Wycombe Wanderers 0 Mansfield Town 1 - 17th August 2013

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox  -Pic by:Richard Parkes
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox -Pic by:Richard Parkes

Ollie Palmer scored his first goal in a Mansfield Town shirt to earn Stags their first win since returning to the Football League against Wycombe on Saturday.

Palmer pounced from close range in the 78th minute to fire home a loose ball after a Martin Riley header had hit the post and earn an impressive Mansfield side a 1-0 win.

It was nothing more than Stags deserved after they had controlled the second half, creating a number of chances and starving lifeless Wycombe of possession and goalscoring chances.

James Jennings and Sam Clucas had both came close to firing Stags into the lead with four separate chances as Stags piled the pressure on throughout a dominant second half.

Paul Cox will be delighted by the club’s second clean sheet in a row after their poor defensive start to the season against Scunthorpe and Tranmere.

It was an excellent all round team display by Mansfield with Jennings, Clucas, Clements and McGuire all impressing.

Calvin Andrew and Ben Hutchinson also stood out with two hardworking displays which summed up the visitors determination take all three points back to the One Call Stadium.

The win was Stags first win in the Football League since they beat Shrewsbury 3-1 on 19th April 2008.

Mansfield had made two changes to the starting line up with Ben Hutchinson replacing Ollie Palmer as Stags looked for a different formula to break their goal drought.

Chris Clements was also recalled into midfield at the expense of Anthony Howell.

James Jennings nearly put Mansfield ahead on 10 minutes when his fierce volley was tipped over the bar acrobatically by Matt Ingram after the ball had fallen free on the edge of the box.

Stags fans were appealing for a penalty in the 16th minute when Gary Doherty shoulder-charged Ben Hutchinson as the duo both jumped for a cross. But the shouts were waved away by referee Keith Hill.

Sam Clucas should have scored for the visitors on 30 minutes when Calvin Andrew rose well to head a Clements cross back across goal.

But Clucas failed to get enough purchase on his header and nodded the ball wide of Ingram’s left post with the net begging.

Calvin Andrew then fired wide on 34 minutes after he had turned well as Stags began to grow in confidence.

Alan Marriott stood firm on 38 minutes to deny Josh Scowen with Wycombe’s first chance of the game after some slack defending by Lee Beevers played Mansfield into big danger.

Beevers was robbed of the ball by Paris Cowan-Hall down the left touchline after he had attempted to let a long ball over the top run out for a goal-kick.

Cowan-Hall needed no second invitation to surge into the box before cutting the ball back to Scowen who failed to beat the Mansfield shot-stopper from 16 yards.

Marriott then palmed a Cowan-Hall shot away from danger on 42 minutes as the home side finally sprung into life.

Nick Arnold then caused more danger to the seats in the away end than to Alan Marriott as he skied a shot from 30 yards after a clearance from a Wycombe corner fell into his path in first-half stoppage time.

Wycombe continued to put pressure on Marriott’s goal at the start of the second-half when an inswinging free-kick from Matt Spring flashed across the goalmouth and away to safety.

The dangerous-looking Clucas was denied on 52 minutes after a bustling run down the right flank by Ben Hutchinson gave him a sight at goal.

But Clucas, faced with a tight angle, was tracked well by Anthony Stewart who blocked his effort out for a Mansfield corner.

Marvin McCoy was then forced to turn a Clements cross behind for another Mansfield corner as the visitors began to realise that the game was there for the taking.

Jennings was denied a deserved goal for Stags on 56 minutes after he was played in on goal following an excellent flowing move from the improving visitors.

But Jennings was denied by a smart save from Ingram before McCoy bravely dived to block Jennings’ follow-up strike.

Mansfield continued to boss the second half with Clucas, Jennings and Clements continuing to pull the strings for the visitors.

New signing Ollie Palmer was thrown on by Mansfield in the place of Sam Clucas as the visitors went in search of all three points.

Andrew then went close with a header as the frustration continued to grow for the travelling band of Mansfield fans.

But the frustrations were finally over on 78 minutes as Mansfield took a thoroughly deserved read through substitute Ollie Palmer.

Martin Riley rose well before heading against Ingram’s right post. But Palmer was the first to react to the loose ball as he fired into the empty net to claim his first goal since joining Stags.

It was nothing more than Mansfield deserved for their impressive second-half performance which saw them boss the game and starve the struggling home side of possession and chances.

Palmer should have wrapped up the points in the 86th minute when he failed to convert a one-on-one chance with Ingram after he had sprung the Wycombe offside trap.

Mansfield survived a massive scare with two minutes to go when Jo Kuffour shot wide from inside the box when he really should have scored.

Wycombe: Ingram, McCoy, Dunne, Stewart, Doherty, Arnold (Kretzschmar 77 mins), Spring, Scowen, Cowan-Hall (Wood 66 mins), McClure (Morgan 57 mins), Kuffour. Subs not used: Harrison, Johnson, Pittman, Craig.

Mansfield Town: Marriott, Sutton, Beevers, Dempsters, Riley, Clements, Clucas (Palmer 69 mins), McGuire, Jennings, Hutchinson (Howell 93 mins), Andrew (Rhead 74 mins). Subs not used: Mitchell, Stevenson, Tafazolli, Meikle.

Referee: Keith Hill, Hertfordshire.

Stags man of the match: Chris Clements.

Attendance: 3352.