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Match Reports

Report: Swindon Town 1-0 Stags

23 November 2019

Mansfield Town suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat away to league leaders Swindon Town despite several fantastic chances in the second half.

Eoin Doyle found the back of the net in yet another Sky Bet League Two contest inside the opening half an hour.

However, the amber and blue were unfortunate to leave the County Ground empty handed, following a handful of gilt-edged chances landing at their feet.

John Dempster named three changes from his side’s last outing at Macclesfield, which included a maiden start in Sky Bet League Two for youngster Alistair Smith.

Jacob Mellis and CJ Hamilton were also handed starting berths in place of Will Tomlinson, Alex MacDonald and Mal Benning.

Both sides were reluctant to squander possession in the early stages and it contributed to an open feel to proceedings.

Doyle lurked in the centre, awaiting Paul Caddis’ delivery, but was unable to make any contact on the stretch after the Stags had several crosses cleared themselves.

Caddis then insisted on going alone just minutes later – causing an early scare – as he fired a curling effort against Conrad Logan’s upright.

Mansfield were attempting to impose themselves on Saturday’s contest and Mellis’ defence-splitting pass then had Steven Benda scampering out to clear, ahead of Nicky Maynard.

But there would be a setback for the visitors in the 23rd minute when Swindon upped the ante.  

Doyle had escaped the attentions of the Stags’ defensive line and when the ball dropped to him from close range, he made no mistake in rolling home his 17th of the campaign.

A passage of neat, one-touch movement followed the opener but Andy Cook was dispossessed as he looked to pull the trigger from the edge of the area.

Minutes later, the fixture burst into life, starting with Logan being able to thwart Doyle with a fantastic reflex save.

Mellis was then unable to roll the ball past Benda after finding himself one-on-one, before Maynard fired wide of the mark from a promising position.

And on the right flank, Kellan Gordon had made inroads but was unable to find Maynard at the back post who looked primed to net.

Mansfield had ascended through the gears throughout the half, yet were left with a one-goal deficit to overcome in the second period.

And it was almost the perfect start to the second half for Mansfield. Hamilton produced some superb individual work to beat his marker before firing his cross agonisingly across Maynard.

The Stags had their sights evidently set on restoring parity and were continued to be left frustrated.

This time it was their turn to clatter the woodwork as Maynard, involved yet again, unleashed a thumping effort that from an acute angle against the near post.

Dempster’s side proved to be a relentless force throughout the outset of the second period but the all-important second goal eluded them.

Cook forced an instinctual save from the Robins ‘keeper with a close-range header prior to Maynard blasting wide of the mark after looking to profit from a defensive mistake by the hosts.

The home side were not without threat, though, most notably when Doyle found Jerry Yates who ballooned a great chance beyond the bar.

Swindon were faced with a stick-or-twist situation heading into the dying embers as Mansfield had the hosts camped inside their own half.

And with all three substitutions used, the Stags had five additional minutes to steal a point from the league leaders.

Unfortunately, they were unable to do so and Swindon clinched their fifth-consecutive league victory in nervy fashion.

Mansfield will be looking to bounce back next weekend as they face Shrewsbury Town in the Emirates FA Cup second round.

STAGS XI: Logan (GK), Preston, Pearce ©, Mellis (Knowles 90’), Maynard, Shaughnessy (Sterling-James 78’), Sweeney, Cook, Gordon (Khan 82’), Hamilton, Smith.

UNUSED SUBS: Olejnik (GK), MacDonald, Tomlinson, Clarke.

SWINDON XI: Benda (GK), Fryers, Baudry ©, Yates, Doughty (Broadbent 63’), Woolery (Iandolo 90+1’), Lyden (Rose 46’), Hunt, Doyle, Caddis, Grant.

UNUSED SUBS: McCormick (GK), Twine, Curran, Jaiyesimi.

REFEREE: Nicholas Kinseley

 

ASSISTANTS: Paul Hobday & Dean Treleaven

 

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Darren Wilding

 

ATTENDANCE: 6,741 (215 away)


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