Stags Hit Four At Forest Green

Forest Green Rovers 0-4 Mansfield Town (EFL League Two) 10.02.2024

Following a four-match winless streak at the turn of the year, Nigel Clough’s promotion-chasing Stags have won two-from-two after Saturday’s win away to Forest Green Rovers, a win which sees them sitting handsomely in second place, just four behind leaders Stockport County.

A brace from Ollie Clarke, coupled with second half goals from Tom Nichols, his first for the club, and Will Swan’s fourth of the season, sealed a 4-0 win to keep the pressure up at the top, and they took the lead just eleven minutes in when Aden Flint headed the ball, from a Louis Reed cross, into the path of the oncoming Clarke, who wasted little time in firing the ball past home ‘keeper, Luke Daniels, and into the bottom corner, from the edge of the box.

Prior to the Stags’ opener, Rovers’ Emmanuel Osadebe, saw a powerful effort blocked by visiting defender, George Williams, whilst afterwards, Matty Stevens saw a goal-bound effort deflected wide.

Rovers, who sit bottom of the table and at least ten points from safety, caved under Mansfield’s pressure in the second half when first, new Stags signing, Tom Nichols (from fellow promotion hopefuls, Gillingham with whom he’d scored three goals this season), hammered home with twenty remaining, he latching onto a pass from Swan.

Shortly before the Stage went two ahead, the hosts’ lost ‘keeper Daniels to injury when preventing Swan from netting, being replaced five minutes later by Jamie Searle.

Then, nine minutes later, Swan found the net himself, second half substitute, Lucas Akins, putting in a low cross and Swan finished from six yards out, at Searle’s near post; three became four when, deep in stoppage time, Clarke completed the scoring with his second of the game after his right-footed effort made Searle’s top corner.

Afterwards, speaking with iFollow Stags, the Mansfield boss said: “I think the score-line flatters us a little bit.

“I just think it was about how clinical we were with the finishing. I don’t think it was a four-nil game.

“The teams at the top get a little bit of a break at times and the confidence kicks in and that was the difference between the two teams today.

“I think Forest Green had a few spells in the game, certainly in the last twenty-five minutes of the first-half where they were on top.

“We had to defend extremely well to keep a clean sheet and got away with one or two as well, which is often the difference.

“We said at half-time that we have to play better in the second-half. We changed formation within five minutes to give us a bit more solidity.”

Victory for Mansfield sees them sitting in second place ahead of Tuesday (13 February) night visit of Harrogate Town (KO 19:45); Stockport lead the way, four ahead of Clough’s charges, and they have a three-point advantage on third place Crewe Alexandra, the top two having a game in hand as the race for automatic promotion hots up.

Stags: Christy Pym, George Williams (Stephen McLaughlin, 81), Aden Flint, Lewis Brunt, Jordan Bowery, George Maris (Hiram Boateng, 81), Louis Reed, Ollie Clarke, Davis Keillor-Dunn (Stephen Quinn, 73), Tom Nichols (Lucas Akins, 73), Will Swan (Aaron Lewis, 80).

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @mansfieldtownfc Tom Nichols celebrates his first Stags goal.

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