Below-par Mansfield Town beaten by Southend United

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Mansfield Town’s worrying form continued after they were beaten 2-1 by Southend United following a woeful display.

Ryan Leonard rifled home for the visitors on 16 minutes after Stags had failed to clear Michael Timlin’s corner.

David Worrall then slotted home from a tight angle on 70 minutes to put Phil Brown’s men firmly in control.

Sub Oliver Palmer pulled a goal back on 77 minutes to give Stags some hope.

But they failed to break down a strong looking Southend defence to leave Stags on a miserable run of seven games without a win.

Mansfield can have few complaints over the defeat as their injury-hit defence was run ragged by the slick movement of Corr and Myles Weston.

Far too often the visitors enjoyed plenty of time and space on the ball, especially in wide areas.

Stags also looked weak in the centre of defence with the absence of Ritchie Sutton clear for all to see as Sendles-White was often bullied off the ball.

Martin Riley was recalled to Mansfield Town’s starting line-up to face Southend United after recovering from injury.

Riley replaced Ritchie Sutton, who is out with a broken jaw, as part of one change to Paul Cox’s side.

Cox was able to field just six subs as the injury crisis continued to hit the club hard.

Stags were looking for their first win in seven following a run of two wins and four draws.

But they started slowly and should have fallen behind when Barry Corr lashed Myles Weston’s cut-back wide from four yards out as Southend started well.

Liam Mardsen then blocked Weston’s goal-bound effort after the striker had easily breezed past Lee Beevers on 12 minutes.

It was worrying times for the Stags backline with United, who were visibly growing in confidence, enjoying far too much time and space, especially in the full-back areas.

And Southend deservedly hit the front when Ryan Leonard’s thunderous strike crashed in off the bar from Michael Timlin’s corner to give Sascha Studer no chance on 16 minutes.

The one way traffic continued when Corr headed over from eight yards after escaping his marker on 20 minutes.

Rakish Bingham curled a long-range free-kick well wide on 25 minutes as toothless Mansfield looked for a route back in to the game.

Stags’ defensive problems were once again exposed when Sendles-White missed a corner allowing Corr to take the ball down on his chest and shoot.

But Studer got down well to block the effort as Mansfield struggled to stay in the game.

The shot-stopper produced an even better save in first-half injury time as he acrobatically palmed away a fierce 18 yard effort from Corr.

It was once again far too easy for Corr, who was gifted the ball as Sendles-White gifted him the ball on the edge of the Stags box.

Timlin headed wide at the back post from John White’s cross on 53 minutes as Southend took control after the break.

Vadaine Oliver headed over under pressure on 69 minutes as Mansfield registered their first meaningful effort of the second half.

David Worrall slotted past Studer from a tight angle on 70 minutes to take firm control.

Oliver Palmer slotted home after Jakub Sokolik switched off to give Mansfield hope on 77 minutes.

Palmer then headed straight at Bentley after finding space from Marsden’s long throw as time ran out for Stags.

Mansfield Town (4-4-2): Studer; Marsden, Riley, Sendles-White, Beevers; Carr (Bell 61), Murray, McGuire (Clements 54), Taylor; Oliver (Palmer 71), Bingham.

Subs not used: Thomas, Evtimov, Lambe.

Southend United (4-4-2): Bentley, White, Prosser, Sokolik, Williams, Leonard, Deegan, Timlin, Worrall, Corr, Weston (Coulthirst 83).

Subs not used: P. Smith, Hurst, Bolger, Thompson, Payne, Atkinson.

Attendance: 2,719 (325)

Stags man of the match: Sascha Studer.

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