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Match Reports

Report: Wrexham 2-0 Stags

29 March 2024

Match Reports

Report: Wrexham 2-0 Stags

29 March 2024

Mansfield Town were frustratingly beaten 2-0 by promotion rivals Wrexham at STōK Cae Ras.

A Paul Mullin brace separated the two sides, despite a Davis Keillor-Dunn equaliser being controversially ruled out just after the hour while a penalty was awarded soon afterwards for Wrexham, with replays showing the preceding foul clearly outside the box.

Stags remain inside the Sky Bet League Two automatic promotion places with six games left to play.

Nigel Clough made three changes to the side that faced Colchester United last weekend.

Elliott Hewitt replaced Baily Cargill in defence for his first appearance since sustaining an ACL injury last April. Aaron Lewis and Ollie Clarke started in place of Hiram Boateng and Stephen Quinn in midfield.

The game adopted a lively start as Wrexham wing-back James McClean received a second minute yellow card for a strong challenge on the returning Hewitt. The Stags’ man had to be replaced by Stephen McLaughlin six minutes later.

Mansfield took a firm hold of possession in the opening 15 minutes and registered the game’s first meaningful shot eight minutes later when Clarke slotted through Davis Keillor-Dunn, whose left-footed strike from outside the box was blocked by Max Cleworth.

Four minutes later, Lucas Akins‘ clever flick-on played through Will Swan. However, Wrexham defender Cleworth recovered well to force the Stags’ striker wide before producing an important sliding block.

Despite an encouraging half-an-hour, it was the hosts who took the lead on 32 minutes. A low Andrew Cannon cross from the right found its way into the centre of the Mansfield box before being thumped past goalkeeper Christy Pym by the alert Mullin.

Stags looked to hit back and came agonisingly close to doing so five minutes later. After a cleared corner settled nicely for Aaron Lewis on the edge of the box, the midfielder unleashed a well-struck effort which whipped narrowly wide of the bottom corner.

Forwards James Gale and Tom Nichols were introduced at the break in the place of Will Swan and defender Lewis Brunt. Jordan Bowery subsequently moved to centre-back whilst Akins filled in at right-back.

Stags restarted well and crafted an opening on 48 minutes. Keillor-Dunn spearheaded a counter-attack before working the ball to Gale who shot first-time just inside the box. Wrexham goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo got down well to save at his near post.

Mansfield had the ball in the back of the net on 61 minutes after Keillor-Dunn relentlessly chased down a ball in behind the defence to beat the ‘keeper to it. However, after the Mansfield forward had rounded Okonkwo to slot home, the referee pulled play back, claiming the ‘keeper had gotten two hands on the ball.

Five minutes later, the hosts were awarded a penalty after Bowery downed winger Luke Bolton. However, replays show that the foul clearly occurred outside of the penalty area. Mullin powerfully converted the spot-kick.

Steven Fletcher came close to a third for Wrexham after Elliot Lee’s lob over the onrushing Pym was prodded wide by the forward on 78 minutes, keeping the score at 2-0.

Mansfield are next in action on Easter Monday in an important home clash with Accrington Stanley.

WREXHAM: Okonkwo, Cleworth, O’Connell, Boyle, Bolton (Barnett 74’), McClean, Cannon, O’Connor, Lee (Evans 88’), Palmer (Fletcher 75’), Mullin (Marriott 88’)

UNUSED SUBS: Howard, McFadzean, Dalby

STAGS: Pym, Hewitt (McLaughlin 8’), Flint, Brunt (Gale 45’), Bowery, Reed, Lewis, Clarke (Maris 68’), Keillor-Dunn ( Boateng 68’), Akins, Swan (Nichols 45’)

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, Quinn

REFEREE: Lewis Smith

ATTENDANCE: 12,494 (1,147)

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