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Goal was the icing on the cake - Oates

29 December 2022

Mansfield Town striker Rhys Oates says his goal in last night’s 2-1 win over former side Hartlepool United ‘topped off’ a fine evening at The Suit Direct Stadium.

 

The forward’s first goal in the league since rupturing his pectoral muscle against AFC Wimbledon in August drew Stags level after trailing to the Pools at the break.

 

Another from Oli Hawkins on 60 minutes ensured Stags ended 2022 with all three points.

 

Speaking to iFollow Stags post-match the frontman said: “It’s good to get a goal.

 

“It’s my first league goal since my injury so it’s good to get back on the scoresheet and to take the three points just tops it off.

 

“I think Laps [George Lapslie] got on the half turn and saw that I’d pulled off [from my marker] so I slid it [the ball] in. 

 

“I got a good first touch and then hit is hard as hard as I could.”

 

The hosts made Stags work for their chances in the opening 45 minutes and took the lead through Jack Hamilton.

 

“We knew it was going to be a tough game from the start,” said Oates.

 

“They’ll [Hartlepool] battle until the end and I think it showed today.

 

“In the first-half we didn’t create many chances, but we knew that we could if we upped our game in the second-half and I think we did that.

 

“All of us dug in until the end. When you see seven [additional] minutes go up you know it’s going to be a battle and they’re going to lump it in, but everyone dug it out and it’s a massive three points.”

 

When asked what boss Nigel Clough said at half-time to the players, Oates added: “He said ‘just keep doing the same things but be more technical, just keep getting George [Maris] on the ball, me and Swany [Will Swan] keep making runs and it’ll [goals] come, as soon as we get one I think we’ll get another one. Keep at them’.”

 

Attacking an electric Stags’ away end, Mansfield scored twice. The forward praised the travelling support.

 

“They’ve been class all night,” he said.

 

“They’ve been singing all night and they’ve been amazing, so it was good to score in front of them.”


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