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Match Reports

Report: Stags 2-0 Gillingham

11 February 2023

Match Reports

Report: Stags 2-0 Gillingham

11 February 2023

Stags’ captain Ollie Clarke and striker Lucas Akins both found the net as Mansfield convincingly beat Gillingham 2-0 at One Call Stadium.

Both goals came in the first-half as Clarke blasted in a left-footed sizzler, while Akins won a penalty and converted himself with a cool finish.

Nigel Clough’s men could have won by a greater margin had it not been for some excellent stops from veteran goalkeeper Glenn Morris, while his opposite number, Scott Flinders, was equally as impressive.

The Stags’ chief made three changes to the side that drew away at Bradford last Saturday.
Defender Riley Harbottle, midfielder George Maris and forward Davis Keillor-Dunn replaced the injured Callum Johnson, Louis Reed and Rhys Oates in the starting XI.

Striker Oli Hawkins, who joined the Gills from Mansfield last month, started for the visitors, as did former midfielder Alex MacDonald.

George Lapslie, who also left north Nottinghamshire for Kent in January, was on the bench.

Gillingham applied the early pressure and won two corners in the opening six minutes which Stags managed to clear.

Three minutes later, Mansfield captain Ollie Clarke poked a shot into the side netting from the right of the box in the hosts’ first noteworthy attempt.

Stags began to settle and Harbottle swung a dangerous cross into the box after 16 minutes, but Keillor-Dunn nodded off target, under pressure from the Gills’ defence.

Gillingham defender David Tutonda was the first name to enter the referee’s notebook for a late challenge on Elliott Hewitt as Stags won a free kick on the goalline – six paces from the corner flag.

And from it, Harbottle rose superbly to head goalwards, only for Gills’ ‘keeper Glen Morris to expertly claw away from his top right hand corner.

Stags then smashed open the deadlock with a thunderous strike from captain Clarke in the 21st minute.

After Quinn laid it to the edge of the box, Clarke took a left-footed touch before lashing a venomous low strike in off the post.

The Stags’ skipper was in the thick of the action and headed well wide from a left-wing cross as Nigel Clough’s side continued in the ascendency.

Mansfield won a penalty in the 34th minute as Gills’ defender Max Ehmer was adjudged to have held Lucas Akins.

And the frontman slammed home from 12 yards with a confident right-footed finish, despite Morris diving the same way.

Stags were dominating and Hewitt crossed brilliantly for Kilgour who headed narrowly wide from the centre of the box.

Mansfield continued to threaten and Hewitt again delivered from the right for Akins to chest down into Wallace’s path, where the left-wing back arrowed his effort over the bar.

Akins then smashed at goal from outside the box, but Morris was well behind it.

In a rare foray into the Stags’ half, Gills’ midfielder Timmy Dieng came close with a diving header which flew just wide following a cross from the left.

And in stoppage time at the end of the half, Hawkins towered above the pack inside the box to head into the hands of Scott Flinders from a Gills’ corner.

Stags carried on from where they left and on 50 minutes, Akins sent Morris sprawling to save with a bullet header from a corner.

Gillingham made a triple change six minutes later which included Alex MacDonald making way and George Lapslie taking to the field.

And the former Mansfield midfielder was tripped inside the centre circle just beyond the hour mark, earning Keillor-Dunn a yellow card.

But Lapslie was in the book himself on 68 minutes for hacking down Clarke as Stags looked to hit Gillingham on the counter punch.

Stags were well in control of the contest and after galloping half the length of the field, Harbottle directed a crashing drive high and wide.

Gillingham tried to find a way back into the contest and Lapslie almost got them a goal on 73 minutes.

Meeting a right wing cross in the air from the edge of the six-yard box, the ex-Charlton man saw his point-blank header expertly saved by Scott Flinders, who pushed it over the underside of his bar.

Moments later, Jordan Bowery took the place of Kieran Wallace in Stags’ first change.

Keillor-Dunn was given a standing ovation after being subbed for Will Swan on 79 minutes.

Mansfield continued to manage the game well and Maris was shown a yellow card moments later for a foul on Aiden O’Brien.

In form Flinders punched a deep cross clear from inside his goal area to keep the Gills out on 82 minutes.

Stags then made a double change as Maris and Quinn were replaced by Hiram Boateng and John-Joe O’Toole.

The Gills made a double change of their own on 88 minutes in an unlikely bid to resurrect a draw.

In stoppage time, Swan hit low into the palms of Morris after racing clear of the visitors’ defence, but by that stage the result was beyond doubt.

STAGS: Flinders, Hewitt, Harbottle, Kilgour, Perch, Wallace (Bowery 73), Maris (Boateng 83), Clarke, Quinn (O'Toole 83), Keillor-Dunn (Swan 79), Akins

UNUSED SUBS: Pym,  Law, D. Johnson, 

GILLINGHAM: Morris, McKenzie (Wright 88), Masterson, Ehmer, Tutonda (O’Brien 56), Williams (Abrahams 88), Dieng, Jefferies (Alexander 56), MacDonald (Lapslie 56), Hawkins, Nichols


REFEREE: Thomas Kirk

ATTENDANCE: 6,937 (631 Gillingham fans)

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