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STAGS UNLUCKY TO BE BEATEN AT TOP-OF-TABLE SWINDON
30th November 2019 0:05


English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Swindon Town 1 - 0 Mansfield Town
Doyle 23
Attendance: 6741 (215 from Mansfield)

Date: 23 November 2019

Martin Shaw at The County Ground

Despite an attacking performance which was a huge improvement on last week’s performance at Macclesfield, Mansfield Town fell to a 1-0 defeat at the top-of-the-table Swindon Town this afternoon.
Swindon showed why they are top in the opening 35 minutes with some impressive football going forward, hitting the woodwork twice and scoring what turned out to be the only goal of the game. The goal came after 23 minutes when the league’s top scorer Eoin Doyle notched his 17th goal of the season, knocking into the net from 7 yards from a low cross from the right from Kayne Woolery after Ryan Sweeney had headed away a cross from the left from Anthony Grant, to Woolery. It was disappointing defending from Mansfield’s three central defenders, Pearce, Preston and Sweeney, who surrounded Doyle on three sides yet effectively left him unmarked to knock into the net.
Earlier, after 8 minutes, Swindon had been unlucky when right back Paul Caddis cut in from the right, onto his left foot and curled a fabulous shot from just outside the area against the inside of the far post. Swindon hit the woodwork again after 36 minutes, but this time it wasn’t bad luck that kept it out, it was a magnificent save from Conrad Logan. Jerry Yates chipped a great ball forward into the Stags area, Michael Doughty cushioned the ball down perfectly into the path of Doyle whose shot from 14 yards bounced into the ground and Logan pushed it up and against the bar.
But from that moment on it was the Stags in the ascendancy, really taking the game to Swindon, and in the end unlucky not to come away with a point. In the final 7 minutes of the first half, Jacob Mellis was through 1-on-1 with Swindon keeper Steven Benda, but Benda was out quickly to block Mellis’s shot. Then Nicky Maynard fired wide of the left post after a great move involving CJ Hamilton and Andy Cook. After 43 minutes, a great ball forward from Conor Shaughnessy put Kellan Gordon in behind the defence on the right but Gordon’s cross-shot was wide of the far post and too far ahead of Maynard. Gordon was in behind the defence again moments later, after a great ball from Mellis to put him in, but his cross was cleared. Gordon’s delivery needed to be better. Then a corner from Mellis was headed back by Preston to Shaughnessy who turned in the area but the ball was cleared.

The Stags continued to be on top into the second half. Twenty seconds into the half, great play from Hamilton to get to the byline, he pulled the ball across and it just evaded Maynard.
After 52 minutes, the Stags hit the post. Great play involving Shaughnessy and Cook got Maynard into the area on the right and from a difficult angle Maynard thundered a super shot goalwards which the keeper could only push against the post. A lucky let-off for the keeper who should have kept it out more easily but it was a good effort from that position by Maynard. The keeper made a better save after 58 minutes when he clawed away a close range header from Andy Cook after Hamilton had crossed from the left.
If Maynard was unlucky after 52 minutes, he was guilty of a bad miss after 60 minutes. A misplaced header from Zeki Fryers set Maynard through on goal with just the keeper to beat from 10 yards, but Maynard sliced his shot wide. It was a bad miss with plenty of the goal to aim at, and Maynard put his head in his hands.
Boss Dempster made attacking substitutions after that bringing on Omari Sterling-James, Otis Khan and Jimmy Knowles, whilst leaving his other strikers on, but the Stags were unable to break the Swindon door down. Swindon were mightily relieved to hang on to the points and remain top of the table.

The Stags deserved a point in my opinion and after the game Swindon boss Richie Wellens conceded his team rode their luck.

This was a style and level of performance that the Stags should have been putting in all season, really taking the attack to the opposition. Indeed, today's good attacking performance really highlights just how massively underperforming we are this season. The Stags find ourselves just two points above 22nd place after 19 games. That’s two points above third bottom place. If we were in any other division, where normally three or four sides go down, we'd be in a massive relegation struggle, but because there is only one team going down from League Two, we are not.

This performance also re-clarified that last week's team selection at Macclesfield was a big error of judgement in my opinion. I said in my report last week: “there was a distinct lack of creativity in midfield. On Tuesday night in that hugely impressive win at near-full-strength Burton, Alistair Smith and Jacob Mellis provided much-needed creativity in a terrific midfield display. Either or both should have started here in my opinion, but neither did. It suggested that Mansfield were prioritising not losing over the chance of winning. But the clearly stated aim is promotion, and from the league position Mansfield find themselves in, below mid-table, it is victories that will get Mansfield into the promotion picture, draws just aren’t going to do it. That’s not to say that a draw at top-of-the-table Swindon next week wouldn’t be a good result, of course it would. But at Macclesfield, a win should have been targeted.”

Smith and Mellis were both brought into the side at Swindon, and both performed well, as the Stags looked highly creative going forward. Smith was in for his first league start. There were plenty of other good performances through the side as well.

October was a good month for Mansfield which saw 10 points from 5 games. November also needed to be a good month in the league to keep that improvement going, but has been a disaster with just 1 point from 3 games, such that October and November combined has brought only 11 points from 8 games. Mansfield have beaten only five sides in the league this season, and all five are below Mansfield in the table. Looking up the table, Mansfield are nine points behind the play-offs with both the 6th and 7th placed teams having two games in hand. And twelve points behind third place with the third place team having a game in hand. The Stags are absolutely nowhere near the promotion positions that chairman John Radford is expecting to be in. Yet today’s performance showed what should be possible with these players as the top-of-the-table side were left lucky to hang on for the win at home.

FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE

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MATCH REPORT: Goal machine Doyle ends Mansfield Town unbeaten away run as table-topping Swindon Town take the points
chad.co.uk, by Agency, Saturday 23 November 2019

Mansfield Town slipped to their first away league defeat since September with a 1-0 defeat at table-topping Swindon Town this afternoon.

Goal machine Eoin Doyle bagged his 17th goal of the season to separate the two sides at the County Ground.

Manager John Dempster named a trio of changes from the side which was held to a goalless draw at Macclesfield last time out.

Mal Benning missed out after picking up five yellow cards, while Willem Tomlinson and Alex MacDonald were dropped to the bench.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/match-report-goal-machine-doyle-ends-mansfield-town-unbeaten-away-run-as-table-topping-swindon-town-take-the-points-1-10118793

CJ Hamilton and Jacob Mellis returned to the starting line-up with young gun Alistair Smith making his first league start for the club.

The Stags made a bright start with Conor Shaughnessy warming up Swindon shot-stopper Steven Benda with a header.

But the hosts were on fire after that and Paul Caddis lofted a strike over Conrad Logan and was only denied by the bar.

The Robins then took the lead in the 23rd minute as League Two’s leading scorer Doyle, nicknamed the ‘Ginger Pele’ by Swindon supporters, pounced for his 10th goal in seven games.

Logan produced a fine save to deny the Irish hitman a second when he tipped his strike onto the bar.

Mellis almost equalised against the run of play as sweeper-keeper Benda made a good stop, with Nicky Maynard firing wide before the break.

The Stags stormed out of the blocks after the break as they searched for an equaliser and Maynard agonisingly smashed an effort against the near post.

Fellow striker Andy Cook then squandered a glorious opportunity when he was stopped at close range by Benda, before Maynard lashed wide from inside the area just before the hour.

The hosts could have put the game to bed when Jerry Yates blasted over after being found by Doyle.

Dempster rolled the dice by bringing on an extra forward with Omari Sterling-James replacing Shaughnessy to no avail as Stags’ six game unbeaten away run was halted to leave them 15th, nine points off the play-off places.

SWINDON: Benda, Caddis, Baudry, Fryers, Hunt, Grant, Lyden (Rose, 45), Woolery (Iandolo, 90+1), Doughty (Broadbent, 59), Yates, Doyle. Unused subs: McCormick, Curran, Jaiyesimi, Twine.

STAGS: Logan, Preston, Pearce, Sweeney, Gordon (Khan, 82), Shaughnessy (Sterling-James, 77), Mellis (Knowles, 90), Smith, Hamilton, Maynard, Cook. Unused subs: Olejnik, Clarke, Tomlinson, MacDonald.

REFEREE: Nick Kinseley.

ATTENDANCE: 6,741 (215 away).

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Eoin Doyle scored his 17th goal of the season as Swindon Town beat Mansfield Town 1-0 to remain top of League Two
By Jonathan Leighfield @JonnyLeighfield
https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/sport/18056405.eoin-doyle-scores-17th-goal-season-swindon-town-beat-mansfield-town-1-0-remain-top-league-two/

EOIN Doyle netted his 17th goal of the season to ensure Swindon Town would remain top of League Two for at least another week after a 1-0 win over Mansfield Town.

In a frenetic game at the County Ground, the Irishman’s close-range finish proved to be the difference as the Swindon defensive line showed their worth in the second to protect the lead.

Manager Richie Wellens made three changes to the side that crashed out of the FA Cup in midweek to Cheltenham in a bid to reverse fortunes and continue their excellent recent run in the league.

Paul Caddis came in to make his first start for the club since May 5 2012 - when Swindon clinched the League Two title with a 0-0 draw away at Bradford City - while the cup-tied Anthony Grant replaced Danny Rose and top scorer Eoin Doyle took the spot of Diallang Jaiyesimi.

Swindon were unbeaten in their previous five meetings with Mansfield and in the search to extend that run, the hosts made an encouraging start.

Debutante Caddis picked up the ball on the corner of the box in the eighth minute, cut inside and curled a left-footed effort off the inside of Logan's post, much to the agony of almost all of the 6,741 inside the County Ground.

Under a barrage of Swindon pressure early on, Mansfield saw Matt Preston and Alistair Smith pick up yellows before the pressure finally told.

After Grant's cross was beautifully controlled by Kaiyne Woolery at the far post, the winger's shot was far less majestic but served as a perfect cross for an unmarked Doyle to tap in from four yards out.

Swindon could and maybe should have made it two 10 minutes before the break.

Zeki Fryers picked out Rob Hunt down the left before the left-back cut back onto his right foot and crossed towards Woolery and Doyle.

The pair got in each other's way though when rising to head, and the chance was lost.

Seconds later, Conrad Logan had to be at his best to turn Doyle's scuffed effort onto the bar following a lovely team move from Swindon.

Not to be outdone, home stopper Steven Benda took his turn to perform heroics for his team up the other end.

Jacob Mellis was played through one on one, but the German stayed big to deny the visitors and maintain the score at the break.

The game continued at the same breakneck speed after the interval with Hamilton and half-time substitute Danny Rose wasting half-chances in the early moments.

Baudry and Caddis had to be at their most supple to poke the ball away from Maynard on a breakaway before Benda produced another fine save just before the hour mark to prevent Hamilton from scoring a close-range header.

The visitors had a golden chance to equalise in the 60th minute after a poorly-executed defensive header from Fryers allowed Maynard through on goal.

Benda slipped just before Maynard took his strike, but even still the striker couldn’t find the target and Richie Wellens’ men were let off the hook.

Mansfield were the team to be relieved minutes later when Yates was presented with a super chance by Doyle.

The loanee opted to try and lob Logan from close range, but overhit his delicate effort.

The rapid tempo appeared to have an effect late on as Town were happy to settle for what they had and defend their own box.

However, keeping a remarkably high line for the majority of the final 15 minutes, Wellens’ men saw out the game with relative ease to make it five league wins in a row for the first time since 2015.

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Adver Sport assess the performances of the Swindon Town players following their 1-0 victory over Mansfield Town in League Two.
By Jonathan Leighfield @JonnyLeighfield
https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/sport/18056447.adver-sport-assess-performances-swindon-town-players-following-1-0-victory-mansfield-town-league-two/

Adver Sport assess the performances of the Swindon Town players following their 1-0 victory over Mansfield Town in League Two.

Steven Benda: 7.5

Made two hugely important saves to deny Mansfield and came off his line well. Overall, he is really growing in confidence between the sticks.

Paul Caddis: 7.5

Considering he was reportedly struggling for match fitness, the former captain enjoyed a fantastic first half and nearly kicked off his second spell at the club in dream style, hitting the post early on.

Mathieu Baudry: 8

One of the Frenchman’ best games in a Town shirt for me. He was immense with both his head and his feet.

Zeki Fryers: 7.5

Bar one dodgy backwards header, Fryers performed admirably again and was a key member of that stubborn rear-guard which saw the game out.

Rob Hunt: 7.5

Another aggressive and composed showing in his unnatural left-back position. Hunt has the makings of a top full-back and could be playing at a higher level soon you feel.

Anthony Grant: 8

What can you say that isn’t said every week? Grant was everywhere, he filled in at the back, got forward and disrupted when he could. Superb once again.

Jordan Lyden: 6.5

Made some extremely committed challenges and battled efficiently before being replaced at half-time. Subbed.

Michael Doughty: 6

Started off in an encouraging fashion and tried to get on the ball and make things happen before being subbed on the hour. Subbed.

Kaiyne Woolery: 7.5

Woolery was very good today and served as the necessary outlet late on when Town were under the cosh. Provided the assist for the vital goal too.

Jerry Yates: 7

Selfless running as always, but the loanee did not have his shooting boots on, which would have seen the game put to bed.

Eoin Doyle: 8

The Irishman did what he is paid to do and scored the vital goal that keeps Swindon top. Could have had another too if not for a good save by Logan.

SUBSTITUTES:

Danny Rose: 6.5

Battled hard after being thrown on at half-time and linked up well with Grant. The pair have formed a comfortable understanding in recent weeks.

Tom Broadbent: 6.5

Headed everything that came his way and kept things simple to ensure Mansfield were not presented with any needless opportunities.

Ellis Iandolo: N/A Thrown on in added time as an outlet in place of Woolery.

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