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Archived News from August 2020

20th August 2020 23:29

Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town 2 - 0 Nottingham Forest U23
Benning 56, Knowles 87
Attendance: behind closed doors
Played at the RH Academy

Date: 18 August 2020

By Martin Shaw, watching on the live stream

Mansfield Town beat a Nottingham Forest U23 side 2-0 this morning in their latest pre-season friendly of the 2020/21 season. The match was played behind closed doors, as all pre-season games will be, and indeed at least the first few weeks of the league and cup season will be too, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. An HD quality live stream of the game was available for fans to watch.

Manager Graham Coughlan explained afterwards that he wanted to match up some of the Stags youngsters to the Forest U23 side which explained the absence a number of the more senior players.

There was no update post match from Coughlan on the injury status of Ollie Clarke or the status of the club suspension of Will Tomlinson.

The trialist central defender who played a week ago against Peterborough, and who has been training with the club since the first day of pre-season training, was finally named though as Aaron O'Driscoll, who released in June by Southampton. There was no update from Coughlan post match on the trialist, while the club, in answer to a question on twitter as to whether he has been signed, simply noted that “he has been training with us”.

New signings from the past week, Corey O’Keeffe, who did well last season on loan at Macclesfield, and James Perch, brought up in Mansfield, and formerly of Nottingham Forest, Newcastle and several other clubs, both played the last 30 minutes.

The Stags turned out in the very smart new blue away kit, which is now available to buy in person from the ticket office window at the One Call Stadium, or via the online club shop.

Today’s team (3-5-2): (no shirt numbers today)
Aidan Stone;
James Clarke (right side of back 3), Aaron O'Driscoll (trialist), Aiden Walker (U21, left side of back 3);
Kellan Gordon (right wing-back), Tyrese Sinclair (right midfield), Jimmy Knowles (attacking midfield), George Maris (left midfield, new signing), Mal Benning (left wing-back);
Jamie Reid (new signing), Danny Rose.

Josh Scott (U18 striker) for Rose, 56 mins
James Perch (new signing) for Maris, 56 mins
Corey O’Keeffe (new signing) for Benning, 56 mins
Kyle Tomlin (U18, scored long range goal in FA Youth cup last season) for Reid, 65 mins.
Subs not used: Maison Campbell, Kian Sketchley.

Players not involved today: Marek Stech, Rollin Menayese, Farrend Rawson, Jordan Bowery (all new signings), plus new signing Ollie Clarke as noted above, along with Ryan Sweeney, Harry Charsley, Alistair Smith, Jason Law, Andy Cook. Several of these could be seen on the touchline, including Rawson.

No team sheet corresponding to the Forest U23 players was available to my knowledge, hence please excuse the lack of naming of the Forest players in this report.

After 7 minutes, Reid did well to play in Rose for a shot from the left from just inside the box which was palmed away by the keeper.

After 11 minutes, Stone was out quickly to save at the feet of Forest no.11. Two minutes later, a good move from the Stags as Reid found Knowles who played out to Benning but Benning’s cross was headed away.

After 15 minutes, another good move involving Maris, Knowles and Gordon, as Gordon’s cross was headed behind for a corner. From the resultant corner taken by Benning, O’Driscoll headed well wide.

After 19 minutes, Reid did well to tee up Maris for a shot from 25 yards which was blocked. A minute later, Gordon made space for a shot on the edge of the area and he sent in a powerful effort which was palmed away by the keeper.

Two minutes later at the other end, good defending by O’Driscoll to clear and he even won a goal-kick.

After 28 minutes, Knowles’ shot from distance was blocked. Almost immediately, Sinclair tried his luck from 28 yards which was going well over the bar but took a deflection for a corner. Benning’s corner floated over everyone.

After 31 minutes, a rare chance for Forest with a free kick from 28 yards after a foul by Maris. But the Forest no.10 sent it well over the bar. Straight to the other end and Knowles was away down the left, he cut inside onto his right foot and scuffed a shot straight at the keeper.

After 34 minutes, Maris put in a great cross, Rose got to it in the middle and his flicked effort was deflected over. The resultant short corner from Maris to Sinclair, Sinclair forced his way into the box from the left and fired inches over the bar.

After 36 minutes, Maris put a free kick into the box but it was disappointing and over-hit. After 40 minutes, Sinclair curled a delicious ball into the corridor of uncertainty but Rose and Benning didn’t get on the end of it six yards out on the left.

Moments later, Maris won the ball and played to Sinclair who set up Rose who shot across the keeper and just wide from the right. Then Reid sent Gordon away down the right and his low ball in was claimed by the keeper.

A good clearance at the back by Aiden Walker from a low cross in after 42 minutes. A minute later at the other end, Gordon made a good break down the right and got into the box but his low cross was cleared.

A rare chance for Forest after 44 minutes as no.11 shot well wide from the right.

So goalless at the break. The Stags had several chances but didn’t take them.

Half time 0-0.

The Stags should have had a penalty after 47 minutes. A good move started with Maris on the halfway line, he found James Clarke who slid the ball forward for Sinclair. Sinclair played to Rose who played back inside to Sinclair. Sinclair, with quick feet, took a touch to take the ball away from his defender and was blatantly tripped with a mistimed tackle. It was a clear penalty but the referee waved play on.

Then Benning’s high corner from the right to the far post was headed over by Walker. After 49 minutes, the lively Gordon cut inside from the right and his left foot shot was blocked. Seconds later, another shot from Gordon was blocked.

After 49 minutes, James Clarke did well to throw himself in front of a Forest shot from no.17 on the edge of the box. After 51 minutes, Maris put a disappointing high ball in straight to the keeper. As the keeper tried to play the ball out, it hit Rose and went wide.

After 52 minutes, Sinclair crossed from the left and Rose guided a header straight at the keeper. A great cross and Rose was unmarked. A minute later, Gordon played the ball inside to Maris who got into the area and his low shot was blocked.

Straight to the other end and a good tackle by James Clarke to concede a corner. Rose headed away the resulting corner. Forest immediately won another corner which was caught by Stone.

The Stags took the lead after 56 minutes. Sinclair was pushed over from behind to win a free kick, wide on the right. Benning took the free kick, he curled it into the area and it went straight in, despite Rose and Knowles being close to getting a touch. Rose tried to claim the goal, but from our pitchside footage, I don’t think he touched it.

The Stags immediately made a triple substitution, under 18 striker Josh Scott replaced Rose, and new signings from the past week, James Perch and Corey O’Keeffe, replaced Maris and Benning respectively. O’Keeffe went in at right wing-back with Gordon moving to left wing back.

After 65 minutes, another change for the Stags as young Kyle Tomlin replaced Reid. Knowles moved up front.

After 70 minutes, Sinclair curled in a good free kick from the left to the far post where it was put behind for a corner. Sinclair’s resulting short corner was wasted. A minute later at the other end, the Forest no.10 played a one-two on the edge of the box and fired just wide.

After 73 minutes, Sinclair put another good ball in from the right and Josh Scott flicked goalwards but it was an easy save for the keeper.

A good tackle by O’Driscoll after 79 minutes as no.11 broke forward.

After 82 minutes, Perch did well to win the ball in his own half, Sinclair found Tomlin, who played forward for Scott to break forward and after a good run his shot was blocked. Scott then did well to challenge for the loose ball and it eventually fell for Knowles who sent a left footed shot wide from 16 yards.

More good defending by O’Driscoll after 86 minutes.

The Stags made it 2-0 after 87 minutes. Again Josh Scott did well to win the ball after pressing a defender. He laid off to Knowles in space and Knowles fired left footed past the keeper from 12 yards.

On 90 minutes, Scott turned away from his marker on the right and fired a low shot wide of the near post.

So a well-deserved 2-0 win for the Stags. Trialist Aaron O’Driscoll looked calm and assured at the back, and looks to be worth signing. Either side of him, young James Clarke and Aiden Walker played well. Behind them, keeper Aidan Stone had a very quiet afternoon, though what he had to do he did well. The Stags got the ball down the wings a lot, though the quality of crossing sometimes left a bit to be desired, especially from the wing-backs. Once again, Tyrese Sinclair oozed talent, as he has done every time I have seen him play, and surely he is really going to get his chance in the first team this season. I think he could be a star. Maris showed some good touches in midfield. Young striker Josh Scott also caught the eye from the subs bench, involved in creating some chances, and indeed the second goal.

The Forest no.10 was the only player who really caught the eye for their U23 side. I’m not sure who he was.

The next friendly is soon to be announced. Stay tuned to mansfieldtown.net for details.

Forest U23 (don’t know how they relate to the numbers): Jordan Wright, Malique Spooner, Rezart Rama, Riley Harbottle, Sam Sanders, Danny Preston, Oliver Hammond, Ethan Dekel-Daks, Josh Barnes, Virgil Gomis, Trialist.
2nd Half: Silvio Bello, Jordan Fankwe, Aaron Donnelly, Alex Gibson-Hammond.


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