Mansfield Town coast to victory at bottom club Forest Green Rovers

Magnificent Mansfield Town kept up the pressure at the top of League Two with a convincing 4-0 victory at basement boys Forest Green Rovers.
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Two-goal captain Ollie Clarke fired the visitors in front early on at The New Lawn and the Stags never looked back.

Second-half goals from Tom Nichols, his first for the club on his full debut, Will Swan and a second from Clarke secured successive victories for the first time since Boxing Day.

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Clough made two changes from the side which beat fellow promotion-chasers Notts County last time out.

Stags go ahead during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 
Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.mediaStags go ahead during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 
Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media
Stags go ahead during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media

Jordan Bowery came in for Baily Cargill at left-back, whilst Nichols made his full Stags’ debut as he replaced Lucas Akins.

Both sides went close in the opening exchanges.

Swan had the first chance of the game, fiirng wide, before Emmanuel Osadebe’s powerful shot was well blocked by George Williams.

But the visitors hit the front after just 11 minutes through captain Clarke.

Action during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 
Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.mediaAction during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 
Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media
Action during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media
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Aden Flint knocked Louis Reed’s delightful delivery into the path of Clarke, who expertly fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Matt Stevens saw his shot deflected wide of the mark as the hosts tried to force their way back into the contest.

The Stags stood firm to go into the break one goal ahead.

Clough’s side charged out of the blocks after half-tine as George Maris fired over from 20 yards out.

Tom Nichols nets on his full debut during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 
Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.mediaTom Nichols nets on his full debut during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 
Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media
Tom Nichols nets on his full debut during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media

And moments later Swan forced Luke Daniels into a great save after fashioning himself a decent chance.

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Daniels needed to be even better on the hour mark with an excellent double stop.

First he denied Clarke a second before he tipped Swan’s strike over from the rebound.

But that was his last input on the afternoon as he was stretchered off after keeping out Swan.

Action during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 
Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.mediaAction during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 
Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media
Action during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Forest Green Rovers FC at the Fully Charged New Lawn, 10 Feb 2024 Photo credit Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media

Crucially, Nichols broke his duck for the club with a precise effort after being teed up by strike partner Swan with 20 minutes to go and Mansfield were firmly in the driving seat.

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And Swan got his deserved goal eight minutes later as substitute Akins raced down the right and slipped the ball into his path to add the third with a first time finish.

Clarke added the gloss as he slammed home his second seven minutes into nine minutes of stoppage time, the lively Akins again providing the assist.

FOREST GREEN: Daniels (Searle, 64), Inniss, Keogh, Robson, Dabo (Jones, 73), Osadebe, McCann, Thompson (Bernard, 74), McAllister, Stevens (Omotoye, 84), Doidge. SUBS NOT USED: Oyedele, Bunker, Brown.

STAGS: Pym, Williams (McLaughlin, 81), Flint, Brunt, Bowery, Maris (Boateng, 81), Reed, Clarke, Keillor-Dunn (Quinn, 73), Michols (Akins, 73), Swan (Lewis, 80). SUBS NOT USED: Flinders, Cargill.

REFEREE: Sunny Gill

ATTENDANCE: 2,240 (604 away).

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