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Match Reports

Report: Rochdale 0-1 Stags

12 November 2022

Midfielder George Maris climbed off the bench to bag his fourth goal of the season as Mansfield rediscovered the winning habit with a deserved 1-0 win away at Rochdale.

The ex-Cambridge man struck the decisive goal on 66 minutes – four minutes after being introduced – as Stags claimed a first league win in five games.

Nigel Clough’s men dominated the contest from start to finish and could have added to their goal tally, while at the other end, goalkeeper Christy Pym was called upon only to make routine stops.

Four changes were made to the starting XI from the team which were defeated 2-1 in midweek at home to Bradford City.

Defenders Kieran Wallace and Oli Hawkins started while midfielder Stephen Quinn and forward Lucas Akins were also handed places in the lineup.

After hobbling off on Tuesday, defender Riley Harbottle missed the encounter.

Kellan Gordon and George Swan were moved to the subs’ bench, while frontman Will Swan – who broke a hand in midweek – was initially named on the bench, but replaced before kick-off by James Gale.

Tyrese Sinclair, the former Mansfield attacking midfielder, started for Dale.

Stags started with intent and won the game’s first corner after three minutes.

And despite a well-placed delivery from Anthony Hartigan into the goal area, Dale managed to clear.

At the other end, Hawkins flung himself to ground to deny Devante Rodney’s effort from outside the box.

On eight minutes, Wallace found space on the left-hand side to lay a low ball into the centre of the home box, but Hiram Boateng’s attempted shot was well charged down and spinned behind for a corner.

Moments later, from the resulting corner, Boateng smashed a shot against the deck which bounced up and into the grasp of Dale ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell.

Mansfield attempted to reassert pressure and with 15 minutes played, Elliott Hewitt and Lucas Akins both saw efforts blocked inside the box.

Stags almost had the lead midway through the first-half.

Hartigan’s free-kick, five yards from the corner flag, caused all sorts of problems inside the Rochdale box. But George Lapslie and Elliott Hewitt were both unable to find the net from close range as Dale were let off the hook.

Stags kept their foot on the gas and on 26 minutes, Quinn swept his edge-of-the-box effort beyond the target following Wallace’s lay-off.

In a rare foray forward by the home side, James Ball curled into the palms of Stags’ shot-stopper Christy Pym from 25 yards.

On 37 minutes, Hartigan lashed one wide from a similar distance following a promising Mansfield move.

In the last minute of normal time at the end of the half, Hawkins towered above everyone in the Dale area, but headed over from Quinn’s cross.

Six minutes after the restart, James Perch was shown a yellow card for upending Tyrese Sinclair on the wing, though Dale failed to make the most of the subsequent free-kick.

Rochdale were soon in defensive mood again and had to block a Lucas Akins’ drive on the cusp of the box.

Ollie Clarke then made way for Jordan Bowery in Stags’ first change.

Mansfield upped the ante and Perch was next to have a crack from distance which earned a corner courtesy of a Dale deflection.

From the flag-kick, Quinn nodded onto the roof of the net following another dangerous Hartigan delivery.

As the game ticked over the hour, George Maris took to the field, replacing fellow midfielder Stephen Quinn.

Mansfield penned Rochdale into their own half and their pressure paid off in the 66th minute.

Boateng crossed magnificently from the right-hand touchline and George Maris ghosted into the goal area to apply the finish.

In a treble change, George Lapslie then left the field for Jason Law, James Perch was replaced by John-Joe O’Toole and Kellan Gordon was introduced for Kieran Wallace.

Stags enjoyed a controlled spell of possession before their next opportunity on 83 minutes.

After advancing forwards, Law let fly from outside the area and saw his left-footed effort sail past the target.

As the game entered seven minutes of time added on, Hewitt was well placed inside the area to deny Toumani Diagouraga’s well-hit drive as Dale tried in vain to pull one back.

Anthony Hartigan and Cameron John were shown yellow cards late on for the Stags and Rochdale, respectively.

Mansfield saw out the seven minutes resolutely to claim maximum points on the road ahead of another away game next Saturday at Harrogate.

DALE: O’Donnell, Keohane (Seriki 74), Graham, Ebanks-Landell, John, Brierly, Diagouraga, Rodney Malley 85), Ball (Tulloch 74), Sinclair (O.Kelly 90), Henderson

UNUSED SUBS: B. Kelly, McNulty, Nelson

STAGS: Pym, Hewitt, Perch (O’Toole 69), Hawkins, Wallace (Gordon 68), Hartigan, Clarke (Bowery 56), Boateng, Quinn (Maris 62), Lapslie (Law 68), Akins

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, Gale

REFEREE: Rob Lewis

ATTENDANCE: 3,631 (1,174 Stags’ fans)

 


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