MATCH REPORT: Swindon 1-0 Mansfield

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Swindon Town v Mansfield Town; 10/2/18  KO 15.00; The Energy Check County Ground; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Mansfield's Alex MacDonald plays the ball away from Swindon's Timi Elsnik
Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Swindon Town v Mansfield Town; 10/2/18 KO 15.00; The Energy Check County Ground; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Mansfield's Alex MacDonald plays the ball away from Swindon's Timi Elsnik

Mansfield Town saw their nine-match unbeaten run in League Two come to an end after a narrow 1-0 defeat at promotion rivals Swindon.

Matt Taylor scored the winner for the home side six minutes before half-time but Mansfield had plenty of opportunities to take something away from the County Ground.

Steve Evans had named an unchanged line-up following the Stags’ 3-1 win at home to Barnet last weekend and they had a good chance to open the scoring 15 minutes in.

Conrad Logan’s goal-kick evaded everyone and fell into the path of Kane Hemmings but the striker’s attempted lob over Swindon stopper Reice Charles-Cook dipped over the bar.

Mal Benning put in a dangerous cross from the left that was met by Will Atkinson but his header flew wide of the far post and Logan kept the scores level when he pushed Keshi Anderson’s goal-bound effort over the bar.

Hemmings again found himself beyond the Swindon defenc, but he smashed his shot straight at Charles-Cook, who pushed it away from danger.

The home side then took the lead in the 39th minute when Anderson broke with the ball and burst past two Stags defenders before passing to Timi Elsnik, who flicked it on to Taylor, and the midfielder composed himself before firing past Logan.

Substitute Matt Penney made a darting run down the left but his shot went wide as the Stags struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the second half.

The Robins nearly doubled their lead when Anderson got his head on a cross but Rhys Bennett hooked his effort off the line.

Mansfield did almost equalise spectacularly five minutes from time through top scorer Danny Rose, only for his scissor-kick volley to fly over the crossbar.

Defeat was just the Stags’ second in 19 matches in the league but they now drop to sixth in the table and are three points off the automatic promotion places.

Referee: Kevin Friend

Swindon: (3-5-2): Charles-Cook, Purkiss, Preston, Menayese, Knoyle, Elsnik, Banks, Anderson (Mullin 90), Taylor, Norris, Richards. Subs not used: Robertson, Dunne, Iandolo, Woolery, Romanski, Moore.

Mansfield: (4-4-2): Logan, Anderson, Pearce, Bennett, Benning, MacDonald, Atkinson, Byrom (Miller 59), Hamilton (Penney 68), Hemmings (Potter 82), Rose. Subs not used: Digby, Olejnik, Spencer, King.

Attendance: 6,031