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Season 23/24 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
3 - 2
 Stockport County
Maris 14, Keillor-Dunn 69, 80.
 
 Barry 6, Horsfall 25
Attendance: 7,433 (969 from Stockport)
 
Date: 26 August 2023

STAGS COME FROM BEHIND TO BEAT STOCKPORT WITH FABULOUS SECOND HALF PERFORMANCE

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town beat Stockport County 3-2 at the One Call Stadium yesterday, coming from behind at half time with a fabulous second half performance. The Stags absolutely battered Stockport in that second half, with an incredible 21 shots in the second half alone to Stockport’s 4 (28 shots in the match for Mansfield to 10 from Stockport).

Stockport scored early when Louie Barry, on loan from Aston Villa, and at Salford last season, put them ahead after 6 minutes with a shot when the Stags defence opened up. George Maris equalised with a first time shot from a Stephen Quinn cross after 14 minutes. Stockport regained the lead after 25 minutes when Fraser Horsfall headed in from a corner. The Stags weren’t at their best in the first half, and Barry could have had a second when Christy Pym lost the ball outside his area and Barry had a free shot at an open goal from 35 yards and put it wide. At the other end, Davis Keillor-Dunn hit the bar.

But the second half was a different matter as Mansfield laid siege to the Stockport goal with those 21 shots and a succession of glorious moves. One move of 25 passes led to a Keillor-Dunn shot that was brilliantly saved by the keeper. From the resulting corner, the keeper made another good save from a George Maris shot. But from the resulting corner to that, Mansfield equalised on 69 minutes as another Keillor-Dunn shot took a fortunate deflection to take it past the keeper. It was like The Alamo as shots kept on raining in, and Mansfield finally took the lead after 80 minutes as Keillor-Dunn provided a brilliant finish to beat the keeper. Keillor-Dunn had missed a glorious chance in a 1-on-1 with the keeper at Grimsby last week, and looked crestfallen from that, and now he celebrated in front of the Quarry Lane stand, saying “that’s how it’s done, that’s how it’s done” to the fans (clearly audible on the pitchside video of the goals). It should have been 4-2 in stoppage time as sub Will Swan missed a 1-on-1 with the keeper and was then offside as he turned the ball into the net after Ollie Clarke had won the ball back.

What entertainment Mansfield are serving up, game after game! Wonderful to watch.

The next game is on Tuesday night, against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, in the League Cup (Carabao Cup). A quick return to Hillsborough for Aden Flint. Nigel Clough said about the draw when it was made live on Sky Sports: "I was hoping Wes (Morgan) might pull us out for a home draw. But never mind, Sheffield Wednesday is a brilliant draw. We had them in the FA Cup last season and did really well there, a narrow defeat. We've got a few Sheffield Wednesday fans in the camp as well so they'll look forward to it."
George Maris is certainly a Wednesday fan, as is S&C coach David Waldie.
Wednesday have had a tough start to life in the Championship after their promotion last season, losing all four league games. I think this might mean they are much more likely to put a strong side out, in order to get a win, than they otherwise might have been.
Due to broadcasting restrictions for the Carabao Cup, there will be no live streaming of the game in the UK or overseas, it will be commentary only on iFollow. The full match replay will be available to watch on Wednesday morning on iFollow.

DETAILED REPORT :

There was a massive downpour around 1pm. At 1.20pm the pitch was unplayable, and I saw the referee trying to bounce and roll a ball on it, but the ball just splodged! However by about 2pm the drainage of the pitch had worked and the pitch was playable. There was a very small strip of pitch on the touchline under the West Stand that didn’t drain well and was muddy through the game.
Credit to Mez and his groundstaff, and to John & Carolyn, for the work done on the pitch that allows it to drain so well. The game would not have gone ahead without the investment in the pitch.
Rain also got into the West Stand, indeed water was cascading down the rows of the stand for quite some time. I have never seen the West Stand as wet as that before. Fans were not allowed in the ground until more than half an hour later than normal, to give the stand a bit of time to dry out, and the kick off was delayed until 3.15pm.

Both sides had 9 players out through injury. By the way, I now include the latest injury news for each Stags player in the “running tally of various stats” at the bottom of the report, updated after each game, including the latest estimate on when they are expected back.
Mansfield have played 5 sides this season, and two of them, Doncaster and Stockport, have had around 9 players injured, a similar number to Mansfield. Remarkable at such an early stage of the season.

Mansfield made two changes from the side that drew at Grimsby.
George Williams was back from the injury he picked up at Matlock in pre-season to make his Stags debut, in place of the injured Cargill. Williams played at right back. It was always planned that he would only play 60 minutes.
Oates started in place of Swan who dropped to the bench.
Lewis Brunt, signed on loan from Leicester for the rest of the season, was on the bench. He was to come on for his Stags debut.
George Cooper was on the bench too. He has been on the bench plenty of times, but was to come on for his league debut (he has played in the EFL Trophy).
Aden Flint was captain, making his 500th career appearance.
Oates and Macdonald were former Stockport players.
Bowery continued at centre half, where he had played the second half at Grimsby.

Stockport’s 9 injured players included Kyle Wootton and Antoni Sarcevic. Actually the 9th player, Nick Powell, was returning from injury and able to play the last few minutes as sub.

Stockport lost in the play-off final last season. They won their first game of the season last weekend, against Barrow.

With conditions now completely changed and the sun out, the game kicked off in a good atmosphere at 3.15pm. 400 short of a full house of home fans, though with Stockport bringing less than 1,000 fans for the second season running.

The referee missed a foul on Oates after 2 minutes. He was to let a lot of fouls go, and was consistent throughout for both sides with his leniency.

Appeals for a Stockport penalty after 3 minutes as Kyle Knoyle went down in the area under a challenge from Quinn, but it was a clear dive even though there may have been slight contact.

Stockport took the lead after 6 minutes. The Stags midfield and defence opened up, Croasdale found Collar, who in turn found Louie Barry 22 yards out. He cut inside and fired into the bottom left corner of the net. Bowery didn’t get tight enough or get a block on Barry. Other players could have done better too including Reed.

After 8 minutes, a good move from the Stags, Keillor-Dunn played back to Maris who sent a left footed shot wide. Three minutes later, good play by Maris, sending Oates to the byline, and his good cross towards Keillor-Dunn was intercepted by Akil Wright for a corner.

The Stags equalised after 14 minutes. Quinn crossed from the left and Maris found the net with a first time shot, swept in from 12 yards. A neat assist and finish.

Pacey strike partners Louie Barry and Isaac (Tanto) Olaofe were causing the Stags problems. After 24 minutes, brilliant play from Barry, cutting in from the left and his shot was blocked by Williams. Then a great turn from Olaofe on the byline, and his shot from a tight angle was saved by Pym.

Stockport regained the lead after 25 minutes from the resulting corner. The corner from the right, from Ibou Toure, was met by Fraser Horsfall at the far post heading into the right corner of the net. Flint was the defender marking Horsfall, but lost him as he spun away, and then in trying to get to him, Flint’s shirt was held by Akil Wright, stopping him getting there.
Nigel Clough described the goal as: “it's Aden Flint loses the man and it's a loopy header in at the far post.”

The Stags hit the bar after 29 minutes. The referee played a good advantage as Keillor-Dunn was fouled on the halfway line, and then Keillor-Dunn was able to control the ball on the edge of the area from a Williams cross, and smashed the ball against the bar from 10 yards. Frustrating for Keillor-Dunn to smack the bar for the second game running. After 33 minutes, a Maris shot from 24 yards was deflected for a corner. Williams did well to make Barry run the ball out of play on 35 minutes. Then on 39 minutes, Oates turned one way then the other, and his low shot from 22 yards was straight at the keeper.

Nearly a calamity for Pym after 41 minutes. Pym initially did well to come out of his area and win the ball. But he then lost it, giving Barry a free shot at an open goal from 35 yards, and he put it 10 yards wide. Then on 44 minutes, Olaofe steamed forward to the edge of the area, but Flint did well to clear for a throw-in.

The referee had been consistently lenient on fouls, but should have stopped play when the ball was booted into Maris’s face and he went down and stayed down. The referee continued play. With increased concerns over head injuries, the referee was unwise to play on in that situation in my opinion.

Great defending by Bowery after 45+3 minutes as Barry broke forward. Several other good pieces of Bowery defending moments earlier: Bowery made a good tackle on Barry (41 minutes), Bowery headed a cross away following a bit of Stockport pressure (43 minutes), Bowery made a good tackle on Oloafe who wents down but referee played on again (45+1 minutes).

The Stags weren’t at their best in the first half, and trailed at the break. Nigel Clough said after the game: “In the first-half we looked a little bit off it and a little bit lethargic. Epitomised by Louis Reed who gave the ball away more times than he had in the previous 5 games.”

Half time 1-2

The Stags were on the attack from the off in the second half, as Maris couldn’t get a shot away in the area. On 48 minutes, Keillor-Dunn found Akins, whose low shot was blocked. And on 52 minutes, Macdonald sent a low shot from 30 yards straight to the keeper.

Reed was booked for a late tackle on Croasdale after 52 minutes.

A couple of good defensive headers by Bowery after 53 minutes. Then on 60 minutes, good covering by Bowery as he stopped Oloafe attacking down the left and knocked the ball back to Pym.

Danger again from Stockport’s pacey strike partners Barry and Olaofe, as Barry surged down the left and pulled across towards Olaofe but Macdonald cleared.

Mansfield made a change after 62 minutes as Swan replaced Williams. Nigel Clough confirmed after the game that it was always planned that he would only play 60 minutes. Akins switched to right back as Swan went up front.

After 65 minutes, a snapshot from Olaofe was blocked by Flint and Macdonald.

Moments later at the other end, a Maris cross-shot from the edge of the area, reached Keillor-Dunn 8 yards out, and his side-footed shot was blocked on the line by the keeper’s right boot. Good save.

The Stags equalised after 69 minutes. A move of 25 passes led to a Keillor-Dunn shot that was brilliantly saved by the keeper. Great move and shot. From the resulting corner, the keeper made another good save from a Maris shot. But from the resulting corner to that, Mansfield equalised. A short corner routine between Keillor-Dunn and Maris, Keillor-Dunn cut inside and his shot took a fortunate deflection to take it past the keeper. The shot was probably on target, so it was his goal. Stockport switched off from the short corner routine even though it was a bit of luck for the Stags with the deflection.
Stockport manage Dave Challinor described the goal: "if don't do your jobs, then you have no chance. We've switched off twice. Ben's made two really good saves. Then we've not picked up for a third time and the ball ends up in our net via a deflection. Not acceptable.”

It was like The Alamo as shots kept on raining in.

After 72 minutes, Akins squared to Maris along the edge of the area. Brilliant footwork from Maris to get past two defenders and his shot was brilliantly blocked by Wright throwing himself in front of the shot.

Maris had another shot blocked a minute later.

On 76 minutes, the Stags had two more shots blocked. Akins shot from 16 yards was blocked by a diving defender, it came out to Reed whose piledriver from 18 yards was also blocked. This was incredible.

Mansfield finally took the lead after 80 minutes as Keillor-Dunn provided a brilliant finish to beat the keeper. Reed lifted the ball forward from the halfway line. Fraser Horsfall headed straight into the path of Quinn. Quinn slid the ball into the path of Keillor-Dunn, who advanced into the area, and side-footed a beautiful right-footed shot into the right corner of the net from 16 yards.
Keillor-Dunn had missed a glorious chance in a 1-on-1 with the keeper at Grimsby last week, and looked crestfallen from that, and now he celebrated in front of the Quarry Lane stand, saying “that’s how it’s done, that’s how it’s done” to the fans (clearly audible on the pitchside video of the goals).
Stockport manage Dave Challinor described the goal: "a horrific header from Fraser, we don't get to the ball quick enough, we show the lad on his favoured right foot and he passes it in the corner.”

Two changes after 84 minutes: Lewis Brunt was on for his debut in place of Keillor-Dunn, and Clarke replaced Quinn. Brunt went in to midfield, rather than disrupting the defence.

Clarke was brought down 23 yards out after 89 minutes in a central position. Macdonald tried a shot from the free kick but it was straight into the wall.

Six minutes was added on.

After 90+2, Akins set Swan away down the right, Swan cut inside into the area and his left footed shot was straight at the keeper.

George Cooper replaced Maris after 90+4 minutes. Cooper has been on the bench plenty of times, but came on here for his league debut (he has played in the EFL Trophy).

With the 6 minutes of stoppage time already played, it should have been 4-2. Clarke tackled Akil Wright in the Stockport half, sending Swan away 1-on-1 into the area, but his shot was saved by the keeper. The ball rebounded away, and Clarke did superbly to tackle Wright again, the ball went across the six yard box to Swan who tapped the ball into the empty net. But Swan was offside.

The referee blew the final whistle before Stockport could take the resulting free kick.

A sensational second half from Mansfield as they laid siege to the Stockport goal with those 21 shots and a succession of glorious moves. Only the goalkeeping of Ben Hinchliffe kept Stockport in the game with four superb saves in the second half.

Man of the match: George Maris

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

Goals (league and cup): Keillor-Dunn 5, Akins 3, Maris 2, Oates 2, Reed 1.

Assists (league and cup): Oates 4, Quinn 4, Keillor-Dunn 2, Bowery 1, Maris 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.)

Injuries: Kilgour (ruptured Achilles, return July), Hewitt (ACL, return April), McLaughlin (knee, return mid-late Oct), Johnson (hamstring, return end Sept), Lewis (calf, return end Sept), Boateng (groin, return end Sept), Gale (thigh, return around 5 Sept), O'Toole (ankle, “return later than Gale”), Cargill (felt hamstring, there was an “outside chance back 26 Aug”, but he didn’t make it).

Yellow cards (league only, alphabetical order): Boateng 1, Cargill 1, Clarke 1, Keillor-Dunn 1, Kilgour 1, Lewis 1, Quinn 1, Reed 2, Swan 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)

Average home league attendance: 7064 (average away fans: 581, average home fans 6484) (remember the attendance is calculated as tickets sold, including season tickets. There are 5171 season ticket holders this season.)


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



Line Up:
(4-4-2, diamond in midfield)
Pym 6 No chance with the goals. Nearly had a calamity when he then lost the ball 35 yards from his goal and Barry had a free shot at an open goal which he put wide.
Williams 6.5 Made his Stags debut, at right back. It was always planned that he would only play 60 minutes. Did ok.
Bowery 7 Didn’t get tight enough or get a block on Barry for the early goal. After that, he defended extremely well against Barry and Olaofe.
Flint 7 Making his 500th career appearance. Lost Horsfall for the second goal. Defended very well after that.
Macdonald 7 One particularly good clearance.
Reed 6.5 Off the pace in the first half, as noted by Nigel Clough who said he “gave the ball away more times than he had in the previous 5 games.” Could have done better for the first goal. Much better in the second half.
Maris 9 Excellent game. Scored with a first time shot. Had another shot very well saved.
Quinn 8.5 Two assists taking him to 4 for the season. Good cross for the first goal, and sent Keillor-Dunn away for the third goal.
Keillor-Dunn 9 Two goals to take him to five for the season. Also hit the bar and had two other shots brilliantly saved.
Akins 7.5 Did particularly well when switching to right back after 62 minutes as the Stags set up wave after wave of attack.
Oates 7 One good cross. Some good movement. He also has 4 assists for the season though none in this game.
Sub Line Up:
Swan (for Williams, 62 mins) - Had a 1-on-1 saved, then a goal disallowed for offside. Hopefully starting to get up to speed following his injury.
Brunt (for Keillor-Dunn, 84 mins) - On for his Stags debut. Went in to midfield, rather than disrupting the defence.
Clarke (for Quinn, 84 mins) - Excellent. Won a free kick just outside the area. Then twice tackled Wright to set up a 1-on-1 for Swan, and a disallowed goal for Swan.
Cooper (for Maris, 90+4 mins) - Came on for his league debut.
Subs not used: Flinders, Wauchope, Abdullah.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2): Hinchliffe; Wright, Horsfall (Powell, 85), Pye, Touray; Knoyle, Collar (Evans, 75), Croasdale, Madden (Rydel, 75); Barry (Crankshaw, 85), Olaofe. Subs not used: Smith, Mee, Johnson.
Referee:
Ollie Yates 8 Consistent throughout for both sides with his leniency on fouls. One good advantage.


Season 23/24 Reports