MATCH REPORT: Late goal shoots down Mansfield Town in seven-goal thriller with Forest Green Rovers

Aaron Collins stole a dramatic winner for Forest Green Rovers in the sixth added minute of a topsy-turvy thriller as Mansfield Town were beaten 4-3 at home this afternoon.

Saturday, 11th January 2020, 5:35 pm
Mansfield Town v Forest Green Rovers action.

Despite carving out a 2-0 lead through CJ Hamilton and Danny Rose, a Farrend Rawson brace either side of the break and a Carl Winchester shot on the hour saw Rovers go ahead.

But youngster James Clarke carved out a 90th minute chance for Maynard and he finished with aplomb for what looked like a deserved draw only to see sub Collins steal the headlines.

Stags have still only won two home games in the league all season and boss Graham Coughlan appears to need to make some shrewd changes in the January window.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mansfield delivered a pre-match shock when they announced club captain Krystian Pearce and midfielder Jacob Mellis had been told they could leave the club.

Also missing from the side among the four changes was keeper Conrad Logan.

Boss Graham Coughlan has said he wants someone to provide a fight for the No.1 jersey and felt Logan's goalkeeping coaching duties may have taken their toll on him.

Hayden White was rested to the bench and replaced by Jamie Clarke at right back.

Into goal came Bobby Olejnik, Ryan Sweeney replaced Pearce at centre half and Will Tomlinson came back from injury into midfield.

Maynard needed treatment after colliding with keeper Smith in the opening minute, but was okay to continue.

Hamilton then gave Stags the perfect start with a third minute goal. MacDonald chested a Benning cross forward in the box and Hamilton was quickest to beat keeper and defenders to it, make space, steady himself and tuck the ball home.

After a mistake by Rawson, Hamilton then raced away on 10 minutes and set up Rose who was about to pull the trigger when Winchester slid in for a superb last ditch tackle.

The strength of the wind was underlined when MacDonald took several attempts to take a corner as the ball rolled away.

Stags thought they had doubled the lead on 15 minutes as Hamilton pulled a low ball back for Rose and his miscued shot was helped in by Maynard only to see an offside flag raised.

Preston was twice too high from Stags corners amid a spell of Rovers pressure as they finally started to get into the game.

Aitchison was not too far wide with a low shot on 34 minutes after Clarke was dispossessed outside the box.

Tomlinson was hurt in the passage of play and had to be replaced by youngster Smith.

Olejnik had his first save to make on 38 minutes as he superbly tipped over a bullet header from Kitching from a corner.

Two minutes later Mansfield were 2-0 ahead. MacDonald hurled in a long throw from the right and Rose met it with a glancing header that flew inside the left post.

Within a minute Olejnik again came to the rescue as Rovers broke quickly and the keeper beat away a March shot.

Aitchison then had a shot deflect wickedly just wide as the visitors looked for a quick reply.

On 43 minutes Winchester played a one-two and forced another good save from Olejnik with his fierce shot.

Hamilton then took the play back upfield where Maynard had two shots blocked from the winger's low cross before Hamilton blasted the loose ball against the outside of the post.

Four minutes were added, but when Stags gave away a silly free kick just outside the box, we went into a fifth added minute and Rawson was on hand to head home Mill's free kick from close range to put Rovers firmly back in it.

Smith warmed Smith's hands early in the second half after swapping passes with Maynard.

But on 52 minutes Rovers were level with big defender Rawson again on the mark. This time he stooped to head home at the near post from Aitchison's corner.

Olejnik was safely behind a low Mondal shot after a promising run.

Rawson was in the way of a Maynard shot and then as Rose went down hoping for a penalty, an offside flag was already up anyway.

Instead Carl Winchester finally put Rovers ahead with a crisp, low shot from 20 yards on the hour.

After Cook had replaced Rose for Stags, a deflected Aitchison cross bounced on the top of the home bar on 66 minutes as Forest Green went for the jugular.

Khan took over from MacDonald in Stags' final swap on 73 minutes.

Mills and Adams saw the game's first bookings on 80 and 88 minutes as they edged towards the win.

But right on 90 minutes a superb burst by full back Clarke saw him attack the Rovers penalty box and feed Maynard who poked home a high finish.

Maynard was screaming for a penalty soon after as he went down to no avail, then the ball hit Rawson on the arm in the box but again nothing was given.

Five minutes were added and in a sixth added minute Rovers dramatically stole it as a low Mills cross from the left found Collins who smashed the ball high into the net to break home hearts.

STAGS: Olejnik; Clarke, Preston, Sweeney, Benning; MacDonald (Khan 73), Bishop, Tomlinson (Smith 35), Hamilton; Maynard, Rose (Cook 63). Subs not used: Stone, White, Davies, Knowles.

FOREST GREEN: Smith, Bernard, Rawson, Winchester, Adams, Brown (Collins 76), Kitching, J. Mills, Mondal, March (McCoulsky 69), Aitchison (Frear 73). Subs not used: Thomas, M. Mills, Dawson, McGinley.

REFEREE: Graham Salisbury of Lancashire.

ATTENDANCE: 3,956 (158 away).