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Archived News from August 2022

31st August 2022 22:27

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Sutton United 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
Neufville 44, Fadahunsi 82. Hawkins 75
Attendance: 2,664 (372 from Mansfield)

Date: 27 August 2022

Martin Shaw at Gander Green Lane

Mansfield Town were beaten away from home for the third time in three away games this season, losing 2-1 at Sutton United this afternoon. Sutton were the only side to do the double over Mansfield last season and the Stags don’t enjoy playing them.

Sutton United took the lead just before half time when Josh Neufville ran from the centre circle through the entire Stags defence to fire home. A brilliant goal but really poor defending that started with O’Toole giving the ball away with a crossfield pass and then McLaughlin, Perch, Harbottle and O’Toole all failing to stop Neufville. The Stags levelled on 75 minutes when Oli Hawkins headed home from a Stephen McLaughlin free kick. But Sutton scored the winner on 82 minutes when sub Tope Fadahunsi headed home, unmarked, after Kylian Kouassi headed a free kick back across goal.

It was a game not too high on quality and not many chances. Indeed Jack Rose in the Sutton goal didn’t make a save all afternoon, while Christy Pym made one.

The Stags remain in 8th place, two points outside the play-offs. Mansfield’s home form is so good, but they will obviously need to pick up points away from home to challenge this season. Hopefully that will start in the big local derby at Doncaster Rovers next Saturday. Before then, Mansfield will play Manchester City U21 in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday (7pm kick off at the One Call Stadium). You can watch the Man City U21 game with us on iFollow with a match pass.

Mansfield made three changes from the side that beat Stockport. Jordan Bowery didn’t travel due to illness, “a bug” according to Nigel Clough. Bowery was replaced by Lucas Akins at right wing-back, himself returning from a groin injury.
Oli Hawkins also came into side after a tight hamstring. Clough explained after the game: "We wanted Oli Hawkins up front, because we missed Oatesey's pace as you do especially away from home, so we thought get Hawks up there he'll cause problems, and he did and scored the goal. But we could have done with him back there as well in the back three.”
Bringing in Hawkins up front meant either Will Swan or George Lapslie would have to move position. Both were outstanding last week. Swan partnered Hawkins up front. Lapslie dropped back into midfield.
George Maris and Ollie Clarke moved to the bench. Maris went off injured with a whack against Stockport and may not have been considered fit to start, though I don’t know that. He was on the bench.
I was surprised that Clarke didn’t start after a really good game and a goal against Stockport, and no suggestion of an injury.
Stephen Quinn returned from a hip injury to fill the final midfield position, alongside Hartigan and Lapslie.

Nigel Clough gave an update on the Rhys Oates injury after the game, saying that he had his surgery this week, adding: “The surgeon is very happy with it. We’re looking to get him back on the pitch within three months which is a big boost compared to the four to six months we were led to believe originally.”
Good luck to Rhys with his recovery.

Nigel Clough also talked about the latest on his search to sign a striker: “We’ve made enquiries. We had a deal put to us which involves one of our players going in a swap loan. So we’re considering that.”
The transfer window closes on Thursday (September 1st, at 11pm).

Incidentally, Theo Robinson has been training with the club. Nigel Clough told me he is just training with us, as a favour, a bit like with Dylan McGeouch in pre-season. Clough did add: “If we don’t get a striker in by Thursday, you never know...”
Clough told me he would have been happy to give Theo Robinson a game on Tuesday in the Papa John’s Trophy, but a player can only play for a limited number of clubs in a season so it might limit Robinson’s options by playing.

Sutton of course missed out on the play-offs on the final day of last season, pipped by Mansfield by one point as it happened in such a tight league table. Sutton were without striker Omar Bugiel through injury, who scored in both Sutton’s wins over Mansfield last season. They have lost star player David Ajiboye to Peterborough United in the summer.

On a pleasant warm sunny afternoon, the Stags were backed by 400 travelling fans in south-west London.

The Stags got off to a sloppy start. 7 seconds on the clock when Stephen McLaughlin put the ball into touch. I said in commentary I could already hear Nigel Clough in his post match interview. I wasn’t wrong. The Stags did the same at Salford in the opening 10 seconds.

The first half was even. After 5 minutes, Harry Beautyman slid a nice ball forward into the area for Donovan Wilson to get goalside of James Perch and get in a shot from a tight angle which Pym saved with his legs. It turned out to be the only save by either keeper in the game.

The Stags best chance of the half came on 16 minutes. Hawkins slid a ball forward, Will Swan did very well to get goalside of his marker Coby Rowe and was brought down by Rowe just outside the area. Swan wanted a penalty but the contact was just outside the area. A yellow card for Rowe as there was a covering defender (Joe Kizzi). McLaughlin took the resulting free kick from 22 yards and curled it over the bar.

Joe Kizzi put in a reckless challenge on Riley Harbottle after 37 minutes and was fortunate to escape with a yellow card.

Sutton United took the lead after 44 minutes. O’Toole gave the ball away with a crossfield pass. Josh Neufville got the ball in the centre circle. He ran past McLaughlin, then between Perch and Harbottle, and then, with O’Toole not putting in a challenge or a block, fired past Pym into the bottom left corner of the net. Nigel Clough was fuming about the goal after the game, saying: "Somebody waltzes through the middle of the pitch and scores as they did at Salford and as they did at Orient. I'd rather people show a little more aggression and a desire to keep the ball out of the net.”
A brilliant goal but really poor defending from four defenders.

Half time 1-0

The Stags could have been level after 52 minutes. Hartigan’s low corner from the left bounced up through a crowd of players and reached Hawkins at the far post. With an empty goal, Hawkins could only turn it over the bar off his head or his shoulder.

Two minutes later, another great chance. A great break from the Stags, good play from Swan, who teed up McLaughlin for a curling shot from the left, just a foot the wrong side of the right post.

Harbottle had to go off after 58 minutes. According to Nigel Clough after the game: “more illness than injury, he hasn't felt quite well all week, and he was having breathing problems.”
He was replaced by Hewitt.

Then O’Toole also had to go off after 65 minutes. A foot injury according to Nigel Clough. Kieran Wallace replaced him and went into central defence. Clough didn’t want to take Hawkins out of attack.

Quinn was booked for an accumulation of fouls after 68 minutes. His third booking in the league this season (see details of all bookings this season below).

A minute later, the referee brought Quinn over to the dugouts to talk with the player and manager Nigel Clough. The referee then spoke to Sutton manager Matt Gray. It was puzzling at the time.
Nigel Clough said after the game: "Stephen Quinn has reported a slur to the referee. It was also heard by one of our other players as well. It will be reported to the referee and we'll go on from there.”
I don’t know if we’ll hear more about this later.

Mansfield made three more changes after 74 minutes. Quinn was replaced, having just been booked. Hartigan and Akins also came off. On came Boateng, back from injury, Maris, and Gordon.

The Stags levelled on 75 minutes. Hawkins had been fouled just before the substitutions were made. McLaughlin curled in the free kick from 26 yards out, and Hawkins headed home.

Within minutes, Maris had a shot blocked, and then Boateng had a shot blocked.

But Sutton scored the winner on 82 minutes. They had just made a triple substitution on 80 minutes. Hewitt conceded a free kick 40 yards from goal. A bit unlucky perhaps as the ball hit his outstretched arm. Will Randall curled the free kick towards the far post, sub Kylian Kouassi headed it back across goal, and another sub Tope Fadahunsi headed home, unmarked. A real sickener for the Stags, having got back into the game.

The Stags were unable to create any chances to equalise as Sutton ran the clock down expertly, mostly keeping the ball in the Stags half, and had one chance to extend the lead after 83 minutes as sub Enzio Boldewijn set Randall away to the edge of the area and he fired wide.

A very disappointing defeat. The Stags didn’t work the keeper enough to earn a win. But they should have come away with a point and need to defend better.



Sutton United 2-1 Mansfield Town
Neufville (44'minutes), Fadahunsi (82'minutes)
Hawkins (75'minutes)
Eastmond (44'minutes), Kouassi (82'minutes)
McLaughlin (75'minutes)

Match report supplied by PA Media.

Substitute Tope Fadahunsi pounced with a late header to earn Sutton United victory over Mansfield Town.

Fadahunsi had only been on the pitch for two minutes when he rose highest to head home Kylian Kouassi's measured cross.

Sutton went close in the early stages when Donovan Wilson was superbly denied by keeper Christy Pym's terrific low save.

Mansfield's Stephen McLaughlin then took aim from a free-kick just outside the Sutton box, but curled his effort disappointingly off target.

Sutton almost struck when Harry Beautyman slid in before seeing a low strike hit a post.

Josh Neufville broke the deadlock for Sutton just before the interval when he fired low into the corner following Craig Eastmond's cross.

Mansfield's Ollie Hawkins headed narrowly over the top as he rose to meet Anthony Hartigan's cross shortly after the restart.

Soon after, Hawkins' firm header was expertly saved by Jack Rose.

Hawkins levelled on 75 minutes when he headed home McLaughlin's cross, only for Fadahunsi to nod home from close range to make it 2-1 to the hosts seven minutes later.


Mansfield Town still searching for a first away point after defeat at Sutton United
chad.co.uk, Saturday, 27th August 2022

Mansfield Town’s away day woes are continuing after a 2-1 defeat at Sutton United.

Home sub Tope Fadahunsi sunk Mansfield with eight minutes to go.

Fadahunsi had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes before he headed home Kylian Kouassi’s cross to stun the Stags, who lost their third game of the campaign.

The Stags came under pressure early on at the VBS Community Stadium.

‘Keeper Christy Pym was called upon after only four minutes as he brilliantly turned away a smart low drive from Donovan Wilson.


The Stags’ first real opportunity came in the 16th minute.

Stephen McLaughlin took aim from a free-kick just outside the Sutton box, but curled his effort disappointingly off target.

There was then a scare for Nigel Clough’s men when Josh Neufville smashed wide after a neat lay-off from Wilson.

It was proving hard work for the Stags on a warm afternoon in the capital, with both defences looking solid.

That was until Sutton came mighty close again when Harry Beautyman slid in before striking a shot against a post.

The hosts broke the deadlock shortly before the interval.

They had been on top, and Neufville struck when he fired low into the corner past Pym following Craig Eastmond’s cross.

The timing of the goal was unfortunate for the Stags, and they struggled to find much rhythm in the early stages of the second period.

In the 52nd minute the visitors threatened again when Ollie Hawkins headed narrowly over the top as he rose to meet Anthony Hartigan’s measured cross.

McLaughlin then went close again as the Stags began to build some much-needed momentum.

Hawkins was thwarted by an excellent Jack Rose save as it was now Mansfield’s turn to pile on the pressure.

Hawkins wasn’t to be denied with 15 minutes to go when he darted in to head home McLaughlin’s smart cross.

However, Fadahunsi’s header spoiled what had been a sterling effort from the gutsy Stags.

Sutton: Rose, Kizzi, Rowe, John, Milsom, Eastmond, Neufville (Boldewijn, 80), Randall-Hurren (Smith, 83), Beautyman, Wilson (Fadahunsi, 80), Thomas (Kouassi, 80).

Subs not used: Barden, House, Gambin.

Stags: Pym, O’Toole (Wallace, 65), Perch, Harbottle (Hewitt, 58), Akins (Gordon, 75), Hawkins, Hartigan (Boateng, 75), Quinn (Maris, 75), McLaughlin, Lapslie, Swan.

Subs not used: O Clarke, Flinders.

Referee: Lee Swabey.

Attendance: 2,664


Match report for Sutton United 2 Mansfield Town 1

Sutton United 2 (Neufville 44, Fadahunsi 82) Mansfield Town 1 (Hawkins 75)

Tope Fadahunsi came off the bench to score the winner for the second game in a row as Sutton recovered from conceding a 75th minute equaliser to record a third victory over Mansfield in three meetings. Brought on with ten minutes to go, Fadahunsi was on the scoresheet within two minutes as he headed in after Kylian Kouassi, who had been introduced at the same time, had nodded on a Will Randall free kick.

It was a deserved win for U's, who had enjoyed the better of the first half and led thanks to a brilliant individual effort from Josh Neufville just before the interval, but having defended a number of set pieces with few problems, U's allowed Oliver Hawkins a simple header from a free kick and for five minutes Mansfield looked capable of going on to turn the game completely, but the triple substitution with ten minutes left, which also saw Enzio Boldewijn replace Neufville, was rewarded as Kouassi and Fadahunsi combined to good effect, and U's could have won by more had Will Randall not pulled a shot wide when clear a minute later.

Randall was restored to an otherwise unchanged starting line-up and was soon showing the form that had made it such a blow for U's when he was injured in the season opener against Newport. After five minutes he combined well with Harry Beautyman, whose pass released Donovan Wilson on the left to fire in a low shot that rebounded off goalkeeper Christy Pym's legs to safety.

Without the injured Rhys Oates, Mansfield had Hawkins up front supported by Will Swan, and they combined to produce Mansfield's most dangerous moment as Swan ran on to a return pass from Hawkins and was pulled back by Coby Rowe just outside the penalty area, the centre back taking the first of the afternoon's five bookings and happy to see Stephen McLaughlin's free kick sail harmlessly over.

Craig Eastmond produced a fine surging run that was ended in the penalty area before he could get his shot away, and it seemed as though an enterprising first half performance from U's would go unrewarded until Joe Kizzi intercepted John-Joe O'Toole's crossfield pass and Eastmond found Neufville inside the centre circle just inside the Mansfield half. A surge of pace took him between two defenders and past two more, and he produced a finish to match, shooting low to Pym's right and staking the first claim to this season's goal of the season.

Mansfield were more of a threat in the second half, and a succession of set pieces required U's to be strong at the back, Eastmond and Louis John dominant in the air. McLaughlin fizzed a low cross shot just wide of the far post, and one wicked corner from Anthony Hartigan flashed across goal, Hawkins unable to control his header at the far post and the ball landing on the roof of the net.

For all Mansfield's increased pressure Jack Rose was relatively untested in the Sutton goal, but with fifteen minutes left the equaliser came after Beautyman was penalised for a foul on Hawkins. There was a delay while Mansfield, who had already had to replace O'Toole and Riley Harbottle, made their three remaining changes, and when play restarted McLaughlin's free kick was headed in simply and powerfully by Hawkins.

For five minutes after the goal Mansfield pushed forward and it seemed as though U's would need to hold out for a draw, but the replacement of Sutton's front two saw U's regain the initiative and yet again Fadahunsi's impact was immediate. It was his pressure that forced Elliott Hewitt in to a handball on the Sutton left, and when Kouassi's header from Randall's free kick looped in to the air it was Fadahunsi who reacted quickest to direct his header down past Pym and inside the far post.

Randall should have rounded off his fine performance with a goal a minute later when he was put clear by Boldewijn's pass, but although his shot beat the advancing Pym it also went wide of the post. It was Randall's last touch as he was replaced by Ali Smith, and his ovation as he came off matched that afforded to Neufville, reflecting how well both wingers had played, but it wasn't to prove a costly miss as U's held on for a fine victory.

After the game manager Matt Gray confirmed that Roman Charles-Cook, Adam Lovatt and Matt Ridley have been loaned out for three months to Cray Wanderers, Dartford and Chesham United respectively and discusses the moves, and that of Tobi Odungeda to Kingstonian which is also on loan, in his post match interview.

Sutton: J Rose, J Kizzi, R Milsom, C Rowe, C Eastmond, L John, J Neufville (sub E Boldewijn 80), D Wilson(sub T Fadahunsi 80), K Thomas(sub K Kouassi 80), H Beautyman, W Randall(sub A Smith 83). Subs n/u J Barden, B House, L Gambin. Booked: Rowe, Kizzi, Thomas.

Mansfield: C Pym, J-J O'Toole(sub K Wallace 65), S McLaughlin, J Perch, A Hartigan(sub G Maris 74), R Harbottle(sub E Hewitt 58), L Akins(sub K Gordon 75), G Lapslie, O Hawkins, W Swan, S Quinn(sub H Boateng 75). Subs n/u O Clarke, S Flinders. Booked: O'Toole, Quinn.

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 2,664(372 away)



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