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Match Reports

Report: Stags 1-2 Bradford

8 November 2022

A goal in either half for Bradford City saw the Bantams return to West Yorkshire with maximum points, despite Will Swan pulling one back for Mansfield in the second period.

Mark Hughes’ side looked good value for their two goal advantage but were made to sweat when Matty Platt received a second yellow card on 65 minutes.

And although Swan got one back for Mansfield four minutes later, it wasn’t enough.

Four changes were made from Saturday’s hard-fought 1-0 win at Barrow in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Riley Harbottle, Ollie Clarke, Hiram Boateng and Will Swan started in place of Oli Hawkins, Stephen McLaughlin, Stephen Quinn and Lucas Akins.

Ahead of remembrance Sunday, a  period of silence was observed for  the servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in both world wars and later conflicts for Britain and the commonwealth.

Inside the fourth minute, Bradford’s Brad Halliday lashed into the side netting from the right hand side of the Stags’ box and within a minute at the other end George Maris planted a free kick too deep to cause Bradford any problems.

City delivered a succession of crosses into the Mansfield box, but a combination of poor delivery and good defending left Christy Pym untested in the home goal.

On 25 minutes, Ollie Clarke was unable to find George Lapslie near halfway and Bradford almost capitalised when they advanced at speed down the other end as Matty Foulds latched on to a left-sided pass.  But Riley Harbottle slid well along the ground to prevent an assist into the centre of the box.

Stags had Pym to thank a minute later for keeping the scores level.

Tyreik Wright broke clear of the home defence and forced Pym to save expertly with his legs. Then, showing fine reflexes, the shot-stopper denied Scott Banks the follow-up.

Bradford’s pressure paid off as they broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark.

Scott Banks released Halliday on the right flank, whose ball into the box wasn’t properly cleared, allowing Bantams’ captain Richie Smallwood time to drive home from 15 yards.

Stags struggled to find a way beyond a resilient Bradford defence.

And as the first-half crept into stoppage time, Banks smashed a 25 yard free-kick into the Stags’ defensive wall.

Moments later, Riley Harbottle came to the rescue, preventing Bradford from pulling the trigger inside the box with a brilliant intervention.

Stags had their only chance of the half from a corner in the dying seconds of stoppage time.

Hiram Boateng’s brilliant inswinger curled all the way to the back post, though Smallwood was well placed to head off the goal line.

At the break, Jordan Bowery and Lucas Akins replaced Anthony Hartigan and Kellan Gordon in the Stags’ camp.

Both players started the second-half at wing-back – left and right, respectively - as Mansfield switched from a 4-4-1-1 system to a 3-5-1-1.

Six minutes after the restart, Halliday tried his luck from 25 yards with a sweeping effort which flew beyond the post.

Bradford doubled their advantage on 53 minutes as ex-Stags’ striker Andy Cook scribed his name onto the scoresheet.

After chasing down a seemingly lost ball on the Stags’ goal line, Cook beat James Perch to the ball, and after twisting and turning to send Stags’ defence into disarray, fired low into the far corner.

Riley Harbottle hobbled off near the stroke of the hour as Stephen Quinn was introduced to the action.

Two minutes later, Jordan Bowery was sent galloping down the left hand side but was unable to pick out a colleague in the box with a low pass.

Stags were given a lifeline when Bradford were reduced to ten men on 64 minutes.

After picking up a yellow card in the first-half, Matty Platt kicked the ball away to delay the restart of play and received his marching orders.

Stags forced their first shot on goal on 68 minutes as Akins turned his man inside the box to let fly. And after a taking a deflection, Harry Lewis had to be at full stretch to tip it beyond the post.

Stags pulled a goal back from the resulting corner.

In a highly congested box, Elliott Hewitt headed down from the flag-kick and Will Swan prodded home from close range to reduce the deficit.

Stags increased the intensity and tried to pen Bradford into their own half of the field.

On 87 minutes, Oli Hawkins came on for Perch while City made a double change.

Ten minutes of time added on gave Mansfield renewed hope of a comeback.

In the fifth minute of stoppage time, Maris drifted in a free kick and after Bradford momentarily cleared the ball came back in to the box, though Hawkins lashed over.

STAGS: Pym, Gordon (Bowery H/T), Harbottle (Quinn 59), Perch (Hawkins 87), Hewitt, Hartigan (Akins H/t), Clarke, Boateng, Maris, Lapslie, Swan

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, O'Toole, Wallace

BRADFORD:  Lewis, Halliday, Platt, Crichlow, Foulds, Smallwood, Gilliead, Banks (Pereira 88), Chapman (Songo’o 66), Wright (Eisa 54), Cook (Oliver 88)

UNUSED SUBS: Doyle, Angol, East

REFEREE: Simon Mather

ATTENDANCE: 7,650 (1,416 Bradford fans)

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