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Match Reports

Report: Stags 2-3 Bradford City

21 August 2021

A breathless encounter at One Call Stadium saw the Stags fall to a slender 3-2 defeat at the hands of promotion hopefuls Bradford City.

Oli Hawkins fired in a brace for Nigel Clough’s outfit either side of half-time.

Bradford took the lead from a Paudie O’Connor header after 19 minutes but Hawkins nodded Stags level eight minutes before the break. 

The striker’s second came inside the box, volleying past Richard O’Donnell before Charles Vernam equalised eight minutes later. 

Former Stag Andy Cook delivered the points to West Yorkshire with three minutes to play, turning a rebounded effort over the line. 

Mansfield boss Nigel Clough made one change to the side that drew 1-1 with Colchester at JobServe Stadium on Tuesday night. 

Striker Oli Hawkins returned to lead the line with Danny Johnson, at the expense of George Lapslie who dropped to the bench. 

Defender Elliott Hewitt retained his place at right full-back having headed Stags to a point in Essex on his full debut. 

Rhys Oates collected Callum Cooke’s loose corner kick after five minutes to dribble the ball to the opposing box, linking up with Stephen Quinn whose cross was headed clear by Niall Canavan. 

McLaughlin’s driven cross three minutes later was swatted away by Richard O’Donnell as Stags pushed for an early lead. 

The Irishman found space to drive left again minutes later, this time his cross was spilled by O’Donnell who floored Hawkins to deal with the threat. 

Bradford took control of the game following a lively start by taking the lead in the 19th minute 

Cooke’s out-swinging corner was powerfully met by centre back Paudie O’Connor whose header beat Bishop and his goal-line defenders to open the scoring. 

O’Donnell again spilled the ball five minutes later attempting to claim Quinn’s cross. The ‘keeper recovered well to collect the ball on the goal-line and deny the lurking Hawkins. 

Maris’s snapshot on the half hour mark forced O’Donnell into a low save who handled well despite the greasy surface. 

Mansfield’s persistence would come to fruition in the 37th minute. 

Ollie Clarke collected the ball by the corner flag, swinging a cross into six foot six Hawkins who glanced his header past O’Donnell into the right side of the goal coolly.  

Cooke’s edge-of-the-box shot two minutes before the break was well held by Bishop to ensure the sides began the second period on equal terms. 

Twenty seconds into the second period Oates drove with the ball, beating his defender before dragging a shot on the run wide of the bottom left corner. 

George Maris, who took a knock from a heavy challenge late in the first half, was replaced by Ryan Stirk in the 49th minute. 

Mansfield took the lead in the 52nd minute as Hawkins doubled his tally. 

Oates’ cross found the number 12, who had drifted into space inside the box, before volleying the ball past O’Donnell at the Quarry Lane End. 

Callum Cooke received the game’s first booking in the 59th minute following a coming together with Quinn as tensions began to rise. 

Bradford drew level on the hour mark, exploiting space in the Mansfield midfield. 

In space on the edge of the box, Cooke found Vernam on the left who stepped inside to curl a right footed shot beyond Bishop in front of the travelling supporters. 

Vernam troubled Stags again minutes later, his fake shot floored Hewitt before finding Andy Cook who scuffed a shot from close-range in front of goal. 

Perch, who recently suffered a head injury at Colchester on Tuesday, took another knock by blocking Cooke’s volley with his face after 80 minutes.  

Hewitt met McLaughlin’s looped cross at the back post four minutes from time forcing O’Donnell into a strong save to keep the scores level. 

His save would prove important a minute later as the Bantams found a late winner. 

Vernam’s curled effort was well saved by Bishop, but Cook reacted fastest of those inside the box to turn the rebound over the line. 

Sinclair found Hawkins inside the box in the 93rd minute but the turning striker failed to find an equaliser, spooning the ball over the cross-bar. 

Next up for the Stags is an away trip to Swindon Town on Saturday 28 August.

STAGS XI: Bishop, McLaughlin, Hewitt, Rawson, O. Clarke (88’ Sinclair), Maris (49’ Stirk), Johnson, Hawkins, Perch, Quinn, Oates (72’ Lapslie) 

UNUSED SUBS: Shelvey, Gordon, Bowery, Burke 

BRADFORD CITY XI: O’Donnell, Ridehalgh, O’Connor, Canavan, Songo’o, Cooke (83’ Crankshaw), Cook, Gillead, Vernam, Watt (67’ Evans), Cousin-Dawson 

UNUSED SUBS: Hornby, Foulds, Kelleher, Scales, Lavery 

REFEREE: Scott Oldham 

ASSISTANTS: Marvyn Amphlett & Greg Read 

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Steven Reid 

ATTENDANCE: 6,058 (1,589) 


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