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Match Reports

Report: Crewe 1-2 Stags

24 September 2022

Two late goals in six minutes saw Stags stage a magnificent comeback to dramatically beat Crewe 2-1 at Mornflake Stadium.

Flying forward Will Swan climbed off the bench to put Mansfield on level terms after Crewe led courtesy of Courtney Baker-Richardson's left footed strike .

But then Oli Hawkins popped up in injury time to power home a header from Kieran Wallace's delicious left-wing cross and send 1,299 Stags' fans into raptures.

In the last minute of stoppage time, Elliott Hewitt fantastically hooked a Crewe shot off the line in the game's last chance.

Midfielder Stephen Quinn was drafted back into the starting XI replacing Anthony Hartigan, following news of a dislocated shoulder in midweek when Stags lost 2-0 to Grimsby in the Papa Johns Trophy.

It was the only change, however, made from Mansfield's last league match, a fine 2-0 win at Gillingham last Saturday.


Inside the opening four minutes, Stags engineered the game's first corner following eye-catching trickery by Kellan Gordon on the right flank, but the flag-kick came to nothing.

Two minutes later, Quinn might have put Mansfield ahead.

Gordon again caused problems on the wing, and after Crewe unconvincingly cleared, the Irish midfielder – from the left of the box - saw his blasted shot blocked and spin behind for a corner.

With Stags continuing to set the early tempo, Crewe goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo was at last tested in the 17th minute.

From the right-hand touchline, George Maris swung a wonderful free-kick into the box and Okonwko had to be at full stretch to get down low to deny Oli Hawkins' bullet header.

Crewe won a free-kick of their own midway through the first half, but Stephen McLaughlin, who made the foul in the build-up, did well to stoop low and head clear.

With nine minutes remaining of the first period, Crewe midfielder Khanya Leshabela was shown a yellow card after upending George Maris.


And then Ollie Clarke was cautioned for Mansfield for a similar foul


Approaching the end of the half, McLaughlin smashed an audacious free kick – taken six yards from the goal line - wide of goal.

And the former Forest man then embarked on a marauding run on the left before directing a low effort narrowly off target.

Stags continued to dominate and McLaughlin was in the thick of the action six minutes after the restart when he floated an inviting cross into the box, but the advancing Clarke couldn't keep his header down.

With Stags' pressure mounting, Clarke stung the fingertips of Okonkwo with a searing half-volley from edge of the box as the clock ticked beyond the hour.

Quinn was then booked for a foul on substitute Rio Adebisi, with 26 minutes of the game left to play.

Nigel Clough made his first change on 67 minutes as Kieran Wallace replaced Stephen Quinn.

Then against the run of play, Crewe rattled the woodwork.

After keeping onside to break away from the Stags' defence, Dan Agyei lashed a venomous left-footed drive against the upright.

But Stags' luck was out as Crewe were merciless with their next attack.

In the 71st minute, Courtney Baker-Richardson peeled away from the Mansfield defence on the left side of the box before firing low into the far corner to give Crewe an unlikely lead.

It sparked a double change in the visiting camp as Will Swan and Jordan Bowery came on for Ollie Clarke and Lucas Akins.

As Stags sought a leveler, Maris tried a pot shot from 25 yard which sailed well over.

Bassala Sambou entered the referee's notebook on 79 minutes for holding back McLaughlin, who was released on the left following expert distribution from goalkeeper Christy Pym.

On 85 minutes, Jason Law came on for Maris and made an immediate impact.

And within the blink of an eye, Stags were level.

Law sent an excellent ball forward for Swan, who directed a superb left-footed shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Then Hawkins, who had been thrown up front in eight minutes of stoppage time, dramatically headed Mansfield in front.

Into the third minute of time added on, Wallace crossed from the left and Hawkins rose highest to power a header home, leaving Okonkwo clutching at thin air.

Then to add to the late drama, Elliott Hewitt raced towards his own goal to wonderfully hook a Crewe chance off the line as Stags deservedly hung on to claim a third successive away win in the league.

 

CREWE: Okonkwo, Mellor, McDonald, Offord, Thomas, Baker-Richardson, Ainley (Adebisi 63), Agyei, Leshabela, Sambou, Uwakwe

UNUSED SUBS: Richards, Griffiths, Brook, Sass-Davies, Finney, Tabiner

STAGS: Pym, Gordon, Hewitt, Hawkins, Harbottle, McLaughlin, Clarke (Swan 72), Maris (Law 85), Quinn (Wallace 67), Lapslie, Akins (Bowery 72)

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, Perch, O'Toole


REFEREE: Martin Woods

 

ATTENDANCE: 4,942 (1,299 Stags' fans)


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