{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 22/23 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 Maris 66.
Attendance: 3,631 (1174 from Mansfield)
Date: 12 November 2022


Martin Shaw at Spotland (Crown Oil Arena)

Mansfield Town picked up a much-needed win at Rochdale yesterday to climb back into the play-off places after taking just one point from the previous four league games. This was a good performance from the Stags who dominated the game from start to finish, should have won more comfortably and rarely looked like conceding a goal. The only goal of the game came after 66 minutes when substitute George Maris turned the ball into the net from 6 yards after a superb cross from Hiram Boateng. Rochdale never looked like equalising. The Stags had a total of 14 efforts at goal, 11 of them by different players. Only Kieran Wallace of the starting outfield players didn’t have an effort at goal. Unusual to get so many different players have an effort at goal.

It was Mansfield’s 6th win in the last 8 away games in league and cup. They are back up to 7th place, and still 5 points behind 3rd placed Northampton.

The Stags made 4 changes from the side that started against Bradford on Tuesday:
Out went: Harbottle, Gordon, Maris and Swan.
In came: Hawkins, Wallace, Quinn and Akins.
Harbottle was out with a strained thigh muscle which will keep him out for a few weeks.
On Maris, Clough explained: “George Maris, I think, has played every minute of every game recently so he was ready to come out.”
Swan was out with a sore hand (not broken). Clough said after the game: “The plan had been to give George Lapslie a breather and play Will Swan. But his hand didn’t feel right in training yesterday. He got a whack. Somebody stood on it against Bradford on Tuesday. It swelled up and he was in hospital until five o’clock on Wednesday morning getting it checked out. In training, it was too sore and then in the warm-up today we said, ‘can you go on the bench?’ but he was just too conscious of it in the warm-up.” Swan had been name amongst the subs on the team sheet, but was replaced by James Gale.
Hawkins was back from his groin injury.
McLaughlin remained out with an ankle injury which will keep him out for a few weeks.
Oates remained out, but was at the game. A return had been targeted for him in the Papa John’s Trophy on Nov 22, however that game is now likely to take place on Nov 29 or 30 (against Everton U21, venue Goodison Park or One Call Stadium, to be confirmed). He might be on the bench in the FA Cup tie at Sheffield Wednesday on Nov 26 (date still to be confirmed).

The Stags started with a 3-5-1-1 formation with Clarke, Hawkins and Perch in central defence, Hewitt (right) and Wallace (left) as wing-backs, Hartigan in front of the back three, Boateng right midfield, Quinn left midfield, and Lapslie just behind Akins up front.

Rochdale started the game in 19th place, but they picked up a good win at home to Salford on Tuesday. Former Stags midfielder Tyrese Sinclair started the game. Ian Henderson was up front on his own, having become Rochdale’s all time record goalscorer after his goal against Salford on Tuesday.

The Stags were backed by nearly 1,200 travelling fans. Fantastic support. They were very vocal throughout and roared their team to victory.

The Stags were on the front foot from the start. An early Hartigan corner almost reached Hawkins at the far post.

At the other end after 6 minutes, Akins gave the ball away in the Mansfield half as he slipped trying to make a pass but Perch made a great block to stop Devante Rodney's shot.

After 8 minutes, a great move on the left as Wallace played a 1-2 with Quinn, and Wallace’s low ball reached Boateng whose shot was blocked for a corner. The resulting corner came out to Boating, whose shot looped up off a deflection and the keeper claimed it by the angle of bar and post.

More good defending from Perch after 11 minutes, as first he made a good tackle to stop a Rochdale counter attack from a Mansfield corner. Rochdale then launched another counter attack after Boateng's cross was headed way but Perch got back well to block Jimmy Ball's cross from the left for a corner.

The Stags could have been in front after 16 minutes. A long throw from Hewitt from the right was headed out to Akins, 12 yards from goal. Akins controlled the ball on his chest and half-volleyed goalwards but it was blocked by Ethan Ebanks-Landell. It rebounded to Hewitt who also half-volleyed goalwards and it was blocked by Toumani Diagouraga for another corner. Two good efforts.

From the resulting corner from the right, taken by Quinn, Clarke glanced a header towards the far post where it was headed off the line. The header was probably going wide.

After 22 minutes, Akins turned and won a free kick close to the corner flag on the left. Akins was having a super start to the game. Hartigan took the resulting free kick which was headed down by Hewitt at the far post to Lapslie right in front of goal 3 yards out. In a scramble, Lapslie turned it goalwards but it was grabbed on the line by the keeper. In the technical area in front of me, coach Andy Garner put his head in his hands in frustration. Another good set piece from Hartigan.

A good move from the Stags after 25 minutes as Hartigan got the ball to Quinn who played a 1-2 with Wallace and Quinn fired over the bar.

At the other end, a break for Rochdale on 32 minutes as Ian Henderson looked to be going through on goal but Hawkins got back well to dispossess him. Hawkins is not the quickest by his own admission but he was faster than Henderson. Hawkins then appeared to be fouled, but the referee played on, and Jimmy Ball sent a shot from 28 yards straight at Pym. Three minutes later, Cameron John got to the byline on the left and crossed towards Henderson who tried an overhead kick but missed it.

Seconds later, Tyrese Sinclair was booked for a foul on Quinn (35 minutes). It was a very bad challenge from Sinclair, with studs up, going into Quinn. It could easily have been a red card. However the referee was generous all game with his cards, and could for example have booked Lapslie in the first half but didn’t. Quinn didn’t retaliate, perhaps because Sinclair is a friend?

Lovely football from the Stags after 37 minutes. Boateng chipped out to the left to Quinn. Quinn played inside to Lapslie in the area. Lapslie laid the ball back to Hartigan who had a free shot from 24 yards but was just wide of the left post.

The Stags went even closer after 45 minutes. Lapslie did well to keep the ball in play on the byline on the left. He pulled back to Wallace who in turn found Quinn, and Quinn curled in a great cross for Hawkins who rose well and headed just over the bar. Hawkins put his head in his hands. A good chance for him having risen so well.

Nil nil at the break, but the Stags should have been in front. Nine first half efforts from the Stags, from 8 different players. In the order that they happened: Boateng, Boateng, Akins, Hewitt, Clarke, Lapslie, Quinn, Hartigan, Hawkins.

Half time 0-0

Perch was booked after 52 minutes for bringing down Sinclair on the touchline. Sinclair had too much pace for Perch. A minute later Rochdale could have had a dangerous break but Ethan Brierley slipped when Dale had a man over, Devante Rodney, on the break.

Good play by Akins after 55 minutes. Back to goal on the edge of the area he got the ball onto his right foot and got in a shot on target which was blocked.

The Stags made a change after 56 minutes as Clarke had to go off and was replaced by Bowery. Clarke had been limping right at the end of the first half. Nigel Clough confirmed to me afterwards that Clarke was injured, but should be fine for next weekend.
Bowery went to right wing-back, Hewitt switched to the left side of the central defensive three, Perch moved to the right side of the central defensive three.

The Stags went close again after 57 minutes. Hewitt’s long throw was headed out as far as Perch 28 yards from goal. Perch fired a low thunderbolt just wide of the left post via a slight deflection. From the resulting corner from the left, taken by Hartigan, Quinn attacked it at the near post, glancing a header onto the roof of the net. That was close.

Quinn appeared to be pushed in the back in the area after 60 minutes by Sinclair, but the referee wasn’t interested in a penalty. From the video, it would have been very soft.

Moments later at the other end, Pym was out of his area quickly to clear as Henderson tried to get on the end of a long ball forward from Sinclair. Pym’s clearance bounced just over my head in the press box! Good goalkeeping.

Mansfield made their second change after 62 minutes as Maris replaced Quinn. Clough said afterwards he had said to Quinn “Can you give me 60 minutes?” While Clough said on Maris: “I think he has played every minute of every game recently so he was ready to come out” (of the starting XI).

The Stags took the lead after 66 minutes. And it was sub Maris who scored it. Maris started the move off, squaring to Bowery along the halfway line. Bowery pushed forward and laid off to Boateng, level with the edge of the area on the right, just outside it. Boateng cut back and inside onto his left foot and curled a fabulous cross to the edge of the six yard box where Maris leapt to guide it into the net on the volley. What a superb cross from Boateng, absolute quality. A good finish from Maris.
Maris said after the game “H (Hiram Boateng) is quality. You know when he gets it on his left, you’ve got to make a move into the right area. I got myself six-yards out because I knew he could put the delivery in and I got on the end of it. It was a bit of an awkward height. Everyone said I probably should’ve headed it, but I’m not the best header of the ball so I just got my foot through it.”
Maris’s 4th goal of the season, level with Hawkins on 4, and 2 behind Lapslie and Swan on 6.

Before play restarted, the Stags made a triple change (68 minutes): Law replaced Lapslie, Gordon replaced Wallace, O’Toole replaced Perch. Gordon went to right wing-back, Bowery switched to left wing-back, Law went up front with Akins.
After the game, Clough said Lapslie “got a hamstring strain” (Clough had wanted to rest him from the game but didn’t because of the Swan injury). Perch was on a yellow card.

A great run down the right by Gordon after 80 minutes, but Law couldn’t make the most of it. Two minutes later, Hawkins made a great tackle on sub Rayhaan Tulloch at the back after he had given the ball away.

Straight to the other end and Law made a great run from 15 yards inside his own half to the edge of the area, he cut inside and fired wide. A great run.

Rochdale brought on 15 year old sub Oscar Kelly after 90 minutes.

Rochdale registered a rare shot after 90+1 minutes. A free kick from 35 yards out on the left from Brierley was headed out by Bowery, to Diagouraga who volleyed in a shot which was blocked by Bowery for a corner.

Hartigan was booked for a foul on Oscar Kelly on the halfway line after 90+5 minutes.

Law did well to win a free kick after 90+6 minutes, and the Stags won throw-in after throw-in down by the corner flag to see the game out expertly and seal the victory.

A really good performance from the Stags dominating from start to finish.
The two managers agreed on that. Nigel Clough said: “I thought it was a very, very competent and composed performance.”
Rochdale manager Jim Bentley told the Rochdale youtube channel: "We came up short, it was as simple as that. We just weren't as good as them today, as simple as that."

Rochdale were weak. They look like they will be relegation candidates this season.

The Stags had a total of 14 efforts at goal, 11 of them by different players:
First half, in order: Boateng, Boateng, Akins, Hewitt, Clarke, Lapslie, Quinn, Hartigan, Hawkins.
Second half, in order: Akins, Perch, Quinn, Maris (goal), Law.
Only Wallace of the starting outfield players didn’t have an effort at goal.
Unusual to get so many different players have an effort at goal I think.

Plenty of good performances throughout the team, indeed everyone played well.

As an aside, it was Mansfield’s first win in the sky blue away kit.

The Stags have no midweek game. The next game is away at Harrogate next Saturday. If you’re not travelling to the game, you can buy a match pass to watch it with us on iFollow Stags. All games during the World Cup can be watched on iFollow in the UK, apart from FA Cup games.

Man of the match: Hiram Boateng

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

Goals (league and cup): Lapslie, Swan 6, Hawkins, Maris 4, Akins, Harbottle 3, Bowery, Clarke 2, Gale, Gordon, Oates 1.

Assists (league and cup): Lapslie 6, Maris 4, Hewitt 3, Akins, Boateng, Gordon, Hartigan, McLaughlin 2, Bowery, Clarke, Hawkins, Law, Quinn, 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): Boateng 1, Clarke 4, Harbottle 2, Hartigan 1, Hawkins 2, Lapslie 3, Law 1, Maris 3, McLaughlin 2, O’Toole 4, Perch 2, Pym 1, Quinn 6, Swan 1.
Red cards (league and cup): Boateng 1, Bowery 1, Perch 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 Spotland (Crown Oil Arena)

Line Up:
Pym 7 One easy save from a shot straight at him. Out of his area quickly to clear as Henderson tried to get on the end of a long ball. Otherwise nothing to do.
Clarke 7.5 Very solid in defence. Had to go off injured.
Hawkins 7.5 Won everything in the air and had a good game. Outpaced Henderson in the first half to win the ball. A great tackle late on after he had given the ball away.
Perch 7.5 Defended very well. Two good blocks in the first half, and some good tackles. Subbed after he had been booked when outpaced by Sinclair.
Hewitt 7.5 Very solid in defence, initially getting forward from wing-back, and then in central defence.
Hartigan 7.5 Good set pieces throughout. Decent game in centre midfield.
Boateng 8 What a superb cross for the goal, absolute quality. Very strong game.
Quinn 7.5 Great cross for Hawkins’s header over the bar. Good game, linking up well with Wallace on the left.
Wallace 7.5 Did well at left wing back, linking up well with Quinn. One good cross for Boateng in the first half.
Lapslie 6.5 Mostly a quiet game. “Got a hamstring strain” according to Clough who had wanted to rest him from the game but didn’t because of the Swan injury.
Akins 7.5 Had a good game, holding the ball up very well.
Sub Line Up:
Bowery (for Clarke, 56 mins) 7.5 Did well at right wing-back then left wing-back. One good block and another header away.
Maris (for Quinn, 62 mins) 7.5 Rested because he had “played every minute of every game recently” according to Clough. Came on and got the winner.
Law (for Lapslie, 68 mins) - Made a great run from 15 yards inside his own half to the edge of the area, cut inside and fired wide. Did well helping see out time.
Gordon (for Wallace, 68 mins) - One great run forward down the right.
O’Toole (for Perch, 68 mins) - Solid.
Subs not used: Flinders, Gale.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-2-3-1): O’Donnell; Keohane (Seriki, 74), Graham, Ebanks-Landell, John; Brierley, Diagouraga; Sinclair (Oscar Kelly, 90+1), Ball (Tulloch, 74), Rodney (Malley, 85); Henderson. Subs not used: Brad Kelly, McNulty, Nelson.
Robert Lewis 7 Was generous all game with his cards, consistent for both sides. Good game.

Season 22/23 Reports