Mansfield Town’s play-off push will go down to the final day of the season after a Lee Angol brace helped the Stags come from behind twice this afternoon to secure a 3-2 win against Yeovil Town at Huish Park.
Despite a positive start to the game, Mansfield found themselves behind at the interval. In the 17th minute, a well delivered corner was headed into the back of the net by Bevis Mugabi. That goal appeared to take the wind out of the Mansfield sails and the rest of the half was a poor encounter with neither side doing enough to add to the scoreline.
Lee Angol was introduced at half-time and it proved to be a brilliant decision as he had a huge impact on proceedings. The second-half was much more action-packed than the first and that started in the 48th minute when Mansfield drew level. CJ Hamilton’s cross from the left ended up at the feet of Angol and he was able to hook the ball into the back of the net despite a Yeovil having a player on the line.
The parity didn’t last however as Yeovil went ahead again in the 58th minute, with Francois Zoko scoring a penalty. Ten minutes later, the Stags were awarded a spot kick of their own after Angol’s free-kick was handled in the wall. Kane Hemmings stepped up and drilled the ball into the bottom corner to make it 2-2. In the 76th minute, Mansfield scored their winner. They were awarded another free-kick 20-yards out and Lee Angol secured his brace, hitting an unstoppable effort in off the crossbar.
Stags manager David Flitcroft made just the one change from the side that drew with Port Vale last time out, as in midfield, the artful Jacob Mellis came in for flying winger CJ Hamilton. Mellis joined Will Atkinson in the heart of central midfield which meant a positional change for Alex MacDonald, the former Scotland under-21 international joining Alfie Potter out wide after operating in a central role last weekend.
It was MacDonald who got the game under way and he had the game’s first chance inside the opening minute. The former Oxford United man found space 25-yards out and he drove forward before unleashing a well struck effort which skewed off target.
The Mansfield pressure continued and in the fifth minute, the Stags went close. A corner from the right was whipped in towards the near post by left back Mal Benning and it found Paul Digby but the versatile Stags man couldn’t direct his header on goal.
Yeovil’s first opening came in the 15th minute. Francois Zoko did well to skip past Stags’ defender Rhys Bennett but his cross from the right of the Mansfield area was cleared at the near post by the imperious Krystian Pearce.
With their next attack, the hosts took the lead. A corner from the left found Bevis Mugabi in the centre of the box and he was able to head past Mansfield ‘keeper Conrad Logan to give the Glovers a 17th minute lead.
Alex MacDonald found himself in the referee’s book just before the half hour mark as he tripped Zoko when the Yeovil forward attempted a fast paced counter-attack.
There was a brief injury scare for the Stags as top ‘scorer Danny Rose went down following a heavy collision inside the Yeovil area but thankfully for Mansfield, the former Bury man was able to continue.
With ten minutes to go in the first half, the Stags made their first substitution. Alfie Potter was taken off and replaced by fellow winger CJ Hamilton.
As the game neared the end of its opening period, Yeovil were looking lively and a neat passing move on the edge of the Stags’ area almost created an opening, but the Glovers were denied by a brilliant tackle by Pearce on Jordan Green.
Mansfield were desperate for a way back into the game and they almost got the leveller in first-half stoppage time. CJ Hamilton slipped the ball through for striker Kane Hemmings inside the area but the on-loan Oxford United man saw his shot deflected out for a corner.
The Stags made their second substitution at the break with manager David Flitcroft clearly looking to add some firepower to his side. Midfielder Will Atkinson was removed with striker Lee Angol introduced as part of a front three.
That move nearly paid off as the Stags went close early in the second-half. A cross from the left found its way to Danny Rose but, with Yeovil ‘keeper Artur Krysiak out of position, Rose was unable to keep his effort down.
A few minutes later and Mansfield had their leveller. Brilliant work down the left by CJ Hamilton ended in him putting the ball into the six-yard box and after some pinball in the area, it was eventually bundled over the line by Lee Angol, despite the best efforts of a Yeovil defender on the line.
In the 56th minute, the home side were awarded a penalty and the chance to go back in front. Thomas James’ drilled free-kick was only parried out by Logan and the loose ball was eventually cleared for a corner. From that set piece, referee Charles Breakspear pointed to the spot after an apparent foul by Pearce on Omar Sowunmi. It was Francois Zoko who stepped up to the spot and the Yeovil captain sent Logan the wrong way to put the Glovers back in front.
Yeovil’s Alex Fisher then had a very optimistic effort from 30-yards out but it lacked the power and accuracy to test Logan with the Mansfield stopper watching it comfortably wide of his post.
MacDonald was next to try his luck for the Stags as they looked to get back into the game once again. Benning’s cross from the left was headed out to the edge of the box where MacDonald ran on to the loose ball before firing a shot wide of the target.
The Stags were looking dangerous and Rose had a great chance to restore the equilibrium but his volley at the back post, after being found by a corner kick, fizzed wide of the target.
The drama continued in the 69th minute as Mansfield were awarded a penalty of their own. Angol’s free kick from the edge of the box clearly struck an arm in the wall and referee Charles Breakspear had no choice but to point to the spot. Kane Hemmings took responsibility and he drilled the ball low into the bottom corner past the dive of Krysiak.
It was Yeovil who went close next in a game which was now well and truly up for grabs. Zoko teed up James on the edge of the area and his effort was parried out by Logan before the Stags managed to clear the danger.
At the other end, Mansfield missed a great chance for a third goal. Hemmings held the ball up well on the edge of the box and he floated a cross to the far post towards Lee Angol but the former Peterborough man couldn’t sort his feet out in time to make contact with the ball.
The decision to bring on Lee Angol at half-time looked to be a masterstroke as in the 76th minute, the physical centre forward scored again to put the Stags ahead for the first time. Mansfield were awarded another free-kick from close range but this time Angol didn’t find the wall, he instead picked out the top corner with Krysiak stranded.
It was now Yeovil who were giving their all in search of an equaliser and Lewis Wing fired a shot towards goal from 25-yards out but it swerved wide of the target.
Next up for Yeovil was Sam Surridge who cut inside from the left and curled a shot towards the back post but thankfully for the Stags, Logan was always equal to it and he easily held the ball.
The Glovers faithful were up in arms in the 88th minute as they appealed for another penalty. A ball into the box found Zoko who went down under pressure from Bennett but the referee was having none of it as he waved away the protests.
Mansfield were set for a nervy end to the game as there was nine minutes added on at the end of the 90, with the Stags desperately needing to hold on to their one-goal advantage.
The Stags used the 90th minute to make their final change. Right-back Paul Digby, who appeared to pick up a knock, was taken off and Adam King was brought on in his place.
Yeovil were awarded a dangerous-looking free kick by the right touchline after a foul by Angol and the ball into the area found James but he was unable to direct his header goal bound.
The home side’s attempts to score a late equaliser suffered a late blow as defender Omar Sowunmi was given his marching orders after picking up his second yellow card of the afternoon after a foul on Angol.
That red card put an end to any hopes of a Yeovil comeback and the Stags were able to hold on and secure a massive three points.
STAGS’ XI: Logan (GK), Bennett, Benning, Digby (King 90’), Pearce ©, MacDonald, Mellis, Atkinson (Angol 45’), Potter (Hamilton 34’), Hemmings, Rose
SUBS NOT USED: Olejnik (GK), Hunt, Byrom, Graham
YEOVIL XI: Krysiak (GK), Mugabi, Wing, Khan, Smith (Bird 79’), Zoko ©, Green (Browne 63’), Sowunmi, Fisher (Surridge 66’), James, Donnellan
SUBS NOT USED: Phillips (GK), Smith, Gobern, Seager
REFEREE: Charles Breakspear
ATTENDANCE: 3500 (338 away)