ATROCIOUS STAGS WELL BEATEN AT FOREST GREEN
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Forest Green Rovers 2 - 0 Mansfield Town
Reid 54, Grubb 78. Pearce sent off 84
Attendance: 2828 (430 from Mansfield)
Date: 24 March 2018
Martin Shaw at the New Lawn
Mansfield Town put in an atrocious performance at lowly Forest Green Rovers to be soundly beaten 2-0 in a game that the Stags needed to win to get back on the automatic promotion trail. Mansfield have played 4-4-2 all season to get themselves into a position where automatic promotion was a possibility, but new manager David Flitcroft has, unwisely in my opinion, tinkered with the formation and switched to 4-3-3. Today’s performance wasn’t helped by top scorer Danny Rose getting injured with less than 20 seconds on the clock. Rose was replaced by CJ Hamilton who was substituted into a striker role on the right. This made little sense to me when he has played all season on the left wing and created danger from there. Hamilton was later switched to the left but it was a baffling decision to play him on the right in the first place. The first half was a poor spectacle from both sides with little quality on show. In particular Mansfield’s balls into the box, from crosses in open play and from set pieces, were terrible. Forest Green came closest when Dayle Grubb cut onto his right foot on the edge of the area and smacked a fine shot against the bar with Conrad Logan beaten. That came after Pearce had been beaten on the byline by the lively Tahvon Campbell who had crossed to Grubb. Pearce had earlier been beaten by Campbell and forced to bring him down to earn a booking which became significant later. Mansfield’s best chance came right at the end of the half when Mal Benning’s powerful on-target shot from the edge of the area was blocked. The second half got worse for Mansfield. On 53 minutes, Logan made a great save coming out to deny the excellent Reuben Reid. But Forest Green were ahead on 54 minutes. Logan bowled the ball out towards Hemmings, but it never reached Hemmings and was intercepted by Osbourne who headed the ball forwards to former Stag Lee Collins. Collins played back to Osbourne on the left. Osbourne’s ball into the middle should have presented Pearce with an easy clearance but he completely miscued into the path of Reuben Reid, who fired into the net through Logan’s legs from 14 yards. A calamity for Logan, who was otherwise excellent, and Pearce. Logan then made a great save from Campbell turning his shot over. Mansfield brought on Ricky Miller as sub and he nearly equalised on 71 minutes with a good effort from the left after good play from Hemmings. Logan was called into action again on 77 minutes with a brilliant save turning away a shot from Reuben Reid. More calamity for Mansfield on 78 minutes as Joel Byrom gave the ball away on Mansfield’s left, Grubb cut in towards goal and fired in from a tight angle on the right. A dreadful mistake from Byrom, who was almost immediately substituted. On 83 minutes, it should have been 3-0 when Campbell missed a sitter heading over the bar, completely unmarked, after great play on the right by Reid and a fine cross. Pearce’s afternoon got even worse on 84 minutes when Reid played a great ball forward for Campbell who was tripped by Pearce and Pearce picked up a second yellow card to be sent off. It capped a dreadful afternoon for Mansfield who was so poor and were well-beaten. The Stags were terrible going forward, set pieces were awful, crosses didn’t reach their targets. There was no creativity, no invention, and no quality. Just one shot on target all game, from Benning which was blocked by a defender, and the FGR keeper did not have a single save to make. At the back, the defence had a day to forget, especially Pearce against Campbell, but also Bennett against Reid. Logan was at fault twice for the opening goal, but otherwise kept the Stags in the game, and mistakes from him have been very rare this season. This was probably Mansfield’s equal worst performance of the season, ironically probably equal with the defeat to David Flitcroft’s Swindon at the One Call stadium. I made a comment earlier about formations, but in truth it is players that win matches not formations. The players looked all at sea today. The Stags players need to step up to the plate, regardless of formation, and play better than this. If they do that, we know that they have the quality to do well against Accrington on Friday. All is not lost, far from it, and it could still be a really exciting end to the season. Come on Mansfield!
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Nightmare day for Mansfield as they crash at Forest Green
chad.co.uk, by Agency, Saturday 24 March 2018
Mansfield Town’s automatic promotion hopes suffered a huge blow as they crashed to a 2-0 defeat at League Two strugglers Forest Green Rovers this afternoon. Journeyman striker Reuben Reid fired Rovers in front eight minutes after the break and Dayle Grubb’s angled drive 12 minutes from time settled matters.
And to make matters worse for the Stags, they were reduced to 10 men when captain Krystian Pearce collected a second yellow card and was sent off in the 83rd minute. It was a day to forget for new manager David Flitcroft, who has yet to taste victory since taking charge four games ago. Mansfield’s first defeat in seven games saw them drop to seventh in the table. The visitors should have known it was not going to be their day when they lost star striker Danny Rose to injury, the 17-goal top-scorer limping off after just four minutes. Forced to abandon Plan A, Flitcroft ordered a switch to a 4-4-2 system and the Stags were further discomfited when Forest Green midfielder Dayle Grubb clipped the cross bar with a curling shot from the edge of the penalty area, the nearest either side came to breaking the deadlock in a sterile opening 45 minutes.
Although the Stags had the edge in terms of possession and territory, they found clear-cut chances hard to come by in a first-half in which Rovers keeper Brad Collins was called into meaningful action only once, standing his ground to keep out Will Atkinson’s rising shot. Forest Green took charge after the break and Reid stabbed home from close range after Pearce made a hash of clearing a cross from Osbourne. Substitute Ricky Miller came within a whisker of conjuring an equaliser, sending a low drive inches beyond the far post. But that was as close as the Stags came. Rovers finished the stronger of the two sides and Grubb beat Logan with an angled strike from just inside the box.
Booked in the first half, Pearce was then given his marching orders by referee Antony Coggins after checking Rovers forward Tahvon Campbell.
Forest Green (4-4-2): B Collins; Bennett, Gunning, Hollis, Wishart; Bray (Laird 85), Osbourne, L Collins (Clements 90), Grubb; Campbell, Reid. Subs not used: Belford, Brown, Simpson, Cooper.
Mansfield (4-3-3): Logan; Bennett, Pearce, White, Benning; Byrom (Spencer 78), Angol (Miller 60), Atkinson; MacDonald, Rose (Hamilton 4), Hemmings. Subs not used: Olejnik, Digby, Anderson, King.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/match-report-nightmare-day-for-mansfield-as-they-crash-at-forest-green-1-9081171
FULL-TIME: Forest Green 2 Mansfield Town 0 Scintillating Rovers move nine points clear of the bottom two
by Ashley Loveridge, stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk
SKY BET LEAGUE TWO
FOREST GREEN 2
MANSFILED TOWN 0
FOREST GREEN moved nine points clear of the bottom two after a scintillating second-half display put a dent in Mansfield Town's play-off hopes.
Goals after the break for Reuben Reid and Dayle Grubb boosted Forest Green’s survival hopes as the Stags finished with 10 men following a second booking for Mansfield captain Kyrstian Pearce.
Rovers are now nine points clear of the bottom two, whilst Mansfield drop two places to seventh.
With the season entering the final furlong and Forest Green looking nervously over their shoulders, boss Cooper made five changes to the team beaten 3-1 at relegation rivals Crewe Alexandra.
Rovers’ boss restored Chelsea loanee goalkeeper Brad Collins into the starting line-up as Dale Belford resumed bench warming duties after his debut at Crewe on Tuesday, Rovers’ third defeat on the spin.
Farrend Rawson (hip) failed a fitness test, his place going to the recalled Haydn Hollis alongside Gavin Gunning. A fully-fit Dan Wishart came in for Scott Laird at left-back in a rejigged back-four.
Midfielders Chris Clements and Charlie Cooper, subbed at half-time against Crewe, remained anchored to the bench, with right-winger Alex Bray and striker Tahvon Campbell both given opportunities to start from the get-go.
Meanwhile, top scorer Christian Doidge (ankle ligament) missed his fourth game on the trot.
Fifth-placed Mansfield started brightly in a frenetic opening, but the pace of Campbell kept the Stags occupied, the West Brom loanee inducing a foul and booking for Pearce. Campbell was at it again - feeding Grubb, who cut into the box to clip the top of the bar.
Osbourne saw yellow for a tug on Lee Angol and Dale Bennett for a barge on Kane Hemmings in a first-half devoid of quality or meaningful action.
Joe Byrom spanked one wide from 25 yards as a turgid first-half drew to a close.
The card count ticked on in the second-half, Mansfield’s Will Atkinson incurring a yellow for blocking Lee Collins.
The stalemate was almost broken when Campbell teed up Reuben Reid, but Conrad Logan was quickly off his line to smother.
Reid was on the scoresheet soon after. Grubb fed Osbourne and his cross was scuffed by Pearce for Reid to drill in a 55th-miunte opener. Rovers were rocking - Campbell’s buccaneering run ended by a Logan block.
Mansfield sub Ricky Miller became the fifth booking of the afternoon, leaving a foot in on Rovers’ keeper Brad Collins. Campbell saw the card count tick on.
Rovers were in gear, but Mansfield were still in the game - Miller flashed across the face of the goal from a breakaway.
Booking number seven saw Rovers’ Reid make it a busy day for the man in black.
With 14 minutes to go a flying glove denied Reid a second, Logan touching the ball over.
Seconds later Grubb fizzed in a sumptuous 77th-minute second - arrowing in from just inside the box for his 21st goal of the season and his fourth for Rovers since arriving in January.
Mansfield were reduced to 10 men - Pearce handed a second yellow with six minutes to go for a foul on Campbell.
Campbell almost made it three on 82 minutes - nodding over from an exquisite Reid cross.
Forest Green (4-4-2) B Collins; Bennett, Hollis, Gunning, Wishart; L Collins (Clements 90), Osbourne, Bray (Laird 85, Grubb; Reid, Campbell
Subs not used: Belford, Simpson, Clements, Cooper, Brown, Laird
Mansfield Town: Logan, Bennett, Benning, Pearce, MacDonald, Angol (Miller 60), Atkinson, White, Hemmings, Byrom (Spencer 78), Rose (Hamilton 4)
Subs not used: Olejnik, Digby, Anderson, Kingr
Away fans: 430
Star Man: Reuben Reid.
Latest | March 2018