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Archived News from December 2022

30th December 2022 21:46

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Northampton Town
Swan 84. Hoskins 88
Attendance: 7,301 (589 from Northampton) (note this it is essentially tickets sold, including season tickets)

Date: 26 December 2022

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town drew 1-1 with Northampton Town at the One Call Stadium this afternoon. The Stags took the lead after 84 minutes when Will Swan turned in the rebound from close range after Northampton keeper Lee Burge made a great save on his line from Rhys Oates’ stab goalwards (*) following a corner. But Northampton equalised after 88 minutes. Stephen McLaughlin gave the ball away inside his own half and within 15 seconds the ball was in the Stags net, as Mitch Pinnock put in a great cross from the left and Sam Hoskins met it beyond the far post six yards out to volley into the net whilst off the ground. It was a magnificent goal from Hoskins, but a sickener for the Stags. However there was no doubt that Northampton deserved their equaliser. The Stags had not played well, and it would have been a steal had the Stags claimed the win, which would have been the quadruple over Northampton in 2022.

(*) update: the “stab goalwards” by Oates was actually a rebound off Oates from an attempted clearance from a defender. I had not realised this until seeing it from a different angle.

Mansfield never got going. Perhaps partially due to not having played for 16 days, whereas Northampton had played 6 days ago. Perhaps partly due to some players having had a bit of illness. Whatever the reason, Mansfield need to improve, including in just 3 days time away to Hartlepool on Thursday night (7.45pm kick-off). You can watch the game with us on iFollow Stags if you are not travelling to Hartlepool.

Northampton had the better of the first half and had the better chances. Hoskins sent a free kick from 25 yards into the side netting, and Shaun McWilliams put in a fine cross from the left to Ben Fox for a great chance but he miscued his shot horribly wide from a good position. The Stags created nothing at all in the first half, and had to rely on some good defending, including tackles and blocks from Elliott Hewitt, who had another very good game, and Oli Hawkins. While Riley Harbottle was forced to limp off as his knee opened up, which was a blow with Mansfield short on pacey central defenders.

Northampton continued to create the better chances at the start of the second half, as Louis Appere sent in a shot which Hawkins deflected over the bar, and Hoskins sent in a powerful shot after a good turn which Christy Pym pushed away.

At the other end, Swan headed across goal and wide of the far post from a good cross from Stephen Quinn, and Kellan Gordon put in a fabulous cross from the right but no-one got on the end of it.

Into the final 10 minutes. Josh Eppiah went close for Northampton, firing inches wide from the edge of the area after getting past Hawkins, who didn’t dare foul him, already on a yellow card. Then came those two goals, one at either end, in quick succession. Northampton had the final chance to win it after a mistimed tackle from James Perch gave Northampton a free kick in stoppage time but Pinnock fired well wide.

Not a very good performance from Mansfield in an attacking sense in front of a big Boxing Day crowd.
The game was made all-ticket for home fans and that proved to be a good decision with 6,712 tickets sold for home fans, the biggest home attendance of the season, and less than 200 short of a sell-out (the 6,901 home fans against Forest Green last season was a sell-out of home fans). Remember this does include all tickets sold including season ticket holders who didn’t attend, but the home stands seemed very full today.
Only 589 travelling fans from Northampton, another poor following, Northampton’s third poor following to Mansfield in 2022, which included astonishingly not even getting close to selling their allocation for the play-off semi-final.

There’s no doubt that Northampton are a good side. They remain 8 points ahead of Mansfield in 3rd place and it is going to take something quite special from Mansfield in the second half of the season to catch them or Leyton Orient or Stevenage in the top 2. As it is, Mansfield remain the play-off places, and only two points ahead of Walsall and Bradford, both outside the play-off places and with a game in hand.



Mansfield Town 1-1 Northampton Town
Swan (84'minutes)
Hoskins (88'minutes)
Pinnock (88'minutes)

Match report supplied by PA Media.

Last season's League Two play-off semi-final opponents shared the spoils as Mansfield and Northampton fought out a gritty draw.

Will Swan thought he had won it for Mansfield, who are sixth, with four minutes left only to see Sam Hoskins steal a point for the third-placed Cobblers four minutes later.

Northampton dominated the first half and their best chance came in the 36th minute when Shaun McWilliams pulled back a great pass from the left towards the incoming Ben Fox, who sent his first-time finish wide from 12 yards.

Northampton went on the offensive from the restart and Louis Appere had a shot deflected just over while Hoskins forced Christy Pym to parry a powerful shot on the turn and also sent a first-time effort straight at the goalkeeper after 65 minutes.

With nine minutes to go, substitute Josh Eppiah was just wide from 18 yards for the Cobblers.

But with six minutes to go the big breakthrough came as an attempted clearance from a corner struck Rhys Oates and flew goalwards. Lee Burge was down to save but was helpless as the lurking Swan followed up from close range.

Northampton were level soon after as Mitch Pinnock floated a cross to the far post and Hoskins was on hand to superbly volley home the equaliser across Pym for his 14th of the season.

Match Stats
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Northampton
Possession Home 50% Away 50%
Shots Home 8 Away 15
Shots on Target Home 3 Away 4
Corners Home 2 Away 5
Fouls Home 11 Away 10


Mansfield Town pegged back for draw in late drama at home to promotion rivals Northampton Tow​​​​​​​n
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Mon 26th Dec 2022

Mansfield Town and promotion rivals Northampton Town battled out a hard-fought 1-1 Boxing Day draw at the One Call Stadium this afternoon.

Both goals came late as Stags saw an unlikely winner quickly wiped out as last season's play-off semi-finalists clashed again in front of a bumper crowd of 7,301.

The visitors were the better side and had the best chances of a gritty first half.

Stags improved after the break but were a tad fortunate to be ahead through Will Swan with six minutes to go.


However, Will Hoskins showed his class four minutes later with a high quality finish for his 15th goal of the season in all competitions to grab the visitors a deserved share of the spoils.

Northampton are now nine league games unbeaten and also unbeaten in five on the road, winning their previous three on the trot.

Stags made two changes as Kellan Gordon and Hiram Boateng came in for Lucas Akins and Ollie Clarke while visitors Northampton were unchanged.

The visitors burst into the home box from the first whistle, bit no one was able to get a shot away and eventually they had to settle for a corner, which was over-hit and drifted out for a goalkick.

Gordon then won Mansfield a corner after some great footwork at the back by Harbottle set the move in motion, but again it all came to nothing.

On six minutes Fox had a shot deflect over, but the referee then booked Harbottle for a foul in the build-up after Stags gave the ball away when Harbottle slipped as Hawkins tried to square him a pass.

Hawkins joined him in the book for a foul three minutes later and from the 25 yard free kick it produced, Hoskins curled the ball into the sidenetting.

Hawkins did well to prevent Appere getting a shot away after he seemed to have got goalside of him.

Stags suffered a blow on 15 minutes when Harbottle pulled up and limped off in some discomfort to be replaced by Hartigan, Stags' back five changing to a back four.

On 23 minutes Stags' wall stood firm to block a 30 yard free kick by Hoskins as the Cobblers continued to look dangerous.

Two minutes later Guthrie planted a close range near post header straight at Pym from a right wing corner, then Hewitt blocked two low attempts from Hoskins in the box with Northampton on top but unable to make it count so far.

On the half-hour Oates floated a tame header at Burge from a Gordon cross, Stags' first on-target effort.

Northampton should have gone ahead on 36 minutes after McWilliams got down the left and picked out the late run of Fox into the box with a perfectly-placed pull back, but he steered his finish wide from 12 yards.

Clough made a double change at the break with Lapslie and Boateng replaced by Perch and Swan.

Immediately Appere made space on the edge of the box for a finish that deflected just over while on 49 minutes Hoskins forced Pym into a smart near post save from his fierce shot on the turn.

Stags coach Andy Garner was lectured by the referee for his outburst of anger after a foul was not given. When he continued with his protests he was finally shown a yellow card.

Odimayo was booked for delaying a home throw on 57 minutes.

On the hour Quinn crossed from the left and Swan flicked a header across goal but no one was there to apply a finishing touch.

On 65 minutes McWilliams fed a ball into the path of Hoskins whose first time effort was straight at Pym.

On 68 minutes both sides shuffled their packs in search of a winner with Northampton making a double change and Stags throwing on Clarke for Quinn.

Gordon and McLaughlin put in fine successive crosses for Stags on 77 minutes but no one could get on the end of them.

Northampton made three more changes on 79 minutes and one of the newcomers, Eppiah ran at the home defenders and shot just wide from 18 yards within two minutes.

Instead Stags swept ahead with six minutes to go. The ball cannoned off Oates in the six yard box and Burge was down to block only to see Swan swoop and poke home the loose ball from close range.

But shaken Northampton were not to be denied and four minutes later Pinnock floated a cross to the far post from the left and Hoskins showed his quality to volley home a delightful finish to level matters.

In the third of five added minute Perch was booked for a late tackle, Pinncock wide with the low free kick.

STAGS: Pym, Gordon, Hewitt, Hawkins, Harbottle (Hartigan 15), McLaughlin, Maris, Quinn (Clarke 68), Boateng (Perch HT), Lapslie (Swan HT), Oates. SUBS NOT USED: Flinders, Wallace, Akins.

NORTHAMPTON: Burge, McGowan (Hylton 79), Guthrie, Sherring, Hoskins, Fox (Pinnock 68), Appere (Spwerby 79), Leonard, McWilliams Eppiah 79), Bowie (Magloire 68), Odimayo. SUBS NOT USED: Maxted, Hayes.

REFEREE: Benjamin Speedie.

ATTENDANCE: 7,301 (589 away).


Late Hoskins stunner salvages Cobblers a point against rivals Mansfield Town
northamptonchron.co.uk, By James Heneghan, Mon 26th Dec 2022

Sam Hoskins scored a stunning volley just two minutes from full-time as Cobblers rescued a dramatic late point against Mansfield Town on Boxing Day.

Town had been comfortably the better side for 83 minutes at Field Mill but looked set to go home empty-handed after Will Swan came off the bench to give Mansfield a somewhat fortunate lead with only six minutes left to play.

But Hoskins, as he has done so many times this season, again came to Northampton’s rescue a mere four minutes later and this was one of his best of the campaign to date, magnificently volleying home Mitch Pinnock’s cross Paolo Di-Canio-esque.


With more than half the campaign to go, Hoskins already has his best goal return for a season and his terrific late strike ensured Cobblers stretched their unbeaten run to nine league games.

Jon Brady stuck with the same starting XI that beat Carlisle United last time out and his side threatened an opener with only 20 seconds on the clock but Kieron Bowie could not quite bring down Jon Guthrie’s through ball before Mansfield smothered away Sam Hoskins’ shot.

Town had started well at Field Mill and they were close again when Ben Fox’s shot deflected off a defender and looped narrowly over the crossbar, and then Hoskins rippled the side-netting with a free-kick from 20 yards.

Louis Appéré threatened to get in behind the Mansfield defence on several occasions but twice the ball would not sit for him and although Cobblers remained well on top, they were unable to make their superiority count.

The best chance of the first-half inevitably fell to the away side but again they were left frustrated after Fox, all on his own eight yards out, completely fluffed his attempted finish from Shaun McWilliams’ excellent pick-out.

By contrast, Mansfield would have felt relieved to get into half-time on level terms after barely putting together a meaningful attacks in the first 45 minutes, and it was more of the same when play got back underway.

Appéré’s effort from the edge of the box took a nick off a defender and flew just over before Hoskins made space for a shot with an excellent first touch, but he was at a tight angle and Christy Pym made the save.

It had taken them almost an hour but finally Mansfield’s attack showed some signs of life and the second-half turned into a more even contest, although Hoskins did force Pym into another routine stop.

Brady rung the changes to try and regain control, making all five substitutions and switching between three and four at the back, and a freshly introduced player so nearly made the breakthrough with Josh Eppiah drilling a low shot just past the post.

There was a grim sense of inevitably about where this game was going given Town’s inability to turn dominance into goals and their worse fears were realised with six minutes to play. The goal was a messy one as a corner ricocheted about in the box before falling kindly for Swan to surely win the game.

Cobblers, however, have shown their resolve time and again this season and they did so again to snatch a thoroughly deserved point. Pinnock delivered a wonderful cross from the left-hand side but it still needed finishing and Hoskins obliged, leaping off the ground with both feet before volleying home what proved to be a point-winning goal.

Mansfield: Pym Gordon, Hewitt, Harbottle (Hartigan 15) Hawkins ©, McLaughlin, Maris, Quinn (Clarke 69), Boateng (Perch 45), Lapslie (Swan 45), Oates

Subs not used: Flinders, Wallace, Akins

Cobblers: Burge, McGowan (Eppiah 79), Sherring, Guthrie ©, Odimayo, McWilliams (Sowerby 79), Leonard, Fox (Magloire 68), Hoskins, Bowie (Pinnock 68), Appéré *Hylton 79)

Subs not used: Maxted, Haynes

Referee: Benjamin Speedie

Attendance: 7,301

Cobblers fans:



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