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Archived News from July 2022

21st July 2022 22:48

Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Rotherham United
Oates 85. Kayode 60
Attendance: 2,440 (410 from Rotherham)

Date: 16 July 2022

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town drew 1-1 with Championship newcomers Rotherham United at the One Call Stadium yesterday. It was Mansfield’s third game of pre-season. Rotherham took the lead on the hour with a header from a corner, but Mansfield equalised after 85 minutes with a terrific finish from Rhys Oates after a precision ball threaded through from Jason Law. A draw was a fair result as Mansfield held their own against a strong Rotherham side.

Stags team (3-5-2):
Christy Pym;
John-Joe O’Toole, Oli Hawkins, Riley Harbottle;
Jordan Bowery (right wing-back), Ollie Clarke, Dylan McGeouch, George Lapslie, Stephen McLaughlin (left wing-back);
Will Swan, Lucas Akins.

Stephen Quinn (for Clarke, 64)
George Maris (for McGeouch, 64)
Hiram Boateng (for Lapslie, 64)
Kellan Gordon (for Bowery, 69)
Rhys Oates (for Swan, 75)
Jason Law (for Akins, 75)
George Cooper (for Harbottle, 75)
Sub not used: Owen Mason, James Gale.

Goalkeeper Christy Pym, signed on a season long loan from Peterborough on Tuesday, played his first game. Pym is a very good keeper and has played against the Stags many times before, most recently for Stevenage at Mansfield in April when Mansfield won 2-0.
Central defender Riley Harbottle, signed on a season long loan from Nottingham Forest shortly before the Rotherham game, came into a central defensive three, alongside O’Toole and Hawkins.
Dylan McGeouch (pronounced McGee-oh), who had joined the training camp in Scotland as a favour to the player, played in midfield again as a favour to the player. Nigel Clough re-iterated after the game that with 6 or 7 midfielders in the squad already, it would be difficult to sign another midfielder, so don’t expect him to sign.
Ollie Clarke and George Lapslie, who played just 25 minutes at Matlock, started the game.
Lucas Akins switched from wing-back to play up front with Will Swan.

Kellan Gordon returned to the bench after limping off at Retford.

Mansfield were still without Kieran Wallace (out for 4 weeks) and Elliott Hewitt (both with knocks picked up at the training camp in Scotland).
New keeper Scott Flinders was rested as a precaution after feeling discomfort in his groin on Friday.
James Perch was also out and is due to have a scan on a calf problem on Tuesday.
First year pro’s Curtis Davies and Cody Collins were also absent with ankle injuries.

Also absent:
Danny Johnson (available for transfer, didn’t feature due to interest from one club).
Jimmy Knowles (long term injury).

The formation was 3-5-2 for the third game out of three. A reminder that Nigel Clough said a week ago after the first pre-season friendly: “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.”

Rotherham sent out a strong side.

The Stags were nearly behind in the opening 30 seconds. Dan Barlaser crossed from the right and Ben Wiles was left unmarked to head goalwards, but Christy Pym parried the shot up and caught it as it came down. A great save from Pym, but not so good from the defence.

After 3 minutes, Ollie Clarke played a 1-2 with McLaughlin down the left. Barlaser tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick, but Clarke nicked it away from him, and then tried a cheeky shot along the byline to beat the keeper at his near post, but the keeper saved.

Superb play from Will Swan after 7 minutes. Akins flicked on a goal kick from Pym, Swan ran on to it and outpaced Richard Wood, the Rotherham captain, on the right, cut back inside onto his left foot, and fired across the keeper and just wide of the left post, with McLaughlin inches away from turning it in at the left post. Good pace from Swan, clever play, and close to the opening goal. It had the Stags fans on their feet.

Harbottle impressed after 8 minutes with a really good tackle.

Conor Washington just over-ran the ball through to Pym moments later, and then on 10 minutes, Pym was out of his area quickly to clear. His clearance was good and nearly set Ollie Clarke away for a run at goal.

A cross from Washington just evaded Joshua Kayode in the middle after 18 minutes.

Then Jamie Lindsay had a shot from 25 yards blocked by Dylan McGeouch.

Super football and a great move from the Stags after 26 minutes. Harbottle played out to McLaughlin on the left and his first time cross was met by Lucas Akins who headed just wide.

A minute later at the other end, Harbottle headed away a free kick. Then on 35 minutes, from Kayode’s hanging cross, Peter Kioso to headed straight at Pym. A minute later, Oli Hawkins headed away another cross.

After 37 minutes, Swan played a delightful ball down the left with the outside of his right boot, Ollie Clarke ran on to it and his left footed cross across the edge of the six yard box just evaded Akins in the middle.

After 38 minutes, a shot from Lindsay from 18 yards was deflected for a corner. Bowery headed away the resulting corner.

Just before the break, Chiedozie Ogbene crossed and it hit Lindsay allowing the Stags to clear.

An impressive first half from Mansfield after that free header allowed Rotherham a good chance inside the opening 30 seconds. Pym impressed in goal. Harbottle was very good at the back, and brought the ball out of defence calmly, setting up one attack as well. Will Swan showed good pace up front and played particularly well, being unlucky not to score. Lucas Akins continued to show good form in the pre-season games. Dylan McGeouch showed lots of nice touches and looked a fine player. It does appear clear however that the Stags will not be signing him.

Half time 0-0

No changes for either side at the break.

Hawkins left a pass short for O’Toole after 52 minutes but O’Toole did well to win the ball. Then at the other end a minute later a good move culminated in Bowery winning a corner which came to nothing.

A chance for Rotherham after 54 minutes as Ogbene crossed from the left and Washington got in between O’Toole and Hawkins to glance a header just wide.

After 55 minutes, brilliant from Bowery who beautifully brought down a long Pym kick forward, 40 yards from goal, pushed forward to the edge of the area beating two defenders, and fired in a low shot which keeper Viktor Johansson saved low to his right. What a goal that would have been.

Good play from Harbottle after 56 minutes as he charged forward, set George Lapslie away, Lapslie played the ball inside towards Akins but he couldn’t get a shot in.

Harbottle blocked a shot from Ogbene for a corner. And from it, Rotherham took the lead on the hour. Barlaser dinked a lovely ball into the six yard box, Kayode attacked it and headed home from 4 yards. From the video, it looks like Hawkins was supposed to be marking Kayode and let him get away, but it’s difficult to say for sure.

Kayode limped off with a hamstring injury two minutes later after chasing a ball and will be out for 8-10 weeks, a big blow for Rotherham.

Mansfield made a triple change after 64 minutes taking off the central midfield three of Clarke, McGeouch, and Lapslie, and bringing on Stephen Quinn, George Maris, and Hiram Boateng.

A good header away by Hawkins after 66 minutes from Kioso’s cross. Then Quinn conceded a free kick 28 yards out. Barlaser sent the free kick straight at Pym.

Another change after 69 minutes as Bowery was replaced at right wing-back by Kellan Gordon.

Rotherham brought on three young substitutes with no numbers for the final 20 minutes.

On 71 minutes, a good move down the left from the Stags involving McLaughlin, Quinn and Akins to win a corner. From the corner, taken by Quinn, McLaughlin headed high over the bar.

On 74 minutes, a surging run forward by Gordon who was brought down in full flight just outside the area on the right by a substitute with no number. From the free kick, McLaughlin teed up Boateng whose shot from 18 yards was straight at keeper Johansson.

Three more changes for Mansfield after 75 minutes. Off came front pair Swan and Akins, plus defender Harbottle. On came Rhys Oates, Jason Law and George Cooper. Good applause for the three coming off.

Pym made a good punch away from a corner after 76 minutes.

The Stags went close after 84 minutes. Gordon crossed from the right, it was headed out to Boateng, who fired a shot into the ground, it deflected off a defender and flew just over the bar. The resulting corner came out to McLaughlin who shot wide from 16 yards.

The Stags deservedly equalised after 85 minutes. Jason Law threaded a precision ball through for Rhys Oates who drilled a terrific finish across the keeper Johansson into the bottom left corner of the net. It was very reminiscent of Law’s ball forward for Oates’ goal against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup last season. Also Oates’ finish was not too dissimilar to his goal against Northampton in the play-off semi-final, the last game at the One Call Stadium. Law certainly knows how to pick a pass like that, great stuff. And a typically great finish from Oates.

Mansfield might have had a penalty after 87 minutes. Maris sent Oates away into the area and Oates went down under a challenge from Odoffin, but the referee waved play on. Oates had got goalside and you’ve seen the given. Nigel Clough said after the game: “I didn't think it was a penalty. I thought the lad got a good challenge in.”

Brilliant football on 90 minutes as Oates set Gordon away, Gordon crossed across the edge of the six yard box and it just evaded Law in the middle.

So a 1-1 draw, and a fair result. Overall this was a very encouraging performance from Mansfield. Pym had less to do in the second half and had no chance with the goal. Harbottle continued to impress before he was substituted. Kellan Gordon looked dangerous going forward as a substitute, and the midfield three substitutes got some control of the game, admittedly against a younger Rotherham side in the latter stages. Jason Law and Rhys Oates combined superbly for the equalising goal.

The next game is on Tuesday, against Sheffield United. As first reported by the Chad, it is behind-closed-doors “on police advice”, essentially giving the club no choice in the matter. I’m not permitted to reveal the location of the game until just before kick-off. A very poor decision from the police in my opinion, given that there is not a history of trouble between supporters of the two clubs in the last couple of decades, such as pre-season in 2018 and the League Cup in 2014, and it will cost the club a lot of money in lost revenue. Nigel Clough told me he was disappointed as he had selected the fixture thinking it would be a good one for the fans to watch. We will not have live coverage on iFollow Stags but the full match replay will be available on iFollow Stags the following day. Sheffield United are showing the game live on their SUTV service, for £7 (https://www.sufc.co.uk/videos/sub). Given the weather forecast of record-breaking high temperatures, Nigel Clough told me the kick off has been moved back from 7pm to 8pm.

Ref: Josh Smith
Rotherham: (3-1-4-2) Johansson; Wood (Champion 76), Odoffin, Humphreys (Hull 61); Barlaser (Douglas 70); Ogbene (Durose 70), Wiles (Rathbone 61), Lindsay (Warne 70), Kioso (Holvey 70); Washington, Kayode (Kelly 64). Sub not used: Vickers.


Rhys Oates earns Mansfield Town a draw with Rotherham United as new faces impress for Stags
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Saturday 16th July 2022

Rhys Oates' late leveller earned Mansfield Town a highly credible 1-1 home draw with Championship new boys Rotherham United in today's pre-season friendly at the One Call Stadium.

Oates guided home a superb low finish five minutes from time to wipe out Joshua Kayode's header on the hour mark as both sides gave energetic displays in the extreme temperatures.

Most home attention was on the new faces who all impressed on the day and looked good additions.

There was also a fine display in central midfield from former Scottish international Dylan McGeouch, who was a surprise name on the team sheet.


Mansfield gave an immediate debut to young defender Riley Harbottle, who agreed a season-long loan move from neighbours Nottingham Forest earlier in the day.

New keeper Christy Pym, on loan from Peterborough United, also made a first start.

And there was also a surprise place for ex-Celtic and Coventry star McGeouch, 29, a free agent who was said to have trained with the Stags at their camp in Scotland as a favour to him last week.

On a sweltering hot afternoon, the game was played in bright summer sunshine with drinks breaks every 15 minutes or so.

The visitors should have taken the lead inside 25 seconds as a teasing cross by Barlaser on the right saw Wiles presented with a six yard header that he sent straight at Pym, who was perfectly placed to block.

On three minutes McGeough did not give up as Barlaser tried to shepherd a McLaughlin pass out for a goalkick, and won the ball and then tried to catch Johansson napping at his near post, but he made the stop.

And on seven minutes Swan came even closer with a burst of pace to the right by-line, then cut back inside and lashed a low shot across goal and just wide of the far post.

Pym was quick to come forward and pounce as Washington tried to get on the end of a through ball into the box and the danger was quickly averted.

Akins was not far wide with a far post header from McLaughlin's measured cross on 26 minutes as both sides continued to entertain.

On 35 minutes Kayode robbed Clarke on the edge of the Stags box and crossed to the far post where Kioso forced Pym to grab his on-target header.

Then Stags were unlucky as a lovely pass from the outside of his boot by Swan sent Clarke into the left of the box, no one able to touch home his powerful cross as an entertaining half ended without score.

There were soon chances at both ends after the restart.

On 54 minutes Washington guided a free header wide from six yards from an Ogbene cross and straight away at the other end Johansson was behind Bowery's low shot from 12 yards.

But the Millers broke the deadlock on the hour as Kayobe headed in from close range amid a crowded six yard box from Barlaser's right wing corner in front of their own supporters.

Soon after Kayode appeared to pull a muscle and limped off which sparked a raft of home subs on 62 minutes.

Pym was safely behind a low 30 yard free kick by Marlaser on the restart.

Rotherham made their raft of changes on 70 minutes when Kellan Gordon also entered the fray and won a free kick which McLaughlin rolled to Akins, whose low shot was easily gathered by Johansson.

More changes followed as the game inevitably slowed and became a little disjointed.

With six minutes to go Boateng was unlucky as he fired a loose ball goalwards which deflected up and over for a corner from which Law teed up McLaughlin only to see the wing back slice over.

But Stags were level with a slice of Oates magic five minutes from time.

Law swept a great pass out to the right wing where Oates raced away and into the right of the box before dispatching a superb low finish across the keeper and inside the far post.

Maris then sent Oates away down the middle only to see the striker go down under the challenge of Odoffin.

Oates had been goalside, but the referee decided no penalty.

Stags next have more Championship opposition with a game against Sheffield United behind closed doors on Tuesday.

STAGS: Pym, McLaughlin, Harbottle (Cooper 76), Akins (Law 76), Clarke (Maris 62), Bowery (Gordon 70), Hawkins, McGeouch (Boateng 62), Swan (Oates 76), Lapslie (Quinn 62), O'Toole. SUBS NOT USED: Mason, Gale.

ROTHERHAM: Johansson, Barlaser (Holvey 70), Wood (Champion 76), Wiles (Rathbone 62), Ogbene (Douglas 70), Washington, Lindsay (Durose 70), Kayode (Kelly 62), Odoffin, Humphreys (Hull 62), Kioso (Warne 70). SUBS NOT USED: Vickers, Durose.

REFEREE: Josh Smith.

ATTENDANCE: 2,440 (410 away).


REPORT: Mansfield 1 v 1 Rotherham
by Chris Jackson

Millers have to settle for friendly draw......

Rotherham United had another decent pre-season run-out against Sky Bet League Two opposition, in the shape of Mansfield Town, but any hopes of a morale-boosting win were dashed when sub Rhys Oates equalised for the hosts, near the end, cancelling out Joshua Kayode’s header.

Paul Warne’s side looked to be heading for victory when Kayode headed home, just minutes before he was withdrawn with injury, but Mansfield levelled matters at the death.

On a sun-baked afternoon in Nottinghamshire, the Millers travelling contingent were treated to pre-season run-outs for summer recruits Conor Washington, Cameron Humphreys and Peter Kioso.

Club skipper Richard Wood led out his team at the One Call Stadium while fan favourites Viktor Johansson, Dan Barlaser, Ben Wiles and Chiedozie Ogbene were starters.

The Millers were quick out of the blocks and they came close to breaking the deadlock in the early seconds when Barlaser got the ball from under his feet to deliver a delicious cross into the path of Wiles, who had escaped the attentions of any home player, to head goalwards but Christy Pym, in the home goal, saved at the second attempt.

Johansson was called into action, minutes later, when home skipper Ollie Clarke got the better of a tussle with Barlaser near the touchline to fire a cross-cum-shot which stung the palms of the Swedish stopper, at his near post.

The Millers had a scare when Wood found himself in a foot race with Will Swan, and he came out second best as the Forest loanee cut inside smartly to drill a low effort which fizzed past Johansson, but also the far post.

Rotherham had a few sniffs of goal when firstly Kioso threaded a lovely ball which Washington could not get under his spell on the edge of the box and the chance was lost before Barlaser clipped a lovely ball for the Northern Ireland international, who attempted to find Joshua Kayode in the six-yard box, but the cross evaded his attentions.

After a water break on the quarter hour, Jamie Lindsay was in the thick of the action when he drilled a low effort which was blocked en-route to goal, before failing to latch onto Washington’s centre, just seconds later, with a swipe at fresh air.

Either side of the half hour, both sides traded chances when Lucas Akins headed wide from Stephen McLaughlin’s cross before Kayode’s hanging cross paved the way for Kioso to head straight into the grateful hands of Pym.

With half-time approaching, Lindsay had a low shot deflected behind by a backtracking home defender before Ogbene came to the fore in the latter stages of the half, by swinging a lovely cross into the box which Lindsay could not direct goalwards.

Half-time: Mansfield Town 0 Rotherham United 0

The Millers came out in the second half with the same eleven that started the game.

The visitors produced a fine move when Ogbene showed fleet of foot and a turn of speed to evade two Mansfield defenders, before delivering a centre which was met by the head of Washington, but his glancing effort sailed narrowly wide of the target with Pym out of the game.

Former Miller Jordan Bowery made something out of nothing to emerge from a cul-de-sac to drill a low effort which brought a smothered save out of Johansson.

There was little to separate the teams but it was Rotherham, who broke the deadlock, just after the hour mark.

After forcing a corner, Barlaser caressed a perfectly-weighted set piece into the danger area and Kayode emerged from a ruck of bodies in the box to meet his centre and head home from close range.

The afternoon took a cruel twist for the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, just minutes later, though, when he chased a ball into the channel before pulling up sharply - with what appeared to be a muscle injury - and he was immediately replaced by Gillingham hero Georgie Kelly.

The Stags made a trio of substitutions with former Millers loanee Stephen Quinn and one-time target George Maris introduced.

However, it was the Millers, who threatened next when sub Ollie Rathbone was scythed down by Quinn, and Barlaser’s resultant free kick was saved by Pym.

The home side had a half-chance when McLaughlin’s free-kick lay off paved the way for sub Hiram Boateng to sting the palms of Johansson with a low drive.

Boateng had a snap shot deflected over, near the end, before McLaughlin fired over from a tight angle.

The Millers, who made a raft of substitutions, in the last quarter, had lost their rhythm and Mansfield punished them with a replacement of their own, when a defensive splitting pass saw Oates get on the wrong side of Odoffin, to bare down on goal before firing a drilled effort which beat the outstretched hand of Johansson to find the far corner of the net.

Full-time: Mansfield Town 1 Rotherham United 1

Mansfield Town 1

Rotherham United 1

Teams: Mansfield- Pym, Bowery (Gordon 70), O’Toole, Hawkins, Harbottle (Law 75), McLaughlin, Clarke (Maris 64), McGeouch (Quinn 64), Lapslie (Boateng 64), Swan (Oates 75), Akins (Cooper 75). Subs: Mason, Gordon, Gale,

Rotherham- Johansson, Barlaser (Douglas 70) , Wood (Champion 76), Wiles (Rathbone 61), Ogbene (Durose 70), Washington, Lindsay (Warne 70), Kayode (Kelly 64), Odoffin, Humphreys (Hull 61), Kioso (Holvey 70). Subs: Vickers.

Referee- J Smith.

Attendance- 2440 (410)


A Second Friendly Draw For Millers
by Caz Neale (Herringthorpe)

Mansfield Town 1 Rotherham United 1
Oates (86) Kayode (60)

Rotherham United travelled to a sun-drenched One Call Stadium this afternoon taking on Mansfield Town in another pre-season friendly which was the second draw of the week for the Millers.

The Millers came close to opening the scoring in the first minute after a ball from Dan Barlaser was headed towards goal by Ben Wiles with Christy Pym making his debut in the Stags’ goal bringing off a good save. At the other end Barlaser tried to usher the ball out for a goal-kick with Ollie Clarke nipping in and bending it towards goal but it was an easy save for Rotherham ‘keeper Viktor Johansson. Barlaser was in action again sending the ball into the area but it dropped for Pym before some good running from Will Swan saw his shot going just wide. A lovely ball from Peter Kioso just by passed Conor Washington with Pym there to collect. Barlaser and Washington worked well together, the latter sending a ball into the area for Joshua Kayode but it was just too early for him to get on the end of before Chieo Ogbene duped his marker and got a ball to Jamie Lindsay whose cracking shot was blocked and Pym was there minutes later to save another shot from Lindsay. Stephen McLaughlin sent a cross in at the other end which saw Lucas Aikins head wide which was followed by Kioso getting into the box to stop a Clarke cross finding a Mansfield player. Kioso was then involved at the other end when a cross from JJ found him but his header was well saved by Pym, Clarke got the better of the Rotherham back line but there was no-one in the box to collect his pass which was followed by Wiles sending Lindsay on his way the Millers midfielders shot going out for a corner which came to nothing. In the last couple of minutes of the half a good run from Ogbene saw his cross run through for Pym to gather before more nice work from the Irish international saw him his ball to Lindsay at the back post take a wicked bounce leaving the score goalless at half-time.

No changes for either team - unusual for a Rotherham friendly - for the start of the second half with the opening minutes being quiet. The hosts had the first chance after some good work between George Lapslie, Will Swan and Jordan Bowery saw the former Miller win a corner which came to nothing. Some lovely football from Chieo Ogbene saw him get down the wing sending in a super ball for Conor Washington who saw his header go just wide before Millers’ ‘keeper Viktor Johansson do well to get down low to save from Bowery who’d rode two challenges to get his shot away. Another break from Mansfield saw skipper Richard Wood step in to get the ball away before a super ball from Hakeem Odoffin saw a shot from Ogbene blocked going for a corner which Dan Barlaser took finding Joshua Kayode who headed home to put the visitors in front. This was followed by two changes for Rotherham, Ben Wiles and Cameron Humphreys making way for Ollie Rathbone and Jake Hull. Minutes later there was some bad news for the Millers with Kayode going down under a challenge which saw him limp off and Georgie Kelly coming on in his place. Mansfield made three changes fetching on Hiram Boateng, Stephen Quinn and George Maris for Ollie Clarke, Dylan McGeouch and George Lapslie. Peter Kioso got the better of Bowery putting a good cross in for Kelly who saw his header cleared before Baralser tried his luck with a free-kick from some twenty yards out which brought off a good save from Christy Pym. More changes saw Rotherham bring off Dan Barlaser, Jamie Lindsay, Chieo Ogbene and Peter Kioso with Mackenzie Warne, Curtis Durose, Douglas and Holvey coming the other way. Mansfield replaced Jordan Bowery with Kellan Gordon. A foul on Gordon by Holvey saw the Stags get a free-kick on the edge of the area which Boateng took straight into the arms of the waiting Johansson. Another change for the Millers saw Champion on for Richard Wood while the Stags brought on George Cooper, Jason Law and Rhys Oats for debutant Riley Harbottle, Will Swan and Lucas Akins. Nice work from the Millers subs Warne, Champion and Douglas saw them send Durose away with the ball who won a corner which didn’t bother the Stags defence. Boateng had a shot at the other end but Hull was there to cover and block but there was no stopping a shot on eighty-six minutes from Oates whose tight angled shot flew into the bottom corner of the net to make it one-one. And it might have been two for the hosts with Oates getting past Hakeem Odoffin but the Millers defender did well to get a good tackle in to stop the Stags forward. Gordon then got the better of the Millers defence sending a ball into the area but it went too far for Law to get on the end of.

Possibly a better work out for Paul Warne’s men (or lads) this afternoon than the previous friendly games and a draw was probably the fair outcome. For me, there are just too many second half changes to be able to see who is playing well but I do realise pre-season games are more about getting minutes into the players.

Tuesday night, should it go ahead because of the red weather warning (I don’t ever remember a game being called off for ‘good’ weather but there is always a first time) sees the Millers away at Doncaster.

Attendance - 2,440 with 410 Millers



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