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21st July 2021 0:49

Pre-Season Friendly
Matlock Town 1 - 0 Mansfield Town
Chippendale 14.
Attendance: 971

Date: 16 July 2021

Martin Shaw at the Proctor Cars Stadium, Causeway Lane

Mansfield Town lost 1-0 at Matlock Town in the second pre-season friendly of the 2021/22 season. Matlock were deserved winners. It was the Northern Premier League side’s fourth pre-season friendly and they looked very “up” for this game.

After the game, Nigel Clough said that his players had done a very tough day of running yesterday, and had worked very hard this week in an important week building up fitness, and he expected them to be very tired for this game. He was therefore happy with the workout, saying “It was a perfect workout at the end of a tough week for the lads. That was exactly how we planned it, where they had to work hard after a tough day of training yesterday.”

Clough was not concerned about the result. Indeed, with his side losing 1-0 with 9 minutes to go, Matlock were reduced to 10 men after a sending-off, and Clough took off one of his players, Elliott Hewitt, to even up the numbers.

For the Stags fans, it was their second opportunity to see their team in the flesh after nearly 18 months away. It was at least a glorious evening of weather in Matlock, and a glorious setting, perhaps the most glorious of any football ground in the country, if not a performance to send them home entertained.

The Stags were still without 7 players who were self-isolating and one or two others through injury. The Stags were without the following players:
Self-isolating: George Shelvey (on loan from Nottm For), Marek Stech, James Perch, Farrend Rawson, Ryan Burke (new signing from Birmingham), George Maris, Jordan Bowery.
Injured: Stephen Quinn (rolled his ankle at Retford, should be ok for next week), Jimmy Knowles (jarred his knee in the warm-up for this game at Matlock), Jason Law (twisted ankle in training on Monday, told me before the game he hoped to be back training next week), Josh Scott (injured).
Absent: Nathan Bishop (on loan from Man Utd, at pre-season with Man Utd).
Also absent from the squad that played at Retford: Ethan Hill (not known, presume injured), Rollin Menayese (gone on loan to Walsall for the season).

The team that started the game was:
Owen Mason (academy goalkeeper);
Kellan Gordon, James Clarke, Elliott Hewitt (new signing from Grimsby), Stephen McLaughlin;
George Lapslie (the defensive midfielder in the diamond), Harry Charsley, Ollie Clarke, Rhys Oates (front of the midfield diamond, new signing from Hartlepool);
Oli Hawkins (new signing from Ipswich), Danny Johnson (new signing from Leyton Orient).

The team after 60 minutes, all subs made after 60 minutes (except Sinclair for Oates at HT, and Ward for Charsley after 51 minutes):
Owen Mason;
James Clarke, Elliott Hewitt, George Cooper, Jayden Charles;
Corey O'Keeffe, Ollie Clarke, George Scott (trialist, released from Rotherham academy last season), Keaton Ward;
Nathan Caine, Tyrese Sinclair.

It was a glorious evening in Matlock.

Inside the first minute, a great flick-on from Oli Hawkins, but Danny Johnson couldn’t quite get on to it.

Matlock made a lively start. They looked up for it from the off.

After 11 minutes, George Lapslie fired in a powerful effort from 28 yards straight at the trialist Matlock keeper. He hit it well. A minute later a great surging run forward from Ollie Clarke.

James Clarke left a back-pass a bit short moments later, but Stags young keeper Owen Mason was out quickly as Jonathan Wafula looked to be through on goal.

Matlock took the lead after 14 minutes. Liam Hughes did well and laid off to Callum Chippendale who knocked into the net.

After 16 minutes, Lapslie was high and wide with an ambitious effort following a corner from the right.

Another Hawkins flick-on after 18 minutes, but the ball was just cleared away from Johnson. A minute later, a shot from Kellan Gordon looked to be goalbound but was deflected for a corner.

A chance for the Stags after 29 minutes, McLaughlin’s short corner was played back to him, and his low cross-shot was pushed away by the keeper.

Matlock’s Reece Kendall was booked for a bad challenge on Lapslie after 35 minutes.

Wafula was through on goal after 40 minutes, but Owen Mason saved well to prevent Matlock doubling their lead. Good keeping from the Stags youngster. Three minutes later, from a Matlock free quick, Ryan Qualter headed wide.

Matlock ahead at the break and they just about deserved it.

Half time 1-0

Tyrese Sinclair replaced Rhys Oates at the start of the second half, pre-planned clearly. Oates had not played at Retford.

Sinclair was straight into the action, with a great corner after 48 minutes, which Ollie Clarke headed just wide. A good effort. McLaughlin tried his luck from 30 yards two minutes later, but well over the bar.

Keaton Ward replaced Charsley after 51 minutes.

Hughes headed wide for Matlock from a corner after 51 minutes.

Another good corner from Sinclair after 58 minutes, Hawkins was up well and headed just over the bar. Hawkins’ heading ability was a real plus on the evening.

More good play from Sinclair after 59 minutes on the edge of the area, but he shot straight at the keeper.

Five more changes for the Stags after 60 minutes with George Cooper, Jayden Charles, Corey O'Keeffe, George Scott (trialist, released from Rotherham academy last season), and Nathan Caine coming on.
James Clarke, Elliott Hewitt, and Ollie Clarke remained on from the outfield players that started the game.

After 62 minutes, a free kick from Sinclair was blocked for a corner. Three minutes later, Ward found Sinclair on the byline and he smashed a cross-shot across the face of goal and out for a throw-in.

Ollie Clarke was booked for a foul after 71 minutes. Nigel Clough told me after the game he thought it was a good tackle.

After 76 minutes, Sinclair played a 1-2 from a corner with Ward, and tried a shot from the edge of the area but it was deflected through to the keeper, the sting having been taken out of it.

Hewitt blocked a shot from Matlock sub Ross Hannah after 76 minutes, after he had tried to shepherd the ball back to the keeper and been unable to.

Matlock’s no.2 (trialist) was booked for a foul on Sinclair after 77 minutes.

Ollie Clarke embarked on a brilliant run after 79 minutes, Corey O’Keeffe had a chance to shoot, but tried to beat his man instead and it went out for a corner.

Matlock’s no.2 (trialist) brought down Nathan Caine after 81 minutes and was shown a second yellow and a red card. Nigel Clough thought the red card was unnecessary in a friendly and withdrew Elliott Hewitt to even up the numbers. A great show of sportsmanship, much appreciated by the home side.

O’Keeffe went to right back, and James Clarke to centre half.

Sinclair took the resulting free kick from the left, well over the bar.

There were no further chances and Matlock saw out time keeping the ball by the corner flag as the referee played no stoppage time (as he hadn’t in the first half when there had been several minutes worth of stoppages).

Not great entertainment for the travelling Stags fans, but it’s all about getting ready for the start of the league season. Oli Hawkins provided some positives winning some good flick-ons. Elliott Hewitt looked good at the back apart from one mistake. Young academy keeper Owen Mason had a good game. And Tyrese Sinclair was again extremely lively in the second half. But he couldn’t do it all on his own, and the Stags could have done with Jimmy Knowles alongside Nathan Caine in the last 30 minutes, but Knowles was out with injury, so Caine was effectively on his own with Sinclair in a floating role.

You’ll be able to watch the full match replay of this game with commentary tomorrow on iFollow Stags.

The next game is against Grimsby Town behind closed doors at the RH Academy on Tuesday. Again we will not have live coverage on iFollow Stags but the full match replay with commentary will be available on iFollow Stags the following day. Then there is an additional first team game next Friday, at Alfreton Town, in light of players who have been self-isolating needing game time. Nigel Clough explained to me tonight that he will pick the team to play at Hull the following day, then work backwards to pick the team for the Alfreton game.

Matlock: 1 Trialist 2 Trialist 3 Jonathan Wafula 4 Ryan Qualter 5 Reece Kendall 6 Mark Lees 7 Alex Byrne 8 Alex Wiles 9 Liam Hughes 10 Callum Chippendale 11 Jesurun Ubechegulam Subs-all used : Shaun Rowley (goalkeeper), John Pritchard, Ross Hannah, Craig Carney, Declan Walker, Kade Coppin.

Ref: Jamie O’Connor (Chesterfield)


Matlock Town FC vs Mansfield Town
Attendance: 971
Referee: Jamie O’Connor (Chesterfield)
Date: 16 July 2021
The Proctor Cars Stadium
Pre Season Friendly
Matlock Town 1-0 Mansfield Town


Callum Chippendale’s strike after 14 minutes proved to be the difference as once again Matlock Town shocked the Stags after two cup shocks they produced in days gone by.

The Gladiators deserved the win on the night as they created the better chances with neither of their two goalkeepers on show being seriously extended.

The game though would be useful for both sides as Mansfield faced a physical and tough challenge from the hosts while the Gladiators had some stern defending to do when Mansfield greatly improved after the interval.

On a beautiful summers evening, a large crowd basked in the sun and paid their respect to former Matlock boss Ernie Moss in an impeccably observed minute’s silence prior to the kick off.

Matlock’s Alex Wiles’ game lasted barely three minutes as he had to be helped off with a head injury to be replaced with Declan Walker. Matlock then pressurised the Stags as they pushed the League Two outfit back only for Nigel Clough’s men to retaliate with The Gladiators’ trialist goalkeeper doing well to advance off his line at pace to poach the ball off Rhys Oates’ toes.

The trialist then was well placed to hold a fierce strike from distance by George Lapslie before a faulty pass back towards goalkeeper Owen Mason nearly let in Jonathan Wafula but Mansfield’s defenders shut up shop to avert any damage.

CHIPPENDALE though broke the deadlock when Liam Hughes did well to knock a short pass into his path and he found the onion bag with a low drive from ten yards.

Mansfield had problems penetrating a well drilled Gladiators defence and their attempts were mainly from long range .Lapslie and Steven McLaughlin could not profit and the Stags would have breathed a huge sigh of relief not to have been two goals down when Wafula was through on his own but Mason saved the shot with his legs with half time fast approaching.

Ollie Clarke’s header from one of numerous Stags’ corners dropped wide with Ollie Hawkins nodding wide from another flag kick. In between though substitute Ross Hannah broke down the right from a Hughes flick, his low cross towards Walker being cut out at the expense of a corner which Hughes headed too high.

Mansfield at last put the hosts under some concerted pressure but Matlock stood firm showing a resilience they will require to prosper in the NPL Premier Division this season.

The Gladiators looked dangerous on the break, their industry being emphasised when Jesurun Ubechegulam pinched possession deep in Stags’ territory to feed Hannah whose shot was blocked.

Ryan Qualter blocked brilliantly from Corey O’ Keefe before on 80 minutes a Matlock trialist received the second of two yellow cards for a foul on Nathan Caine. Stags boss Nigel Clough though made it ten versus ten as he withdrew Elliott Hewitt in a marvellous gesture of sportsmanship.

Matlock stood firm to see out the game and earn a highly impressive win on a night when everyone in a blue shirt contributed. Mansfield will be disappointed with the result but will have the consolation of a good work out ahead of the 2021/22 campqign.

MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Trialist 2 Trialist 3 Jonathan Wafula 4 Ryan Qualter 5 Reece Kendall 6 Mark Lees 7 Alex Byrne 8 Alex Wiles 9 Liam Hughes 10 Callum Chippendale 11 Jesurun Ubechegulam Subs-all used : John Pritchard, Ross Hannah, Craig Carney, Declan Walker, Kade Coppin, Shaun Rowley

MANSFIELD TOWN: 1 Owen Mason 2 Kellem Gordon 21 James Charles 4 Elliott Hewitt 3 Stephen McLaughlin, 32 George Lapslie 7 Henry Charsley 8 Ollie Clarke 23 Rhys Oates 12 Ollie Hawkins 11 Danny Johnson Subs used: 15 Corey O’Keefe 24 George Cooper 20 Jaden Charles 19 Keeton Ward 26 George Scott 17 Tyrese Sinclair 25 Nathan Caine Not used: Jimmy Knowles

REFEREE: Jamie O’Connor (Chesterfield) ATTENDANCE: 971


Report: Matlock 1-0 Stags

Callum Chippendale's first half strike was enough to separate Matlock and Mansfield as the Stags completed their second match of pre-season.

Nigel Clough's men enjoyed the lion's share of possession, but Matlock showed fine resilience to keep Stags out.

Mansfield were still without a number of players, self-isolating after receiving a notification through the NHS Track and Trace system.

It meant that the same squad used for the 9-1 win at Retford United was again utilised, with the addition of new front man Rhys Oates.

In the opening minute, giant striker Ollie Hawkins rose high to flick forward following a route one ball from goalkeeper Owen Mason. But the un-named, Matlock goalkeeper, a trialist, gathered just as Danny Johnson was set to connect inside the box.

Matlock were forced into an early change as Alex Wiles couldn't continue and was replaced by Declan Walker.

Stags' skipper Ollie Clarke undid the Matlock defence in the eighth minute with a sliding pass, but the home 'keeper again got there first, this time denying Rhys Oates the chance to shoot from the left of the box.

George Laplsie, playing in front of the back four, tried his luck with a 30-yard thunderbolt, but again the Gladiators shot stopper was well behind it.

Matlock turned the game on its head with an eleventh minute breakthrough.

Midfielder Alex Byrne showed magnificent vision to send a clever ball over the Stags' defence to burly forward Liam Hughes inside the box. And the Matlock captain pulled it back for Callum Chippendale who finished from ten yards.

Lapslie then sent a shot over the bar from outside the box and Kellan Gordon forced a corner with a deflected, 20-yard effort. But it came to nothing.

In the 28th minute, Stephen McLaughlin tested the 'keeper with a curling attempt from the edge of the area, only to see it parried and cleared by a Matlock defender.

Unusually for pre-season, a yellow card was issued, for Matlock's Reece Kendall following a strong challenge on George Lapslie.

With seven minutes of the first half remaining, Matlock launched a long throw into the box, but Hughes' header was routinely claimed by Stags' goalie Owen Mason.

Matlock squandered a better chance on 40 minutes. After a defensive mix-up, Jonathan Wafula surged clear through on goal, but his low, hard strike was expertly beaten away by 'keeper Mason.

Reece Kendall nodded well wide at the far post following a decent free-kick from Byrne as Matlock ended the first half with a slender advantage.

In the only change for the Stags at the break, Tyrese Sinclair replaced Rhys Oates, to slot in behind the striking duo of Hawkins and Johnson.

And the lively, attacking midfielder made an immediate impression within three minutes of the restart with a well-taken corner, but captain Ollie Clarke directed his header just wide.

Soon after, McLaughlin struck off-target from 30 yards.

In the 51st minute, Keaton Ward replaced Harry Charsley in midfield.

As the encounter closed in on the hour, Hawkins headed over from another Sinclair corner.

Five changes were made by the Stags in the 61st minute.

George Cooper, Jaden Charles, George Scott, Corey O'Keeffe and Nathan Caine replaced Stephen McLaughlin, George Lapslie, Kellan Gordon, Danny Johnson and Ollie Hawkins.

On 65, Sinclair fired a cross-cum-shot beyond the goal area and out for a throw-in.

Ollie Clarke saw a yellow card for a challenge in the 72nd minute.

Stags continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession and Sinclair tried his luck from the edge of the box, with a deflected shot that found its way into the 'keeper's gloves.

Captain Clarke burst forward with 11 minutes to play, slipping it to O'Keeffe, whose shot was well charged down.

Matlock were down to ten men with eight minutes left after an un-named trialist was shown a second yellow card for pulling back Nathan Caine.

Stags then also withdrew Elliott Hewitt, after a slight thigh pull, as the numbers evened.

Mansfield continued to threaten but were unable to get on the scoresheet, though the added pre-season minutes for Nigel Clough's squad will count for more.

MATLOCK: Trialist (Rowley 46'), Trialist, Wafula (Pritchard 46'), Qualter, Kendall, Lees (Wafula 66'0, Byrne , Wiles (Walker 4'), Hughes, Chippendale (Carney 46'), Ubechegulam (Hannah 46')


STAGS: Mason, Gordon (O'Keeffe 61'), J. Clarke, Hewitt, McLaughlin (Charles 61'), Charsley (Ward 51'), Lapslie (G. Scott 61'), O. Clarke, Oates (Sinclair 46), Hawkins (Cooper 61'), Johnson (Caine 61')

UNUSED SUBS: L. Turner, Knowles