DREADFUL DEFENDING AS STAGS LOSE 4-3 TO FGR
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 3 - 4 Forest Green Rovers
Hamilton 3, Rose 40, Maynard 90. Rawson 45+5, 52, Winchester 60, Collins 90+6
Attendance: 3956 (158 from Forest Green)
Date: 11 January 2020
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town were beaten 4-3 at home by Forest Green Rovers in an extraordinary game in which Mansfield’s dreadful defending, which has come to the fore all season starting in pre-season, again came back to haunt them.
The first 45 minutes was terrific from the Stags though.
After 3 minutes CJ Hamilton put the Stags in front. Mal Benning crossed from the left into the middle, Alex MacDonald headed down and Hamilton profited from indecision in the visitor’s defence to nip in, round the keeper and slot into the net from 8 yards. Great determination from Hamilton.
Mansfield had a goal disallowed after 15 minutes as Hamilton played across to Danny Rose who knocked forward to Nicky Maynard who turned the ball into the net, but from an offside position.
The Stags were 2-0 ahead after 40 minutes as Danny Rose leapt superbly to head a long throw from MacDonald across the keeper and into the far corner of the net.
And the Stags were so nearly 3-0 ahead after 44 minutes as Hamilton fired against the post.
It was terrific stuff from the Stags who pressed Forest Green hard and really rattled them with an up-and-at-them approach.
Returning keeper Bobby Olejnik had made a brilliant save after 37 minutes, tipping over a header from Liam Kitching.
Five minutes of stoppage time were added on at the end of the half. But 45 seconds over that time, with no stoppages worthy of adding on further time, a free kick from Joseph Mills was headed into the net by Farrend Rawson. Manager Coughlan fumed, repeatedly showing his watch to the referee. Notwithstanding the time, this was yet more dreadful defending from Mansfield as Matt Preston allowed Rawson to get away from him and head in unmarked.
More dreadful defending was to follow 7 minutes into the second half as Rawson beat Ryan Sweeney to a header to head past Olejnik from a corner.
And more was to come after 60 minutes as Forest Green turned it around to lead 3-2. Twice in the first half, midfielder Carl Winchester had been afforded too much space to shoot from just outside the box. You can’t allow him to do that. But the Stags did again and Winchester was given too much time and space by the Stags midfield to fire into the net from 23 yards after 60 minutes.
In truth, Mansfield didn’t really look like equalising after that, but equalise they did on the stroke of 90 minutes. Great battling play by James Clarke and then a lovely little ball played forward by the young right back into the path of Maynard, who fired a super shot into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
I thought in real time that Mansfield might have had a penalty on 90+2 minutes as Maynard went down on the edge of the area, but our pitchside footage shows that it was actually a brilliant tackle by Liam Kitching on Maynard and it was fractionally outside the area as well.
Then Mansfield had another shout for a penalty after 90+4 minutes, and from our pitchside footage this should have been a penalty as Rawson controlled the ball with him arm away from his body, but the referee’s view was obscured by Rawson’s body.
Mansfield were pushing for a winner but lightning struck for the second time as Mansfield yet again conceded a goal over time, half a minute over the 5 minutes of stoppage time that had been added on, as Joseph Mills pulled a low cross back from the left and Forest Green sub Aaron Collins had time to control the ball and fire into the net from 9 yards, as defenders Preston and Sweeney, and midfielder Alistair Smith, stood on and watched. Poor defending once again.
An absolute sickener for the Stags to lose the game in that manner.
This was an entertaining game, and going forward, Mansfield scored three, hit the post and had a penalty turned down that should have been a penalty. But the defending was shambolic, and all four goals came as a result of poor defending (from the defence and midfield). The new manager needs to address this and will clearly be trying to bring in some fresh defenders and midfielders during the January transfer window.
Mansfield had only won two home games all season. But Mansfield had played Forest Green seven times at home in league matches, and won all seven of them! Could they make it eight out of eight? No they couldn’t despite going 2-0 in front.
Mansfield made four changes from the side that lost to Grimsby Town in such poor fashion, having played for more than 80 minutes against ten men.
Olejnik came in for Logan in goal. Coughlan explained that he was shaking it up and wanted one of his goalkeepers to claim the number 1 spot, and it was Olejnik’s turn to stake a claim today.
Clarke came in for White. Coughlan explained that it was more “protection” for White who was “breathing through his backside” last week as he found two games in quick succession tough after returning from injury.
Sweeney and Tomlinson returned from injury replace Pearce and Mellis.
Coughlan explained that Pearce and Mellis have been told they can move on and seek challenges elsewhere, though they can still roll their sleeves up and make Coughlan change his mind. Coughlan said that “like every other player, they are in the shop window for other clubs and for themselves.” Coughlan said the “dressing room has gone a bit stale and some players have been here a bit longer than maybe they should”. Coughlan is looking for “young, fit, hungry, enthusiastic” players. Coughlan has previously, on more than one occasion in interviews, referred to Mellis not being as fit as he should be.
Added to Coughlan’s explanations pre-match, chairman John Radford said in his programme notes before the game: “Let me be clear: as a football club, we win, lose and draw together. There can be no divisions. But this also means everyone - not just some - giving their all for the cause and in every way. There should be no excuses for the low levels of performances in the first half of the season, which have already cost a good man his job. I have no qualms about allowing anyone to leave the club if there is even a hint of doubt of dedication to the badge. I want to now see a greater desire to play for Mansfield Town Football Club.”
Elsewhere, Shaughnessy and Afolayan have departed from their loans, with Shaughnessy being recalled by Leeds, reportedly to join League One Burton on loan. Gordon is still out with a back injury. No place for Sterling-James in the squad again.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Late goal shoots down Mansfield Town in seven-goal thriller with Forest Green Rovers
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 11 January 2020
Aaron Collins stole a dramatic winner for Forest Green Rovers in the sixth added minute of a topsy-turvy thriller as Mansfield Town were beaten 4-3 at home this afternoon.
Despite carving out a 2-0 lead through CJ Hamilton and Danny Rose, a Farrend Rawson brace either side of the break and a Carl Winchester shot on the hour saw Rovers go ahead.
But youngster James Clarke carved out a 90th minute chance for Maynard and he finished with aplomb for what looked like a deserved draw only to see sub Collins steal the headlines.
Stags have still only won two home games in the league all season and boss Graham Coughlan appears to need to make some shrewd changes in the January window.
Mansfield delivered a pre-match shock when they announced club captain Krystian Pearce and midfielder Jacob Mellis had been told they could leave the club.
Also missing from the side among the four changes was keeper Conrad Logan.
Boss Graham Coughlan has said he wants someone to provide a fight for the No.1 jersey and felt Logan's goalkeeping coaching duties may have taken their toll on him.
Hayden White was rested to the bench and replaced by Jamie Clarke at right back.
Into goal came Bobby Olejnik, Ryan Sweeney replaced Pearce at centre half and Will Tomlinson came back from injury into midfield.
Maynard needed treatment after colliding with keeper Smith in the opening minute, but was okay to continue.
Hamilton then gave Stags the perfect start with a third minute goal. MacDonald chested a Benning cross forward in the box and Hamilton was quickest to beat keeper and defenders to it, make space, steady himself and tuck the ball home.
After a mistake by Rawson, Hamilton then raced away on 10 minutes and set up Rose who was about to pull the trigger when Winchester slid in for a superb last ditch tackle.
The strength of the wind was underlined when MacDonald took several attempts to take a corner as the ball rolled away.
Stags thought they had doubled the lead on 15 minutes as Hamilton pulled a low ball back for Rose and his miscued shot was helped in by Maynard only to see an offside flag raised.
Preston was twice too high from Stags corners amid a spell of Rovers pressure as they finally started to get into the game.
Aitchison was not too far wide with a low shot on 34 minutes after Clarke was dispossessed outside the box.
Tomlinson was hurt in the passage of play and had to be replaced by youngster Smith.
Olejnik had his first save to make on 38 minutes as he superbly tipped over a bullet header from Kitching from a corner.
Two minutes later Mansfield were 2-0 ahead. MacDonald hurled in a long throw from the right and Rose met it with a glancing header that flew inside the left post.
Within a minute Olejnik again came to the rescue as Rovers broke quickly and the keeper beat away a March shot.
Aitchison then had a shot deflect wickedly just wide as the visitors looked for a quick reply.
On 43 minutes Winchester played a one-two and forced another good save from Olejnik with his fierce shot.
Hamilton then took the play back upfield where Maynard had two shots blocked from the winger's low cross before Hamilton blasted the loose ball against the outside of the post.
Four minutes were added, but when Stags gave away a silly free kick just outside the box, we went into a fifth added minute and Rawson was on hand to head home Mill's free kick from close range to put Rovers firmly back in it.
Smith warmed Smith's hands early in the second half after swapping passes with Maynard.
But on 52 minutes Rovers were level with big defender Rawson again on the mark. This time he stooped to head home at the near post from Aitchison's corner.
Olejnik was safely behind a low Mondal shot after a promising run.
Rawson was in the way of a Maynard shot and then as Rose went down hoping for a penalty, an offside flag was already up anyway.
Instead Carl Winchester finally put Rovers ahead with a crisp, low shot from 20 yards on the hour.
After Cook had replaced Rose for Stags, a deflected Aitchison cross bounced on the top of the home bar on 66 minutes as Forest Green went for the jugular.
Khan took over from MacDonald in Stags' final swap on 73 minutes.
Mills and Adams saw the game's first bookings on 80 and 88 minutes as they edged towards the win.
But right on 90 minutes a superb burst by full back Clarke saw him attack the Rovers penalty box and feed Maynard who poked home a high finish.
Maynard was screaming for a penalty soon after as he went down to no avail, then the ball hit Rawson on the arm in the box but again nothing was given.
Five minutes were added and in a sixth added minute Rovers dramatically stole it as a low Mills cross from the left found Collins who smashed the ball high into the net to break home hearts.
STAGS: Olejnik; Clarke, Preston, Sweeney, Benning; MacDonald (Khan 73), Bishop, Tomlinson (Smith 35), Hamilton; Maynard, Rose (Cook 63). Subs not used: Stone, White, Davies, Knowles.
FOREST GREEN: Smith, Bernard, Rawson, Winchester, Adams, Brown (Collins 76), Kitching, J. Mills, Mondal, March (McCoulsky 69), Aitchison (Frear 73). Subs not used: Thomas, M. Mills, Dawson, McGinley.
REFEREE: Graham Salisbury of Lancashire.
ATTENDANCE: 3,956 (158 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Bobby Olejnik.
ON THE WHISTLE: Mansfield Town 3 Forest Green 4 Collins snatches stoppage-time winner in seven-goal thriller
stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk, By Ashley Loveridge
MANSFIELD TOWN 3
Hamilton 3, Rose 40, Maynard 90
FOREST GREEN 4
Rawson 45+5, 52, Winchester 60, Collins 90 +6
SUBSTITUTE Aaron Collins snatched a breathless 96th-minute winner for Forest Green in a pulsating seven-goal thriller at Mansfield Town.
Farrend Rawson was Forest Green’s unlikely hero as his brace saw Rovers come from 2-0 behind to snatch an improbable victory over shell-shocked Mansfield Town.
Centre-back Rawson, who has previously scored just two goals in 88 games for Forest Green, doubled his tally with a header in the fifth-minute of first-half stoppage-time after Mansfield had previously raced into a seemingly unassailable 2-0 lead through CJ Hamilton and Danny Rose. However, Rawson was on the spot again on 52 minutes and Carl Winchester completed the turnaround with a third on the hour. The goal tide continued with Nicky Maynard seemingly rescuing a point in the 90th-minute, but the drama wasn’t over as Collins pounced in the sixth-minute of injury time in a bonkers game.
As expected, Forest Green head coach Mark Cooper handed non-league hot-shot Josh March his debut after arriving from National League North Leamington earlier in the week. Captain Joseph Mills was passed fit to return to the starting eleven ahead of Nathan McGinley. Elsewhere, Dom Bernard replaced the injured Liam Shephard. Aaron Collins dropped to the bench where he was joined by Shawn McCoulsky following his loan spell with FC Halifax Town and Elliott Frear. Matty Stevens missed out altogether.
Culpable defending saw Rovers caught cold from the get-go - Hamilton pouncing on uncertainty between Rawson and Adam Smith to hand Mansfield the advantage after three minutes.
It was a full throttle start from the Stags and only a last-ditch Carl Winchester recovery tackle prevented Danny Rose making it two with just 13 minutes of a breathless first-half gone.
Looking to find their form after just one win in 10, Rovers started to find a foothold in the game - Winchester spanking one over the bar on the half-hour mark and Jack Aitchison fizzing wide from the edge of the box.
Rovers were upping the ante - Liam Kitching saw his thumping 38th- minute header gloved over by Bobby Olejnik from a Joseph Mills corner.
However, they were stung two minutes later as Mansfield made it two on 40 minutes. Rose leaped above a statuesque Rovers’ defence to glance home a header from Alex McDonald’s throw. Rovers riposte was immediate - March, who had seen little of the ball, forced a strong hand from Olejnik and moments later Olejnik denied Winchester with another sharp stop. It was end-to-end - Mansfield’s Hamilton hitting the post on the angle with Smith beaten. Deep into first-half stoppage- time Rovers were back in it - Joseph Mills put his free-kick on to the diving head of the unmarked Farrend Rawson.
Mansfield were out of the traps quickly - Smith having to drop quickly on an Alistair Smith strike after Nicky Maynard had turned Rawson. And it was Rawson who levelled the game on 52 minutes - nodding in again from an Aitchison corner. Eight minutes later the goal avalanche continued - Winchester rifling home from the edge of the box to cap a remarkable turnaround.
And just as Rovers thought they had the game done and dusted, Maynard was played in by James Clarke to snatch 9oth-minute parity.
It wasn’t over though - Collins got on the end of a Joseph Mills’ ball to bag the winner with virtually the last kick of a compelling clash.
Forest Green remain seventh, level with third-place Cheltenham Town on 44 points along with Crewe, Plymouth and Bradford in a congested League Two table
MANSFIELD TOWN: Olejnik, Benning, Preston, Bishop, MacDonald (Khan 73), Maynard, Tomlinson (Smith 35), Sweeney, Clarke, Hamilton, Rose (Cook 63)
Subs not used: Stone, White ,Davies ,Knowles
FOREST GREEN: Smith, Bernard, Kitching, Rawson, J Mills Winchester, Adams, Brown (Collins 76), Mondal, Aitchison (Frear 73), March (McCoulsky 69)
Subs not used: Thomas, M Mills, Collins, Dawson, McGinley
Bookings: Joseph Mills 80, Adams 88
Referee: Graham Salisbury Star Man: Next up: Forest Green face a home game against Salford City next Saturday (3.00pm).