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Club News

Season Review - April

21 May 2014

The Stags consolidated their mid-table position during a month in which they thumped promotion-chasing Rochdale.

Vs Morecambe, W 1-0. Watch highlights by clicking here.
Vs Rochdale, W 3-0. Watch highlights by clicking here.
Vs Accrington Stanley, D 1-1. Watch highlights by clicking here.
Vs Cheltenham Town, L 0-2. Watch highlights by clicking here.
Vs Torquay United, L 1-3. Watch highlights by clicking here.

Following back-to-back victories over Hartlepool United and AFC Wimbledon, we occupied 12th position in the Sky Bet League Two table at the start of the month.

Our first fixture in April heralded a trip to new surroundings as we journeyed up to the North-West to the Globe Arena in search of a first ever victory against Morecambe.

In a ferociously-fought contest, which saw no fewer than 10 yellow cards dished out, Junior Daniel’s sublime, swerving and utterly stupendous 30-yard free-kick shortly before the interval gave us a 1-0 victory.

Having notched up three wins in succession, confidence in the camp was sky high ahead of table-toppers Rochdale’s visit to North Nottinghamshire the following weekend.

And on a wonderful afternoon for us, Keith Hill’s promotion-chasers were swept away by a late blitz, which saw Martin Riley, Matt Rhead and Ryan Tafazolli score with headers in a 3-0 success.

With our charge towards the Play-Offs quickly gathering momentum, struggling Accrington Stanley were our next opponents – as we locked horns with them at the Store First Stadium.

It was a tight, niggly and gritty affair throughout, but one which swung in our favour when Jake Speight rifled a shot into the top corner following some fabulous trickery by Sam Clucas.

However, Stanley, who scored twice in stoppage-time to beat us in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign, provided a cruel late twist to effectively put paid to our Play-Off hopes.

After Marcus Bettinelli’s poor clearance hit Jake Speight and ricocheted off the post just a few seconds earlier, the hosts were awarded a spot-kick when Martin Riley tangled with James Gray.

A lengthy delay ensued as our team protested their innocence, but Kai Naismith duly stepped up and hammered a spot-kick just underneath the grasp of Lewis Price, to draw Accrington level in fifth minute of injury-time.

The gap between ourselves and the Play-Off zone had widened to seven points and our promotion aspirations mathematically came to an end on Easter Monday, when we lost 2-0 at home to Cheltenham Town.

In our subsequent match – our last on home soil in the season – Torquay United inflicted a 3-1 defeat on us, though the result wasn’t enough to prevent the Gulls from being relegated to the Conference Premier.

We ended the month in 13th position in Sky Bet League Two and in the knowledge that only a victory at relegation-threatened Bristol Rovers on the last day of the season would secure a top half finish.

Elsewhere in April, youngsters Jack Thomas and Liam Marsden made their professional debuts, whilst Lewis Price joined us on an emergency loan after injuries to Alan Marriott and Ian Deakin.

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