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Match Reports

Report: Stags 0-4 Cambridge United

17 September 2019

Four second-half goals condemned ten-man Mansfield Town to a 4-0 defeat against Cambridge United.

The Stags made an impressive start but were unable to notch a goal in the first period at One Call Stadium. 

And when Matt Preston was dismissed just minutes into the second half, Mansfield faced an uphill battle.

Jack Roles, Sam Smith, George Maris and Reggie Lambe’s penalty ensured their one-man advantage paid dividends by taking all three points back home.

John Dempster made a total of three alterations from Saturday’s trip to Crawley, as the Stags returned to One Call Stadium.

Mal Benning, Neal Bishop and Omari Sterling-James all came into the starting line-up, in place of Alex MacDonald, Jacob Mellis and Nicky Maynard.

It was a lively opening for the home side who were awarded the game’s first corner inside a minute – Ryan Sweeney heading over from close range.

Another headed opportunity fell the Stags’ way minutes later, except this time Krystian Pearce powered wide rather than high.

CJ Hamilton soon got in on the act as he did superbly to bundle his way beyond two Cambridge defenders, however, the eventual effort was dragged marginally past the far post.

The U’s began to pose a threat as the first period crept towards its midway point but continually ran into a solid back-line of amber and blue.

Marc Richards sought to make contact with a curling delivery from a set-piece, yet was unable to do so with the ball bouncing beyond the by-line.

Sterling-James then slipped in Hamilton only to see his shot blocked by the legs of his marker.

And the Stags’ number 22, Hamilton, had another attempt just minutes later.

An inch-perfect pass from Kellan Gordon made its way all of 60 yards before reaching the feet of Hamilton who was unable to find the target from inside the area.

The hosts were in the ascendency as the half drew to a close, but were unable to find the opener with a succession of corners.

Mansfield had endured a positive first half – with the clear-cut chances in their favour – but it remained goalless as the players left the field of play.

But Dempster’s side were dealt a huge blow just several minutes into the second half.

Matt Preston was shown a straight red card after a heavy challenge on Luke Hannant on the half-way line.

The visitors were expectedly buoyed as they held a one-man advantage and looked to make it count within seconds.

Lambe’s powerful, low strike was heading towards the corner before being diverted to safety by the boot of Danny Rose.

Sterling-James was next to try his luck with a half-volley, which was blocked before it could reach Dimitar Mitov’s goal.

The U’s then came narrowly close to taking the lead – Richards finding himself on the end of a delightful cross but sweeping his effort off target.

But Colin Calderwood’s men made their advantage count in the 74th minute.

After Richards’ header crashed against the crossbar from a near-side corner, Roles found himself in the right place at the right time to roll home and thrust his side into the driving seat.

Rose tried an effort from range in an attempt to restore parity but Mitov was able to claim the bouncing ball.

And in the 84th minute the Stags were left wondering how the scores were not level.

Rose played a delightful backheel to substitute Andy Cook but he was unable to get a shot off before the U’s defenders had retreated.

And Cambridge extended their lead even further as the clock ticked towards full time.

First, Smith found the back of the net before Maris pounced onto a loose ball to seal all three points for the visitors.   

But the U’s were awarded a late, late penalty that was tucked away by Lambe in front of the travelling support.

Mansfield’s next assignment is a trip to Vale Park to face Port Vale in Sky Bet League Two this forthcoming Saturday.

STAGS XI: Logan (GK), Benning (Cook 81’), Preston, Pearce ©, Bishop, Shaughnessy, Sweeney, Gordon (Khan 86’), Hamilton, Sterling-James (MacDonald 75’), Rose.

UNUSED SUBS: Stone (GK), Mellis, Afolayan, Smith.

CAMBRIDGE XI: Mitov (GK), Knoyle, Taft, Taylor ©, Hannant (Dunk 53’), Maris, Darling, Richards, Lambe, Smith (Dallas 89’), Lewis (Roles 71’).

UNUSED SUBS: Burton (GK), Ibehre, Knibbs, Ward.

REFEREE: Darren Handley

ASSISTANTS: Danny Gratton & Thomas Harty

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Billy Smallwood

ATTENDANCE: 3,567 (181 away)

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