MATCH REPORT: Goal machine Doyle ends Mansfield Town unbeaten away run as table-topping Swindon Town take the points
Mansfield Town slipped to their first away league defeat since September with a 1-0 defeat at table-topping Swindon Town this afternoon.
Goal machine Eoin Doyle bagged his 17th goal of the season to separate the two sides at the County Ground.
Manager John Dempster named a trio of changes from the side which was held to a goalless draw at Macclesfield last time out.
Mal Benning missed out after picking up five yellow cards, while Willem Tomlinson and Alex MacDonald were dropped to the bench.
CJ Hamilton and Jacob Mellis returned to the starting line-up with young gun Alistair Smith making his first league start for the club.
The Stags made a bright start with Conor Shaughnessy warming up Swindon shot-stopper Steven Benda with a header.
But the hosts were on fire after that and Paul Caddis lofted a strike over Conrad Logan and was only denied by the bar.
The Robins then took the lead in the 23rd minute as League Two’s leading scorer Doyle, nicknamed the ‘Ginger Pele’ by Swindon supporters, pounced for his 10th goal in seven games.
Logan produced a fine save to deny the Irish hitman a second when he tipped his strike onto the bar.
Mellis almost equalised against the run of play as sweeper-keeper Benda made a good stop, with Nicky Maynard firing wide before the break.
The Stags stormed out of the blocks after the break as they searched for an equaliser and Maynard agonisingly smashed an effort against the near post.
Fellow striker Andy Cook then squandered a glorious opportunity when he was stopped at close range by Benda, before Maynard lashed wide from inside the area just before the hour.
The hosts could have put the game to bed when Jerry Yates blasted over after being found by Doyle.
Dempster rolled the dice by bringing on an extra forward with Omari Sterling-James replacing Shaughnessy to no avail as Stags’ six game unbeaten away run was halted to leave them 15th, nine points off the play-off places.
SWINDON: Benda, Caddis, Baudry, Fryers, Hunt, Grant, Lyden (Rose, 45), Woolery (Iandolo, 90+1), Doughty (Broadbent, 59), Yates, Doyle. Unused subs: McCormick, Curran, Jaiyesimi, Twine.
STAGS: Logan, Preston, Pearce, Sweeney, Gordon (Khan, 82), Shaughnessy (Sterling-James, 77), Mellis (Knowles, 90), Smith, Hamilton, Maynard, Cook. Unused subs: Olejnik, Clarke, Tomlinson, MacDonald.
REFEREE: Nick Kinseley.
ATTENDANCE: 6,741 (215 away).