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Match Reports

Report: Gillingham 0-2 Stags

17 September 2022

Mansfield Town produced the perfect away performance as Lucas Akins and George Lapslie both scored in the first half to earn a deserved 2-0 victory at Gillingham.

Akins scored first and could have had a second, though Gillingham goalkeeper Glenn Morriss guessed the right way to deny the ex-Burton man's penalty.

But after Lapslie scored Stags' second, Mansfield were in complete control and should have won the encounter by a greater margin.

Nigel Clough made one change to the side which drew 0-0 in mid-week at home to Carlisle as Kellan Gordon replaced Jordan Bowery at right wing-back.

Stags showed their early intent and penned Gillingham inside their own half for much of the opening ten minutes.

Ollie Clarke helped create the game's first real chance in the 11th minute when he powerfully headed forward from midfield, enabling Lucas Akins to advance before firing narrowly over the angle.

And Mansfield's pressure paid off in the 17th minute.

Gordon showed fine foot skills on the right before lofting a well-weighted ball into the box for Lucas Akins to volley first-time into the back of the net from 12 yards.

Midway through the first half, Gillingham registered their first shot of the game, but Robbie McKenzie's 25 yard free-kick flew well off target.

Christy Pym was called upon for the first time in the 26th minute, but it was bread and butter goalkeeping as he stood well behind Elkan Baggott's bullet header following a Shaun Williams' corner.

Stags were soon up he other end and won a spot kick in the 28th minute.

George Lapslie was clumsily clattered inside the box by Gills ' goalkeeper Glenn Morris as the Stags' midfielder attempted to latch onto a long ball and referee Tom Reeves had no hesitations in pointing to the spot.

Though Morris made amends when he dived to his left to push away Akins' right-footed penalty.

Clarke then came close to adding to Stags' tally, but blasted over from Akins' pull back.

In the 33rd minute, Lapslie got in on the scoring act as Stags deservedly grabbed a second.

Anthony Hartigan directed a pin-point through ball down the middle of the home defence and Lapslie, coolness personified, did the rest by rounding the advancing Morris to slot home.

By now Stags were rampant and almost had another when Maris sent McLaughlin galloping on the left, though the left-wing back dragged his shot narrowly wide of the far post.

In the closing stages of the first half, Lapslie – under pressure from Morris – headed inches off target after leaping well to a delicious right wing cross by Kellan Gordon.

Gillingham showed greater purpose in the second half but failed to test Pym in the Stags' goal.

The second period saw fewer chances than the first, though Mansfield remained in control of the contest.

Riley Harbottle was the first name in the referee's notepad when he brought down substitute Joe Gbode near the centre circle in the 66th minute.

McLaughlin then fancied his luck but smashed an attempt into the empty stand behind the goal with 20 minutes remaining.

Stags' shot-stopper Pym, relatively unemployed for much of the encounter, comfortably met a long-range attempt by Ben Reeves in a rare strike at goal from the Gills.

James Perch was then introduced for Harbottle in the 73rd minute in Stags' first change while former Mansfield favourite Alex MacDonald replaced Reeves for the hosts.

Akins almost had another goal for the amber and blue but couldn’t keep his header down from McLaughlin's sumptuous left-sided cross.

Gordon was replaced by Jordan Bowery in the 80th minute.

And in the last ten minutes, Mansfield managed the match superbly to cruise to victory.

GILLINGHAM: Morris, Mnoga (Law 46), Ehmer, Baggott, McKenzie, Williams, O'Keefe ©, Reeves (MacDonald 73), Adelakun (Green 61), Mandron, Walker (Gbode 61)

UNUSED SUBS: Turner, Alexander, Wright

STAGS: Pym, Gordon (Bowery 80), Hewitt, Hawkins, Harbottle (Perch 73), McLaughlin, Clarke ©, Hartigan, Maris, Lapslie, Akins

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, O'Toole, Quinn, Wallace, Gale

REFEREE: Tom Reeves

ATTENDANCE:  4,185


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