STAGS COMPLETE DOUBLE OVER NOTTS COUNTY
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Notts County
Attendance: 8,667 (1659 from Notts County)
Date: 3 February 2024
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town beat Notts County 1-0 at the One Call Stadium yesterday in a fabulous atmosphere to complete the double. Both sides had had a difficult few weeks, Mansfield not winning in their last 4 games, Notts County not winning in their last 3 games. The Stags were feeling sore after the controversial defeat at AFC Wimbledon and this victory provided the perfect tonic. The win takes Mansfield 10 points ahead of Notts County. The Stags returned to second place in the table.
The game was a complete sell-out of home and away fans, the second this season after the Wrexham league game.
It was the team that had conceded the fewest goals in League Two against the team that had scored the most goals (equal with Stockport).
A big part of Mansfield’s defensive solidity this season has been Aden Flint, and there was a huge boost for the Stags with Flint fit to start. He had gone off at Wimbledon with a partially dislocated shoulder amid fears that he would be out for a prolonged period. Nigel Clough said after the game: “I think 90 per cent of players would not have played today.” But Flint was desperate to play.
With Jordan Bowery and Stephen Quinn suspended for one game after their red cards at Wimbledon, in came George Williams at right back, his second league start of the season, while Davis Keillor-Dunn also started after he hadn’t been fit enough to start at Wimbledon.
New signing Tom Nichols was on the bench. Nichols is a great signing in my opinion. He was superb at Crawley, including playing so well against the Stags. He joined Gillingham a year ago and played a major part in dragging them away from the relegation zone, before he had a slow start to this season, culminating in his move away. Over the past three seasons, Nichols scored/created 61 goals or assists in 132 appearances.
Nigel Clough was serving a one match touchline ban following the Wimbledon game. Andy Garner was also banned from the touchline following his yellow card at Wimbledon. Garner may get a further touchline ban as he has until Monday to provide his response to alleged “improper behaviour” at Wimbledon. Clough and Garner both watched the game from the back of the Quarry Lane stand. Clough told me it actually proved useful as it gave him a better perspective than from being at pitch level and enabled him to tweak a couple of things at half time. He also told me it gave him more time to check on his dog Bobbie, who was in his office which is in the stand!
Goalkeeper coach Adam Collin and strength and conditioning coach David Waldie represented Clough and Garner in the technical area.
The Stags took the lead after just 8 minutes. And what a goal it was. Cargill fed Keillor-Dunn just outside the area, back to goal. Keillor-Dunn turned and curled a wonderful shot just inside the right post past former Stags keeper Aidan Stone from 20 yards. From our position in the West Stand, we knew it was in as soon as he hit it. A fabulous goal. His 15th goal of the season.
The goal came after a period of pressure when Clarke set Swan away down the left and he tried to cross for Akins in the middle rather than shoot, and the ball was cleared. Clarke recycled the ball into the middle, it was cleared to Reed who was about to shoot when the ball was taken off his toe, and then finally Cargill played forward to Keillor-Dunn.
The Stags rode their luck a little in the first half as County struck the woodwork twice, first from a cross that evaded everyone and then a corner that flicked off the head of Aden Flint and came down off the underside of the bar.
On 28 minutes, Jodi Jones crossed left footed from the right, Langstaff and Brunt rose to try and get a head on it, but neither did, and the ball crashed off the left post with Pym stranded.
Then on 32 minutes, a corner from the left from Nemane flicked off the head of Flint against the underside of the bar and bounced down and away. In real time I was not sure if the ball crossed the line. From the footage from the main camera, the ball is obscured by players as it hits the ground. However I have now seen footage from the analyst’s camera from the West Stand side, and frame by frame, the ball bounces down smack onto the middle of the line. So a good decision by the linesman.
Earlier than that, after only two minutes, Nemane got past Williams down the left, crossed into the middle, it reached Jones whose shot was blocked by Brunt, out to McGoldrick, and his shot was blocked on the line by Williams, and then Robertson knocked the second follow-up wide. Video evidence shows it did not cross the line when Williams blocked it, indeed there weren’t even any appeals that it did.
The Stags best chances in the first half, other than the goal, came when Flint headed straight at the keeper from a Maris free kick after 43 minutes, and Swan turned the ball goalwards from a good cross from Williams after 26 minutes and it was blocked. That was definitely goalbound from Swan.
The Stags ahead at the break with that screamer from Keillor-Dunn, but the Stags had ridden their luck as well with the Jones cross striking the post and Flint’s header against his own bar, plus a block by Williams on his line.
As the players left the pitch at half time, Jodi Jones grabbed his crotch and shook it at Stags fans in the West Stand, a totally inappropriate gesture, and he’s a lucky person that there’s no video camera on that side of the ground or he’d probably now be facing an FA charge.
It looked like it might be a long second half for the Stags but Mansfield were superb in the second half, and limited Notts County to just one good chance. That came from a rare mistake in the game as sub Aaron Lewis gave the ball away after 69 minutes, Jodi Jones surged forward and curled a shot over the bar.
Pym pushed a cross-shot from McGoldrick behind for a corner after 49 minutes.
Notts County had a shout for a penalty after 85 minutes. McGoldrick surged forward to the edge of the D, and slid a ball into the area for Langstaff. As the ball is played, the video shows that Langstaff was just offside, but the flag stayed down. Langstaff was goalside of Cargill, Cargill put an arm on Langstaff’s shoulder, and Langstaff went down very easily. From the video, I would say there was not enough contact to justify Langstaff going down. The officials got the decision not to award a penalty correct.
After the game, new Notts County manager Stuart Maynard said: "It's so hard for me to have an opinion on that from where I'm standing on the touchline. We're all going to appeal for a penalty when you see your player get pulled to the ground but until we watch it back on the video I can't really comment to say whether it was or it wasn't."
It was the Stags who had much the better chances to score in the second half.
The Stags hit the post after 56 minutes. Swan’s persistence won a corner on the left. Keillor-Dunn took it. It was headed away by Baldwin to the far post where Cargill headed it back across goal and it hit the left post.
Then on 68 minutes, Keillor-Dunn put Akins in behind the defence on the right. Akins slid his cross across the 18 yard box and Keillor-Dunn ran on to it to slam a shot goalwards from 13 yards which keeper Stone parried away. It came out to Reed who sent a sweetly struck shot straight at Stone from 22 yards.
Clarke fired in a piledriver from 22 yards after 72 minutes which Stone tipped over the bar.
Then on 84 minutes, Swan came close to sealing it. Great defending at the other end from Brunt sniffing the danger of McGoldrick. Brunt cleared down the line to Swan, Swan played inside to Keillor-Dunn and set off down the wing. Keillor-Dunn lifted a ball down the line, Swan controlled it with his head superbly at full pace, got into the box on the left, and his low shot from a tight angle from 6 yards out was well-saved by Stone with his legs. Great play from Swan.
The Stags held out for a narrow victory. The game at Meadow Lane was quite a thrashing. This was completely different. It could have gone either way. The Stags rode their luck in the first half but had much the better chances in the second half.
The win was achieved with a superb all-round solid display. Notts County are a very dangerous side going forward but were limited to relatively few chances. Both sides had 13 shots. But while Mansfield had 7 shots on target, Notts County had just 1 on target according to the OPTA match stats (which bizarrely do not include shots blocked).
The Stags defence was outstanding. Williams came in for just his second league start and was brilliant at right back. He was outpaced by Nemane in just the second minute as Notts County created a triple chance, but after that he didn’t put a foot wrong. Cargill also performed superbly at left back. They were up against the creative Jones and Nemane and gave them very little. In the centre, Flint and Brunt were also excellent. Brunt marked Langstaff out of the game. What can we say about Flint? Playing just a week after a partial dislocation of his shoulder and performing so well, what a warrior, a colossus.
The midfield was very good with a terrific shift, Clarke, Maris, Reed. Keillor-Dunn provided the moment of magic with his goal, and nearly had another when his piledriver was saved.
Akins was excellent up front, some of his hold-up play was outstanding, controlling balls forward to him. Akins had to move to right back late on when Williams got cramp, and he was just as at home there. And Swan built on his performance and goal at Wimbledon, with two good efforts at goal on target. He looked lively all game.
Tom Nichols came on as sub for the last 10 minutes and slotted in very well, helping to manage the game well, winning throw-ins and corners.
Notts County are a good side going forward. They were certainly good in the first half. McGoldrick, like Flint, is arguably too good for League Two. But he was partially blunted, and League Two’s top scorer Langstaff barely had a kick all game. Jodi Jones, who has created more assists than anyone else in League Two, was kept relatively quiet by the excellent full backs.
This was such an important win for Mansfield. Now we need to build on it against Forest Green next Saturday. Forest Green with a new manager and new signings such as Christian Doidge will be a different proposition to the side that has done so poorly in the first half of the season, but the Stags will look to go there and pick up another win.
DETAILED REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
SAT 03 FEB 2024, LEAGUE TWO
Mansfield Town 1-0 Notts County
Report supplied by PA Media.
Davis Keillor-Dunn's 15th goal of the season proved enough to give Mansfield a narrow derby win over promotion rivals Notts County.
Stags had survived a second-minute let-off when Christy Pym had to block a David McGoldrick finish and Scott Robertson put a follow-up wide.
But after just eight minutes - when Notts failed to clear their lines - former Oldham midfielder Keillor-Dunn curled an unstoppable finish into the top-right corner from the edge of the box.
McGoldrick sent another low effort just wide and the woodwork then saved Stags twice in as many minutes as everyone missed a Jodi Jones cross and it hit the far post.
Moments later, Aden Flint headed an Aaron Nemane corner against the underside of his own crossbar, while Ollie Clarke blazed a good effort just over for the hosts before the break.
Stags had the better second-half openings and Aidan Stone made a good save to keep out a powerful Keillor-Dunn shot after 68 minutes, while - four minutes later - Clarke had a shot tipped over.
Six minutes from time, Stone denied Will Swan with his legs after the young striker broke away down the left.
But Mansfield's early goal was enough as they completed the double over the Magpies to keep the pressure on leaders Stockport
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Notts County
Possession Home 36% Away 64%
Shots Home 13 Away 13
Shots on Target Home 7 Away 1
Corners Home 3 Away 8
Fouls Home 16 Away 6
Davis Keillor-Dunn is Mansfield Town’s derby day hero as Stags complete double over Notts County
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 3 Feb 2024
Davis Keillor-Dunn was the Mansfield Town hero as Stags beat visiting Notts County 1-0 in this afternoon's big local derby against their promotion rivals at the One Call Stadium.
His spectacular eighth minute finish proved the magic, decisive moment in a tight, hotly-contested derby between two of the division's leading promotion-chasers and completed a memorable double for Stags over their rivals this season.
Keillor-Dunn's 15th goal of the season gave Stags the early advantage.
But a compelling first half saw Notts twice rattle the home woodwork and chances at both ends in a full-blooded derby clash.
Mansfield had the better of the second half chances and thoroughly deserved the points in the end.
Mansfield were boosted by the sight of gutsy skipper Aden Flint emerging to play, despite suffering a painful partial shoulder dislocation last weeknd which had seemed sure to sideline him for a few weeks.
Boss Nigel Clough was forced to watch the game from the stands after being handed a one game ban from the FA over remarks made to the referee in last weekend's controversial defeat at AFC Wimbledon with Jordan Bowery and Stephen Quinn both serving suspensions for red cards picked up at the same game.
There was also no sign on the home bench of first team coach Andy Garner, who also faced an FA charge from last weekend.
George Williams finally made a full league debut for Stags at right back.
Notts gave a debut to one of their January signings in Norwich loanee defender Jaden Warner.
Stags had picked up just two points from the four games since their last win on New Year's Day while promotion rivals County had drawn two and lost one of their last three games in which they had conceded 10 goals.
It was new Magpies boss Stuart Maynard's second game in charge after last weekend's opening home draw with rivals Barrow.
Stags had won their previous five home games against Notts stretching back to 2007 and produced a magnificent 4-1 victory at Meadow Lane earlier this season.
Stags survived a torrid moment after only two minutes when Nemane accelerated down the left and put the ball over for a sramble in which Jones' first shot was blocked, Pym saved superbly from McGoldrick and Robertson sent a second follow-up wide.
But Stags were ahead with another fantastic Keillor-Dunn strike on eight minutes.
Swan had a shot blocked, but Notts failed to clear and eventually Keillor-Dunn picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled a magnificent finish into the top right corner - his 15th goal of the campaign.
A short pass from Keillor-Dunn to Reed saw Notts intercept and McGoldrick have a shot blocked on the 15 minute mark.
On 18 minutes McGoldrick turned well and was only inches wide from 20 yards with a low drive.
At the other end Swan's first time flick at goal was blocked from a near post cross from Williams.
County came close again on 28 minutes as Jones whipped in a cross from the right which evaded everyone and came back off the far post.
Two minutes later Flint got a head onto a Nemane corner and it hit the underside of his own crossbar but failed to cross the line as it dropped.
Clarke was too high with his rising 25 yard shot on 38 minutes while Flint headed a Maris free kick straight at Stone on 43 minutes as the action continued to swing from end to end.
But the single Keillor-Dunn goal was all that separated the sides at the break.
Jones was incensed by a challenge from Cargill after a bruising 45 minutes battle between the pair and apprached the officials as the half-time whistle blew and then had an exchange with the home fans too as he left the field.
Akins tried a cheeky long range lob on the restart with Stone off his line but it proved a comfy catch for the keeper.
Then Pym had to punch away a McGoldrick cross at his near post for a corner in case it had crept in.
Jones as proving a handful for Stags and Keillor's Dunn's nudge on him on 50 minutes saw the game's first booking.
Notts survived a big scramble from a Stags corner which Akins was just unable to poke away at the far post, then Pym superbly gathered a dangerous low McGoldrick cross on a Magpies break down the left.
Clarke was booked on 58 minutes for a clumsy challenge on McGoldrick.
Akins then threatened to go clear but went down in the box under the slightest of touches from Cameron when he might have stayed on his feet.
Maris took a knock just after the hour and had to be replaced by Lewis.
Keillor-Dunn bundled a volley wide from an Akins cross after a great run down the left by Swan on 53 minutes.
Another neat home move on 68 minutes saw Keillor-Dunn swap passes with Akins and presented with a great shooting chance that Stone had to parry with Reed's follow-up straight to the keeper.
A poor Lewis pass then set Jones on his way, but his final shot as he got into the box was wild and well over.
On 72 minutes Stone tipped over a powerfui Clarke shot as Stags' hunt for a killer second goal intensified.
Baldwin got in a crucial tackle on Akins as Keillor-Dunn tried to slip him in on goal.
Williams stopped Jones getting away down rthe left on 79 minutes but stayed down after falling awkwardly, being replaced by new boy Nicols for his debut, Akins dropping to right back.
On 84 minutes Swan almost scored aftre being sent away with a ball over the top by Keillor-Dunn but was denied by the legs of Stone.
Flint was booked for tripping McGoldrick as he turned him on 86 minutes, both sides making changes before Mansfield survived a Langstaff flick from 10 yards from the free kick.
The tension levels rose as we entered six added minutes and in the fifth of them Boateng was booked for a late challenge.
But Mansfield hung on and John and Carolyn Radford were presented with the Matt Salmon Trophy at the end, which is always given in this fixture in memory of the clubs’ late physio.
STAGS: Pym, Williams (Nichols 81), Brunt, Flint, Cargill, Reed, Maris (Lewis 61), Clarke (McLaughlin 86), Keillor-Dunn, Swan (Boateng 86), Akins. SUBS NOT USED: Flinders, McLaughlin, Cooper, Abdullah.
NOTTS: Stone, Cameron, Baldwin, Warner, Jones, Nemane, Bostock, Robertson (Austin 86), Crowley, McGoldrick, Langstaff. SUBS NOT USED: Ashby-Hammond, Rawlinson, O'Brien, Randall, Adebayo-Rowling, Macari.
REFEREE: Thomas Kirk.
ATTENDANCE: 8,667 (1,659 away).
Report: Mansfield 1-0 Notts
Narrow defeat at One Call Stadium
Davis Keillor-Dunn's first-half strike was enough to see Mansfield emerge victorious from the Nottinghamshire derby.
In a first half when we had a chance cleared off the line and hit the woodwork twice, it was Keillor-Dunn's excellent 20-yard finish that proved the difference as the Stags held firm from there to claim the points.
Stuart Maynard made one change to the side that played out a 1-1 draw with Barrow in his first game in charge, the injured Richard Brindley making way for debutant Jaden Warner.
That meant Kyle Cameron and Aden Baldwin played alongside the Norwich loanee in front of goalkeeper - and former Stag - Aidan Stone, with John Bostock partnering Scott Robertson once again in central midfield.
Out wide, in-form pair Jodi Jones and Aaron Nemane were tasked with supplying an attacking trio of Dan Crowley, David McGoldrick and Macaulay Langstaff.
Lewis Macari was welcomed back on to the bench following a one-month absence, joining Luca Ashby-Hammond, Connell Rawlinson, Will Randall, Tobi Adebayo, Jim O’Brien and Sam Austin in providing options off the bench.
New signing Charlie Colkett and Alassana Jatta had to wait for their debut, the former having only had one opportunity to train with his new team-mates following his arrival from Crewe and the latter awaiting visa approval for his move from Danish top-flight side Viborg.
Maynard decided to start with Nemane on the left and Jones on the right and it nearly paid dividends inside two minutes as the former raced away and saw his cross reach the latter in the area. Jones’ shot was blocked and it fell nicely for McGoldrick, who had plenty of time to fire the ball goalwards - only to be denied by a sprawling defender on the line.
Six minutes later, we were made to rue that missed chance as we couldn’t get the ball clear on the edge of our own area and saw the ball eventually present itself for Keillor-Dunn to curl it into the top corner from 20 yards.
McGoldrick had a half-chance to equalise on 15 minutes when Keillor-Dunn conceded possession to Crowley, who scampered into the Mansfield half and played it to the forward on his left. His shot was diverted behind by a defender.
Shortly afterwards, McGoldrick had another opportunity as he took Robertson’s pass neatly on the turn and flashed a low, 20-yard effort just wide of the post - rejecting the pass to Crowley, who had made a run into the area to his right.
We continued to look the more likely side to score next and so nearly did on 28 minutes when Jones, still playing down the right, sent a superb cross into the area which just evaded Langstaff and rebounded off the post with Christy Pym stranded.
And, after Langstaff had seen a shot diverted behind by a defender, the woodwork was rattling again as Aden Flint headed Nemane’s corner against his own crossbar - and breathed a sigh of relief as it bounced the ‘wrong’ side of the line.
Flint’s fellow defender, Baldwin, had a nervy moment of his own before the break as his attempted flicked pass to Warner inadvertently sent Will Swan through on goal. Baldwin had the pace to recover, though, ensuring we only had a one-goal deficit to overcome in the second half.
We re-emerged unchanged and McGoldrick wasted no time in pushing for an equaliser, making a brilliant run into the area and seeing his cross-shot pushed behind by Pym at his near post.
Shortly before the hour mark, we survived a goalmouth scramble before seeing Keillor-Dunn scuff a volley wide and have a shot saved by Stone in quick succession.
But we were presented with a huge chance on 69 minutes when substitute Aaron Lewis inadvertently played Jones, now on the left, clear into the channel. The wing back decided to take the shot on from a tight angle and couldn’t keep the ball down, firing it over the bar and taking a late challenge from a defender in the process. The referee was unmoved and a big opportunity was gone.
With time ticking down and the game becoming stretched, we had Baldwin to thank for a crucial challenge on Akins and then Stone for an excellent save from Will Swan with his feet at the near post.
A minute later, big penalty appeals were waved away as Langstaff went down under a challenge in the area.
And that proved to be our final sniff at goal as we left north Nottinghamshire empty-handed.
STARTING XI: Stone; Cameron, Baldwin, Warner; Jones, Nemane; Bostock, Robertson; Crowley, McGoldrick, Langstaff
SUBS: Ashby-Hammond, Rawlinson, Macari, Randall, Adebayo, O’Brien, Austin
ATTENDANCE: 8,667 (1,659)