Report: Wycombe 0-1 Stags
Ollie Palmer netted for the first time in Mansfield Town colours as The Stags earned a deserved win at Wycombe Wanderers.
The Stags substitute struck in the 78th minute when he reacted quickest inside the six-yard box, after Martin Riley’s header cannoned off the woodwork.
Mansfield, who dominated possession and created the better opportunities, were good value for their victory and move up to 13th in League Two.
On a drizzly afternoon at Adams Park, The Stags had plenty of early possession as they sought to end their recent goal-drought.
James Jennings had the visitors’ first chance on 11 minutes as his powerful left-foot volley was tipped over by a full-stretch Matt Ingram.
Nevertheless, both teams struggled to establish a solid foot-hold throughout the first period, as those inside Adams Park had little to shout about.
On 20 minutes, Wycombe striker Matt McClure would have tested Alan Marriott, if he connected with Nick Arnold’s inviting ball across the six-yard box.
Chances were at an absolute premium, but it was The Stags who caught the next glimpse of the target shortly after the half-hour mark.
Chris Clements’ long set-piece into the area was headed down by Andrew, with Sam Clucas unable to stab the ball into the net at the far-post.
Despite having seen less of the ball, Wanderers ended the first half strongly and tested Marriott twice in quick succession before half-time
On 38 minutes, Paris Cowan-Hall cut inside from the left and found Josh Scowen with a low pull-back, but Marriott made an instinctive stop to keep the scores level.
Moments later, Cowan-Hall tried his luck with an ambitious 20-yard effort that Marriott palmed away, before the lurking Jo Kuffour was flagged offside.
After the interval, Mansfield looked ambitious and inventive and forced their counterparts into some deep, and at times last-ditch, defending.
Within minutes of the re-start, Sam Clucas saw a low close-range drive deflected wide, before Andrew headed over from Clements’ resulting flag-kick.
In another dangerous attack by The Stags, Jennings saw his angled shot blocked by Ingram, before his follow-up attempt was blocked by Marvin McCoy.
Andrew also saw an attempted over-head kick fly over the target as Mansfield remained frustrated in their quest to find an all-important goal.
Wanderers came close through Matt Spring before the hour mark, but the hosts received a set-back when the lively Cowan-Hall was taken off on a stretcher.
On 69 minutes, Andrew agonisingly came even closer for Mansfield, with a header through Ingram’s goalmouth that somehow evaded everyone.
Matt Rhead was brought on in favour of Andrew a few minutes later, but it was Ollie Palmer, who had earlier replaced Clucas that soon made a telling contribution.
With a quarter-of-an-hour left, Martin Riley’s header from Jennings’ free-kick ricocheted off the post, but spurned across goal towards Palmer, who was able to poke home.
The Stags’ pressure had deservedly paid off and the task now for Paul Cox’s team was to see out the last quarter-of-an-hour or so.
On 82 minutes, Palmer spurned a gilt-edge chance to double The Stags’ lead when he was denied by Ingram in a one-on-one situation.
But lacklustre Wycombe were unable to stage a comeback as Mansfield earned a win at Adams Park for only the second time in their history.