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Archived News from April 2022

26th April 2022 0:06

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 2 - 0 Crawley Town
Murphy 26, Akins 72. Tilley sent off 69
Attendance: 5,022 (93 from Crawley)

Date: 23 April 2022

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town got back to winning ways after the disastrous Easter results with a 2-0 win over Crawley Town at the One Call Stadium this afternoon. Crawley had won 5 of the their last 6 games, and had scored in 17 successive away games, a club record, stretching back to 18 September, but rarely looked like scoring today, and were well-beaten by a Stags side back to their best, playing terrific football, creating a hatful of chances, and who would have won by many more but for an excellent performance in the Crawley goal from keeper Glenn Morris. For Mansfield, it was a 12th home win in 13 games.

The Stags welcomed back Rhys Oates from his thigh injury. What a miss he has been while he’s been out. And he put in a terrific performance with great runs, great shots, and was three times denied by Morris, twice with outstanding saves. John-Joe O’Toole was also back from a hip problem and put in a dominant performance in defence, completely nullifying dangerous striker Tom Nichols. George Maris was also back in the starting XI after being out with a combination of Covid, an earlier hamstring injury, and not being selected. Maris put in a super performance, barely if at all wasting a pass all game and getting Mansfield going forward.

It was a great afternoon and a big relief for January signings Jamie Murphy and Lucas Akins, who both scored their first goals for the club. Murphy had been so unlucky on Easter Monday when his shot against the underside of the bar at Carlisle bounced down over the line but the hapless linesman failed to give the goal. With a similar chance today and from a similar position, he buried the ball into the back of the net. And then Akins scored from a fine header. After the game, Stags first team coach Andy Garner said “we’re so relieved for him (Lucas) that he’s got a goal, it’s been playing on his mind for a long-time now. We keep trying to tell him to just relax, settle down it will come.”

The two goals came from crosses from the two full backs Elliott Hewitt and Stephen McLaughlin, who both had great games going forward and defensively.

It was a performance where all the team played really well. James Perch swept up everything at the back, alongside O’Toole at centre half. And Stephen Quinn and Matty Longstaff also did well in midfield. The only person with a quiet game was keeper Nathan Bishop, who had very little to do apart from one fine save when he was out quickly and bravely at the feet of Tom Nichols.

With Oates, Maris and O’Toole coming into the side, out went Hawkins, Stirk and Bowery. Stirk and Bowery dropped to the bench. Hawkins was not in the squad. I spoke to Nigel Clough after the game but forgot to ask him what was wrong with Hawkins, sorry about that, a schoolboy error to forget to ask him. We’ll have to wait until Clough’s press conference on Monday to find out.

McLaughlin was fit to play after playing with Covid on Monday, as was Maris, who came on as a sub with Covid on Monday. Both showed no after-effects. George Lapslie was back into the 18 after his suspension, but was only on the bench. It was a 4-4-2 formation with Akins and Oates up front, and Murphy just behind them.

Crawley had been rocked by early morning news that manager John Yems was suspended amid accusations of discriminatory language and behaviour.

It was very windy in the Upper Tier of the West Stand, but much less so down at pitch level, and there was little or no effect on the game.

The Stags’ first chance was after 9 minutes when Murphy found Akins on the right. Akins cut inside to the edge of the area and curled in a low left-footed shot which Morris got down to save one-handed, a good save. Oates then set up Longstaff for a shot from 12 yards, which was on target but blocked after 14 minutes.

A good header away by Perch after 15 minutes after Murphy gave the ball away.

A minute later at the other end, a good move from the Stags and Murphy’s ball forward was just too far ahead of Akins.

A good turn from Oates after 18 minutes on the edge of the area, but he miscued a shot wide of the post. Good football again from the Stags after 21 minutes, Longstaff’s ball forward was just through to the keeper.

Isaac Hutchinson cut in from the left and curled a shot two yards wide of the right post after 22 minutes.

Quinn lobbed over the bar following a corner played short to him from Murphy after 23 minutes. A minute later Akins went down in the area in a tangle of legs but there was no foul.

The Stags took the lead after 26 minutes. Maris squared to Longstaff who fed the overlapping Hewitt on the right. Hewitt got to the byline and sent in a perfect cross that Murphy met on the volley from 9 yards sending it into the top right corner of the net. A great assist from Hewitt and a super finish from Murphy.

After 27 minutes, a great run from Oates to the byline on the left, but his low cross was cleared.

Great defending from O’Toole after 33 minutes as Crawley broke forward. McLaughlin gave away a cheap free kick two minutes later. Tilley wasted the free kick, curling a cross over the bar.

Perch and McLaughlin were both booked for fouls on the halfway line within a couple of seconds of each other after 36 minutes. No complaints really.

Crawley came close to equalising after 39 minutes when James Tilley, who scored the winner against the Stags late in the game last season, and scored against the Stags again earlier this season when the Stags won 2-1 at Broadfield stadium, both times with fine shots, curled a low shot inches wide of the left post.

After 41 minutes, Oates fired in a brilliant shot from 20 yards out on the left that Morris palmed away superbly. This was classic Oates, a shot reminiscent of his last gasp shot at Oldham against the post from which Lapslie turned in the winning goal. A stunning shot. And what a save from Morris.

Another brilliant save from Morris a minute later. Quinn slid the ball forward from 35 yards out, Murphy flicked it into the path of McLaughlin storming into the area from the left, and McLaughlin was 1-on-1 with the keeper. McLaughlin’s low shot was superbly blocked by Morris. McLaughlin held his head in his hands.

Maris curled in a shot from 30 yards that was comfortably saved on his line by Morris after 44 minutes.

Great football from Mansfield in the first half. A really good performance, ahead with Murphy’s goal and only denied further goals by two great saves from Morris.

Half time 1-0

Longstaff played inside to Oates after 50 minutes and his shot from 20 yards was deflected for a corner.

The Stags were so close to extending the lead again on 51 minutes when Murphy’s corner was recycled back to him by a great pass from Quinn, and Murphy’s shot from the left from about 8 yards beat the keeper but was unbelievably blocked on the line by Jordan Tunnicliffe.

On 54 minutes, brilliant control from Oates 40 yards from goal and a superb run into the area before his shot was brilliantly saved one-handed by Morris. What a save again. But what magnificent play again from Oates.

Good defending from O’Toole after 59 minutes as Will Ferry put in a good low ball from the left and O’Toole had to stretch to put it behind for a corner with Tom Nichols lurking behind him. Good keeping from Bishop two minutes later. A ball forward for Nichols, but Bishop was out quickly and bravely at his feet as the ball went out for a corner.

Oates was as it again after 67 minutes. Hewitt played inside to him 30 yards out, he turned superbly and fired in a shot inches wide of the right post and against the back stanchion. The referee decided that Morris had tipped it wide but I’m not sure he got a touch on it.

Crawley were reduced to ten men after 69 minutes. A cross into the Stags area was headed away by McLaughlin but Tilley jumped into McLaughlin as he headed it away and cleaned him out. Tilley had earlier been booked and it was a ludicrous challenge from a player on a yellow card. He was duly shown a second yellow card, the referee given no choice but to send him off.

On 72 minutes, the Stags made it 2-0. McLaughlin chipped in a great cross from 22 yards out towards Akins who steadied himself and sent a precision header into the bottom left corner of the net giving the keeper no chance. A super header, and a great assist from McLaughlin. McLaughlin now has 13 goal assists this season (see my stats at the bottom).

Oates broke forward after 75 minutes after a good interception and ball forward from Hewitt. Oates got into the area but his square pass was behind Murphy and Akins.

Longstaff tried an ambitious shot from 45 yards after 78 minutes with the keeper briefly well off his line, but it was well wide. At the other end a minute later, Hutchinson shanked a shot well wide from 25 yards.

Wallace replaced Maris after 80 minutes. Maris had had a super game.

A rare chance for Crawley after 82 minutes as sub Aramide Oteh headed wide from 6 yards from a corner. The ball was just behind him and he couldn’t get good direction on the header.

Lapslie replaced Quinn after 82 minutes.

Lapslie was straight into the action winning the ball and setting Oates away on a run to the edge of the area but his low shot gave Morris an easy save.

Lapslie was then booked for a foul on sub Mark Marshall. All this within a minute of coming on!

Bowery replaced Oates after 84 minutes. What a performance from Oates on his return from injury.

Another great move from the Stags after 90 minutes. Longstaff played a 1-2 with Bowery outside the area and slipped a superb ball into the area for McLaughlin to run on to. But McLaughlin with a great chance to shoot or pull the ball across, slipped over in a comedy moment. It didn’t matter. McLaughlin had had another brilliant game.

On 90+1 minutes, Murphy’s shot from 30 yards was deflected for a corner.

The Stags saw out the game very comfortably for an important victory. A very enjoyable game to watch with the Stags right back at their best. A dominant display. 17 shots from Mansfield to only 5 from Crawley. 10 on target from Mansfield to 0 from Crawley.

Mansfield are back into the play-off places, in 6th, with three games left. Northampton have moved into 3rd place, and the Stags are 4 points behind them with a game in hand. The Stags are 3 points behind 4th placed Port Vale also with a game in hand. Northampton’s and Port Vale’s goal difference is much better than Mansfield’s though.

The Stags’ game in hand is on Tuesday at home to Stevenage. It will be another huge game. Stevenage secured their safety today, as Oldham were relegated, and Steve Evans has done a great job to keep them in the League with 3 wins and a draw from their last 4 games. Evans is sure to get quite a reception from Stags fans after the way he walked out on the club four years ago, but in truth that is just sideshow to the main business which is a crucial 3 points at stake for Mansfield. Get down to the game if you can, it is an all-ticket game, so all tickets have to be purchased by Monday night. But if you can’t get to the game, you can buy a match pass to watch it with us on iFollow Stags.


Mansfield Town 2-0 Crawley Town
Murphy (26'minutes), Akins (72'minutes)
Hewitt (26'minutes), McLaughlin (72'minutes)
Tilley (Dismissed at69'minutes)

Match report supplied by PA Media.

Mansfield hauled themselves back into the promotion race with a convincing 2-0 home win over 10-man Crawley.

Jamie Murphy and Lucas Akins both netted their first goals to get the Stags back on track after back-to-back Easter defeats.

Mansfield deservedly led at the break, Murphy turning home a 12-yard volley from Elliott Hewitt's fine cross from the right.

Crawley goalkeeper Glenn Morris had a busy half, saving an early effort from Akins before making a superb full-length save to his left to prevent a Rhys Oates shot finding the top corner after 41 minutes and then spreading himself at his near post to deny Stephen McLaughlin two minutes later.

Crawley, who suspended manager John Yems on Saturday morning following allegations of discrimination, came close to levelling when James Tilley lashed inches wide of the far post after 39 minutes.

Murphy almost made it 2-0 after 51 minutes amid a scramble but Jordan Tunnicliffe headed off the line, and shortly afterwards Morris was there again to deny Oates one-on-one.

Tilley's late challenge on McLaughlin in the 69th minute brought his second booking and Crawley were down to 10 men.

And just three minutes later Akins headed home a McLaughlin cross from the left from six yards and the points were secured.

Match Stats
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Crawley
Possession Home 64% Away 36%
Shots Home 17 Away 5
Shots on Target Home 10 Away 0
Corners Home 5 Away 3
Fouls Home 17 Away 16


First goals for Jamie Murphy and Lucas Akins get Mansfield Town promotion push back on track with win over Crawley Town
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 23rd April 2022

Well-timed first goals for the club for both Jamie Murphy and Lucas Akins got Mansfield Town's promotion push back on track with a 2-0 home win over in-form Crawley Town this afternoon.

In a game hampered by a strong wind, Stags put successive Easter defeats behind them with a goal in each half with Crawley ending with 10 men after James Tilley picked up a second booking on 69 minutes.

Crawley battled hard but Stags deserved the victory and only some fine goalkeeping from Glenn Morris denied them victory by a greater margin as Nigel Cloiugh’s men returned to the play-off spots.

Top scorer Rhys Oates returned to the Stags side after missing the previous four fixtures with a thigh injury as one of three changes.


Oates, defender John-Joe O'Toole and midfielder George Maris replaced Oli Hawkins, Jordan Bowery and Ryan Stirk.

Crawley had assistant manager Lewis Young in charge after manager John Yews was last night suspended by the club over allegations of “serious and credible accusations” that he used discriminatory language and behaviour towards his players.

Crawley had won five of their previous six games and also scored in a club record 17 successive away matches.

George Francomb returned from injury for the visitors and there was a place for Aramide Oteh on the bench.

Stags kicked off with the strong wind at their backs and, after a scrappy start, fashioned the first chance on nine minutes as Bishop's quick throw put Murphy in space. He swept the ball wide to Akins on the right who came inside and forced Morris to save his low shot from 18 yards.

Longstaff then had a shot blocked and Oates whipped a low effort wide of the near post as the home side began to ask questions, though the wind was making control of the ball difficult.

Crawley were doing most of the defending but on 22 minutes Stags allowed Hutchinson room 30 yards out and he sent a powerful shot just wide of the far post.

Stags instantly replied as Murphy found Quinn in the box, who saw his effort dip just over the top.

Mansfield finally got some reward for their probing on 26 minutes. Longstaff fed Hewitt to his right who curled back a delightful cross that Murphy guided home superbly on the volley to break the deadlock.

On 36 minutes Perch chopped down Tilley on a Crawley break and, as the referee played the advantage, McLaughin brought down Hessenthaler as which point both Stags men were booked.

Three minutes later Crawley came close to levelling as, after some neat passes, Tilley sent a low shot across Bishop from the right and inches wide of the far post.

On 41 minutes Oates let fly with an explosive shot from the left hand corner of the box that was destined for the top corner until Morris stretched to make a fine one-handed block.

Two minutes later Murphy slipped McLaughlin into the box on the left and again Morris had to come to Crawley's rescue as he got his body in the way of the finish.

Maris then tested Morris from distance but it lacked power and was straight at him.

In the second added minute Tilley was booked for a tackle from behind on Maris as Stags went in deservedly ahead.

Murphy almost doubled his tally six minutes after the break as Crawley laboured clearing a corner and Murphy's powerful finish was headed off the line by Tunnicliffe.

Three minutes later Oates burst into the box on the left but again Morris stood large and blocked his finish.

O'Toole did well to cut out a dangerous low cross from Ferry from the left right in front of goal to concede a corner, then Bishop had to go down bravely at the feet of Nichols as he chased a long ball forward.

An Oates snapshot on 67 minutes was deflected inches wide and hit the back stanchion.

Two minutes later Crawley were down to 10 men as Tilley picked up a second booking for flattening McLaughlin after he had headed away.

Stags punished them on 72 minutes with a second goal. McLaughlin dinked in a lovely cross from the left and Akins, six yards out, guided it perfectly inside the left post.

Crawley sub Oteh put a free header wide from an 82nd minute corner which could have made for a nervy finish.

Seconds later Oates went on another rampage but shot low straight at the keeper.

Sub Lapslie was booked with a minute of coming on for bringing down Oteh.

STAGS: Bishop, Hewitt, O'Toole, Perch, McLaughlin, Longstaff, Quinn (Lapslie 82), Maris (Wallace 79), Murphy, Oates (Bowery 84), Akins. SUBS NOT USED: Stech, Rawson, Stirk, Johnson.

CRAWLEY: Morris, Davies (Oteh 55), Francomb (Marshall 73), Nichols, Tilley, Francilette, Ferry, Tunnicliffe, Lynch, Hessenthaler, Hutchinson. SUBS NOT USED: Seymour, Gallacher, Craig, Kastrati.REFEREE: David Rock.

ATTENDANCE: 5,022 (93 away).



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