Robins Inflict First Stags Defeat

Swindon Town 2-1 Mansfield Town (EFL League Two) 25.11.2023

Mansfield Town’s unbeaten start to the EFL League Two campaign game to a dramatic end in Wiltshire on Saturday afternoon thanks to Jake Young’s brace, his second, coming deep in stoppage time and giving the hosts all three points.

It would be Young who opened the scoring in the tight, League Two contest, a free-kick from Dan Kemp seven minutes before the interval reaching Young who volleyed his effort past Christy Pym in the visiting goal, and into the back of the net.

Although it was a first half that had few chances, the Stags came close to equalising shortly before the interval following a quick break from Rhys Oates into opposition territory, his cross from the left reached Aaron Lewis, whose first-time effort was saved well by Murphy Mahoney in the home goal.

With the hosts leading at the break, Nigel Clough’s visitors needed a quick response early in the second, and it arrived within four minutes of the restart; Lucas Akins, on for Jordan Bowery at half-time, burst beyond the home defence and fired a low shot past Mahoney and into the corner.

Both sides continued to create, each searching for what would have been the winning goal; Young came close to scoring just before the hour, getting his head onto a cross from William Kokolo, but Pym was equal to it.

Minutes later and first Louis Reed sent an effort over Murphy’s crossbar, then the home shot-stopper saved a goal-bound shot from Davis Keillor-Dunn; Dan Kemp sent another wide for the visitors before Murphy saved again, this time from an Aden Flint header.

With thirteen left on the clock, Stags’ scorer, Akins, came close to bagging a second of the afternoon when a free-kick was headed on by Baily Cargill, and the visiting striker saw his headed effort come back off the crossbar.

A corner from Saidou Khan, as the game headed into the final ten minutes, was again sent goal-wards by Kemp, and again Pym was equal to it before Oates, Lewis, and Akins again, all had chances to wrap it up for the visitors.

The hosts brought on Charlie Austin, for Kokolo, and it would be his tenacity that led to the winner minutes later; initially getting on the end of a cross from Tyrese Shade, Austin sent a header against Pym’s bar, whilst the rebound effort from him was blocked, the ball falling to Young this time and he stabbed home a right-footed effort, from close-range, into Pym’s bottom corner.

It was a goal which ended an incredible, unbeaten start to the league campaign for the Stags, they having won nine and drawn eight of the previous seventeen outings; defeat saw them to slip one to third, six behind leaders Stockport County, with a game in hand.

Beneath the leaders, it’s too close for comfort with Wrexham in second on 36, Mansfield and Crewe Alexandra tied on 35, Barrow in fifth on 34, Notts County sixth on 33, and Accrington Stanley taking the last play-off spot, in seventh, on 29 points.

Next up for Mansfield, they close out November’s tomorrow night when hosting third bottom Tranmere Rovers (Tuesday 28 November, KO 19:45), before welcoming mid-table MK Dons this coming Saturday, 3 December, to usher in the festive season.

Stags: Christy Pym, Callum Johnson, Aden Flint, Lewis Brunt, Baily Cargill, Aaron Lewis, Louis Reed, Davis Keillor-Dunn (Hiram Boateng 89), George Maris (Stephen Quinn 46), Jordan Bowery (Lucas Akins 46), Rhys Oates (Calum Macdonald 84).

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @mansfieldtownfc action from the Stags at Swindon as Mansfield suffer first league defeat.

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