Nervy Mansfield hope to ease pressure with Stevenage win


Mansfield Town host play-off hopefuls Stevenage as the Stags look to secure promotion to League One for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

In the last league fixture for the Stags, they played a match televised on Sky against Oldham Athletic.

A slow start from Mansfield saw the Latics be 1-0 at half-time, Gevaro Nepomuceno open the scoring in the 29th minute. After half-time, Mansfield looked to attack with Jacob Mellis narrowly missing a chance to equalise for the Stags.

Oldham doubled their lead in the 56th minute against the run of play through Mohamed Maouche. Mansfield got one back through a beautiful goal scored by club top goalscorer Tyler Walker. Nepomuceno scored his second in the 67th minute to give Oldham a two goal advantage but, that two goal advantage was squished to one when Neal Bishop scored in the 76th minute.

Substitute Danny Rose scored an important goal that levelled the game but, the goal was controversially given as offside with the match ending 3-2. The Stags dropping to third.

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that Mansfield’s ‘committed performance’ was worthy of earning a point against Oldham.

He said:

“I’ve seen it [Rose goal] again and you can see quite clearly [that it’s onside],” said the boss.

“Mells [Jacob Mellis] has hit the post and Danny has reacted. He’s onside at that point. He [official]is not in line with it. You want someone to just get that decision right at the end.

“I think 3-3 would have been a just result from what we’ve seen today after a real committed performance by two teams.

“It was heated at times, but passionate and committed. We tried to fight back and I thought we did that.

“To try and get that equalising goal with the fans right behind it, it would have been a good end to the game. But it’s been chalked off by a decision that’s wrong.”

Where as for the visiting team Stevenage, they faced off against play-off rival Exeter City at Broadhall Way,

The first-half of the game looked very excited from both persepectives with both teams looking to be real threats early on. It was Stevenage who opened the scoring in the 28th minute, as Kurtis Guthrie broke the deadlock but, just before half-time, Exeter equalised in the 40th minute through Ryan Bowman. After a nervy second-half from both teams, the Grecians and Boro had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Stevenage boss Dino Maamria, praised his players for the way they fought to a 1-1 draw against Exeter City on Monday.

He said:

“It was difficult. We gave everything we have got. The players have been absolutely fantastic, they got a standing ovation from the fans because of their effort, endeavour and purpose. But, they (Exeter) are not a bad team.

“I think the difference was that they made three good changes for them. We have a few players who have played too many games lately. Sonupe, Terence Vancooten and Joe Martin have all been out for a while.

“Then all of a sudden, they come back and play a lot of games. It was always going to be a grind today. The pitch did not help, the grass was very long, very dry. It was a good game; a point was fair for both teams. It was a hot day, the conditions were not easy, but you see the players’ desire and determination to keep going forward on empty tanks.”

Last time these two League 2 teams played against each other was in December at Broadhall Way Stadium.

After a slow first-half from both teams, it was Stevenage who broke the deadlock in added time of the first half through Danny Newton. An impressive second-half from the Stags saw them overcome Stevenage’s efforts. Goals scored by Ryan Sweeney and a brace from Tyler Walker secured the three points for the amber and blues.

Team News

The Stags will be without forwards Craig Davies, Nicky Ajose and Jordan Graham for the match.

Long-term absentees Bobby Olejnik and Hayden White will also miss out.

Stevenage will have a full-strength squad to choose from ahead of the fixture.


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