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4th November 2021 10:30

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 2 - 0 Tranmere Rovers
Oates 18 mins, Johnson 67. Johnson missed pen 2 mins.
Attendance: 4,484 (630 from Tranmere)

Date: 30 October 2021

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town ended a run of 12 league games without a win with a comfortable 2-0 win over Tranmere Rovers at the One Call Stadium. The Stags were excellent all over the pitch and even showed the spirit to recover from missing a penalty after just 2 minutes when Danny Johnson fired over the bar, Mansfield’s third penalty miss on the trot which had Stags fans thinking 'here we go again'. But goals from Rhys Oates and Johnson, who atoned for that penalty miss, saw the Stags home in convincing style and the margin of victory could have been greater. Importantly, the win took Mansfield out of the relegation zone, a place we don’t want to be, or anywhere near.

Tranmere were made to look really poor over all the pitch, yet came into the game just two points outside the top 3, and ended it still only one point outside the play-offs. After the game, Tranmere boss Micky Mellon admitted: “We did not match Mansfield’s intensity. We got outrun at times, which is not like us. It was just a really poor all round performance. I thought them missing the penalty might have got us going, but it didn’t.”

Nigel Clough meanwhile was relieved to get the win. Asked by Dave Bracegirdle what his dad Brian Clough would have said about him going 14 league and cup games without a win, Nigel laughed and said “What are you still doing in a job!”

Once again the Stags fans stayed with their side even after that penalty miss. They have been superb, staying with their side throughout this bad run and Nigel Clough told me afterwards how much he appreciated this and acknowledged that the fans of some clubs would not have done that.

Stags fans now have a trip to the Stadium of Light to look forward to in the FA Cup next weekend. Mansfield won there at the same stage last season but it wasn’t the same without fans and it’s brilliant that fans will get a chance to visit there this season.

Mansfield were without George Lapslie who was suspended, but importantly Elliott Hewitt and Stephen McLaughlin were back from injury and slotted in at full back, George Maris returned from suspension, and Danny Johnson returned up front. Mansfield had 9 of the 11 starting that started the first game of the season against Bristol Rovers, and today looked somewhere near the side that I expected to be in the top 7 this season. Only James Perch, out for the season of course, and Kellan Gordon were missing, and Gordon was to come on as substitute here, returning from injury.

The game went ahead after very heavy morning rain. The game would have been postponed last season I’m sure, but the excellent work done by groundsman Mez and his team in the summer, with the investment from John and Carolyn, means the pitch can now withstand a lot of rain.

Before the game, The Last Post was performed beautifully followed by minute’s silence to remember the fallen. The club had put up huge banners on the West Stand hoardings with poppies on them and “Lest we forget” written on them.

The game was off to an incredible start in the opening 5 minutes. The Stags were awarded a penalty after 60 seconds. Quinn and McLaughlin combined down the left. McLaughlin played inside to Johnson who turned and shot but his effort was blocked. The ball was cleared as far as Maris, who lifted it forward, Johnson headed it on, and the ball was heading towards the keeper who came out to claim it but Oates nipped in to get the first touch on the ball and was brought down by the keeper. A clear penalty. Johnson had converted Mansfield’s first penalty of the season, but Bowery and Hawkins had both missed since then. Johnson stepped up and curled a dreadful penalty way over the bar. It didn’t miss by inches, it was miles over. Johnson put his shirt over his head. Here we go again ...

At the other end after 4 minutes, a shot from McManaman was diverted goalwards by Morris, and Bishop was down quickly to tip it away at full stretch for a great save. The resulting corner from the right by Feeney was headed away by Hewitt, Morris controlled the loose ball and sent a low left footed shot towards the right post. It was probably going just wide and Foley, standing a yard offside and two yards from the goalline, flicked the ball into the net with the outside of his right boot. The goal was ruled out and no complaints from Tranmere players who knew it was offside.

The Stags took the lead after 18 minutes. Quinn received the ball from Hawkins in the centre circle, turned and curled a magnificent ball forwards into the path of Oates. The first touch of Oates was excellent, it took him into the area, and his second touch was to curl the ball past the keeper low into the left of the net from 14 yards. What a high quality goal. What a pass from Quinn.

The Stags were right on top for the rest of the half and had a couple of chances to increase the lead. On 36 minutes, a low free kick from McLaughlin into the area from the left came out to Charsley whose shot from 16 yards was goalbound but superbly blocked by Davies. Two minutes later, a great run down the left by Quinn after intercepting the ball just inside his own half, he powered into the area and slid a lovely ball inside to Charsley. Charsley turned it goalwards with a first time shot and it was brilliantly blocked on the line by Peter Clarke.

The Stags were deservedly ahead at the break, but Tranmere could have equalised after 49 minutes in what turned out to be a rare chance for them in the second half. From Duffy’s corner from the right, Davies volleyed over the bar from 8 yards. At the other end two minutes later, a fine cross from Quinn from the left, Johnson headed it down but wide. A couple of good moves from the Stags then as Maris pushed forward and found Charsley who couldn’t quite get his shot away, and then Charsley himself made a great run but lost the ball as he was about to shoot. Ollie Clarke then fired wide after 66 minutes.

But the Stags got the all-important second goal after 67 minutes. Hewitt lifted the ball into the Tranmere half. As the ball bounced up, Oates rose to win the header against Peter Clarke 40 yards from goal and knock it forward, he then lifted the ball over the other central defender Davies just outside the area in Paul Gascoigne style, before steadying himself, and laying it on a plate for Johnson, unmarked, to fire past the keeper from 8 yards. Magnificent, staggeringly wonderful play from Oates. Wow.

The Stags were never really troubled after that. Morris fired wide from 30 yards for Tranmere, while Quinn fired over the bar for the Stags from 20 yards.

The final whistle brought a standing ovation from the Stags fans. For the second home game running. But this time it was a victory, and it felt super sweet after such a long time without a win.

So many good performances throughout the Stags side. The man of the match has to be Oates, winning the penalty, scoring the first goal, and that incredible play to the put the second on a plate for Johnson. This has to be a 10/10 rating from me. Johnson recovered well from the early penalty miss to have a good game. Quinn was superb in midfield, and once again linked well with McLaughlin. Charsley worked extremely hard in the attacking midfield role and got a couple of shots on target. Maris played very well in a defensive midfield role. At the back, Rawson and Hawkins were excellent at centre half, while Hewitt did very well at right back, switching to left back after McLaughlin had to go off with a hamstring injury. McLaughlin will be doubtful for the FA Cup game at Sunderland but should be fit for the next league game in two weeks. Gordon returned from injury as substitute to replace McLaughlin and slotted back in very well. Bishop had a quiet afternoon but made a great save early in the game.

The Stags are off to Sunderland next Saturday. It’s one to look forward to. If you can’t travel, we will have commentary on iFollow Stags, but there will be no live video streaming of the game on iFollow or any other platform unfortunately (last season was a one-off because the game was behind closed doors).



Mansfield Town 2-0 Tranmere Rovers
Oates (18'minutes), Johnson (67'minutes)
Maris (correction by Martin - should be Quinn) (18'minutes), Oates (67'minutes)
Pens Missed
Johnson (2'minutes)

Match report supplied by PA Media.

Mansfield earned their first League Two win in 13 attempts after beating Tranmere at Field Mill.

Rhys Oates opened the scoring in the 18th minute after Danny Johnson had earlier missed a penalty.

The points were secured midway through the second half when Johnson slotted home from close range.

Johnson fired high and wide from the spot in just the second minute after Tranmere goalkeeper Ross Doohan fouled Oates in a race for the ball.

Kieron Morris had a goal ruled out for offside for Rovers two minutes later and Oates then kept his cool to put Mansfield ahead after Stephen Quinn's perfect pass opened up the defence.

Harry Charsley had two goalbound shots well blocked by Tom Davies as the Stags ended the half strongly.

Davies blazed over from close range before Mark Duffy and Morris had dangerous shots blocked on the hour mark.

But Johnson doubled Mansfield's lead with a tap-in after Oates set him up after 67 minutes and they easily saw the game out for their first league victory since August 14.

Match Stats
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Tranmere
Possession Home 44% Away 56%
Shots Home 10 Away 9
Shots on Target Home 2 Away 2
Corners Home 3 Away 3
Fouls Home 17 Away 11


Mansfield Town finally end winless run with victory over Tranmere Rovers
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Saturday 30th October 2021

Mansfield Town ended a 12-game winless streak in League Two with a 2-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers at Field Mill.

After it looked like it was going to be an afternoon that would again go against the Stags following Danny Johnson’s second-minute penalty miss, Mansfield took the lead through Rhys Oates on 18 minutes before Johnson made amends to double their lead in the second half and put an end to their dreaded run.

Stags boss Nigel Clough made four changes going into the fixture hoping to build on promising performances against Port Vale and Exeter City and to see his side taste victory for the first time since Saturday 14 August: a 2-1 victory over Newport County.

The game began emphatically, as the Stags were awarded a penalty within the first minute of the game when goalkeeper Ross Doohan thwarted Rhys Oates in the area. Danny Johnson stepped up for the hosts, but he powered his penalty high over the bar.


Rovers then went close to taking the lead on four minutes when Callum McManaman threaded the ball through to Kieron Morris, but the attacking midfielder’s stab towards goal was pushed wide by Nathan Bishop. The winger did, though, have the ball in the back of the net from the following corner, but his goal-bound flick was ruled out for offside.

Mansfield did, however, take the lead on 18 minutes through Oates, who latched onto a defence-splitting ball from Stephen Quinn to calmly stroke his shot past Doohan.

The goal gave Clough’s side a much-needed confidence boost, with the Stags retaining possession positively to restrict Tranmere’s attacks.

On the half-hour mark, Charsley saw two efforts in quick succession blocked by defender Tom Davies inside the area, as the home side ended the first half on top.

The away side had the second period’s first chance on 49 minutes. Mark Duffy’s corner towards the penalty spot was met by defender Davies, who sent a rasping effort narrowly over the bar.

After that early scare, Town quickly found their rhythm once again, creating several half-chances that were defended well by Tranmere.

On the hour, Rovers were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position. Duffy saw his initial shot strike the wall before the four men stood in there threw themselves in front of Morris’ follow-up that flew wide, which emphasised their endeavour shown on the afternoon.

The Stags then doubled their lead on 68 minutes through Johnson, who benefitted from a piece of individual brilliance from Oates to fire home his third goal of the season.

Town again continued to control possession to avoid any late comeback from Rovers and claim their first win in 13 attempts. These three points see the Stags climb out of the relegation places into 20th place.

STAGS: Bishop, Hewitt, Rawson, Hawkins, McLaughlin (Gordon 61), Charsley, O. Clarke, Maris, Quinn, Oates (O’Toole 90+2), Johnson (Sinclair 83).

SUBS NOT USED: Shelvey, Bowery, Burke, Gale.

TRANMERE ROVERS: Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, Davies, P. Clarke, MacDonald, Spearing, Foley, Morris, Feeney (Duffy 46), McManaman (Glatzel 46), Dieseruvwe (Nevitt 68)

SUBS NOT USED: Murphy, Knight-Percival, O’Connor, Watson.

REFEREE: James Bell.

ATTENDANCE: 3,831 (630 away).



Mansfield Town 2-0 Tranmere Rovers
By PA / Richard Garnett

Micky Mellon pulled no punches after his Tranmere team slumped to a second successive league defeat with a disappointing 2-0 reversal at Mansfield Town on Saturday.

The Stags had already missed a penalty before Rhys Oates put them ahead on 18 minutes, who went onto secure their first win in 13 matches with a goal from Danny Johnson midway through the second half.

In stark contrast, Rovers' recent good form has seemingly evaporated, as back-to-back defeats see them drop back out of the play-off positions, and boss Mellon was in no mood to make excuses for it.

Johnson fired high and wide from the spot in just the second minute after Tranmere goalkeeper Ross Doohan fouled Oates in a race for the ball.

Kieron Morris had a goal ruled out for offside for Rovers two minutes later.

Oates kept his cool to put Mansfield ahead after Stephen Quinn’s perfect pass opened up the defence.

Harry Charsley had two goalbound shots well blocked by Tom Davies as the Stags ended the half strongly.

Davies blazed over from close range before Mark Duffy and Morris had dangerous shots blocked on the hour mark.

But Johnson doubled Mansfield’s lead with a tap-in after Oates set him up after 67 minutes and the hosts easily held on for a comfortable win.

Rovers will now turn their attention to the FA Cup first round, with a long trip to Crawley Town this Saturday. Kick off 3pm.