy save.
Lapslie put in a super tackle on Beesley after 29 minutes otherwise Beesley would have been through on goal.
After 44 minutes, a good break by McLaughlin, who played a 1-2 with Ollie Clarke, but McLaughlin couldn’t quite control the return ball. Promising though. Stags are missing the interplay between McLaughlin and Quinn down the left.
After 45+2 minutes, an awkward backpass to Bishop, whose clearance was then poor and Maris was forced to concede a free kick. Bishop caught the resulting free kick.
Two minutes later, a good cross from Bowery, and Oates just missed it at the far post.
Then on 45+5 minutes, Oates got into the area along the byline, but he couldn’t pick out Hawkins with his low cross. He should have done better.
A quiet first half. The Stags were more solid than they have been defensively, and 0-0 was the right scoreline at the break.
Half time 0-0
After 47 minutes, a Rochdale corner from the left from Morley was headed over the bar at the far post by Taylor.
Rawson put in a great sliding challenge on Newby for a corner after 49 minutes. Rawson then headed away the corner.
The Stags were behind after 50 minutes and it was yet another defensive howler as Kellan Gordon attempted to dribble the ball out from the back, was dispossessed by Matt Done, and Danny Cashman turned home Done’s low cross.
After 52 minutes, Newby got into the area and Hewitt blocked his shot for a corner. The resulting corner looked like it was heading under the bar until Bishop turned it over the bar.
Bowery pushed forward on the left after 55 minutes, cut inside onto his right foot and curled a shot wide from 20 yards.
After 58 minutes, Bishop did well to save Beesley’s header on his line following a cross from Done.
Gordon got in position for a cross after 63 minutes, but put it straight to the keeper. Poor from Gordon.
A minute later, an easy save for Bishop from Odoh.
Then on 65 minutes, Maris had a powerful shot blocked by O’Connell following a throw-in.
Maris was booked for a foul on Odoh after 69 minutes. A free kick for Rochdale 24 yards out. Morley sent it straight into the Stags wall.
A double change as Johnson and Stirk replaced Oates and Maris after 70 minutes.
McLaughlin was booked for pulling back after 71 minutes.
But the Stags equalised after 72 minutes after good play on the left by Jordan Bowery, and Ollie Clarke got to the byline on the left before pulling back to Danny Johnson who stabbed the ball into the net from 8 yards. Johnson’s goal came just two minutes after he came on as substitute, and was his second goal in consecutive games having come off the bench.
On 75 minutes, George Lapslie, who also had a good game, made a brilliant last ditch tackle on Matt Done as he was about to shoot from inside the area. A goal-saving tackle. That came immediately after the Stags should have had a free kick, a foul missed by the officials.
Four minutes later, McNulty was first to Done’s cross to the far post and turned it over the bar. Then Morley fired high and wide from 30 yards.
Good defending by Stirk and Maris after 84 minutes.
Charsley replaced Lapslie after 86 minutes.
Great play by Ollie Clarke on the byline on the right on 87 minutes, but his cross was behind for a corner. A minute later, a good run down the right by Charsley, he crossed, but it was a fraction too high and Bowery headed wide, unable to get over it.
On the stroke of 90 minutes, Ollie Clarke drove into the area and as he was about to shoot from 10 yards, sub Harry Charsley took the ball off his boot and smashed a left-footed shot goalwards, only for keeper Joel Coleman to save brilliantly above his head. That was close. From the resulting corner taken by Stirk, a header from Hawkins was saved low down on his line by the keeper.
Johnson was booked after 90+1 minutes for something off the ball.
Then Ollie Clarke was booked on 90+4 minutes for a foul on Odoh in the centre circle.
In the end, a draw was a fair result. Still no clean sheet this season though. It was nevertheless an important point for the Stags.
Man of the match: George Lapslie
Here’s a running tally of various stats:
Goals: Hawkins, Johnson 3, O.Clarke, Hewitt, Lapslie, Maris, Oates 1
Assists: O.Clarke, McLaughlin, Oates 2, Hawkins, Johnson, Rawson, 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.)
Average home league attendance: 5032 (average away fans: 734, average home fans 4299)
Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Bishop 6.5 A couple of good saves.
Gordon 5 Defensive howler for the Rochdale goal. Poor cross when going forward.
Hewitt 6 Generally ok, apart from one cross that he missed when Beesley knocked wide and another that sailed over him when Beesley headed over.
Rawson 7.5 Put in an early tackle after 2 minutes to stamp some authority on the game. Put in a great sliding challenge on Newby in the second half, then headed away the resulting corner.
McLaughlin 6 One good break in the first half. Did ok.
O.Clarke 7.5 Great assist for the goal, and nearly set up a winner on the stroke of 90 minutes.
Maris 6.5 Did ok. Subbed after 70 minutes.
Lapslie 7.5 Starting to get back to his best after a slow start to the season. A good game, including a brilliant last ditch goal-saving tackle as Matt Done was about to shoot from inside the area. He also put in another super tackle on Beesley in the first half otherwise Beesley would have been through on goal.
Oates 5.5 Disappointing. Got into the area along the byline in the first half, but couldn’t pick out Hawkins with his low cross. He should have done better and it summed up his afternoon.
Hawkins 6.5 Won several free kicks. Had a header saved on the line after 90 minutes.
Bowery 7 Good game. Contributed to the Stags goal.
Sub Line Up:
Johnson (for Oates, 70 mins) - Scored within two minutes of coming on. His second goal in consecutive games having come off the bench.
Stirk (for Maris, 70 mins) - Played well.
Charsley (for Lapslie, 86 mins) -
Subs not used: Shelvey, Burke, Sinclair, Law.
Opposition Line Up:
(3-4-3): Coleman; Taylor, O'Connell (White 79), Dorsett (McNulty 46); Keohane, Morley, Dooley, Done; Newby (Odoh 57), Beesley, Cashman. Subs not used: Lynch, Broadbent, Andrews, Kelly.
Carl Boyeson 7 Got most things right.