REPORT: Mansfield Town 0-1 Yeovil Town - Stags frustrated by League Two strugglers
Mansfield Town suffered a disappointing 1-0 home defeat by struggling Yeovil Town this afternoon.
They also ended a frustrating game with 10 men as Matt Preston was sent off for a second bookable offence on 90 minutes.
A strong wind did not help the game as a spectacle, but Stags were never allowed to get into top gear by a dogged Glovers side that worked hard to close Mansfield down and spoiled at every opportunity.
It was their first win in 11 games while, for Mansfield, it was a second defeat in a row after seeing that glittering 17-game unbeaten run ended last weekend.
Yeovil keeper Nathan Baxter was man of the match with some vital saves including a breathtaking stop to foil Danny Rose in a second half in which Tyler Walker also had a header ruled out for offside.
Nottingham Forest loanee goalkeeper Jordan Smith was given an immediate debut, replacing Conrad Logan.
Otis Khan came in against his old club in place of the suspended Neal Bishop while Will Atkinson was also given a start in midfield with Timi Elsnik dropping to the bench.
Pearce’s foul on Zoko right on the edge of the box on three minutes gave Yeovil an early chance, but James was fractionally too high with his free kick.
Stags had a let-off on nine minutes as Green went down in a collision with keeper Smith after Pearce had failed to deal with a high ball in the wind, but the referee decided it wasn’t a penalty.
Stags finally carved out a chance on 18 minutes as Warren failed to cut out Benning’s forward ball which saw Hamilton skip away into the left of the box and force Baxter to save, Benning sending his follow-up high over the bar.
Yeovil immediately made them pay as they snatched a shock lead on 19 minutes.
Dickenson launched a long ball forward on the wind and it split the home defence as Green ran through and stroked home low under Smith.
On 26 minutes Walker warmed Baxter’s hands at the near post from a Mellis pass, the keeper turning the shot round for a corner.
Mellis then let fly from 30 yards on 32 minutes, forcing Baxter to tip over.
A minute from the break Gafaiti slid in to a perfectly timed tackle on Hamilton before he could break clear on goal.
In stoppage time Sweeney was booked for hauling down the lively Green. James then forced Smith into a save to his right from the free kick.
Stags made an attacking change for the second half as striker Rose replaced midfielder Khan.
Yeovil survived an early scramble as they struggled to clear a Mellis free kick, but the ball eventually dropped harmlessly wide off the head of Sweeney.
Preston was booked for bringing down Zoko after he had tricked his way past him on 56 minutes.
The free kick was launched into the box where Green forced a smart save from Smith. Gray curled the ball back in and it came back off the bar.
Desperate Stags then threw on more firepower with Graham replacing White.
As they pressed, Mansfield were almost caught out on a break, but Dobre’s final shot was poor and well wide.
More home pressure ended with blocks on shots by subs Elsnik and Graham.
Elsnik got another shot away at Baxter though was clearly being held back as the visitors continued to get away with their spoiling tactics without punishment which had the home fans voicing their thoughts on the officiating.
Baxter pulled off a world class save to beat away a ferocious Rose shot on 72 minutes. Seconds later Walker headed home only to see an offside flag raised, then Graham scuffed a decent chance wide.
At the other end Zoko mis-kicked at the vital moment on another Yeovil break as a thrilling game swung from end to end.
Zoko was booked for deliberate handball as we entered the last 11 minutes and a minute later Walker saw Baxter again save well from his angled shot from Graham’s pass.
In the 90th minute Preston went into a very strong tackle which the referee decided was bookable and he was sent off, having already seen one yellow card earlier.
MANSFIELD: J. Smith; Sweeney, Pearce, Preston; White (Graham 57), Atkinson (Elsnik 63), Mellis, Khan (Rose HT), Benning; Hamilton, Walker. Subs not used: Logan, Law, A. Smith, Butcher.
YEOVIL: Baxter, Gafaiti, Dickinson, Warren, Gray (Fisher 83), Green, Zoko (Mugabi 88), D’Almeida, Grant, James, Dobre (Browne 72). Subs not used: Nelson, Rogers, Arquin, Santos.
REFEREE: Carl Boyeson of East Yorkshire.
ATTENDANCE: 4,374 (132 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Jacob Mellis.