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Match Reports

Report: Stags 3-0 Bradford City

25 January 2020

Mansfield Town produced a scintillating performance to record a 3-0 victory over promotion-chasers Bradford City at One Call Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Throughout a dominant performance in NG18, one header apiece from Danny Rose and Nicky Maynard at either end of the first-half had the Stags in pole position.

And while the Bantams never seemed likely to mount a comeback, substitute Andy Cook ensured all three points would stay in Nottinghamshire with a sensational finish midway through the second period.

Graham Coughlan named only a double change to his starting line-up, which coincided with his two January signings.

Harry Charsley made his home debut in place of Matt Preston while new man Joe Riley, announced prior to kick-off, replaced an injured Hayden White at right-back.

It seemed to be a cautious approach from both sides in the early stages as Bradford worked the first chance of the afternoon.

Dylan Connolly lashed a half-volley towards the far corner but Mal Benning’s perfectly-timed blocked prevented a breakthrough for the visitors.

And it proved to be a defining moment when – with the contest only seven minutes old – the amber and blue found the back of the net.

Alex MacDonald whipped a delightful ball from the far side towards Rose who, despite being sandwiched between two white shirts, lept highest and planted a smart header back across goal.

The Stags, however, were not resting on their laurels as they continued their barrage of attacks.

Ryan Sweeney found himself in a glorious position to double his side’s advantage but the hooked finish instead connected with the stanchion.

On his One Call Stadium bow, Charsley harried forward with possession only to see a deflection halt any chance of a debut goal in front of the home support.

The Bantams began to secure a foothold in the fixture after finding themselves penned back throughout the opening half-hour, with several set-pieces being cleared to good effect by the hosts.

With the tides momentarily turned, Coughlan’s men won possession back through energetic pressing but as Rose sought to launch a counter attack, the ball was deemed to have rolled out of play.

It mattered little, though, when the Stags were awarded their eighth corner of the first half.  

Benning took responsibility for a beautiful, curling delivery that dropped right onto the head of Maynard who couldn’t miss from inside the six-yard area, duly doubling the tally just two minutes before the interval.

Following the restart, the away side were presented a brilliant opportunity to reduce the arrears.

Krystian Pearce’s flick, collected by Bobby Olejnik, was judged to have been a backpass, yet Eoin Doyle’s placed strike was smothered by a hound of amber and blue.

Soon after, the One Call began to shake at its roots. First Benning ran over 60 yards to twice win back possession, before Maynard intercepted a clearance and Charsley likewise.

It was the No. 11’s last contribution alongside his strike partner Rose, as both were replaced by Jimmy Knowles and Cook.

And much like at Plymouth, the latter took less than 30 seconds to stamp his mark on proceedings.

Cook allowed Benning’s quick throw-in to run across his body and having noticed Luke McGee off his line, the striker took full advantage with an audacious strike that dipped into the corner.

It was, from that point, a straightforward task for the home side, who saw out the remainder of the Sky Bet League Two clash with peerless composure.

The Stags will be hoping to build upon this afternoon’s comfortable victory when they travel to Boundary Park to face Oldham Athletic on Tuesday evening.

STAGS XI: Olejnik (GK), Benning, Pearce, Bishop, MacDonald, Maynard (Cook 74’), Sweeney, Riley, Hamilton, Charsley (Tomlinson 83’), Rose (Knowles 74’).

UNUSED SUBS: Stone (GK), Preston, Khan, Clarke.

BRADFORD XI: McGee (GK), Richards-Everton, A. O’Connor, Pritchard, Reeves © (Devitt 57’), Doyle, McCartan, Connolly, Henley (Donaldson 77’), Wood, Taylor.

UNUSED SUBS: Sykes-Kenworthy (GK), Mellor, P. O’Connor, Oteh, Cooke, Devitt.

REFEREE: Will Finnie

ASSISTANTS: Leigh Crowhurst & Ollie Williams

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Matthew Smith

ATTENDANCE5,537 (1,467 away)


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