Stags Slip After Record Win

Despite defeat at Walsall this past Saturday (17 February 2024), Nigel Clough’s Mansfield Town side have had cause for cheer of late, none-more-so than when, on Tuesday (13 February) night, the Stage put visiting play-off hopefuls, Harrogate Town, to the sword.

Victory was even more so in that it tied the clubs’ record score, a one that was set some 82-years ago; 9-2 now, was first set back in December 1932, when the then Mansfield, in what was only their second season in the Football League, defeated visiting Rotherham United.

Back then, and having been moved into Division Three North, from the South which they’d resided the previous campaign, an early Stags side, managed by Jack Hickling (1928 – 1933), found themselves struggling to adjust, winning just two of their previous ten outings of the 1932-33 season.

Those two victories were both home successes, 2-1 against Hull City, and 4-1 against Rochdale; facing Rotherham however, the Stags had lost to the same just the day before, a 3-0 loss on Boxing Day, at Rotherham, but at Field Mill, the Stags ran riot in front of a crowd of 7,192 spectators.

In the match report of the game, ‘Mansfield & North Notts Advertiser’ (30.12.1932, courtesy of here) the reporter said that:

“The forwards were nippy and skilful and their shooting was wonderful. Bowater and Broome twice shook the upright with terrific drives, and Readman played with dash and accuracy.”

It’s said that six of the nine goals scored by Mansfield came direct from passes by the irrepressible Jack Prior, whilst with three of the Stags all scoring hat-tricks, Walter Hoyland’s was completed by virtue of his head.

“Hoyland was conspicuous for his brilliant headwork,” continued the report of the day; “his three goals being all scored by this method. Bowater too had his shooting boots on and popped three beauties in, and Readman also scored three snappy goals.”

The visitors bagged two, consolation efforts, with the reporter of the game applauding the Stags ‘keeper, Jim Wilson, stating directly he was not to be faulted for said replies.

The report said of those; “Wilson could not be blamed for either of the goals scored against him. The first, from Wheeler, was a grand dropping shot which deceived the goalkeeper in its flight and curled over his arm. The second was the result of an infringement by Wilson, who the referee thought had carried outside the area. No attempt was made by the backs to intercept the free kick.”

Of the three hat-trick scorers, George Bowater would finish the season as top scorer for the Stags, he bagging 18 goals in 39 appearances; Walter Hoyland finished with 9 in 26, and Joe Readman 7 in 35, the season overall witnessing both a record win, and a record loss, as the Stags were beaten 8-1 against Walsall, away, on 19 January 1933.

Mansfield Town (1932) – Jim Wilson, Charles Anthoney, Ernie England, Reg Davies, Sam Robinson, Bill Slack, Jack Prior, Harry Broome, Joe Readman, Walter Hoyland, George Bowater

As for the win, that was one which stood until 2024, when Nigel Clough’s League Two promotion hopefuls, romped to a similar success when hosting visiting Harrogate Town, they themselves with ideals of promotion.

It was to be a game which saw eleven goals scored, and seven differing scorers overall, whilst Hiram Boateng, who bagged a thirty-minute hat-trick for the Stags, was his first for the clubs, whilst Lucas Akins, who scored twice, did so on what was his hundredth Stags appearance.

Will Swan also scored twice, in a matter of second half minutes, whilst Tom Nichols and Davis Keillor-Dunn, the latter with his sixteenth of what has been a productive season thus far, also getting in on the act.

The reporter for the Mansfield and Ashfield Chad said of the game here that: “A simply incredible first half barrage saw Stags go in five goals to the good – and it could have been more.

“And the goals and entertainment continued after the break on an historic night with boss Nigel Clough’s only grope likely to be failing to keep a clean sheet at the other end.”

Having not beaten Harrogate prior to this season, the Stags have now done it in consecutive game, winning 4-1 away back in October, then 9-2 at home in mid-February; the visitors netting twice in quick succession after the restart through George Thomson and Abraham Odoh.

Those consolations arrived after Boateng had completed his hat-trick, the Chad reporter saying of this: “It took Stags just five minutes to add to their tally as Quinn helped Cargill’s pass to his right and Boateng was there to lash home his hat-trick goal from six yards.”

Although chants continued to rise for the rampant Stags to hit ten, it wasn’t to be on what was a record-equalling night for the hosts; however they failed to follow that up with victory in the very next outing.

Mansfield Town (2024) – Christy Pym, Jordan Bowery, Aden Flint, Lewis Brunt, Baily Cargill, Louis Reed, Hiram Boateng, Stephen Quinn, Davis Keillor-Dunn, Tom Nichols, Lucas Akins

With League Two leaders Stockport County slipping up in recent outings, losing their last two, 3-1 at home to Crewe Alexandra, then 4-0 away to Tranmere Rovers, they grateful for the Stags’ 2-1 loss at Walsall as the table gets ever-more tighter at the top.

Eight of the side that featured in the historical match in midweek, started against Walsall, they being joined by Ollie Clarke, George Maris and Will Swan, with Boateng, Keillor-Dunn, and Nichols all coming in the second half, along with Aaron Lewis and Stephen McLaughlin.

All three goals in the Walsall match came in the fifteen minutes after the restart, the Stags’ Stephen Quinn seeing his effort sandwiched between home goals from Jamille Matt, and Emmanuel Adegboyega.

Just three points split the top four sides in the division as they head towards the business end of the season, Stockport top on 61, Mansfield second with 60, followed by Wrexham and Crewe sitting on 58 apiece; MK Dons, Barrow and Harrogate making up the remainder of the play-offs.

Below those, a plethora of clubs, including Notts County, are separated by a slim, two points, from Harrogate in seventh, down to Newport County in fourteenth.

Prepare yourselves for an exciting, end-of-season run-in….

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @mansfieldtownfc last weeks win against Harrogate equalled Mansfield’s record win.

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