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Match Reports

Report: Swindon 2-4 Stags

7 April 2023

Clinical Mansfield Town scored four goals for the second game in a row as Nigel Clough’s men convincingly beat Swindon 4-2 at The County Ground.

Stags also ended their hoodoo in Wiltshire – having not won away at Swindon in 13 previous visits - with a comprehensive victory.

Not since April 1977 had Mansfield won at The County Ground, but there was little doubt about the outcome this time around as soon as Stags got into their attacking groove.

Four separate scorers provided even more cause for optimism heading into the final seven games of the campaign, as midfielders Stephen Quinn and Hiram Boateng along with forwards Rhys Oates and Lucas Akins, all found the net.

Stags’ starting lineup was unchanged from last Saturday’s impressive 4-1 rout at home to Crawley.

Full-back Callum Johnson and midfielder George Maris were named on the substitutes’ bench following injury.

Despite Stags enjoying much of the opening possession, it was Swindon who took the upper hand in the third minute with their first attack on goal.

Remeao Hutton swung-in an inviting cross from the right flank, and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy was afforded too much space inside the goal area to nod against the helpless left palm of goalkeeper Christy Pym and into the net.

On 11 minutes, Swindon’s Ronan Darcy blasted well over from 22 yards before Stags drew level two minutes later.

Frontman Rhys Oates released right-back Elliott Hewitt who embarked on a marauding run down the right flank to drift a brilliant ball into the centre of the box for midfielder Stephen Quinn, who made no mistake with a headed finish from eight yards.

Mansfield then took the game to their Wiltshire hosts and went close to taking the lead in the 19th minute following eye-catching build-up play.

Hewitt again acted as provider from the right, his cross this time taking a deflection to loop in the air, enabling Swindon to head outside their 18-yard box.

But well-positioned on the edge of the penalty area, Quinn unleashed a venomous half-volley which smacked against the upright.

And after cannoning back off the woodwork to the Irishman, Quinn squared for Davis Keillor-Dunn, whose effort landed in the grasp of home goalkeeper Sol Brynn.

Swindon then received two yellow cards in quick succession as Tom Brewitt and skipper Charlie Auston both entered the referee’s notebook.

With half-an-hour played, Swindon tried their luck from 25 yards when Saidou Khan let fly, only to see his effort deflect off Stags’ defender Alfie Kilgour and into the hands of Pym.

Swindon were shaken to the core as Stags netted a quick-fire double.

On 31 minutes, Hewitt again caused problems, this time centrally, to deliver for Keillor-Dunn on the left of the box, who cut back to Quinn.

And the diminutive midfielder showed fine vision to pick out Akins at the back post, who did the rest with a close range finish.

Swindon were dealt another blow when Oates extended Stags’ lead a minute later.

Midway inside the home half, captain Ollie Clarke clipped forward for Akins. And after showing good control, the Stags’ frontman set free Oates to advance in the box and steer beyond Brynn, with the aid of a Joe Tomlinson deflection.

Stags were purring and Akins almost caught sight of goal, but got the ball caught in his feet inside the Swindon goal area following Hewitt’s right-sided cross.

However, in the build-up to the chance, Oates appeared to pull his groin and was replaced by Hiram Boateng on 43 minutes.

Hewitt was the first Stags’ man to receive a yellow card for a foul on Joe Tomlinson, and from the subsequent free-kick George McEachran’s teasing cross narrowly evaded everyone inside a packed penalty area.

Despite a heartening first 45 minutes, Stags’ injury woes continued as skipper Ollie Clarke was forced off, with George Maris his replacement.

Two minutes after the restart, Stags were hungry for more as Quinn nutmegged his marker to breeze nearer the goal line, only for his low cross to be gratefully claimed by Brynn at the near post.

On 56 minutes, Quinn mistimed his challenge inside the Swindon D to pick up a yellow card, before the hosts made a treble substitution.

Amidst a mini spell of Swindon pressure, a sweeping low ball across the Stags’ box was missed by three Robins’ players as the hosts looked for a foothold in the contest.

But there was no way back for Swindon when Boateng swept home Stags’ fourth goal on 65 minutes.

Robbing Swindon of possession 30 yards from goal, the midfielder advanced before planting a lovely strike into the bottom left corner.

On 70 minutes, Jason Law was introduced for Stephen Quinn in the Stags’ camp while Wales international Jonny Williams replaced Jacob Wakeling.

Four minutes later, Hewitt departed for Callum Johnson and Keillor-Dunn made way for James Gale.

Stags were managing the game well, shutting down goalmouth action, before Swindon netted a consolation on 86 minutes when Andy Williams kept himself onside to send a low shot past Pym.

Gale lashed a strike at Brynn in the closing minutes of normal time as Stags looked for a fifth goal, but it mattered little as Mansfield recorded another deserved victory.

SWINDON: Brynn, Hutton (Lavinier 58), Brewitt, Blake-Tracy, Tomlinson, McEachran, Darcy (Cain 81), Khan (Khadji), Wakeling (Williams 70), Hepburn-Murphy , Austin (Shade 58)

UNUSED SUBS: Brann, Adeloye

STAGS: Pym, Hewitt, Kilgour, Perch, Bowery, Wallace, Clarke (Maris H/T), Quinn, Keillor-Dunn, Oates (Boateng 43), Akins

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, D. Johnson

REFEREE: Thomas Parsons

ATTENDANCE: 9,281 (587 Stags’ fans)

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