Forest Green Rovers 1-2 Mansfield Town (EFL League Two) 14.11.20
Nigel Clough won his first league game in charge as Mansfield Town Manager this afternoon, his second since taking reigns in the Stags dugout last week, the clubs third successive win in all competitions and a first league win of the season too. A fantastic turnaround in fortunes since the dismissal of Graham Coughlan last month and the appointment of the former Burton Albion boss.
Clough went with the eleven that played in the FA Cup at the Stadium of Light as he stuck with the side that beat Sunderland under Richard Cooper last Saturday and Mansfield got off to the perfect start after just five minutes as the on fire George Lapslie scored his third in as many consecutive games. Two attempts needed after his initial shot was saved by Forest Green goalkeeper Luke McGee but no mistake second time around from the former Charlton Athletic midfielder.
Maynard fired wide on 17 as Stags hunted for a second before Stech made a save from Bailey to keep the visitors to the New Lawn ahead.
An injury to George Maris at the half hour stage enforced the Stags to make a change with Ollie Clarke taking his place for a first league app since early October and as the home side struck over the bar from Cadden, Mansfield went up the other end as Maynard flicked the ball over his head to volley an audacious attempt inches too high. It mattered not though as soon after Bowery found Charsley who fired home into the far corner for a second on 35 minutes.
The Stags came out in the second half with even more ambition to settle the game as a Maynard header was easily saved by McGee before the 33 year old finally found the net on 73 minutes only for it to be ruled offside.
As Nigel Clough’s men began to take less risks with the clock running down the side looked to defend their two goal lead and they paid the price as Forest Green came at the Stags and pulled back the deficit to just one when Odin Bailey scored with just five left.
Mansfield did manage to hang on however and take all three points against a side that drop down from third place to fifth in the League Two table, a first victory of the season massive as the Stags in 21st look to pull away from the relegation zone.
A delighted Clough and co will enjoy their weekend after yet another win but the Manager will know the side are not yet out of the woods with Scunthorpe in particular, below them in 23rd having three games in hand, the Stags take on Colchester United next on Friday night at the One Call Stadium with the chance to move further away from the drop zone should they win.
Forest Green Rovers: McGee, Godwin-Malife, Taylor-Moore (Stevens 76), Kitching, Wilson (Collins 46), Adams, Winchester, Cadden, Bailey, Matt (Richardson 76), Young.
Mansfield Town: Stech, Gordon, Rawson, Perch, Benning, Lapslie, Charsley, Maris (Clarke 31), Bowery, Maynard (O’Keefe 83), McLaughlin.
Venue: The New Lawn
*Main image @mansfieldtownfc George Lapslie scoring the opener, his third in as many games.