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Match Reports

Report: Stevenage 0-0 Stags

10 December 2022

Mansfield Town gained a hard-earned point against promotion rivals Stevenage following a keenly contested encounter at a bitterly cold Lamex Stadium.

The game passed a midday pitch inspection following sub-zero temperatures in Hertfordshire this week.

And this performance will have done much to warm Stags fans’ hearts as they earned a point against a side who had previously won nine and lost just once on their own patch this season.

Rhys Oates was Mansfield’s men threat, especially in the first-half, though in truth neither goalkeeper was seriously troubled in a game where defences were on top.

Lucas Akins – who climbed off the bench to snatch a last-gasp winner at home to Colchester last weekend – earned a start, while captain Ollie Clarke was also amongst the lineup as part of two changes.

Forward Will Swan and midfielder Hiram Boateng were moved to the subs’ bench.

Inside the opening two minutes, Stags’ forward Rhys Oates latched onto a long ball to race clear of the home defence, but goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond rushed out to narrow the angle and claim as Oates looked to round him.

The same man fired off target six minutes later after trying to weave his way beyond the Boro defence on the right of the box.

Stevenage thought they had the lead after 12 minutes, though their joy was cut short by the sight of a linesman’s flag.

Defender Oli Hawkins played a mis-judged backpass into his own box, allowing Stevenage to pounce, and former Stags’ frontman Jamie Reid backheeled the ball into the net off a post, only to see the linesman’s flag aloft for offside.

Midway through the first half, Oates was in the thick of the action again and headed into the palms of Hammond from 12 yards following Stephen McLaughlin’s whipped cross.

Neither side created a chance of note until the interval in a keenly-contested first-half

The second-half continued in a similar vein before Christy Pym was called upon to make his first stop of the contest in the 58th minute.

Stevenage’s Saxon Earley curled a right-footed effort from the edge of the box, but Pym was never in any trouble as he shuffled to claim at his midriff.

Stags made their first change on the stroke of the hour as Hiram Boateng was introduced for Stephen Quinn in midfield.

Mansfield were beginning to probe and won their first corner on 68 minutes.

Clarke won possession on the halfway line to drive forward and release Oates, who cleverly knocked it against a defender to spin out for a flag-kick.

The first came to nothing and Oates competed well to win another on 71, which again Stevenage cleared.

The hosts made a treble change a minute later which included former Mansfield forward Danny Rose replacing Jamie Reid.

Stevenage squandered the game’s best chance in the 88th minute.

Boro attacked down the right, and after playing the ball low into the box, Luke Norris skewed his shot wide.

Moments later, Kieran Wallace came on for skipper Ollie Clarke.

Characteristically for this encounter, defences remained on top until the end and, in a game of few chances, the points were shared.

STEVENAGE: Ashby-Hammond, James-Wildin, Reeves, Piergianni, Sweeney, Norris, Campbell (Taylor 73), Roberts, Gilbey (Read 73), Reid (Rose 72), Earley

UNUSED SUBS: Chapman, Clark, Smith, Vancooten

STAGS: Pym, Hewitt, Hawkins, Harbottle, McLaughlin, Maris, Clarke (Wallace 89), Quinn (Boateng 60), Lapslie, Akins, Oates

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, Gordon, Perch, Hartigan, Swan

REFEREE: Anthony Backhouse


ATTENDANCE: 3,301 (640 Stags’ fans)


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