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5th May 2021 0:11

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 4 - 1 Oldham Athletic
Sinclair 12, Lapslie 38, 80, Reid 88. Dearnley 51
Attendance: behind closed doors

Date: 1 May 2021


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town beat Oldham Athletic 4-1 in the final home game of the season this afternoon. It’s been a season like no other, played in its entirety behind closed doors at home, but the Stags signed off in style with a thumping victory which should have been considerably more emphatic. In fact, realistically it should have been about 8-0 given the number of golden opportunities that the Stags created.

Oldham demonstrated why they have now conceded 78 goals this season, considerably more than anyone else in the division, with a very porous defence but the Stags were excellent going forward. At the other end, Oldham who are surprisingly also the top scorers in the division with 72 goals, barely looked like creating a chance in the game, apart from being gifted a ridiculous goal courtesy of another calamitous mix-up at the back from the Stags the like of which has been too frequent this season.

Mansfield leapfrogged Oldham into 17th place and finish the season with a trip to Port Vale next Saturday.

The Stags created three very good chances in the opening 10 minutes. After 4 minutes, Kellan Gordon crossed low to Jamie Reid in the area, and Reid teed up Tyrese Sinclair perfectly for a shot from 16 yards on his left foot but Sinclair fired wide of the left post. Four minutes later, another good chance as George Maris made a good run forward, found Stephen Quinn who swept the ball out to Stephen McLaughlin on the left. McLaughlin’s cross in from level with the edge of the area was in to Reid who glanced a header on to George Lapslie, and Lapslie knocked it goalwards from six yards but couldn’t get a good enough connection on it to get it past the keeper who saved on his line. Then a minute later, McLaughlin intercepted the ball just outside his own area and surged forward into the Oldham half. He laid the ball forward to Reid, who played back to Maris. Maris initially gave the ball away before getting it back and sliding a great ball forward to Quinn who pulled it back from the byline on the left to Reid who shot high and wide from 12 yards. It was another tremendous move and wasteful finish.

The Stags took the lead after 12 minutes. Maris played inside to Lapslie who found Sinclair on the left. Sinclair tried to cut inside but lost the ball. Maris won it back, finding Reid on the edge of the box. Reid turned and laid a superb little ball forward for Sinclair to run on to in the box and Sinclair fired under the keeper left footed from 8 yards. A nice assist from Reid and a good finish from Sinclair, his 3rd goal in successive home matches.

After 22 minutes, Quinn found Sinclair on the edge of the area, and Sinclair curled a shot just over the bar. After 30 minutes, Quinn’s low shot was going wide but heading towards Lapslie who might have turned it goalwards but it was blocked for a corner. After 35 minutes, Sinclair dinked a corner into the middle with no backlift trying to catch Oldham out taking it quickly. Quinn flicked it on with his head and Lapslie again bundled it goalwards from inside the six-yard box, and the keeper got down low to his left to save on his line. After 37 minutes, Keaton Ward’s low shot was on target and blocked by his own man Lapslie.

The Stags made it 2-0 after 38 minutes. Quinn found McLaughlin on the left, level with the edge of the area, he weaved his way past Harry Clarke one way then the other before smashing in a low cross-shot which Lapslie turned into the net side-footed from six yards.

Sinclair had another great chance after 40 minutes. Ryan Sweeney’s long ball forward bounced over the sleeping defence leaving Sinclair one-on-one with the keeper from 8 yards, but Sinclair lifted his effort over the bar. It was a sitter and Sinclair held his head in his hands. Jamie Reid fired wide after a good first touch on 43 minutes. And Reid went even closer on 45+2 minutes. Lapslie slid a super ball forward into the area for him to run on to and Reid slammed a shot from the right from 12 yards towards the roof of the net but the keeper tipped it over the bar. A good effort from Reid.

What a first half it was from Mansfield, absolutely dominant, chance after chance after chance. Oldham could not have complained if it had been 6-0 at the break. As it was, it was only 2-0. So much good approach play from the Stags and it was a joy to watch.

The Stags started the second half in the same vein pouring forward again. But having offered nothing going forward, Oldham were gifted a goal back after 51 minutes. Callum Whelan threaded a hopeful ball forward from inside his own half. Sweeney could have easily cleared or played back to Stone but instead tried to shepherd it out for a goalkick. It never looked like it had the legs to go out for a goalkick. At the last moment, Stone came out to try to collect, but Sweeney ran in to him and they both ended up on the floor, allowing Zak Dearnley to slot the ball into the empty net. Ridiculous. The Stags have conceded too many ridiculous goals gifted to the opposition this season. In my opinion, the main blame lay with Sweeney who had plenty of time to clear and didn’t. But Stone could have done better too and when Sweeney didn’t clear he could have come out to deal with it. It was just a calamity between the two of them.

It was gutting for the Stags having been so dominant and for a while Oldham were rejuvenated. Ben Garrity headed wide after 55 minutes and Dylan Bahamboula fired high and wide from 23 yards after 64 minutes.

Slowly the Stags regained their grip. After 62 minutes, Quinn brilliantly controlled the ball and found Reid whose shot was blocked. After 69 minutes, Sinclair was bundled over by Carl Piergianni after a good flick on by Reid and appealed for a penalty. From the video replay, it was probably a foul, but it was fractionally outside the box. Nothing was given anyway.

After 78 minutes, Oldham had a chance to equalise. Bahamboula’s shot was well-blocked by Sweeney for a corner. Great play from Sweeney trying to atone for his error. From the corner, Harry Clarke had a free header which he sent wide from near the penalty spot.

A great run from Lapslie after 79 minutes getting to the byline, he tried to find Sinclair in the middle in a good position but his cross was blocked.

The Stags made it 3-1 after 80 minutes. Sinclair’s corner from the left was recycled by Sweeney back to Maris. Maris lifted a fantastic cross in from the right, 25 yards out, to the far post where Lapslie turned it into the net on the volley left footed from 3 yards. It was the goal to kill the game and how Mansfield deserved it. It was Lapslie’s 2nd goal of the afternoon and his 9th of the season.

After 84 minutes, Jason Law played to Harry Charsley, one substitute to another, on the edge of the D, and Charsley’s low shot was pushed wide by the keeper.

It was 4-1 after 88 minutes. Maris lifted a high ball out to the left for substitute James Clarke. James Clarke controlled it very nicely, cut inside Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and fired goalwards with his left foot from 12 yards. The keeper saved it with his knee, it rebounded to Reid, and Reid tucked the ball into the left corner of the net from 8 yards. It was just reward for Reid for a very good game, but it was his first goal since the win over Cheltenham, and just his 7th of the season in 44 league and cup appearances. Not enough for a striker in my opinion.

Substitute Jordan Bowery could have added a fifth after 90+2 minutes but shot into the side netting.

It finished 4-1, but it should have been at least 8-0. A tremendous performance with loads of fantastic approach play. Maris, Quinn, Lapslie, and Keaton Ward on his full debut were all excellent in midfield, Sinclair and Reid were very good up front, and McLaughlin got forward well from left back as did Gordon from the right. But the performance did highlight poor finishing yet again and a goal gifted to the opposition both of which have too often dogged the Stags this season.

Mansfield have now won two games more than they have lost under Nigel Clough, at least mid-table form, and this has rescued the Stags from that disastrous start under Graham Coughlan. With good additions in attack, in defence and in goal (Nigel Clough is targeting 8 new players in the summer in these positions), the Stags could be a force next season.

So a second double this season for Mansfield, having won at Boundary Park in January, and having done the double (in fact triple) over Scunthorpe in the last home game. There is a chance of a third double next Saturday as the Stags beat Port Vale 4-0 in January. Vale have been on a brilliant run recently though, under manager Darrell Clarke and director of football David Flitcroft.

A word on Mal Benning, who it was announced this week will leave the club after 6 years. He’s been a great club man. Thanks for the memories Mal and good luck for the future. It's been a joy watching you play.
Nigel Clough had explained him not getting a final swansong: "The last thing we wanted was him twisting a knee or something which jeopardises any potential contract that he could get for next season and beyond. I think he deserves that and out of respect for him we won't be involving him."



Four-some! Mansfield Town put Oldham Athletic to the sword
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 1st May 2021

Mansfield Town ended their home programme on a high with a convincing 4-1 victory over Oldham Athletic this afternoon.

The Latics arrived as the division's top scorers, but were lucky to escape a hiding as Stags created a wealth of chances in a sparkling performance.

There was also a silky full debut for Keaton Ward in midfield.


Tyrese Sinclair and George Lapslie had Stags 2-0 up at the break and firmly in charge.

But a mix-up between Ryan Sweeney and Aidan Stone let Zak Dearnley pull one back early in the second half before Lapslie and Jamie Reid secured the points as Stags rose above Oldham in the table.

Stags made three changes with Reid, Gordon and Ward in to replace Bowery, Rawson and Law.

Sinclair whistled a long range effort well over inside the first 30 seconds.

On four minutes Gordon and Reid worked the ball in from the right to set up Sinclair, who fired wide from 12 yards.

Lapslie then had an even better chance on eight minutes as Reid flicked on a McLaughlin cross and Lapslie, six yards from goal, could find no power as he helped the ball into Walker's arms.

Reid miscued from 12 yards from a Quinn cross soon after as Stags stayed on the front foot.

But the pressure paid off on 12 minutes as Maris won a fine tackle which allowed Reid to thread a precise pass through to Sinclair on the left, and he slotted home a fine low finish under Walker.

Stags had a let-off on 17 minutes as a poor kick from Stone saw Dearnley suddenly in on goal, but his touch let him down and Stone was able to get a leg in the way and redeem himself.

Sinclair was only just over the angle from a Quinn pass on 22 minutes, then Lapslie could get no power on his goalwards touch after Quinn flicked on a 35th minute corner.

The deserved second goal finally arrived on 38 minutes as McLaughlin tricked his way into space on the left of the box and sent in a firm, low cross that Lapslie guided in from close range.

It should have been three soon after as Sinclair found himself onside from a huge punt forward by Sweeney only to lift his finish over keeper and bar.

Reid missed another chance on the turn after being fed by Lapslie on 43 minutes and in added time Reid saw Walker turn over his fierce shot as Oldham reached half-time fortunate to only trail 2-0.

Stags began the second half strongly but then gifted Oldham an embarrassing goal back on 51 minutes.

Sweeney tried to shepherd the ball back to Stone under pressure from Dearnley.

But Stone failed to hold the ball as he dropped on it and Dearnley slotted the loose ball into the net.

Encouraged by the gift, Garrity headed just over from a free kick and sub Bahamboula fired just over as Oldham came into the contest for the first time.

Walker denied Reid for a second time on 72 minutes, blocking his shot after great work by Quinn to set him up.

With 12 minutes to go, Stags were lucky as Clarke planted a free header wide from a corner.

Lapslie finally eased nerves with the third goal on 80 minutes.

A half-cleared corner was pumped back in from the right by Maris and Lapslie was again on hand to help it home from close range at the far post.

Reid added a fourth on 88 minutes, clinically following up after Walker had saved from Clarke.

STAGS: Stone, Gordon (J. Clarke 73), Perch, Sweeney, McLaughlin, Maris (Charles 82), Ward (Bowery 73), Quinn, Lapslie (Charsley 82), Sinclair (Law 82), Reid. SUBS NOT USED: Pardington, Wright.

OLDHAM: Walker, Clarke, Jameson, Piergianni, Borthwick-Jackson, Adams (Fage 70), Whelan, Garrity, McAleny (Bahamboula 52), Dearnley (Keillor-Dunn 52), Barnes (McCalmont 60). SUBS NOT USED: Bilboe, Badan, Vaughan.

REFEREE: Antony Coggins.


Mansfield Town 4-1 Latics

Latics conceded twice in both halves to suffer defeat in the final away fixture of the campaign against Mansfield Town.

Zak Dearnley marked his return from injury with a second-half goal but it proved to be no more than a consolation on a hugely disappointing afternoon at Field Mill.

Latics went behind inside the opening 12 minutes and the game was one-way traffic in favour of the home side for the most part, with the visitors unable to make a meaningful impression as an attacking entity.

Keith Curle made three changes from match against Grimsby Town last weekend, Dearnley returning after a 22-game absence, while Marcus Barnes and Ben Garrity also started.

The home side were quick out of the blocks with chances in the opening minutes for Tyrese Sinclair and George Lapslie.

They took the lead through Sinclair, who dispatched an angled finish over Laurie Walker after George Maris won possession in midfield before releasing Jamie Reid to play in the striker.

Conor McAleny tried to free Dearnley in behind the home defence as Latics looked to respond but it was Mansfield who continued to control the play.

Sinclair shot over after a good turn on the edge of the box and minutes later he fed the ball into Keaton Ward but he was unable to finish.

Walker made a save from Lapslie after Latics failed to clear a corner from Stephen Quinn but the dangerous midfielder was on target seven minutes before the break, getting the final touch after an initial effort from Stephen McLaughlin.

Latics got themselves a lifeline six minutes after the re-start, Dearnley profiting on a breakdown in communications between goalkeeper Aidan Stone and Ryan Sweeney to score from close range.

For a brief period, the goal appeared to lift Latics’ performance, Carl Piergianni heading over from a Nicky Adams free-kick. Harry Clarke also went close after meeting a corner from Callum Whelan.

But the respite for the visitors was only brief, Walker denying Reid after good approach work from Quinn.

The home side restored their two-goal advantage with ten minutes remaining, Lapslie adding his second at the far post to convert a right-wing cross from Maris.

And after Walker had saved from Harry Charsley, Mansfied scored a late fourth, Reid converting the rebound after James Clarke cut in from the right before his initial shot was saved.

Oldham Athletic: Walker, Clarke, Jameson, Piergianni, Borthwick-Jackson, Adams (Fage 70), Whelan, Garrity, McAleny (Bahamboula 51), Dearnley (Keillor-Dunn 51), Barnes (McCalmont 60).

Subs not used: Bilboe, Badan, Vaughan.

Mansfield Town: Stone, Gordon (J Clarke 73), Perch, Sweeney, McLaughlin, Maris, Ward (Bowery 73), Quinn (Charles 82), Lapslie (Charsley 82), Sinclair (Law 82), Reid.

Subs not used: Pardington, Wright.

Referee: Anthony Coggins