SUPER STAGS BEAT SALFORD FOR THIRD WIN ON TROT
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 2 - 1 Salford City
Lapslie 15, Bowery 30. Bernard 90+1
Attendance: behind closed doors
Date: 5 January 2021
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town put in a great performance to beat Salford City in a re-arranged game at the One Call Stadium last night. It was very enjoyable to watch as the Stags looked transformed from earlier in the season under new manager Nigel Clough who is working wonders with the squad he inherited. The final margin of victory was 2-1 yet that doesn’t tell the story of the game as the Stags completely outclassed a Salford side who would have moved into 4th place if they had won last night.
On a cold evening, the Stags started brightly and took the lead after 15 minutes as George Lapslie fired a low shot from 25 yards just inside the left post and out of reach of keeper Vaz Hladky for his 6th goal of the season.
The Stags went close after 20 minutes with a lovely move as George Maris found Jamie Reid who in turn found Ollie Clarke. Clarke made a lovely pass to the overlapping James Perch who slid the ball perfectly inside to Harry Charsley who had space in a 1-on-1 with the keeper from 9 yards, but the keeper was out very well to block. Moments later, a terrific backheel from Lapslie sent Reid away to the byline but his powerful cross was across the face of goal and away.
The Stags made it 2-0 after 30 minutes as Reid headed down Perch’s cross to Jordan Bowery. Bowery’s initial shot from 8 yards was blocked and eventually ricocheted into his path to fire into the net from two yards. Bowery is really getting the rewards now for an excellent run of form since Richard Cooper took temporary charge and then Nigel Clough came in, and it was Bowery’s 6th goal in 4 games, and his 7th of the season. It was a good move for the goal which started with a great crossfield pass from Reid.
The Stags had a penalty appeal which looked innocuous from the West Stand but I need to look at again from the Bishop Street camera angle.
The Stags led 2-0 at the break and it had been a fantastic performance, playing some great football on a tricky surface. Salford co-owner Gary Neville was watching the game from the Directors’ box and sent a classy video message to Stags owners John and Carolyn Radford (who were watching the game on iFollow Stags as usual from Portugal) at half time telling them that the Stags had “absolutely battered” his team during that first half.
Salford switched to the 3 at the back for the second half and brought on big battering ram striker Tom Elliott for a change of approach. The visitors had a couple of chances early in the second half as Elliott fired over the bar from 16 yards and Ibou Touray sent a powerful shot just over the bar from the corner of the penalty area on the left.
But it was Mansfield who were so close to scoring again on 59 minutes as Farrend Rawson headed a corner from Maris towards the top right corner of the net and keeper Hladky made a fantastic save turning it onto the bar. Rawson so close to his first Stags goal. Mal Benning had a great chance after 72 minute after a good move but fired wide.
The Stags looked very comfortable but things suddenly became uncomfortable in 3 minutes of stoppage time when after the first of those minutes a corner from the left by Ash Hunter was missed by Marek Stech and Di’Shon Bernard had a tap-in at the far post. Out of nowhere, Salford had the chance for an unlikely draw. With 15 seconds remaining, a very rare mistake by Bowery as he miscontrolled a long ball forward, Salford immediately got the ball upfield to Hunter on the right, and his high cross to the far post found Toure stealing in unmarked and thankfully for the Stags he volleyed high and wide. A let-off with virtually the last kick of the game, but it would have been daylight robbery if Salford had equalised.
Nigel Clough told me afterwards that his players came off disappointed that they had given Salford a sniff in stoppage time, and it shows how far they have come to feel like that after a performance that was full of so much high quality football.
The Stags are up to 15th place and looking towards the top half of the table, just 3 points behind Colchester who are in 12th place.
Attention turns to the FA Cup and a trip to Cheltenham Town in the third round on Sunday (1.30pm kick-off). It’s 13 years since the Stags were in the 4th round and it’s an opportunity to earn a glamour tie, not to mention prize money in these difficult times. Nigel Clough has a proud record in cup competitions and told me after the game last night that he was very keen to win the game which might give him a bigger budget for signing players. Clough has had some incredible runs in cups and it would be a huge boost if he can have another here.
The game is available to view free on the FA Player. You have to sign up for a free account https://faplayer.thefa.com/home/all">here. You can then watch on the website, or you can download the app from google play or the App store to watch on your tablet or smartphone. The live stream is only available to UK viewers.
We will as always have audio commentary on iFollow Stags for UK and overseas listeners. Note that the FA Player and iFollow are completely separate services.
FULL REPORT ON THE SALFORD GAME IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Mansfield Town 2-1 Salford City
TUE 05 JAN 2021, LEAGUE TWO
Lapslie (15'minutes), Bowery (30'minutes)
Match report supplied by PA Media, by John Lomas.
Mansfield held off a late Salford fightback to clinch a 2-1 victory and rack up three straight League Two wins for the first time in two years.
First-half goals from George Lapslie and Jordan Bowery put the hosts in control and it was not until the final minutes that Salford sparked into life, D'Shon Bernard pulling one back to set up a tense finish.
Mansfield went ahead after 15 minutes as a Salford clearance fell to Lapslie, who drilled a low, skidding shot just inside the left post from 25 yards.
James Perch then put Harry Charsley in on goal, but goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky blocked his effort with his chest.
Town deservedly made it 2-0 on the half-hour mark as Perch crossed from the right and, when Jamie Reid was unable to get a shot away, the ball fell for Bowery to scramble home from six yards.
Salford's best chance came after 32 minutes when James Wilson raced into the box only to see Marek Stech comfortably save.
In the second half Hladky superbly tipped a Farrend Rawson header over from a corner, while at the other end Stech dived to grab a 35-yard free-kick from Ashley Hunter.
Salford kept battling and pulled one back two minutes into added time as Bernard poked home from close range following a scramble at a corner.
And there was still time for Hunter to cross for Ibou Touray, but he lifted his finish over the bar at the far post as Mansfield survived.
Home 49% Away 51%
Shots Home 20 Away 10
Shots on Target Home 4 Away 4
Mansfield Town make it three wins in a row with 2-1 victory over Salford City
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 5th January 2021
Mansfield Town made it three League Two wins in a row as they beat Salford City 2-0.
Fresh from his hat-trick at the weekend, Jordan Bowery took his tally to six goals in four games while George Lapslie also got on the scoresheet.
Di’Shon Bernard netted a late consolation for City but it was too little too late.
The Stags have now moved up to 15th in the table after back-to-back wins at One Call Stadium in the space of three days.
They now sit six points clear of the relegation zone and eight off the play-off spots. Can this rejuvenated Mansfield squad start looking up rather than over their shoulder?
Nigel Clough stuck with an unchanged squad following Saturday's 4-0 win over Port Vale, and his faith in the starting XI was rewarded as the Stags led 2-0 at the interval.
Lapslie opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour with a 25 yard strike after Salford failed to clear their lines.
And that advantage was doubled 15 minutes later by man of the moment Bowery.
Seconds after failing to guide a Mal Benning cross on target the striker made no mistake as he buried James Perch's cross.
The second half began with Ammies substitute Tom Elliott firing over the bar before the Stags went in search of their third.
Jamie Reid's shot was diverted wide before Vaclav Hladky tipped Farrend Rawson's header onto the bar and Benning's effort missed the target.
Bernard pulled a goal back for the visitors in the second of three added minutes, prodding home from close range.
But it was too little too late as Clough’s men made it four games unbeaten.
STAGS: Stech, Perch, Rawson, Sweeney, Benning, Clarke, Lapslie, Maris, Charsley, Reid, Bowery; Suns (not udsed): O'Keeffe, Menayese, Cook, O'Driscoll, McLaughlin, Sinclair.
SALFORD: Hladky, Touray, Lowe, Eastham, Clarke (Turnbull HT), Hunter, Bernard, Threlkeld, Wilson (Andrade 61), Thomas-Asante (Elliott HT), Henderson; Subs (not used): Evans, Burgess, Denny, M. Touray.
REF: Will Finnie.
Mansfield Town 2-1 Salford City
Salford City missed a chance to go fourth in League Two after a 2-1 defeat at Mansfield Town.
Two goals in the first half from George Lapslie and Jordan Bowery were enough for The Stags to record their third win in a row.
Di’Shon Bernard scored an injury time consolation, but ultimately a sub-standard first half cost The Ammies dear.
Even had a late Ibou Touray chance found the back of the net, manager Richie Wellens says he still wouldn’t have been happy.
Lapslie has been in good form since Nigel Clough took charge at the One Call Stadium, and scored his sixth goal in 14 when given space outside the box to hit a low shot that trickled past Vaclav Hladky.
That lead was doubled when a player in finer fettle, Bowery, seized on some hesitant defending to score from close range, his sixth goal in four.
Tom Elliott and Jordan Turnbull were introduced at half time, with Elliott looping a shot over before Ibou Touray slammed in a rising drive that beat the bar. However all The Ammies could muster was in the first of three additional minutes when Bernard poked in at the back post after Mansfield failed to clear a corner. Touray had a late chance when a ball dropped to him at the far post, but his timing was just off and the cross bounced off him and behind for a goal kick.