STAGS LOSE AT CRAWLEY TO INJURY TIME GOAL
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Crawley Town 1 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: behind closed doors
Date: 13 March 2021
Martin Shaw at Broadfield Stadium
Mansfield Town were beaten 1-0 at Crawley Town this afternoon in a poor game full of misplaced passes on a bobbly pitch that made controlling the ball difficult. The game looked like it would finish 0-0 but a well-taken goal by substitute James Tilley in the 2nd minute of stoppage time gave Crawley the victory.
It was Crawley’s 4th consecutive win at home, without conceding a goal (three by 1-0 and one by 2-0). With a certain symmetry, it was Mansfield’s 4th consecutive defeat away, without scoring a goal (three by 1-0 and one by 2-0).
The goal came from a Crawley throw-in in their own half. The throw-in was headed on by Tom Nichols, it bounced off Kellan Gordon’s shoulder, and James Tilley got in between Gordon and Farrend Rawson to surge into the area and fire a powerful shot past Marek Stech at his near post into the net from an angle on the left. All three of Gordon, Rawson and Stech could have done better to prevent the goal, but it was a very fine goal from Tilley.
Nigel Clough pulled no punches after the game telling BBC Radio Nottingham: "We failed to defend a run-of-the-mill throw-in. They got between Kellan Gordan and Rawson and then it's beaten Marek at his near post. I think all three of them are culpable really." Talking about the errors conceded in those recent away games to lose the games, Nigel Clough, asked by Mark Stevenson if these errors can be fixed, told iFollow Stags: "With the current set of players ... I'm not sure. Not sure about that. There will be a lot of assessing done in the last couple of months of the season. But it's evident that we need fresh players in to make that difference." Worth remembering though that Gordon has only recently been offered by Clough, and has signed, a contract extension, while Rawson and Stech are under contract for next season.
The first half was quite even, punctuated by a lot of misplaced passes from both sides, but the Stags had the better of the chances. After 9 minutes, Mal Benning pulled the ball back from the byline to Jamie Reid. Reid knocked the ball up with his back to goal, and from 7 yards out sent an overhead kick towards the right corner of the net. Keeper Glenn Morris pushed it away at full stretch and it didn’t fall kindly for Ollie Clarke who was waiting to pounce on the rebound and might have had an open goal. It was a brilliant effort from Reid. Good goalkeeping too from Morris to save it and keep it away from Clarke. Reid had a glorious chance after 22 minutes as Stephen Quinn whipped in a wonderful cross from the left and Reid got up well at the near post but headed inches wide of the left post with goalkeeper Morris beaten. Having got up well, Reid should have scored. After 39 minutes, Reid turned well and shot a yard over the bar from 20 yards. Two minutes later, Jordan Bowery did well to rob the ball off Joe McNerney but screwed his shot well wide of the left post. Finally, after 45 minutes, Reid cut inside and fired a left-footed shot high and wide. At the other end, after 13 minutes, Tom Nichols had a free header from 12 yards from a corner which Stech saved onto his bar and caught at the second attempt. Nichols’ was Gordon’s man from the corner and Gordon let him get away. Nichols also had a 20 yard shot straight at Stech, after 34 minutes, and two minutes later Jake Hessenthaler fired well over the bar from 25 yards.
Into the second half and it was Crawley who had the better of the chances. After 56 minutes, Archie Davies pulled the ball across from the right to Nichols who fired goalwards low and hard from 12 yards but Stech got down quickly with a strong right hand to make a great save. Then after 60 minutes, Ashley Nadeson headed wide from another Davies cross. Nichols fired well wide after 69 minutes from a Nadeson pull-back from the byline. After 81 minutes, Quinn clearly off the line as Joe McNerney headed goalwards from a corner. The Stags went close really only once in the second half, with 85 minutes gone, as substitute Tyrese Sinclair was fouled by Hessenthaler 26 yards from goal. He took the keeper, and looped inches over the bar. It was so close and would probably have been the winner. But instead, it was Crawley who found the winner in stoppage time with just a minute left to play.
Such a disappointment for the Stags. A draw would have been a fair result but that injury time goal made all the difference.
It was a scrappy game. Many players on both sides gave the ball away on occasions, but one player who made fewer than most and was mostly solid throughout was James Perch and he was my man of the match.
Mansfield remain in 16th place. The bottom two clubs, Southend and Grimsby, both drew 0-0 at home and so gained just one point on the Stags. Mansfield are 10 points above Southend and 14 above Grimsby. Southend have played a game more than Mansfield and have just 11 games left. Grimsby have one game in hand on Mansfield. Mansfield’s goal difference is 24 better than both of the bottom two clubs.
The games continue to come thick and fast. Mansfield are at home to Carlisle on Tuesday night (kick-off 7pm), looking for a 3rd straight home win. Carlisle had been on a terrible run of form that had seen them slip into mid-table, but they beat in-form Bradford this afternoon. Since the two sides met in December at Brunton Park in front of 2000 home fans, when Carlisle were second in the table, Carlisle have taken only 12 points from 13 games, while Mansfield have taken 24 points from 16 games.
Mansfield were unchanged from the side that beat Cheltenham on Tuesday. There were two changes on the bench. Ryan Sweeney returned from suspension, while Oli Sarkic returned from injury. Out went Corey O’Keeffe and George Lapslie. Nigel Clough had explained in his press conference on Friday that Lapslie had felt his hamstring in the 20 minutes he was on as sub against Cheltenham and that they would assess whether it was worth risking him. They decided not to risk him, and Clough said after the game here he was not sure if Lapslie would be fit for Tuesday either. Incidentally, Aidan Stone had travelled with the squad today and was warming up with the other goalkeepers before the game so appears to have recovered from his injury which is good news. Nigel Clough has already said though that Stech will get a run in the side now.
There was a change in formation from the 4-4-2 with a diamond in midfield on Tuesday, and today it was a 4-5-1 with Reid starting up front on his own, and Law and Bowery on the far right and left of midfield. That was very similar to the 4-3-3 formation from previous games though, but with Law and Bowery slightly deeper. At the start of the second half, Bowery was up front in the middle, with Reid on the right and Law on the left.
Crawley were unchanged from their midweek home win over Salford. They had hit a bit of form with 3 home wins on the trot, plus winning away at Tranmere last Saturday. They were fancying their chances of a crack at making the play-offs, 7 points behind them. And after today’s win they are 6 points behind with 2 games in hand.
This was Mansfield Town’s 3,500th game in the Football League, with thanks to Paul Taylor for that statistic.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Late heartbreak as Mansfield Town beaten at Crawley by stoppage-time winner
chad.co.uk, Saturday 13th March 2021
Mansfield Town’s woes on the road continued with a heart-breaking last-minute defeat at Crawley.
The stuttering Stags have gone six games without an away win after securing three away wins on the spin.
Nigel Clough’s charges have now lost six of their last eight games and are ten points above the dreaded drop zone.
Supersub James Tilley scored deep in stoppage time as the hosts moved closer towards the play-off places.
Clough named an unchanged side hammering table-topping Cheltenham last time out.
Jamie Reid went close with an early effort as Glenn Morris kept out the striker’s overhead kick.
Down the other end Marek Stech made an early save to keep out top scorer Tom Nichols’ header.
And Reid squandered the best chance of the first half when he headed Stephen Quinn’s pin-point cross wide.
Nichols went close to giving the visitors the lead when he once again tested Stech.
Just before the break, Reid fired over the bar on the turn from the edge of the area.
And Jordan Bowery also fluffed his lines when he scuffed his effort wide of the mark.
The Stags started the second half brightly, but it was the hosts who went closest.
Stech produced a super save to keep out Nichols as Crawley turned the screw.
And Ashley Nadesan was the latest to go close when he headed Archie Davies’ cross over the bar on the hour.
Jordan Maguire-Drew fired a free-kick over the bar as the Stags tried to hold on in the second half.
Substitute Tyrese Sinclair’s late deflected free-kick looped just over the hosts bar as time was running out.
And James Perch nodded the resultant corner wide.
But Tilley hit a last-gasp winner with a venomous half-volley deep in stoppage time.
CRAWLEY: Morris, Francomb, McNerney, Davies, Tunnicliffe, Powell, Hesketh (Tilley, 82), Maguire-Drew (Wright, 76), Hessenthaler, Nadesan, Nichols; Unused subs: Nelson, Rodart, Craig, Tsaroulla.
Mansfield: Stech, Benning, Rawson, Gordon, Perch, Clarke (Ward, 45), Quinn, McLaughlin, Law (Charsley, 76), Bowery, Reid (Sinclair, 68); Unused subs: Pardington, Wright, Sarkic, Sweeney.
Referee: Thomas Bramall.
Crawley Town 1, Mansfield Town 0: Super-sub Tilley earns Reds three points against Stags
westsussextoday.co.uk, By Coren Blackburn
James Tilley struck a last-minute winner against Colchester United last month, and he produced another late winner to seal another three points for Crawley against a stubborn Mansfield Town.
It was a quiet match, with Tom Nichols coming close twice, heading against the bar, before forcing Marek Stech into a strong save.
It seemed like Crawley were heading towards a goalless draw, before Tilley rifled into the bottom corner, as the Reds once again found last-minute salvation.
Both John Yems and Nigel Clough named unchanged starting line-ups from their midweek wins, as Tony Craig returned to the Crawley bench.
Mansfield were the first to come close when Glenn Morris did well to claw away an acrobatic effort from Jamie Reid, with Ollie Clarke unable to follow the shot in.
Tom Nichols looped a header onto the bar, before Reid missed a huge chance for Mansfield, as he sent a free header wide from close range.
Reid blazed an effort over, before Jordan Bowery dragged a shot wide in a quiet first-half.
Crawley had the first big chance of the second-half with the best move of the game, when Jordan Maguire-Drew worked the ball to Archie Davies, who played a sharp cutback towards Tom Nichols. Nichols sent a first-time drive towards the bottom corner, but it was a great stop from Marek Stech to deny him.
Ashley Nadesan got in behind the Stags’ back four, and picked out Nichols, who miscued his first-time effort, firing wide.
Joe McNerney came close with a header into a dangerous area from a corner, but Mansfield were able to hack the ball clear.
Stags substitute Tyrese Sinclair took a free-kick which deflected off of the wall, looping over, before James Perch headed the resulting corner over.
The game seemed to be heading towards a stalemate until Crawley stole a late winner in stoppage time when substitute James Tilley got in behind and drilled an unstoppable finish past Stech at his near post, to secure another valuable three points for the Reds.
Crawley: Morris, Francomb, McNerney, Powell, Nadesan, Davies, Nichols, Tunnicliffe, Hesketh (Tilley 80’), Maguire-Drew (Wright 77’), Hessenthaler
Mansfield: Stech, Benning, Rawson, Clarke (Ward 45’), Bowery, Gordon, Perch, Quinn, Reid (Sinclair 69’), McLaughlin, Law (Charsley 77’)
Latest | March 2021