STAGS CRUSH EXETER WITH BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Exeter City 1 - 4 Mansfield Town
Jay 21. Hamilton 20, 33, Walker 57, pen 74.
Attendance: 5017 (356 from Mansfield)
Date: 30 March 2019
Martin Shaw at St James Park
After 4 games without a win, Mansfield Town roared back into form with a brilliant performance to crush play-off chasing Exeter City 4-1 at St James Park, and indeed the margin of victory should have been even greater, a point noted by the Exeter manager after the game. Exeter barely created a chance of note in the entire game and the goal they did score came from very poor defending from Mansfield. The Stags were on the front foot from the start and CJ Hamilton had twice been through 1-on-1 with Exeter keeper Christy Pym even before he put Mansfield in front after 20 minutes. Willem Tomlinson, restored to the starting XI and playing against the team he was on verge of signing for in January before Mansfield nipped in to sign him, played a tremendous ball forward which was missed by defender Dara O’Shea, Hamilton ran on to it, took it round the keeper and rolled it into the net. Exeter were level within a minute as Ben Turner, called in to the side with Ryan Sweeney missing due to a sickness bug, missed a header out on the wing, Donovan Wilson skipped past him and crossed into the middle where Matt Jay somehow bundled the ball into the net from close range despite the attentions of 3 Stags defenders. The Stags were deservedly back in front after 33 minutes as Tyler Walker flicked a header forward and Hamilton accelerated away from veteran defenders Dean Moxey and former Stag Craig Woodman to slot past the keeper. A tremendous finish from Hamilton and a great turn of pace. In the closing stages of the half, Mansfield twice went within a whisker of extending the lead with free kicks from just outside the box as Tyler Walker fired just over the bar and Mal Benning fired inches wide of the left post. The Stags totally dominant in the first half and Exeter fans I overheard in the queue for the toilets at half time were grateful their side was only 2-1 down when they thought they should have been 4-1 down. The Stags sealed the game after 57 minutes with one of the goals of the season as Tyler Walker received a throw-in from Benning on the left wing, cut inside and from still well out on the left and 25 yards from goal, curled a simply magnificent shot that bent around the keeper and nestled just inside the far post. Mansfield added a 4th goal after 74 minutes, as Benning played a good ball down the left wing, and Hamilton showed a wonderful bit of skill to knock the ball past O’Shea and unselfishly pulled the ball back and across to Walker, Walker tried to turn away from Woodman and had his legs taken from beneath him. The referee was perfectly placed to award the penalty. Walker took the penalty himself and blasted it into the left corner of the net giving the keeper no chance. That’s how to take a penalty. So a brilliant performance from the Stags and one to send the 356 Stags fans home in good spirits. The Stags were unstoppable, though it has to be noted that Exeter City were terrible. CJ Hamilton was on fire with his two goals and setting up Walker for the penalty. Walker’s first goal meanwhile will live long in the memory and sealed the win for the Stags in a wonderful moment. Hamilton is on to 12 goals for the season now, while Walker is on to 23. In midfield, Willem Tomlinson put in a great performance as did Neal Bishop as the Stags dominated.
It was also a great day for two Stags youngsters: young striker Jimmy Knowles was rewarded for his four goals for the reserves in midweek with a place on the bench, while Zayn Hakeem came on as sub for his first performance of the season. It was also great to see Danny Rose return to the bench ahead of schedule after his injury.
So, Mansfield’s great recent record at St James Park continues: since returning to the Football League, the Stags have now won on 5 of the 6 visits to Exeter.
Elsewhere, MK Dons and Tranmere both won, while Bury lost. So the Stags remain three points behind MK Dons with 6 games to go (remember the two sides play each other on the final day of the season), while the Stags are two points behind Bury and two points ahead of Tranmere, with Bury and Tranmere both having a game in hand. Bury and Tranmere both play their game in hand on Tuesday.
Mansfield made four changes to the side that lost to Crewe. Conrad Logan was preferred to Jordan Smith in goal. Ryan Sweeney missed out suffering from a sickness bug on the journey down yesterday, and was replaced by Ben Turner. Jorge Grant missed out with an ankle problem that he has been carrying for some weeks and kept his running stats down in recent games according to the manager, while Jacob Mellis dropped to the bench. In came Willem Tomlinson and Alex MacDonald. Strikers Knowles, Hakeem and Rose were on the bench as already noted. Hakeem replaced Alistair Smith as the “homegrown” player on the bench. Knowles, having been with the club for less than a year, does not yet qualify for that. Nicky Ajose did not travel with the squad, no reason was given and so we will await news on the reason.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Mansfield Town end winless run with superb 4-1 victory at Exeter City
chad.co.uk, by Agency, Saturday 30 March 2019
Mansfield Town kept their promotion bid firmly on track by putting Exeter City to the sword with a 4-1 away victory to end a four-game winless run. Braces from Chris Hamilton and Tyler Walker got the job done at St James Park as David Flitcroft’s side picked up their first win on the road since January and made it six wins in seven visits to Exeter. The Stags are two points off the top three with their final-day game at MK Dons looking increasingly likely to be a shoot-out for the final automatic promotion spot. Stags remain in fourth place and are two points outside those automatic promotion places, underlining how important it was to win today.
Tranmere Rovers kept up the chase just outside them as they maintained their fantastic run with a 3-0 home win over Carlisle United. A late winner for MK Dons gave them three precious points in a 2-1 win at Forest Green Rovers, but Bury stumbled 3-1 at home to Swindon Town and dropped from second to third place. The Mansfield side showed four changes, two enforced. Defender Ryan Sweeney was out with a sickness bug that developed while travelling down and was replaced by Ben Turner in the back three. Midfielder Jorge Grant had been battling on lately with an ankle injury in recent weeks but stayed behind to have treatment on it and was replaced by Alex MacDonald. Jacob Mellis dropped to the bench, replaced by Will Tomlinson, and there was again a change in goal as Conrad Logan took over from Jordan Smith. A welcome sight on the bench was striker Danny Rose, bravely back ahead of schedule after his double break of the jaw ahead of his final trip to see the specialist on 8th April. The first chance fell to Hamilton as he forced Christy Pym into an early save. Down the other end Conrad Logan had to race off his line to keep Donovan Wilson from opening the scoring.
Hamilton was once again denied by Pym but the third time was a charm for the persistent frontman. The 24-year-old rounded the Exeter stopper and tapped home to give the visitors the lead in the 20th minute. But the lead didn’t last long as Jay bundled home a goal-mouth scramble seconds after the restart. With 12 minutes to go before half-time Hamilton doubled his tally as he finished his 25-yard run by coolly slotting home. Mal Benning’s curling free-kick went desperately close in first-half stoppage time. Exeter almost equalised through Dara O’Shea, who headed narrowly wide from Kane Wilson’s flick on.
Just before the hour Walker notched up his 22nd goal of the season with a fine curling finish. Scorers Hamilton and Walker linked up with the latter being felled by Craig Woodman in the hosts’ box to earn a penalty. And the in-form forward made no mistake from the spot to add gloss on a fine away performance. Down the other end Randell Williams’ free-kick flew over Logan’s bar.
EXETER: Pym, Wilson, O’Shea, Moxey, Woodman, Holmes (Martin, 68), Taylor, Boateng (Williams, 59), Law, Wilson (Brown, 78), Jay. Unused subs: Hamon, Sweeney, Collins, Forte.
STAGS: Logan, Preston, Pearce, Turner, Jones, Bishop (Mellis, 72), MacDonald, Tomlinson, Benning, Walker, Hamilton (Hakeem 90+2). Unused subs: Smith, Knowles, Mellis, Khan, Atkinson, Rose.
REFEREE: Ben Toner. ATTENDANCE: 5017 (356).
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/match-report-mansfield-town-end-winless-run-with-superb-4-1-victory-at-exeter-city-1-9682183
Error-strewn Exeter City thrashed 4-1 by rampant Mansfield Town
Woeful Grecians see automatic promotion hopes blown away by Stags
By Stuart James
Billed as a huge game in which to keep alive their hopes of automatic promotion, Exeter City were blown away by a rampant Mansfield Town, who thrashed the Grecians 4-1 at St James Park.
On an afternoon where City were so poor defensively, they were ruthlessly dealt with by a Mansfield side that were better in every department and capitalised on an error-strewn display from the home side.
The Grecians went into the game making two changes from the team that won at Notts County. Dara O'Shea returned from international duty to partner Dean Moxey, in place of Troy Brown, while Donovan Wilson came in for the suspended Ryan Bowman.
City, shooting into the sun on a glorious Devon day, started slowly and never really recovered. Alex MacDonald fired wide for the Stags from distance and CJ Hamilton got the better of Craig Woodman before forcing Christy Pym into a smart stop.
Woodman then played a superb long ball over the top which Wilson latched onto, but his first touch was heavy and the ball ran through to goalkeeper Conrad Logan.
Hamilton then missed a great chance when he shot straight at Pym after a mistake by Moxey and the Exeter goalkeeper then had to be alert to push away a Gethin Jones cross, which was heading just under his crossbar.
The Grecians were struggling to play any football at all and making too many errors. And on 20 minutes, a slip by O'Shea saw Hamilton break through on goal, round Pym and roll the ball into an empty net.
However, the response was immediate. Donovan Wilson did superbly down the right and pulled the cross back to Jay, who bundled the ball goalwards and headed it in, on the ground, from barely a yard out.
Walker fired straight at Pym, but another mistake, this time from Moxey as he misjudged the flight of the ball, allowed Hamilton to run through and slot confidently past Pym for his second goal of the game.
Walker curled a free kick high as the Stags' dominance continued up until half-time, but just before the break, Taylor was penalised for a foul on the edge of the penalty box on Walker. Malvind Benning curled the free kick narrowly wide.
In such a big game and in front of a crowd of 5,017, the Grecians were awful and Matt Taylor resisted the chance to make changes at the break.
The second half started better with O'Shea heading wide, but more abject defending from City allowed Mansfield to take a throw to Walker. He was given time and space to find half a yard and curl a delightful shot past the despairing dive of Pym from 20 yards.
Randell Williams came on for Boateng and Lee Martin for Holmes soon after, but it was Mansfield that looked the more likely to score. And they duly did so when O'Shea was turned again, Hamilton teed up Walker and he was taken out in the box by Woodman for a penalty. Walker slammed it home to make it 4-1.
City battled on, but never had the quality, or cuteness, to threaten any kind of comeback on what was a deeply disappointing day - and performance.