STAGS BEATEN IN TIGHT GAME AT SWINDON
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Swindon Town 1 - 0 Mansfield Town
Matt Taylor 39
Attendance: 6031 (number to be confirmed from Mansfield)
Date: 10 February 2018
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the County Ground
Since losing to Swindon at the One Call Stadium in October, Mansfield had lost just one game in the next 18 league games. But Swindon completed the double over the Stags here today thanks to a single goal from the outstanding Matt Taylor, Swindon’s left wing back, who was the difference between the sides. Matt Taylor’s powerful low shot on 39 minutes from two yards inside the box, to the left of centre, beat Conrad Logan at his near post and nestled in the net. A rare mistake from Logan, but high quality from Taylor. Mansfield didn’t have quite enough quality in the final third to force a goal despite having lots of possession. But there were several near misses. Kane Hemmings should have scored on 14 minutes with a lob over the keeper and over the bar, Will Atkinson was just a couple of inches wide with a header on 23 minutes. In the second half, despite lots of possession, clearcut chances were few and far between, with Mal Benning’s goalbound shot from 12 yards blocked for a corner and Danny Rose’s acrobatic shot just over the bar from 12 yards. Swindon had other chances too, Conrad Logan made a fine save tipping over from Keshi Anderson on 28 minutes, then Logan made an even better save on 50 minutes, somehow blocking with his legs from a point blank range shot from Marc Richards (UPDATE: the offside flag was already up for this chance). And Rhys Bennett produced a fine goalline clearance on 72 minutes, heading off the line from Keshi Anderson’s header. So a rare defeat for the Stags and a big disappointment for the large following who got behind their team so well throughout the game. Arguably Mansfield deserved a point, but just didn’t quite have the quality to earn it. Mansfield aren’t used to defeat and it doesn’t taste nice. The Stags are three points behind third place and three points above 8th place. Newport come to the One Call Stadium on Tuesday. Expect another tight game, but hopefully the Stags will have enough quality to force victory and keep on pushing towards automatic promotion.
This was Mansfield’s first visit to the County Ground for 11 years, a year before relegation to the Conference.
Swindon’s season had been characterised by superb away form, and indifferent home form. However they had won their last 3 home games, whilst not winning their last two away games.
Mansfield were unchanged from the side that beat Barnet. The bench was also unchanged. Steve Evans usually asks me to name the team for a bit of fun. Today I was still busy trying to set up the commentary kit after a few technical issues, so I asked my co-commentator Dean to tell Steve that I thought it would be completely unchanged. I gather there was much laughter as Steve Evans said I was right, and he would have to mix things up on Tuesday to catch me out :-)
It was a wet and miserable day in Wiltshire, though the rain stopped before kick-off. The pitch was fine despite all the rain.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Swindon 1-0 Mansfield
chad.co.uk report, by Agency, Saturday 10 February 2018
Mansfield Town saw their nine-match unbeaten run in League Two come to an end after a narrow 1-0 defeat at promotion rivals Swindon. Matt Taylor scored the winner for the home side six minutes before half-time but Mansfield had plenty of opportunities to take something away from the County Ground. Steve Evans had named an unchanged line-up following the Stags’ 3-1 win at home to Barnet last weekend and they had a good chance to open the scoring 15 minutes in. Conrad Logan’s goal-kick evaded everyone and fell into the path of Kane Hemmings but the striker’s attempted lob over Swindon stopper Reice Charles-Cook dipped over the bar. Mal Benning put in a dangerous cross from the left that was met by Will Atkinson but his header flew wide of the far post and Logan kept the scores level when he pushed Keshi Anderson’s goal-bound effort over the bar. Hemmings again found himself beyond the Swindon defenc, but he smashed his shot straight at Charles-Cook, who pushed it away from danger. The home side then took the lead in the 39th minute when Anderson broke with the ball and burst past two Stags defenders before passing to Timi Elsnik, who flicked it on to Taylor, and the midfielder composed himself before firing past Logan. Substitute Matt Penney made a darting run down the left but his shot went wide as the Stags struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the second half. The Robins nearly doubled their lead when Anderson got his head on a cross but Rhys Bennett hooked his effort off the line. Mansfield did almost equalise spectacularly five minutes from time through top scorer Danny Rose, only for his scissor-kick volley to fly over the crossbar. Defeat was just the Stags’ second in 19 matches in the league but they now drop to sixth in the table and are three points off the automatic promotion places.
Referee: Kevin Friend
Swindon: (3-5-2): Charles-Cook, Purkiss, Preston, Menayese, Knoyle, Elsnik, Banks, Anderson (Mullin 90), Taylor, Norris, Richards. Subs not used: Robertson, Dunne, Iandolo, Woolery, Romanski, Moore.
Mansfield: (4-4-2): Logan, Anderson, Pearce, Bennett, Benning, MacDonald, Atkinson, Byrom (Miller 59), Hamilton (Penney 68), Hemmings (Potter 82), Rose. Subs not used: Digby, Olejnik, Spencer, King.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/match-report-swindon-1-0-mansfield-1-9011456
FULL-TIME REPORT: Swindon Town 1 Mansfield Town 0
gazetteandherald.co.uk, by Harry Abbott @harryabbott
MATT Taylor’s first-half strike secured Swindon Town a fourth home win in a row in League Two as they saw off play-off rivals Mansfield Town this afternoon.
Taylor finished off a fine Swindon counter attack six minutes before half-time at the Energy Check County Ground and capped an excellent performance from David Flitcroft’s side.
The result sees Swindon leapfrog the Stags in the table and they are now up to fifth place, just two points outside the automatic promotion places.
Town were the first to threaten and had a sight of the Mansfield goal in the opening minute. Luke Norris fed Taylor on the left and the striker was then the man to meet the low ball back into the box but his effort under pressure sailed well over the top.
It did not take the Stags long to muster up their first effort, although home keeper Reice Charles-Cook was in little danger as he easily gathered Danny Rose’s scuffed strike on the turn after an Alex MacDonald free-kick was only half-cleared.
The home fans and players were appealing for a penalty after nine minutes when Marc Richards went down in the box under pressure from Rhys Bennett but referee Kevin Friend waved away the claims.
Ollie Banks then saw a strike from distance fly well wide before Swindon were given a let off after 14 minutes as the Stags went closest to breaking the deadlock.
Kane Hemmings raced onto a long clearance from the back and although he was able to lift the ball over the advancing Charles-Cook, he could not keep his effort the right side of the crossbar.
Chances continued to come at either end and Timi Elsnik flashed an effort into the side netting after exchanging passes with Taylor before Will Atkinson looped a header narrowly wide of the Swindon goal after flicking his head at a CJ Hamilton cross.
A superb run up the left by Keshi Anderson afforded him the best chance of the opening half-hour as he let fly from the edge of the box, with Mansfield stopper Conrad Logan pulling off a fine save to tip it over the bar.
Richards then pounced on a poor defensive header to lash a fine first-time effort from 30 yards just wide before Charles-Cook stayed big at the other end to thwart Hemmings after the home defence were caught out by a quick throw.
That led to spell of pressure from Mansfield but it only resulted in Swindon breaking the deadlock with a superb goal on the counter attack six minutes before the interval.
A Stags attack broke down midway inside Swindon territory and Anderson drove forward 50 yards before offloading to Elsnik and his perfectly-weighted pass picked out the run of Taylor, who beat Logan with a crisp low strike from the edge of the box.
The home side went close to a second before the break with another spectacular effort, with Banks lashing into the side netting from 25 yards after an attack was only half cleared, but Swindon were content to head back into the changing rooms a goal to the good.
Mansfield’s Logan was the first of the goalkeepers called into action after the restart, first making a wonderful point-blank save from Richards - although the offside flag was up anyway - before then safely gathering a 20-yard strike from Elsnik.
After a frantic first half, quality chances began to dry up - that was until the 72nd minute when only a goalline clearance denied the hosts a second goal.
Kyle Knoyle’s looped ball from the right was met by the head of Anderson but with Logan beaten, Bennett positioned himself perfectly to hook away the danger.
Logan was then called into action again shortly afterwards as Richards rose highest to meet another Knoyle cross but the header was straight at the Stags stopper.
Having offered little attacking threat in the second half, Stags top scorer Danny Rose had a sniff of an equaliser with five minutes to play when he pounced as the ball pinged around the Swindon box but he could not keep his effort down.
That was as close the visitors came to share of the points as although they pumped balls into the box in the dying stages, the Swindon defence stood firm to secure a deserved victory.
SWINDON TOWN: Charles-Cook; Purkiss, Preston, Menayese; Knoyle, Banks, Elsnik, Anderson (Mullin 90+2), Taylor; Norris, Richards (capt). Subs not used: Moore, Romanski, Robertson, Iandolo, Dunne, Woolery.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Logan; Anderson, Pearce (capt), Bennett, Benning; MacDonald, Atkinson, Byrom (Miller 60), Hamilton (Penney 68); Rose, Hemmings (Potter 82). Subs not used: Olejnik, Digby, Spencer, King.
Referee: Kevin Friend
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