STAGS HT: Mansfield Town trail 10-man Bristol Rovers

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Mansfield Town found themselves 1-0 down against the run of play but with the prospect of a second half against 10 men in an ill-tempered home clash with Bristol Rovers this afternoon.

The Stags had most of the possession, but were caught out by a 17th-minute effort from Jermaine Easter.

However, Easter’s afternoon ended in first half stoppage time after tempers flared over his blatant dive in the box and he was shown a straight red card.

Stags wasted a golden chance inside the first 30 seconds of the game as Jack Thomas nodded the ball over a defender to set up Green 10 yards from goal only to see him volley over with Nicholls at his mercy.

Westcarr then had a shot blocked from a long Chapman throw.

Soon after Chapman tested the keeper with a low shot from a tight angle on the left, Nicholls down at his post to gather.

On eight minutes Easter flicked a header well wide in Rovers’ first attack of note.

We had a hold-up after 15 minutes after Lines was left hurt by a rough but fair McGuire challenge.

But on the restart, Rovers swept ahead against the run of play.

Brown sent over a great cross from the right which Leadbitter helped on and Easter ran in to smash home a rising finish from seven yards.

Anticipation was high as a home corner was pulled back towards Benning after his two superb volleyed goals in the last two games. He met it true enough, but this volley was blocked.

On 31 minutes Rovers survived a scramble in the box after their keeper and defender collided going for a cross.

Lines saw the game’s first yellow card on 35 minutes as he slid in and caught Benning from a loose pass.

A poor Tafazolli backpass on 41 minutes left Jensen in trouble as he saw Leadbitter charge down his attempted clearance, but the ball ran to safety.

Tempers flared for the umpteenth time as Benning slid in late on James Clarke to earn a booking as the Rovers man rolled around the floor trying unsuccessfully to get the card colour changed to red.

However, in the second of three added minutes Rovers found themselves down to 10 men.

Stags found themselves under pressure after Chapman gave the ball away in midfield.

Rovers worked the ball into the box where Easter threw himself to the floor with Tafazolli behind him.

The referee came across as Easter clashed with Tafazolli and McGuire and showed him a straight red card for his troubles.