Oldham Athletic 2-3 Mansfield Town (EFL League Two) 13.01.21
Mansfield Town bounced back from Sundays cup defeat and made it four league wins in a row as Nigel Clough’s men move to twelfth in the table after beating Oldham Athletic in a thrilling match in the rain at Boundary Park.
An incident packed first half saw hosts Oldham take an early lead as Alfie McCalmont, hovering at the back post, scored after just six minutes, the midfielder slipping a shot fiercely through the goalkeepers hands into the net and the same player could have made it two shortly after when picking the pocket of Sweeney to shoot at Aidan Stone who made a good save to redeem his early error on eleven.
At the other end Charsley tried his luck on 17 minutes for Mansfield but his effort from outside the area went well over the bar before Stone, in for Marek Stech, made another save, this time from Bahamboula who’s strike from the edge of the box was well stopped.
Mansfield pressed and pegged Oldham back in search of a leveller which came after Harry Charsley fired home a rocket over Lawlor in the Latics goal, a fantastic hit after the goalkeeper punched a cross at the midfielders feet to tie things up on 37 minutes.
Within a minute it was 2-1 to the Stags as Sweeney, up from the back, fired in from close range and five minutes before half time it could have been three as Cook’s header was tipped on to the bar by the Oldham goalkeeper who was being kept busy.
As injury time of an eventful half approached, Mansfield were awarded a penalty, but Bowery struck wide of the target to miss a huge chance to give Stags a two goal cushion, it didn’t matter however as that opportunity would soon come again just four minutes into the second half when Jamie Reid got the better of his marker Piergianni to race through before slotting home to put the game and three points to within the grasp of Nigel Clough’s side.
Three could have become four when Cook chested down to Lapslie on 66 minutes for the former Charlton midfielder to strike the bar from 25 yards on the volley and ten minutes later Gordon saw his deflected shot saved by Lawlor who himself was keeping the score right down to keep Oldham in with a fighting chance of getting a result.
That chance improved when McAleny pulled one back with six minutes remaining and in the 88th minute it was Stone who’s magnificent save from Rowe denied what could easily have been a share of the spoils.
In the end Mansfield held on in what was a magnificent advert for league two football. The Stags now nine points above the drop zone and more excitingly, just five points below the playoffs.
Oldham Athletic: Lawlor, Diarra (Fage 46), Clarke, Piergianni, Barnett (Borthwick-Jackson 46), Garrity, Bahamboula, McCalmont, Whelan (Dearnley 46 (Baden 69)), Keillor-Dunn (Rowe 56), McAleny.
Mansfield Town: Stone, Gordon, Rawson, Sweeney, McLaughlin, Charsley, Maris, Lapslie, Cook (Maynard 90), Reid, Bowery (Benning 81).
Venue: Boundary Park
*Main image @mansfieldtownfc the players celebrate Ryan Sweeney’s goal before half time.