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27th April 2021 19:20

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Salford City 2 - 0 Mansfield Town
Hunter 5, Henderson 63. Henderson missed pen 74. Towell sent off 68
Attendance: behind closed doors

Date: 24 April 2021


Martin Shaw at the Peninsula Stadium, Moor Lane

Mansfield Town were beaten 2-0 at play-off chasing Salford City this afternoon, but the game was overshadowed by a sickening injury to Stags defender Farrend Rawson. Rawson was knocked unconscious after 84 minutes as he collided with Stags young keeper Jamie Pardington who had only been on the pitch a few minutes for his league debut. Rawson received oxygen from the medical staff and was finally stretchered off after 10 minutes of attention on the pitch.

Straight after the game, Stags boss Nigel Clough gave an update on Rawson: “He is awake now - he wasn’t at the time Tom (Whittamore, Stags physio) got onto the pitch, as he’d been knocked unconscious. He's going to hospital to get checked out. So hopefully he’ll be okay - he didn’t remember too much about the incident, which is pretty normal I think in those sorts of injuries. The medical staff here were brilliant, they were straight on to it and looked after him brilliantly.”

Get well soon Farrend.

The Stags had secured their safety on Tuesday with a dominant performance in a 3-0 win over Scunthorpe and were looking for 3 wins on the trot. However Salford had a formidable home record, in fact the last club in the top 4 divisions to lose their unbeaten home record, which happened in their previous home match, and they were chasing a play-off spot.

The Stags could have been ahead after just 3 minutes as Salford keeper Vaclav Hladky miskicked a goal kick straight to Tyrese Sinclair 40 yards from goal. Sinclair knocked the ball forward, chested it down, went a little bit wide on the left, and from 12 yards fired goalwards with his left foot but Hladky redeemed himself saving it above his head. Had Sinclair been on his right foot I think he would probably have scored but he was on his weaker foot.

Within two minutes at the other end Salford were ahead. Ian Henderson got to the byline on the right, he played a low ball inside to Robbie Gotts, Gotts in turn crossed from the byline into the middle where Ash Hunter got in front of Rawson to knock the ball down and in one movement on the turn, he fired past Stone from 6 yards. It was a clinical piece of finishing. After the game, Nigel Clough said it reminded him of Jamie Reid’s goal at Cambridge.

For the rest of the first half, the Stags were the better side creating a number of good opportunities. After 16 minutes, good play from the Stags down the left and Stephen Quinn’s cross just evaded Jason Law.

Then after 26 minutes, Hladky had to make a great save to keep the Stags out. Sinclair pressurised Ash Eastham to win the ball on the left, Sinclair dinked a lovely ball down the link for Quinn to get to the byline and put in a magnificent cross which George Lapslie attacked, getting above his marker and sending a flying header goalwards but Hladky brilliantly pushed it away. Excellent play from Sinclair, Quinn and Lapslie.

Two minutes after that, Sinclair cut inside Di’Shon Bernard from the left on to his right foot and curled a fine effort just over the bar. I was right behind that effort and it was so nearly an absolute peach.

Sinclair had two further chances to score from free kicks. Firstly his free kick from 35 yards was blocked by the hand of Richie Towell for another free kick. This time it was 26 yards out, and Sinclair made another good connection getting it on target, but straight at the keeper.

A good performance in the first half from Mansfield, who should have been leading but found themselves 1-0 down.

Another chance for Lapslie 5 minutes into the second half as Jordan Bowery headed back a Quinn cross to Lapslie and his volley was straight at Hladky.

Salford weren’t afraid to go route one and created a chance almost immediately as Hladky’s long kick reached Henderson who controlled it, turned and shot but Ryan Sweeney did very well to block.

The game was in the balance but Salford made it 2-0 after 63 minutes as Ibou Touray crossed from the left, James Perch tried to clear, the ball looped up and Henderson, with his back to goal 16 yards out, hooked a magnificent volley into the left corner of the net. What a goal from Henderson. Henderson was a prolific goalscorer for Rochdale but was prised away by Salford and won't have come cheap. You get what you pay for with quality striking like that.

Salford were reduced to ten men after 68 minutes. Richie Towell and Kellan Gordon battled for the ball near the touchline. Gordon had only been on as a sub for two minutes for Mansfield. The ball went out of play, both players ended up on the deck. Towell went to smash the ball away and took out Gordon’s legs as he did so. A bizarre action from Towell, ridiculous, and the referee quite rightly showed him a straight red card.

Salford won a penalty after 74 minutes. Another huge kick from Hladky was aimed towards Henderson, again. Sweeney won the header, but headed it up and backwards. Henderson chased it forward and got to it before Stone, taking a touch before running straight into Stone. As Henderson had got to the ball first, it was a foul and a penalty. I thought Sweeney was partially at fault for the penalty, but Nigel Clough laid the blame firmly with Aidan Stone saying: “He shouldn't have conceded it, he should have come out and dealt with the ball, it was in the air long enough, and he hesitated, and the lad's pushed it past him. We shouldn't be giving it away." Henderson stepped up to take the penalty and Stone got down low to his left to make a terrific save.

Stone was immediately replaced by Jamie Pardington, the young goalkeeper on loan from Wolves, who Nigel Clough had previously said would get a game before the end of the season once the Stags were safe. Clough explained afterwards that “Pardington was coming on today anyway for the last 10 or 15 minutes, as we spoke about giving young players opportunities. That was the plan irrespective of the penalty.”

The Stags had very few chances to get back into the game though after 83 minutes Gordon cut across the edge of the area and fired goalwards but it was a weak effort straight at Hladky.

Then came that sickening moment after 84 minutes. Touray lifted a high ball into the Stags half. Rawson was chasing back. Pardington was rushing out of his area. And the two collided horribly. Pardington was ok to get back up but Rawson was knocked out cold and eventually stretchered off. Clough said that the collision came as a result of no communication between the two players. Clough explained after the game: "Jamie Pardington will remember his debut, certainly. It's just a lack of communication. It's a problem we have with a lot of players at the club. If they don't talk, I've just told them, then they're at the wrong club. Jamie Pardington looked a bit nervous when he came on today. But he's only a young goalkeeper making his league debut. A lack of communication and he's knocked Faz out, but he'll have to deal with that and get over it. If he's going to play professional football, these things happen."

Having made all their substitutions the Stags were also down to ten men now for what turned out to be 11 further minutes of playing time. But the Stags looked flat and very down following the injury. There was just one more chance to get a goal back as Sinclair had another free kick, 29 yards out, but he fired well over the bar.

So a 2-0 win for Salford, but the Stags should have got more from this game and that has been a bit of a pattern this season. It also highlighted where the Stags need to make changes for next season, indeed Nigel Clough spelled it out in his post-match interview with BBC Radio Nottingham saying: "We had enough chances. But it's the same old thing. It's both penalty areas. That's the difference in the game again today. Get us a couple of strikers, a couple of defenders, and certainly we will be making changes in the goalkeeping department." Was it significant that Clough said “making changes (pleural rather than singular) in the goalkeeping department" ? We’ll have to wait and see I suppose.

Just two games left now. The Stags play Oldham at home next Saturday, and you would think that Pardington might continue in goal, with at least one of the young full-backs Jaden Charles and James Clarke also getting a game. They were both included in the 18 today. Clough explained afterwards that "Mal Benning wasn't in the 18 so we could include Jaden Charles and James Clarke. We want to get the youngsters involved between now and the end of the season."

Mansfield made two changes from the side that beat Scunthorpe. Ollie Clarke was injured with a twisted ankle from the Scunthorpe game (Clough said “Hopefully he’ll be okay for next Saturday, but he was too sore today”). He was replaced by Jason Law. Meanwhile Jordan Bowery started ahead of Jamie Reid. James Perch was captain. It was a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond in midfield, Maris in front of the back four, Law behind the front two of Bowery and Sinclair.

It was Mansfield Town’s first ever visit to Moor Lane. The Stags just missed out on playing there last season when the season was curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.



Farrend Rawson injury overshadows Mansfield Town defeat at Salford City
chad.co.uk, Saturday 24th April 2021

Mansfield Town’s hopes of a third win on the spin for the first time since January came to an abrupt halt with defeat at 10-man Salford City.

Farrend Rawson was stretchered off after colliding with substitute stopper Jamie Pardington which led to 11 minutes of time added on.

However, after the final whistle Nigel Clough confirmed the defender was awake.


The Stags slipped to just their second defeat in 10 games after goals from Ash Hunter and Ian Henderson did the damage at the Peninsula Stadium.

Richie Towell was sent off for the hosts, with stopper Aidan Stone limiting the damage with a fine penalty save.

Nigel Clough made two changes from the side which impressed to beat Scunthorpe 3-0 last time out.

Injured captain Ollie Clarke was replaced by Jason Law as Jordan Bowery returned at the expense of Jamie Reid.

The Stags stormed out of the blocks as Vaclav Hladky’s poor clearance fell to Tyrese Sinclair, but the Salford stopper recovered well to make a good save.

And that miss was doubly disappointing as Hunter fired the hosts in front just two minutes later.

Robbie Gotts did brilliantly and he found the 25-year-old to lash beyond Stone.

The Stags’ keeper easily kept out Di’Shon Bernard’s effort as the Ammies upped the ante.

Down the other end, Hladky produced a moment of brilliant to keep out George Lapslie’s point-blank header before Sinclair fired just over the bar in a positive spell for Clough’s charges.

After the break Lapslie’s volley barely troubled Hladky.

But the hosts’ lead was doubled just after the hour mark.

And it was a super strike as he hit a volley on the turn from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.

The visitors were given a glimmer of hope when Towell was sent off after reacting badly to a challenge from Kellan Gordon.

But Stone felled Hunter in the box before making amends to keep out Henderson’s spot kick.

Rawson was stretchered off after colliding with Pardington as the visitors played out the remainder of stoppage time with 10.

Salford: Hladky, Bernard, Eastham, Turnbull, Touray, Lowe, Threlkeld (Coutts, 90+4), Gotts, Towell, Hunter (Boyd, 79), Henderson (Thomas-Asante, 80); Subs (not used): Evans, Clarke, Burgess, Coutts, Dieseruvwe.

Mansfield: Stone. (Pardington, 75), Perch, Rawson, Sweeney, McLaughlin, Maris (Gordon, 67), Lapslie (Reid, 66), Quinn (Ward, 80), Law (Charsley, 75), Bowery, Sinclair; Suns (not used): Clarke, Charles.

Referee: James Oldham.