MATCH REPORT: More misery as Mansfield Town crash 3-0 at home to Cheltenham Town

Visitors Cheltenham Town heaped more misery on Mansfield Town with a comfortable 3-0 victory at the One Call Stadium this afternoon.

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Action from the Stags v Cheltenham game.
Action from the Stags v Cheltenham game.

They won a poor game with two free headers, one in each half, and a late third and Stags rarely looked capable of coming back as they went a fifth match without a win.

Chairman John Radford backed his manager John Dempster in the match programme, but hopes of narrowing the gap on the play-off places failed to materialise and the Stags were booed from the field.

The home side rarely looked like scoring and looked beaten as soon as the second goal went in early in the second half.

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Goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik made his first league start of the campaign.

It was one of four changes from the side beaten at Shrewsbury last weekend.

Also out were Smith (dropped), Pearce (ill) and Gordon (injured) with Bishop, MacDonald and Benning coming in.

Neither side threatened in a cat and mouse opening to the game before Doyle-Hayes had to head off the Cheltenham goal line after a Benning corner threatened to curl straight in.

Stags were furious on 13 minutes when Maynard burst between two defenders to try to go clear and was hauled back with nothing given.

Cheltenham created their first opening on 19 minutes as Broom fed Addai on the left of the box and he forced Olejnik down to block his low shot.

Olejnik was in the way of another fierce Addai drive on 22 minutes from a right angle on the right after Stags had lost gthe ball in midfield and the Robins had broken quickly.

From the corner MacDonald got a vital block on a Doyle-Hayes shot, who then tripped the Stags midfielder as he tried to break past him and was shown the yellow card.

On 25 minutes MacDonald made what looked a perfectly good tackle, the referee gave a foul and MacDonald was booked for his protests.

Soon after the home side got the fans onside with an impressive passage of play that ended with an offside flag before Cook headed into the net.

As decisions continued to go against his side, Dempster was reported by the fourth official for comments made on 28 minutes and shown a yellow card as the home fans let the referee know what they thought of his performance so far.

The mood did not improve as Cheltenham took a 32nd minute lead.

Hamilton failed to win a tackle on the right of the box and Doyle-Hayes sent a great cross in for Smith to guide home a free header as Mansfield's defending was again found wanting.

Olejnik safely clutch a low 20-yard effort by Addai on 35 minutes.

Three minutes later Greaves was booked for halting Maynard in full flight as he threatened to go it alone.

A minute from the break Stags almost levelled with their first serious shot as Hamilton and Mellis worked Maynard into the right of the box and he lashed a low shot across the face of goal.

In the last of four added minutes Boyle sent a near post header over the bar from a corner.

Hamilton's pace won Stags a free kick just to the right of the box as the second half began which Benning lashed over the far angle.

Bishop was lucky to escape a yellow card on 52 minutes for a very late tackle. But the punishment came from the free kick as Boyle stooped to guide home a diving header, again unopposed, from Hussey's kick.

Olejnik then had to dive to his left to push away a Doyle-Hayes shot while Cook was too high with his lob at the other end.

A loose pass from Preston set up Doyle-Hayes for another shot that flew wide with Olejnik rooted.

Khan replaced Bishop as Stags sought a spark on 62 minutes.

Two minutes later Boyle banged into Maynard after a tackle on the touchline and astonishingly the referee booked both players.

Fit-again Rose took over from Cook up front for the last 19 minutes and three minutes later Stags went for broke as striker Sterling-James replaced wing back Benning.

Mellis did loft an effort straight at Flinders after Maynard's shot had been blocked, but the visitors were defending their lead comfortably and Addai wasn't far off a third with a powerful rising shot on 84 minutes.

With four minutes to go, Broom sent a return pass down the middle for Addai to race away and slot under Olejnik and cap a miserable afternoon for the Stags.

STAGS: Olejnik; Preston, Shaughnessy, Sweeney; Hamilton, MacDonald, Bishop (Khan 62), Mellis, Benning (Sterling-James 74); Cook (Rose 71), Maynard. Subs: Logan, Clarke, Knowles, Smith.

CHELTENHAM: Flinders, Long (Horton 90+3), Hussey, Raglan, Clements, Broom, Boyle, Addai, Doyle-Hayes, Greaves, Smith. Subs not used: Lovett, Sheaf, Debayo, Lloyd, Reilly, Ince.

REFEREE: Sam Purkiss of England.

ATTENDANCE: 3,715 (157 away).

CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Alex MacDonald.