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15th January 2022 0:00

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 3 - 2 Swindon Town
Maris 4, McLaughlin pen 31, Bowery 43. McKirdy 28, Iandolo 89
Attendance: 4,129 (252 from Swindon)

Date: 11 January 2022

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town continued their excellent run of form, making it 8 wins from the last 9 league games, including 6 in a row at home, with a 3-2 win over Swindon Town at the One Call Stadium last night. It was the third consecutive home game that has ended 3-2, with that win over Hartlepool on Boxing Day, and then giving Championship high-flyers Middlesbrough a real run for their money in the FA Cup before rather unluckily bowing out of the competition on Saturday. No one can complain about the entertainment levels!

Swindon arrived last night having won 7 games away from home in the league this season, more than any other team in the league apart from Forest Green who have also won 7.

But they were steamrollered in a superb first half display from the Stags that saw them open up a 3-1 lead by the break.

The Stags were ahead after just 4 minutes. Rhys Oates ran on to a curling ball down the line from Stephen McLaughlin, forced his way into the area on left, then pulled the ball across the edge of the six yard box to Jordan Bowery, who with his back to goal, laid the ball back perfectly into the path of George Maris, who was unmarked and clinically dispatched a finish into the right corner of the net from 12 yards. A good assist from Bowery and a cool finish from Maris, who missed four chances against Middlesbrough on Saturday. Nigel Clough told me after the game he’s been telling Maris this week to make sure he hits the target when he shoots and he made no mistake here.

Maris had another good chance after 13 minutes following another great move, when he fired over the bar from 15 yards after Stephen Quinn teed him up.

Nathan Bishop was called into action after 21 minutes when he had to tip a curling free kick from Ellis Iandolo over the bar.

Harry McKirdy was a striker in form for Swindon having scored four goals in his last league game against Northampton and followed that up with a goal against Manchester City in the FA Cup at the weekend. He showed his confidence when he thrashed an ambitious shot wide from 30 yards after 27 minutes.

And a minute later he equalised. Jonny Williams got the ball with his back to goal, chested the ball down and turned away from Ryan Stirk. Williams slid the ball forward for McKirdy who took a touch before rifling a shot from a tight angle on the right that beat Bishop at his near post. It was the goal of a confident striker, but Bishop will be disappointed to be beaten at his near post like that. McKirdy celebrated by running in front of the West Stand cupping his hand to his ear. In the second half, when McKirdy was subbed, the Stags fans cheered. After the game, McKirdy posted on his Instagram account “shit start in a shithole has cost us 3 points”.

It was a blow for the Stags. But less than 2 minutes later, the Stags had won a penalty. From a Swindon corner from the right, Stephen Quinn headed it away, Oates collected the ball and ran from just outside his own area, all the way into the Swindon penalty area, before he was brought down by a mistimed tacked from Akin Odimayo. After the game, Swindon boss Ben Garner said: “I couldn't tell whether AK (Akin Odimayo) got a touch on the ball or not.” From the replay, he certainly didn’t get a touch on the ball and it was a clear penalty. Odimayo was correctly booked and not sent off as he had attempted to win the ball, and inside the area that is just a penalty and yellow card. It was a stupendous run from Oates. McLaughlin stepped up to take the penalty and fired it low and hard into the bottom right of the net. The keeper went the right way but it was too low and hard for him to have a chance of getting it. A great penalty. McLaughlin’s first penalty for the Stags.

The Stags were on fire now. After 36 minutes, Ollie Clarke fired a great shot from 25 yards just over the bar. Then good play from Bowery, finding Oates who shot just wide.

The Stags deservedly made it 3-1 after 43 minutes. Lewis Ward, the Swindon keeper chipped a kick to the half way line. Oli Hawkins headed it forward and from the edge of the centre circle Maris chested it down lobbed it forward for Bowery to run on to. Bowery let it bounce and from the edge of the area lobbed it over the advancing keeper into the net for an exquisite finish. Goals in consecutive home league games for Bowery and reward for a very fine performance.

There was still time in the half for McKirdy to fire an 18 yard volley goalwards, which Bishop did well to push wide. For all his apparent attitude problems, McKirdy certainly knows where the net is at the moment.

A great first half from Mansfield.

The second half was one of fewer chances. Swindon had a chance to pull a goal back after 57 minutes as Ellis Iandolo got away from his marker Elliott Hewitt from a corner and headed over the bar. McKirdy had a chance after 79 minutes when sub Jayden Mitchell-Lawson put him in space in the area on the right but he fired wide.

Swindon did pull a goal back after 89 minutes. Iandolo cut in from the left touchline, level with the edge of the area, past Charsley, and then Oates, with both afraid to put in a challenge inside the box for fear of bringing him down, and fired through Hewitt and into the bottom right corner of the net from a tight angle. I don’t think Bishop can be blamed on this occasion. Charsley though should have done better to stop Iandolo before he got into the box.

It was now a nervy finish, but with five minutes of stoppage time added, the Stags kept Swindon at bay without any near misses.

A thoroughly deserved victory. It was a pretty rare win for the Stags over Swindon actually, having gone 7 games without a win over the Wiltshire side, stretching back to 2006.

The Stags are now into 8th place, behind Newport in the last play-off place on goal difference but with a game in hand.

The Stags are back in action on Saturday, at the One Call Stadium, as Walsall are the visitors.



Magnificent Mansfield Town close in on play-off spots with home win over Swindon Town
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 11th January 2022

A fifth League Two win in a row pushed Mansfield Town firmly into the play-off reckoning as they beat rivals Swindon Town 3-2 at the One Call Stadium tonight.

George Maris celebrates his opening goal against Swindon Town. Picture by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

It was a seventh win in eight league games and well deserved, though a late Ellis Iandolo goal did have home nerves jittering for a short time.

Hot shot Harry McKirdy beat Nathan Bishop at his near post to wipe out George Maris' early strike.

But brilliant work from Rhys Oates, again outstanding, earned a spot kick that Stephen McLaughlin put away with aplomb before an inch-perfect lob from Jordan Bowery netted what proved to be the winner in an exciting game.


With Stephen McLaughlin and Ryan Stirk recovering from injuries at the weekend, Stags sent out the same starting XI, though George Lapslie missed out on the 18 with a thigh injury.

After easily snuffing out an early Swindon corner, Stags grabbed a fourth minute lead.

McLaughlin's fine weighted ball down the left began the move and Oates reached it and strode into the box.

Unable to shoot, as defenders surrounded him, he found Bowery, who laid it back invitingly for Maris to smash home a low finish from 12 yards.

He almost doubled his and Stags' tally on 13 minutes after the home side strung together a series of quick passes which ended with Maris this time blazing over after being set up by Quinn.

Hawkins saw an early booking for a foul on 15 minutes.

Bishop was down safely to gather a dangerous low Hunt cross soon after and on 21 minutes had to tip an Iandolo free kick over the bar at the last minute as it threatened to dip in from a tight angle on the right.

Conroy then hit a first time shot into the ground and it flew straight to Bishop as the Robins looked for an equaliser.

McKirdy was next to try his luck with a fierce shot from 25 yards that went wide.

But a minute later he was celebrating an equaliser as he got into the right of the box and, from a tight angle, beat Bishop at his near post with a powerful, low finish.

However, Stags were back in front on 31 minutes - and it stemmed from a Swindon corner.

It was cleared to Oates who, from his own half, raced away, taking on defenders and, once into the Robins' box, was brought down by Oidmayo as he pulled the trigger to shoot.

Odimayo was booked and McLaughlin stepped up to drill a low spot kick inside the right post, Ward going the right way but unable to get there.

Maris and Bowery set up Clarke for a vicious shot on 36 minutes that wasn't far over.

Oates whistled another shot just over the angle after Bowery had done well to race onto a long, hopeful ball and set him up.

But Stags did extend their lead on 43 minutes. Maris played the ball forward and Bowery burst between two defenders before calmly lobbing the advancing keeper.

In the third added minute Bishop turned another goalbound McKirdy effort over the top as Stags went in deservedly in charge.

The Robins came close on 57 minutes as Reeds sent over a corner and Iandolo's header clipped the top of the crossbar.

Conroy and O'Toole were booked on 63 minutes as tempers rose in the home box and they were caught in a tangle.

On 66 minutes Bishop was across to save well at his left post from a speculative Hunt effort from outside the box.

Hunt was added to the book for halting McLaughlin in full flight on 73 minutes.

McKirkdy might have pulled one back on 79 minutes after a slip by Hawkins gifted the ball to sub Mitchell-Lawson, but he found McKirdy who blazed over with the goal in his sights.

Swindon were not finished and a minute from time Iandolo drew defenders to him in the box on the left and lashed home a low finish through them to spark late nerves.

STAGS: Bishop, Hewitt, O'Toole, Hawkins, McLaughlin, Clarke (Charsley 77), Stirk, Maris (Law 80), Quinn, Oates (Nartey 90+3), Bowery. SUBS NOT USED: Stech, Burke, Gale, Johnson.

SWINDON: Ward, Odimayo, Iandolo, Conroy, Lyden (Mitchell-Lawson 76), Simpson, McKirdy (Parsons 84), O'Brien, Williams (Gladwin 70), Hunt, Reed. SUBS NOT USED: Idem, Crichlow, East, Grant.

REFEREE: Tom Reeves.

ATTENDANCE: 4,129 (252 away).



Mansfield Town 3-2 Swindon Town
Maris (4'minutes), McLaughlin (31'minutes pen), Bowery (43'minutes)
McKirdy (28'minutes), Iandolo (89'minutes)
Bowery (4'minutes), Maris (43'minutes)
Williams (28'minutes), O'Brien (89'minutes)

Match report supplied by PA Media

Mansfield maintained their League Two play-off push with a fifth win in succession as they saw off visiting Swindon 3-2.

The Stags grabbed a fourth-minute lead as Jordan Bowery pulled back a pass for George Maris to smash home a low 12-yard finish.

But Nathan Bishop was beaten at his near post from a tight angle on the right by Harry McKirdy for a 28th-minute equaliser.

Mansfield were back in front three minutes later when Rhys Oates broke away from a Swindon corner all the way to the other box where he was brought down by Akin Odimayo.

Stephen McLaughlin then dispatched a fine spot kick low inside the right post.

It was 3-1 after 43 minutes when Bowery powered between two defenders from a lofted Maris ball and lobbed the advancing Lewis Ward.

Ellis Iandolo's header clipped the home bar after 57 minutes from a Louis Reed corner and in the 79th minute McKirdy blasted over from an excellent position after Jayden Mitchell-Lawson's pass.

A minute from time, Iandolo ran at the home defenders and drilled a low shot home through a crowd of players but Mansfield held on to make it eight league wins in nine matches.

Match Stats
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Swindon
Possession Home 45% Away 55%
Shots Home 10 Away 12
Shots on Target Home 3 Away 6
Corners Home 3 Away 6
Fouls Home 16 Away 6


MATCH REPORT: Mansfield Town 3-2 Swindon Town
Tough night for the Reds

swindontownfc.co.uk, by Andrew Steele-Davis - Media Manager

Swindon Town suffered a 3-2 defeat to Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium in the EFL Sky Bet League Two earlier this evening.

George Maris gave the home team a very early lead before Harry McKirdy struck again to make it honours even, but Stephen McLaughlin's penalty immediately put his team back in the driving seat.

Jordan Bowery added a third for the Stags to give Swindon a mountain to climb at the break and, while Ellis Iandolo pulled one back late on, it wasn't enough on what was a frustrating night at the office.


Town Head Coach Ben Garner opted for two changes with January recruit Jake O'Brien being handed a debut after Kaine Kesler-Hayden was recalled by Aston Villa, with O'Brien slotting into the back-three and Rob Hunt taking up the right wing-back role.

In the other switch, Jonny Williams came into the Starting XI after an impressive showing off the bench against Manchester City on Friday night, with Ben Gladwin dropping to the bench.

It was a nightmare start for Town as Mansfield struck early with Rhys Oates bursting into the box and getting a cross in, which was fed to George Maris via Jordan Bowery and he was able to do the rest by sending a low finish past Lewis Ward for the first goal of the game.

Some great play resulted in Stephen Quinn getting into a dangerous area after latching on to a back-heel, and he teed up the dangerous Maris who sent a shot over the bar.

Tyreece Simpson displayed superb hold-up play and then power as he charged towards goal before slipping in Jonny Williams, who clipped a dangerous cross into the box which was eventually dealt with.

Town went close to an equaliser with 20 minutes played thanks to Ellis Iandolo, who sent a superbly struck free-kick towards goal, which Nathan Bishop did well to claw over the bar.

It wasn't long before the Reds did restore parity, though, and it was that man Harry McKirdy again who beat Bishop with a sublime finish moments after striking over from distance.

However, Mansfield hit right back as Oates led a counter-attack before being brought down inside the area by Akin Odimayo, who was booked, and Stephen McLaughlin was able to keep his cool to step up and stroke home the penalty.

Ollie Clarke was inches away from adding a third for the hosts after sending a fierce drive just over the crossbar, before Bowery did well to come out of nowhere to latch onto a pass and then feed Oates, who skewed a shot wide.

Mansfield did add a third before the break, though, with Oates playing a superb ball to play in Bowery, who beat Ward to the ball and he was able to chip the ball over the Keeper and into the net.

McKirdy did go close again before the interval after shooting on the turn and forcing Bishop to punch the ball over the bar, but there was a lot of work to do for Town heading into the second-half.


Iandolo rose highest to meet a Louis Reed corner early in the second-half and he connected powerfully with his head, but the header clipped the bar before going over.

Ward got down well to smother a shot while, at the other end, Rob Hunt tried his luck and his long-range drive was tipped behind by Bishop.

Still trailing by a pair of goals with 20 minutes remaining, Town opted for a change as Ben Gladwin came on to replace Williams.

McKirdy pounced on a loose ball but couldn't keep his shot on target, before Jayden Mitchell-Lawson came on to replace Jordan Lyden with the Reds still looking for a way back into the game.

Harry McKirdy made way for Harry Parsons while Ryan Stirk blazed over for the Stags, and Jayden Mitchell-Lawson screwed an effort wide at the other end.

There was a glimmer of hope for Town, however, as Iandolo latched onto a wonderful ball from Jake O'Brien before weaving his way into the box and beating Bishop with a low finish into the far corner.

But it was too little too late as the Reds slipped to a frustrating defeat on the road, with their efforts in the final 20 minutes falling just short.



MANSFIELD TOWN - Bishop; McLaughlin, Hewitt, Clarke (C) (Harry Charsley 77), Bowery, Maris (Jason Law 79), Hawkins, Quinn, Oates (Richard Nartey 90), Stirk, O'Toole.

SUBS NOT USED - Stech, Johnson, Burke, Gale.

SCORERS - George Maris (4), Stephen McLaughlin (31), Jordan Bowery (43).

BOOKED - Oli Hawkins, John-Joe O'Toole.

SWINDON TOWN - Ward; Odimayo, Iandolo, Conroy (C), Lyden (Jayden Mitchell-Lawson 76), Simpson, McKirdy (Harry Parsons 84), O'Brien, Williams (Ben Gladwin 69), Hunt, Reed.

SUBS NOT USED - Idem, Crichlow, East, Grant.

SCORERS - Harry McKirdy (28), Ellis Iandolo (88).

BOOKED - Akin Odimayo, Dion Conroy, Rob Hunt.

REFEREE - Tom Reeves.

Attendance - 4, 129 (252 Away Fans).