STAGS OUTPLAYED AND THRASHED 5-2 BY SALFORD
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 2 - 5 Salford City
Keillor-Dunn 35, Bowery 88. Lund 18, 56, Hendry 21, Bolton 50, Vassell 81
Attendance: 6,868 (115 from Salford) (note this it is essentially tickets sold, including season tickets)
Date: 25 February 2023
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town were outplayed and thrashed 5-2 by Salford City at the One Call Stadium this afternoon. The Stags had been on a very good run, unbeaten in 6 games, taking 14 points, and with 3 consecutive wins with clean sheets. Mansfield were looking to make it 4 consecutive wins with clean sheets for the first time in the Football League for 46 years, since May 1977. Optimism was high.
But Salford City were superb, while the Stags were dreadful. It finished 5-2. It could have been more as Salford had several near misses. Back down to Earth with a bump.
The Stags should not get too down-hearted though and look no further than the 3 teams they beat in the last 3 games. Gillingham have bounced back since the Stags beat them comfortably, by winning 3 games. Carlisle have bounced back since they were thrashed 4-0 at home by Mansfield a week and a half ago, by winning twice (including 5-2 away from home today). And Tranmere bounced back from being totally outplayed by Mansfield last Saturday, by winning away at second placed Stevenage today.
The Stags need to bounce back in similar fashion from this result.
Carlisle have moved into second place today. They are six points ahead of Mansfield having played a game more. Stevenage drop down to third, five points ahead of Mansfield having played a game fewer. Salford’s win took them above the Stags on goal difference, having played a game more.
Salford took the lead after 18 minutes as Matty Lund got away from Kilgour to head home from an Ibou Touray cross from the left. Three minutes later Callum Hendry fired in from 12 yards after a corner wasn’t properly cleared. Luke Bolton, down the right, and Louie Barry, down the left, were causing Mansfield all kinds of problems.
Mansfield pulled a goal back after 35 minutes as a long throw from Hewitt was cleared as far as Perch, who fired in a low shot from 19 yards which the keeper Alex Cairns didn’t hold and Keillor-Dunn turned home the rebound from 6 yards.
Just 2-1 at the break. Salford had looked dangerous every time they went forward.
It got worse early in the second half. After 49 minutes, Hendry fired against the post. A minute later it was 3-1 as Luke Bolton outpaced Bowery down the right to fire past Pym. And after 56 minutes it was 4-1 as Bolton pulled back to Lund, completely unmarked, who fired low into the corner of the net from 18 yards.
It was nearly 5-1 after 77 minutes as Pym saved brilliantly from sub Conor McAleny.
It was 5-1 after 81 minutes as Theo Vassell outjumped sub Callum Johnson to head home from a corner.
A consolation goal for the Stags after 88 minutes as Callum Johnson got to the byline and put in a great cross for Bowery, now in midfield, to turn into the net from close range.
It could have been 6-2 as Salford sub Callum Morton fired wide from 12 yards after 90+3 minutes.
It finished 5-2. Salford were excellent. Bolton and Barry down the right and left respectively were too much for the Stags to handle. Bolton had too much pace for Bowery, and then for Hewitt when he moved to the left. And they are two of the quicker players in the Stags side. Hendry was also excellent for Salford in the middle.
The Stags were really poor throughout the side. Pym can perhaps be excused having made one or two good saves and not really being to blame for the goals. Harbottle was awful in the first half, and was subbed at half time having been ill. Kilgour was well off form having been outstanding since signing in January. Perch looked very poor. Hewitt has been in tremendous form, today he was dreadful. As was Bowery when at wing-back. Akins was totally ineffective up front. Quinn and Wallace were poor in midfield. Probably Keillor-Dunn and Clarke were Mansfield’s best outfield players. Mansfield’s subs were no better. Danny Johnson, on after 59 minutes, didn’t get into the game and barely touched the ball. Boateng and Law, who came on at the same time were also ineffective.
An awful day at the office. Mansfield need to bounce back quickly with a good performance next Saturday at AFC Wimbledon.
Before the game there was a minute’s applause for Mansfield Town legend Kevin Bird, who passed away last week. Plenty of Bird’s former teammates were part of the tributes including Rod Arnold, Sandy Pate, Barry Foster, Jim McCaffrey, Mick Laverick, Ian Wood, Terry Austin, Dudley Roberts and Graham Brown. There was a magnificent huge wreath in the shape of a Stags shirt with 'Bird 6' on it, on the pitch. It was a great tribute to one of the best players to ever play for the club, who clocked up an incredible 463 appearances, and despite being a defender, scored 63 goals. If you weren’t lucky enough to watch Kevin play, I wrote https://stagsnet.net/vintage/reports/kevinbirdprofile.htm "> this profile of him which I hope did him some justice.
Mansfield were without 8 players through injury again.
Callum Johnson returned from injury to take his place on the bench.
Maris was not recovered enough to be back in the squad, but should be back for next weekend.
The starting XI was unchanged.
Clough revealed after the game that Harbottle was ill: “He felt ill before the game, and I asked him if he was fit and he said ‘yes’ but he obviously wasn’t so I should’ve taken that out of his hands before the game.”
The other 7 injured players (McLaughlin, Reed, Oates, Swan, O’Toole, Hartigan, Gale) will not be back imminently.
Youth teamers Taylor Anderson and McKeal Abdullah, who both played for the youth team in a 1-0 win at Bolton in the morning, with Anderson captaining the side and Abdullah scoring the goal, were on the bench. Anderson came on for the final 5 minutes, thus playing twice on the same day.
The game was a near sell-out for home fans, having been made all-ticket earlier in the week. 6,753 tickets sold for home fans, just 150 or so short of a sell-out. The highest number of home fans this season, 41 more than the Northampton game on Boxing Day. And the Stags fans were great despite the performance, with Q Block still in good voice at 5-2 down.
Just 115 fans from Salford, the equal lowest visiting support of the season (equal with Newport, but that was on a Tuesday night).
DETAILED REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
SAT 25 FEB 2023, LEAGUE TWO
Mansfield Town 2-5 Salford City
Keillor-Dunn (36'minutes), Bowery (88'minutes)
Lund (18'minutes, 56'minutes), Hendry (21'minutes), Bolton (50'minutes), Vassell (81'minutes)
Touray (18'minutes), Watt (21'minutes, 50'minutes, 81'minutes), Bolton (56'minutes)
Match report by PA Media.
Salford stunned Mansfield Town with a thumping 5-2 away win to move above their promotion rivals in the table.
An exciting first half saw the visitors leave the Stags reeling with two goals in four minutes.
In the 18th minute City skipper Ibou Touray crossed from the left to the near post, where Matty Lund flicked home a fine header across Christy Pym.
It was 2-0 in the 21st minute as Elliot Watt battled his way to the right by-line and drilled a low ball across and Callum Hendry made no mistake with his powerful finish.
Mansfield responded well and pulled one back after 35 minutes.
Elliott Hewitt's long throw was cleared to James Perch, whose low shot was blocked by Alex Cairns, but the ball ran loose to Davis Keillor-Dunn to tuck away the rebound.
But within five minutes of the restart Hendry had seen a low shot hit a post and seconds later Luke Bolton got in behind on the right, raced into the box and buried a low finish beyond Pym.
It was 4-1 after 56 minutes as Bolton pulled back a low pass from the right for Lund to crash in his second from 16 yards.
Theo Vassell rose well to head home Salford's fifth from a right-wing corner in the 81st minute before Jordan Bowery turned in a Callum Johnson cross from close range late on for Mansfield.
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Salford
Possession Home 49% Away 51%
Shots Home 19 Away 14
Shots on Target Home 5 Away 8
Corners Home 6 Away 6
Fouls Home 12 Away 4
Mansfield Town suffer promotion set-back after being drubbed at home by Salford City
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 25 Feb 2023
Mansfield Town suffered a nightmare home afternoon as they were destroyed 5-2 by classy promotion rivals Salford City.
The dominant visitors were well worth their big win, which could have been by more, and leapfrogged Stags in the play-off places on an afternoon to forget for Nigel Clough's men.
Silky Salford took control of the game with two games in three first half minutes as Matty Lund's 18th minute header was followed by a Callum Hendry finish soon after.
Stags battled back and Davis Keillor-Dunn pulled one back on 35 minutes.
But Luke Bolton restored City's two-goal advantage within five minutes of the restart and Lund's second of the game six minutes later left home hopes in tatters with Theo Vassell's 81st minute header piling on the agony before Jordan Bowery's late consolation.
The Stags side, having just won three times in a week, was unsurprisingly unchanged, with eight players still out injured, but there was the welcome sight of January signing Callum Johnson returning from his injury on the bench.
Salford, without a win in three games, made four changes with Lund, Hendry, Barry and Leak coming in and ex-Stag loanee Richard Nartey returning to their bench.
There was applause pre-match as a large wreath in the shape of a Stags shirt with 'Bird 6' on it in honour of the late Mansfield Town legend Kevin Bird, who passed away last week.
Former players including Rod Arnold, Terry Austin, Graham Brown, Barry Foster, Mick Laverick, Jimmy McCaffrey, Sandy Pate, Dudley Roberts and Ian Wood were pitchside to pay their respects too.
In a cagey start, Lund had strayed offside for the game's first attempt at goal on four minutes.
On eight minutes, with Stags calling for an offside flag, Villa loanee Barry got to the left by-line but no one was able to turn it home.
Stags responded with a great cross by Hewitt that eluded Akins and then Bowery had a shot blocked.
Immediately City threatened again and Watson flashed a shot into the sidenetting from the left.
Perch was booked on 13 minutes for a late tackle on Hendry.
The visitors drew first blood on 18 minutes as City skipper Touray sent over a cross from the left to the near post and Lund popped up to guide home his header.
Worse was to come three minutes later as Watt got to the right by-line and crossed hard and low, the ball rolling to Hendry, who blasted home through a crowd of players.
Stags almost pulled one back on 26 minutes after good footwork by Clarke saw him make space for a cross that Keillor-Dunn poked wide of the target.
A minute later Quinn's cross was beyond the far post where Hewitt pulled it back for Keillor-Dunn, who flashed his first time effort well over.
Lowe was booked on 28 minutes for leaving a foot in on Bowery.
Wallace was then too high with a snapshot from a long Hewitt throw as Mansfield probed for a way back into the contest.
And it came on 35 minutes from another Hewitt throw from the right. It was cleared as far as Perch whose low shot was half-stopped by Cairns, but he could do nothing as Keillor-Dunn turned home the loose ball from close range.
Salford could have had a third on 42 minutes as Hendry raced away onto a through ball and was one-on-one with Pym, but the City striker placed his low finish wide of the far post.
In the second of three added minutes Barry tricked his way past Harbottle on the left and fired a shot on target that Pym was able to block as the visitors went in with a slender advantage.
Stags made a change at the back with Johnson replacing Harbottle for the second half, Hewitt going into the three man central defence and Johnson at right wing back.
Hewitt had to hook away a Bolton cross from in front of goal on the restart after Bolton had beaten Bowery for pace.
On 50 minutes a swift Salford move down the centre saw Hendry fire a low shot against the right post.
But seconds later Bolton again got in on the right and this time smashed a low finish beyond Pym to restore their two-goal lead.
Clarke was added to the book on 52 minutes for a foul on Watson.
Stags' task became a mountain on 56 minutes as another City attack on the right saw Bolton pull a tempting low ball back for Lund to bury his second of the afternoon from just inside the box.
That sparked a triple change for the desperate home side and immediately Perch headed over from a Keillor-Dunn corner while Keillor-Dunn had a good effort blocked.
Cairns was also safely behind a bundled Boateng volley as Stags tried to heap on the pressure.
Pym made a superb point blank range save to deny sub McAleny as he tried to turn home a low cross from the right on 77 minutes as the menacing visitors continued to threaten.
A minute later Bowery went down in the box and was booked for diving.
On 81 minutes Salford bagged a fifth as Vassell was able to power home a header from a right wing corner.
Johnson became the fourth home booking for an 83rd minute foul.
A minute later Pym was down to save from McAleny.
Stags did grab a consolation two minutes from time as Bowery poked home a Callum Johnson cross from close range.
But it was too little, too late.
STAGS: Pym, Hewitt, Harbottle (C. Johnson HT), Kilgour, Perch, Bowery, Clarke, Wallace (D. Johnson. 59), Quinn (Boateng 59), Keillor-Dunn (Anderson 85), Akins (Law 59). SUBS NOT USED: Flinders, Abdullah.
SALFORD: Cairns, Touray, Lowe, Watt, Watson (Mallan 76), Lund (McLoughlin 88), Hendry (Morton 76) , Barry (McAleny 70), Bolton, Leak, Vassell. SUBS NOT USED: Bellagambi, Smith, Nartey.
REFEREE: Marc Edwards.
ATTENDANCE: 6,868 (115 away).
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