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Match Reports

Report: Doncaster 1-3 Stags

3 September 2022

Mansfield Town earned a first away win of the season in emphatic style as Nigel Clough’s men cruised to a much-deserved 3-1 victory at Doncaster Rovers.

A travelling support of 2,826 Stags’ fans were treated to a superb display by the men in amber and blue, in a game where Mansfield could have been out of sight at the break.

Midfielders Ollie Clarke and George Maris returned to the lineup by scoring in either half.

And Lucas Akins claimed his first league goal of the season with a cool penalty to seal the points in the second period.

Rovers had a spot kick of their own in first half stoppage time, which experienced midfielder Lee Tomlin converted, but Stags always looked like they would add to their goal tally after creating a harvest of opportunities.

As part of four changes, Jordan Bowery started at right-back.

Elliott Hewitt was due to begin the match in defence but withdrew in the warmup and was replaced by Riley Harbottle.

Defender John-Joe O’Toole missed out through injury while Riley Harbottle, Stephen Quinn and Will Swan were moved to the subs’ bench.

Doncaster mustered two early corners before Stags carved out the game’s first chance inside the eighth minute.

Receiving Anthony Hartigan’s midfield pass, Stephen McLaughlin scurried down the left to send a low ball across the penalty for Jordan Bowery who saw his attempt at the back post blocked.
A minute later, Maris lashed an effort over the bar from outside the box.

Then Clarke launched a rocket into the back of the Doncaster net to break the deadlock after 15 minutes.

Rovers’ defender Ro-Shaun Williams headed away a floated cross by George Lapslie, but only as far as Clarke inside the d to volley home and leave Doncaster goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell rooted to the spot.

Stags survived a minor scare midway through the first half.

Oli Hawkins, playing at the centre of a three, was unable to clear properly and Stags’ were relieved to see the loose ball hit tamely towards goal by Luke Molyneux, allowing Christy Pym to gather comfortably.

At the other end, Hawkins – from Hartigan’s right footed delivery - powered a header goalwards but Mitchell was well positioned on his goalline to claim.

With 32 minutes on the clock, Pym pulled off a brilliant one handed stop to deny a George Miller header from six yards as Doncaster came close to a leveller.

Stags – much the better side the first half – then hit the woodwork.

Clarke did well to win the ball on the right  channel, before releasing Bowery, whose cross from the goal line cannoned  off the top of the crossbar.

An even better chance was created moments later when Lucas Akins chested down for George Lapslie inside the box who should have done better from 13 yards as he blasted over.

Akins turned from provider to marksman when he rifled an effort towards goal which was blocked before spinning behind for a corner.

Stags by now were rampant and in the next opening the ball did everything but cross the line.

After neat passing football, Lapslie was first denied by the goalkeeper, and then as it came out to Hawkins his rifled effort smashed against a Doncaster man, onto the post, back out, against another Rovers’ man and onto the post again before Mitchell gratefully claimed.

But against the run of play at the end of the first half, Rovers were level.

The hosts were awarded a penalty when James Perch was adjudged to have knocked Harrison Biggins in the back inside the area after Kyle Hurst’s long ball.

In first half stoppage time, Lee Tomlin sent the goalkeeper the wrong way with a well-taken right-footed effort from 12 yards.

Doncaster clipped the post four minutes after the restart following a breakaway which ended with Kyle Hurst lashing his shot against the base of the upright.

Clarke tried his luck again for Mansfield, this time from 25 yards, but his venomous attempt sailed into the away end.

Stags were back in front on 56 minutes when Maris found the net with a lovely right-footed finish.

Akins – showing strength and skill to win the ball on the right - sent the ball low into the box for Lapslie to turn and lay back to Maris, who swept home from 17 yards with a curling drive.

Hawkins was then booked on the halfway line for a foul on Tomlin.

James Perch needed treatment on 62 minutes after he made a good, strong challenge on Kyle Knoyle to prevent a Doncaster opening.

Soon after, Rovers thought they had another spot kick.

Pym palmed away a Kyle Hurst effort before Tomlin raced towards the loose ball, before appealing for a penalty after claiming he was bundled to the ground by Perch. But the experienced midfielder received a yellow card for simulation.

Stags had a penalty of their own on 70 minutes to make certain of the victory.

Lapslie, on the right side of the penalty area, was bodychecked by Maxwell.

And Akins, with his right foot, made no mistake as he directed his spot kick to the goalkeeper’s left.

Perch was then replaced by Kieran Wallace in the 73rd minute as Nigel Clough made his first change

Lapslie was deemed to have delayed the restart of play and received a yellow card ten minutes later.

With three minutes of normal time remaining, Stephen McLaughlin and Ollie Clarke were replaced by Kellan Gordon and Stephen Quinn.

Stags managed the game well in six minutes of time added on and Nigel Clough made one final change as Will Swan came on for the impressive George Lapslie. Though by then the result was already beyond any doubt.

DONCASTER: Mitchell, Knoyle, Williams, Molyneux (Taylor 64), Clayton, Miller, Rowe, Biggins (Maxwell 64), Hurst, Tomlin (Agard 78), Faulkner

UNUSED SUBS:  Jones, Long, Woltman, Kuleya

STAGS: Pym, Bowery, Perch (Wallace 73), Hawkins, Harbottle, McLaughlin (Gordon 87), Clarke (Quinn 87), Hartigan, Maris, Lapslie (Swan 90+3), Akins

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, Gale

ATTENDANCE: 8,978 (2,826 Stags’ fans)

REFEREE: Thomas Kirk

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