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Archived News from July 2022

29th July 2022 0:35

Pre-Season Friendly
Oldham Athletic 0 - 3 Mansfield Town
Oates 38, 60, Hawkins 88
Attendance: 919 (69 from Mansfield)

Date: 23 July 2022

Martin Shaw at Boundary Park

Mansfield Town beat Oldham Athletic 3-0 at Boundary Park in the final pre-season friendly this afternoon. It ends an impressive pre-season, beating a full-strength Sheffield United side 3-0, drawing with another Championship side Rotherham United, winning at Matlock and Retford, and finally winning at National League newcomers Oldham.

Rhys Oates continued his impressive pre-season, scoring twice, to add to his goals against Sheffield United and Rotherham, with Oli Hawkins scoring the third.

The Stags can look forward to the League Two season opener at Salford next Saturday in good spirits.

Stags team vs Oldham (3-5-2):
Christy Pym;
John-Joe O’Toole, Jordan Bowery (central defence), Riley Harbottle;
Kellan Gordon (right wing-back), Hiram Boateng, George Maris, Jason Law, Stephen McLaughlin (left wing-back);
Rhys Oates, Lucas Akins.

Ollie Clarke (for Law, 39)
Oli Hawkins (for Harbottle, 52)
Elliott Hewitt (for O’Toole, 57)
Will Swan (for Akins, 63)
George Cooper (for McLaughlin, 72)
James Gale (for Oates, 84)
Sub not used: Scott Flinders

So, returning from injury:
Stephen McLaughlin: Back after a tight Achilles kept him out of the Sheffield United game.
Will Swan: Back after a tight groin kept him out of the Sheffield United game.
Elliott Hewitt: Good to see him back after he picked up a knock in Scotland.

Absent for Mansfield were:
Stephen Quinn: “got a whack on his hip against Sheffield United, he trained on Friday but was a little bit uncomfortable, no point in risking him”, according to Nigel Clough.
George Lapslie: “felt his thigh after training on Friday - just tight, no point in risking him”, according to Nigel Clough.
James Perch (calf) and Kieran Wallace (knee), who will both be missing for the Salford game.
Danny Johnson: joined Walsall on loan until January.

A couple of injuries were picked up against Oldham:
Jason Law: “had a dead leg last week and he got another whack on it today”, according to Nigel Clough.
John-Joe O’Toole: “got a whack on his knee so we’ll have to see how that settles”, according to Nigel Clough.
Riley Harbottle: “is okay, he was coming off anyway, he got poked in the eye”, according to Nigel Clough.

By the way, a correction to an earlier correction! I had originally thought that Oli Hawkins would be suspended for the Salford game after his sending off at Wembley. Nigel Clough then told me the club had received no notification from EFL of the suspension and therefore understood he would not be suspended as the play-offs are considered a separate entity. He told me today that they think he may now be suspended, but still have had no notification from EFL, which they should have had, and will get clarification on Monday. Not ideal from EFL.

The formation was 3-5-2, as it has been in every game in pre-season, so it seems likely that will be the formation at Salford, barring too many central defenders being unavailable. A reminder that Nigel Clough clarified after the game on Tuesday: “The 3-5-2 system is working well at the moment, but certainly not set in stone.”

The Oldham side contained several names familiar from last season, plus new signing veteran striker Chris Porter. And three trialists in midfield, one of whom was named by the local media as a former Oldham player Dan Gardner.

Oldham are preparing for their first season in the National League and will play Dorking Wanderers and Wealdstone inside their opening three games as a welcome to the league. The club has been in turmoil under the current owners, but thankfully a takeover of the club is imminent, sometime in the next week or two, in a deal brokered by the son of Joe Royle, the manager who took Oldham to the Premier League, and who the new stand at Boundary Park is named after. Oldham is a club I like, especially their media team and the incomparable 82 year old iFollow commentator Roy Butterworth, who is still going strong. I hope they have a good season and push for promotion.

The game started in rain, and just 17 degrees. Quite a contrast to the hottest day in history on Tuesday!

A half chance for the home side after 5 minutes as keeper Magnus Norman’s long kick found Hallam Hope unmarked behind the Stags back line but he headed well wide. Two minutes later, an Oldham free kick from the right was cleared to Benny Couto on the left, who shot low from distance and Pym did well to hold the wet ball.

The first chance for Mansfield came after 9 minutes, as Hiram Boateng found Lucas Akins who played in Rhys Oates into the area on the right, and Oates fired into the side-netting.

After 10 minutes, Couto’s pass was missed by Jordan Bowery and found Chris Porter, who teed up Trialist B for a shot but with the goal gaping, he fired well over the bar.

A chance for the Stags after 19 minutes as Kellan Gordon’s cross found Riley Harbottle who rose well, headed down and goalwards, but the keeper saved. Two minutes later, a good move as Jason Law set Akins way into the area but he was very well tackled by Jack Stobbs for a corner.

After 24 minutes, Stephen McLaughlin was denied by a great save. A free kick from George Maris was headed goalwards by McLaughlin and keeper Norman made a tremendous save at full stretch to his right.

Then on 29 minutes, a great run from Oates towards the edge of the area and his powerful shot was saved by the keeper above his head.

Oldham Trialist A (Dan Gardner) sent a free kick from 24 yards over the bar after 32 minutes, after Bowery had fouled Porter to concede the free kick.

After 35 minutes, Akins headed over the bar from another Gordon cross.

The Stags took the lead after 38 minutes, and it was a lovely goal. Law threaded through a precision ball for Oates, who rolled his shot past the keeper into the far corner of the net. Lovely from Law who provided a similar assist for Oates’ goal against Rotherham last week, and also against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup last season.

Before play restarted Law had to go off. Nigel Clough said that Law “had a dead leg last week and he got another whack on it today”. That was a shame straight after his super assist. On came Ollie Clarke into the left side of midfield.

After 41 minutes, Akins was gifted the ball and fired in a shot from 25 yards which was pushed wide by the keeper. Then on 45+1 minutes, Akins got away from his defender, forced his way into the area, and his low shot was saved by the keeper with his legs.

A very strong end to the half from Mansfield. 1-0 ahead at the break from that Oates goal, and with plenty of other chances too.

Half time 0-1

After 48 minutes, George Maris shot from the edge of the box but it was too soft and an easy save. Two minutes later, Oates found space for a shot, but he didn’t get a good connection on it, and it was another comfortable save for the keeper.

Oli Hawkins replaced Harbottle after 52 minutes. Harbottle had got a poke in the eye, but was ok, and was due to come off anyway. Hawkins went in to the centre of the three man defence, as Bowery moved to the left of the three, where Harbottle had been.

Moments later, a good tackle by O’Toole to prevent a shot from Hallam Hope. Four minutes after that, Hope cut inside from the left and fired wide of the left post.

Elliott Hewitt replaced O’Toole after 57 minutes. O’Toole “got a whack on his knee so we’ll have to see how that settles”, according to Nigel Clough. Hewitt went in to the right side of the three man defence.

The Stags made it 2-0 after 60 minutes. Gordon whipped in a wonderful cross from the right and Oates tapped in on the volley from 5 yards. Oates’ fourth goal of the week.

Will Swan replaced Akins up front after 63 minutes.

Swan was immediately in the action with a low ball across to Oates but it was cleared.

After 67 minutes, a free kick from Trialist A (Dan Gardner) was met by Oldham sub Mike Fondop, who headed wide of the left post. Then a minute later, sloppy passing at the back from the Stags and Pym was only just able to clear. Moments later, Trialist B fired well over the bar from 30 yards.

George Cooper replaced McLaughlin after 72 minutes. Cooper went in to the left of the three man defence, as Bowery moved to left wing back.

Good football from the Stags after 75 minutes involving Oates and Gordon, and finally Boateng fed Oates who shot a long way wide. Two minutes later, Maris found Ollie Clarke 30 yards out, Clarke tried his luck with a shot always rising over the bar.

Mike Fondop was presented with a free shot after 79 minutes by a loose pass from Oates, but Fondop fired over the bar from 18 yards.

Lovely movement from the Stags after 81 minutes as Swan found Gordon, and his cross-shot was deflected wide for a corner.

Super defending by Hawkins after 83 minutes to clear the ball.

James Gale replaced Oates after 84 minutes up front.

Pym took a loose touch at the back after 85 minutes but got away with it.

On 87 minutes, nice play by James Gale on the left, he played inside to Ollie Clarke, who dinked a cross to the far post which was just headed away.

The Stags made it 3-0 after 88 minutes. Boateng put in a great cross from the right, Hawkins had got away from his marker and glanced a header into the left corner of the net.

On the stroke of 90 minutes, Hope got to the edge of the Stags area and sent a low shot from the left into the side netting.

A convincing 3-0 win to end the pre-season friendlies. Plenty of impressive performances. Oates again looked very sharp up front and scored twice. Boateng once again looked very good, including the assist for the third goal. Maris also played well in midfield. Law provided that excellent assist for the first goal. Gordon put in some fine crosses from the right, including the assist for the second goal. One or two lapses at the back and the Stags “got away with a couple” as described by Nigel Clough.
Nevertheless it was another clean sheet, and in five pre-season friendlies, including two against Championship clubs, the Stags have conceded just one goal in total using the 3-5-2 system.

And so to Salford next Saturday. As the game is on a Saturday, we will have live full match commentary on iFollow Stags, but without live video streaming, which will only be available for overseas viewers (ie. as usual on a Saturday).

Ref: not named
Oldham: (4-4-2) Norman; Jordan Clarke, McGahey, Sheron, Couto (Burgess 55); Stobbs, Trialist A (number 8, named by local media Dan Gardner), Trialist B, Trialist C (Luamba 55); Porter (Fondop 55), Hope.


Report: Oldham 0-3 Stags
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 23 July 2022

Mansfield Town finished pre-season with a convincing 3-0 win at Boundary Park, Oldham, this afternoon.

The victory meant that Nigel Clough’s men have gone unbeaten throughout pre-season.


Stags dominated both halves, scoring once in the first and twice in the second as Rhys Oates added another two to his pre-season tally and Oli Hawkins popped up with a late header to solidify the victory.

Oldham Athletic started the brighter of the two sides in the opening minutes when Trialist C floated a weighted cross to the back post from the edge of the area. But none of the trialist’s teammates chasing the cross could get any contact on the delivery.

The first chance for Mansfield presented itself in the ninth minute when Lucas Akins slipped through Rhys Oates. Last season’s top goal scorer found space on the right-hand side but couldn’t steer his shot on target as he cannoned the right-footed effort into the side-netting.

The opening ten minutes proved to be back-and-forth as Oldham’s Trialist B skipped past Jordan Bowery and stood one-on-one with Pym. The trialist, wearing the number 16 shirt, blasted his effort over the crossbar.

Mansfield soon asserted their dominance on proceedings as Riley Harbottle was presented with a good chance to open the scoring. The Nottingham Forest loanee climbed well to get on the end of a deep out-swinging cross from Kellan Gordon though Harbottle, however, couldn’t generate enough power on the header as Oldham’s goalkeeper Magnus Norman took the ball under his custody.

Stephen McLaughlin came close to celebrating his new two-year contract with a goal in the 24th minute, arriving to meet a deep lying free-kick taken by George Maris. The Irishman directed his header well, forcing Norman to stretch down to his right to pull off a fingertip save.

Promising build up play on the half-an-hour mark led to Rhys Oates occupying a central position and unleashing a powerful strike from 18-yards-out. The attempt from the frontman, however, was hit centrally and into the hands of Norman.

Mansfield dominated possession in the later stages of the first half, and it paid off as Stags took the lead in the 38th minute. A delightful passage of play was rewarded when Jason Law slid the ball past Harrison McGahey and into the path of Oates. The Mansfield man made no mistake, rolling the ball past the goalkeeper and into the far corner.

Mansfield were forced into their first substitution following the goal, as Law injured himself in the process of the assist and was replaced by club captain Ollie Clarke in the middle of the park.

The last chance of the half came the way of Mansfield when Lucas Akins drove into the Oldham penalty area. The versatile performer, playing up front for Mansfield, looked to add a second, but delayed his shot, allowing Norman to ready himself. As a result, the low effort from Akins was matched by Oldham’s number one who blocked the shot with his out-stretched right leg.

Mansfield began the second-half in the same vein of form they had ended the first, working the ball well to allow George Maris the freedom to have a shot from just outside the box. The attempt from the midfielder in the 49th minute was hit low but didn’t have the pace to trouble Norman.

Two injuries in five minutes saw Mansfield make changes. In the 52nd minute Riley Harbottle went down with a poke in the eye and as a precaution was replaced by Oli Hawkins. Five minutes later, Elliott Hewitt took the place of John-Joe O’Toole.

Mansfield added to their lead in the 62nd minute through Rhys Oates who grabbed his second of the game, tapping in Kellan Gordon’s driven cross from six yards out.

In the 78th minute a loose pass from Oates, presented Oldham with a chance to get one back. The substitute Mike Fondop received the ball just inside the Mansfield box and saw his left footed effort fly over the crossbar.

Mansfield’s dominating performance was capped off in the 88th minute as Hawkins rose above McGahey to latch on to Hiram Boateng’s inviting cross. The header from the Stags’ centre-half was placed expertly as he glanced the ball just inside the post and into the back of the net.

The last few seconds of the game saw Fondop fail to hit the target as his effort brushed the side netting.

Following this effort, the final whistle was blown and Mansfield capped off their unbeaten pre-season with a fine 3-0 victory.

STAGS XI: Pym, Gordon, O’Toole (Hewitt 57’), Bowery, Harbottle (Hawkins 52’), McLaughlin © (Cooper 72’), Boateng, Maris, Law (Clarke 39’), Oates (Gale 84’), Akins (Swan 63’)

UNUSED SUB: Flinders

OLDHAM XI: Norman, Clarke, Sheron, McGahey, Couto (Burgess 55’), Stobbs, Trialist A ©, Trialist B, Trialist C (Luamba 55’), Porter (Fondop 55’), Hope

UNUSED SUBS: Leutwiler, Da Silva, Vaughan, Edwards, Turner, Kilner

ATTENDANCE: 919 (69 Stags’ fans)


Latics 0-3 Mansfield Town
oldhamathletic.co.uk, by Eddie Garvey

Latics suffered a 3-0 defeat to Mansfield Town thanks to a Rhys Oates double and late Oliver Hawkins header.

The game started fairly evenly, as both sides looked to make their stamp on the game. An early chance for Latics saw Benny Couto pick up the ball from a free-kick clearance, but Christy Pym in the Stags’ goal got down well to make the save from his shot.


At the other end, Mansfield hit the side netting when Oates was let loose with a ball from Lucas Akins.

Trialist B had Latics’ best chance of the first-half, when Porter held up the ball he received from Couto, before playing through the Trialist, but his shot was fired over the bar from inside the box.

A Mansfield free-kick found the head of wing-back Stephen McLaughlin, and Magnus Norman in the Oldham goal had to make a fantastic save to deny him.

They had another chance a few minutes later, when Oates fired the ball towards goal from the edge of the box following a smart passing move, but it was no match for Norman who saved well.

Latics won a free-kick just outside the box, Trialist A stepped up to take it, but his powerful shot went just over the bar.

Mansfield went a goal up following a Jason Law pass to Oates, who slotted the ball past Norman from close range.

Latics went into the interval a goal down.

A triple substitution was made not long after the second-half got underway, with Mike Fondop, Junior Luamba, and Luke Burgess, replacing Chris Porter, Trialist C, and Benny Couto.

Oates got his second of the game thanks to a Kellan Gordan cross from the right-hand side, the ball came in and the 27-year-old volleyed past Norman.

Fondop got his head to Trialist A’s free-kick, but he couldn’t convert, and it went wide of the post. He had another chance a few minutes later, the ball came to him just inside the box, but he couldn’t challenge Pym in between the sticks.

Mansfield got their third with minutes to go when Hiram Boateng’s cross found Hawkins, who headed home.

Oldham Athletic: Norman, Clarke, McGahey, Stobbs, Trialist A, Porter (Fondop 55), Hope, Sheron, Trialist B, Trialist C (Luamba 55), Couto (Burgess 55).

Attendance: 919


MATCHDAY LIVE BLOG: Oldham Athletic v Mansfield Town
By Suzanne Geldard

Jordan Clarke returns to a starting line-up that includes three trialists, after having to sit out last weekend's visit of Wigan Athletic. Magnus Norman, who completed 90 minutes on Tuesday night at Bradford (Park Avenue) starts in goal
Liam Hogan is absent from the squad after picking up a slight knock in training. Nothing major, but not worth the risk with the season a fortnight away

Trialist A (aka Dan Gardner) is wearing number 8 and the captain's armband, and is partnering Trialist B (number 17) in central midfield. He played against Wigan last week, wearing the number 16 shirt, and did well

3' Lovely move from Latics results in Trialist C floating a lovely ball to the far right post but there isn't a blue shirt on the front foot enough to convert

7' A Latics free kick from the right is half cleared to Couto on the left, who strikes the ball low from distance and causes keeper Christy Pym a problem on a skiddy surface, but the keeper does manage to hang onto the ball

10' Chance for Trialist B to make a name for himself after clipping the ball past a defender but he skies his shot with only the keeper to beat

Stags have a corner after Clarke makes a block

18' Mansfield are enjoying a spell of possession but Latics are defending it well.

19' Trialist B nods a ball into the box down for Porter, the striker appears to be held back, preventing him from doing anything with the ball, but the referee doesn't penalise the incident

21' Stobbs tracks a dangerous Mansfield run in the box and makes a sliding tackle for a corner that comes to nothing

29' Oates makes a driving run with the ball, cutting in from the right and unleashing a fierce shot but it is straight at Norman

32' Gardner sends a well struck free kick over the bar from 22 yards out

38' GOAL! Mansfield take the lead after a lapse in concentration by Harrison McGahey allows Oates' low shot to squirm through the defence and past Pym.
A poor goal to concede, and both John Sheridan and Tommy Wright have let the players know their thoughts in no uncertain terms during a quick drinks break

Half-time: Latics 0, Mansfield 1

48' Latics struggle to clear their lines, resulting in a low shot from the edge of the box, but Norman gathers it

54' Latics subs: Burgess, Fondop and Luamba replace Couto, Porter and Trialist C

There's a break in play while a Mansfield player receives treatment. No numbers on the teamsheet is making identification difficult

60' GOAL! Mansfield add a second - Oates again on the scoresheet with another low effort

67' Fondop gets his head to Gardner's long free kick into the box, but cannot direct it on target

A goal, at least, would be a positive having scored only once so far in four pre-season games.

68' With an effort possibly borne out of frustration more than anything, Trailist B picks up the ball midway inside the Mansfield half and tries his luck, but it is well off target

77' Oates whistles a shot from distance over the bar

78' Chance falls for Fondop just in the box and the striker should do better than to blaze over the bar

88' GOAL! Latics 0, Mansfield 3
Hawkins stretches the Stags' lead

90' Hope gets in sight of goal but fires low into the side netting

Latics are booed off by a few at the final whistle.

They were missing a few this afternoon, including four of their summer signings - one of them the influential Liam Hogan

Full-time: Latics 0, Mansfield 3



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