Mansfield Town are finally safe at last
Mansfield Town finally made certain of their EFL safety with a hugely deserved 3-0 thrashing of Scunthorpe United tonight.
Their second win in four days coupled with defeats on the night for bottom pair Grimsby Town and Southend United was enough to make mathematically sure of Stags being dragged into any late drama.
Mansfield dominated from start to finish and could have won by many more, but, leading by a 19th minute George Lapslie effort, were made to wait until near the end when goals by James Perch and Tyrese Sinclair inside three minutes gave the scoreline a much more realistic look with Aidan Stone untroubled at the other end.
Mansfield were on the front foot in the early stages and on nine minutes Reid headed wide of the near post from a Maris cross with the visitors struggling to get out of their half.
Bizarrely the game was then halted on 12 minutes as a drone suddenly appeared over the Bishop Street Stand, disappearing a few minutes later and the referee happy to continue.
But Stags were able to quickly regain their rhythm and went ahead on 19 minutes.
Perch sent in a good, low cross from the right and Lapslie was there to bundle it in from close range.
Sinclair almost doubled that lead on 29 minutes as he lashed another Perch cross just wide of the near post.
The Iron finally threatened enough win a corner on 33 minutes, but when the ball reached Green he lashed well off target.
Watson saved superbly to deny Lapslie his second on 38 minutes, somehow pushing his close range finish up and over after great work by Quinn and Clarke.
On 41 minutes Maris drilled a low shot across the face of goal after getting to a loose ball first and bursting into the box on the right.
Stags resumed the game on the front foot after the break and a Maris shot on 52 minutes was goalbound but headed to safety by Loft while a minute later Watson got down to block a low Lapslie drive.
Two minutes later Reid latched onto a Maris through ball, but Watson got his chest in the way as Reid tried to poke the ball past him.
Watson was relieved to see an ambitious long range shot from Sinclair clip a defender and spin over, but the keeper was back in action to stop a low Sinclair shot from Clarke's pass soon after as the intense pressure continued.
A rare threat from the visitors saw a by-line free kick bounce in the six yard box with Onariase unable to connect with 18 minutes to go.
Clarke sent Sinclair into space but, with Lapslie free to his left, he blazed over.
The long overdue killer second finally arrived on 80 minutes as Perch, in space just outside the right of the box, fly with an unstoppable low finish.
Three minutes later it as 3-0 as the ball fell to Perch on the right of goal. He sliced his attempted finish across goal, but Sinclair was well placed on hand to find the net at the far post and EFL safety was complete.
STAGS: Stone, Sweeney, Rawson, Clarke (Law 84), Maris, Perch (Gordon 86), Quinn (Ward 86), Reid (Bowery 75), McLaughlin, Sinclair (Charsley 84), Lapslie. Subs not used: Pardington, Benning.
SCUNTHORPE: Watson, Taft, Onariase (Hippolyte 79), Gilliead, Loft (van Veen 68), Eisa, Green, Beestin, Karacan (Spence 58), Rowe (Howe 58), O'Malley. Subs not used: Collins, McAtee, Dawson.
REFEREE: Brett Huxtable.