Report: Stags 3-0 Daggers
Sam Clucas and Jamie McGuire netted their first goals for Mansfield Town, whilst Matt Rhead struck his first goal in the Football League, as The Stags cruised to a 3-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge at One Call Stadium.
After an unspectacular opening-half-hour, The Stags went ahead when Clucas headed home at the far-post following John Dempster’s flick on from a set-piece.
McGuire doubled the lead when his speculative 30-yard strike was mis-judged by Daggers ‘keeper Chris Lewington, before Rhead added a third late on.
The Daggers moved the ball about well in the early exchanges, and Brian Woodall headed wide from Medy Elito’s right-sided cross in their first chance, which came on 11 minutes.
In the opening quarter-of-an-hour, The Stags had no success from a long-ball approach, but visiting ‘keeper Chris Lewington was forced to hold a set-piece cross by James Jennings.
Neither side were able to retain possession for long periods, whilst opportunities came along at very infrequent intervals – much to the frustration of everyone.
A largely forgettable opening half-hour was summed up when Woodall blazed a long-range free-kick straight at the roof of the Quarry Lane Stand.
However, The Daggers almost struck seconds later, when Abu Ogogo drifted into the area and cut the ball back across the six-yard box, which forced Martin Riley into a last-ditch clearance.
Chris Clements then enjoyed a chance for Mansfield, as his speculative 25-yard strike flew just inches wide of the right-hand post.
On 35 minutes, The Stags superbly sliced open The Daggers’ defence to take the lead.
Riley’s long set-piece was brilliantly headed down by Dempster inside the area, which left Clucas with a task of heading home at the far-post.
Lee Beevers was replaced by Rhead in a tactical substitution at the interval, and the frontman almost made an immediate impact within a minute of the re-start.
Ben Hutchinson’s clever flick found Rhead lurking on the edge of the six-yard box, who subsequently headed just over the target.
The Stags began to attack with real purpose and Clucas unleashed an audacious long-range drive, which caused a full-stretch Lewington watching nervously, as it flew over.
A minute later, however, the Dagenham & Redbridge shot-stopper was at fault as Mansfield doubled the misery for their visitors.
Lewington horribly mis-judged the bounce on McGuire’s low 30-yard strike, which bounced up and over the grounded ‘keeper and crept into the net.
The Daggers almost responded on 51 minutes, when Fenni Ilesanmi saw an angled shot re-bound off the post, having cut inside after a run down the left flank.
Mansfield continued to look a cut above their counterparts and Clements saw a deflected attempt drift narrowly wide on the hour-mark.
The Stags effectively sealed all three points with 20 minutes left, when Rhead, who provided a constant nuisance for The Daggers, pounced at close-range.
Calvin Andrew showed some good strength and foot-work to keep possession inside the area, before his inviting back-heel through the six-yard box was slammed home by Rhead.
The Daggers failed to leave One Call Stadium with even a consolation strike as Affy Obafemi headed against the bar following Elito’s left-sided cross on 75 minutes.
Mansfield dominated possession in the closing stages and ultimately ran-out as comfortable 3-0 winners.
Attendance: 3,015 (111 away supporters).