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Match Reports

Match report: Cheltenham Town 2-2 Stags

3 November 2018

Match Reports

Match report: Cheltenham Town 2-2 Stags

3 November 2018

Tyler Walker scored both the early opener and late equaliser at Jonny-Rocks Stadium as Mansfield Town secured a valuable point at Cheltenham Town.

In a game that finished 2-2, Walker nodded home in only the seventh minute to give his side an early lead. However, it was soon undone during the remainder of the first half when Tozer and Boyle gave their side a half-time lead.

The on-loan striker was not to be disheartened, though, as he stuck at it to chalk up a brace in the 93rd minute and rescued a point at the death for Mansfield Town.

David Flitcroft named an unchanged line up from Tuesday’s emphatic 3-0 victory away to Crewe Alexandra for this afternoon's match.

The gaffer did, however, name youngster Alistair Smith on the bench for the first time after he was recalled from his loan spell at Frickley Athletic.

The opening five minutes saw both sides battle for their fair share of possession at the Jonny-Rocks stadium with little action to accompany.

But the contest suddenly sparked into life on seven minutes when Mal Benning found space on the left flank.

The wing-back was able to swing a delightful ball into the penalty area, whereby Walker duly obliged by glancing an expert header beyond the reach of Robins’ goalkeeper, Scott Flinders.

However, the Stags’ lead was short-lived as the home side responded in prompt fashion. Just three minutes after the opener, they won a corner following a routine save from Bobby Olejnik.

The subsequent delivery proceeded to bounce around the Austrian’s area before Cheltenham’s skipper, Tozer, profited upon a loose ball as he rifled the ball home past a crowd of bodies to equalise.

There had been some good defending prior to the goal, but the visitors were unable to get any bodies in the way of Tozer’s attempt.

The home side had their tails up following the second goal of the afternoon and Jacob Maddox looked to break away from the middle of the park.

He spun, driving towards the Stags’ back-line, but Matt Preston hacked down the midfielder in order to stop any chance of another quick-fire goal. The centre-half then received a yellow card for his troubles, too.

Mansfield were revoked of possession for a short period of time but swiftly responded in a similar manner when Timi Elsnik, Tuesday’s star man, fired just over the bar from 20 yards.

Approaching the half-hour mark, Flitcroft’s side forced several corners as they probed the opposition’s defence in an attempt to re-take the lead.

But Cheltenham threatened to counter yet again through Maddox. This time Neal Bishop saw the same fate as Preston as he saw himself into the referee’s notebook for a professional foul.

Hayden White burst into life five minutes before the interval when he ran all of 65 yards to find Danny Rose in the middle. Beating his man, the defender fed the ball to his teammate who saw his first-time effort blocked by the legs of a Cheltenham body.

It was back and forth as Ryan Broom made in-roads for the hosts. He beat several players to find Chris Clements; whose strike was palmed away well by Olejnik to keep the game at level-pegging.

Although the Stags' 'keeper could do very little when Boyle peeled off at the back post in the 45th minute. He rose highest, above any other player inside the area, and powered a close-range header into the back of the net.

This came as a killer blow just minutes before the half-time whistle – giving the Robins a one-goal margin to take into the break.

Krystian Pearce was called into action straight after the restart as he shepherded a dangerous, bouncing ball back to Olejnik.

Luke Varney then looked to bend an ambitious effort beyond Olejnik from both a tight and distant position but failed to hit the target by some distance.

The hour mark had passed and Cheltenham looked to be in the ascendency. Clements had a vicious attempt blocked well by Benning before the Stags defender then almost turned the ball into his own net just minutes later.

Maddox and Varney both had attempts themselves soon after, but the latter fired into the arms of Olejnik while the former’s was off target.

The Stags began to grow though when Flitcroft replaced Bishop with striker Craig Davies in a bid to change the complexion of the affair.

Walker had a shot that looked to be travelling towards the bottom corner had it not been for a timely block. The away side sniffed around the Robins’ defence in hope of an equaliser.

Hamilton then looked to counter as he was fed the ball by Benning down the touchline. He cut back and dinked it across towards the head of Rose, only to see it plucked out the air by Flinders.

The visitors had five minutes of added time to rescue the game as Walker planted a header wide from 10 yards.

But the striker made no mistake in the third minute of added time.

Walker – with a typical poacher’s finish – found himself in the right place at the right time as he tapped home from point-blank range to earn his side a valiant point at the Jonny-Rocks stadium.

Referee Neil Hair glanced at his wrist and subsequently blew for time to signal the end to a nail-biting finale in Gloucestershire.

Flitcroft’s side made it nine unbeaten in the league as they prepare to take on Grimsby Town at One Call Stadium this forthcoming Tuesday.

STAGS XI: Olejnik (GK), White (Atkinson 79’), Benning, Preston, Pearce ©, Bishop (Davies 68’), Mellis, Walker, Elsnik, Hamilton, Rose.

SUBS NOT USED: Logan (GK), Butcher, Sweeney, Graham, Smith.

CHELTENHAM XI: Flinders (GK), Hussey, Tozer (GK), Thomas, Broom, Boyle, Maddox, Forster, Clements (Atangana 78’), Mooney (Addai 78’), Varney (Barnett 89’).

SUBS NOT USED: Mullins, Lovett (GK), Field, Alcock.

REFEREE: Neil Hair.
ASSISTANTS: Justin Amey & Kevin Morris.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Dean Treleaven.

ATTENDANCE: 2,828 (404 away).

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