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Match Reports

Match report: Stags 2-0 Notts County

8 December 2018

Mansfield Town emerged as victors in the Nottinghamshire Derby as CJ Hamilton’s brace condemned local rivals Notts County to a 2-0 defeat.

Flying winger Hamilton beat Ross Fitzsimons either side of half time, without reply, to send the Yellows well on their way to another victory in Sky Bet League Two.

The hosts looked ever-comfortable as the clock ticked towards full time, and ultimately secured the bragging rights in the latest instalment of derby day.

The result also meant that Mansfield retained the Matt Salmon Trophy – in memory of former the former Stags' physio who sadly passed away last year.

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft made three changes following his side’s midweek Checkatrade Trophy outing against Bury.

The trio of Conrad Logan, Otis Khan and Danny Rose made way for Bobby Olejnik, Timi Elsnik and Hamilton as they turned their attentions back to proceedings in Sky Bet League Two.

One Call Stadium crackled with noise as the visitors began proceedings in the league’s early kick-off.

Two free-kicks and a corner fell the way of the Stags inside the opening few minutes, however, they were unable to capitalise upon them.

County were then awarded a free-kick of their own when Ryan Sweeney was adjudged to have fouled Jon Stead. Will Patching struck the subsequent effort but could only find the amber and blue wall.

The game ebbed and flowed with a high tempo, and it showed no sign of easing up when Nathan Thomas curled an effort towards Bobby Olejnik’s goal on 13 minutes; one that the Austrian ‘keeper was equal to.

Moments later, Fitzsimons then rushed off his goal-line to meet a Stags' through-ball. He gifted it to Mal Benning who saw his attempt at County’s empty goal hooked away.

Hamilton cut inside from the far side, as he likes to do, firing a rasping drive that was blocked by the face of Jamie Turley.

Benning then had another opportunity to break the deadlock but after controlling Jacob Mellis’ cross, he dragged the eventual half-volley wide.

And the Stags were in once more. Tyler Walker rolled Shaun Brisley with a slick first touch before, again, firing marginally wide of Fitzsimons’ upright.

Thomas was quickly establishing himself as County’s talisman for the afternoon when he got the better of Sweeney – but not Olejnik with his effort thereafter.

The clock ticked over the half-hour mark as neither side could be split.

Neal Bishop found himself in the clear after a beautiful pass by Mellis. The midfielder ran all of 40 yards but saw his shot saved by the trailing leg of Fitzsimons.

And the growing pressure on the County back-line became too much in the 37th minute as Hamilton gave his side the lead.

Meeting Benning’s pinpoint cross at the back post, he diverted his close-range effort beyond a sprawling Fitzsimons to put his side one up.

Neal Ardley’s side searched for an equaliser before half-time but almost found themselves conceding a second.

Fitzsimons was caught out of his goal after clearing the ball away, but Hamilton was unable to hit the target from around 35 yards.

This signalled the end of an enthralling first half that the Stags finished with a one-goal cushion.

The second 45 began with a similar frenetic pace to the first.

The hosts dominated possession early on and almost made it count when Hamilton raced clear.

From a relatively tight angle, the Stags’ winger rattled the bar with a thunderous effort after being fed the ball by Benning.

Walker then flicked the ball onto Hayden White, who also struck the woodwork after creating a yard of space for himself inside Fitzsimons’ penalty area.

The Stags were edging closer and closer to the all-important second goal – and it duly arrived on 63 minutes.

Hamilton netted his second of the afternoon in some style when he chopped the ball past Elliott Ward before drilling home from 10 yards.

Flitcroft’s side had well-deserved breathing space with little under half an hour remaining in the Nottinghamshire Derby.

Despite boasting a two-goal cushion, the hosts didn’t let up in their onslaught of the County defence.

Hamilton’s square pass found Walker, but the on-loan striker’s effort was blocked expertly by a sliding Dan Jones.

The game’s tempo eased slightly heading into the final 10 minutes with Mansfield in control of the fixture.

Rose and Khan came on in place of Walker and Elsnik as they looked to hold firm and secure all three points.

County crept forward at every opportunity, yet they were unable to find a consolation goal as the Stags took all three points at One Call Stadium.

Bishop was then substituted late on after looking to be in a lot of discomfort – the only blemish in an otherwise perfect day for Mansfield.

Following the victory, David Flitcroft’s side now have a week to prepare for their next fixture against Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn.

STAGS XI: Olejnik (GK), White, Benning, Preston, Pearce ©, Bishop (Atkinson 90+2’), Mellis, Sweeney, Elsnik (Khan 81’), Walker (Rose 86’), Hamilton.

SUBS NOT USED: Logan (GK), Davies, Law, Graham.

NOTTS' XI: Fitzsimons (GK), Hewitt, Vaughan, Thomas, Brisley (Hemmings 59’), Ward, Patching (Crawford 59’), Jones, Milson, Turley, Stead © (Dennis 80’).

SUBS NOT USED: Pindroch (GK), Duffy, Evina, Campbell.

REFEREE: Jeremy Simpson,
ASSISTANTS: Shaun Hudson and Nigel Lugg.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Peter Wright.

ATTENDANCE: 6,604 (1,140 away).


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