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An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 22/23 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Crewe Alexandra  
1 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Baker-Richardson 70.
 
 Swan 87, Hawkins 90+3
Attendance: 4,942 (1299 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 24 September 2022

STAGS SUBS INSPIRE LATE WIN AT CREWE

Martin Shaw at Gresty Road (Mornflake Stadium)

Mansfield Town came from behind to win 2-1 at Crewe with goals after 87 and 90+3 minutes in a thrilling finish. Mansfield had been much the better side for 70 minutes but unable to convert any of their good football into goals. Crewe then had a 90-second purple patch, hitting the post through Dan Agyei, before taking the lead a minute later through Courtney Baker-Richardson. A blow for the Stags. But Mansfield came roaring back with sub Will Swan providing a superb finish from a wonderful ball threaded forward for him by another sub Jason Law, himself on for just a minute, and with his first touch of the game. Then 3 minutes into stoppage time, another sub Kieran Wallace curled a great ball into the area from the left for Oli Hawkins, pushed up front for the final 5 minutes of the game, to send a terrific header back past the keeper into the left corner of the net. There was still time for Crewe to nearly equalise when Elliott Hewitt superbly scissor-kicked off his line. No doubt that the Stags deserved the victory, despite having to rely on the late late show, having shown more quality that Crewe throughout the game.

The Stags inch up to 6th in the table, 3 points behind 3rd place. The next game is on Friday night at home to Hartlepool. If you’re not able to get to the One Call Stadium, you can watch it with us on iFollow Stags by buying a match pass.

Mansfield made one change from the side that started at Gillingham in the last league game: Quinn came in for Hartigan who dislocated his shoulder in the Papa John’s Trophy game at Grimsby on Tuesday night.

The Stags were backed by a noisy following of 1300.

Crewe bizarrely had the floodlights on from the start of the game on a nice bright afternoon. They obviously didn’t get the energy crisis memo!

After 2 minutes, there was an incident similar to Lapslie earning the penalty at Gillingham. A long kick from Pym. It bounced into the penalty area and Lapslie got the first touch on the ball, but unlike at Gillingham, here he wasn’t fouled.

A half-chance for Crewe after 3 minutes. The dangerous Dan Agyei got away from Harbottle to the byline on the right, and pulled back to Baker-Richardson, whose shot was blocked at source by Hewitt.

After 5 minutes, Clarke tried his luck from 25 yards, but his shot was blocked.

A great chance for the Stags a minute later. Gordon took a great touch to collect a Pym ball, and his cross reached Quinn 20 yards from goal. Quinn took a touch into the area before firing in a goalbound shot, which was blocked by Conor Thomas, sending it behind for a corner.

The Stags were playing really well, bossing the midfield.

And Mansfield went even closer after 17 minutes. A free kick from Maris, half way inside the Crewe half on the right, found Hawkins who headed towards the bottom left corner, and keeper Okonkwo did well to get down and claw it wide. Good from Hawkins who leapt well above the defence.

After 25 minutes, McLaughlin fouled Agyei just outside the area. Uwakwe curled in the resulting free kick but Hawkins headed it away.

Lapslie went down in the area after 27 minutes, but there was no foul. Two minutes later, after a good move, a shot from 25 yards from Clarke was deflected for a corner.

A mistake by Harbottle after 36 minutes, losing the ball in his own half, but Crewe wasted the gift as Callum Ainley played forward to Baker-Richardson who was offside.

Clarke was booked for a deliberate trip on 38 minutes. It was a silly booking with plenty of covering players 20 yards inside the Crewe half.

After 40 minutes, Ainley’s shot from 30 yards was blocked by Harbottle for a corner. Uwakwe’s corner was headed miles over the bar by Sambou. Then a free kick from Uwakwe from 38 yards out was headed well over the bar by Baker-Richardson who never looked like getting on top of it.

Lapslie won a free kick on the right, level with the edge of the six yard box, after 44 minutes. McLaughlin ambitiously went for goal and sent it over the bar.

On 45 minutes, a great run from McLaughlin, he kept on going, for about 35 yards, and fired wide from 18 yards. Nigel Clough told me after the game that in training McLaughlin has been scoring regularly, but just can’t manage it in games at the moment.

A good performance from Mansfield but 0-0 at the break. The Stags had played really well for most of the half, bossing the midfield, and pinning Crewe in their own half for long spells of the half. Crewe players were like spectators for those spells with the Stags players running rings around them. Good chances especially for Quinn and Hawkins, but no goals to show for it.

Half time 0-0

After 47 minutes, Hawkins played a nice ball out to the left to McLaughlin. McLaughlin found the overlapping Quinn, who squared a low ball in, Clarke tried to shoot but was late and fouled his man. Clarke had been booked in the first half, and the referee correctly deemed this one was not a bookable offence.

Four minutes later, a great run down the left by McLaughlin, he chipped a cross in, and a flying header from Clarke was over the bar.

On 63 minutes, a great effort from Clarke. A long throw from Hewitt was cleared to him and he sent a left footed shot towards the top right corner of the net from 20 yards, and the keeper tipped it over.

Quinn was booked after 64 minutes. He lost the ball, and then wrestled his man to the ground. It was Quinn’s 4th booking of the season and he is one booking away from a one game suspension if he picks the next booking up before the end of the 19th league game.

Quinn was subbed, having been booked, three minutes later, and replaced by Wallace.

A let off for Mansfield after 69 minutes. Gordon and Crewe sub Adebise went for a 50:50 ball on the edge of the centre circle. Gordon went down, the ball ran free for Uwakwe, who slid a lovely ball forward for Agyei, who got goalside of Hawkins, into the area and slammed a shot from 15 yards against the left post.

But on 70 minutes, Crewe took the lead. Sambou found Agyei 25 yards from goal, and Agyei slid a super ball forward for Baker-Richardson in the area on the left. Baker-Richardson took a touch before firing across Pym and just inside the right post. Great play from Agyei and a clinical finish from Baker-Richardson.

Nigel Clough immediately brought on Bowery and Swan for Akins and Clarke. Bowery and Swan went up front, Lapslie dropped back into midfield.

Maris fired well over the bar after 73 minutes from 22 yards. Then a low shot from Swan from 22 yards was straight at the keeper 2 minutes later. And a minute after that, Gordon chipped into the area and Swan looped a header wide.

On 78 minutes, a shot from Adebise following a corner was blocked.

At the other end on 80 minutes, a Maris corner from the right, McLaughlin headed it down, and it was deflected through to the keeper.

Maris went down in the area on 82 minutes, but there was no foul.

Law replaced Maris after 86 minutes. Hawkins was pushed up front. Four at the back.

And with Law’s first touch, he set up the equaliser, after 87 minutes. Bowery laid back to Law, 40 yards from goal. Law threaded a wonderful ball forward for Swan, who took it on his chest, and hit a tremendous left footed shot from 20 yards into the bottom right corner of the net. A superb cushioned ball forward from Law for the assist, and a superb goal from Swan, the two subs combining together. Three if you count Bowery’s ball back to Law.

Eight minutes of stoppage time was added on for some outrageous time-wasting by Crewe, including an absurd incident when Offord, the Crewe captain, spent an eternity putting his boot on, sitting down in the penalty area.

And 3 minutes into stoppage time, another sub Wallace curled a great ball into the area from the left for Hawkins, pushed up front for the final 5 minutes of the game, to send a terrific header back past the keeper into the left corner of the net. Law was involved in the goal again, dispossessing Adebise in the centre circle to set up the move.

Hawkins was immediately sent back to centre half.

There was still time for Crewe to nearly equalise after 90+7 minutes, when Elliott Hewitt superbly scissor-kicked off his line. Conor Thomas crossed from the right, the ball looped up off McLaughlin’s attempt to block the cross, Rod McDonald glanced his header across goal, possibly going in, and Hewitt acrobatically scissor-kicked it away. Kelvin Mellor knocked the ball goalwards, bouncing into the ground, the ball hit Lapslie and Crewe wanted a penalty, but it wasn’t.

Great celebrations at full time between the bouncing Stags fans and the delighted players and management.

No doubt that the Stags deserved the victory, despite having to rely on the late late show, having shown more quality that Crewe throughout the game.

Crewe manager Alex Morris admitted after the game: “Going back to the game as a whole, Mansfield are a better team than us. They are further along the line than us and they have been in that play-off area for the last two or three years. I think they will go up automatically this year. They have more experienced players. There is no point me saying anything other than they are a better team than us at the minute. As a result of that, they wore us down and we effectively crumbled in those latter stages of the game.”

Man of the match: Oi Hawkins


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

Goals (league and cup): Akins, Hawkins, Lapslie, Swan 3, Clarke, Harbottle, Maris 2, Gale, Oates 1.

Assists (league and cup): Lapslie 5, Maris 3, Hartigan 2, Akins, Boateng, Bowery, Clarke, Gordon, Hewitt, Law, McLaughlin, Wallace 1
(notes on assists: in the case of a penalty, the player who earns the penalty gets an assist, such as Lapslie against AFC Wimbledon. In the case of a solo goal, such as Maris against Newport at home last season, 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, such as Lapslie against Stockport. In the case of an own goal, the player who caused the own goal gets an assist, for example McLaughlin against Newport away last season where his shot was deflected in for an own goal. In the case of a cross that is headed away before the goal is scored, such as Clarke’s goal at Doncaster, nobody gets an assist.)

Yellow cards (league only, alphabetical order): Clarke 3, Harbottle 1, Hawkins 2, Lapslie 2, Maris 1, McLaughlin 2, O’Toole 2, Quinn 4.
Red cards (league and cup): Bowery 1.
(note: red cards count across competitions apart from Papa John’s Trophy; yellow cards are competition specific)
(note: 5 yellow cards before the end of the 19th league game will result in a one match ban; 10 yellow cards before the end of the 37th league game will result in a two match ban; 15 yellow cards before the end of the 46th league game will result in a three match ban)


Report by: Martin Shaw at Gresty Road (Mornflake Stadium)



Line Up:
(3-5-1-1)
Pym 7 No chance with the goal. Little else to do.
Hewitt 8 Fantastic clearance off the line in stoppage time. One other good block.
Hawkins 9 Scored the all-important winner in stoppage time with a great header after being pushed up front. Drew a good save from the keeper from a good header in the first half. Mostly defended very well. Allowed Agyei to get behind him and fire against the post. Nigel Clough said after the game: “It was a very, very good header. When the ball’s coming out of the sky like that, it’s difficult to control it and get it on target. He’s been battling away in both penalty areas all afternoon.”
Harbottle 7 Mostly solid game. One good block. A couple of mistakes.
Gordon 7 Great touch to set up Quinn chance in first half.
Clarke 7.5 One great shot that drew a great save. Part of the midfield that ran rings around Crewe in the first half.
Maris 7.5 Some good set pieces. Good game.
Quinn 7 One goalbound shot which was blocked.
McLaughlin 7 Good second half especially down the left. Missed a couple of chances; Nigel Clough told me after the game that in training McLaughlin has been scoring regularly, but just can’t manage it in games at the moment.
Lapslie 7 Not as influential as some recent games, but still played well.
Akins 6 Not too heavily involved. Nigel Clough said after the game: “Lucas has had an off day today.”
Sub Line Up:
Wallace (for Quinn, 67 mins) - Great cross for Hawkins’ goal.
Bowery (for Akins, 71 mins) -
Swan (for Clarke, 71 mins) - Superb goal.
Law (for Maris, 86 mins) - With his first touch, he set up the equaliser, with a wonderful threaded ball forward for Swan. Was involved in the second goal too, dispossessing Adebise in the centre circle to set up the move.
Subs not used: Flinders, Perch, O’Toole
Opposition Line Up:
(4-2-3-1): Okonkwo; Mellor, Offord, McDonald, Uwakwe; Leshabela, Thomas; Agyei, Ainley (Adebisi, 63), Sambou; Baker-Richardson. Subs not used: Richards, Griffiths, Brook, Sass-Davies, Finney, Tabiner.
Referee:
Martin Woods 7 Reffing his first Stags game in his first season in the EFL. Handled the game well.


Season 22/23 Reports