Mansfield Town slip to friendly defeat at Matlock Town
Callum Chippendale’s strike proved to be the difference as Matlock Town beat Mansfield Town 1-0.
It was a game of few chances with neither of their two goalkeepers on show being seriously extended.
The game though would be useful for both sides as Mansfield faced a physical and tough challenge from the hosts while the Gladiators had some stern defending to do when Stags greatly improved after the interval.
On a beautiful summers evening, a large crowd basked in the sun and paid their respect to former Matlock boss Ernie Moss in an impeccably observed minute’s silence prior to the kick off.
Matlock’s Alex Wiles’ game lasted barely three minutes as he had to be helped off with a head injury to be replaced with Declan Walker.
Matlock then pressurised the Stags as they pushed the League Two outfit back only for Nigel Clough’s men to retaliate with The Gladiators’ trialist goalkeeper doing well to advance off his line at pace to poach the ball off Rhys Oates’ toes.
The trialist then was well placed to hold a fierce strike from distance by George Lapslie before a faulty pass back towards goalkeeper Owen Mason nearly let in Jonathan Wafula but Mansfield’s defenders shut up shop to avert any damage.
Chippendate though broke the deadlock on 14 minutes when he scored from 10 yards after Liam Hughes did well to knock a short pass into his path.
Mansfield had problems penetrating a well drilled Gladiators defence and their attempts were mainly from long range.
Lapslie and Steven McLaughlin could not profit and the Stags would have breathed a huge sigh of relief not to have been two goals down when Wafula was through on his own but Mason saved the shot with his legs with half-time fast approaching.
Ollie Clarke’s header from one of numerous Stags’ corners dropped wide with Ollie Hawkins nodding wide from another flag kick.
In between Hughes headed too high from a Matlock corner.
Mansfield then put the hosts under some concerted pressure but Matlock stood firm showing resilience.
Ryan Qualter blocked brilliantly from Corey O’ Keeffe before, on 80 minutes, a Matlock trialist received the second of two yellow cards for a foul on Nathan Caine.
Stags boss Nigel Clough though made it ten versus ten as he withdrew Elliott Hewitt in a marvellous gesture of sportsmanship.
Matlock stood firm to see out the game and earn a highly impressive win on a night when everyone in a blue shirt contributed.
Stags will be disappointed with the result but will have the consolation of a good work out ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Trialist 2 Trialist 3 Jonathan Wafula 4 Ryan Qualter 5 Reece Kendall 6 Mark Lees 7 Alex Byrne 8 Alex Wiles 9 Liam Hughes 10 Callum Chippendale 11 Jesurun Ubechegulam Subs-all used : John Pritchard, Ross Hannah, Craig Carney, Declan Walker, Kade Coppin, Shaun Rowley
MANSFIELD TOWN: 1 Owen Mason 2 Kellan Gordon 21 James Charles 4 Elliott Hewitt 3 Stephen McLaughlin, 32 George Lapslie 7 Harry Charsley 8 Ollie Clarke 23 Rhys Oates 12 Oli Hawkins 11 Danny Johnson Subs used: 15 Corey O’Keeffe 24 George Cooper 20 Jaden Charles 19 Keaton Ward 26 George Scott 17 Tyrese Sinclair 25 Nathan Caine Not used: Jimmy Knowles
REFEREE: Jamie O’Connor (Chesterfield)