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Match Reports

Report: Stags 2-1 Stockport

20 August 2022

Mansfield Town completed a second comeback in five days as they fought their way to a 2-1 win at home to Stockport County at One Call Stadium.

All three goals came in a frantic three minute spell in the second half.

Stockport midfielder Antoni Sarcevic smashed an unstoppable effort into the top corner to give League Two's new boys a 53rd minute advantage.

But a quick-fire double from Will Swan - Stags' Man of the Match – and skipper Ollie Clarke ,earned another home win for Mansfield.

Two enforced changes were made from a thrilling 5-2 win at home to AFC Wimbledon in midweek, as Stags came from 2-0 behind to emerge as victors.

Anthony Hartigan replaced the injured Stephen Quinn in midfield.

Will Swan – who climbed off the bench to net his first Stags' goal on Tuesday – started in place of striker Rhys Oates, who is set to see a specialist next week.

Inside the fifth minute, skipper Ollie Clarke was the first player in the referee's notebook for a late challenge on Mark Kitching near the halfway line.

Soon after, Stags won the game's first corner after Hartigan slipped in Swan, who showed a superb burst of pace before his pullback was knocked behind.

With 13 minutes on the clock, midfielder George Maris showed good vision to send a through ball to the advancing Stephen McLaughlin but Stockport 'keeper Vit Jaros raced quickly out of his goal to claim.

Stags dominated possession the early stages, but it was Stockport who registered the first shot at goal after 26 minutes.

A well-timed pass caught the home defence off guard, enabling Ryan Croasdale to go one-on-one with Mansfield  goalkeeper Christy Pym, who stood tall to palm away the frontman's rifling effort.

At the other end, the electric Swan - latching on to Hartigan's ball - raced beyond Fraser Horsfall to smash an effort into the side netting from the right hand side of the penalty area.

On 32 minutes, McLaughlin side-stepped his marker inside the box but his attempt at Janos was comfortably saved.

Six minutes later, John-Joe O'Toole made an important clearance on the edge of the goal area to deny Antoni Sarcevic a chance to shoot

In first half stoppage time, Swan's sensational first touch  inside the box sent the crowd into a synchronised gasp. And after cutting inside, his shot fell to Lapslie who pulled back for Clarke to send a rasping shot against a Stockport man inside a crowded visiting box.
Stockport struck the woodwork five minutes after the break.

Ex-Notts County hitman Kyle Wootton rose highest to Paddy Madden's sweeping left-sided cross, only to see his effort cannon back off the base of a post, with Pym at full stretch.

But his teammate Sarcevic made no mistake with an outstanding strike on 53 minutes.

Stags allowed too much room for Sarcevic to pick his spot, as he lashed a 25-yard thunderbolt into the top right hand corner to break the deadlock.

Mansfield's response was immediate as Swan showed great instincts to bury an equaliser.

Hartigan, bursting forward, saw his deflected pass sprawl into the path of Swan, who drilled a low left-footed shot beyond the goalkeeper to level the contest.

Then – on 56 minutes – captain Clarke got in on the shooting act as Mansfield took the lead.

Swan again was at the heart of the move, sliding the ball to Lapslie, whose effort was palmed aside by Jaros.

And Clarke, with work still to do from a tight angle, found the net with a cool finish from the right hand side of the box.

Stags' boss Nigel Clough sent on Kieran Wallace for George Maris in midfield after 62 minutes in the game’s first change.

Hartigan let one fly off target in the 64th minute and Stockport then made a treble substitution.

With a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, Callum Camps steered a left-footed drive high and wide as the visitors looked for a leveller.

Hartigan made way for Elliott Hewitt on 80 minutes.

Swan did superbly to pinch the ball from Kitching on the dead ball line, before forcing Janos into a smart stop at his near post.

Oli Hawkins, Kellan Gordon and James Gale took to the field in the 89th minute, replacing, Will Swan, Stephen McLaughlin and Ollie Clarke.


In five minutes of added time, Mansfield managed the game well and won a corner with 75 seconds to spare as Stockport's frustrations mounted.

The final whistle was met with rapturous applause as Stags maintained their imperious home record.


STAGS:  Pym, Bowery, O'Toole, Perch, Harbottle, McLaughlin (Gordon 89), Clarke (Gale 89), Hartigan (Hewitt 80), Maris (Wallace 62), Lapslie, Swan (Hawkins 89)

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, Cooper

STOCKPORT: Jaroš, Kitching, Horsfall (Rydel 66), Camps (Evans 76), Madden, Sarcevic (Hyppolyte 76), Johnson, (Crankshaw 66), Brown, Croasdale, Wootton (Jennings 66) Lewis

UNUSED SUBS: Hinchliffe, Quigley

REFEREE: Peter Wright


ATTENDANCE: 6,924 (968 Stockport fans)


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