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Archived News from July 2019

22nd July 2019 11:27

Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town 1 - 3 Blackburn Rovers
Sweeney 53. Preston OG 10, Buckley 52, Armstrong 85.
Attendance: 1701 (247 from Blackburn)

Date: 17 July 2019

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town were beaten 3-1 by Blackburn Rovers in the first home pre-season friendly. It was John Dempster’s first game as manager at the One Call Stadium. Championship club Blackburn played a side blended with experienced first team players and youngsters but had enough quality on show to cause Mansfield problems on the night. It was a mixed night for the Stags with some encouraging signs mixed with some less impressive moments including some poor defending for some of the goals conceded. Players who caught the eye for the Stags included Conrad Logan with three fine saves with his legs and body in the first half, Matt Preston and Krystian Pearce at the back. Pearce had a mixed night with some great defending, but a calamitous moment when he gifted the second goal to Blackburn. He then went straight to the other end within a minute and slammed a shot into the net from 14 yards following a corner, though technically because it deflected in off Ryan Sweeney, it has to be recorded as Sweeney’s goal. Pearce also had a header tipped wide by the Blackburn keeper. Alex MacDonald had some good moments in midfield, now fully recovered from the injury that brought him home early from Portugal for a scan which proved clear. It was great to see Hayden White back at the One Call stadium and adding 45 minutes to the 30 minutes he played at Bradford Park Avenue. Otis Khan had a really good 45 minutes, including hitting the post with a free kick and forcing another good save from the keeper, and Danny Rose fired in a super shot that was tipped onto the bar and just hinted at a return to the form of two seasons ago when he regularly fired in fine shots from distance and showed that his confidence is up. The first 45 minutes was the first time that new striker signings Nicky Maynard and Andy Cook had combined. In truth that pairing didn’t immediately catch the eye, but Cook did win plenty of headers, and there’s probably more chances in the next two games for them to link up, first up against Hull City at the One Call Stadium on Saturday.

The trialists were later named (once the club were not following up on them) as:
Jak Hickman - right back
Arthur Gnahoua - attacking midfielder
Jose Baxter - trialist striker

This was Mansfield Town team for each half:

1st half team (3-5-2):
Conrad Logan;
Matt Preston, Krystian Pearce, Ryan Sweeney;
Trialist right wing back, Alex MacDonald, Neal Bishop, Jacob Mellis, CJ Hamilton;
Nicky Maynard (new signing from Bury), Andy Cook (new signing from Walsall).

2nd half team (3-5-2):
Conrad Logan;
Matt Preston, Krystian Pearce, Ryan Sweeney;
Hayden White, Willem Tomlinson, Trialist attacking midfielder, Otis Khan, Mal Benning;
Danny Rose, Trialist striker.

Omari Sterling-James (for Tomlinson, 76 mins)
Alistair Smith (for Sweeney, 78 mins)
Lewis Gibbens (for Preston, 78 mins)
Aidan Stone (new young keeper, to be understudy to Logan, until Olejnik fit) (for Logan, 78 mins)
Sub not used:
James Clarke (young right wingback signed from Burnley)

Did not play: Bobby Olejnik (injured, hopefully back October), Jordan Graham (injured), Craig Davies (injured), Dion Donohue (new signing from Portsmouth, not yet fit, but should be within two weeks), Jamie Chisholm (from last season’s youth team), Noah Stokes (picked up a bad knee injury at Bradford PA), Jason Law (was ill prior to Alfreton game), Tyrese Sinclair (from last season’s youth team), Tom Fielding, Jimmy Knowles (from last season’s youth team, just signed pro deal).

There were three trialists on show. Clearly it would be much easier from a reporting point of view to name them, but just to re-iterate, I’m not naming the trialists as we were requested not to by manager John Dempster and I want to respect that. The trialist right wing back was the same player as the trialist right back against Alfreton. The trialist attacking midfielder was the same player who played against Alfreton. The trialist striker had not played for the Stags before. For completeness and future reference, once the players have either been named by Dempster, or have left, I will update the match report with their names.

Willem Tomlinson was playing against his former club (in the second half). Former Stags left back Amari’i Bell was out injured for Blackburn.



MATCH REPORT: Late goal ends Mansfield Town fightback as Blackburn Rovers win friendly clash
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 17 July 2019

It took an 85th minute goal from Adam Armstrong to finally kill off plucky Mansfield Town as Championship side Blackburn Rovers won 3-1 in tonight’s pre-season friendly at the One Call Stadium.

Rovers led through a 10th minute Tyler Magloire goal at the end of a first half in which Conrad Logan made two vital saves.

But, after making seven changes, Stags took the game to Rovers after the break and, despite going 2-0 down after a rare Krystian Pearce mistake, Pearce pulled one back straight away.


Then Rovers keeper Andy Fisher made some excellent saves while Otis Khan also hit a post as an equaliser proved elusive before Armstrong’s killer late blow.

It had proved an excellent work-out with the only worry seeing midfielder Willem Tomlinson come off injured.

Stags ran the rule over three trialists, one starting the game and the other two coming on at the break.

The early minutes were all played out in the Rovers half with Fisher twice leaving his area to clear through balls.

But Rovers swept ahead on 10 minutes. A free kick was worked to Butterworth and, from the right by-line, he drilled in a powerful low cross that Magloire beat Preston to and guided home.

Seconds later a great burst of pace from Butterworth saw him get into the box only to see his low goal-bound shot deflect wide.

On 14 minutes Stags’ first goal attempt was sent well over by Mellis.

Five minutes later great inter-play between Cook and Maynard got the ball into the box and, from a Hamilton cross, Maynard was able to cue up a shot for MacDonald that Rankin-Costello did well to get in the way of.

On 26 minutes a swift counter-attack by the visitors ended with Brereton forcing Logan to block a low shot with his legs from Butterworth’s pass.

Rothwell’s through ball then sent Brereton towards goal again, but he was superbly marshalled and stopped by Pearce.

Logan again came to Mansfield’s rescue with a save to deny Buckley on 33 minutes after a neat Rovers move.

Bishop poked a low, hopeful effort well wide soon after.

MacDonald’s persistence won a free kick near the right corner flag on 39 minutes, which Mellis sent over towards Cook, who saw the ball fly wide off his chest from five yards.

Two minutes from half-time trialist A cut in from the left with a fine touch, but then horribly sliced his finish for a throw-in.

He suffered more misery in added time as he was smashed into touch by a lunging Travis challenge that saw the Rovers man booked.

Stags have made seven changes at the break with White, Benning, Khan, Tomlinson, Rose and two trialists on in place of Bishop, MacDonald, Mellis, Maynard, Cook, Hamilton and Trialist A.

But, with the rain intensifying, disaster struck on 52 minutes as Pearce’s attempted clearance in the 6 yard box struck Buckley at close range and fell nicely for the Rovers man to tap into the empty net.

Pearce made immediate amends though as he pulled one back a minute later.

He was 12 yards out when a corner was half-cleared to him and let fly a thunderous right-footed rocket into the net.

On 57 minutes it was almost all square as Fisher got across to tip away a curling Khan free kick with Pearce heading just wide from the corner. Smallwood was booked for bringing down Khan to give the initial free kick away.

On the hour Trialist C set up Rose from 25 yards and Fisher made a superb one-handed save to deny him.

As the home side rose in confidence, Trialist B then sent a low shot wide.

Sweeney was fortunate on 70 minutes when the referee blew for a foul against Blackburn as the defender’s attempted headed clearance looped off the top of his head into his own net over a stranded Logan.

Mansfield’s defensive wall twice got in the way of fierce attempts by ex-Middlesbrough star and sub Downing from a 20-yard free kick and his follow-up.

Stags won another free kick 22 yards out on 75 minutes and this time Khan curled it against the post.

Interval sub Tomlinson had needed treatment after being hurt making a brave block-tackle. He had soldiered on but came off in some pain on 76 minutes to be replaced by Sterling-James.

There was another worrying stoppage as Rose was treated for his customary bang on the head.

On the restart Pearce got on the end of the free kick only to see Fisher acrobatically turn it aside.

Mansfield had made a superb fist of the second half but were killed off by a superb Championship-standard move that split open the home defence, Armstrong waltzing clear to go round and a helpless Logan and slot home from Travis’ killer final pass on 85 minutes

It might have been four as Butterworth raced past several opponents in a diagonal crossfield run only to fire over in the end.

STAGS: Logan (Stone 79); Preston (Smith 79), Pearce, Sweeney (Gibbens 79); Trialist A (White HT), MacDonald (Tomlinson HT, Sterling-James 76), Bishop (Trialist B HT), Hamilton (Benning HT); Mellis (Khan HT); Maynard (Rose HT), Cook (Trialist C). Sub not used: Clarke.

BLACKBURN: Fisher, Rankin-Costello, Magloire, Grayson, Hart, Smallwood (Downing 64), Travis, Buckley, Rothwell (Armstrong 64), Butterworth, Brereton. Subs not used: Leutwiler, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Johnson, Dack.??REFEREE: John Brooks of Leicestershire.

ATTENDANCE: 1,701 (247 away).



Report: Mansfield Town 1 Rovers 3
Rovers secure victory against the League Two side to maintain their winning start to pre-season


Rovers producing a solid display to earn a comfortable win at Mansfield Town and make it two wins from their opening two pre-season outings.

After victory at Barrow in the opening pre-season game a couple of weeks ago, Tony Mowbray's side continued their 100% start to their league preparations with a 3-1 win.

An own goal early on but Rovers in command at Field Mill, before the lead was doubled by young gun John Buckley just after the break.

Home captain Krystian Pearce halved the scoreline just a minute after Buckley's strike, but substitute Adam Armstrong made the game safe with five minutes remaining as he finished off a fine flowing move.

Rovers grabbed the advantage after only nine minutes of play in the encounter, as Dan Butterworth's low cross was put into his own net by Matt Preston from close range, with Tyler Magloire lurking and ready to pounce.

The provider for the opener almost turned scorer for a quick-fire second goal a moment later, but a fine solo run and strike from Butterworth was saved well by the feet of Stags stopper Conrad Logan.

Ben Brereton was having a lively start to the clash and he tested Logan midway through the half, with the Irishman's legs again denying a Rovers goal after the young frontman's left-footed effort.

The second goal continued to evade Rovers, with Logan proving to be a thorn in the side even more when, after fine link-up play from Joe Rankin-Costello and Lewis Travis, the giant 'keeper once again put his legs to good use to stop Buckley from doubling the visitors' tally.

The hosts struggled to create too many chances themselves, with the closest John Dempster's side coming to equalising through new signing Andy Cook, who headed a Jacob Mellis corner comfortably wide of Andy Fisher's left-hand post.

Six minutes into the second half and Rovers did get a goal that their dominance deserved. Great persistance from the impressive Buckley saw the youngster closedown home skipper Pearce before slotting past Logan, who could do nothing with his close range shot.

Pearce made amends for his error almost instantly; rifling home after a corner wasn't dealt with correctly by firstly Brereton and then Andy Fisher.

The goal appeared to give John Dempster's side a confidence boost, with Fisher being in the right place at the right time to turn behind Otis Khan's low free kick that was destined for the bottom corner.

Fisher was called into action again soon after, this time getting a glove on a poweful effort from substitute Danny Rose, after the striker let fly from the edge of the box.

A couple of changes after the hour mark saw the travelling Rovers fans get their first glimpse of Stewart Downing, with Armstrong joining the former England winger - Richie Smallwood and Joe Rothwell being the two who were replaced.

With 15 minutes remaining The Stags came close to equalising, with another pinpoint Khan free kick cracking Fisher's right-hand post before bouncing away.

Pearce was a nuisance in the box and the defender again brought a decent save from Fisher, who managed to tip away the defender's header towards goal from another teasing Khan free kick with under 10 minutes remaining.

But Rovers put the game out of reach for the hosts soon after, with Travis playing an inch perfect pass through to Armstrong who took a touch before calmly finding the bottom corner in the last attack of a good workout for Mowbray's charges.

Rovers are next in action on Sunday 21st July as we take on Scottish side Rangers at Ibrox, kick-off 3pm.

Mansfield Town: Logan, Preston, Pearce (c), Sweeney, A. Trialist, MacDonald, Mellis, Bishop, Hamilton, Maynard, Cook.

Substitutes: Stone, White, Benning, Khan, Tomlinson, Sterling-James, Gibbens, Smith, Rose, Clark, B. Trialist, C. Trialist.

Goal: Pearce, 53

Rovers: Fisher, Rankin-Costello, Magloire, Grayson, Hart, Smallwood (c) (Downing, 64), Travis, Butterworth, Rothwell (Armstrong, 64), Buckley, Brereton.

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Johnson, Dack.

Goals: Preston OG, 9, Buckley, 52, Armstrong, 85.

Booked: Travis, 45, Smallwood, 57.

Referee: John Brooks.

Attendance: 1,701 (247 away)



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