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Report: Stags 2-1 Bolton

16 July 2016

First half goals from new striker Danny Rose and imposing defender Krystian Pearce ensured an encouraging 2-1 victory for Mansfield Town at home to League One Bolton Wanderers.

The Trotters replied in the second half thanks to Zach Clough's well-placed but finish, but two good goals by Mansfield earned the pre-season friendly win.

Mansfield enjoyed a near-dominant first half, with Bolton more responsive in the second half. But the fact that Stags scored two against superior opposition, limited Bolton to few clear cut chances and earned a deserved full-time round of applause, are positive points of note ahead of a new league season.

Stags' fans were treated to the first home viewing of Adam Murray’s new look squad – with five new players named in the line up: defenders Rhys Bennett and George Taft, midfielders Kevan Hurst and Ashley Hemmings as well as striker Danny Rose.

Prior to kick-off, a minute’s silence was observed for the 84 people killed in the Nice truck attack on Thursday evening.

Stags began well and carved out their first chance inside the third minute when Kevan Hurst’s pin-point cross from the right was met by a diving Danny Rose, but his header from eight yards flew wide.

Murray’s Mansfield went ahead on 11 minutes thanks to great strength by Matt Green inside the Bolton box. 

After receiving a fine midfield pass from midfielder Chris Clements, Green lost possession momentarily, but fought off Mark Beevers to square it to Danny Rose, who tapped it into the net from inside the goal area.

Only a minute later, Stags had another chance following a free kick won by the impressive Rose.

Hurst drifted it in from near the corner flag but it was just too high for Green to connect from 12 yards.

Hurst, the ex-Southend player, then tried his luck on goal with 20 minutes played - his swerving drive from 25 yards denied on the line by Bolton ‘keeper Ben Amos 

Almost halfway through the first period, Bolton got beyond the Stags’ defence for the first time after Rhys Bennett lost possession inside the Stags' half. 

Zach Clough claimed the ball for the visitors, but after slipping it to fellow striker Jamie Proctor on the left of the Stags' box, the frontman’s cross failed to find another white Bolton shirt.

Stags doubled their advantage courtesy of a textbook free-kick on 23 minutes. Left-back Mal Benning delivered from near the touchline and Krystian Pearce’s bullet header from short range was too hot to handle.

Ten minutes later, Stags’ goalkeeper Scott Shearer was called upon for the first time, standing strong to keep out a Mark Davies strike from point blank range.

In the final minute of the first half, Danny Rose leapt superbly in midfield, allowing Ashley Hemmings to sweep in a deft cross into the box, but Green was just inches away from connecting, under pressure from the Bolton defence.

Stags ended the first half with a raucous round-of-applause from the Stags’ fans, clearly encouraged by what they had witnessed from the amber and blue in the opening 45 minutes.

Bolton pulled one back nine minutes into the second half when a defence-splitting pass by substitute Max Clayton enabled Zach Clough to advance further towards the Stags' goal before shooting low beyond Shearer into the corner.

Shortly before the hour mark, Stags’ manager Adam Murray made a double change as Irish striker Pat Hoban replaced Green in attack and attacking midfielder James Baxendale came on for Rose.

And Baxendale was soon in the thick of the action, crossing from the right to Hamilton to force a Stags’ corner.

Bolton made six changes with less than half-an-hour remaining.

Soon after, Brian Jensen took the place of Scott Shearer in the Stags’ goal and Kevan Hurst made way for Mitchell Rose.

In the second half, Bolton had previously enjoyed more possession, but Stags were soon back on the ball with longevity.

Young defender Corbin Shires climbed off the bench to replace Krystian Pearce as the game grew 73 minutes old and two minutes later tenacious midfielder Jame McGuire entered the pitch in place of Chris Clements.

On 78 minutes, defender George Taft left the field as 18-year-old Louis Danquah was introduced into the action.

In a rare goalscoring chance in the second half, Adam Chapman smashed a shot from 25 yards, but it was met well by a diving Trotters’ goalkeeper Mark Howard.

Then Bolton tested Jensen when Gary Madine turned inside the box to shoot, but it came off the side of defender Shires, taking the sting out of the effort to allow Jensen to gather.

Bolton mounted late pressure in the closing stages but Stags' dogged attitude prevented the League One side from testing Jensen as Stags emerged as friendly victors.

STAGS: Shearer (Jensen 63), Bennett (Yussuf 80), Taft (Danquah 78), Pearce (Shires 73), Benning (Chapman 43), Collins (C), Hemmings (Hamilton 56), Hurst (M. Rose 68), Clements (McGuire 75) , D. Rose (Baxendale 58), Green (Hoban 58)

BOLTON: Amos (Howard 45), Moxey (Honeyball 75), Dervite (Spearing 61), Beevers (C) (Madine 61), Vela (Pratley 61), Taylor (Clayton 45), Clough (Woolery 61), Davies (Walker 72), Trotter (Wheater 61), Proctor (Finney 61), Wilson (Spooner 79)

UNUSED SUBS: Twardik, Newell

REFEREE: Gary Sutton
ATTENDANCE: 1,481 (216 from Bolton)


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