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Match Reports

Report: Stags 2-2 Hartlepool

30 September 2022

Stags were made to settle for a point as visitors Hartlepool came from behind to claim a draw at One Call Stadium.

A brace from substitute Joshua Umerah cancelled out Mansfield’s second-half goals from George Lapslie and Riley Harbottle.

Tonight’s result means Mansfield remain sixth in the Sky Bet League Two table.

Boss Nigel Clough named an unchanged side from last week’s dramatic late 2-1 win at Crewe.

The away side made two changes from their 0-0 draw with Gillingham last weekend as Rollin Menayese and Tom Crawford replaced Joshua Umerah and Mouhamed Niang in the Pools’ starting XI.

The Stags were dominant in the first 45 minutes, setting the tone with a quick start. Full-back Kellan Gordon tested the visitors’ backline with multiple dangerous deliveries.

In the seventh minute, Stags’ captain Ollie Clarke showed great skill as he dropped his shoulder, beating his man to drive forward. However, the 30-year old’s strike was just too high.

Minutes later, Stags’ left-back Stephen McLaughlin displayed great determination by intercepting the ball inside his own half and powering forwards. The Irishman found Lucas Akins whose cross was met by Gordon’s blocked effort.

By now, Mansfield were controlling possession.

McLaughlin who had started the match well, had a great chance in the 20th minute when he was found in space at the back post. But the former Southend man hesitated to pull the trigger and was closed down.

In the 24th minute, former Irish international midfielder Stephen Quinn got the crowd on their feet as he drove forward into acres of space down the left-hand side and struck powerfully, though the veteran’s strike was saved brilliantly by Pools’ keeper Ben Killip.

From the resulting corner, frontman Akins had the ball nodded down into his path but missed the target – striking too high.

Three minutes later, Mohamad Sylla had Hartlepool’s first clear chance of the match, but his shot from the edge of the box was blocked clear to safety.

In the 31st minute, Killip was called into action not once, but twice, in quick succession.

Akins’ powerful strike from outside the area was saved in spectacular fashion by the visiting ‘keeper who then got to his feet quickly to meet McLaughlin’s rebound.

In the 33rd minute, the amber and blue supporters were briefly sent into raptures, as Quinn snuck in McLaughlin’s cross at the near post but for the linesman’s flag to cut the party short.

George Maris was shown the first yellow of the match in the 38th minute when he bought down Sylla as the Hartlepool midfielder looked to break away.

Just before half-time, Euan Murray’s fine long-range strike forced Christy Pym into action and the Stags’ shot-stopper had to rely on his fingertips to push the ball onto the post. 

The visitors made a double change at half-time. Brody Patterson and Callum Cooke replaced Reghan Tumilty and Ndjoli.

In the 51st minute, the Stags made the breakthrough. The electric Kellan Gordon delivered a spectacular, pinpoint ball into the box which was met and driven home by an unmarked George Lapslie.

In the 57th minute, Mansfield almost repeated the same trick as Gordon’s excellent delivery once again found Lapslie. However, this time the 25-year old’s strike was saved by Killip, who did well, making himself big.

The resulting corner was taken and cleared away but whipped back into the box. Young defender Riley Harbottle pounced on a miscued clearance and smashed home to make it 2-0 with 59 minutes on the clock.

The visitors responded to the quick, back-to-back goals with an attacking substitution, bringing off defender Mark Shelton for forward Joshua Umerah in the 61st minute.

Two minutes later, the Pools’ number nine, who had just come on, made an immediate impact. The striker cut out Harbottle’s back pass and rounded the ‘keeper before rolling the ball into the net with his first few touches of the match.

The goal came against the run of play and led to a tenser affair for the next fifteen minutes, with the visitors beginning to have a little more of the ball in Mansfield’s half.

United made another substitution in the 75th minute in a bid to draw level, bringing off Wesley McDonald for Jack Hamilton.

In the 81st minute, second half substitute Umerah had a chance to make an even bigger impact as he showed great skill down the left-hand side to create space for himself in the box before shooting high and wide.

The Stags opted for a double substitution in the 83rd minute.

Goalscorer Lapslie and impressive defender Gordon made way for frontmen Will Swan and Jordan Bowery. Soon after, Quinn was replaced by Kieran Wallace in a bid to ensure all three points.

The game began to draw to a nervy close. Hartlepool continued to press forward in search of an equaliser and in the 89th minute they replaced Mohamad Sylla with Clarke Oduor.

After the change, Umerah picked up a long ball to drive forward and smash home an equaliser for the Pools following some unorthodox Stags’ defending.

Mansfield made two late changes, bringing off George Maris and Riley Harbottle for Jason Law and James Perch.

As five minutes were added on, newly introduced midfielder Law was forced to break up play with moments remaining and received a booking.

Chances were few and far between in added time and the game ended level.

Stags had to settle for a point after a spirited end to the match from the County Durham outfit., which leaves Mansfield in sixth in the Sky Bet League Two table.

STAGS: Pym, Gordon (Bowery, 83’), Hewitt, Hawkins, Harbottle (Perch, 90+1’), McLaughlin, Clarke, Maris (Law, 90+1’), Quinn (Wallace, 86’), Lapslie (Swan, 83’), Akins

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, O’Toole,

HARTLEPOOL: Killip, Tumilty (Patterson, HT), Murray, Lacey, Menayese, Ferguson, Sylla (Oduor, 89’), Shelton (Umerah, 61’), Crawford, McDonald (Hamilton, 75’), Ndjoli (Cooke, HT)

UNUSED SUBS: Letheren, Grey, 

REFEREE: Craig Hicks

ATTENDANCE: 6,891 (302)

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