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Archived News from July 2022

14th July 2022 23:28

Pre-Season Friendly
Retford United 0 - 6 Mansfield Town
Akins 10, Bowery 26, 34, Gale 28, Quinn 31, Oates 51.
Attendance: 912

Date: 9 July 2022

Martin Shaw at Cannon Park

Mansfield Town beat Retford United 6-0 in the first pre-season friendly of the 2022/23 season yesterday afternoon.

The game provided a first chance for Stags fans to see new signings Hiram Boateng (left footed midfielder from MK Dons), Scott Flinders (experienced keeper from Cheltenham Town), and Will Swan (striker signed on loan from Nottingham Forest for the season, born and schooled in Mansfield). And it was great to see Kellan Gordon back after 10 months out through injury.

Each of the first team players was given a 45 minute run-out.

First half team (3-5-2):
Scott Flinders;
George Cooper (U23 player), John-Joe O’Toole, Stephen McLaughlin;
Lucas Akins (right wing-back), Hiram Boateng, Curtis Davies (first year pro), Stephen Quinn, Jordan Bowery (left wing-back);
James Gale (U23 player), Will Swan.

Second half team (3-5-2):
Owen Mason (young goalkeeper);
George Cooper (U23 player), Oli Hawkins, Cody Collins (first year pro);
Kellan Gordon (right wing-back), George Lapslie, George Maris, Ollie Clarke, Jason Law (left wing-back);
James Gale (U23 player), Rhys Oates.

Jack Deakin (first year pro) (for James Gale, 66 minutes).

James Perch, Kieran Wallace, Elliott Hewitt (all with knocks picked up at the training camp in Scotland).
Danny Johnson (available for transfer, didn’t feature due to interest from one club).
Jimmy Knowles (long term injury).
Dylan McGeouch (joined training camp in Scotland as a favour to the player, but with 6 midfielders in the squad Nigel Clough had said it would be difficult to sign another midfielder).

The formation in both halves was 3-5-2. After the game Nigel Clough said “We’re going to look at one or two things in the next few friendlies and see which one settles. We think we’ve got the players to carry it out (3-5-2). I think we’ve got ideal wing-backs, I think the centre halves we’ve got can adapt to it, I think Oli Hawkins is perfect in the middle of a three, and it gets us two up top which is important as well. We’ll see how it goes.”

It was of course just six weeks since the heartbreak of defeat at Wembley. Mansfield will be hoping to go one step better this season.

It was lovely hot afternoon in Retford. Both clubs are sponsored by One Call Insurance and John and Carolyn were in attendance, mingling with fans.

As you would expect playing against a side from step 7 of non-league (ie. 7 leagues below Mansfield), Mansfield had most of the possession in both halves. Retford United battled resolutely, but didn’t register a shot in either half.

After 5 minutes, Bowery cut in from the left and fired over the bar.

Mansfield took the lead after 10 minutes. Bowery crossed from the left, and Akins did well to get in a header and direct it into the right of the net.

After 18 minutes, a chance for the Stags as Gale had a shot blocked. A half-chance for Retford a minute later at the other end as the Stags cleared a free kick. Two minutes later, Boateng fired in a shot from 22 yards, straight at the keeper.

Mansfield made it 2-0 after 26 minutes. Boateng’s shot from inside the area was blocked, and Bowery fired home the rebound.

Two minutes later it was 3-0. Swan got in behind the defence on the right, pulled the ball across and Gale slid in to bundle the ball home.

On the half hour, a shot from Boateng was blocked by the keeper.

It was 4-0 after 31 minutes. A good ball forward from Boateng from inside his own half for Quinn to run on to, Quinn got into the area and fired past the keeper who got a touch on it but couldn’t keep it out.

And it was 5-0 after 34 minutes, to make it 4 goals in 8 minutes. Boateng found Bowery who fired a great shot from 22 yards into the bottom right corner of the net. The keeper got a touch on it but again couldn’t keep it out.

Bowery was just wide after 39 minutes after a nice move from the Stags involving Swan.

First year pro Curtis Davies limped off after 44 minutes. He was on the end of a mistimed challenge, getting a whack on his ankle. He impressed in central midfield having a decent game, and he looks a good prospect.

Boateng looked good on the ball, and was involved in three of the goals. Swan did well up front and set up the third goal. Bowery was heavily involved going forward from a left wing-back position, scoring two, setting one up, and having two other shots. Flinders in goal had next to nothing to do. Cooper impressed in the back 3, he always looks a good player whenever I see him play.

Half time 0-5

Mansfield made nine changes for the second half. U23 players Cooper and Gale were the two players to continue.

After 48 minutes, Gordon’s snap shot was saved after Lapslie had got down the right. Two minutes later, a free kick from Maris from 23 yards was wide of the left post.

It was 6-0 after 51 minutes. Ollie Clarke chipped a good ball forward, Oates got on to it and fired past the keeper for a fine finish.

On 64 minutes, Oates fired well wide from 24 yards. It came after a long spell of possession without getting efforts in on goal.

First year pro Jack Deakin replaced James Gale up front after 66 minutes.

Deakin then won a corner. And from it, Lapslie’s shot was blocked.

After 78 minutes, Gordon cut inside and his shot was deflected just wide. Following the resulting corner, Oates fired straight at the keeper from 20 yards.

On 81 minutes, Ollie Clarke’s shot from 20 yards was low and wide of the left post.

Kellan Gordon limped off after 84 minutes. According to Nigel Clough post match “Gordon rolled his ankle, when he was caught and the twist was worse than the kick”. The good news was that Clough said Gordon should be fit for Tuesday. Kellan then confirmed that when I saw him in the car park later. A relief after he has been out for so long.

Lapslie moved to right wing-back as the Stags finished the game with 10 men.

After 89 minutes, Ollie Clarke found Oates who was through 1-on-1 and fired straight at the keeper. Then Lapslie found Maris on the byline on the right and he fired into the side netting. And in the final seconds Oates turned the ball over the bar.

A good workout for the Stags and an enjoyable afternoon for the Stags fans.

Thank you very much to Retford United and their volunteers for making it a good occasion.

It was the second consecutive season Mansfield’s first game had been at Retford, and as last year, it will be followed by a trip to Matlock.

That game at Matlock is on Tuesday night. It will be great to be back at the picturesque Causeway Lane ground. 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.

Ref: Lee Hible
Retford United: Tom Crosby, Stuart Ludlam, Daniel White, Danny Booth, Owen Fieldsend, Joe Turner, Igor Mylnarski, Jacob Priestall, Charlie Baird, Liam Frost, Niall Smith. Subs: Holmes, Earnshaw, Morton, L.Thompson, Kobi Thompson.


Report: Retford 0-6 Stags
mansfieldtown.net, by Joe O'Neill, Sat 09 July 2022

New loanee Will Swan made his first start for the Stags as they kicked off their pre-season campaign this afternoon, earning a 6-0 win away to Retford United.

The 21-year-old’s signing - from Nottingham Forest until the end of the season - was announced at 1pm today.

He becomes the Stags’ third signing of the summer, along with goalkeeper Scott Flinders and midfielder Hiram Boateng, all of whom completed 45 minutes today.

Mansfield returned from St. Andrews to more familiar territory, facing Retford in their first pre-season friendly for the second consecutive season.

And five goals in the first half, along with a Rhys Oates’ strike in the second, ensured a positive start to pre-season in sweltering heat at Cannon Park.


Stags’ first attempt to attack the Retford gal came in the fourth minute.

Stephen Quinn played through Jordan Bowery, whose first touch took him into the Retford box, before he unleashed a powerful effort high and wide.

Looking to build on a strong start, Stephen McLaughlin found space on the left in the seventh minute. His deep cross flew over the head of both James Gale and Lucas Akins, who were both queuing at the back post.

With ten minutes played, Mansfield took the lead through Lucas Akins when he arrived at the back post to head home an inviting cross from Bowery.

A head Injury to Retford’s Jacob Priestnall in the 15th minute allowed the teams to have a water break, a necessity in the scorching heat.

Retford carved out their first chance of the game in the 19th minute.

But after taking a free kick out wide a poor delivery saw Stephen McLaughlin to clear the ball to safety.

With 15 minutes played, Mansfield born Will Swan was set free down the left by an early-taken free kick. The Forest loanee drove into the box to beat Stuart Ludlam before running the ball behind for a goal kick.

In the 26th minute, Mansfield’s intensity became too much for the home side as Stephen Quinn found Hiram Boateng whose effort was blocked. But there was no mistake with the follow up when Jordan Bowery slotted the ball under Retford goalkeeper Tom Crosby.

The away side exploited gaps in the Retford defence as Swan got in behind again, this time down the right side. His low cross found the boot of Gale who came sliding in to make it 3-0 in half an hour.

Mansfield’s new central midfielder Boateng seemed to fit into the side perfectly and demonstrated his abilities in the 31st minute when he played the ball from his own half into the path of Quinn. The Irishman’s touch saw him enter the box; before he rolled the ball int bottom right corner to score Stags fourth goal.

Three minutes later, Bowery got his second of the game latching onto the end of a Boateng cross.

In the 39th minute, Bowery and Swan combined but the former was unable to grab his third after receiving the ball back off Swan, as he sliced the ball wide.

The last action of the half saw Curtis Davies forced off after an ill-timed challenge by Retford’s number nine.

The second half saw a fresh team for Mansfield as Nigel Clough utilised his squad by making nine changes.

In the 48th minute, Stags charged forward through Kellan Gordon, whose snapshot forced a save from the keeper.

Mansfield were awarded a free-kick a minute later, but George Maris saw his whipped effort fly wide of the left post.

Stags made it 6-0 in the 51st minute.

A terrific midfield ball from Ollie Clarke saw Rhys Oates bring the ball down superbly before side footing the ball past Crosby and into the open goal.

Stags continued to dominate possession as they searched for another goal.

A speculative effort from Oates in the 64th minute did little to trouble Crosby as it rattled the advertising board down to the right of the goal.

This pause in play signalled another water break for both teams and Mansfield used the time to replace James Gale with Jack Deakin up front.

Deakin’s first involvement saw him win a corner for his side. The resulting flag-kick found George Lapslie whose effort was blocked and then collected by Crosby.

Oates rifled another effort wide in the 75th minute as Clough’s men continued to press.

Kellan Gordon darted down the right-hand side in the 81st minute, where he slid the ball across the box, only to be eluded by another man in amber and blue. Jason Law, however, recycled it on the left flank by setting the ball to Clarke whose effort went wide.

Gordon’s time on the field came to an abrupt end two minutes later after being brought down. The right wing-back limped off the pitch as Mansfield shuffled the pack to deal with having to finish the game a man short.

With one minute left on the clock, Oates was played through one-on-one, but his shot was well blocked by the keeper as it hit his midriff.

STAGS XI: Flinders (Mason 46’), Cooper, O’Toole (Hawkins 46’), McLaughlin (Collins 46’), Akins (Gordon 46’), Boateng (Lapslie 46’), Davies (Maris 46’), Quinn (Clarke 46’), Bowery (Law 46’), Gale (Deakin 66’), Swan (Oates 46’).

RETFORD XI: Crosby, Ludlam (captain), White, Booth, Fieldsend, Turner (L. Thompson), Mylnarski, Priestnall (K. Thompson), Baird (Morton), Frost, Smith

UNUSED SUBS: Holmes, Earnshaw

REFEREE: Lee Hible



Mansfield Town look at new formation for the season in opening Retford Town friendly win

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough admitted his side could go with a 3-5-2 formation this season after cruising to a 6-0 win at Retford Town in Saturday's first pre-season friendly.

Stags have just returned from a five-day training camp in Scotland and, in sweltering heat at Cannon Park, Clough gave everyone he had available 45 minutes of action in the 3-5-2 formation.

“We are just going to look at one or two things in the next few friendlies and see which one settles,” he said.

“We have thought about it for a while and we think we've got the players to carry it out, so it's something we'll have a look at, see what the players think and how we fare.


“I think we have got ideal wing backs in the players we've got and I think the centre halves we've got can adapt to it as well - Oli Hawkins is perfect in the middle of a three. And it gets us two up top which is important as well.

“Nothing is set in stone and last season we changed formation three times in a half at times so players have to be adaptable and versatile.

“It might have to change because of the opposition or us not being good enough at certain times. As always we will be pretty flexible.”

With James Perch, Elliott Hewitt and Keiran Wallace all sidelined with knocks picked up in Scotland, Stags also lost Curtis Davies and Kellan Gordon on Saturday, though Gordon should be fit for tomorrow night's game at Matlock Town.

“It was a good 45 minutes work for most of the lads, especially in the heat, “ said Clough.

“I am not interested in the score - it's all about getting through the game and the next couple of weeks without any injuries.

“We did pick up a couple of knocks in Curtis Davies, who got a whack on his ankle, and Kel, who unfortunately just rolled us. Hopefully Kel will be all right for Tuesday. Apart from that it's a clean bill of health from the game we hope.

“Everywhere is rock hard at the moment - your garden, parks. They have been watering all week but such is the weather at the moment, we are going to have to get used to it for the next few weeks.”

He added: “The lads are in good spirits after a few days in Scotland. Everything was good up there, especially the food. I think it was an ideal few days and we would go there again.”

New loan signing from Forest, Will Swann, made a decent debut at Matlock, Clough saying: “I think he did very well. It was his first time meeting everybody, turning up at quarter to two today!

“I thought his movement was excellent and you could see straight away it was from a higher level

“We just have to make sure we see those runs that he makes. I thought he looked unselfish and sharp at times and I am looking forward to working with him.

“He is a little bit ahead of the other lads on fitness as he has already been back a couple of weeks and had 45 minutes with Forest. But he needs some games.

“We have Lucas Akins and Rhys Oates that we class as our main strikers but he will reinforce that department - as we have seen already. after 10 days we have injuries.

“So he will get opportunities this season.

“The most important thing is that he feels comfortable. He went out to Port Vale on loan and the manager that signed him left soon afterwards, so he didn't get many opportunities.

“I think he is about ready for some league football.”

On other signings, he said: “We are making some progress, albeit it quite slow, on the goalkeeper and, hopefully, another striker.

“We are still hoping to get the loan in as well but we'll see how it goes this week.”

New goalkeeper Scott Flinders and midfielder Hiram Boateng also completed their first 45 minutes for the club on Saturday as five goals in the first half, along with a Rhys Oates’ strike in the second, ensured a positive start.

With 10 minutes played, Stags took the lead through Lucas Akins when he arrived at the back post to head home an inviting cross from Jordan Bowery.

Bowery added a second on 26 minutes, following up after a Boateng effort was blocked, before James Gale tucked away a third from Swann's low cross on 30 minutes.

A fine Boateng pass sent Stephen Quinn away for the fourth a minute later and soon after Bowery put away a Boateng cross for number five.

The second half saw a fresh team for Mansfield as Clough made nine changes and, within six minutes, a terrific ball from Ollie Clarke saw Oates bring the ball down superbly before sidefooting into the open goal.

Gordon limped off the pitch six minutes from time after a challenge as Mansfield shuffled the pack to deal with having to finish the game a man short.

STAGS: Flinders (Mason 46), Cooper, O’Toole (Hawkins 46), McLaughlin (Collins 46), Akins (Gordon 46), Boateng (Lapslie 46), Davies (Maris 46), Quinn (Clarke 46), Bowery (Law 46), Gale (Deakin 66), Swan (Oates 46).

RETFORD: Crosby, Ludlam, White, Booth, Fieldsend, Turner (L. Thompson), Mylnarski, Priestnall (K. Thompson), Baird (Morton), Frost, Smith. UNUSED SUBS: Holmes, Earnshaw.

REFEREE: Lee Hible.




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