Mansfield Town 2-0 Leyton Orient (EFL League Two) 29.01.22
For the first time ever in the football league, Mansfield Town achieved their eighth straight league win, and in the process, set a new club record as they saw off plucky Leyton Orient in blustery conditions at Field Mill.
Nigel Clough’s men are running rampant in league two and are up to sixth in the table just three points behind Newport County in the third automatic place and now three points ahead of Exeter City in eighth, a place outside the playoff zone.
A tight first half ended with Jordan Bowery putting the Stags ahead just one minute before half time, Rhys Oates did well to clip the ball into his strike partner who chested the ball down and calmly finished to ease the home teams tension going into the interval.
Both sides struggled with the conditions as the game played largely scrappy due to the howling winds but on 72 minutes a half cleared corner fell down to Stephen McLaughlin who played back to Ollie Clarke who smashed home a thunderbolt to all but seal the three points in Mansfield’s favour.
There was a late rally, as the O’s twice hit the woodwork through their substitute Aaron Drinnon. First on 74 as he was sent through to shoot against the outside of the post running in off the angle, then on 77 as a corner fell into his path before the Irishman nodded on to the crossbar from little than a yard out.
Mansfield Manager Clough delighted with his sides historical achievement, acknowledging after “I think it’s remarkable, to do it in the conditions of today.
“Ideally, we wanted a nice calm day – a bit of rain – but it was the exact opposite.
“Despite all that, we still managed to dig a result out.
“I think it’s one of our best clean sheets of the season in terms of restricting the opposition to so few efforts.”
Mansfield have now achieved 14 victories in 16 games and next face a trip to Harrogate on Tuesday night where a win could potentially see the Stags climb into the top three. A far cry from the 23rd October 2021 after Mansfield had just been beaten 2-1 at Exeter and sat second bottom in the relegation slots on eleven points from fourteen played. Since then the side have taken 33 points from 12 games, an unbelievable achievement by anyone’s standards.
Club captain Ollie Clarke stating ‘togetherness’ has been key, the midfielder who grabbed his fourth of the campaign in the win over Orient stating “I think the lads are really fighting for each other and digging in deep. That’s what we want to see.
“We knew we had it within ourselves to go on a good run.
“Obviously to set a record of eight consecutive wins is massive and long may that continue for us. We’ve got to just keep ticking games off as they come. We’re not looking any further ahead than Harrogate on Tuesday night and that’s when the hard work starts again.”
Mansfield Town: Bishop, Hewitt, O‘Toole, Hawkins, McLaughlin, Stirk, Clarke, Quinn (Perch 90), Maris (Wallace 90), Oates (Akins 80), Bowery
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Happe, Smyth (Young 46), Smith, Archibald, Khan, Mitchell, Beckles, Sotiriou (Kyprianou 64), Brown (Drinan 64), Coleman.
Venue: Field Mill (5,851)
*Main image @mansfieldtownfc celebrations on a historical day for the Stags.