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Season 23/24 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Crawley Town  
1 - 3
 Mansfield Town
Orsi pen 36. Williams sent off 68.
 
 Cargill 12, Keillor-Dunn 56, Maris 64.
Attendance: 2,817 (452 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 16 December 2023

STAGS WIN AT CRAWLEY

Martin Shaw at the Broadfield Stadium

Mansfield Town returned to winning ways beating Crawley Town 3-1 at the Broadfield Stadium yesterday, after two games without a win and then two and a half weeks without a game.

The Stags were ahead early on after 11 minutes when a superb Rhys Oates cross from the right was met by a thumping header from Baily Cargill into the roof of the net from 6 yards. A second goal of the season for Cargill, his first was that equally thumping header at Notts County. A 5th assist of the season for Rhys Oates.

Crawley were level after 36 minutes when referee Scott Simpson awarded a ludicrously soft penalty to the home side. As Crawley took a free kick short from 35 yards out, Adam Campbell span away from Lucas Akins just inside the area. Akins put his arm on Campbell, no more than that, Campbell went down. With the ball still 35 yards from goal, the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot. If this is the standard for a penalty, Mansfield should have had at least 50 this season when Akins himself or Flint have been manhandled off the ball or had their shirt pulled in the area. It isn’t the standard for a penalty though and that’s what made it such a bad decision.

Nigel Clough said after the game: “We still can't believe he gave it, having just watched it back. We have had it all season where players have been held in the box and had their shirts pulled. But if the ball is not near, the officials tell us it's not relevant. But he has given that for a shirt pull when the ball is actually 20-30 yards away and not even going anywhere near the player that has supposedly been fouled. So I thought that was a very unusual and strange decision.”

(* see further notes from former Premier League referee Chris Foy at the bottom of the report)

Danilo Orsi, who scored a hat-trick against the Stags for Harrogate two years ago, and another goal for Grimsby against the Stags last season, stepped up and crashed the penalty into the roof of the net. He then rather unnecessarily celebrated deliberately in front of the Stags fans behind the goal.

It was a shocking decision but it was important that the Stags weren’t completely derailed by it.

The Stags regained the lead after 56 minutes. A minute earlier, Will Wright sent a fine shot from 30 yards against the top of the bar. Straight to the other end and Stephen Quinn, on as a half time substitute, curled in a beautiful cross from the left to the edge of the six yard box where Davis Keillor-Dunn moved in from the edge of the box unmarked to side-foot a volley into the net. Keillor-Dunn’s 12th goal of the season. A great assist from Quinn, his 5th of the season despite missing so much of the season through injury.

Incidentally, off the ball, as the ball came in, Flint was hauled down, and apparently the referee said he would have given the penalty if it hadn’t been a goal.

It was 3-1 after 64 minutes. Interplay between Quinn and Akins on the left outside the area. Then Akins, just inside the area, tried a shot which was blocked by Will Wright. It rebounded to the edge of the area where George Maris reacted quicker than Adam Campbell to sidefoot past the keeper into the right corner of the net. A lovely finish from Maris, his 5th goal of the season.

The Stags now had breathing space and the game was effectively sealed on 68 minutes as Crawley were reduced to ten men. Quinn was fouled by Jay Williams, a tough challenge on the touchline. As Quinn was on the ground, Williams put his head down towards Quinn and flicked him with his hand. The referee showed Williams a yellow card for the initial foul and another yellow card for the afters. The first yellow card was certainly justified but in my opinion possibly the second yellow card was a little harsh.

That killed off any chance of a Crawley fightback.

The Stags could have won by more goals in the end but 3-1 was a fair scoreline in my opinion. It certainly would have been a travesty if Crawley had picked up a point on the back of that penalty. Mansfield made a few mistakes giving the ball away or nearly giving the ball away but fought to win it back each time. Overall this was a good performance and an excellent win following the long break and the defeat and draw against Swindon and Tranmere respectively. Some good performances through the side. Lewis Brunt was very good in front of the back four in the absence of the suspended Louis Reed. George Maris played very well in midfield and provided some quality. Stephen Quinn on as a second half substitute provided a great quality cross for the second goal and really made a difference in the second half. Baily Cargill and Aden Flint were dominant at centre half. Everyone had a decent game. Christy Pym had little to do, but made one great grab from a Kellan Gordon cross in the first half. Rhys Oates provided a superb cross for the first goal, but also put in some very poor crosses.

Mansfield remain in 4th place, a point behind 2nd and 3rd placed Barrow and Wrexham with a game in hand on each. The next game is at bottom of the table Sutton United next Saturday. Mansfield have never beaten Sutton and next week will be a good time to break that record. Sutton lost 8-0 at Stockport yesterday and will be determined to at least grab a point to steady the ship you would imagine.

DETAILED REPORT :

Mansfield made four changes from the last game, against Tranmere 2.5 weeks ago. Johnson came in for Macdonald, Cargill for the suspended Reed, Maris for Lewis, and Clarke for Quinn. Bowery switched to left back. Brunt switched to defensive midfield in front of the back four.
Lewis was out with a hamstring problem, and is likely to return “at some point over the Christmas period” according to Clough.
Swan was out with flu, and should return to training before the Sutton game.
Clough noted after that game that “Stephen Quinn didn't start either as he missed training in the middle of the week. He hardly ever misses training but felt too rough to come in.”
McLaughlin and O’Toole were back from injury on the bench and came on in the second half.
Abdullah and Flanagan also travelled but were not in the 18.
It was the usual 4-4-2 formation with Johnson at right back, Bowery at left back, Flint and Cargill at centre half. Brunt was in front of the back four, with Maris on the right, Clarke on the left, and Keillor-Dunn behind Akins and Oates.
Quinn replaced Clarke at half time as the Stags switched formation, with Maris and Brunt in front of the back four, Oates, Keillor-Dunn and Quinn in midfield, and Akins up front, in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Crawley were unchanged from their win at Colchester 7 days earlier. Crawley had won 5 of their last 7 games in all competitions and were just 6 points behind the Stags at the start of play. Former Stag Kellan Gordon was at right wing-back. Laurence Maguire, on loan from Chesterfield and brother of Harry Maguire, was in central defence.

Crawley’s Will Wright was booked in the opening stages. Not long later (11 minutes) he committed another foul, on Akins, which was risky.

The first chance of the game came after 8 minutes as Akins headed wide from a Brunt cross.

The Stags were ahead early on after 11 minutes when a superb Rhys Oates cross from the right was met by a thumping header from Baily Cargill into the roof of the net from 6 yards. A second goal of the season for Cargill, his first was that equally thumping header at Notts County. A 5th assist of the season for Rhys Oates.

The first chance for Crawley came after 14 minutes as Wright sent a free kick from 23 yards into the side netting.

A free kick for Crawley level with the edge of the Stags area after 17 minutes. Unbelievably they worked it all the way back to their keeper. In fact they did similar several times.

Liam Kelly sent a shot from 30 yards over the bar and over the stand after 18 minutes. He pulled his shirt over his face. A minute later, a good header away by Callum Johnson despite being fouled by Orsi.

A free kick for the Stags after 21 minutes as Oates was fouled. Keillor-Dunn took it short to Maris who fired well over the bar.

Keillor-Dunn tried an audacious shot from inside his own half after 23 minutes with the keeper off his line. It was only a yard wide, though the keeper might have been able to get back and tip it away. A great effort nonetheless.

At the other end, Pym was out of his 6 yard box to claim a good cross from Kellan Gordon at the feet of Orsi. Very good keeping.

The Stags might have been 2-0 ahead after 24 minutes. A great turn by Keillor-Dunn just inside his own half, he got past Kelly, then past Wright, he laid off to Oates on the edge of the area. Oates cut inside Williams on to his right foot and from a great position lashed a terrible shot high over the bar. Oates was frustrated with himself. But fabulous play from Keillor-Dunn.

A good run by Brunt a minute later and he was brought down by Conroy. The free kick was out to Oates who got to the byline but put in a poor cross.

Oates was booked for a foul on Gordon after 26 minutes. His first yellow card of the season (see full stats below).

Flint did well to head over his own bar from a Kelly cross after 31 minutes. A minute later, good control from Orsi in the area to create a yard for shot, but he fired just high and wide.

Ollie Clarke was booked after 34 minutes. It looked to me like Clarke was fouled by Gordon but the referee saw it the other way and booked Clarke.

And from that free kick, Crawley were level after 36 minutes when referee Scott Simpson awarded a ludicrously soft penalty to the home side. As Crawley took a free kick short from 35 yards out, Adam Campbell span away from Lucas Akins just inside the area. Akins put his arm on Campbell, no more than that, Campbell went down. With the ball still 35 yards from goal, the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot. If this is the standard for a penalty, Mansfield should have had at least 50 this season when Akins himself or Flint have been manhandled off the ball or had their shirt pulled in the area. It isn’t the standard for a penalty though and that’s what made it such a bad decision.
Nigel Clough said after the game: “We still can't believe he gave it, having just watched it back. We have had it all season where players have been held in the box and had their shirts pulled. But if the ball is not near, the officials tell us it's not relevant. But he has given that for a shirt pull when the ball is actually 20-30 yards away and not even going anywhere near the player that has supposedly been fouled. So I thought that was a very unusual and strange decision.”
Danilo Orsi, who scored a hat-trick against the Stags for Harrogate two years ago, and another goal for Grimsby against the Stags last season, stepped up and crashed the penalty into the roof of the net. He then rather unnecessarily celebrated deliberately in front of the Stags fans behind the goal.
It was a shocking decision but it was important that the Stags weren’t completely derailed by it.

(* see further notes from former Premier League referee Chris Foy at the bottom of the report)

Clarke committed another foul and was now walking a tightrope.

After 39 minutes, Tsaroulla fired over the bar from the edge of the area.

After 45+2 minutes, Bowery cut in from the left and powered in a shot which was blocked by his own man Oates. Bowery retrieved the ball, crossed in, it was headed away and Clarke teed up Brunt for a shot from 25 yards. Brunt struck it sweetly, low, and it fizzed just a wide yard of the left post.

All square at the break. The Stags with a big sense of injustice from that penalty.

Half time 1-1

With Clarke having been booked and committed a subsequent foul, he was replaced by Quinn at half time as the Stags switched formation, with Maris and Brunt in front of the back four, Oates, Keillor-Dunn and Quinn in midfield, and Akins up front, in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Clough noted after that game that Quinn hadn’t started the game as “he missed training in the middle of the week. He hardly ever misses training but felt too rough to come in.”

After 49 minutes, a lovely ball from Keillor-Dunn to Oates whose shot was blocked for a corner. From Keillor-Dunn’s corner, Brunt headed goalwards and the keeper saved low down on his line.

The Stags regained the lead after 56 minutes. A minute earlier, Will Wright sent a fine shot from 30 yards against the top of the bar. Straight to the other end and Quinn curled in a beautiful cross from the left to the edge of the six yard box where Keillor-Dunn moved in from the edge of the box unmarked to side-foot a volley into the net. Keillor-Dunn’s 12th goal of the season. A great assist from Quinn, his 5th of the season despite missing so much of the season through injury.

Incidentally, off the ball, as the ball came in, Flint was hauled down, and apparently the referee said he would have given the penalty if it hadn’t been a goal.

A double foul by Kelly on Quinn after 58 minutes, and Kelly was rightly booked.

Brunt was booked after 59 minutes for a foul on Orsi.

A great break from Oates after 62 minutes but he shot straight at the keeper. A good opportunity.

It was 3-1 after 64 minutes. Interplay between Quinn and Akins on the left outside the area. Then Akins, just inside the area, tried a shot which was blocked by Will Wright. It rebounded to the edge of the area where George Maris reacted quicker than Adam Campbell to sidefoot past the keeper into the right corner of the net. A lovely finish from Maris, his 5th goal of the season.

A great block by Cargill after 68 minutes after Johnson had given the ball away.

The Stags now had breathing space at 3-1 and the game was effectively sealed on 68 minutes as Crawley were reduced to ten men. Quinn was fouled by Jay Williams, a tough challenge on the touchline. As Quinn was on the ground, Williams put his head down towards Quinn and flicked him with his hand. The referee showed Williams a yellow card for the initial foul and another yellow card for the afters. The first yellow card was certainly justified but in my opinion possibly the second yellow card was a little harsh.

That killed off any chance of a Crawley fightback.

After 73 minutes Cargill gave the ball away but won it straight back.

A chance for Keillor-Dunn after 76 minutes. The ball fell fortuitously for him 40 yards from goal. He powered forward into the area and his thunderbolt shot was brilliantly saved by keeper Ashby-Hammond, turning it over the bar.

Brunt was replaced by McLaughlin after 80 minutes. Brunt had been booked so was not risked further. McLaughlin was returning from injury and slotted into midfield.

A half chance for Crawley after 87 minutes as sub Adeyemo fired high and wide.

Keillor-Dunn knocked the ball forward from inside his own for Oates to run on to after 89 minutes. The keeper was out quickly and got to it first but completely miscued and Oates was so nearly able to get that, but Conroy just nicked it away from him.

A triple change on 90 minutes as O’Toole, Macdonald and Williams replaced Akins, Keillor-Dunn and Maris. O’Toole went up front, Macdonald and Williams into midfield. Just a question of resting legs and getting others some minutes.

After 90+1 minutes, Quinn sent O’Toole away. The linesman immediately raised his flag. The video shows that O’Toole was clearly onside. He would have had a 1-on-1 with the keeper. Another terrible decision to add to the list from the officials, who infuriated both sides.

The Stags could have won by more goals in the end but 3-1 was a fair scoreline in my opinion. It certainly would have been a travesty if Crawley had picked up a point on the back of that penalty. Mansfield made a few mistakes giving the ball away or nearly giving the ball away but fought to win it back each time. Overall this was a good performance and an excellent win following the long break and the defeat and draw against Swindon and Tranmere respectively.

Man of the match: Stephen Quinn - really made a difference in the second half.


(*) Former Premier League referee Chris Foy examines decisions from the latest league action for Sky Sports
https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/13033688/behind-the-whistle-chris-foy-explains-the-latest-efl-decisions-including-penalty-award-for-bristol-city-vs-sunderland
Foy says: “I don't believe this particular incident should have resulted in a penalty kick being awarded to Crawley Town.
There are a few reasons: the free-kick is taken short, with the incident in question taking place on the edge of the area and away from where the ball is played, and I don't think the actions of the defender meet the required threshold for a clear holding offence with impact.
I think the better course of action would be to let the game continue with no awarding of a penalty.”


Running tally of various stats this season:

Goals (league and cup): Keillor-Dunn 12, Akins 8, Maris 5, Oates 5, Bowery 2, Cargill 2, Flint 2, Gale 2, Reed 2, Swan 2, Brunt 1, Clarke 1, Cooper 1, Johnson 1, Lewis 1.

Assists (league and cup): Keillor-Dunn 9, Oates 5, Quinn 5, Flint 4, Maris 4, Swan 4, Akins 2, Bowery 2, Clarke 2, Gale 2, Lewis 2, Johnson 1, Macdonald 1, Reed 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 cleared away before the goal is scored, such as Keillor-Dunn’s first goal against Newport, nobody gets an assist.)

Injuries (including quotes from Nigel Clough):
Kilgour (ruptured Achilles, return July),
Hewitt (ACL, “on schedule for February time"),
Gale (out until towards end of January, from injury in the Burton EFL Trophy game),
Lewis (hamstring problem, likely to return “at some point over the Christmas period”),
Swan (flu, should return to training before the Sutton game).

Yellow cards (league only, alphabetical order): Boateng 2, Bowery 1, Brunt 3, Cargill 5, Clarke 3, Gale 2, Johnson 2, Keillor-Dunn 3, Kilgour 1, Lewis 2, Macdonald 5, Maris 2, Oates 1, Quinn 1, Reed 5 (suspended for this game vs Crawley), 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)



Report by: Martin Shaw at the Broadfield Stadium



Line Up:
(4-4-2, diamond in midfield)
Pym 7 Had little to do, but made one great grab from a Kellan Gordon cross in the first half.
Johnson 7 Defended well. One good header away.
Flint 7 Dominant at centre half.
Cargill 8 Thumping header into the roof of the net for his second goal of the season. Dominant at centre half.
Bowery 7 Good game at left back.
Brunt 8 Very good in front of the back four in the absence of the suspended Reed.
Maris 8 Played very well in midfield and provided some quality. Lovely finish for his 5th goal of the season.
Clarke 6.5 Did ok. Having been booked and committed a subsequent foul in the first half, he was replaced at half time.
Keillor-Dunn 8.5 Neat finish for his 12th goal of the season. Great play setting up a couple of chances for Oates.
Akins 7 Worked hard. Involved in the controversial penalty conceded.
Oates 7.5 Superb cross for the first goal, his 5th assist of the season. Though did also put in some poor crosses.
Sub Line Up:
Quinn (for Clarke, 46) 8.5 My man of the match despite only coming on at half time. Provided a great quality cross for the second goal and really made a difference in the second half. That assist was his 5th of the season despite missing so much of the season through injury.
McLaughlin (for Brunt, 80) -
O’Toole (for Akins, 90) -
Macdonald (for Keillor-Dunn, 90) -
Williams (for Maris, 90) -
Subs not used: Flinders, Boateng.
Opposition Line Up:
(3-4-2-1): Ashby-Hammond; Williams, Conroy, Maguire; Gordon (Lolos 74), Gladwin, Wright, Tsaroulla (Adeyemo 74); Kelly, Campbell (Darcy 74); Orsi. Subs not used: Addai, Forster, Johnson, Swyer.
Referee:
Scott Simpson 4 Made a series of bad decisions, infuriating both sides. The penalty was plainly a bad decision as discussed in depth in the report. I think the second yellow card for Williams was harsh. Also a bad decision to book Clarke.


Season 23/24 Reports