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Match Reports

Report: Stags 2-3 Barrow

7 January 2023

Mansfield Town let a two-goal lead slip as Barrow dramatially came from behind to earn maximum points at One Call Stadium.

Stephen McLaughlin and Stephen Quinn had put Stags in the box seat, as the hosts enjoyed a two-goal lead for as long as the 45th minute.

But a first-half stoppage time goal, along with a leveller four minutes after the break and a 77th minute own goal from Oli Hawkins ultimately delivered the damage.

Defender Elliott Hewitt and midfielder George Maris were introduced for Anthony Hartigan – out with a dislocated shoulder - and George Lapslie, as part of two changes from the New Year’s Day defeat at Walsall.

Stags started in a 4-3-3 formation, with defender-cum-forward Oli Hawkins in attack, flanked by Will Swan and Rhys Oates.

Mansfield started brightly and created the game’s first opening inside the third minute.

Stephen McLaughlin’s left-footed hit was too hot to handle, but Swan couldn’t make the most of the follow-up, allowing Barrow ‘keeper Paul Farman to gather.

Stags early pressure paid dividends as they took the lead in the tenth minute.

George Maris was flattened by Harrison Neal 23 yards from the Barrow.

And from the resulting free-kick, McLaughlin powered goalwards, taking a deflection via the defensive wall, with Farman only able to get a weak hand to it as he saw it helplessly creep into the bottom right corner of his goal.



And after a spell where midfields were on top, Stephen Quinn doubled Stags’ advantage on 25 minutes.

Robbing Barrow defender George Ray of possession midway inside the visiting half, Quinn scurried forwards before coolly slotting through the legs of the advancing Farman.

The Bluebirds had their first real sight of goal on 32 minutes following a corner.

Richie Bennett, unmarked and unopposed inside the Stags’ box, had two opportunities to strike; the first he scuffed and the second lashed over the bar.

Oates then stung the palms of Farman with a vicious low drive from 25 yards which the visiting goalkeeper parried clear.

But then as the first-half entered stoppage time, Barrow pulled one back.

After Maris lost control of the ball in midfield, Robbie Gotts slipped it to the left for Billy Waters inside the box. And after striking against Kellan Gordon, Waters swung a well-placed effort into the far corner of Pym’s goal.

Barrow made a double change at the break – which included the introduction of leading goalscorer Josh Gordon.

And the 28-year-old made an immediate impact as he nodded home Tyrell Warren’s right-wing cross to draw the Cumbrian side level four minutes after the interval.

Swan tried to restore Stags’ advantage with a spirited run into the box, but his effort was blocked and spun out for a corner.

Stags breathed a sigh of relief past the hour mark when Josh Gordon was presented with another chance to score.

Pym sent a miscued goal kick straight to the feet of the Barrow frontman, who from the edge of the box struck at the legs of the home shot-stopper.

At the other end, Swan twisted and turned before firing wide from 25 yards when he might have used Quinn, in space on the overlap.

Nigel Clough made a double change with 15 minutes remaining.

Stephen Quinn made way for George Lapslie while Will Swan was substituted for Jordan Bowery,

But within the blink of an eye Barrow took the upper hand on 77 minutes.

Tyrell Warren was given time and space to deliver from the right flank and Hawkins inadvertently sent the ball into his own net, attempting to clear at the near post.

On 85 minutes, Jason Law climbed off the bench to replace Stephen McLaughlin, in Stags’ third change.

Two minutes later, Jimmy Knowles made a long-awaited return, coming on for Kellan Gordon.
But despite seven minutes of time added on, Stags couldn’t find  a way through a resilient Barrow rearguard.

STAGS: Pym, Gordon (Knowles 87), Hewitt, Perch, McLaughlin (Law 85), Maris, Boateng, Quinn (Lapslie 75), Oates, Hawkins, Swan (Bowery 75)

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, O'Toole, Anderson

BARROW: Farman, Brown (Whitfield H/T), Ray, Canavan, Warren, Neal, White (Foley 71), Brough, Gotts (Newby 71), Bennett (Gordon H/T), Waters

UNUSED SUBS: Moloney, Stevens

REFEREE: Neil Hair

ATTENDANCE: 6,081 (148 Barrow fans)


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