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Match report: Retford 0-5 Stags

14 July 2018

A Lee Angol first-half spot-kick, along with four goals in the second period earned Mansfield Town a comfortable 5-0 at Retford United this afternoon.

The scoreline should have been far greater with the amount of chances created - especially from a number of expertly-taken corners from Omari Sterling-James - but Stags were largely wasteful in front of goal. 

And it was Sterling-James who really upped the gears in the second half, scoring two goals - one of which from the penalty spot - and setting up the other two. 

Lewis Gibbens, a young defender playing at left centre-half as part of a 3-5-2 formation, came closest to scoring first after just six minutes. Sterling-James' corner was pin-point and a towering Gibbens watched as his bullet-like header smashed against the bar.

Retford had their first and best chance of the contest two minutes later. Stags' defender Paul Digby mis-judged the ball, allowing a Retford striker in on goal, but he buckled under pressure as 'keeper Bobby Olejnik made a routine stop.

Stags won a succession of corners but Retford went untested.

Mid-way through the first half, Paul Anderson - playing at left-wing-back - almost lobbed the goalkeeper with an audacious effort, but the home custodian scrambled back to tip it behind.

Will Atkinson - at right-wing back - directed two inviting balls into the box, but the first was turned behind for a corner and Sterling-James skied the other.

On the half-hour mark, Angol drilled low from the edge of the area, and after it was blocked Atkinson attempted a follow-up but was in an offside position.

The aformentioned pair combined to deadly effect on 42 minutes.

Angol again fired goalwards and after the goalkeeper parried, Atkinson was bundled to the ground as Stags were awarded a penalty.

And the ex-Peterborough man made no mistake from 12 yards, striking straight down the middle.

After neat moves, Sterling-James and Atkinson both had chances in the opening stages of the second period, but both attempts in front of goal were found wanting.

Shortly before the hour, Retford headed over from their first and only corner. 

Stags thought they had a second on the stroke of the hour, though Atkinson was adjudged to have handled inside the goal area.

And after Sterling-James smashed a 25 free-kick well wide, Mansfield became merciless and went for the throat as Retford legs tired.

On 63, Butcher made the pass and Sterling-James burst into the box to find the net from a right of centre position.

A minute later, youngster Nyle Blake came on for Paul Anderson.

In the 70th minute, Stags made it three when Sterling-James corner was headed home by the advancing Krystian Pearce.

Then, five minutes later, Sterling-James underlined his claim for a Man-of-the-Match award when he weaved his way into the box before being upended to win a spot-kick. And the ex-Solihull man did the rest from 12 yards, sending the 'keeper the wrong way as he planted it into the bottom left corner.

Graham, Butcher and Atkinson all had attempts to scribe their names onto the scorecard, but missed the target.

Sterling-James set-up Mansfield's fifth on 87, causing havoc on the left before directing a dangerous ball towards the back post for Nyle Blake to rush in and stab home to complete the day's scoring.

STAGSOlejnik, Pearce, Digby, Gibbens, Atkinson, Anderson, Bishop, Butcher, Sterling-James, Angol, Graham.

No teamsheet produced. Retford team therefore unknown.

ATTENDANCE: 260


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