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Season 21/22 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Rochdale  
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 
 Bowery 86
Attendance: 2,088 (473 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 22 March 2022

BOWERY FIRES STAGS TO WIN AT ROCHDALE

Martin Shaw at Spotland (Crown Oil Arena)

Mansfield Town got back to winning ways after two defeats with a 1-0 success at Rochdale last night. It felt like an important win after those defeats at Tranmere and Port Vale and then the frustration of having Saturday’s home game against Stevenage postponed with Stevenage unable to field a team due to illness and injury meaning that the Stags would play 5 games on the trot away from home.

The only goal of the game came after 86 minutes when substitute Jordan Bowery, only on as a substitute for 8 minutes, fired into the net from six yards getting on the end of a great low cross from Rhys Oates, after Joe-Joe O’Toole had won the ball in his own half and set Oates away down the right.

Having conceded 3 goals in each of the defeats at Tranmere and Port Vale, it was crucial that the Stags got back to being tight at the back, and they did that with particularly impressive displays from James Perch and John-Joe O’Toole in central defence, as well as Elliott Hewitt (apart from a couple of slips, one of which he recovered from himself with a great block) and Stephen McLaughlin.

The Stags generally created slightly better chances than Rochdale in a close game, 7 shots on target from the Stags compared to 3 for Rochdale.

The game wasn’t high on quality, but Mansfield produced the best move of the first half when Jamie Murphy played a great ball out to the left for Oates, Oates played inside to Matty Longstaff who teed up Murphy to fire inches over the bar from 20 yards. Oates himself had three shots in the first half, all of them straight at the keeper. Oates also made a great run into the D where he was brought down just as he was about to shoot, and Murphy’s free kick was straight into the wall.

At the other end, Tahvon Campbell fired just over the bar from 25 yards after a slip by Hewitt, then Campbell missed his kick from 7 yards out, the ball ran free to Jimmy Ball whose shot from 15 yards was blocked by Perch.

Into the second half, and Oates beautifully controlled a high ball to him, before sending in a shot which the keeper saved with his legs. Oates also fired in a terrific piledriver from 20 yards which the keeper just about palmed away. Murphy was then set away on a run into the area by Ryan Stirk but Murphy didn’t even get in a shot, which was disappointing. Murphy was very close to breaking the deadlock after 68 minutes as Matty Longstaff fed him with a super ball from the right into the area and Murphy’s low shot across the keeper clipped the left post and went wide. That was so close.

At the other end, Max Clarke crossed in from the left and Matty Done miscued a shot which Nathan Bishop comfortably saved. Then Hewitt superbly blocked Campbell as he shot inside the area after Hewitt himself had lost the ball. And sub Conor Grant shot low from the edge of the box giving Bishop another fairly comfortable save.

Mansfield then took the lead after 86 minutes with that goal from Bowery.

The Stags should have sealed the game in stoppage time when Oates did superbly to get away from his markers and tee up sub George Lapslie for a shot from 12 yards but defender Eoghan O’Connell did well to slide in and block the shot. Lapslie should have scored though. It didn’t matter as the Stags saw out the game without any late scares and the players could once again celebrate victory with the excellent travelling fans.

Despite being well down the table, this was Rochdale’s first defeat at home since 9th October, a run of 11 games without defeat and which included wins over high-flying Northampton, Newport and Sutton.

It was also a rare win for Mansfield at Rochdale. The first since 1997, 11 games without a win (10 defeats and a draw). Actually Mansfield had only played here once since 2007, that being in 2013.

It wasn’t a great game, on a pitch described after the game by Jordan Bowery as “not the best” and by Nigel Clough as “a bit dry and bobbly and there's the rugby on it as well”, but the result was all-important.

The stand-out players for me were the entire defence, especially Perch and O’Toole, as well as Oates with 5 shots at goal just all of them too close to the keeper and of course that assist for the crucial goal. Jordan Bowery meanwhile will probably have done enough to earn himself a starting place on Saturday.

The Stags remain in 10th place in League Two, but are just four points behind 3rd place with 3 games in hand. Another away game on Saturday, at Oldham, the 4th game in a run of 5 away games. If you’re not travelling to Oldham, you can watch the game with us on iFollow (the game is available to watch on iFollow because it is an international weekend). The Stags will be looking to build on this victory.

DETAILED REPORT :

Mansfield made four changes from the side that lost at Port Vale. Stephen Quinn and Matty Longstaff returned from injury. Elliott Hewitt and John-Joe O'Toole also started, having been on the bench at Vale. Farrend Rawson, Kieran Wallace and George Lapslie dropped to the bench while Ollie Clarke was out with a groin problem that forced him to come off at Vale. Lucas Akins remained out with a tight hamstring.
The Stags started with Perch at right back, Rawson and O’Toole at centre half, and Hawkins up front.

Rochdale included Corey O'Keeffe who was on loan at Dale in the first half of the season and signed permanently for them in January. He was playing against Mansfield for the first time since leaving, having not been allowed to play in the reverse fixture.

It was pleasant evening.

After 6 minutes, Quinn teed up Oates for a low shot from 18 yards, straight at the keeper. Two minutes later, McLaughlin crossed, Hawkins headed down from the edge of the area, straight to the keeper.

At the other end after 9 minutes, Tahvon Campbell fired just over the bar from 25 yards after a slip by Hewitt. Then on 13 minutes, Campbell missed his kick from 7 yards out, the ball ran free to Jimmy Ball whose shot from 15 yards was blocked by Perch.

After 23 minutes, great play from McLaughlin, getting past O’Keeffe to the byline, he pulled the ball back but it was cleared.

The game wasn’t high on quality, but Mansfield produced the best move of the first half on 24 minutes when Murphy played a great ball out to the left for Oates, Oates played inside to Longstaff who teed up Murphy to fire inches over the bar from 20 yards.

A mistake from a Dale player after 28 minutes allowed Oates to run at goal but his low shot from 18 yards was straight at the keeper.

Oates made a great run into the D where he was brought down just as he was about to shoot after 30 minutes. Murphy’s free kick was straight into the wall. Murphy and McLaughlin had both been over the free kick. McLaughlin had scored from a similar position previously with a low kick into the corner.

After 39 minutes, Oates fired in a shot from 25 yards straight at the keeper. His third shot straight at the keeper in the half.

Not a high quality first half and 0-0 felt like the right scoreline.

Half time 0-0

At the start of the second half, the Stags re-organised into a back three with O’Toole (right), Hawkins (centre), Perch (left), and Hewitt and McLaughlin at wing-back. Murphy was further forward.

After 48 minutes Oates beautifully controlled a high ball to him, before sending in a shot which the keeper saved with his legs.

At the other end after 54 minutes, Max Clarke crossed in from the left and Matty Done miscued a shot which Nathan Bishop comfortably saved. Then 3 minutes later, Hewitt superbly blocked Campbell as he shot inside the area after Hewitt himself had lost the ball.

Murphy was then set away on a run into the area by Stirk after 58 minutes but Murphy didn’t even get in a shot, which was disappointing.

Oates fired in a terrific piledriver from 20 yards which the keeper just about palmed away after 66 minutes.

Murphy was very close to breaking the deadlock after 68 minutes as Matty Longstaff fed him with a super ball from the right into the area and Murphy’s low shot across the keeper clipped the left post and went wide. That was so close.

Wallace replaced Quinn after 73 minutes. Quinn missed the last game with an ankle injury picked up in the first half at Tranmere and he was probably never going to make it to 90 minutes.

Bishop then caught a corner nicely.

Bowery replaced Murphy after 78 minutes and went up front with Oates.

Lapslie replaced Stirk after 82 minutes.

Rochdale sub Conor Grant shot low from the edge of the box giving Bishop another fairly comfortable save after 84 minutes.

The only goal of the game came after 86 minutes when substitute Bowery, only on as a substitute for 8 minutes, fired into the net from six yards getting on the end of a great low cross from Oates, after O’Toole had won the ball in his own half and set Oates away down the right.
Bowery said after the game: “I did my best to get into the box. I saw Oatesy go down the wing and get past his man. There was a massive gap between the goalie and the centre-half, and I thought ‘I’ve just got to get myself in there, I could get a tap in’. I just concentrated on getting a good contact because I remember I got a good chance at Harrogate away where I should’ve scored, so I tried to put a bit more power on this one and get it over the line.”

Six minutes of stoppage time were added on.

A good punch away from Bishop after 90+1 minutes.

The Stags should have sealed the game after 90+2 minutes when Oates did superbly to get away from his markers and tee up sub Lapslie for a shot from 12 yards but defender Eoghan O’Connell did well to slide in and block the shot. Lapslie should have scored though.

It didn’t matter as the Stags saw out the game without any late scares and the players could once again celebrate victory with the excellent travelling fans.

The Stags generally created slightly better chances than Rochdale in a close game, 7 shots on target from the Stags compared to 3 for Rochdale, and just about shaded it. Though probably a draw would have been affair result. The Stags nicked the win though. On to Oldham.

Man of the Match: James Perch


Here’s a running tally of various stats this season:

Goals (league and cup): Oates 10, Bowery, Hawkins, Johnson 7, O.Clarke, Lapslie, McLaughlin 4, Longstaff, Maris, O’Toole 3, Charsley 2, Caine, Forrester, Hewitt, Quinn, Rawson, Sinclair, Stirk 1. 1 OG

Assists (league and cup): McLaughlin 10, Oates 7, Quinn 5, Bowery 4, Charsley, O.Clarke, Johnson, Sinclair 3, Hawkins, Maris, Murphy, Rawson, Stirk 2, J.Clarke, Gale, Hewitt, Lapslie, Law, Longstaff, Wallace 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 at home, nobody gets an assist. In the case of the scorer scoring from the rebound after a shot is saved or blocked, the player who had the shot saved gets an assist. In the case of an own goal, the player who caused the own goal gets an assist, for example McLaughlin against Newport away where his shot was deflected in for an own goal.)


Report by: Martin Shaw at Spotland (Crown Oil Arena)



Line Up:
Bishop 7 Some nice catches and punches. Some comfortable saves.
Hewitt 7 Solid display apart from a couple of slips, one of which he recovered from himself with a great block.
O’Toole 8 Particularly impressive display in central defence in first game back in the starting XI since his sending-off. Won the ball and set Oates away down the right in the build-up to the goal.
Perch 9 My man of the match. One important block. Exuded a calmness. Nigel Clough said after the game: "James Perch was magnificent. Getting tight and getting a foot in. He was as good as we had.”
McLaughlin 7 Solid at the back. Great run in the first half, plus another good cross.
Longstaff 6 Back from injury. Not at his best. But teed up Murphy for two shots with very good play.
Stirk 6 Also not at his best. Set Murphy away on a run.
Quinn 6 Below his best. Teed up Oates for a shot.
Murphy 6.5 Fired inches over in the first half after a great move that he started. Went so close in the second half when he clipped the left post. Free kick straight into the wall in the first half. A run into the area in the second half but didn’t even get in a shot, which was disappointing.
Hawkins 6.5 One header in the first half while up front but didn’t really get in the game. Moved back to central defence at half time and looked very solid. 6 rating for the first half and 7 for the second half.
Oates 8.5 Excellent assist for the goal. Superb play to set up Lapslie for a chance in stoppage time. Three shots too close to the keeper in the first half. Two much better shots in the second half one after a beautiful piece of control.
Sub Line Up:
Wallace (for Quinn, 73 mins) -
Bowery (for Murphy, 78 mins) - Scored the all-important goal by getting himself into a good position. Probably done enough to earn himself a starting place on Saturday.
Lapslie (for Stirk, 82 mins) -
Subs not used: Stech, Rawson, Maris, Johnson.
Opposition Line Up:
(3-4-3) Lynch; Downing, O’Connell, Dorsett; O’Keeffe, Broadbent, Dooley, Clark; Ball (Grant, 41), Campbell (Newby, 63), Done (Charman, 85). Subs not used: Coleman, McNulty, Keohane, Kelly.
Referee:
Seb Stockbridge 7 Handled the game well and only showed one yellow card in the game (for Rochdale’s Downing).


Season 21/22 Reports