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Season 23/24 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
3 - 0
Akins 45+1, pen 87, Keillor-Dunn 62
Attendance: 6,695 (192 from Morecambe)
Date: 12 August 2023


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town beat Morecambe 3-0 at the One Call Stadium yesterday. Mansfield once again played some great football, for the third game out of three this season, and the scoreline would have been more emphatic if Mansfield’s finishing had been better. The Stags had 27 shots, to just 5 from Morecambe. The goals came from Lucas Akins, with a header at the end of the first half, Davis Keillor-Dunn, with a lovely goal after 62 minutes, and Akins with a penalty after Rhys Oates had been brought down in the area.

Mansfield made one change from the side that started against Grimsby in the League Cup on Tuesday: Baily Cargill came in at left back for Jordan Bowery.
Calum Macdonald served the second game of his three game suspension.
George Maris was missing from the 18, as his partner had gone into labour.
McKeal Abdullah was on the bench, having played for the youth team in the morning. When he came on as a late sub, for his Football League debut, he became Mansfield’s 1000th Football League player (stat from Paul Taylor). I shared the stat with Nigel Clough after the game, who agreed it was a nice accolade for the player. Nigel told me that McKeal could have been sent off in the youth game in the morning and wondered if he would have been suspended for the EFL game in the afternoon! He said he would enquire of the FA on Monday.

Morecambe were relegated from League One last season and lost most of their better players. They had Michael Mellon, son of Micky Mellon, up front. Former Stag Farrend Rawson was in central defence. I expect that Morecambe will be in the bottom 6, if not the bottom 2, at the end of the season.

Morecambe had the first chance of the game. Mellon crossed from the byline on the right, Johnson rose to head it away but only headed it straight to Tom Bloxham who volleyed over from 10 yards. A free shot. A very poor header from Johnson to head it straight back into the centre of the penalty area.

After 14 minutes, Oates headed well wide, the ball stayed in play, and a Keillor-Dunn shot was blocked.

The Stags should have been in front after 14 minutes. Johnson got past Adam Mayor on the right, to the byline, and crossed to the far post where Akins headed into the side netting from 5 yards. A wonderful cross from Johnson. A surprising miss from Akins.

After 17 minutes, Oates sent a low left-footed shot from 22 yards just wide of the post. Four minutes later, a good move ended with a shot from Reed wide of the right post from 25 yards. Then two minutes after that, Lewis was well wide and high from 25 yards.

The Stags went close after 24 minutes. Oates forced his way into the area on the left and fired in a powerful shot that the keeper pushed wide. On 30 minutes, another good move ended with Kilgour sending a low shot wide from 25 yards.

The Stags went even closer after 31 minutes. Reed chipped forward from inside his own half, Lewis volleyed the ball inside to Akins on the edge of the area. Akins cut inside Songo’o to create a yard of space for a shot. The keeper made a great save to his right. The ball rebounded to Akins, who fired into the side-netting from 6 yards.

Keillor-Dunn had a shot blocked after 35 minutes.

Great defending by Oates, tracking back, after 38 minutes.

A free kick for the Stags after 40 minutes, 27 yards out. Lewis curled it just over the bar.

The Stags did finally take the lead after 45+1 minutes. Only one minute had been added on, with the ball in play for most of the half and the Stags knocking it around nicely. Keillor-Dunn cut inside Donald Love from the touchline on the left and was brought down for a clear free kick, just outside the area, 12 yards from the byline. Quinn took the free kick. Before he did, Flint went across to have a word in his ear. Flint went to the far post. Quinn dinked the free kick to the near post, Keillor-Dunn flicked it on, and Akins leapt to head it into the net from 5 yards.

A relief for the Stags to be ahead, as they had been so much on top. Mansfield had 80% possession in the first half. The ball was rarely out of play, hence only one minute of stoppage time. Mansfield had 13 shots to Morecambe’s 1. It was as one-sided a half as you’ll see.

Half time 1-0

After 47 minutes, a good move, Akins back-heeled to Oates who blasted wide from a tight angle. Four minutes later, Oates nipped in to win the ball on the left, cut in, and curled a shot over from a tight angle.

After 55 minutes, a rare chance for Morecambe as Mayor shot from the edge of the area, and Lewis did well to block.

Morecambe switched from 3 at the back to 4 at the back.

After 61 minutes, Lewis fed Akins who turned in the area and shot well wide.

The Stags made it 2-0 after 62 minutes. Akins chested down a throw-in. Donald Love tried to control the loose ball but only succeeded in putting it into the path of Keillor-Dunn who took the ball from 45 yards out to the edge of the area before firing into the left of the net, wrong-footing the keeper. A superb clinical finish from Keillor-Dunn. It reminded me of his goal at AFC Wimbledon last season.

Cargill was booked for blocking off Mellon on the edge of the centre circle after 63 minutes.

Boateng replaced Quinn on the left of midfield, and Bowery replaced Cargill at left back, after 65 minutes.

A brilliant save from the keeper denied Oates a goal after 65 minutes. Great play from Lewis to pull the ball back and across to Oates on the edge of the area. A brilliant piece of control took Oates away from Rawson and with a yard of space to shoot left footed from 12 yards, but the keeper made a brilliant save with his outstretched left hand to push it away.

A good tackle by Kilgour after 67 minutes.

Keillor-Dunn gave the ball away 45 yards from his own goal, and Eli King moved forward to shot miles wide from 30 yards after 69 minutes.

Straight to the other end and a Boateng shot was deflected wide for a corner.

Lewis was booked for bringing down Mellon after 70 minutes.

Flint headed down a corner after 74 minutes, but it was cleared away. Then Boateng crossed into the area, Kilgour headed across, and Songo’o headed behind for a corner. Following that corner, Oates shot just over the bar from 17 yards.

Good handling from Pym on the edge of his area after 77 minutes. Then a low shot from 25 yards from Boateng was blocked after 78 minutes.

Oates went down injured after 79 minutes. It turned out to be just a hand injury, and he played on.

It was 3-0 after 87 minutes. A long kick forward from Pym flicked off the head of a defender. Oates got on the end of it, into the area, and was brought down by Jacob Bedeau just inside the area for a clear penalty. Akins took the penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way, coolly sliding it into the bottom left corner of the net.

Three more changes for the Stags after 88 minutes. Abdullah replaced Oates, Hartigan replaced Reed, Clarke replaced Lewis. Abdullah had played for the youth team in the morning, and he became Mansfield’s 1000th Football League player (stat from Paul Taylor), on his Football league debut.

After 90+1 minutes, Jordan Slew side footed well wide for Morecambe from a Morecambe break. Then another chance for Slew as he headed wide at the back post from a cross, getting in front of Ollie Clarke.

Ridiculous stuff after 90+7 minutes as Joel Senior deliberately booted the ball out of the ground and down Lord Street. The referee didn’t even have a word with him. Ludicrous.

So a 3-0 win for Mansfield. The Stags once again played some brilliant football, and were miles better than Morecambe. In truth the Stags have been miles better than Crewe, miles better than Grimsby, and miles better than Morecambe. There will be much better sides to play ahead. Regardless, this has been very enjoyable to watch so far.

So many good performances throughout the side: Oates with great running up front, Akins scoring twice, though should have had two more, Lewis excellent on the right of midfield, Reed again running the show in front of the back four, Keillor-Dunn with a beautiful finish for his goal, Johnson terrific going forward down the right, Kilgour and Flint dominant at the back.

The Stags will look to keep it up at Doncaster on Tuesday. If you’re not travelling to Doncaster, you can buy a match pass to watch the game with us on iFollow Stags.

Man of the match: Oates/Lewis

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

Goals (league and cup): Akins 3, Keillor-Dunn 3, Oates 1.

Assists (league and cup): Oates 3, Keillor-Dunn 2, Quinn 1.
(notes on assists: 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 two seasons ago, 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 two seasons ago 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 last season, nobody gets an assist.)

Yellow cards (league only, alphabetical order): Cargill 1, Keillor-Dunn 1, Kilgour 1, Lewis 1, Quinn 1, Reed 1.
Red cards (league and cup): Macdonald 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 the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Line Up:
(4-4-2, diamond in midfield)
Pym 7 Had very little to do. Good handling.
Johnson 8.5 Terrific going forward down the right with some great crosses. One poor header away.
Kilgour 7.5 Dominant at the back. One great tackle.
Flint 7.5 Dominant at the back.
Cargill 7 Did well at left back.
Reed 8.5 Again ran the show in front of the back four.
Lewis 9 Excellent on the right of midfield. Sponsors’ man of the match. As an aside, I asked him about his long throw after the game, he said it's a bit tricky with the wet ball, but he expected he would be bringing it out when we need it.
Quinn 7.5 His free kick led to the first goal.
Keillor-Dunn 8 Superb clinical finish for his goal. Flicked header gave him an assist for the first goal.
Akins 8.5 Two goals. Should have had two more, hitting the side netting instead.
Oates 9 Great running up front, several times creating shooting chances. Won the penalty. Some great tracking back for the defence.
Sub Line Up:
Boateng (for Quinn, 65 mins) -
Bowery (for Cargill, 65 mins) -
Abdullah (for Oates, 88 mins) - Football league debut. Became Mansfield’s 1000th Football League player (stat from Paul Taylor). Played for the youth team in the morning.
Hartigan (for Reed, 88 mins) -
Clarke (for Lewis, 88 mins) -
Subs not used: Flinders, Cooper.
Opposition Line Up:
(5-3-2): Moore; Senior, Rawson, Songo’o, Bedeau, Mayor (Melbourne 60); Love (Davenport 71), King, McKiernan (Taylor 60); Bloxham (Slew 71), Mellon (C Smith 84). Subs not used: A Smith, Stokes.
Scott Simpson 7 Mostly had a good game.

Season 23/24 Reports