STAGS BEATEN 3-0 AT HARROGATE
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Harrogate Town 3 - 0 Mansfield Town
Pattison 5, Armstrong 19, 45+3.
Attendance: 2,421 (608 from Mansfield; no away following was announced; this is the number of tickets received, which were sold out)
Date: 19 November 2022
Martin Shaw at Wetherby Road (EnviroVent Stadium)
Mansfield Town were beaten 3-0 at lowly Harrogate Town yesterday. It was a shocking result as the Stags defended dreadfully in the first half, conceding three goals, while at the other end failing to take any of plenty of decent chances created. Quite simply the Stags were terrible at both ends of the pitch and were deservedly beaten. That said, the Stags did create plenty of chances and were not terrible all over the pitch. Mansfield drop one place to 8th, one point outside the play-offs and eight points outside the top 3.
Mansfield had won 6 of their last 8 away games in league and cup before this game, including at Rochdale last weekend. But Mansfield had not beaten Harrogate in any of the 5 league and cup games between the 2 sides before yesterday. And the Stags’ terrible form against Harrogate continued!
Nigel Clough made three enforced changes from the side that won at Rochdale:
Ollie Clarke missed out with a knee injury that forced him off at Rochdale.
George Lapslie wasn’t fit enough to start having picked up a hamstring strain at Rochdale. Clough had wanted to rest Lapslie from the game at Rochdale but hadn’t done so because of an injury to Will Swan.
Elliott Hewitt had picked up a knock and also wasn’t fit enough to start.
In came John-Joe O’Toole, George Maris and Jordan Bowery.
Rhys Oates was back on the bench after his long injury lay-off.
Will Swan was back on the bench after his hand injury kept him out at Rochdale.
New signing Lewis Page was also on the bench. He was not match-fit enough to start. Page has signed on an initial one month contract. He is a left back/left wing-back. He has signed to provide cover for Stephen McLaughlin. He played 35 games for Harrogate last season and 35 for Exeter the season before. A foot injury, for which he had an operation, was the reason that he was not retained at Harrogate. He has now recovered from that injury.
McLaughlin and Riley Harbottle remain out for a few weeks with injury.
The Stags started with a 3-5-1-1 formation, with O’Toole (right), Hawkins and Perch (left) in central defence. Bowery and Wallace were at wing-back. Hartigan, Boateng (right) and Quinn (left) in central midfield, with Maris just behind Akins up front.
The enforced absence in the starting line-up of Hewitt, Harbottle, Clarke (who has played admirably at the back recently), McLaughlin, and also new signing Page, meant that the back line was slow (O’Toole, Hawkins, Perch).
Harrogate started the game just one point outside the relegation zone.
The Stags created a chance inside the opening minute. Quinn intercepted the ball on the halfway line, played a 1-2 with Maris, and sent a low shot well wide.
A really nasty deliberate challenge by Josh Falkingham on Maris resulted in a booking after 3 minutes. It was a reducer, designed to limit the influence of Maris.
Harrogate were in front after just 5 minutes. And it came from the Stags free kick in the Harrogate half following that challenge on Maris. With O’Toole and Hawkins forward for the free kick, and Maris limping, Harrogate broke as a Wallace cross was headed away. Jack Muldoon sent Danny Grant away into the Stags half. Grant stopped his run 35 yards from goal, then slipped a perfect ball in behind Hartigan and Perch for Alex Pattison to run onto. Pattison took a couple of touches into the area and lifted the ball wide of Pym into the right corner of the net. A classic goal on the break.
Hartigan and Perch were at fault for the defending. Hewitt normally stays back from set pieces when he is fit enough to play. Had he been playing, he may well have stopped the goal with his greater pace than Hartigan and Perch.
Some Stags fans in the stand, in line with Pattison, reported that Pattison was offside as Grant played him in. From the video, which is not in line with the incident, it appears to me that Perch was playing Pattison onside. However the video angle is not definitive.
After 18 minutes, O’Toole headed well wide from a Quinn cross following a free kick in the Harrogate half.
Moments later at the other end, O’Toole got in a good tackle as Luke Armstrong broke into the Stags area, as Jaheim Headley slid a good ball forward for him.
But within seconds, it was 2-0 (19 minutes). Akins was trying to hold the ball with his back to goal 45 yards from the Harrogate goal. He was wrestled off the ball by Joe Mattock. Mattock then slid a ball past Hawkins into the path of Armstrong who was 1-on-1 with Pym and slotted the ball past the Stags keeper from the edge of the area.
Nigel Clough said after the game: “It’s touch and go whether it was a foul on Lucas for the second goal. I’ve seen them given many times.”
Akins is normally reliable in holding onto the ball in that type of situation, but I don’t think he was fouled here, I think he was outmuscled, and was partly to blame for the goal, as was Hawkins. A simple through ball and the Stags were undone.
The Stags created a good chance to score after 22 minutes. Wallace chested the ball down on the left, made a good run forward and was brought down 30 yards from goal. Quite a bad foul that could have seen a booking. From the resulting free kick, the ball came out to Boateng who curled in a fine cross that the keeper did well to push behind for a corner. And from that corner from the left from Quinn, he played it short to Maris, who fed back to Boateng who in turn found Hartigan on the edge of the area with his back to goal. Hartigan turned and curled a great shot towards the top right corner of the net, but keeper Jameson made a magnificent save tipping it wide at full stretch. What a save that was to deny Hartigan his first Stags goal.
O’Toole was booked for a foul after 26 minutes. It was not as bad as the foul on 22 minutes which didn’t lead to a booking. It was O’Toole’s 5th booking of the season and he will be suspended for the next league match (against Colchester).
The Stags were inches away from scoring after 28 minutes. Boateng received a short throw-in from Bowery on the right, level with the edge of the area. Boateng turned away from his marker Pattison and curled a wonderful shot that was deflected and went inches wide of the left post. Without the deflection it might have gone in.
Wallace was booked for a foul after 29 minutes.
Good defending by Hawkins after 31 minutes after O’Toole missed the ball.
The Stags should have scored after 34 minutes. Hartigan’s free kick from the right about level with the penalty spot, was headed down into the ground by Hawkins and it bounced over the bar.
And the Stags went close again after 35 minutes. Hawkins lobbed the ball forward. Mattock attempted to clear, missed it, leaving Akins with a chance to shoot from the edge of the area. Akins rifled in a powerful shot which the keeper pushed away. A good effort from Akins and another fine save.
Armstrong was flagged offside after 38 minutes. Ironic applause from the Stags fans in the stand after they thought the offside flag should have gone up for the first goal.
Harrogate made it 3-0 after 45+3 minutes. Grant got past O’Toole coming in from the left touchline and slid a ball forward for Headley to run on to in the area on the left behind Bowery and O’Toole. Headley slipped as he tried a cross-shot, the ball reached Armstrong who got away from Perch to tuck the ball past Pym from 4 yards. This was shocking defending. Firstly O’Toole should have done better. Bowery and O’Toole allowed Headley to run in behind them. And finally shocking from Perch who allowed Armstrong to be completely unmarked.
What a defensive horror show from the Stags and it was effectively game over at the break as Harrogate led 3-0. Perch, O’Toole and Hawkins all very culpable, with Bowery, Hartigan and Akins also at fault. Harrogate actually only had four shots on goal in that first half and scored three goals. The Stags had plenty more chances than that but were denied by excellent goalkeeping and poor finishing.
Half time 3-0
A triple change from the Stags at the start of the second half: Swan replaced Bowery, Hewitt replaced O’Toole, Lewis Page replaced Wallace. The Stags switched to a back 4 with Hewitt (right back), Hawkins, Perch, Page (left back). It was 4-3-3 with Akins (right), Quinn (left), either side of Swan up front.
The Stags should have scored after 52 minutes. Hewitt’s long throw dropped for Quinn, 8 yards out, and he fired over the bar. An absolute sitter that he should have buried.
After 55 minutes, Maris curled in a cross from the left which was headed well wide by Akins.
Mattock was booked for deliberately dragging down Swan when he might have had a run on goal after 58 minutes.
Harrogate broke into the Stags box after 62 minutes as Pattison got away from Hartigan and Hawkins. Pattison squared for Armstrong whose shot was blocked by Hartigan. The ball ran loose and Pym did well to clear before Muldoon could pounce on it. Seconds later Falkingham crossed in and Pattison headed wide at the far post. Two minutes later, Pym made a good save from a powerful long range shot from Headley.
Mansfield made another change after 66 minutes as Lapslie replaced Hartigan.
The Stags went close after 71 minutes. Quinn’s corner from the left was short to Maris, who crossed low into the middle. It fell for Akins, back to goal. Akins cleverly back-heeled towards goal but it hit the keeper’s legs and rebounded away to safety. It looked a goal all the way.
A minute later at the other end, Pattison got past Perch and got in a good shot which brought a good save from Pym. Then good defending from Akins to get back against Headley.
Rhys Oates was brought on after 74 minutes, his long awaited return from injury. He replaced Quinn.
Swan found Akins on the edge of the area after 77 minutes, Akins’ left footed shot lacked power and gave the keeper a comfortable save. Five minutes later, Akins played forward to Swan whose shot was deflected for a corner.
The Stags hit the woodwork after 84 minutes. Great interplay down the right between Hewitt and Boateng, Hewitt chipped in a cross from the byline and Swan got up well to head over the keeper and against the bar. So unlucky for Swan. A fine cross from Hewitt.
Then some good defending from Hewitt as he showed good pace. On 88 minutes, Pattison cut inside and fired over the bar. Then on 90+1 minutes, Headley got past Hewitt into the area and fired wide.
A thoroughly miserable afternoon for Mansfield and the travelling fans. The game was lost with that terrible defending in the first half. What a defensive horror show it was and it was effectively game over at the break as Harrogate led 3-0. There’s no doubt that the slow back line of O’Toole, Hawkins, and Perch contributed to this. Bowery, Hartigan and Akins were also at fault for the goals. The enforced absence in the starting line-up of Hewitt, Harbottle, Clarke (who has played admirably at the back recently), McLaughlin, and also new signing Page, led to that back line being selected. After the game, Nigel Clough conceded: “I think I picked the wrong team today and possibly the wrong formation, so that needs to be looked it. Down the right hand side we were incredibly poor.”
At the other end, the Stags had plenty more chances than Harrogate but were denied by excellent goalkeeping, poor finishing, and a bit of bad luck.
Overall the Stags were terrible at both ends of the pitch and were deservedly beaten.
The midfield generally played quite well, including Boateng, Maris, Quinn, and I wouldn’t blame Pym for the goals. Other than that, it wasn’t anywhere near good enough.
SAT 19 NOV 2022, LEAGUE TWO
Harrogate Town 3-0 Mansfield Town
Pattison (5'minutes), Armstrong (19'minutes, 45'+3minutes)
Grant (5'minutes), Mattock (19'minutes), Headley (45'+3minutes)
Match report supplied by PA Media.
Harrogate Town's hoodoo over Mansfield Town continued as a Luke Armstrong brace and an Alex Pattison goal secured a comprehensive home win.
The victory means Mansfield have now failed to beat Town in all six meetings between the two clubs - a sequence encompassing five defeats and just one draw.
Simon Weaver's men forged ahead in the fifth minute when Pattison raced onto Danny Grant's ball through the left channel and confidently side-footed past goalkeeper Christy Pym from six yards.
Pym was similarly exposed when home defender Joe Mattock played Armstrong clear on goal after dispossessing Lucas Akins in his own half and the Harrogate striker made no mistake with a clinical 12-yard finish after 19 minutes.
It was 3-0 three minutes into first-half stoppage time when Grant released Jaheim Headley down the left and he was afforded enough time to slip before squaring to Armstrong who prodded in from four yards to double his goal tally for the season in one afternoon.
Veteran midfielder Stephen Quinn squandered an early second half chance for the Stags when he side-footed wastefully over from seven yards and Will Swan sent a header against the crossbar late on for the forlorn visitors.
Home Team Harrogate Away Team Mansfield
Possession Home 41% Away 59%
Shots Home 10 Away 16
Shots on Target Home 6 Away 4
Corners Home 4 Away 9
Fouls Home 9 Away 12
Harrogate Town hoodoo goes on as Mansfield Town crash in first half horror show
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas
Mansfield Town’s Harrogate misery continued as their wait for a first win against their bogey club went on with a disappointing 3-0 defeat this afternoon.
Stags suffered their worst away league defeat since losing 4-0 at Portsmouth in November 2016 while Harrogate enjoyed a first clean sheet in two months.
Luke Armstrong’s brace after Alex Pattison’s opener did the damage at the rainswept EnviroVent Stadium as the Stags were stunned by the struggling Yorkshire club in a disastrous first half.
It was only Harrogate’s second home win since the opening day as they dealt Nigel Clough’s side a blow as the Stags slipped out of the play-off spots to eighth after their second away league loss in eight.
The only bright note from the afternoon for Mansfield was seeing strike ace Rhys Oates come off the bench to make his first appearance after three months out injured with 17 minutes to go.
Clough made three changes from the win against Rochdale as injured trio Elliott Hewitt, Ollie Clarke and George Lapslie were replaced by Jordan Bowery, John-Joe O’Toole and George Maris.
The visitors got off to the worst possible start as they went behind inside the first five minutes as Pattison perfectly curled his effort home early on on a breakaway after Keiran Wallace had seen a cross cleared at the other end.
Armstrong grabbed his first as he raced through one-on-one and calmly slotted under Stags’ keeper Christy Pym to double the hosts’ advantage in the 19th minute after Hiram Boateng had been dispossessed in the middle of the park.
Down the other end, Anthony Hartigan forced Peter Jameson into a good stretching stop from the edge of the box.
The Stags continued to pile on the pressure as Oli Hawkins headed over before Lucas Akins was denied by Jameson at the near post after Joe Mattock’s slip.
Instead, Armstrong put the game to bed with his third goal in as many games as he fired home Harrogate’s third in first-half stoppage time, Jaheim Headley slipping over as he slipped the ball to Armstrong to poke in from close range at the near post.
After the break, Stephen Quinn hit over from close range before Akins nodded wide.
Pattison missed a chance for his second when he headed wide.
Stags continued to press and Akins was frustrated once again as his back-heel was cleared off the line on 71 minutes while Will Swan smashed a header against the bar six minutes from time with the Stags best chance from an Elliott Hewitt cross.
HARROGATE: Jameson, Ramsay, Burrell, Mattock, Headley, Falkingham, Pattison, Muldoon (Frost, 86), Daly (Thomson, 51), Grant (Coley, 75), Armstrong. SUBS NOT USED: Folarin, Richards, Welch-Hayes, McArdle.
STAGS: Pym, O’Toole (Hewitt, 45), Hawkins, Perch, Bowery (Swan, 45), Hartigan (Lapslie, 66), Boateng, Maris, Wallace (Page, 45), Quinn (Oates, 73), Akins. SUBS NOT USED: Flinders, Gordon.
REFEREE: Scott Oldham.
TOWN 3 - 0 MANSFIELD TOWN - FIRST HALF BLAST SECURES THE POINTS FOR TOWN
A triple blast in the opening forty-five minutes blew Mansfield Town away this afternoon at The Envirovent Stadium as Town earned a confidence boosting 3-0 victory.
Goals from Alex Pattison after just five minutes and a Luke Armstrong double, the second in stoppage time did the damage as Town extended their unbeaten run against the Stags to six games.
Simon Weaver opted for an unchanged line-up from the side that was defeated 2-0 by Leyton Orient a week ago. There was a welcome return to the bench though for George Thomson after a recent spell out through injury.
For the visitors John-Joe O’Toole, Jordan Bowery and George Maris all came into side with Elliott Hewitt and George Lapslie dropping to the bench whilst Ollie Clarke missed out through injury.
Before the kick-off there was a rapturous minutes applause for long-time Town fan Johnny Walker who sadly passed away recently.
In the first minute an errant Warren Burrell pass was picked up by Stephen Quinn but he dragged his effort wide.
Skipper Josh Falkingham was then booked for a crude challenge on George Maris but Town brushed aside the opening minutes when a marauding run down the left-hand side from Danny Grant resulted in him playing in Pattison who coolly waited for the perfect moment to slot past Christie Pym.
With their tails up, Town then forced a corner when a dangerous Jack Muldoon cross was turned behind at the last moment.
Town were retaining possession well over the first fifteen minutes, keeping the physical Stags side at bay with only a John-Joe O’Toole header that went well wide as an opportunity at goal.
On nineteen minutes Town doubled their lead. A Joe Mattock pass split the visitors defence with Armstrong beating the offside trip to fire clinically past the advancing Pym.
Anthony Hartigan’s curling effort almost educed the arrears midway through the half but Pete Jameson was at full stretch to tip wide.
O’Toole then went into the book for preventing another Town break when he hauled back Grant.
After thirty-five minutes Ollie Hawkins should have done better with his free header from the six-yard box but he failed to test Jameson.
A minute later Jameson deflected an Akins shot wide after Mattock looked to have been fouled in the build up.
But on the stroke of half-time Town put the game to bed. Grant played in Jaheim Headley who, despite losing his footing, delivered the ball to Armstrong at the near post who tapped home for his second of the afternoon.
Stung by the deficit Nigel Clough made a triple change at the break, introducing Will Swan, Elliott Hewitt and Lewis Page for O’Toole, Jordan Bowery and Keiran Wallace.
Kayne Ramsay went into the book soon after break after his robust challenge welcome Page back to the Envirovent Stadium
Matty Daly was forced off through injury soon after and was replaced by the returning Thomson before Quinn blazed well over the bar from short distance when presented with a golden opportunity to get the Stags some foothold in the game.
It was a busy afternoon for referee Scott Oldham and the fourth yellow card of the day was brandished just before the hour when Mattock prevented Swan from joining in an attack for the visitors.
A rampaging Town break almost resulted in a fourth when Pattison first had a shot blocked and he then headed wide from Falkingham’s delivery.
Town’s liquid football was again on display minutes later when a sweeping move from right to left saw Headley fire from distance with Pym acrobatically tipping wide of the post to safety. The sheer pace of the Town attack was providing to be a menace to the visitors defence, with them having little or no answer.
The Stags made a further change when Hartigan was replaced by George Lapslie.
On 70 minutes Pattison raced on to Muldoon’s flick-on and forced Pym into a save at full stretch.
The visitors made their fifth and final change with fifteen minutes remaining when Quinn was withdrawn for Rhys Oates with Town introducing Josh Coley for Grant.
An Akins backheel was the only opportunities that the Stags could muster though as Town’s desire to further add to their tally was evident to see.
But with time ebbing away substitute Swan headed against Jameson’s bar but Pattison almost extended Town’s lead further just before the referee’s final whistle brought a standing ovation from those in attendance and earned a first win in six league outings.
TOWN: Jameson, Ramsay, Burrell, Mattock, Headley, Falkingham, Pattison, Daly (Thomson, 49), Muldoon (Frost, 86), Grant (Coley, 75), Armstrong.
Substitutes: Welch-Hayes, Folarin, Richards, McArdle.
Booked: Ramsay (46), Mattock (57)
Goals: Pattison (5), Armstrong (19, 45+3)
Mansfield: Pym, Hartigan (Lapslie, 67), Akins, Bowery (Swan, 45), Maris, Hawkins, Perch, Quinn (Oates, 75), Wallace (Page, 45), O’Toole (Hewitt, 45), Boateng.
Substitutes: Flinders, Gordon.
Booked: Hartigan (26), Wallace (29)
Referee: Scott Oldham.
Harrogate Town 3 Mansfield Town 0: Simon Weaver 'overjoyed' for his players as 'deserved' win arrives at last
harrogateadvertiser.co.uk, By Rhys Howell
Simon Weaver said he was “overjoyed” for his Harrogate Town side after they finally managed to convert a good performance into a “deserved” three points.
The Sulphurites put visiting Mansfield to the sword at a wet Wetherby Road on Saturday afternoon, netting three times before half-time as they registered just their second League Two win in 15 attempts.
Weaver’s men have produced some eye-catching football in recent weeks, but taken just two points from the previous 15 on offer.
Everything would however come together on this occasion, with Alex Pattison and Luke Armstrong (2) finishing clinically to lift their side three points clear of the drop zone.
“I can definitely enjoy that performance and result and I am just overjoyed for the players,” the Town boss told the Harrogate Advertiser.
“They’ve all kept their heads up and although we are aware that this is just one win and three points, it is a really good win against very good opposition, and the lads deserved the 3-0 scoreline.
“I think it’s been coming, this win. You are almost aching for the players for today to be the day that they go on to get a scoreline which reflects their level of performance - and today was that day.
"So, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief because, as good as we’ve been playing, you are judged on your results and players are aware that we needed a win.
"I’ve seen teams play a lot worse than we’ve been playing and win, but it just hasn’t been going for us and you don’t want that to continue because eventually it does undermine confidence. So this is something to build on now, it hopefully breeds even more belief in this system and how we want to play.”
Town remembered the late Johnny Walker before kick-off with the long-time Sulphurites fan’s name chanted by sections of the home support during a minute’s applause.
And the hour-and-a-half of football which followed could hardly have been a greater tribute to a man who followed the club home and away for more than seven decades.
The deadlock was broken with just five minutes on the clock as the ever-improving Danny Grant led a devastating counter-attack, breaking at pace down the middle of the pitch.
He then slipped the ball left to Alex Pattison, who cut onto his right foot before curling an accomplished finish around Christy Pym and inside the far post.
The home lead was doubled on 19 minutes when Joe Mattock showed great strength to outmuscle a Stags player and steal the ball before sending Armstrong clear with a perfectly-weighted pass in behind.
Showing great confidence for a player who had managed just one goal from open play in his previous 26 appearances, the outcome never looked in any doubt as the Town striker calmly slotted beyond Pym.
Two goals to the good though they were, Harrogate didn’t have things all their own way with Mansfield asking some questions of the home defence during the spell that followed.
Pete Jameson did superbly to tip Anthony Hartigan’s edge-of-the-box effort over the top before Hiram Boateng bent a strike narrowly wide.
Oliver Hawkins then nodded an inviting Hartigan delivery into the turf and over, while Lucas Akins took advantage of a Mattock slip to sting the palms of Jameson.
The afternoon’s third goal would however materialise at the other end of the field as the hosts made the points safe three minutes into first-half stoppage-time.
It was Grant again who was the creator-in-chief, cutting in off the left and finding Headley inside the box. Despite losing his footing, Town’s left-back managed to slide a low ball to the front post where Armstrong nipped in to net with a real poacher’s finish.
Stephen Quinn missed a glorious chance to pull a goal back for Mansfield shortly after the resumption, clearing the cross-bar when it looked easier to score.
Having seen off a brief spell of Stags pressure, Harrogate reclaimed the ascendancy and began to really turn the screw, Pattison nodding a Josh Falkingham cross wide before Headley’s thunderbolt drew a good stop out of Pym.
A short-corner routine almost led to the visitors reducing the deficit on 70 minutes, Jameson making another big save to keep out Akins’ back-heel at point-blank range.
And Mansfield came closer still in the dying moments of the contest, Hewitt crossing from the right and picking out Swan, whose header came back off the bar.