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Season 23/24 Stagsnet Match Report
Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town  
2 - 4
 Rotherham United
Quinn 4, Oates 40.
 
 Trialist B Andre Green 62 seconds, Kelly 26, 54, 57.
Attendance: 2,154 (437 from Rotherham)
 
Date: 22 July 2023

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town lost 4-2 to Championship side Rotherham United at the One Call Stadium yesterday. Mansfield were very good in the first half but conceded twice from just three Rotherham chances, while at the other end scored through Stephen Quinn and Rhys Oates and created several other chances. Rotherham were the better team in the second half as Mansfield conceded twice in quick succession from headers from striker Georgie Kelly to complete his hat-trick, both headers coming just after Stags defender Baily Cargill had to go off with a cut lip which required stitches, and which seemed to unsettle the Stags defence.

Overall, a good workout for the Stags against a Championship side. An interesting assessment from Rotherham manager Matt Taylor after the game: "Mansfield are always a good team the way they move the ball and especially at home, and we saw that an awful lot in that first half. For a good half an hour period of the first half, they (Mansfield) were the better team. We respected that, we adjusted things at half time, and got in amongst it a little bit more. For that 15 minute spell of the second half we almost overpowered them a little bit and got in their faces and roughed them up a bit."

team (4-4-2, diamond in midfield):
Christy Pym;
Callum Johnson, Alfie Kilgour, Baily Cargill (new signing from Forest Green), Calum Macdonald (new signing, previously with Tranmere among other clubs);
Louis Reed,
Hiram Boateng, Stephen Quinn,
Davis Keillor-Dunn;
Lucas Akins, Rhys Oates.

Subs:
George Maris (for Quinn, 49 minutes)
Aaron Lewis (new signing from Newport) (for Cargill, 52 minutes)
Scott Flinders (for Pym, 74 minutes)
Anthony Hartigan (for Reed, 74 minutes)
George Cooper (for Kilgour, 74 minutes)
Jordan Bowery (for Akins, 74 minutes)
James Gale (for Oates, 81 minutes)

Absent:
Ollie Clarke (tight calf)
Will Swan (felt groin)
John-Joe O’Toole (twisted ankle)
George Williams, new signing (building up, not ready yet)
James Perch (latest info: slight knock, precautionary only)
Elliott Hewitt and Stephen McLaughlin (long term injuries)
Owen Mason has gone on loan to Wexford (Ireland).


It was a wet One Call Stadium with plenty of rain before and during the game. It was the only pre-season friendly at home after Barnsley pulled out of the planned game on Tuesday.

Rotherham took the lead after 62 seconds. A throw-in from the right from Lee Peltier from level with the edge of the area. Louis Reed tried to clear, just got the toe-end of his boot on it, it reached Georgie Kelly with his back to goal, Kelly laid off, and trialist B, later named as Andre Green, smashed it goalwards from 10 yards. Pym did well to get a hand on it, but such was the power of the shot from close range, that it crashed into the roof of the net. A stunning strike.

The Stags were level after 4 minutes with a super goal. Callum Johnson played the ball inside from the right touchline, to Lucas Akins who back-flicked superbly into the path of Rhys Oates. Oates got into the area on the right hand side and squared the ball across the edge of the six-yard box for Stephen Quinn beyond the far post who smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

After 5 minutes, a good block from Johnson on the edge of the area.

After 11 minutes, Baily Cargill headed forwarded, Oates flicked on, setting Akins away into the area and from an angle on the left, Akins fired in a left-footed shot, which the keeper saved low down by his near post.

A late tackle by Peltier on Quinn after 15 minutes left Quinn in pain on the deck. A bad foul, which would have been a yellow in a league game.

Another chance for the Stags after 17 minutes. Johnson played a good ball forward for Boateng, Boateng pushed forward down the right and cut inside onto his left foot and from the edge of the area shot goalwards but straight at the keeper. Three minutes later, Oates did superbly to keep the ball in play on the left touchline, he tried to find Akins in the middle but his low cross was intercepted. Then on 22 minutes, Calum Macdonald crossed from the left, Akins headed towards goal but it was saved low on his line by the keeper.

Rotherham re-took the lead completely against the run of play and out of the blue after 26 minutes. A long ball forward from the keeper, headed on by Georgie Kelly, Macdonald jumped to try to win the next header, it flicked off him straight into the path of Kelly who got away from Cargill into the area and fired past Pym. A clinical finish from Kelly. Possibly Cargill could have done better.

Davis Keillor-Dunn had a shot from the edge of the area blocked after 31 minutes after a good move and spell of possession from the Stags.

Alfie Kilgour was booked for tripping Kelly after 32 minutes. Pretty extraordinary inconsistency from the referee, who failed to book Peltier earlier for a much more dangerous foul.

Rotherham’s third and final chance of the first half came after 33 minutes as Cafu shot from a free kick out on the left from 25 yards, and Pym caught it in front of his face.

The Stags went close after 40 minutes. Akins turned inside from the left to Quinn, who flicked the ball forward for Keillor-Dunn. Keillor-Dunn fired goalwards from the edge of the area, it was on target for the top right corner of the net but was deflected wide for a corner. Keillor-Dunn put his hands on his head.

From the resulting corner, the Stags were level. Keillor-Dunn took the corner from the right, dinked beyond the far post, Cargill headed back across goal, Oates headed it on towards goal, Curtis Durose acrobatically tried to clear it off the line, but the linesman immediately indicated that the ball had already crossed the line. Oates described the goal after the game: “It was a great header back from Baily (Cargill). To be honest I was expecting to get hit by the keeper. I just tried to get a little flick on it and see if it went in and luckily it did.”

The goal was more than deserved.

After 42 minutes, calls for a Stags penalty. Boateng sent a ball into the area for Oates to chase after. The keeper and Oates both went for it, but from the video the keeper got a little touch on the ball before Oates went down over him. The correct decision from the officials not to give a penalty.

The Stags really had the bit between their teeth. On 44 minutes, a Quinn cross from the left was headed away as far as Louis Reed, who chested the ball down and from 18 yards fired a piledriver of a shot goalwards, and the keeper made a great save parrying it away. A fantastic shot, and save. A minute later, Macdonald sent Keillor-Dunn away down the left, Keillor-Dunn cut inside into the area and his right-footed shot from an angle was blocked by Jamie McCart.

A terrific first half from the Stags, with some super attacking football, rewarded by two goals and it could have been more. Rotherham scored twice though, from just three shots, and were very much second best.

Half time 2-2

Straight after the break an important chance from Johnson to prevent a shot.

George Maris replaced Quinn after 49 minutes. After the game, first team coach Andy Garner explained: “We took a bit of a precaution with Quinny. We have told him if you feel anything at all let us know. We don't want to take any risks with him. He was very good in the first half.”
Maris slotted in on the left in midfield.

Baily Cargill had to go off after 52 minutes, holding his mouth. Andy Garner said afterwards: “Baily has had a few stitches in his lip”.
On came Aaron Lewis, who went in at right back, with Callum Johnson moving to centre half on the right, and Kilgour moving to the left centre half position. George Williams, John-Joe O’Toole and James Perch, the reserve centre halves were all out with injury or, in Williams’ case, not quite ready having missed the start of pre-season.

Within 5 minutes, Rotherham had scored twice.

It was 2-3 after 54 minutes. Ollie Rathbone, on as a half time sub, got away from Maris down the right, to the byline, chipped in a cross, and Kelly got away from his marker Callum Johnson to head down and into the bottom left corner of the net giving Pym no chance. Maris could have done better preventing the cross, and Johnson could have done better preventing the header. Johnson was of course out of position at centre half.

And it was 2-4 after 57 minutes. Ollie Rathbone took a corner from the right to the edge of the six-yard box where Kelly rose highest, above Johnson and Akins, and again headed down and into the bottom left corner of the net, again giving Pym no chance. Johnson and Akins could have done better preventing the header.

Referencing the two goals, Andy Garner said after the game: “Callum Johnson had to go to centre half and we will look at that on Monday. As we say, there is only one ball to go and head and if you're in there you go and head it.”
Had Cargill not gone off, I think it’s likely he or Kilgour would have been marking Kelly.

After 65 minutes, Boateng put in a good cross from the right, and Maris got up well at the far post to head just over the bar.

A good spell of possession football from the Stags after 73 minutes culminated in Lewis crossing in, then Maris teed up Oates for a shot from 20 yards that was well wide.

Mansfield made four changes after 74 minutes: Flinders replaced Pym in goal, Hartigan replaced Reed in front of the back four, Cooper replaced Kilgour in central defence, and Bowery replaced Akins up front.

After 81 minutes, a half-chance for Rotherham as sub John Ayres shot across the face of goal from a very tight angle on the right.

Gale replaced Oates after 81 minutes.

Within two minutes, a low cross from Gale from the right evaded Maris at the far post. On 87 minutes, a shot from Macdonald from 18 yards was blocked by Rotherham sub Hamid Seisay, after a cross from Lewis had been cleared to him. A minute later, Boateng fed Bowery in the box on the right, and Bowery’s shot was blocked by sub Tyler Blackett.

Two chances for Rotherham in stoppage time. Firstly Jake Hull headed over from a Rathbone cross, then from a Cohen Bramall cross, Hull again headed over.

So it finished 4-2 to Rotherham. Certainly a scoreline that was harsh on Mansfield who had 13 shots to Rotherham’s 8. Overall, a good workout for the Stags though against a Championship side.

As with other pre-season games, you can watch this game back in full, with commentary, on iFollow Stags.


Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill



Line Up:
(4-4-2, diamond in midfield):
Christy Pym;
Callum Johnson, Alfie Kilgour, Baily Cargill (new signing from Forest Green), Calum Macdonald (new signing, previously with Tranmere among other clubs);
Louis Reed,
Hiram Boateng, Stephen Quinn,
Davis Keillor-Dunn;
Lucas Akins, Rhys Oates.
Sub Line Up:
George Maris (for Quinn, 49 minutes)
Aaron Lewis (new signing from Newport) (for Cargill, 52 minutes)
Scott Flinders (for Pym, 74 minutes)
Anthony Hartigan (for Reed, 74 minutes)
George Cooper (for Kilgour, 74 minutes)
Jordan Bowery (for Akins, 74 minutes)
James Gale (for Oates, 81 minutes)
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2): Dillon Phillips; Lee Peltier (Cohen Bramall 56), Sean Morrison (Tyler Blackett 64), Jamie McCart (Cameron Humphreys 64), Tolaji Bola (Hamid Seisay 74); Ciaran McGuckin (Leiwi Abraham 75), Curtis Durose (Grant Hall 74), Cafu (Ollie Rathbone 46), Trialist Sullay Kaikai (Ben Wiles 64); Trialist B Andre Green (Josh Ayres 68), Georgie Kelly (Jake Hull 64). Sub not used: Viktor Johansson.
Referee:
Declan Bourne


Season 23/24 Reports