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Match Reports

Match report: Stags 2-1 Bury

26 December 2018

Match Reports

Match report: Stags 2-1 Bury

26 December 2018

CJ Hamilton and Tyler Walker scored a goal apiece as Mansfield Town emerged as 2-1 victors in a thrilling encounter against Bury at One Call Stadium.

Spearheading the Stags’ attack, it was Hamilton who broke the deadlock after a frenetic first half. He found himself in-behind the Bury defence and saw his initial effort saved before tucking the ball home at the second time of asking with his head.

Ryan Sweeney was then fouled inside the Bury area to hand Walker the opportunity to double his side’s lead – which he did so with no mistake from the penalty spot.

The Shakers did get themselves on the scoresheet, too, when Nicky Maynard was awarded a penalty of his own. Jay O’Shea assumed responsibility and, like Walker, found the back of the net to notch a consolation goal.

It was an unchanged lineup from David Flitcroft as his side looked to replicate their antics from Stevenage last time out.

The Stags made a ponderous start to proceedings at One Call Stadium as Eoghan O’Connell almost handed the visitors an early advantage. A long throw caused pinball inside Conrad Logan’s area, before he had to tip a header over the bar from point-blank range.

Moments later, O’Shea then tried to audaciously chip Logan from near the half-way line before having his effort turned away as it dipped from the sky.

The Stags’ shot-stopper was involved a number of times thereafter as he thwarted Bury’s attempts to break the deadlock inside the opening ten minutes.

Flitcroft’s men would not be disheartened, however, as they began to gain a foothold in the match. Timi Elsnik’s darting run ended with a corner that was almost blasted home by Jacob Mellis when he found space just inside the area.

He then fired another rifled effort against the side netting to spark the Mansfield crowd into collective noise.

The hosts didn’t halt there, though. Hayden White produced a fine cross that Mal Benning was unable to direct towards goal before Neal Bishop saw his goal-bound effort blocked at the last by Stephen Dawson – following some brilliant individual play by Hamilton.

Possession then fell kindly to Mellis. He delicately flicked the ball over the onrushing defender to Walker, who unfortunately slipped as he looked to connect with the ball.

O’Shea had another sight at goal just past the half-hour mark when the ball was fed into his path, but luckily for the Stags, he cleared Logan’s bar by some distance.

Walker looked to have been upended inside the Bury penalty area, with nothing ado for referee Ollie Yates, before he was then adjudged to have committed a foul of his own to relieve the opposition of any pressure.

Intricate play between a handful of amber and blue shirts led to Benning feeding White who saw his cross palmed away by Murphy, before arrowing the rebound into the side netting.

The left wing-back then dragged an effort narrowly wide as they upped the ante in search of an opener before half-time.

Hamilton almost found the aforementioned goal on 44 minutes, yet a smart save by Murphy ensured that he would not find a way through on this occasion.

With seconds remaining in the first period, Mellis unleashed a rocket from some 30 yards that whistled marginally wide of the upright.

The hosts continued from where they left off and could have been ahead in only the 48th minute.

O’Connell sought to clear Hamilton’s deflected cross but inadvertently turned it against the frame of his own goal before it was hooked away at the second time of asking.

The centre-half was involved soon after as the game’s intensity was turned up a notch. He knocked a low cross behind for a corner that the Stags were unable to profit from.

Dominic Telford broke free from this particular corner, and he looked to switch play but only found the head of Matt Preston, who cleared away danger with consummate expertise.

This didn’t knock the hosts off their stride, though, as Bishop delivered yet another teasing cross that somehow avoided everyone.

Flitcroft’s side were still on top as they ensured their pressure would pay dividends just after the hour mark.

Mellis’ delightful ball over the top found Hamilton who had made headway on the Bury back-line; and although his initial volley was smothered by Murphy, the rebound sprung up nicely for the winger to nod into an unguarded net.

It was nothing less than Mansfield had deserved as Stags’ number 22 sent One Call Stadium into raptures.

And not long after, Hamilton was in-behind once more. White had spotted the winger’s run from afar, as he picked him out with an inch-perfect diagonal before Murphy had rushed out to block his following cross.

The hosts probed the Bury defence and both Danny Rose and Walker were unable to find a way past Murphy – having to settle for a corner.

The corner proved crucial. It was hooked away on the goal line but Ollie Yates, amidst the action, pointed to the spot after spotting a foul against Ryan Sweeney.

Walker stepped up from 12 yards to fire Mansfield into a deserved two-goal lead. Notching his fifteenth goal of the season, the striker sent Murphy the wrong way and allowed his side breathing space on 79 minutes.

Will Atkinson was then introduced in place of Jacob Mellis and he almost made an immediate impact. Within 10 seconds of entering the fray, he broke clear and poked an effort only against the legs of Murphy.

The game looked to be simmering towards its conclusion before O’Shea pulled one back for the visitors in the fifth minute of added time from the penalty spot. 

Nicky Maynard, on as a substitute, was brought down by Preston with only seconds left on the clock – allowing O’Shea to fire home with aplomb to halve the deficit.

It was in vain, however, as the referee soon signalled for full time.

The Stags claimed yet another three points to continue their fine form in Sky Bet League Two.

Next up for Mansfield is another home fixture as they welcome Swindon Town to One Call Stadium on Saturday.

STAGS XI: Logan (GK), White, Benning, Preston, Pearce ©, Bishop, Mellis (Atkinson 85’), Sweeney, Walker (Graham 87’), Elsnik (Rose 69’), Hamilton.

SUBS NOT USED: Kean (GK), Khan, Butcher, Law.

BURY XI: Murphy (GK), Miller (Adams 52’), Stokes, Aimson, Thompson ©, O’Connell, Dawson (Danns 58’), Styles (Maynard 69’), Telford, O’Shea, Lavery.

SUBS NOT USED: Hudson (GK), Dagnall, Moore, McFadzean.

REFEREE: Ollie Yates.
ASSISTANTS: Alan Clayton & Matthew Smith.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Lisa Rashid.

ATTENDANCE: 4,959 (516 away).


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