STAGS BEATEN AT SWINDON AMID CONTROVERSY
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Swindon Town 1 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 8,631 (to be confirmed from Mansfield)
Date: 28 August 2021
Martin Shaw at the County Ground
Mansfield Town were beaten 1-0 by Swindon Town at the County Ground this afternoon despite being the better side for most of the game and having 17 shots to the home side’s 8.
Swindon took the lead after 59 minutes when current Welsh international Jonny Williams, only on as a substitute for a minute, played a superb one-two with Jack Payne on the half way line to leave Farrend Rawson, George Maris and Ollie Clarke trailing after him as he surged forward into the area on the left and crossed perfectly across the edge of the six-yard box for Tyreece Simpson to get in between Elliott Hewitt and Stephen McLaughlin and fire into the net from 5 yards. Hewitt stretched to attempt to clear and just missed the cross while McLaughlin could have done better and was beaten to the ball by the striker. It was a first career goal for Simpson, on loan from Ipswich.
The controversy came after 75 minutes. McLaughlin was fouled two yards outside the area on the left, about 8 yards from the byline. Stags sub Tyrese Sinclair took the free kick and went for the far top corner. It hit the underside of the bar and inside of the post and then hit the backside of Elliott Hewitt who was standing well over the line before coming out and being cleared by defender Romoney Crichlow into the keeper’s arms. I had a great unimpeded view of the incident from the press box and it was in my opinion it was clearly over the line. The linesman didn’t signal the goal, with his view probably impeded by Crichlow. Referee Bobby Madley went with his linesman’s decision.
Here’s how the home media described it:
Swindon Advertiser as-it-happens report:
Wow, wow, wow. I have no idea how Mansfield are not level here. Sinclair took the free-kick and whipped it under Wollacott's cross bar. A goalmouth scramble ensued, and the ball appeared to cross the line. But the linesman remained unmoved and Swindon scrambled it away. Swindon have certainly got away with one. "One of the great injustices" according to the Mansfield iFollow commentary team.
Swindon iFollow commentator (quite a lot further to the left of me in the next box): "that should be 1-1".
Swindon iFollow co-commentator: "that looked a goal to me".
Swindon official website: "free-kick from Tyrese Sinclair looked to have crossed the line"
Meanwhile, the Swindon manager Ben Garner was asked by BBC Wiltshire: "did you think they'd scored when it hit the crossbar and came down?"
Ben Garner: "it wasn't a great angle for me because they were a lot of bodies in the way. I've not seen it back. I don't know whether it did or didn't."
And Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"We think we have actually scored a goal that was over the line, the officials didn't give it. We had two subs warming up (in line with it), and they thought it was in. The last two away games, there's a penalty at Colchester in the 93rd minute, then we're denied an equaliser when we think it's over the line. We're not quite getting the breaks.”
It was a huge moment in the game and a real injustice as I described on commentary.
But the Stags had plenty of other chances to win the game, and the finishing needs to be better.
In the first half, Ollie Clarke had a couple of shots at goal before having a great chance after 34 minutes as Stephen Quinn put in a fine cross from the left which reached Clarke 11 yards out, Clarke took aim and his goalbound shot was well-blocked by Louis Reed. After 43 minutes, McLaughlin’s corner to the far post was met firmly by Oli Hawkins who headed just over the bar.
There was a rare chance for Swindon after 50 minutes as Anthony Grant put in a great cross from the right to the far post where Rob Hunt turned it goalwards from 3 yards and Nathan Bishop made a superb point blank save. It was just about the only thing Bishop had to do all game.
But the Stags missed a golden opportunity to make it 1-0 after 53 minutes. Hawkins did brilliantly to get past both Dion Conroy and Crichlow into the box. With just the keeper to beat, he chose to lay it off to Danny Johnson but his pass to Johnson was overhit by a yard. Had it not been overhit, Johnson could have tapped into an empty net. Johnson had an opportunity to shoot right footed, but elected to get it onto his left foot, and by then there were three defenders and the goalkeeper between him and the net and his shot was blocked. Hawkins certainly should have done better, Johnson also could have done better but by then it was a difficult chance and I think the main fault lay with Hawkins. Nigel Clough was not impressed after the game saying: "Oli Hawkins made the decision to square it to Danny Johnson. I've got no problems with not shooting, just do it better. Once he's turned the shot down and squared it, then Danny has to get a shot off. He just overhit the pass by a yard, and what should have been a tap in to an empty net turned into a quarter chance. A golden opportunity at 0-0.”
After Swindon had taken the lead, a low shot from Hawkins following a low Kellan Gordon cross, was blocked for a corner after 61 minutes.
Then came the goal that never was.
Sinclair had two more opportunities from free kicks but sent them both over the bar. Nigel Clough said afterwards that Sinclair should be getting 2 out of 3 free kicks on target, not 1 out of 3.
In stoppage time, McLaughlin got to the byline on the left and his low cross was knocked over the bar at the near post by sub Jordan Bowery. Moments later, an impressively long throw from Sinclair was flicked just wide of the far post. I’d like to see the Stags make more use of Sinclair’s long throw, as it is far enough into the box to create real danger unlike the long throw of Hewitt which is too short to create danger.
Swindon almost made it 2-0 after 90+6 minutes as Louis Reed fired a free kick against the outside of the right post.
So the Stags fell to defeat. As Nigel Clough said, the Stags not getting the rub of the green. A wrongly-awarded penalty at Colchester in stoppage time robbed the Stags of two points. And the goal not awarded here when it crossed the line, robbed the Stags of another point.
But the Stags need to be better. The finishing needs to be better. And the Stags have not kept a clean sheet in 6 league and cup games this season so it will be important for Nigel Clough to bring in a high quality defender before the transfer deadline shuts on Tuesday, and possibly two, as he said after the game today. He told BBC Radio Nottingham: "We're pretty close to bringing two defenders in. We've agreed with one player, we're just waiting for the club. And the other one, we're close to as well.”
Jake Garner then asked: “what will those defenders offer you?”, to which Clough replied: "A clean sheet. We haven't had one."
There are loads of positives though. The Stags are playing really good football. They were very much better than Swindon today and should have won the game in truth.
The defeat means that Mansfield have not won in the last 13 visits to the County Ground. The last win at Swindon was all the way back in 1977, the season we were promoted to the second tier of England football, with a single goal from Colin Foster.
The next game is on Tuesday, a Papa Johns Trophy game at Harrogate. It will be an important opportunity for the likes of Tyrese Sinclair, Harry Charsley, Ryan Burke, George Shelvey etc to get game time and stake a claim for a starting position. The game will be available to watch on iFollow Stags with a match pass. To clarify again, as I keep getting asked, midweek league and Papa Johns Trophy games (home and away) are available to watch with a match pass. Saturday games (home or away) are not, for UK viewers. Though note that Saturday games on international weekends will be available to watch with a match pass, and we have three of these before Christmas: Mansfield vs Harrogate next Saturday; Mansfield vs Oldham on Sat Oct 9; Stevenage vs Mansfield on Sat Nov 13.
Mansfield made two changes from the side that lost to Bradford. James Perch got a whack in training in midweek. He was replaced by Gordon. Hewitt switched from right back to the central defence (on the left, with Rawson on the right). And George Lapslie was preferred in an attacking midfield role to Oates. James Clarke and Harry Charsley came into the 18.
Swindon have been buoyed this season by a takeover after a dark period, and they have hastily put together a squad having had very few players in July. Credit to them for putting together a competitive squad in such a short space of time. Jonny Williams, current Welsh international, is an incredible signing at this level, and his class showed for the only goal of the game. Meanwhile Kaine Kesler-Hayden, the right wing-back, was yesterday called up to the England under 20 squad.
As I arrived at the County Ground car park, Bobby Madley, the referee, was manoeuvring his car, and rammed his tyres into a curb at an angle, probably causing them some damage. I thought to myself I hope he has a better game than that.
FULL REPORT TO FOLLOW
SAT 28 AUG 2021, LEAGUE TWO
Swindon Town 1-0 Mansfield Town
Match report supplied by PA Media.
Tyreece Simpson's first goal for Swindon earned Ben Garner his maiden home win as Robins boss with a triumph over Mansfield.
Simpson broke his duck on the hour when he swept in a low cross from the left by Jonny Williams, who had only just been introduced as a substitute.
Mansfield thought they had drawn level with a Tyrese Sinclair free-kick that the Stags felt crossed the line, but the assistant referee on that side disagreed.
A tepid first half was followed by an electric start to the second, with Rob Hunt going close for the hosts when he saw his sliding effort brilliantly saved by Nathan Bishop.
The away side had a glorious opportunity of their own seconds later but they squandered a two-on-one.
Oliver Hawkins broke free of the defence and had the choice between shooting or squaring for the supporting Danny Johnson for an easy tap-in.
Hawkins opted for the pass but he overhit it which led to Swindon being able to recover and Johnson's shot was blocked on the line.
It proved a costly miss as Simpson secured victory for the home side, who now boast 10 points from their opening five games.
Home Team Swindon Away Team Mansfield
Possession Home 56% Away 44%
Shots Home 8 Away 17
Shots on Target Home 4 Away 2
Corners Home 0 Away 7
Fouls Home 18 Away 9
Swindon Town v Mansfield Town live updates as they happen
swindonadvertiser.co.uk, By Jonny Leighfield
76: Wow, wow, wow. I have no idea how Mansfield are not level here.
Sinclair took the free-kick and whipped it under Wollacott's cross bar. A goalmouth scramble ensued, and the ball appeared to cross the line. But the linesman remained unmoved and Swindon scrambled it away.
According to several people away to my left of a Mansfield persuasion, the ball had crossed the line and the goal should have been awarded.
But it hasn't, so it remains 1-0. Swindon have certainly got away with one.
"One of the great injustices" according to the Mansfield iFollow commentary team...
Swindon Town beat Mansfield Town 1-0 in League Two
swindonadvertiser.co.uk, By Jonny Leighfield
TYRECE Simpson scored the only goal of the game as Swindon Town beat Mansfield Town 1-0 to claim their first home win of the season on Saturday.
A stand-out performance from Simpson was capped with his first goal for the club midway through the second half before Mansfield had what looked to be a clear goal not given - a strike that would have handed the Stags a deserved draw.
But Swindon held on and extended their unbeaten run against Mansfield to seven games while remaining fourth in League Two on goal difference.
Ben Garner made just the one change from last weekend's 1-0 victory away at Salford City as Rob Hunt replaced Ellis Iandolo at left-back. Newest signing Jayden Mitchell-Lawson was finally fit enough for the bench, and he was hoping to show what he could do in the latter stages.
For Mansfield, experienced defender James Perch was ruled out of the match-day 18 following an accidental whack to the face in training. Kellan Gordon was his replacement - a man who enjoyed a loan spell at Swindon under David Flitcroft.
Swindon started slowly on home soil and Mansfield were allowed to gain the upper hand, though many of the visitors’ attacking play resulted in no shot on Jojo Wollacott’s goal.
Inside the opening 10 minutes, Mansfield captain Ollie Clarke volleyed against the roof of the Alan McLoughlin Town End.
Up the other end, Swindon had their first shot on target of the afternoon when Tyreece Simpson held off his man well down the left before finding Rob Hunt. The left wing-back cut onto his right on the corner of the box but scuffed a shot at Nathan Bishop.
Stags captain Clarke was heavily involved in the opening half and set his sights once again in the eighth minute, but his left-footed shot was sliced wide from outside the box.
Mansfield continued to pin the home side in but were unable to create any real chances as Garner’s men doggedly defended their own goal.
Swindon could have taken the lead 15 minutes before the break, but Simpson didn’t react quickly enough from Jack Payne’s driven free-kick and the move fizzled out.
And the only reason the score remained goalless at the break was down to a superb goal-saving block from the hard-working Louis Reed.
Stephen McLaughlin fed Stephen Quinn down the left-hand side, and he slid a low cross back behind the Swindon defence for Clarke to run onto. There was a collective intake of breath around the County Ground as most expected the net to ripple, but Reed came out of nowhere to throw himself in front of the effort and turn it away.
Former AFC Wimbledon striker Ollie Hawkins had the final chance of note in the opening 45, but his header from a corner was into the Swindon fans behind the goal from close range.
A scrappy start to the second half subsided as Swindon forced Bishop into a superb save five minutes in. Anthony Grant turned this way and that down the right before clipping a cross towards the back post. Hunt was charging in, but a terrific save from point-blank range turned the ball out.
Minutes later, Mansfield blew a golden chance to take the lead themselves. Hawkins robbed Dion Conroy and raced in on goal. But as Wollacott came out, Hawkins squared it to Danny Johnson. His pass was too heavy though and Johnson saw his effort blocked out by Odimayo as Swindon bodies raced back to help.
That wasted chance would prove costly for the visitors as around 60 seconds after his introduction on the hour mark, Jonny Williams played a vital part in Simpson’s opener.
Williams played a one-two with Gladwin and raced away down the left. The Welshman crossed into the middle and Simpson bullied his way onto the ball before volleying home between two Stags defenders.
Moments after the goal, Conroy turned away a goal-bound Quinn effort with fans still celebrating the earlier moment of quality.
With a little over 10 minutes to go, Mansfield felt they had equalised following a Tyrese Sinclair free-kick on the left.
Sinclair took the free-kick and whipped it under Wollacott's cross bar. A goalmouth scramble ensued and the ball appeared to cross the line, but the linesman remained unmoved and Swindon scrambled it away.
George Maris volleyed at goal as seven minutes of added time were shown, but Wollacott was more than equal to it despite the Mansfield midfielder having a clear sight from the edge of the box.
Reed crashed a free-kick against the post deep into added time, but it mattered not as Swindon held on.
STFC starting XI: Wollacott, Odimayo, Conroy (c), Crichlow, Gladwin, Simpson, Payne, Kesler-Hayden, Hunt, Reed, Grant.
SUBS: Iandolo, McKirdy, Ward, Mitchell-Lawson, Williams, East, Parsons.
MTFC starting XI: Bishop, Gordon, McLaughlin, Hewitt, Rawson, Clarke (c), Maris, Johnson, Hawkins, Quinn, Lapslie.
SUBS: Charsley, Bowery, Shelvey, Burke, Sinclair, Oates, Clarke.
MATCH REPORT: Swindon Town 1-0 Mansfield Town
Swindon Town picked up their first home win of the 2021-22 season after beating Mansfield Town 1-0 at The County Ground this afternoon.
It was a sluggish first-half for the Reds who struggled to get their natural game going, although the visitors were unable to muster up any clear chances so it remained scoreless at the break.
It was a much better showing from Town in the second-half and they scored just shy of the hour mark, with a brilliant cross by Jonny Williams being volleyed home by Tyreece Simpson for his first goal in Town colours.
That proved to be the winner as Swindon defended brilliantly in the closing stages to frustrate The Stags, while picking up a big three points to end August on a high.
Town Head Coach Ben Garner made just the one change for the game against The Stags, with Rob Hunt coming in to replace Ellis Iandolo who dropped to the bench.
It was a sluggish start for the Reds who were a little bit careless in possession, while Mansfield's strong and relentless pressing game also caused problems.
Ollie Clarke had the first chance of the game for the visitors but he could only fire a shot way over, before Rob Hunt sent a tame shot straight at Nathan Bishop following a beautiful move by Town.
Clarke tried his luck again for The Stags but he sent a drive wide, while the Robins continued to struggle to settle into a groove.
There was no sign of a clear-cut chance for either team come the half-hour mark, although Town were beginning to spray the ball about a lot better and they were settling into a groove.
Louis Reed made a stunning play to appear out of nowhere and make a goal-saving challenge to deny Clarke, robbing the Mansfield Skipper of what would have been a goal.
HALF-TIME: SWINDON TOWN 0-0 MANSFIELD TOWN
Town carved out a huge chance at the 50-minute mark as Anthony Grant twisted and turned to beat his man, before clipping in a cross that was met by Hunt, although Bishop produced a superb stop at point-blank range.
Mansfield then broke down the other end and nearly opened the scoring themselves as a mix-up allowed Ollie Hawkins to go one-one with Jojo Wollacott, the striker opted to square it to Danny Johnson but the pass was off and the Reds got back to clear the danger.
Jonny Williams then replaced Grant as Town looked to add a spark, and it paid off immediately with the Welsh Wizard making an immediate impact.
Williams played a quick one-two with Ben Gladwin before racing away down the left and sending a cross into the heart of the box, where Simpson bullied himself into space before sending a volley past Bishop to record his first-ever Town goal.
It was rich rewards for Simpson who did another sterling job leading the line for the Reds, putting in an absolute shift and doing the dirty work of a striker with great effect.
Dion Conroy produced a superb block to deny Stephen Quinn shortly after the goal, while Elliott Hewitt headed over for the guests.
Simpson produced more superb work to retrieve the ball to start a flowing Town move, which ended in Williams firing a shot towards goal which Bishop smothered.
Town were playing near to the peak of their powers, and they were also doing a brilliant job of defending whatever The Stags had to throw at them.
Mansfield did think they had scored after a free-kick from Tyrese Sinclair looked to have crossed the line, but the linesman ruled no goal and play resumed.
Ellis Iandolo replaced Gladwin and Simpson made way for Harry McKirdy after receiving a standing ovation, with Town looking to see the game out and protect the three points.
Mansfield were really pressing in the final minutes as Hawkins had a volley saved by Wollacott, before Jordan Bowery could only poke wide at the near post.
However, it was Town who came closest to extending their lead as Reed rattled a free-kick off the post in the dying minutes.
That didn't matter, though, with the Reds doing enough to clinch all three points and extend their impressive start to the 2021-22 EFL Sky Bet League Two Season.
FINAL SCORE: SWINDON TOWN 1-0 MANSFIELD TOWN
TEAMS AND STATS
SWINDON TOWN - Wollacott; Odimayo, Conroy (C), Crichlow, Gladwin (Ellis Iandolo 76), Simpson (Harry McKirdy 83), Payne, Kesler-Hayden, Hunt, Reed, Grant (Jonny Williams 56).
SUBS NOT USED - Ward, Mitchell-Lawson, East, Parsons.
SCORERS - Tyreece Simpson (59).
BOOKED - Kaine Kesler-Hayden, Akin Odimayo, Harry McKirdy.
MANSFIELD TOWN - Bishop; Gordon, McLaughlin, Hewitt, Rauson, Clarke (C) (Tyrese Sinclair 72), Maris, Johnson (Rhys Oates 64), Hawkins, Quinn, Lapslie (Jordan Bowery 86).
SUBS NOT USED - Shelvey, Charsley, Burke, Clarke.
BOOKED - Ollie Clarke.
Referee - Robert Madley
Attendance - 8,631
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