Captain Ollie Clarke’s excellent brace fired Mansfield Town to their fifth successive victory in all competitions as the Stags defeated Scunthorpe United 3-1 at One Call Stadium.
Mansfield overcame Scunthorpe’s early lead taken from the penalty spot from Myles Hippolyte after 15 minutes.
But Clarke spearheaded Mansfield’s comeback by netting a 28th minute equaliser with a left footed effort arrowing into the corner.
Jordan Bowery composed himself to claim the lead for the Stags on the stroke of half-time before Clarke made it three with a powered finish on the hour.
Nigel Clough made two changes to the side that overcame Stevenage 2-1 on Hertfordshire last Saturday.
Injured duo George Lapslie and Rhys Oates were replaced in the side by Ryan Stirk and Jordan Bowery.
Stirk was the decisive goalscorer for the Stags in his last match, making an immediate impact having stepped off the bench.
Mansfield took care of possession following the kick-off, looking to break Scunthorpe down gradually.
That break almost came inside five minutes as George Maris’ through ball intercepted Bowery’s run into the box. The striker’s cut-back to Harry Charsley was blocked by Scunthorpe’s Manny Onariase, who launched himself into the ball’s path.
Stephen McLaughlin was given the chance to cross from a 30-yard free-kick five minutes later which was nodded goalwards by Elliott Hewitt. Back-peddling, debut Scunthorpe goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara tipped the looping effort over the crossbar as Stags ramped up the pressure early on.
Stags’ momentum was stunted mid-swing as Myles Hippolyte drew Mansfield ‘keeper Nathan Bishop from his line to win a penalty on 14 minutes. The fouled forward stepped up to convert his spot-kick into the bottom corner.
The amber and blue reacted positively, continuing to tempt the Scunthorpe defence to crack despite the deficit.
And it did just that on 20 minutes as Jordan Bowery was allowed to stroll into the away side’s box one-on-one with O’Hara. Bowery casually laid the ball off with his right-foot which agonisingly dribbled onto the base of the post and out of danger.
Frustratedly behind, Mansfield’s captain stepped up to draw them level on 28 minutes when Ollie Clarke weaved through the midfield, outmuscling his marker, to arrow a grounded shot into the bottom right corner from outside the box.
The remainder of the half saw fewer clear-cut chances. However, Scunthorpe’s Jake Scrimshaw reminded the Stags of their theats as the midfielder battled his way into the box to whip the ball against the side netting
On the verge of half-time, Stags saw an opportunity to pounce.
Charsley’s shot outside the box was parried by O’Hara but only into the path of the lurking Jordan Bowery. This time the striker took his chance and lifted the ball over the ‘keeper to take the lead.
The visitors restarted the second period brightly. Striker Ryan Loft found space to dribbled down the left-wing and into the box before forcing Bishop into a smart near post save.
Stags thought they’d found their opening to go clear of Scunthorpe two minutes later. A dangerous ball into the Iron’s box was edged by Stirk to Clarke. Unfortunately, the Mansfield captain couldn’t control his feet, scuffing the ball from close range.
The hosts weren’t deterred and began to play with a higher intensity as they looked to put the game out of sight.
The skipper made up for his earlier miss by taking the ball from the feet of an unaware Alex Perry in the Scunthorpe defence. Clarke subsequently turned, drove at goal and blasted the ball under the ‘keeper to clinch a two-goal cushion for Mansfield.
Stags looked to kick on and add to their already healthy lead via a host of chances. Their best came five minutes from time when substitute James Gale’s powerful run teed up Charsley inside the box. The midfielder’s snapshot was blocked and clattered away.
Stags remained unthreatened for the remainder of the half as Clough’s men saw out a well-deserved fifth consecutive victory in all competitions.
STAGS XI: Bishop, Hewitt, O’Toole, Hawkins, McLaughlin, Charsley, O. Clarke, Maris, Quinn (Sinclair 61’), Stirk (Forrester 88’), Bowery (Gale 68’)
UNUSED SUBS: Shelvey, Rawson, Gordon, Law
SCUNTHORPE XI: O’Hara, O’Malley, Kenyon (Beestin 61’), Taft, Onariase, Hippolyte, Rowe, Scrimshaw, Perry (Pugh 78’), Hackney, Loft (Jarvis 73’)
UNUSED SUBS: Collins, Millen, Green, Thompson
REFEREE: Benjamin Speedie
ATTENDANCE: 4,904 (528 away)