Salford City 1-2 Mansfield Town (EFL League Two) 11.11.23
Nigel Clough’s side returned to winning ways as they maintained their unbeaten, league record, this past Saturday, following three cup defeats in recent weeks, this win courtesy of Davis Keillor-Dunn in the run-up to half-time.
Exiting the Carabao Cup at the end of October (1-0 at home to Port Vale), and the FA Cup at the start of November (2-1 at home to Wrexham), the Stags would also suffer defeat in the EFL Trophy this past week, when hosting Everton U21s at the One Call Stadium.
Victory moved the Stags into the automatic promotion spots, although there’s still a long way to go, ahead of Crewe Alexandra on goal-difference; the win sees them sitting a point behind Wrexham, and six behind leaders Stockport County, with a game in hand.
All three goals arrived in the first half Jordan Bowery (Mansfield) and Matt Smith (Salford), either side of the half’s midway point; the Stags struck first, Bowery striding forward without any real challenge before hammering the ball past a helpless Alex Cairns in the home goal after nineteen minutes.
Three minutes later and the hosts levelled proceedings, the division’s top-scorer, Matt Smith, heading past Christy Pym for his thirteenth of the season, the winning goal arriving eight minutes before break through the mercurial, Keillor-Dunn, Calum Johnson’s right-wing cross volleyed home from close range as the Stags went in 2-1 to the good at the break.
Both sides created attacking opportunities in the second period, with neither side able to take a hold of the game; George Maris with a guilt-edged chance for the Stags before losing control when it mattered most, and Luke Garbutt firing a free-kick over Pym’s bar, from range, late in the half.
Pym was also on-hand to save from Conor McAleny’s edge-of-the-box effort as the game headed towards the final ten minutes, and Dutchman, Kelly Nmai headed over, City hunting for an equaliser that never materialised, the Stags holding out for a 2-1 win.
Keillor-Dunn’s match-winner for the Stags sees him move onto nine goals this season (with four assists), whilst Bowery notched his second of the campaign ahead of their next outing, at home to fifth-bottom Newport County (18 November), Clough et al itching to break into the top two.
Stags: Christy Pym, Calum Johnson, Aden Flint, Lewis Brunt, Callum Macdonald (Baily Cargill 89), Aaron Lewis, Louis Reed (George Williams 93), Davis Keillor-Dunn (Hiram Boateng 82), George Maris, Rhys Oates (James Gale 93), Jordan Bowery.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @mansfieldtownfc Davis Keillor Dunn nets for the Stags at Salford.