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Match Reports

Report: Stags 1-3 Harrogate Town

4 September 2021

Nine-man Mansfield Town were beaten 3-1 by Harrogate Town at One Call Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Stags received two red cards in the space of a minute in the second-half, with midfielders Ollie Clarke and Stephen Quinn being dismissed.

Luke Armstrong’s fifth minute equaliser cancelled out Rhys Oates’ early strike before Jack Muldoon and George Thomson confirmed Harrogate’s victory. 

Manager Nigel Clough made two changes to the side that faced Swindon Town in Mansfield’s last league outing.  

Signing on loan from Burnley on transfer deadline day, Richard Nartey made his debut for the club at centre-back. Farrend Rawson made way for the new recruit, taking a place on the bench. 

The boss’ second change saw Oates return to the starting 11 in place of striker Danny Johnson. 

Mansfield started the strongest and took an early lead after just three minutes.  

Left-back Stephen McLaughlin’s deep free-kick found the front-man lurking at the back post. Oates met the delivery on the slide to turn the ball past Mark Oxley and into the bottom right corner. 

The visitors struck back moments later as parity was restored in the fifth minute. Thomson’s corner found Armstrong inside the box who rose to head past Nathan Bishop in the Mansfield goal. 

McLaughlin’s link up play with Oli Hawkins in midfield accelerated Mansfield up the pitch on eight minutes. The full-back’s grounded cross was intercepted by a diving Oxley who denied Oates a tap-in. 

Harrogate almost struck again on 25 minutes. Lewis Page’s corner dropped in the Mansfield box and was fired goalwards by Alex Pattison, fortunately Bishop’s outstretched boot denied a sure goal. 

Thomson found Armstrong again on the half-hour mark but the forward’s close-range header was well handled by Bishop to nullify the threat. 

Mansfield persisted to try and find a way through Harrogate before the break as George Maris won his side a free-kick. McLaughlin’s curled effort from the edge of the box was palmed over the cross-bar by Oxley three minutes before half-time. 

Despite the hosts’ efforts, Harrogate took the lead in the second minute of added time. Pattison’s right-sided cross was flicked on by Armstrong’s head and converted by Muldoon’s first time finish inside the box. 

Clarke blasted a long-range effort over the bar two minutes into the second half as Stags pursued a comeback. 

Armstrong was denied a second goal of the game by the linesman’s flag having nodded Warren Burrell’s attempted overhead kick over Bishop. 

Clarke smartly found Gordon arriving on the left side of the box on 58 minutes but the full-back’s shot was denied by a late block from Lewis Page. 

Summer signing Danny Johnson was introduced for George Lapslie ten minutes later. 

Mansfield were reduced to ten men in the 73rd minute as Clarke’s foul on Jack Diamond was adjudged to have denied a clear goalscoring opportunity.  An altercation in the aftermath between both sets of players resulted in Quinn’s dismissal. 

With a two-man deficit Mansfield were vulnerable to Muldoon’s run in the 78th minute before Bishop’s close-range save kept the fixture alive. 

Pattison found space down Mansfield’s right moments later to play in Armstrong. The striker’s first time effort was well saved by Bishop’s boot as the young ‘keeper spread himself. 

Harrogate’s third goal came in the 81st minute as Thomson met Page’s corner to head home and end the contest. 

Next up for the Stags is a trip to face Walsall in Sky Bet League Two next Saturday.

MANSFIELD TOWN XI: Bishop, Gordon, Nartey, Hewitt, McLaughlin, Maris, O. Clarke, Quinn, Lapslie (68’ Johnson), Oates (76’ Rawson), Hawkins (82’ Bowery).

UNUSED SUBS: Shelvey, Rawson, Burke, Sinclair, Stirk.

HARROGATE TOWN XI: Oxley, Page, Falkingham (76’ Kerry), Burrell, Thomson, Pattison (84’ Power), Muldoon (87’ Orsi), Hall, Diamond, McArdle, Armstrong.

UNUSED SUBS: Cracknell, Fallowfield, Martin, Kerry.

REFEREE: Paul Howard.

ASSISTANTS: Alan Clayton & Lee Freeman.

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Christopher Ward.

ATTENDANCE: 4,599 (155).


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