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Archived News from March 2024

MANSFIELD BOUNCE BACK BY BEATING SWINDON
13th March 2024 18:50


English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 3 - 2 Swindon Town
Akins 4, Keillor-Dunn 51, Swan 67. Glatzel 50, Drinan 59
Attendance: 7,257 (407 from Swindon)

Date: 9 March 2024

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town bounced back from midweek defeat to MK Dons by beating Swindon Town 3-2 at the One Call Stadium yesterday. Mansfield started off with a blistering opening 20 minutes during which the game should have been over. But only one goal came, from Lucas Akins, in a period which Swindon interim manager Gavin Gunning called “carnage”. Having stayed just one goal adrift, Swindon grew in confidence and equalised twice in the second half, but both times Mansfield regained the lead, first through Davis Keillor-Dunn, and then through Will Swan, to claim the three points.

The win took Mansfield’s run to 6 wins from 8 games, and kept the Stags top of the table with 10 games to go, 3 points clear of Stockport and Wrexham (Stockport have a game in hand), and 5 points clear of 4th placed MK Dons (who have played a game more). 5th placed Crewe are 8 points behind the Stags. I still think 84 points might well be needed for a top 3 spot. That’s 15 more points from 10 games.
I said a long time ago that I didn’t think Crewe and Barrow would stay the pace, and I still don’t think they will. But I think MK Dons are a massive threat to the top three and it looks to me like three from four to go up automatically.

The Stags are the top scorers in the league, with 72, 3 more than Notts County. The Stags have also conceded the fewest goals, 33, 4 fewer than Stockport.

As expected, Nigel Clough rotated his side again in the middle of a 5 game run in two weeks. Williams came in for Bowery at right back, Boateng replaced Lewis, Nichols came in for Swan up front.
Maris and Clarke remained on the bench. I thought Maris might start, having not started on Tuesday, but it is difficult to oust Keillor-Dunn from the attacking midfield position where he has been so deadly in home matches. Clarke I think was being saved for starting at Tranmere on Tuesday where we want him to put a foot in.

Reed was playing against his former club.

Speaking of Reed, he was the only Stags player going into this game in danger of a two game suspension for picking up 10 yellow cards by the end of the 37th league game. He wasn’t booked, so no Stags player will be suspended for accumulation of yellow cards (details of all bookings this season, and the rules on suspension are at the bottom of the report).

Clough was named League Two manager of the month for February during the week, Mansfield’s first manager of the month award in the EFL since Keith Curle in November 2003. In typical modest Clough fashion, he batted away the praise and instead focused in the announcement on the great news that Hewitt is returning to fitness after a long injury lay-off (as always, the latest injury news is at the bottom of the report).

Swindon arrived in 17th place, 10 points behind the play-offs and 17 points above the relegation zone. No chance of going up or down. But they had drawn with Stockport and Gillingham recently, and are one of the top scorers in League Two. They had of course inflicted Mansfield’s first defeat of the season in late November. However the two players who propped up their first half of the season, Jake Young and Dan Kemp, both on loan, had both returned to their parent clubs in January.

The first 20 minutes saw the Stags play some fabulous football and the game should have been over.

After 3 minutes, Cargill crossed from the left, it reached Boateng unmarked, 8 yards from goal, and Boateng fired over the bar. All 4 of Boateng’s goals in the recent home games have come with his left foot. This was a right foot shot. It was a glorious chance, more or less a sitter really.

But within seconds the Stags made it 1-0. Reed played the ball forward to Nichols. Nichols laid off to Keillor-Dunn, who took a couple of touches and slid a fabulous ball into the path of Akins. Akins didn’t even need to take a touch as he side-footed a right footed finish into the bottom left corner of the net from 15 yards. A clinical finish from Akins, his 13th goal of the season, and 4th in the last 4 home games. A fabulous assist from Keillor-Dunn, his 12th assist of the season. A good lay-off from Nichols too.

Just as he did after the first goal in the 9-2 win over Harrogate, Akins picked the ball out of the net and took it back to the centre spot to get on with the game.

It was nearly 2-0 after 9 minutes. Cargill played inside to Keillor-Dunn 30 yards from goal. Keillor-Dunn took a couple of touches before curling a very good shot goalwards and was denied a goal by a magnificent save from keeper Jack Bycroft, one handed at full stretch to his left.

A minute later, Brunt curled a shot just wide of the right post from 18 yards.

The Stags hit the post after 13 minutes. Akins fed Quinn on the left touchline. Quinn got into the area and pulled the ball across to the near post where Akins had steamed forward to meet it and turn it against the left post and behind for a goal kick.

The Stags were agonisingly close to scoring after 23 minutes. Cargill fed the overlapping Quinn on the left, Quinn got to the byline, pulled the ball back, it deflected off Frazer Blake-Tracy to Keillor-Dunn who fired goalwards. It was going in, but deflected up and over the bar off Blake-Tracy.

A chance for Nichols after 36 minutes. Boateng did well to turn away from his man 35 yards from goal. He slid a pass forward to Akins, back to goal just outside the area. Akins dummied it cleverly so the pass reached Nichols just inside the area. Nichols brilliantly turned away from Tom Brewitt to give him a chance to shoot from 16 yards, but he sent his left footed shot straight into the keeper’s midriff.

1-0 at half time. A glut of glorious chances for Mansfield and the Stags should have been three goals ahead and the game put to bed. Swindon’s defending was poor but Mansfield’s football was excellent, apart from the finishing.

Swindon had two chances to score in the last ten minutes of the first half. After 35 minutes, Blake-Tracy crossed from the left and Charlie Austin headed over the angle of bar and post. Then after 45+2 minutes, Austin crossed and Paul Glatzel turned and his shot deflected off Brunt for a corner.

The fact that Mansfield weren’t out of sight would have given Swindon confidence.

And at the start of the second half, they starting attacking with purpose.

After 47 minutes, Reed gave the ball away in the Swindon half, Godwin-Malife went on a terrific run all the way into the area and Reed’s blushes were spared by a great block from Brunt on Godwin-Malife’s cross. From the resulting corner from the left, Aaron Drinan headed down and Pym clawed it away on his line, it hit Blake-Tracy and rolled back to Pym on the ground on the line. Really good save from Pym.

Swindon made it 1-1 after 50 minutes. Zack Elbouzedi, Swindon’s right wing-back, who looked dangerous all game going forward, got past Cargill to the byline on the right. He pulled the ball back. It was cleared by Reed, but Elbouzedi got to it first just nicking it away before Quinn could clear. Elbouzedi fed the ball to Saidou Khan 20 yards from goal. Khan’s shot hit Brunt and fell kindly for Glatzel to fire a shot into the ground and it bounced up and over Pym into the roof of the net from 7 yards.

A real sucker punch for the Stags who were punished for not putting the game to bed.

And, as if spurred into action, within 16 seconds of the restart, the Stags were back in front. Cargill did well to step past Drinan and into the Swindon half. He passed the ball forward to Nichols on the left. Nichols slipped a lovely ball forward for Keillor-Dunn to run on to in the area on the left. Keillor-Dunn stepped inside Brewitt and fired a great shot across the keeper into the net from 15 yards. A wonderful finish from Keillor-Dunn, his 18th goal of the season, and so many of them have been glorious like this one.

Incidentally this is not the quickest Stags goal from a kick-off/restart. That was Dave Caldwell, 11 seconds vs Rotherham in 1984 (see club records).

Unbelievably, within 20 seconds of the restart again, the Stags hit the post. Quinn slipped the ball forward for Akins in the area and from 12 yards, Akins shot left footed towards the bottom right corner of the net, the keeper stretched to get a fingertip on it and turn it onto the post. Great effort from Akins and a top save too. The second time in the match Akins had hit the post. By the way, as he shot, Akins’ heel was clipped by Brewitt from behind and Akins complained to the referee it should have been a penalty.

Swindon equalised again after 59 minutes to make it 2-2. As the Stags attacked, a cross from Akins was behind everyone allowing Godwin-Malife to break for Swindon. Godwin-Malife played to Glatzel who found Drinan who surged into the area, but Brunt put in a great block. The ball ran free to Elbouzedi on the right, Elbouzedi crossed in and Drinan got between Cargill and Flint to head unchallenged into the net from 8 yards. For some reason, Cargill didn’t jump to try and head it away and I think must take some responsibility for the goal.

The Stags had been pegged back for a second time and with Swindon now attacking with confidence it was anyone’s game.

Mansfield made a triple substitution after 66 minutes and it was pay immediate dividends. Swan replaced Nichols, Clarke for Quinn, Maris for Boateng.

After 67 minutes, it was 3-2 and all 3 subs were involved in the goal. Reed nicked the ball off Glatzel on the halfway line. After a one-two with Keillor-Dunn, Reed found Maris. Maris turned on the edge of the centre circle, and squared to Clarke on the left. Clarke headed for the byline and created a yard of space for a left footed cross into the six yard box where Swan got away from his markers Blake-Tracy and McCarthy to head into the right corner of the net from 3 yards. Swan’s first touch since coming on. His 6th goal in his last 8 games, and his 8th goal of the season. A great return to form. And what a cross from Clarke, one of the best crosses of the season. Clarke’s 6th assist of the season.

Swindon had a chance to equalise for a third time after 79 minutes. Drinan broke down the right and pulled the ball across to sub Rushian Hepburn-Murphy who had a free shot unmarked from 12 yards. Thankfully for Mansfield, he put his shot over the bar. It was a sitter and the Stags got away with that one.

Swindon were getting too much joy down the right, so Clough brought on Bowery for Keillor-Dunn after 81 minutes. Bowery went to left wing-back, Williams to right wing-back, with Brunt (right), Flint, Cargill (left) as three centre halves. It worked as the Stags looked a lot more secure after that.

The Stags had three really good chances to seal the win.
After 83 minutes, Clarke played to Akins on the edge of the area, back to goal. Akins turned and his shot was deflected up to Swan who guided a header towards the roof of the net and the keeper leapt in the air to tip it over the bar.
After 85 minutes, a Maris corner from the right was headed on by Cargill, to give Flint a free shot at the far post, but Flint smashed a powerful shot inches over the bar from 7 yards, having escaped from his marker.
After 90+1 minutes, a great break from the Stags. Clarke found Akins in the area on the left. Akins got to the byline and pulled back for Maris, unmarked 8 yards from goal, with the keeper out of position and one defender on the line. Maris had time to take a touch and bury it, but he shot first time, without power, and the only defender on the line, Brewitt, cleared it away. Another sitter gone begging.

Eight minutes of stoppage time was added on, at least two too many in my opinion. The Stags survived, as Austin sent a tame header straight at Pym from an Elbouzedi cross after 90+3, and then from a 70 yard free kick into the box after 90+7, Elbouzedi lifted a shot high over the bar.

A win for the Stags, which should have been sealed in the opening half, and in the end, Swindon could have nicked a draw. It was fabulous entertainment, a great game of football, some wonderful attacking, especially from Mansfield, plenty of not so good defending, especially from Swindon, but it was all about getting the three points for Mansfield. Swindon have basically nothing to play for and could afford to throw caution to the wind in the second half, having still been in the game at the break.

The next game is away to Tranmere on Tuesday night. If you’re not travelling to Tranmere, you can watch the game with us on iFollow Stags by buying a match pass.

DETAILED REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE

------------------------

SAT 09 MAR 2024, LEAGUE TWO
Mansfield Town 3-2 Swindon Town
Akins (4'minutes), Keillor-Dunn (51'minutes), Swan (68'minutes)
Glatzel (50'minutes), Drinan (59'minutes)
Assists
Keillor-Dunn (4'minutes), Nichols (51'minutes), O Clarke (68'minutes)
Elbouzedi (59'minutes)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/68454967
Match report supplied by PA Media.

League Two leaders Mansfield boosted their promotion hopes with a battling win over Swindon at One Call Stadium.

The Stags, looking for an immediate response to their midweek home defeat by MK Dons, hit the front early through Lucas Akins and looked in control at the break.

However, Swindon drew level at 2-2 before the hour mark thanks to goals from Paul Glatzel and Aaron Drinan either side of a Davis Keillor-Dunn strike.

But Stags substitute Will Swan's header moments after entering the pitch in the 65th minute wrapped up a crucial win for Mansfield.

Hiram Boateng fired a good chance over for Stags inside the first four minutes but Akins made no mistake seconds later when he slotted home after a perfect pass from Keillor-Dunn.

Swindon goalkeeper Jack Bycroft tipped away Keillor-Dunn's long-range curler, before Akins clipped the post in the 13th minute as Mansfield looked to build on their early advantage.

But there were no more goals in the first half and Glatzel levelled for the visitors after Mansfield failed to clear their lines.

The Stags regained the lead a minute later when Keillor-Dunn emphatically smashed home after a quick break but Swindon equalised a second time when Drinan got on the end of a Zachary Elbouzedi cross.

Mansfield would not be denied though, and Swan headed home Ollie Clarke's cross three minutes after coming on to secure the points.


Match Stats
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Swindon
Possession Home 50% Away 50%
Shots Home 22 Away 20
Shots on Target Home 10 Away 8
Corners Home 6 Away 3
Fouls Home 9 Away8

---------------------------

Mansfield Town boost promotion hopes after a battling win over Swindon Town
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Sat 9 Mar 2024

Stags boosted their title hopes after a battling 3-2 win at home to Swindon Town.

Mansfield hit the front early through Lucas Akins and looked in control at the break.

Goals from Paul Glatzel and Aaron Drinan either side of a Davis Keillor-Dunn strike ave the visitors hope.

But sub Will Swan wrapped up a crucial win for Mansfield after heading home moments after entering the pitch.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-boost-promotion-hopes-after-a-battling-win-over-swindon-town-4549246

It wasn’t vintage Stags as they failed to make the most of a fast start to the game, before a sluggish start to the second half left them with work to do.

But Mansfield showed the mark of a title-winning team by answering the questions when challenged and re-asserting their authority.

Hiram Boateng fired a good chance over for Mansfield inside the first three minutes.

But Lucas Akins made no mistake seconds later when he slotted home after a perfect pass from Davis Keillor-Dunn.

Jack Bycroft kept out Keillor-Dunn’s long-range curler with a fine flying save as Stags pushed for another.

Akins clipped the outside of the post on 13 minutes, before Charlie Austin fluffed a dangerous free-kick for the visitors.

Keillor-Dunn had a goal-bound shot blocked for a corner midway through the half as the hosts continued to look dangerous.

Paul Glatzel and Tom Nichols saw shots saved at either end during a quiet end to the first half.

Christy Pym palmed away Aaron Drinan’s header following a Swindon corner just after the restart.

Glatzel levelled for the visitors on 50 minutes after Stags failed to clear their lines.

But the lead lasted just seconds after Keillor-Dunn cut inside following a break to emphatically smash home.

Aaron Drinan found space to head home Zachary Elbouzedi cross on 59 minutes.

Charlie Austin drilled an effort into the side-netting as the visitors grew in confidence.

Stags hit the front once again when Will Swan headed home Ollie Clarke’s cross three minutes after coming on.

Aden Flint blazed over with five minutes to go as Mansfield looked to make the game safe.

George Maris saw a shot cleared off the line by Tom Brewitt as Stags safely negotiated eight minutes of stoppage time.

Stags: Pym, Williams, Flint, Brunt, Cargill, Boateng (Maris 65), Reed, Keillor-Dunn (Bowery 80), Quinn (O. Clarke 66), Nichols (Swan 65). Akins.

Subs: McLaughlin, Flinders. Lewis.

Swindon Town: Bycroft, Godwin-Malife, McCarthy, Brewitt, Blake-Tracy, Khan, Elbouzedi, Devoy, Glatzel (Hepburn-Murphy,77), Austin, Drinan

Substitutes:McEachran, McGurk, Cain, Kokolo, Brann. Aguiar

Ref: David Rock.

---------------------------

Swindon Town lose five-goal thriller at Mansfield Town
swindonadvertiser.co.uk, By Joe Acklam @acklamjoe, Sat 9 Mar 2024

Swindon Town eventually came away with nothing as they were defeated 3-2 in a five-goal thriller away against table-toppers Mansfield Town.

The first half was largely one-way traffic for the hosts as they repeatedly carved Swindon open after Lucas Akins fired home inside five minutes.

A wild second half saw goals from Paul Glatzel and Aaron Drinan for Town, but Davis Keillor-Dunn and Will Swan both found the net to keep the three points in Nottinghamshire.

Swindon are still awaiting their first away win of 2024 and they remain in 18th and on course for their lowest-ever league finish.

https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/sport/24174329.swindon-town-lose-five-goal-thriller-mansfield-town/

Gavin Gunning switched his formation to a back three for the first time since he took interim charge, with Tom Brewitt coming into the side. Zac Elbouzedi was brought in as a right wing-back, with Paul Glatzel playing off of Aaron Drinan and Charlie Austin.

The hosts made a quick start and could have taken the lead after four minutes when Keillor-Dunn picked up the ball on the edge of the area and crossed low. The ball went under Conor McCarthy’s foot and into Hiram Boateng, but he struck over the top.

A minute later, the league leaders were not so forgiving. Keillor-Dunn picked up a pocket of space just inside the Swindon half and played Akins through on goal, he steadied himself and drilled a shot low into the bottom corner.

Mansfield were keen to press home their advantage and Aden Flint beat Austin in the air to keep an attack going. Keillor-Dunn was again in acres of space on the edge of the area and curled a shot toward the corner, but Jack Bycroft flung himself across to tip it beyond the post.

Elbouzedi was caught well out of position after 13 minutes as Stephen Quinn got free down the left-hand side. He played a low ball towards the near post where Akins arrived and sent an effort narrowly wide. Swindon were still on the bus.

Following 15 of the most abject minutes of the season, Swindon began to find a semblance of a foothold in the game once Mansfield dropped their early intensity, as they had at the County Ground in November. Glatzel was desperately close to finding a Town player from a pullback and Elbouzedi’s cross went narrowly over the head of Drinan.

But the Stags were still creating chances with ease as Quinn was again left free on the left. His low ball toward Akins was deflected into the path of Keillor-Dunn, but he got under the ball and fired over the top.

Frazer Blake-Tracy drove forward from the back unchallenged. He spotted Austin in the middle and floated a ball perfectly onto his head, but he could not keep it down and the ball went onto the roof of the net.

A minute later Tom Nichols managed to squirm his way beyond McCarthy and into a shooting position, but his effort went straight down the throat of Bycroft.

In first-half stoppage time, Godwin-Malife clipped a ball in behind for Elbouzedi to chase after. He kept the ball in play and got it back to Austin, who fired into the path of Glatzel in the middle, he had a go on the spin and it deflected behind for a corner.

Two minutes into the second half Swindon won a corner after a great run from Godwin-Malife. Drinan rose highest in the middle and forced Christy Pym to palm his shot away.

Then all of a sudden, they were level as Saidou Khan’s effort created pinball in the area and the ball eventually fell for Glatzel. He fired a shot fiercely into the roof of the net to level.

Swindon were not able to celebrate for long as Mansfield went straight up the other end and Keillor-Dunn sent an effort curling far into the top corner to see the hosts retake the lead just a minute after losing it.

A frantic second half continued as right before the hour mark, after just having a shot blocked Drinan scored his first goal for the club. Elbouzedi kept the ball in play on the right and the striker was on hand to head Swindon back level.

The second goal finally gave Swindon some belief in themselves, and Mansfield were wobbling. They surged forward and Glatzel received the ball on the top of the box, drawing a strong save out of Pym.

But a triple change from Nigel Clough after 65 minutes saw the momentum swing right back in the other direction as one sub in Ollie Clarke crossed onto the head of another in Swan two minutes after coming on to head the Stags back into the lead.

Swindon had a big chance to earn a point as Drinan raced away on the counterattack and found Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, but he spooned his shot over the crossbar.

MTFC starting XI: Pym, Cargill, Akins, Flint, Quinn, Nichols, Williams, Brunt, Reed, Keillor-Dunn, Boateng.

MTFC substitutes: Flinders, McLaughlin, Clarke, Bowery, Maris, Lewis, Swan.

STFC starting XI: Bycroft, Blake-Tracy, Elbouzedi, Glatzel, Brewitt, Devoy, Godwin-Malife, Drinan, McCarthy, Austin.

STFC substitutes: Brann, McEachran, Hepburn-Murphy, McGurk, Cain, Kokolo, Aguiar.

Attendance: 7,257 (407 away).

---------------------------

PLAYER RATINGS
Swindon Town players rated after defeat to Mansfield Town
swindonadvertiser.co.uk, By Joe Acklam @acklamjoe, Sat 9 Mar 2024

Swindon Town were narrowly edged out by Mansfield Town after a ding-dong 3-2 clash in League Two.

Lucas Akins gave Mansfield the lead after a dominant first half for the hosts, but Paul Glatzel and Aaron Drinan both scored to level the game with Davis Keillor-Dunn and Will Swan putting Mansfield back into the lead.

So, how did the players fare as individuals at the One Call Stadium?

https://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/sport/swindontown/standpoint/24174737.swindon-town-players-rated-defeat-mansfield-town/

GK: Jack Bycroft - 6

Three goals that did very little to demonstrate another display in which Bycroft pulled off a string of wonder saves as Swindon went back to neglecting to defend. I thought his kicking was a little bit off, but he was being asked to play into very tight windows.

RCB: Tom Brewitt - 3

This might not be the most important thing, but his attempt at a long throw that barely made it two yards and then followed by his throwing the ball straight out was a tough watch. He was given the chance to come back in and he struggled massively trying to defend space as Mansfield ran riot.

CB: Conor McCarthy - 4

A rare display in which he looked shaky, with the ball squirming under his foot early on and as a trio Swindon didn’t seem to know where Lucas Akins was at any point. He had stretches where he was looking like himself, but there were just too many errors.

LCB: Frazer Blake-Tracy - 4

He made one really strong drive into midfield to create Swindon’s only good chance in the first half for Charlie Austin, but this was the only time he made use of that space. Then, much like the other defenders, he was culpable for a plethora of errors that cost Town big.

RWB: Zac Elbouzedi - 7

Defensively, especially in the first half, he looked very much like a player who had never played as a wing back before, Stephen Quinn greatly enjoyed making runs into his space when Elbouzedi was nowhere to be seen. But he recovered and was a real threat when Town sorted themselves out, he can be very inconsistent but he was certainly on and his assist for Drinan was exactly what you want from him.

CM: Saidou Khan - 2

As the normal holding midfielder, you would expect him to be at least partially responsible for Keillor-Dunn, but he was allowed the freedom to do whatever he liked. Khan and Swindon were overrun in midfield for much of the game and he offered very little throughout.

CM: Dawson Devoy - 3

Devoy was also part of the midfield that struggled greatly to compete with Mansfield. He was never really able to get on the ball and do his thing. Teams like Mansfield and MK Dons are the bar for League Two midfields and both times Swindon looked way off them.

LWB: Udoka Godwin-Malife - 6

During a very poor first half, Godwin-Malife was one of the few bright spots as his surging runs were able to get Swindon up the pitch. As the game became increasingly stretched he had space to move into and was a very useful outlet.

CAM: Paul Glatzel - 7

That goal will be big for him as he has been cruelly denied a lot of late. He was the other player who stood up to be counted in the first half and whilst not everything he tried came off, he was a positive force. He was picking up space and making things happen throughout as he continued to show himself as someone to build around for next year.

ST: Aaron Drinan - 7

Another player who you felt needed that boost of the ball hitting the back of the net. Even before that, he was a nuisance as a physical presence, but after that, he grew and made a great run to set up what should have been the equaliser.

ST: Charlie Austin - 3

I have always felt that Austin’s aerial ability inside and outside the box varies massively and this game was a good example of that. He was winning absolutely nothing in the first half and was a complete non-factor. In the second half when he could get the ball to his feet he improved a bit, but he was not really involved.

Substitutes:

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy - 4

The duality of Hepburn-Murphy summed up in one moment as he made a great run on the counter, received a pass from Drinan and then spooned it over the bar. This was his big chance to be the hero, but he failed to be cool in the when it arrived.

------------------------

Mansfield Town 3-2 Swindon Town
Swindon unfortunate to come away with nothing following a spirited second half showing

swindontownfc.co.uk, by Henry Port at One Call Stadium

https://www.swindontownfc.co.uk/news/2024/march/mansfield-town-v-swindon-town/

Swindon Town fell to a 3-2 away defeat to league leaders Mansfield Town, despite coming back from behind twice before a late winner for the Stags saw them come away with the three points.

Lucas Akins opened the scoring with an early finish for Mansfield in the first 45, before Paul Glatzel equalised four minutes into the second half.

Much to Swindon Town's frustration, Mansfield's Davis Keillor-Dunn put the home side back in front shortly after with a well-taken finish.

Swindon responded again with a glanced header from Aaron Drinan that saw him score his first goal for the club as the home side took the lead frustratingly took a lead for a third time through recent substitute Will Swan.

Town made four changes to the starting XI which drew at home against Harrogate last time out, with Gavin Gunning looking to bring a fresh look to the Swindon side away to the league leaders.

It was a challenging opening for Swindon, with Lucas Akins giving the Stags the lead after just four minutes into the game.

Mansfield continued their strong start with Jack Bycroft forced into action to deny Davis Keillor-Dunn following his 25-yard effort on goal in the ninth minute.

Swindon started to create opportunities just past the 15-minute mark, and after seeing a Charlie Austin chance blocked by the Mansfield wall, Town began to find more openings fall their way as the first half progressed.

Paul Glatzel was next up to shoot for Swindon in the 35th minute, but unfortunately saw his low drive held by Mansfield's Christy Pym, but Town's best opportunity fell the way of captain Charlie Austin a minute later.

Frazer Blake-Tracy whipped in a clever cross for the centre-forward to glance a headed effort onto, but unfortunately saw his effort whistle just over the Mansfield crossbar.

One final chance came for Swindon to equalise before the break, but after Paul Glatzel's clever spin and volley was deflected behind for a late corner, the referee called play back with the ball loose in the Stags' penalty area, before calling time on the first half and leaving Swindon looking to respond in the second 45.

Half-time: Mansfield 1 Swindon 0

Initially, it was a promising start from Swindon in the second half, with a downward header from Aaron Drinan testing Mansfield's keeper in the 47th minute.

But, very soon after Town had their equaliser and it was a well-deserved goal from Paul Glatzel that got Swindon back on level terms two minutes after Drinan's opportunity.

Having started the move, the forward was quickest to react to Christy Pym's parry to acrobatically finish and bring Swindon back to a goal apiece.

But Mansfield restored their lead a minute later, with a whipped finish from top scorer David Keillor-Dunn giving the home side the lead once again just five minutes into the second half.

Swindon fought back once again and after impressive wide play from Zach Elbouzedi, found themselves back level again for the second time with Aaron Drinan's first goal in Swindon Town colours.

Elbouzedi showed great pace to get down the right-hand byline, before the Irishman crossed for his fellow countryman, with Drinan able to leap highest and glance a well-placed header into the bottom left corner, to make it 2-2 in what was a frantic first 15 minutes of the second half.

Swindon began to find their rhythm and had chances following this second goal to take the lead for the first time, with Drinan, Austin and Glatzel all looking to fire goalwards, but a mixture of good defending from Mansfield, an unfortunate side netting effort and a low effort held by the home side's keeper, the scores remained level.

The Stags brought on Will Swan and unfortunately saw him prove his worth off the bench by heading home Mansfield's third goal with a close-range header that saw the 23-year-old give his side the lead for the third time in the game.

Swindon pushed late on for their own third goal of the game, and when substitute Rushian Hepburn-Murphy was unable to guide his effort goalwards in the Mansfield penalty area in the 79th minute, Town was left throwing everyone forwards to try and find that late equaliser.

One more final chance came for Swindon when Zach Elbouzedi was unable to guide his volley goalwards in the seventh minute of eight minutes added time, ending Town's chance of finding a third goal and saw them, unfortunately, leaving Nottinghamshire with nothing despite a spirited second half showing.

After this result, Swindon now returns to Wiltshire for the first of two home games next week, with Accrington on Tuesday night before hosting Doncaster Rovers next Saturday.

Mansfield Town: Pym, Cargill, Akins, Flint (C), Quinn (Maris 66), Nichols (Swan 66), Williams, Brunt, Reed, Keillor-Dunn (Bowery 81), Boateng (Clarke 66)
Goals: Akins 4, Keillor-Dunn 50, Swan 68
Subs not used: Flinders, McLaughlin, Lewis

Swindon Town: Bycroft, Blake-Tracy, Elbouzedi, Khan, Glatzel (Hepburn-Murphy 77), Brewitt, Devoy, Godwin-Malife, Drinan, McCarthy, Austin (C)
Goals: Glatzel 47, Drinan 59
Subs not used: Brann, McEachran, McGurk, Cain, Kokolo, Aguiar

Referee: David Rock

Attendance: 7,257 (407 away fans)

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Latest | March 2024