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6th January 2021 19:52

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 4 - 0 Port Vale
O.Clarke 45 seconds, Bowery 32, pen 77, 80. Sinclair missed pen 87. Legge sent off 47
Attendance: behind closed doors

Date: 2 January 2021

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town won their first home game of the season at long last with a thumping 4-0 victory over Port Vale this afternoon. Ollie Clarke set the ball rolling with his first goal for the club inside the opening 45 seconds, and then Jordan Bowery scored a hat-trick, to add to his goals in each of the previous two games, while Tyrese Sinclair missed a penalty three minutes from time, with Vale well and truly on the ropes. The victory also gave the Stags back-to-back wins for the first time in the League for 14 months, (since October 2019, 1-0 against Grimsby and 6-1 against Oldham).

The biggest threat to the Stags victory for part of the afternoon was not the opposition but the weather as snow started falling during the half time interval and continued for the first 25 minutes of the second half, briefly coming on quite heavily, but mercifully it stopped with 20 minutes remaining and the game was able to finish. The referee stopped play at one point after the heaviest period of snow for the lines to be cleared by the groundstaff.

The Stags took the lead inside the opening 45 seconds. Harry Charsley fired in a good shot from the right which keeper Scott Brown turned on to the left post at full stretch, it came out to Ollie Clarke who rifled a shot into the net from a tight angle, with Brown trying to keep it out but beaten the power. Clarke had talked in his press conference on Wednesday about his disappointment at not scoring this season and this was a great time to rectify that.
The Stags had chances to increase the lead as Clarke’s volley was blocked, and then Ryan Sweeney’s header which looked on target was headed wide from close range by Jamie Reid.
The Stags did make it 2-0 after 32 minutes. George Maris’s low ball in from the left went through a crowd of legs to Jordan Bowery on the edge of the six-yard box and Bowery turned and in one movement thumped it on the half-volley into the net giving the keeper no chance.
Vale were reduced to ten men after 47 minutes as George Lapslie surged forward and was brought down by Leon Legge 22 yards from goal. Legge had already been booked in the first half and was rightly shown a second yellow card.
Vale had a rare chance to pull a goal back after 63 minutes as half time sub Cristian Montano put in an excellent cross from the left to another sub Tom Pope at the far post and Pope’s close range volley was very well-saved by Marek Stech. It was virtually the only time Stech had to make a save all afternoon so one-sided was the match.
The Stags made it 3-0 after 77 minutes. Reid, with his back to goal on the edge of the six-yard box, laid the ball back to Charsley who was tripped by Scott Burgess just after Charsley got his toe to the ball first. It was a clear penalty. Bowery stepped up for his second penalty of the season, having scored at Orient early in the season, and calmly rolled the ball into the bottom left corner of the net as the keeper dived the wrong way.
Bowery completed his first career hat-trick after 80 minutes, and it followed a great move from the Stags, with touches from Stech to Perch to Lapslie to Charsley to Perch to Maris to Rawson to Sweeney to Maris to Clarke to Maris to Perch to Maris to Reid to Clarke to Bowery, who fired a precision finish with his left foot from an angle on the left in off the right post. Ten players involved in the move, only Mal Benning didn’t touch the ball! What a goal!
The Stags had a glorious opportunity to make 5-0 after 82 minutes as Maris did well to nick the ball off Zak Mills and set Clarke surging forward into the Port Vale half. Clarke found Charsley who fired over the bar from the edge of the area.
Substitute Tyrese Sinclair, who replaced hat-trick hero Bowery after 83 minutes, won a penalty after 87 minutes as he forced his way into the area on the left and was bundled over by Nathan Clarke. With Bowery now off, and with Sinclair having won the penalty, it was left to Sinclair himself to take the responsibility from the spot, but he fired wide of the left post. A shame but it mattered little, apart from to Tyrese himself, whose father Frank was at the game as he is part of the Port Vale coaching staff (helping young players step up to the first team).

A thoroughly convincing win for the Stags, who were very good from start to finish, albeit against a poor Port Vale side.

A Happy New Year for the Stags. And a Happy New Year to you. Thanks for reading the reports, listening to the commentaries, and watching the lockdown videos in 2020. Let’s hope 2021 is a lot better than 2020!

The Stags came into the game without a home win this season in the league, 10 games without a win at home. This was just one short of the club’s record in the league, which was 11, set in 1959, (see https://stagsnet.net/vintage/records/records01.html ">the club records page). Thankfully the Stags did not equal that unwanted club record today.

Mansfield made one enforced change from the side that won at Scunthorpe. The Stags had played an unchanged side for five matches. Kellan Gordon felt a tight hamstring last week and in training and so missed out. Nigel Clough explained after the game that “hopefully he’ll only be out for a week or two”. In came James Perch who had been out injured before returning to the bench a couple of games ago. Perch slotted in at right back, a position he has played before in his career, but not for Mansfield. Harry Charsley played on the right and Jordan Bowery on the left in a 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 formation, whichever you prefer, with Jamie Reid retaining his place up front. There was a change in midfield positions though, with George Maris playing in a deeper role, allowing Ollie Clarke to push more forward. Aaron O’Driscoll came on to the bench.

Port Vale were in a poor run of form, having won only one of their last 11 league games. They were unchanged from a 0-0 draw with Bradford on Tuesday. They had three players returning from injury on the bench, two of whom came on at half time. They were also without one player Tom Conlon who is self-isolating, and another player who tested positive for Covid-19 who is not normally one of the starting XI according to the Port Vale local media, but who was not named.

Credit to the groundstaff and local company Thermokil for blowing hot air under the covers in order to get the pitch playable for today’s game in the frosty conditions.



Mansfield Town 4 Port Vale 0

Match report supplied by PA Media, by John Lomas

O.Clarke (1'minutes), Bowery (32'minutes, 77'minutes pen, 80'minutes)
Assists: Rawson (32'minutes), O Clarke (80'minutes)
Legge (Dismissed at 47'minutes)

Jordan Bowery's hat-trick ensured Mansfield ended their appalling home run in style as they thumped 10-man Port Vale 4-0 in League Two.

The Stags had equalled their worst ever home start to a league season after going 10 games without victory, and had won just twice at home in total in 2020, but they made an explosive start to the new year.

Skipper Ollie Clarke scored his first goal for the club in the opening minute to set them on their way to a first home league success since February 15.

Vale goalkeeper Scott Brown superbly tipped Harry Charsley's low shot on to a post, but Clarke was there to net the follow-up, despite Brown's best attempts to stop the ball crossing the line.

At the other end Malvind Benning had to block an Alex Hurst shot on the line.

But, Mansfield dominated and doubled their lead after 32 minutes when George Maris' cross broke for Bowery off a defender and he smashed home from eight yards.

Vale's afternoon got worse when Leon Legge was sent-off two minutes after the break for a second yellow card offence.

Bowery made it 3-0 from the spot after 77 minutes, sending Brown the wrong way after Scott Burgess had tripped Charsley, and completed his treble three minutes later, slotting in off the far post from Clarke's pass.

It might have been even worse shortly before the full-time whistle when Nathan Smith conceded another penalty, bringing down substitute Tyrese Sinclair after 87 minutes, but the fouled player stepped up and fired wide.

Match Stats
Mansfield Port Vale
Possession Home 60% Away 40%
Shots Home 19 Away 4
Shots on Target Home 5 Away 4


Jordan Bowery nets hat-trick as Mansfield Town thrash Port Vale 4-0 to claim first home league win of the season in the snow
chad.co.uk, Saturday 2nd January 2021

Hat-trick hero Jordan Bowery ensured it was a very happy new year for Mansfield Town as he guided the Stags to a 4-0 victory over 10-man Port Vale in the snow.

Nigel Clough's side recorded their first home win of the League Two campaign in dominant style.

Skipper Ollie Clarke needed less than a minute to open the scoring and, from then on, it was one-way traffic.


Even the heavy snowfall at One Call Stadium couldn't cool Bowery's hot scoring streak as his treble made it five goals in three matches.

The Valiants had Leon Legge dismissed two minutes into the second half which only added to the away side's misery, before Stags youngster Tyrese Sinclair missed a late penalty.

Clough made one change to the side which won 3-2 at Scunthorpe United on Boxing Day, James Perch replacing the injured Kellan Gordon.

Clarke got the Stags off to a dream start, smashing home his first goal for the club with just 45 seconds on the clock.

Harry Charsley's low strike was pushed onto the post by Vale keeper Scott Brown, but captain Clarke was the quickest to react, forcing the ball home from the tightest of angles.

That early goal put a spring the hosts' step as Town enjoyed a period of dominance, none more so than George Lapslie who was granted plenty of space down the right flank.

But the Vale defence closed ranks and managed to repel his crosses into the box.

However, two headed efforts saw the Stags go close.

Jamie Reid didn't appear to know much about diverting teammate Ryan Sweeney's header wide from point blank range following George Maris' corner.

Moments later and Farrend Rawson's could only force Mal Benning's free kick into the grateful grasp of Brown.

That pressure paid off in the 32nd minute as Bowery's netted for the third straight game.

Maris' inswinging cross from the left founds its way through the packed penalty area to Bowery who lashed home from close range, giving Brown no chance.

The second half was less than two minutes old when the Valiants had Legge dismissed for a second bookable offence as he chopped down Lapslie on the edge of the visitors' box.

From the resultant free kick Maris' effort flew over the bar, a hopeful long-ranger from Bowery went the same way.

Stags stopper Marek Stech was called upon to maintain the two-goal advantage as Vale's half-time substitutes Cristian Montano and Tom Pope combined, the latter's back post volley blocked from close range by the Czech.

But that was as good as it would get for the away side.

As the snow fell harder and harder, referee Ben Toner paused the game for the One Call Stadium ground staff to clear the penalty area lines on the pitch, which had become a blanket of white.

Bowery made it three in the 77th minute with a cool penalty, slotted into the bottom left-hand corner after Charsley was clipped in the box.

Three minutes later and the hat-trick was complete as Bowery forced home a low drive across Brown's goal and in off the far post, the goal of the game enough for the striker to claim the match ball.

Charsley over-hit a good chance in front of goal before the Stags were awarded a second penalty after Sinclair was brought down in the box with three minutes remaining, but the youngster dragged his spot kick well wide of the mark.

STAGS: Stech, Perch, Rawson, Sweeney, Benning (McLaughlin 81), Clarke (O'Keeffe 83), Maris, Charsley (O'Driscoll 83), Lapslie, Bowery (Sinclair 83), Reid (Cook 81); Subs (not used): Stone, Menayese.

PORT VALE: Brown, Smith, Brisley, Legge, Fitzpatrick (Montano HT), Burgess, Joyce, Whitehead (Worrall HT), Hurst (Pope HT), Amoo (Mills 49), Rodney; Subs (not used): Visser, Cullen, Bailey.

REFEREE: Ben Toner.


John Askey on fighting on at Port Vale and 'strange happenings'
Port Vale were beaten 4-0 at Mansfield Town

stokesentinel.co.uk, By Michael Baggaley, 2 JAN 2021

Deflated but determined to continue, John Askey had his say immediately after this shocker of a performance at Mansfield.

While reporters tried to keep the snow off their equipment, Askey was clearly trying to keep his composure, analyse the game and field questions about his own position.

He said comment and speculation about his future was inevitable, but in a BBC Radio Stoke interview made a cryptic reference.

Asked if he still felt he had more to give and could get through this situation, he said: “Yes, I think if it’s a level playing field, I’ve proved in the past I can. But it’s not a level playing field at the moment. I have seen a lot of strange happenings going on but as long as I am manager I will give it everything I have got. If one or two are not fighting then I can assure you I am.”

Whatever the strange happenings are, there were enough obvious ones at Mansfield as the team turned in arguably the worst performance of his 23-month reign.


Outplayed from the start, a goal down inside 50 seconds and 2-0 down by the break, Askey hoped to change things by bringing on Dave Worrall, Cristian Montano and Tom Pope for the second half. Worrall and Montano are just making their way back from injury so weren’t fit enough to start, but hopes they could help swing the game back to Vale were ended two minutes into the second half when Leon Legge mistimed a tackle on the edge of his own area, giving referee Ben Toner no choice but to brandish a second yellow card.

In fairness to Legge, Vale had been left horribly exposed after losing the ball in midfield, but there were no mitigating circumstances for his first-half booking, earned after jumping into a challenge on the half-way line.

Askey had no complaints about the dismissal, saying: “No, none at all. I thought the first one was reckless, stupid really, there was no need to make the challenge and in the end it ended up costing us.

“It was debatable whether to take him off at half time and put Zak (Mills) on, but within a few minutes he had got himself sent off.

“But again we had good possession of the ball and have contrived to somehow give it away.”

While Legge’s exit killed any hopes of a comeback, it’s a stretch to say Vale could have rescued this game with 11 men. Mansfield had dominated the first half as Vale showed none of the resilience they had managed in Tuesday’s goalless draw at Bradford.

They never recovered from a dreadful opening when Scott Brown tipped Harry Charsley's shot on to the post but Ollie Clarke was allowed to run unchecked onto the rebound and squeezed a shot between the keeper and his near post.

The Stags' second goal, secured on 32 minutes when Jordan Bowery swept home George Maris's low cross, was the least they deserved from a first half in which they dealt with a tricky pitch much better than Vale did.

Heavy snow in the second half made the conditions more difficult, although by that point Vale’s best hope of escaping defeat was to have the game called off. The referee had to pause the game so the groundstaff could clear the lines, but Mansfield were happy enough on the surface, overpowering Vale’s ten men to score twice in the final 20 minutes.

Bowery scored from the spot on 77 minutes, after Scott Burgess brought down Harry Charsley, then completed his hat-trick on 82, racing into the left of the area before drilling the ball across Brown and in off the far post.

Vale were spared further misery when Mansfield substitute Tyrese Sinclair, son of Vale head of youth development Frank, put an 87th-penalty wide after Nathan Smith had brought him down.

But there was misery enough as Vale dropped to within five points of the relegation zone on a run of six points from 12 games.

Vale will be better with the return of Montano and Worrall, as well as James Gibbons, who is back in training after hamstring surgery, and Tom Conlon, who has been isolating after a positive Covid-19 test.

Next up is the home game with second-from-bottom Grimsby on Saturday. File under ‘relegation battle’ - something Vale hoped they had left behind when Askey guided the club to safety after his appointment for the final three months of 2018/19 then led the team to eighth last season.

The manager added: “The first thing is, we have a lot of players who are available to us in that game. That could make all the difference because we have seen, when they are all available, then they are more than capable and there is no reason why we can’t get results. Obviously it has to change really quickly.”


Port Vale player ratings v Mansfield as awful Vale lose 4-0
Match stats and player ratings from Port Vale's 4-0 defeat at Mansfield Town in League Two

stokesentinel.co.uk, By Michael Baggaley, 2 JAN 2021


Port Vale were thumped 4-0 at Mansfield Town after an awful performance this afternoon.

John Askey's side never recovered from going a goal down inside 50 seconds, to Ollie Clarke. They were 2-0 down at the break, then had Leon Legge sent off, on 47 minutes, for a second booking.

Jordan Bowery netted twice to complete his hat-trick, and complete Vale's misery.

Here are the match stats and player ratings

MANSFIELD 4 (Clarke 1, Bowery, 32, 77, 80)






MANSFIELD 19 (5 on target)

PORT VALE 4 (4 on target)







REFEREE: Ben Toner 7



Mansfield: None

Port Vale: Brown, Legge, Brisley, Montano.

Red: Legge (two yellow cards)


BROWN: Beaten at his near post for the first goal, although he had made a good save initially. Lucky to get away with a poor free kick that gifted possession to Bowery 4.5

SMITH: Started at right back then moved to centre half after Legge’s dismissal. Not convincing and gave away a penalty 4

BRISLEY: Well below the standard of his performance on his recall at Bradford 5

LEGGE: Can’t have any arguments for either yellow card. Both mistimed challenges 3.5

FITZPATRICK: Taken off at half time so Vale could attack through Montano. Mansfield did enjoy plenty of space down his flank before the break 4.5

JOYCE: Made a crucial sliding interception before the break but Vale were outplayed in midfield even with 11 men 5

BURGESS: Didn’t threaten much and gave away the penalty that Sinclair missed 4

WHITEHEAD: Part of a poor midfield before he was withdrawn at the break 4

AMOO: The winger lost his man for the first goal and didn’t offer much going forward. Taken off so Vale could have a defender on after Legge was sent off 4

RODNEY: Didn’t threaten much in the first half, and that was always going to be difficult with ten men after the break 4.5

HURST: Produced perhaps Vale’s best moment of the game when he beat two defenders on his way to setting up a chance. Taken off at half time but his performances have been some consolation in a poor run of results 5.5


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Former Port Vale striker returns to football with 'a point to prove'

MONTANO (Fitzpatrick, 45): Gave Vale some attacking threat down the left and almost set Pope up for a goal 6

WORRALL (Whitehead, 45) Great to see the wide midfielder back after injury. Ended up in a midfield three after Legge’s dismissal. 5.5

POPE (Hurst, 45): Went close with a rare chance. Helped Vale improve after the break although realistically the game was gone after Legge’s dismissal. 6

MILLS: (Amoo, 49) Did okay on the right of a defence that was often stretched 5.5

Mansfield: Stech, Perch, Rawson, Sweeney, Benning (McLaughlin, 81), Charsley (O’Driscoll, 83), Lapslie, O Clarke (O’Keefe, 84), Maris, Reid (Cook, 81), Bowery (Sinclair, 83).

Subs: Menayese, Stone.