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Match Reports

Match report: Stags 1-3 Swindon Town

14 October 2017

Mansfield Town tasted defeat at One Call Stadium for the first time this season as they slipped to a 3-1 loss against Swindon Town this afternoon.

Two goals at opposite ends of the first half had Stags trailing 2-0 at the break. Robins' midfielder Amine Linganzi put Swindon ahead in the fourth minute, prodding home a Matty Taylor free-kick from near the corner flag.

Striker Jimmy Spencer and winger Alex MacDonald had Mansfield's best efforts from long range but Swindon doubled their lead in the 44th minute when winger John Goddard converted from close range after good work down the left.

Swindon all but put the game to bed on 53 minutes when striker Luke Norris converted a penalty after he was fouled by right-back Hayden White.

Despite Mansfield's best efforts they could only pull one back, as striker Danny Rose hit an impressive volley in the dying embers of the game.

Mansfield manager Steve Evans shuffled his pack after last week's 2-0 defeat to Colchester United and made three changes to his starting eleven. Hayden White came in at right back in place of Paul Anderson, midfielder Jacob Mellis was brought in ahead of Omari Sterling-James and frontman Jimmy Spencer made his first start of the season, replacing Kane Hemmings.

The game was less than four minutes old when the visitors took the lead. Robins' winger Paul Mullin won a free-kick right near the corner flag and when the ball was swung in by Matty Taylor, it landed kindly for Amine Linganzi to poke past Stags' 'keeper Conrad Logan from close range.

With Swindon ahead, they went on the front foot to try and double their advantage. Three minutes later, Logan was beaten to the ball by forward Keshi Anderson but his cross from the left was just too high for Swindon striker Luke Norris.

Stags responded well as they went searching for an equaliser. Former Oxford United man MacDonald fed Jimmy Spencer and he turned well inside the area but struggled to get the contact needed to test Reice Charles-Cook in the Swindon goal.

Swindon continued to attack and John Goddard skipped past Stags' skipper Krystian Pearce but failed to find his intended target with his pull back.

In the 14th minute, Jacob Mellis won a free-kick just inside the Swindon half but when MacDonald delivered the ball in, Pearce's header was cleared away with a host of Mansfield bodies lurking inside the six-yard box.

As the game neared the 20-minute mark, the Stags were starting to grow into proceedings and after a good passing move, left-back Johnny Hunt aimed a ball towards striker Danny Rose in the area, but the Mansfield hit man couldn't get enough on it.

Though Mansfield were seeing plenty of the ball, Swindon were defending well in number whilst the men in the amber and blue were struggling to find that killer pass.

Swindon went close to doubling their lead in the 25th minute. Top goalscorer Norris received the ball inside the area and forced Logan into a low save with his legs before Mullin smashed the rebound over the bar.

It was then Mansfield's turn to have a sight of goal. Rose looked to have gone clear inside the area but he was denied an opening by Swindon skipper Olly Lancashire whose last-ditch tackle prevented an almost certain goal.

With a third of the game almost gone, Mansfield had their first clear chance. Rose did well to flick on Logan's goal kick and from 20 yards out, Spencer swivelled on the spot before unleashing a powerful drive that Charles-Cook did well to get down to.

MacDonald was next to try his luck for the Stags on 33 minutes. The former Oxford United man played a neat one-two with winger Will Atkinson before unleashing a shot which was easily dealt with by Charles-Cook.

Two minutes later, Mansfield were presented with a good opportunity to draw level when Rose was on the receiving end of a shove 25 yards out. MacDonald stepped up and took the free-kick, which was in a central position, but the Swindon wall was there to do its job.

After scoring early in the first half, Swindon ended the opening period in the same fashion as they doubled their advantage in the 44th minute. A ball from the left was hit low and hard across the face of goal and Goddard was on hand to flick the ball past Logan.

With his side needing at least two goals in the second half, manager Steve Evans made two substitutions at the break, bringing on striker Lee Angol for Jimmy Spencer and wide man Omari Sterling-James in place of Will Atkinson.

Former Solihull man Sterling-James nearly had an immediate impact as he got on the end of a MacDonald cross inside the area, but he chose to pass instead of having a go at goal and his flicked effort could only find a Swindon man.

Angol then had some early involvement of his own in the 50th minute when he stung the palms of Charles-Cook with a blasted effort from a tight angle.
Central midfield partners Jacob Mellis and Calum Butcher almost linked up as Mansfield looked to halve the deficit. Mellis drilled a corner in into the feet of Butcher but his volley was deflected wide.

Any hopes of a Mansfield comeback suffered a blow in the 53rd minute when Swindon added another to go 3-0 ahead. Referee Oliver Langford pointed to the spot after Krystian Pearce appeared to pull Luke Norris at the far post and Norris himself stepped up to send Logan the wrong way from 12 yards for his seventh of the season.

Mansfield now needed to produce something special to get anything from the game and they nearly got a goal back in spectacular fashion. The ball fell kindly for Rose on the edge of the area but his well-struck half volley flew over the Swindon goal.

Swindon were looking for more goals and Matty Taylor's free-kick on the hour was straight at the wall before Mansfield centre half David Mirfin threw himself in the way of Taylor's rebound.

Rose was continuing to try his luck and Mansfield's top goalscorer fired wide of the target from just outside the box after a nice turn to get himself into space.

Time was running out for the Stags but in the 71st minute they almost pulled one back. A good passing move in and around the area resulted in Rose clipping a ball across for Angol but the former Peterborough United man saw his flicked effort easily saved by Charles-Cook.

With less than ten minutes remaining, Sterling-James saw a cross-cum-shot deflected wide as the Stags looked to test Swindon.

The home side and their supporters were up in arms three minutes later as they protested for what looked like a certain penalty. Rose was seemingly shoved over by Matt Preston whilst challenging Charles-Cook for a loose ball but Langford was having none of it and he waved away the protests.

Mansfield nearly got a consolation in the last seconds of normal time. Sterling-James found space 25 yards out and his effort was deflected onto the roof of the net.

The Mansfield consolation did come a minute later, however. All of Danny Rose's goals this season have come in the second half and he added another to that list, converting MacDonald's cross with an acrobatic volley from ten yards out.

Rose and Mansfield almost got a second as they looked to set up a nervy final few minutes for Swindon. Rose raced clear of the Swindon defence and just as he was about to the pull the trigger, Matt Preston slid in with a world class challenge to knock the ball to safety in the last meaningful action of the match.

STAGS' XI: Logan, White, Pearce, Mirfin, Hunt, Mellis, Butcher, Atkinson (Sterling-James 46'), MacDonald, Spencer (Angol 46'), Rose

SUBS NOT USED: Olejnik (GK), Bennett, Anderson, Hamilton, Hemmings

SWINDON XI: Charles-Cook, Purkiss, Preston, Lancashire, Mullin, Dunne, Norris (Woolery 88'), Goddard, Linganzi, Anderson (McDermott 80'), Taylor

SUBS NOT USED: Henry (GK), Robertson, Iandolo, Gordon, Knoyle

ATTENDANCE: 4,081 (523 away)

REFEREE: Oliver Langford


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