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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 2 Mansfield Town 2

15 August 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 2 Mansfield Town 2

15 August 2023

Rovers got off the mark for the season in Sky Bet League Two with an enthralling 2-2 draw against Mansfield Town.

Tom Nixon and Joe Ironside netted their first goals for the club as Rovers twice led, with Mansfield fighting back with strikes from Louis Reed and George Maris.

Grant McCann made six changes to the side that started at Newport County four days earlier with Tom Anderson, Tommy Rowe, Nixon, Ironside, Jack Senior and Zain Westbrooke coming into the team.

Mansfield started the brighter with skipper Alfie Kilgour heading an Aden Flint cross off the postin the early stages.

Rovers took the lead on 20 minutes in spectacular fashion. George Broadbent saw a shot blocked on the edge of the box but it ricocheted back to Nixon who took a touch and smashed a shot high over Christy Pym from 25 yards.

Rovers were close to a second midway through the half. Nixon powered in a cross to the back post which was met by Rowe, who side-footed on goal first time only to see Pym bat the effort away.

Mansfield responded well and it took a great save from Ian Lawlor at his near post to keep out a good effort from Lucas Akins.

Luke Molyneux was on the hunt for a goal and surged forward from half way before seeing a low strike deflected out for a corner on the half hour.

And moments later he cut in off the right and drilled low for the near post, with Pym getting behind the effort.

Mansfield found the equaliser on 42 minutes. Rhys Oates powered to the byline and clipped in a cross which Reed headed home at the back post.

Lawlor kept the scores level heading into the break as he made an excellent save from David Keillor-Dunn who had raced onto a ball over the top.

Molyneux fired over the bar at the end of an excellent flowing move as the game ticked into ten added minutes at the end of the first half.

Lawlor punched away a cross from Keillor-Dunn with Akins lurking in the centre before holding an effort from substitute Hiram Boateng just before the half time whistle.

Ironside curled narrowly wide in the early stages of the second half after meeting a brilliant long diagonal pass from Broadbent.

Richard Wood - who replaced Anderson in the first half following a clash of heads - made a superb challenge as Will Swan looked to fire home following a parry from Lawlor.

The Rovers keeper made a smart reaction save as Swan struck first time at the end of a crisp passing move from the visitors.

Rovers went back in front on 76 minutes. Rowe saw a shot blocked but Ironside raced in to drill home from 15 yards.

The lead would last only four minutes however as substitute Maris smashed home a low strike from 20 yards.

Oates was close to edging Mansfield in front moments later as he fired narrowly wide from the corner of the box.

Both sides pushed in the dying moments but clear cut chances were hard to come by.

Rovers: Lawlor, Nixon, Olowu, Anderson (Wood 41), Senior, Bailey, Broadbent, Rowe, Westbrooke (Faal 69), Molyneux (Roberts 75), Ironside (Sotona 89). Subs not used: Jones, Maxwell, Straughan-Brown.

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