LOMAS ON STAGS: Self-inflicted worries go on as victory remains elusive

Mansfield Town head for Stevenage on Saturday looking to end a frustrating run of eight games without a victory and secure an elusive win that should all but end fears of being dragged into the relegation scrap.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 10:53 am
Newport's Joss Labadie scores the opening goal to punish Mansfield errors.

But once again last Friday Stags had only themselves to blame for having to chase the game.

Overall it was another impressive performance against one of League Two's promotion hopefuls.

But Nigel Clough's plea to cut out the mistakes fell on deaf ears again as George Maris allowed himself to be relieved of the ball far too easily and then Aidan Stone saw Joss Labadie's low shot somehow go straight through his dive.

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Having dominated the second half and already twice hitting the wood work, this was a dire situation with just 15 minutes to go.

Thankfully youngster Tyrese Sinclair rescued Mansfield with just six minutes to go as he won his tackle and blazed home his first senior goal in only his second start to spark wild celebrations.

But it was another self-made crisis from a side that are so close to being a decent one but keep spilling points unnecessarily, prolonging the agony.

With five games to go Mansfield are now nine points clear of the bottom two and, with three other clubs providing a cushion know one more win should be enough.

But any win at mid-table Stevenage will have to earned the hard way as their 2-1 loss at Salford City at the weekend was their first defeat in 13 games, a run which included a 3-0 win over Forest Green.

Clough is keen to be able to relax enough to experiment with his side with an eye on next season, possibly blooding other youngsters.

But ending their search for a crucial win is like a nagging toothache.

No one is blowing them out of sight and most performances have been largely good - and sometimes impressive.

However, Mansfield know the table does not lie and their shortcomings are there for all to see.

Clough has already warned there will be consequences for players unable to cut the basic mistakes out of their games, so the team selection at Stevenage will make interesting reading on Saturday.