Mansfield Town keep play-off dreams alive

MANSFIELD pushed one step closer to the coveted top six as they beat play-off rivals Stevenage 1-0.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 22nd April 2017, 5:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:43 pm
Mansfield Town's defence holds strong - Photo by Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's defence holds strong - Photo by Chris Holloway

Matt Rose bagged the only goal of the game as Steve Evan’s men moved just two points behind the play-off spots.

Manager Evans made a solitary change to the side that drew against Luton Town as Alex MacDonald came in for Alfie Potter, whilst Pat Hoban returned to the bench after a six-week absence due to injury.

Both teams wore black armbands as a sign of respect for former England defender Ugo Ehiogu, who tragically passed away on the eve of the match.

The game was tentative early on as neither side wanted to hand their play-off rivals the initiative.

And it was the Stags who had the first meaningful chance as Alex MacDonald’s curling free-kick went marginally wide after flicking the hosts’ wall.

Eventual goalscorer Rose saw his bullet header scrambled off the line by Jobi McAnuff as the Boro were forced to fight for their lives on the stroke of the break. But the former Bury man fired home his ninth time this term after Rhys Bennett headed the ball into the 23-year-old’s path in minute 45.

Eight minutes after the restart Benjamin Whiteman’s strike deflected wide with Jamie Jones well beaten in the Boro goal.

The visitors continued to bang on the door, but they could not quite grab the all important second to make things comfortable.

And they were almost made to pay for their missed chances as Ben Kennedy’s audacious chip landed on the roof of Jake Kean’s goal.

The Stags were made to withstand a barrage of balls into the box as seven minutes were added on at the end.

However, they managed to hold on for a vital three points in the race for the top six.

Stevenage: Jones, Henry (Tonge, 77), King, Wilkinson, Ogilive, McAnuff, Gorman, Lee, Pett, Hinds (Gray, 66), McKee (Kennedy, 55).

Unused subs: Day, Franks, Ntlhe, Wells.

Mansfield: Kean, Bennett, Pearce, Taft (Collins, 74), White, Byrom, Whiteman, MacDonald (McGuire, 88), Benning, Coulthirst, Rose (Green, 70).

Unused subs: Jensen, Arquin, Potter, Hoban.

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire)