Stags Sunk By Salford

Mansfield Town 2-5 Salford City (EFL League Two) 25.02.23

Well, wasn’t it just a bad day across Nottinghamshire at the weekend for their flagship, football clubs, Mansfield Town included?

At home to fellow, promotion-chasing rivals, Salford City, on Saturday afternoon, Nigel Clough’s Stags side hit the bumpers when crashing to a 5-2 defeat, in front of near 7,000 fans, the injury-hit hosts struggling for the first time in weeks.

The visitors would fly out of the blocks from the first whistle, Louie Barry and Matthew Lund both being pulled offside in the opening five minutes alone before Jordan Bowery, after ten minutes, has the Stags’ first, real chance of the game, however, his effort was well-blocked.

Barry would continue being a form in the Stags’ side as the first period opened up, Callum Hendry then being caught offside as the hosts ran amok before the opening goal of the contest arrived, well, two in quick succession as it turned out.

The opener came in the eighteenth minute when a cross from visiting captain, Ibou Touray, was met by the head of Lund, who nodded past Pym from six yards out, then, just three minutes later, the visitors lead was doubled when Elliot Watt’s burst down the right flank saw him fire a low-cross in and which found its way to Hendry, and he swung his left foot and the ball arrowed into the bottom left corner.

As the Stags looked to get back into the game, the influential Davis Keillor-Dunn would see a couple of quick-fire efforts wide, Kieran Wallace did the same, whilst James Perch then saw visiting ‘keeper, Alex Cairns, save his effort.

However, the pressure from the hosts paid off ten minutes before the break when the Stags got a goal back, non-other than Keillor-Dunn, with his second for the club, firing into the bottom corner from close range, getting on the end of a rebound after a Perch effort was blocked; both sides sees further efforts go begging as a hectic, opening half, came to a close, with the visitors holding a one-goal lead.

Upon the restart, the visitors picked up where they left off in the first, upping the tempo as Hendry hits the post, before a third was registered, Watt playing in Luke Bolton, who fired into Pym’s bottom corner, whilst at the other end, Kieran Wallace saw his effort saved at the other end.

Then, within ten minutes of the second half kicking off, three became four for the visitors, Lund adding his second of the game when getting on the end of a Bolton through-ball, firing a right-footed effort into Pym’s bottom corner from sixteen yards.

Clough would change things up around the hour mark, making a trio of changes and bringing Danny Johnson, Hiram Boateng, and Jason Law, into the fray for the closing stages, the hosts taking advantage of this and saw a massive increase in tempo.

Cairns, in the visiting goal, was soon under constant bombardment during a fifteen-minute spell that, although didn’t yield a goal, saw chance after chance, come the way of the Stags.

Keillor-Dunn and Boateng both had a couple of chances apiece, whilst Perch, Kilgour, Law, Johnson and Clarke all had efforts go amiss, much to the dismay of the majority in the stands; failure to get back into the game was punished shortly after as well, Theo Vassell being seen to head home the visitors fifth of the afternoon, from a corner.

And still, the chances kept coming, Conor McAleny missing a couple for the visitors, prior to the Stags snatching a late consolation when, in the closing minutes, a cross from Callum Johnson was fired home by Jordan Bowery; it was too-little, too-late for the hosts though, victory for the visitors seeing them leapfrog the Stags into sixth, on goal-difference.

Saturday’s results meant that just eight points separate second place Carlisle United (58pts) and ninth place, Sutton United (50pts) – Mansfield in the final play-off spot, ahead of the trip to fifteenth place, Wimbledon, on 4 March.

Mansfield Town: Christy Pym, Riley Harbottle (Callum Johnson 46), Alfie Kilgour, James Perch, Elliott Hewitt, Ollie Clarke, Kieran Wallace (Danny Johnson 59), Stephen Quinn (Hiram Boateng 59), Jordan Bowery, Davis Keillor-Dunn (Taylor Anderson 85), Lucas Akins (Jason Law, 60)

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @mansfieldtownfc Davis Keilor-Dunn collects the ball after a consolation for the Stags.

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