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Match Reports

Report: Stags 1-0 Tranmere

6 August 2022

Match Reports

Report: Stags 1-0 Tranmere

6 August 2022

Riley Harbottle found the net on his home debut as Stags earned a first victory of the season with a deserved 1-0 home win against Tranmere Rovers in front of a bumper crowd at One Call Stadium.

The Nottingham Forest loanee converted a second-half corner from Hiram Boateng to send over 6,000 home fans happy in the blazing sunshine.

Precisely 7,128 supporters packed into One Call Stadium to witness Stags romp to victory on the turf where they amassed so many points last season.

The game wasn’t without its nervy moments, however, and Mansfield had Christy Pym to thank in between the sticks, with an impeccable performance in goal.

Stags made one change to last Saturday’s opening day loss at Salford.

Defender Oli Hawkins, who was suspended for the contest, returned to defence.

Jordan Bowery moved to right-wing back, meaning Lucas Akins was pushed up front to partner Rhys Oates,

Stephen McLaughlin, last season’s Player of the Year, started at left-wing back.

Stags flew out the starting blocks and earned two corners in as many minutes, though Tranmere goalkeeper Ross Doohan went untested.

Nigel Clough’s men kept their foot on the gas and McLaughlin and Stephen Quinn linked up well on the left hand side in the fifth minute. A neat, interchanging move ended with Quinn crossing to the near post for Akins to head narrowly wide under pressure.

In the 12th minute, new midfielder Hiram Boateng showed excellent footwork to send the Rovers’ defence into a merry dance, but his final low drive from the edge of the box was comfortably claimed by Doohan.

Tranmere registered their first effort of the game with a quarter-of-an-hour played when Paul Lewis sent a 22 yard drive into the North Stand.

Hawkins made a vital header five minutes later to prevent Christy Pym from being called upon, but received a whack on the head for his endeavours, requiring treatment.

At the other end, McLaughlin’s delivery into the box was too deep after the Irishman skipped beyond his man to burst down the left flank.

Stags survived a scare on the half-hour mark.

Jordan Bowery did well to win the ball outside the box but then sent a blind pass back to Pym.

Tranmere marksman Hemmings was on hand to step in and shoot towards goal, only for Pym to make a brilliant stop with his legs.

Stags won a sixth corner on 41 minutes and almost found the breakthrough when O’Toole diverted the ball goalwards, but Kyle Jameson was well-positioned to head clear on the line.

As the first half approached its close, Maris saw his long-distance effort fly over the bar.

Chances were at a premium at the start of the second half before Stags broke the deadlock on the stroke of the hour.

Harbottle claimed his first goal in Stags’ colours when he prodded home from close range following Hiram Boateng’s well-taken corner.

Quinn and Hawkins then entered the referee’s notebook in quick succession as the temperature inside One Call Stadium started to rise.

Bowery won Stags another corner in the 73rd minute.

The architect and goalscorer combined again as Boateng swung in and Harbottle connected in the air to head straight at Doohan.

The Tranmere shot-stopper was well behind Rhys Oates’ left-footed effort moments later as Stags searched for a second.

On 78, Elliott Hewitt replaced Oli Hawkins in Stags’ first change.

Bowery lashed a shot high and wide soon after and then at the other end, Pym was at full-stretch to deny Ethan Bristow to tip round the post.

With six minutes of normal time remaining, Quinn and Boateng made way for Ollie Clarke and George Lapslie.

Pym was the hero for the Stags when he got down superbly to deny Paul Lewis’ shot from inside the area.

Clarke then twice tried his luck in quick succession; the first comfortably saved by the goalkeeper and the second a sizzling left-footed hit which smacked the outside of the post.

In the first minute of stoppage time, Rhys Oates left the field for Will Swan and George Maris vacated his position in midfield for new signing Anthony Hartigan.

In the dying stages, Lapslie teed up Akins to strike at goal, though Doohan did superbly to touch the ball behind for a corner.

Mansfield managed the game well in the closing moments, ensuring the ball was largely in the Tranmere half to see out a deserved win.

STAGS: Pym, Akins, O’Toole, Hawkins (Hewitt 78’), Harbottle, McLaughlin ©, Boateng (Lapslie 84’), Maris (Hartigan 90+1), Quinn (Clarke 84’), Oates (Swan 90+1), Bowery

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, Gordon

TRANMERE: Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, Jameson, Byrne, Robinson, Bristow, O’Connor, Lewis, McAlear (Nolan 80’), Nevitt, Hemmings

UNUSED SUBS: Hewelt, Merrie, Hawkes, Hockenhull, Hughes, Taylor


REFEREE: Sebastian Stockbridge

ATTENDANCE: 7,128 (621 Tranmere fans)

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