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Match Reports

Report: Northampton 1-0 Stags

14 March 2023

Ten-man Mansfield slipped to a rare loss on the road, as Sam Hoskins’ first-half penalty proved the difference in a scrappy affair at Sixfields.

Talisman Hoskins drilled home from 12 yards in the 28th minute and Stags’ task of acquiring points was made harder when midfielder Stephen Quinn saw red for a late challenge on 66 minutes.

Striker Danny Johnson – who has spent most of the season on loan at Walsall – made his first start of the campaign for the Stags.

Goalkeeper Christy Pym recovered from illness to start in goal.

Fellow shot-stopper Scott Flinders and injured full-back Callum Johnson made way as part of two changes from Stags’ last match, a 3-1 win away at AFC Wimbledon.

Mansfield defensive midfielder Kieran Wallace received an early yellow card after upending Will Hondermarck in the fourth minute.

In Stags’ first meaningful attack, Jordan Bowery headed well wide of goal from 12 yards following Lucas Akins’ drifted cross on the right flank.

Pym then saved routinely from Ryan Haynes’ long range pot-shot while at the other end Akins headed off target following a corner.

Stags were almost in trouble in the 12th minute when Cobblers’ star striker Sam Hoskins broke clear of the rearguard, but after advancing into the penalty area, defender Alfie Kilgour raced back to make a vital block.

After a scrappy ten minute spell, Johnson went close for Mansfield when he lashed narrowly beyond the post from outside the box.

In the 27th minute, Northampton were awarded a penalty as Louis Appéré timed his run well to race beyond Stags’ defence. And after looking to round Pym, the goalkeeper brought him down, leading to a yellow card and spot kick.

Up stepped Hoskins to power a low effort to Pym’s left-hand side and fire Northampton ahead.

Immediately after the goal, Kieran Wallace was replaced by Hiram Boateng in midfield for Mansfield.

Stags had a good chance to draw level on 35 minutes, as captain Ollie Clarke wriggled through the Cobblers’ defence, but after goalkeeper Lee Burge narrowed the angle, the Mansfield captain struck wide from 10 yards.

With four minutes of the first half remaining, defender Riley Harbottle skied an effort from outside the box.

Stags started to push their foot on the pedal and Johnson may have felt unfortunate not to have scored as his deflected header sailed into the hands of Burge following Quinn’s delightful left wing cross.

Seventy seconds into the second-half, Hoskins smashed a drive against Kilgour as Cobblers’ looked to extend their lead.

In a scrappy opening 15 minutes to the second-half, Stephen Quinn and Riley Harbottle both delivered cross from the left and right flank, respectively, which did little to trouble the hosts.

On 64 minutes, Nigel Clough made a double change as Rhys Oates and Stephen McLaughlin were introduced for Davis Keillor-Dunn and Danny Johnson.

Stags were then reduced to ten men two minutes later as Stephen Quinn was shown a straight red card for an ill-timed challenge on Bowie near the home technical area.

Mansfield didn’t give up the ghost and Oates showed fine skill in the 74th minute to rob the ball off Northampton before twisting and turning his way into the box and fire a low effort at Burge.

Cobblers could have wrapped it up on the counter punch but Hoskins smashed an effort over the bar after being fed from the right flank.

McLaughlin was forced off with an apparent injury on 83 minutes, being replaced by Jason Law, who entered the referee’s notebook for a foul five minutes later.

Cobblers tried to put the game to bed and Pym was called upon in the 90th minute to make a smart save by beating away Bowie’s strike.

Northampton wound down the clock in six minutes of added time to secure victory.

NORTHAMPTON: Burge, Sherring, Guthrie, Dyche, Lintott, Leonard, Sowerby (Wright-Phillips 84), Hondermarck, Haynes (YengI 77), Hoskins, Appéré (Bowie 59)  

UNUSED SUBS: King, Osew, Abimbola, Wyatt

STAGS: Pym, Akins, Harbottle, Kilgour, Perch, Bowery, Wallace (Boateng 28), Clarke, Quinn, Keillor-Dunn (McLaughlin 64, Law 83), D. Johnson (Oates 64)

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, Anderson, Gale

REFEREE: Geoff Eltringham

ATTENDANCE: 6,301 (1,039 Stags’ fans)

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