Mansfield Town are up and running after victory over Tranmere Rovers

Stags are up and running after beating Tranmere Rovers 1-0 for the first win of the campaign.

Saturday, 6th August 2022, 4:52 pm
Mansfield Town midfielder Stephen Quinn keeps possession during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Tranmere Rovers FC at the One Call Stadium. Pic: Chris Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media
Mansfield Town midfielder Stephen Quinn keeps possession during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Tranmere Rovers FC at the One Call Stadium. Pic: Chris Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media

Riley Harbottle’s second half header proved to be the difference in a game of few clear-cut chances.

Rovers came close to opening the scoring on 30 minutes through Kane Hemmings, before John-Joe O’Toole had a shot cleared off the line.

It was a game in which Stags had to work hard for the points, enjoying good spells at either end of the first half.

Mansfield took charge of the second half and deservedly found a winner on the hour mark.

They were perhaps fortunate not to have found themselves pegged back when Paul Lewis could only fire weakly at the keeper.

It was a perfect response from last weekend’s opening day reversal as Stags once again look to make the One Call Stadium a fortress.

Nigel Clough’s men picked up 49 home points during the last campaign, something that will again be key to a successful promotion campaign.

Hiram Boateng showed that Clough has done some shrewd summer business with his work-rate and ball retention standing out during a fine individual display.

Stags made one change with Oli Hawkins coming in at the expense of Will Swan.

Former Mansfield loan man Hemmings was included in the Rovers line-up.

Boateng fired over from the edge of the box after an Oli Hawkins corner was only half cleared.

The visitors were screaming for a third minute penalty when Elliott Nevitt went down in the box under pressure.

Boateng had a scuffed shot saved by Ross Doohan on 11 minutes, before Reece McAlear drilled over from distance five minutes later.

Hawkins received treatment after he was flattened making a last ditch headed clearance.

Christy Pym saved from Kane Hemmings in a one-on-one following a poor back-pass on 30 minutes.

John-Joe O’Toole had an attempt brilliantly cleared off the line by Hemmings five minutes before the break.

But Stags broke the deadlock when Harbottle headed home from close range on 60 minutes following Boateng’s corner.

George Maris failed to find the target from distance minutes later as Stags looked for a decisive second.

Rhys Oates was unable to trouble the keeper on 75 minutes, before Jordan Bowery fired wide.

Pym made a finger-tip save to keep out Ethan Bristow five minutes later.

Lewis missed a great chance to level for the visitors with five minutes to go when he scuffed a tame shot at Pym.

Ollie Clarke was denied by the post with two minutes to go, before Will Swan fired wide in the dying seconds.

Mansfield Town: Pym, O'Toole, Hawkins (Hewitt 78) , Harbottle, Akins, Boateng Lapslie 84), Maris (Hartigan 90), Quinn (O. Clarke 84), McLaughlin, Oates (Swan 90)

Subs not used: Flinders, Gordon.

Tranmere Rovers: Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, Byrne, Jameson, Robinson, Bristow, McAlear (Nolan 80), O'Connor, Lewis, Nevitt, Hemmings.

Subs not used: Merrie, Hawkes, Hockenhull, Hughes, Hewelt, Taylor.

Referee: Seb Stockbridge.

Att:5,344.

Stags MOM: Hiram Boeteng.