Mansfield Town 1-0 Tranmere Rovers (EFL League Two) 06.08.22
A first senior league goal for Riley Harbottle ensured Mansfield Town picked up their first three points of the season at home to Tranmere Rovers in front of over 7,000 spectators at Field Mill.
A first half of few chances saw the all-Irish, all-Stephen’s duo of Quinn & McLaughlin link up down the left on numerous occasions whilst Hirem Boateng was threatening to get on the end of chances created, the former MK Dons midfielder firing over from 20 yards following a partially cleared corner after just two minutes, on twelve he danced through before tamely shooting at Doohan and on twenty he headed wide whilst challenged after Quinn’s teasing centre.
The home sides best move of the half like most, initiated down the left, Quinn playing in McLaughlin who’s dangerous ball across the box missed everyone bar Akins at the back post, he played back to O’Toole who’s bundled effort under pressure was cleared away by the Rovers defenders.
In the second half Mansfield persisted to attack their opponents in the bright Nottinghamshire sun, winning a corner on the hour, a deep in-swinging cross by Boateng from the right was headed home by Harbottle at the back post, a first Stags goal for the on-loan Nottingham Forest defender.
On 73 Harbottle nearly made it two with a repeat rendition but this time he headed Boateng’s corner straight at the goalkeeper, at the other end, Christy Pym made an excellent stop diving to his right to save a Bristow header from a right-wing cross on 78. As time ran thin and with just four minutes remaining, Pym again was to deny Tranmere after a ball pulled back found Lewis who’s low shot was well saved with the Peterborough United loanee once again diving well to his right.
After the match, a delighted Nigel Clough stated “We’re up and running, which is the most important thing.”
He continued “I thought the performance was excellent and the result even better.”
Next up the Stags take on Derby County in the Carabao Cup first round on Tuesday night at the One Call before a third league encounter of the season against Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road on Saturday.
Mansfield Town: Pym, Akins, O’Toole, Hawkins (Hewitt 78), Harbottle, McLaughlin, Boateng (Lapslie 84), Maris (Hartigan 90), Quinn (Clarke 84), Oates (Swan 90), Bowery.
Tranmere Rovers: Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, Jameson, Byrne, Robinson, Bristow, O’Connor, Lewis, McAlear (Nolan 80), Nevitt, Hemmings.
Venue: Field Mill (7,128)
*Main image @mansfieldtownfc Riley Harbottle celebrates his winning goal.