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Season 17/18 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 3
 Swindon Town
Rose 90+1.
 Linganzi 4, Goddard 45, Norris pen 50.
Attendance: 4081 (523 from Swindon)
Date: 14 October 2017


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town put in a dreadful performance to lose their unbeaten home record and fall to a 3-1 defeat to Swindon Town this afternoon. The Stags had plenty of possession in the first half but lacked any quality and cohesiveness, with poor delivery of crosses and only one real chance created in that 45 minutes with Jimmy Spencer bringing a fine save from the keeper. The Stags were too reliant on the long ball. Meanwhile Swindon had quality in their crosses from the experienced Matt Taylor, who created both first half goals with the returning Hayden White losing his man on both occasions, both goals knocked in from close range. Swindon made it 3-0 on 54 minutes with a penalty given for a foul by Pearce (on Norris). It looked very soft and totally innocuous both in real time and from the video. Norris converted the penalty. The Stags rarely if at all looked like getting back into the game until it was too late when they pulled one back on 90+1 minutes. A great cross from the right by Alex MacDonald was superbly finished by Danny Rose, acrobatically volleying into the bottom left corner of the net. It was the quality we’d been wanting to see for the previous 90 minutes. The Stags played without confidence, summed up by players knocking the ball backwards too much, and far too much long ball played. A poor performance from the players, and manager Steve Evans admitted afterwards that he and assistant Paul Raynor have to look at themselves as well. Credit to Swindon of course, who scored their goals at key times, at the start of the game, just before half time, and the start of the second half, to kill off the Stags. Very disappointing from Mansfield. After the first two defeats of the season at Accrington and Cheltenham, Mansfield responded with fine performances. But after the third defeat of the season at Colchester last week, this was a limp performance which provided the fourth defeat of the season. Mansfield go to a Barnet side who are out of form, on Tuesday night. It is a very winnable game providing Mansfield play better football than today.

Mansfield made three changes from the side that lost at Colchester. Hayden White returned from injury at right back, with Steve Evans explaining that he’s our number one right back. He replaced Anderson. Jacob Mellis returned in midfield, Evans saying he would add creativity. He replaced Sterling-James. And Jimmy Spencer got a chance up front, after good performances for the reserves and having been excellent in training according to Evans. It was his first league start. He replaced Hemmings. The Stags played 4-4-2, with a diamond in midfield, Butcher in front of the back four, Atkinson on the right, MacDonald on the left, and Mellis behind the front two.

It was over ten years since Mansfield had last played Swindon.

During the game, on 56 minutes, there was a minute’s applause in tribute to Stags fan Phil Sims, aka Eric Parsons, who died this week, aged 56. A regular commenter on all things Stags related, including these Stagsnet reports, he also regularly commented on my photos as we travelled around the country. RIP Eric.

The weather was sunny and unseasonably warm, about 70 degrees F.

The Stags were off a terrible start, going 1-0 down after just 4 minutes. And as at Colchester last week, it was partially self-inflicted. Last week Sterling-James gave away an unnecessary free kick. This week it was Alex MacDonald with a silly and blatant foul near the corner flag on the right. A superb left footed set piece delivery from the experienced Matt Taylor low into the six-yard box, where Hayden White allowed his man Linganzi to get in front of him and poke in from close range. So poor from the Stags, giving away the free kick and then not defending the cross. But credit to Swindon for the quality delivery.

On 8 minutes, a long high ball forward from Swindon and a misplaced header from Mirfin, Logan looked favourite to get it, but Linganzi got the ball first, took it out to the left hand side but wasted his ball across out for a goal kick. Logan got out of jail.

On 9 minutes, a good ball in and Spencer turned well in the area but missed his kick.

On 12 minutes at the other end, Goddard got past Pearce too easily on the left, and his cross was out behind for a corner.

Despite being a goal down, the Stags fans in Q block were doing their best to create a good atmosphere.

For a 12 minute period, the Stags kept the ball well, but without creating any chances, with Mellis looking the best player so far.

On 25 minutes, Swindon, having not had the ball, created another good chance. A low shot from Norris was well saved by Logan with his legs, it came out to Mullin who fired over from 12 yards. A good double chance.

On 26 minutes, a long kick from Logan nearly fell for Rose in the area, but he couldn’t get a shot in as he stumbled over in front of the keeper.

The Stags’ best chance of the half came on 30 minutes. A long ball from Logan, was flicked on by Rose, Spencer turned superbly and fired in a low shot that was well saved as the keeper pushed away at full stretch. Terrific from Spencer, and a good flick on from Rose.

Swindon broke straight to the other end, Mullin squared to Goddard, who fired over.

On 33 minutes, MacDonald played a 1-2 with Atkinson, and fired in a shot from 28 yards which was straight at the keeper.

Butcher had received a few boos for a misplaced pass, but responded with two good challenges to win the ball.

Rose was bundled over for a free kick 27 yards out and central on 36 minutes. MacDonald took the resulting free kick, straight into the wall. It looked like the wall had advanced considerably before he kicked the ball but the referee allowed play to continue.

On 42 minutes, another free kick for the Stags, this time 38 yards from goal. Mellis took it and didn’t beat the first man.

Swindon made it 2-0 on 45 minutes. A great ball in from Matt Taylor, low from the left, Goddard and White both went for it, and Goddard poked under Logan from close range. High quality from Matt Taylor, but again White lost his man, as for the first goal.

Boos at half time from fans frustrated at the scoreline. The Stags had plenty of possession but lacked quality, with poor delivery of crosses and only one chance created. The Stags were too reliant on the long ball, which worked only once with the chance for Spencer. Meanwhile Swindon had quality in their crosses from Matt Taylor, scoring from two of them, with the returning Hayden White losing his man on both occasions.

Half time 0-2

Mansfield made two changes at the break, bringing on Angol for Spencer, and Sterling-James for Atkinson. Spencer a bit unlucky after he’d been ok in the first half and went close to scoring.

The Stags started the second half well. On 48 minutes, Sterling-James broke into the area, and had a chance to shoot, but instead elected to lay the ball off with a back-heel and it was cleared. On 50 minutes, Logan’s long free kick, flicked off a defender’s head and reached Angol who fired in a venomous shot from a tight angle which the keeper pushed over the bar. A fine effort from Angol from an angle. Then on 52 minutes, a corner from Mellis was low and reached Butcher whose volley was deflected wide.

Just as the Stags were at last playing some decent stuff at the start of the half, Swindon made it 3-0 on 54 minutes. A high ball in from the right from right back Purkiss seemed harmless as it floated over the players in the middle, but out of the blue the referee pointed to the penalty spot for a foul by Pearce (on Keshi Anderson), who he also immediately booked. It looked very soft and totally innocuous both in real time and from the video. Norris coolly converted the penalty into the bottom left corner of the net as Logan went the other way.

On 57 minutes, Angol flicked on to Rose who shot well over the bar. Poor effort.

A silly foul by Butcher on Keshi Anderson on 61 minutes, as Anderson cut inside from the right. The free kick from 24 yards, by Taylor, was into the wall, and the rebound also into the wall.

On 64 minutes. Logan’s long ball forward to Rose, who turned and shot well wide. A minute later, Sterling-James crossed in and Angol was booked for a foul or for dissent.

A crossfield ball from White went straight out of play on the far side on 67 minutes, and summed up the lack of quality in the Stags performance. There was also a total lack of confidence, as players such as Butcher played the ball backwards rather than forwards.

For a minute or two, Swindon kept the ball, with their fans chanting “ole”.

Much better from Mansfield on 71 minutes, a good move, Rose crossed in, Angol flicked goalwards and the keeper saved on his line.

On 72 minutes, a good ball forward by Butcher, perhaps his first of the match, to Rose who tried to get past his man but was held off the ball.

The Stags had a shout for a penalty on 73 minutes, as Sterling-James got to the byline and cut inside his defender. Sterling-James and the defender went down but the referee correctly waved away appeals.

On 81 minutes, a Hunt cross from the left found Sterling-James on the right, his cross back in was deflected into the side netting.

On 85 minutes, MacDonald played a free kick forward, the ball came back to him and his shot was blocked.

MacDonald squared to Hunt on 86 minutes, who cut inside, but instead of shooting tried to lay the ball off and it was cleared. It summed up the team’s lack of confidence.

The Stags should have had a penalty on 87 minutes. The Swindon keeper moved towards a loose ball on the ground, at the same time Rose went towards the ball, and as the keeper claimed the ball Rose was clearly pulled down by Matt Preston. In real time it looked like a penalty and even more so from the video. The referee waved away appeals for a penalty.

On 90 minutes, Sterling-James got in a shot from 22 yards, that deflected onto the roof of the net.

The Stags pulled one back on 90+1 minutes. A great cross from the right by MacDonald was superbly finished by Rose, acrobatically volleying into the bottom left corner of the net. Too little and far too late, but a fine goal. The quality we’d been wanting to see for the previous 90 minutes.

Rose should have had a second goal on 90+3 minutes. A long ball forward, flicked off the head of a defender, putting Rose clean through on goal in the area. He should have scored but a defender put in a great tackle for a corner. Rose just delayed a split second too long and seemed to be trying to get a shot away on his right foot when it would have been quicker to go with his left.

A few boos at the final whistle, but not as many as half time, by which time the damage had been done with the Stags already 2-0 down.

Man of the match: Danny Rose

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

Line Up:
(4-4-2, diamond formation in midfield):
Logan 6 Not at fault for the goals in our opinion. One mistake early on when he got out of jail. One good save with his legs in the first half.
White 4 Lost his man for both first half goals. Terrible comeback game from injury. We would be tempted to bring in the solid Bennett at Barnet.
Pearce 5 Below par. Perhaps harshly penalised for the penalty.
Mirfin 5 A few headers straight up in the air. Part of a poor defence.
Hunt 5 Some poor balls forward. Summed up the team’s lack of confidence when he had a chance to shoot and laid the ball off.
Butcher 5 Displayed a total lack of confidence, too often playing the ball backwards rather than forwards. Harshly received a few boos in the first half for a misplaced pass, but responded with some good challenges.
Atkinson 5 Completely anonymous apart from a 1-2 with MacDonald to set up a shot. Subbed at half time.
MacDonald 5.5 His silly and unnecessary foul resulted in the first goal which set the tone for game. Worked hard as always and provided a fine cross for the consolation goal.
Mellis 5 Started the first half brightly but completely faded after that.
Spencer 6 Two good turns in the first half, and one fine shot that brought a good save. Unlucky to be subbed at half time.
Rose 6 Took his goal well. Good flick on for Spencer’s chance. Some poor efforts too, and handled well by the Swindon centre halves.
Sub Line Up:
Angol (for Spencer, 46 mins) 6 One fine effort with a venomous shot. One other effort saved on the line. Set up one chance for Rose.
Sterling-James (for Atkinson, 46 mins) 5 Had a couple of chances to shoot and instead laid the ball off. Had little impact.
Subs not used: Olejnik, Bennett, Anderson, Hamilton, Hemmings.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-2-3-1): Charles-Cook; Purkiss, Lancashire (capt), Preston, Taylor; Dunne, Linganzi; Goddard, Anderson (McDermott 81), Mullin; Norris (Woolery 88). Subs not used: Henry, Robertson, Iandolo, Gordon, Knoyle.
Oliver Langford 5 Poor game. Generous penalty for Swindon, and should have given a penalty for the foul on Rose. However he is not be blamed for the result.

Season 17/18 Reports