OPINION: Angol could be goalscoring answer to Mansfield Town’s promotion puzzle

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Wycombe Wanderers v Mansfield Town; 30/12/2017 KO 15.00; Adams Park; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Lee Angol celebrates his late goal which put The Stags 2-1 up at Wycombe
Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Wycombe Wanderers v Mansfield Town; 30/12/2017 KO 15.00; Adams Park; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Lee Angol celebrates his late goal which put The Stags 2-1 up at Wycombe

More goals throughout his squad has been identified as one area for improvement by Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans as the Stags look to turn their promotion ambitions into reality in 2018.

The manager admitted before Christmas that leading scorer Danny Rose needed help from elsewhere to maintain the push for League One football next season.

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Wycombe Wanderers v Mansfield Town; 30/12/2017 KO 15.00; Adams Park; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Stags boss Steve Evans salutes his sides victory at Wycombe

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Wycombe Wanderers v Mansfield Town; 30/12/2017 KO 15.00; Adams Park; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Stags boss Steve Evans salutes his sides victory at Wycombe

So Evans, who loves having a plethora of strikers at his disposal, must have been delighted with the return to form of Lee Angol — one of his many summer signings — over the busy holiday period as he tries to put his pieces in place for the promotion jigsaw.

Four early goals from nine league matches promised much before injury wrecked most of the young striker’s first half of the season.

Signed in May along with Hayden White from Peterborough United, the 23-year-old had a fine goalscoring record with the Posh and on loan at Lincoln City last season.

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When he came to the One Call Stadium he had netted 24 times in 44 league starts.

So his early form for the Stags was very encouraging - and perhaps now he could be the man to become the regular scorer Evans needs alongside Danny Rose as Mansfield look to turn their promotion dream into reality.

For the Spurs academy graduate, described as talented by Evans when he persuaded him to join the amber and blue revolution in the summer, is now looking more than capable of fulfilling his potential.

His return from injury to league action saw him struggle to make an impact as the Stags failed to score against Crawley and then Yeovil in December.

But he has put that right over the festive period to give Evans and the fans a real Christmas present.

First, on Boxing Day, he was the hero with a late equaliser to earn his side a more than deserved point at Grimsby after they had trailed for a long period.

His clinical first-time finish on the East Coast looked to give him a massive boost in confidence for the rest of the match — and he took that positive with him into Saturday’s crucial comeback at fellow promotion rivals Wycombe Wanderers, arguably the result of the season so far.

Angol made it two goals in as many matches with another vital late strike - this time earning all three points with his clever flicked finish to complete a rousing Stags fightback and seal a 2-1 win at a side that had won their previous six home matches.

The clever back click was a goal worthy of winning any match and a moment to savour for both the player, the whole side and the fans. In fact, could it be a big turning point for the season?

Angol’s return to goalscoring form and the audacity with which he scored the winner at Wycombe shows that his confidence is high — as should be the that of the whole squad.

They responded superbly to Evans’ harsh words at half-time — in particular the central defenders who appeared to have been bullied by the irrepressible Ade Akinfenwa in the first half — and Angol, an early substitute, was a constant threat as he showed the benefit of the goal boost at Grimsby.

Only goal difference is now keeping Evans’ men out of the play-off places ahead of the New Year’s Day visit of Carlisle United and the Stags are just three points off third-placed Lincoln City.

It is worth pointing out that the terrific fightback was achieved despite the loss of key players — such as Zander Diamond and Rose during the game and keeper Conrad Logan before kick-off — as the Stags backed up with actions their manager’s belief in midweek that automatic promotion was still a realistic target.

That sort of character and never-say-die fighting spirit, which was also seen at Grimsby, is going to be needed again and again over the coming weeks.

And some would say it has already been shown over the past 17 matches in all competitions, a run that has seen the Stags lose just once.

Four points from the last two difficult away matches is a great platform to end 2017 on and the Stags can look ahead with optimism to 2018.