MATCH REPORT: Mansfield Town 3-2 Cheltenham Town

Mansfield Town v Cheltenham Town.'Alfie Potter in first half action.
Mansfield Town v Cheltenham Town.'Alfie Potter in first half action.

Mansfield Town stole a stoppage time 3-2 victory over Cheltenham Town in a dramatic clash that saw the Robins end the afternoon with nine men and Stags with 10.

CJ Hamilton was the late hero with his second goal of a breathtaking game in the fourth added minute to spark wild scenes at the One Call Stadium.

In an incredible game Cheltenham also had boss Gary Johnson sent to the stand as Mansfield were twice forced to come from behind with goals by Hamilton and, three minutes after coming on as a sub, Kane Hemmings.

They also had Hayden White shown a straight red on 68 minutes while Cheltenham lost Taylor Moore on 41 minutes and then Danny Wright on 83 minutes.

Stags looked to be in the driving seat at 1-1 with a whole half ahead against 10 men.

But the visitors were able to grind it well and even retook the lead once Stags had lost White, only to see it all slip away at the end.

It was the first time Stags had beaten Cheltenham in seven attempts and extended their run to one defeat in 15 League Two games.

Mansfield made just one change with Alfie Potter replacing Paul Anderson on the right of midfield.

Striker Hemmings has recovered from his hamstring injury and was given a place on the bench from where he made such a dramatic impact.

Mansfield were well beaten 3-0 at Whaddon Road earlier in the season.

In the second minute a Stags attack broke down and Cheltenham countered swiftly through Eisa down the left, who squared a pass for Graham only to see him slice his finish wide from 20 yards.

Morrell tried to dart between two opponents on five minutes and then quickly went down, the referee deciding he’d dived and brandishing an early yellow card.

A great crossfield ball by MacDonald on 15 minutes picked out the advancing Hamilton on the left. But, as he controlled on his chest and shaped to shoot, up popped Moore with a great tackle to deny him.

White wasn’t too far over with a dipping 25-yard punt on 20 minutes as Mansfield continued to press.

Byrom was added to the book for a trip on Winchester two minutes later.

However, the visitors took the lead on 24 minutes from the penalty spot.

Eisa was taken down by White’s trailing leg as he tried to wriggle past him and the referee immediately gave the spot kick, Pell making no mistake in sending Logan the wrong way.

Mansfield suffered another blow as Mellis limped off holding the back of his leg on 27 minutes, striker Angol taking over from him with MacDonald dropping back into central midfield.

MacDonald brought down Eisa in full flight on the half-hour to see his name added to the bookings.

Winchester was wide of the home goal with a volley from a half-cleared cross on 33 minutes.

Stags then created danger of their own as MacDonald got to the right by-line and pulled back a low cross that Rose was just unable to spin on to get a shot away and the moment was gone.

But the Stags were deservedly level on 35 minutes. Potter burst into the box on the right from a White pass and drilled the ball hard and low in front of goal.

Angol failed to get a touch on it with the goal at his mercy from close range, but Hamilton was behind him and made no mistake.

Cheltenham almost regained their advantage on 39 minutes after great work by Eisa saw him release Dawson on the right, but Graham’s finish onto his low cross was poor and skidded wide of goal.

However, the visitors found themselves down to 10 men on 41 minutes after Moore had caught Rose across the face with his elbow.

After heated exchanges, the red card was eventually shown and Moore went across to help Rose up and apologised before leaving the field,

Angry words were also being spoken between the benches and Robins boss and Stags assistant manager Paul Raynor had to be separated and lectured, Johnson shoving the Stags man away.

Johnson was eventually told to leave the bench and headed up into the stand.

Six minutes were added, but they stretched to 12 minutes after Eisa stayed down after being halted by a great challenge by Pearce. The medical staff eventually sent for a stretcher and the Robins had lost their top scorer.

MacDonald sent a tame 18 yard shot at the keeper in the first attack of the second half.

Flinders then had to grab an on-target Angol header from a long MacDonald cross.

There were further hold-ups for head injuries to first Rose and then Graham as Stags struggled to mount any sustained pressure on the 10 men,

Onariase did very well to prevent Angol getting on the end of a low Potter cross on 64 minutes.

Chatzitheodoridis then needed lengthy treatment, which frustrated the home side, who were further angered when Graham took an eternity to leave the field when subbed.

But Mansfield were also down to 10 men on 68 minutes when, with Potter screaming for a penalty, White went straight through Chatzitheodoridis two footed and suddenly the game had swung again.

Stags threw on Diamond for fellow sub Angol in a bis to shore up the defence.

But Cheltenham were back ahead on 74 minutes as their two subs combined.

Wright made space on the left and slipped a pass to Adebayo who tucked away a superb near post finish over Logan.

Desperate Stags threw on striker Hemmings in place of midfielder Byrom for the last 12 minutes.

Soon after Benning pulled a low shot wide of goal.

Hemmings found the net within three minutes of coming on to level the game up again. MacDonald was the architect as he created space in the six yard box before setting up the sub with a close range finish.

There was more drama on 83 minutes as the game was halted and Wright called across to be shown a straight red card for hitting Potter on the back of the head.

Keeper Flinders was booked for time-wasting in the first of six added minutes.

But in the fourth added minute Stags dramatically grabbed the lead for the first time all afternoon.

Benning had a low shot blocked and the ball rolled invitingly for the winger to drive the ball high into the net.

Logan still had to make a smart stop to parry an Adebayo shot to preserve the points as we had drama to the very end.

STAGS: Logan; White, Bennett, Pearce, Benning; Potter, Byrom (Hemmings 78), Mellis (Angol 27, Diamond 70), Hamilton; Rose, MacDonald. Subs not used: Olejnic, Anderson, Spencer, Atkinson.

CHELTENHAM: Flinders, Grimes, Pell, Dawson, Winchester, Eisa (Adebayo 45+7), Graham (Atangana 66), Morrell, Moore, Onariasa, Chatzitheodoridis (Wright 70). Subs not used: Lovett, Sellars, Bower, Thomas.

REFEREE: Darren Handley of Bolton.

ATTENDANCE: 3,483 (149 away).