MATCH REPORT: Mansfield Town 2 Leyton Orient 0
Two goals inside eight minutes early in the second half eased Mansfield Town to a comfortable 2-0 home victory over strugglers Leyton Orient today.
Home keeper Jake Kean had nothing to do against an unambitious Orient who were trying to stave off a fourth defeat in a row.
But once Ben Whiteman crowned a great afternoon’s work with a thunderous strike from outside the box on 48 minutes, it was all but over.
Shaq Coulthirst then struck a post before Danny Rose tucked away Whiteman’s low ball across goal.
Once again most things went through the industrious Joel Byrom and the back four enjoyed another clean sheet, despite Krystian Pearce appearing unwell and twice having to leave the field, but powering on for the cause.
The visitors’ afternoon of misery was complete when they had Paul McCallum stretchered off in stoppage time at the end
A disappointing first half saw Stags doing all the pressing but unable to tuck away any of the half-chances they created as Orient wasted time and rarely threatened.
But Stags were in cruise control by the end, Callum Kennedy’s shot that shaved the post in stoppage time the closest the visitors came.
Mansfield reverted back to the line-up that won at Cambridge last weekend.
That saw Matt Green, James Baxendale, Yoann Arquin and Jack Thomas all drop back down to the bench and Jamie McGuire rested after playing in the midweek Checkatrade Trophy exit to Wycombe Wanderers.
Back into the side came cup-tied quartet Hayden White, Byrom, Coulthirst and Whiteman along with Rose.
White and Coulthirst were making home debuts.
Stags were looking to make it six League game unbeaten while the O’s were trying to halt a run of three straight defeats.
They included ex-Stags skipper Nicky Hunt, now their captain, with another former Stags, Ollie Palmer, on the bench.
Orient had two early Stags free kicks and a corner to deal with inside two minutes as Mansfield began on the front foot.
Then a poor backpass put Cisak under pressure with neither Coulthirst nor Rose able to capitalise, Rose eventually poking the ball wide.
In the 12th minutes Benning almost put Stags ahead as he ran onto a quickly-taken Byrom free kick down the left and cut in to rifle a low shot across the keeper which he pushed away for the first of two corners.
Rose also got a shot on target three minutes later, but slipped as he let fly and it proved easy for Cisak.
Stags were briefly down to 10 men as Pearce ran down the tunnel, presumably for a toilet break, and was greeted by cheers on his return.
On 23 minutes Whiteman wasn’t too far over from 25 yards as Mansfield continued to dominate.
With the visitors lacking ambition and wasting time when possible Stags continued to plus away.
But on 34 minutes they were almost caught capping down the right as Hunt fed Massey into acres of space and his low cross-cum-shot fizzed wide of the far post.
On 40 minutes Benning forced another save from Cisak from 20 yards from Hamilton’s cutting pass, and a minute later a ferocious scramble in front of goal saw Rose’s finish hit the ground and fly over.
Stags made the perfect start to the second half with an opening goal inside three minutes.
Byrom’s free kick from the left touchline wad headed away by McCallum only as far as Whiteman just outside the box, who lashed an unstoppable rising shot into the net.
Five minutes later it was almost 2-0 out the blue, but Coulthirst’s snapshot from 20 yards came back off the right post.
Seconds later Massey was booked for a foul on Hamilton.
But Stags roared 2-0 in front on 56 minutes as Whiteman turned provider.
He whipped in a superb low cross from the left right across goal where Rose slid in at the far post to steer a rising finish high into the net.
McCallum was shown a yellow card for flattening Collins on 61 minutes.
Coulthirst showed good ambition in the box as he took on his man on the right but fired into the sidenetting as Stags finally began to flow with their passing.
Green took over from Rose on 73 minutes in the day’s first change.
A rare Orient chance then saw McCallum leaning back too far as he headed over a Semedo cross.
Hunt and then Moore took the visitors’ booking tally to four with 10 minutes left.
Whiteman then saw Stags’ first of the day on 82 for a lunge on Semedo.
Soon after that Whiteman brought a good low save out of Cisak with a low shot from just outside the box.
On 87 minutes Coulthirst robbed Mezague to go one on one, but shot straight at the keeper.
In some eventful time added on McCallum was stretchered off injured, Kennedy clipped the home post with a second bite at a low free kick, Green fired a shot across goal and Benning shooting into the sidenetting.
STAGS: Kean, Bennett, Benning, L. Collins, Pearce, Coulthirst (Arquin 90+5), White, Hamilton, Byrom, Whiteman (Baxendale 85), Rose (Green 73). Subs not used: Shearer, Hoban, Thomas, Hemmings.
ORIENT: Cisak, Kennedy, Parkes, M. Collins, McCallum (Adeboyojo 90+3), Massey, Moore, Hunt, Mezague, Semedo, Dalby (Palmer 57). Subs not used: Sargeant, Atangana, Moncur, Judd, Clark.
REFEREE: Graham Salisbury of Lancashire.
ATTENDANCE: 3,925 (279 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Ben Whiteman.