STAGS BEATEN BY CHAMPIONS LEYTON ORIENT
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 2 Leyton Orient
Keillor-Dunn 10. Kelman 17, Sotiriou 31. Ogie sent off 62
Attendance: 7,072 (527 from Leyton Orient)
Date: 25 April 2023
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town were beaten 2-1 by League Two champions Leyton Orient at the One Call Stadium last night. It was a very damaging defeat as Mansfield missed the chance to move back into the play-off positions with their game in hand. And contributing to the defeat was yet another damaging injury as Elliott Hewitt, likely to make a clean sweep in the end of season player of the season awards, was forced off injured in the first half and ended the night on crutches and in a knee brace. Whilst the prognosis of Hewitt’s injury isn’t yet fully known, in all likelihood he’s going to be out for a few weeks and thus if Mansfield make the play-offs, unlikely to be available.
The Mansfield players gave a guard of honour to the Leyton Orient players before the game, quite a nice classy gesture, and there was generous applause from the home fans too. Congratulations to Orient, they have deserved the title, having been top all season.
Mansfield made one change from the side that started against Stevenage: Oates replaced the injured Gale. Oates had replaced Gale during the game on Saturday of course and played 70 minutes on his own return from injury. There was a welcome return from injury on the bench for Ollie Clarke, albeit not fully fit, like Maris, Reed and Swan, also on the bench and also not fully fit. The Stags continued with the 4-3-3 formation with Oates (right) and Keillor-Dunn (left) either side of Akins. Hewitt continued at left back with Callum Johnson at right back.
Mansfield’s injury list has been long for months. But even as players return, others have been getting injured. And in the just the last 3 games for example, while other players were returning, Mansfield lost a player in each game to an impact injury: McLaughlin at Newport to a knee injury after he returned from an ankle injury, Gale against Stevenage with a head injury, and Hewitt here against Orient with a knee injury. Incredibly unlucky. And the injuries are and have had a big impact on the season.
Leyton Orient lost goalkeeper Laurence Vigouroux in the warm-up to injury, replaced by Sam Sargeant. Omar Beckles was suspended. Idris El Mizouni was also absent. Those three players were all in the EFL League Two team of the season. Orient still had plenty of quality on show though including Paul Smyth who probably should also have been in the team of the season.
Mansfield were given a good start after 10 minutes when Davis Keillor-Dunn turned in a low cross from 3 yards after great work from Hiram Boateng weaving his way along the byline on the right. Keillor-Dunn’s 6th goal for Mansfield since joining in January, and Boateng’s 5th assist (see my stats below).
But Leyton Orient were level after 17 minutes. Kieran Wallace gave away an unnecessary corner, having a bad first touch near the halfway line, then challenging to win it back and smashing it nearly 50 yards to go for a corner. A short corner was finally crossed in low by Kieran Sadlier, Rhys Oates cleared partially but only to the edge of the “D” where Craig Clay struck a volley that hit the inside of the right post. As it rebounded out, Charlie Kelman was quickest to react and head the ball into the empty net. So much that was preventable about this goal: Wallace conceding the unnecessary corner, Oates not getting the clearance further away, and the defence asleep as Kelman was the first to react (notably Oates, Wallace and Callum Johnson). A good volley from Clay nonetheless. Some questions were asked as to whether the goal was offside, but Kelman was certainly onside as Clay struck his volley.
Sadlier curled a shot just over the bar from 25 yards after 19 minutes
The Stags were nearly back in front after 21 minutes as Callum Johnson’s header from 6 yards was brilliantly hooked off the line by Jordan Brown, after Keillor-Dunn’s short corner to Boateng along the byline, and Boateng chipped a cross into the middle. As the ball was cleared to the edge of the area, Wallace tried to shoot, but fouled his man, and was booked for it.
Alfie Kilgour then made a stunning tackle on Kelman as Kelman broke into the box and was about to shoot.
Quinn had a shot blocked from 17 yards after 23 minutes.
But disaster struck for Mansfield as Hewitt went down injured, a knee injury. He initially tried to carry on, but couldn’t and had to be replaced by Riley Harbottle after 28 minutes. Harbottle initially went in at right back, with Callum Johnson switching to left back.
And within 3 minutes, Orient were in front. Kilgour’s clearance from halfway inside his own half was poor and intercepted. It was played forward to Kelman who turned and set Sadlier away down the left getting in behind Harbottle. Sadlier pushed forward and then pulled the ball back and across to Ruel Sotiriou 17 yards from goal and unmarked, and he sidefooted past Pym, with a little deflection off Perch wrong-footing Pym. A bit unlucky for Mansfield, but Mansfield can’t complain having had two goals deflected past the keeper in the last 5 games. There was a question of whether Sadlier was offside when he was set away by Kelman, but from the video, he appears to be played onside by Callum Johnson. Possibly the goal wouldn’t have happened if the defence hadn’t just been disrupted, with Harbottle caught cold.
Wallace, having been booked, and not had a good first half, was replaced by Louis Reed, returning from injury, at the start of the second half. The return of Reed a plus point on a disastrous night.
Keillor-Dunn cut in and had a shot blocked after 53 minutes. A minute later at the other end, Kilgour was booked for bringing down Sadlier. Kilgour’s first booking for Mansfield. Sadlier sent the free kick well wide from 24 yards.
Mansfield re-organised the defence, with Callum Johnson returning to right back, Perch to left back, Harbottle and Kilgour centre half. Not ideal at all having Perch at left back, but really given the limited options available, nothing was a great option.
Orient were reduced to ten men after 62 minutes. Boateng set Keillor-Dunn away into the Orient half with a great through ball. Keillor-Dunn was yards in front of the closest defender, but Shad Ogie caught him up and slid in with a challenge on the edge of the “D” sending Keillor-Dunn to the ground. The referee immediately produced a red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity outside the box. In commentary, I thought it was a clear red card. However, on reviewing the video, Ogie actually got a toe-end on the ball and it was a good tackle. So he was unlucky. Keillor-Dunn should have been able to get a shot away though. Nigel Clough said after the game: “I would rather he'd run through and scored than see the sending-off. Sprinting that far clear he should be getting a shot off.”
Boateng took the resulting free kick and sent it straight into the wall.
28 minutes plus stoppage time against ten men, could the Stags capitalise? The answer was no, despite most of the possession.
George Maris replaced Quinn after 70 minutes.
A real opportunity for Oates after 73 minutes. Callum Johnson crossed in low from the right, Mansfield had five players just outside the six yard box against just three defenders. The ball reached Oates with his back to goal but Oates couldn’t control it and the chance was gone. Had Oates left it, Keillor-Dunn might have had a tap in. A bad miss, to not even get a shot in.
Two minutes later, a shot from Maris from 24 yards was blocked after Orient gifted the ball to him. A minute later, Perch headed down a cross to Akins, back to goal 12 yards out. Akins turned and got in a low shot but it was straight at the keeper, who would have had no chance if it was a yard or two either side of him. Then on 78 minutes, Akins headed wide from a Keillor-Dunn corner.
Ollie Clarke and Will Swan both returned from injury after 79 minutes, replacing Boateng and Akins. Unusual to see Akins subbed. Great to have them both back on the pitch.
After 81 minutes, a fantastic cross from Clarke from near the corner flag, but no-one on the end of it to turn it in.
After 89 minutes, Callum Johnson headed just wide from a Keillor-Dunn corner from the right.
On the stroke of 90 minutes, Maris fed Oates on the right. Oates got forward into the area and did well to create space for a shot from 14 yards, low and hard from the right. Keeper Sargeant got down well to parry, the ball ran loose, Clarke attacked it but as he shot from 6 yards, Jamie McCart dived in with a brilliant block to send the ball flying over the bar. So close, but a great block.
After 90+6 minutes, a free kick on the edge of the “D”, 22 yards out, as Reed was brought down. A bit of quality was needed, but Keillor-Dunn sent the free kick high over the bar. The quality of set pieces from this sort of position hasn’t been good enough lately.
Frustration at full time. The defeat ended Mansfield’s 9 match unbeaten run. A very damaging result as the Stags stay outside the play-off positions on goal difference. Two games left, at home to Harrogate on Saturday, and then away to Colchester. Salford, above Mansfield on goal difference, are away to 5th placed Carlisle, and at home to rejuvenated Gillingham. On paper, more difficult fixtures. Bradford are also level on points, but have an extra game to play.
Mansfield have never beaten Harrogate of course. Now is the time to put that right. Mansfield have been good this season at winning games they don’t normally win though, such as away at Swindon, away at Tranmere. Harrogate are on an improved run of form having been hovering above the relegation zone: 4 wins, 4 draws, 2 defeats in their last 10 games, including a win at Newport last night, and a draw at Orient after being 2-0 down.
The win at Newport finally secured Harrogate’s fight against relegation. Boss Simon Weaver said after the game: "I'm absolutely delighted. It has been such a tough time throughout the season, 10 months of hard work and slog from everyone at the club. I’m ecstatic for the players because they have held their nerve and dug in, and I'm relieved as well, so there’s a mixture of emotions in there. Doing it like this is the best way to do it, on our terms, scoring three goals away from home at a place where we have lost on our two previous visits. It was great to do it in style tonight.”
It might not be a bad time to play Harrogate with their aim achieved. Then again, I thought that against Orient last night.
A word on the Stags fans who were great and continue to stay with the side. Indeed Orient boss Richie Wellens mentioned them after the game: “There was a bit of tension among their supporters, though I thought their crowd was really good and stuck with them. It was a really god atmosphere.”
DETAILED REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
TUE 25 APR 2023, LEAGUE TWO
Mansfield Town 1-2 Leyton Orient
Kelman (17'minutes), Sotiriou (31'minutes), Ogie (Dismissed at62'minutes)
Match report supplied by PA Media.
Champions Leyton Orient came from behind to win 2-1 at promotion-chasing Mansfield, despite having Shadrach Ogie sent off.
Defeat left the Stags outside the play-off places on goal difference with just two games to play.
The Stags gave Orient, who made six changes, a guard of honour on to the field, but they were first to strike after 10 minutes as Hiram Boateng ran into the area after getting to the right byline and then crossed low for Davis Keillor-Dunn to net from five yards.
But Orient were level seven minutes later when Craig Clay fired a 20-yard volley against a post and Charlie Kelman reacted quickest to head the loose ball home.
Ogie cleared a Rhys Oates header off the line after 21 minutes and Orient went in front 10 minutes later as Ruel Sotiriou netted from 12 yards from Kieran Sadlier's left-wing cross.
Orient were reduced to 10 men after 62 minutes as last man Ogie brought down Keillor-Dunn after he had run clear on to Boateng's through ball.
In the dying minutes Callum Johnson headed wide for the Stags and Jordan Brown made a crucial block to deny Ollie Clarke as Orient held on.
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Leyton Orient
Possession Home 56% Away 44%
Shots Home 16 Away 9
Shots on Target Home 4 Away 2
Corners Home 7 Away 1
Fouls Home 16 Away 7
Major blow for Mansfield Town promotion dream as champions Leyton Orient hit back to win at the One Call
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tues 25 April 2023
Mansfield Town's promotion hopes were dealt a major blow as they lost 2-1 at home to 10-man League Two champions Leyton Orient tonight.
That ended any outside hopes of automatic promotion and left still them outside the play-off places on goal difference but with no game in hand any more and only two to play.
The impressive visitors were superb on the front foot in the first half and then defended well after the break after having Shadrach Ogie sent off on 62 minutes.
Stags made a great start with a Davis Keillor-Dunn goal after just 10 minutes.
But the classy visitors hit back seven minutes later and deservedly led at half-time, playing some silky football.
Gutsy Stags went toe to toe with them throughout but were found just wanting and incredibly suffered yet another major injury blow when Elliott Hewitt limped off after only 28 minutes.
Orient soaked up the home pressure well after the break, even after the red card, and held onto what they had in a half low on chances for either side.
Still with a lengthy injury list, Stags boss Nigel Clough made one change with Rhys Oates forced into a start, despite lack of full fitness, up front following James Gale's concussion at the weekend.
Ollie Clarke, also still not fully fit after injury, was added to the Mansfield bench.
Four days after clinching the title, the visitors made five changes and that became six when keeper Laurence Vigouroux, named in the League Two Team of the Year hurt himself in the warm-up and had to be replaced by Sam Sargeant - his first EFL start for the club this season.
Orient were given a guard of honour as they came out by the home side to mark their title win and the O's 'anthem' Wagon Wheel was played over the PA too.
Bristling with confidence and swagger, Orient went straight onto the attack and Pym chose to punch clear a Smyth cross instead of catching it.
But it was Stags who carved out the first shot as Quinn crossed into Akins, who controlled and set up Keillor-Dunn for a shot that was blocked.
And on 10 minutes Stags were in front. Boateng wriggled his way to the right by-line and, unchallenged, drove into the box before finding Keillor-Dunn with a square pass and he made no mistake finding the net from five yards out.
But the lead lasted seven minutes.
Oates headed out a left wing cross as far as Clay 20 yards out who smashed a volley against the post and the ball spun up for Kelman to nod it into the gaping goal from close range.
Two minutes later Sadlier was only just over from 25 yards as he turned neatly and sent a dipping effort goalwards.
Mansfield almost retook the lead on 21 minutes as a far post cross from Boateng picked out Oates whose header beat Sargeant but was cleared off the line by Ogie.
Wallace was booked for a foul, also in the 21st minute.
Then Kilgour produced a fantastic tackle in the box to halt Kelman, which drew he applause from the home stands.
A foul by Hewitt saw the Stags man stay down and need treatment.
He eventually temporarily returned to the fray only to go down a second time and this time was replaced by Harbottle on 28 minutes.
Harbottle went to right back with Johnson switching to left back.
Orient then hit the front on 31 minutes with a goal by Sotiriou.
With Stags looking for an offside flag Sadlier raced onto space on the left and pulled back the perfect ball for Sotiriou to bury low from 12 yards. The crowd were furious but replays showed he was onside.
On 40 minutes Sargeant got a hand to a powerful Keillor-Dunn shot from the left after Akins had superbly switched play.
Johnson stayed down after a bang to the face and, after treatment and having blood cleaned away from his nose, was able to carry on.
The injuries saw seven added first half minutes in which Thompson was booked for pulling back Keillor-Dunn, but the visitors went in with their noses in front.
Stags sent on Reed for Wallace for the second half.
Within two minutes Oates had taken a bang to the head and was left flat out needing treatment but was deemed fit to continue.
Clay's foul on Quinn on 50 minutes saw him added to the book as Stags pressed hard early in the half.
A nudge from Harbottle in the box then saw Sweeney go over, but no penalty was given.
Kilgour had to bring Sadlier down as he tried to get away from him on 54 minutes and took the booking, Sadlier curling wide from the free kick.
Johnson moved back to right back and Perch to left back with Harbottle at centre half as Stags sought a way back.
The visitors were down to 10 men on 62 minutes as Ogie, as last man, was red-carded for bringing down Keillor-Dunn just outside the box as he raced clear onto a superb Boateng pass. But Boateng's free kick then hit the wall and was hacked clear.
Drinan was just wide with a low shot for the O's on 72 minutes in a half low on chances.
The Oates' first touch let him down at the near post after Johnson had threaded a great pass through for him.
A long Maris cross was nodded down by Perch and Akins was able to turn and shoot low but straight to the keeper and soon after he headed over from a Keillor-Dunn corner as the O's stood firm.
Clough continued to make changes and used his last two subs with 10 minutes to go.
Sargeant was booked on 82 minutes for time wasting and Kelman pushed the officials' patience to the limit when he ambled off slowly after being subbed as Orient hung on.
A minute from time Keillor-Dunn found Johnson at the far post with his corner but his header dropped the wrong side of the upright.
Seconds later Oates had a shot blocked and Brown made a crucial block to deny Clarke's follow-up.
Again seven minutes were added but there was no way through.
STAGS: Pym, C. Johnson, Kilgour, Perch, Hewitt (Harbottle 28), Wallace (Reed HT), Boateng (Clarke 80), Quinn (Maris 71), Keillor-Dunn, Akins (Swan 80), Oates. SUBS NOT USED: Flinders, Law.
ORIENT: Sargeant, Ogie, Thompson, Smyth (James 66), Clay, Sotiriou (Moncur 69), Brown, Kelman (Duke-McKenna 85), Sweeney, McCart, Sadlier (Drinan 69). SUBS NOT USED: Happe, Pratley.
REFEREE: Robert Lewis.
ATTENDANCE: 7,072 (527 away).
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