Nigel Clough says Mansfield Town have set a benchmark for the rest of the season following victory over Tranmere Rovers

Nigel Clough believes Mansfield Town’s 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers sets a benchmark for the rest of the season.

Saturday, 6th August 2022, 6:03 pm
Mansfield Town defender Riley Harbottle celebrates his goal with John-Joe O'Toole during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Tranmere Rovers FC at the One Call Stadium
Mansfield Town defender Riley Harbottle celebrates his goal with John-Joe O'Toole during the Sky Bet League 2 match against Tranmere Rovers FC at the One Call Stadium

Riley Harbottle’s second half header proved to be the difference in a game of few clear-cut chances.

Tranmere had early penalty shouts waved away when Elliott Nevitt went down under pressure.

Rovers came close to opening the scoring on 30 minutes after Kane Hemmings latched on to a poor backpass by Jordan Bowery.

John-Joe O’Toole had an attempt cleared off the line by Hemmings five minutes before the break.

Mansfield broke the deadlock when Harbottle headed home following Hiram Boateng’s 60th minute corner.

Rhys Oates was unable to trouble the keeper on 75 minutes, before Jordan Bowery fired wide.

Christy Pym made a good finger-tip save to keep out Ethan Bristow’s header.

Paul Lewis should have levelled when he found space before firing weakly at Pym in the closing stages.

“It was a good performance and a win,” said Clough. “It was really important to get the win.

“It was a very good all round performance and the only thing that was missing was an earlier goal, or a second goal once we got ahead.

“We started very well and I thought our general all round football was good.

“We created enough chances in the second half to get more than one goal.

“We are trying to put our markers down and set the tone for the season as to how we are going to play, home and away.

“We saw it in too brief of glimpses at Salford but today I thought we controlled the game for long periods and deserved the victory.

“The way we went about it was good. We just need a little more goal threat, which should develop in the next few weeks.

“We really should have gone on and got a second. The subs played a key role today. When you can change half your outfield team it is crucial. The new subs law is going to make a big difference.

“Hiram Boateng was outstanding today and he will be a fans favourite, he can make things happen and there's a lot more to come.

“Christy Pym did his job with two good saves and kept us a clean sheet. Two chances conceded in 97 minutes, we will take that.

“It was a good goalkeeping display, he is steady and calm and has been good ever since he came in.”

Get all your latest Stags news here.