{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Latest News

6th April 2021 0:09

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 0 - 2 Leyton Orient
Johnson 4, 77
Attendance: behind closed doors

Date: 2 April 2021

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town gifted victory to Leyton Orient this afternoon with two goals that stemmed from backpasses that were left short. It was horrific to watch.

Leyton Orient took the lead after 4 minutes. Kellan Gordon attempted to pass back to Aidan Stone from 40 yards out and left it woefully short. Dan Johnson nipped in and collected the ball on the edge of the area with Stone having no chance of getting anywhere near it. Johnson’s shot was superbly pushed wide by Stone. From the resulting corner, taken by Dan Kemp from the right, Sam Ling got to the ball first at the near post, getting away from his marker Mal Benning, glanced his header across the face of goal, and Johnson turned the ball into the net from close range off his knee.

Orient made it 2-0 and killed the game after 77 minutes. Jamie Reid attempted to pass back to Stone from wide out on the touchline 35 yards from goal. Johnson anticipated again, nipped in, took the ball around Stone and slotted into the empty net.

Absolutely ridiculous.

The Stags repeatedly passed the ball back to Stone through the game.

Sam Binch on twitter (@MTFCMusings) pointed out that Aidan Stone had more touches of the ball (53) than all bar one of Orient’s players (Joe Widdowson had 63 touches). Incredible.

It was a bobbly pitch and when it did reach Stone, he often had trouble getting a good connection. After 26 minutes, a poor clearance from Stone reached Craig Clay 30 yards from goal. Clay pushed forward into the area played a 1-2 with Johnson before finding Johnson again who fired just over the bar. Moments later, another poor clearance from Stone found Johnson 30 yards from goal. Johnson fed James Brophy on the left and his low ball in found Kemp but as he slid a shot goalwards, Perch slid in to block it.

Orient were pressing Mansfield, closing them down at the back and profiting from errors.

These were the key moments of a poor game and the reason Orient went away with the points.

After the game, Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham: "We gave the goal away and it gave them such a massive lift. And to give the second one away ultimately kills the game. We need people who aren't going to make mistakes. Reidy shouldn't be doing that as an attacker. That's the game in those two moments.
"It was difficult conditions [for Aidan Stone kicking], so as a back four you recognise that and don't give it to him. I really feel we're just beating ourselves at times.”
When asked how do you go about eradicating the errors, Clough replied: "You look over a period of time, and ultimately you change the players. There's nothing else you can do. You can't do that at the moment, we've got to get through with what we've got."

The Stags had precious few chances to score themselves. After 15 minutes, George Maris threaded a clever ball forward for Lapslie from 30 yards out, but Lapslie who had kept himself onside, just couldn’t quite collect the ball just inside the area. After 27 minutes, Maris again threaded a ball forward, this time for Stephen Quinn, but again Quinn couldn’t quite get it. After 37 minutes, Quinn crossed from the left and Reid headed goalwards but it was easily saved by Lawrence Vigouroux in the Orient goal.

Into the second half, and a low cross from Gordon after 47 minutes reached Lapslie whose low shot from 16 yards took a little deflection straight into the arms of the keeper. Lapslie had a shot blocked following a Jason Law corner after 55 minutes. Then on 59 minutes, Quinn played inside to Maris who fired high and wide from 28 yards. Law tried to thread a nice ball forward from the edge of the area in for Lapslie to run onto but it just evaded Lapslie and ran through to the keeper after 64 minutes. Reid stumbled as he was about to turn and shoot after 66 minutes. Then Rawson headed over the bar from Law’s corner after 73 minutes.

Then came Orient’s second goal and the game was over.

Orient created very little, indeed almost nothing of their own in the entire game, other than what they were gifted. They clearly deserved the victory though, as their tactic of pressing Mansfield’s back line, hurrying the defence, and cutting off passes in midfield worked perfectly. They took the chances they were gifted and made far fewer mistakes of their own.

Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham after the game: “We needed players like George Maris and Jason Law to be good on the ball today but they struggled to get into the game.” This made it all the more puzzling to me that Ollie Clarke was not brought on earlier than he was after 76 minutes. I thought the game was crying out for Clarke’s driving force forward at half time, after such a disappointing first half. The Stags had 12 corners today, taken by Maris and Law, and created very little from them.

The Stags drop another place to 19th. Bottom club Grimsby drew 1-1 at Salford, Salford equalising after 88 minutes, thankfully. Grimsby are 11 points behind Mansfield, although they have a game in hand. Second bottom Southend play tomorrow, at home to Carlisle. They are currently 9 points behind Mansfield with a game in hand. A win for Southend would cut the deficit to just 6 points, with 7 games left, though Mansfield’s goal difference is hugely better. The Stags could do with a favour from Carlisle. Mansfield go to Exeter on Monday.

Before the game, there was a minute’s silence for Lee Collins who passed away this week. It was utterly shocking news to hear. Collins was just 32 and played for Mansfield from 2015-2017, and was captain. He was a thoroughly nice bloke who I spoke to on plenty of occasions. Deepest condolences to Lee’s family.

Mansfield made one change from the side that drew at Tranmere. George Lapslie returned to the starting XI, coming in for Harry Charsley. It was the diamond formation in midfield, with Maris in front of the back four and Law behind the front two.

Mansfield came in to the game after 4 draws on the trot. Remarkably one more today would have equalled the club record which is 5 consecutive draws, set in 1986 (thanks to Paul Taylor for pointing that out to me). It wasn’t to be.
Note also that the club record for most draws in a season is 20. So far, Mansfield are on 17 draws this season, now with 7 games left.

Leyton Orient had won three games on the trot, including away at Newport and Carlisle. You only needed to watch the highlights of their win against Oldham last week to see that they were trying to profit from poor backpasses, with their first goal coming from exactly that.

Orient win today, their 4th on the trot, takes them to just a point outside the play-offs.

It was a sunny day. Leyton Orient took the knee before the game, Mansfield didn’t.



Stats from PA:

Match Stats
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Leyton Orient
Possession Home 64% Away 36%
Shots Home 8 Away 8
Shots on Target Home 2 Away 3
Corners Home 12 Away 2


Danny Johnson brace shoots down the Stags
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Friday 2nd April 2021

Mansfield Town were punished for a sloppy afternoon's work as a brace from Leyton Orient hotshot Danny Johnson saw the visitors pull off a 2-0 victory at the One Call Stadium this afternoon.

Two awful backpasses led directly and indirectly to Johnson taking his season's tally to 19 goals for the play-off chasing O's, who have now won four in a row.

For Stags it was sixth game without a win as they continue to chase the two elusive victories boss Nigel Clough feels they need to be absolutely safe this season.

Overall it was a scrappy game with few chances and Mansfield very much architects of their own downfall ahead of a tough trip to Exeter City on Easter Monday.


The afternoon began with a minute's silence in memory of former Stags skipper Lee Collins, who died this week aged 32.

Mansfield then began the game on the front foot only to find themselves behind on five minutes.

They had a huge let-off as Stone made a superb save to deny Johnson in a fourth minute one-on-one after the Orient striker latched onto a terrible short backpass by Gordon.

But from the ensuing corner, Ling flicked on at the near post and Johnson turned home his 18th goal of the season from close range.

Mansfield created more problems for themselves with two inexplicably poor kick outs by Stone on 26 minutes, the first gifting Clay the chance to set up Johnson for a shot just over the bar.

Two minutes from the break Clay got on the end of a McAnuff cross, but his header from eight yards sailed over the bar as Stags went in a goal down and not having seriously troubled Orient keeper Vigouroux.

Two minutes after the restart Lapslie got away a fierce low shot, but it was straight at the keeper.

Maris was then well over from Bowery's square pass on 59 minutes as Mansfield enjoyed more possession than in the first half.

But the home side shot themselves in the foot once more on 77 minutes as a poor backpass from Reid wide on the right let in the lurking Johnson to easily round Stone and roll in his second of the game.

STAGS: Stone, Benning, Rawson, Bowery, Maris, Gordon (R. Sweeney (83), Perch, Quinn (Charsley 81), Reid (Sinclair 81), Law (McLaughlin 76), Lapslie (Clarke 76). Subs not used: Stech, Ward.

ORIENT: Vigouroux, Ling, Widdowson, Cisse, McAnuff (Kyprianou 67), Clay, Kemp, Brophy, Akinola, Turley, Johnson. Subs not used: Sargeant, Judd, Dennis, J. Sweeney, Abrahams, Young.

REFEREE: Robert Madley.


Leyton Orient seal fourth consecutive win over Mansfield as they chase down the play-off places
newhamrecorder.co.uk, by Jacob Ranson, April 2, 2021

Leyton Orient made it four consecutive wins in League Two thanks to a brace from Danny Johnson away to Mansfield Town.

The O's are now just one point off the play-off places after their recent surge in form under new manager Jobi McAnuff.

The O’s boss McAnuff made two changes to the starting line-up as he included himself and right-back Sam Ling in place of Dan Happe and Conor Wilkinson.

It was a dream start for the O’s as they ramped up some early pressure with top goal scorer Danny Johnson going close in the opening minutes.

They soon took the lead in the fifth minute as right-back Sam Ling nodded a corner into a crowd of players and it seems Johnson gets the all important touch into the net to end his long goal drought.


Both sides settled into the match with the next real chance coming in the 26th minute as Johnson played a one-two with captain Craig Clay before smashing the ball over the crossbar.

Immediately after, Dan Kemp's strike was blocked and went behind as Mansfield looked hesitant in possession.

The Stags striker Jamie Reid’s header in the 38th minute floated into the hands of Orient goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux as they searched for an equaliser.

Manager Jobi McAnuff whipped in a cross shortly after, unfortunately, Clay couldn’t hit the target with his header and they headed into the break with a 1-0 lead.

Early in the second-half the ball broke to George Lapslie 15-yards from goal, he had a shot and it was a comfortable save for Vigouroux.

Mansfield upped the tempo and started to force the O’s to defend their lead and their own box as time went on in the contest.

In the 73rd minute experienced defender Turley done just enough to deflect Rawson's header behind and deny the Stags the chance of equalising.

Four minutes later the visitors doubled their lead as O’s striker Johnson intercepted a poor back pass, rounded the goalkeeper and tapped the ball home for his second of the match.

They saw the game out to make it four consecutive wins and move just one point of the play-off places.

Mansfield Town: Stone, Gordon (Sweeney 83), Rawson, Perch, Benning, Maris, Lapslie (Clarke 76), Quinn, Law (McLaughlin 76) Reid, Bowery.

Unused subs: Stech, Charsley, Ward, Sinclair.

Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Ling, Akinola, Turley, Widdowson, Cisse, Clay, McAnuff (Kyprianou 67), Kemp, Brophy, Johnson.

Unused subs: Sargeant, Judd, Sweeney, Kyprianou, Dennis, Young, Abrahams.