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Match Reports

REPORT | Mansfield Town 4 Rovers 1

28 January 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Mansfield Town 4 Rovers 1

28 January 2023

Rovers returned to action after a three week break with a disappointing defeat at Mansfield Town.

A Tom Anderson own goal plus strikes from Alfie Kilgour, Lucas Akins and Will Swan ensured a comfortable advantage for the hosts at the One Call Stadium.

Kyle Hurst had capped a strong start to the second half with a goal as a comeback was teased but Rovers were ultimately left frustrated as individual mistakes proved costly.

Danny Schofield made one change to the side that started Rovers’ last outing three weeks prior with centre half Ben Nelson coming in for his debut. Fellow new signings Caolan Lavery, Charlie Lakin, James Brown and Todd Miller were all handed places on the bench - with all four making their debuts after the break - alongside the returning Joseph Olowu.

It was a nightmare start for Rovers as Mansfield took the lead inside the opening 30 seconds. Stephen Quinn met a cross to the back post and sent the ball across goal but Anderson turned into his own goal as he attempted to block.

Rovers responded well and enjoyed the majority of the possession play in the aftermath. James Maxwell was unlucky not to find a teammate after a surging run to the byline from deep while Charlie Seaman sliced wide as he recovered from being wrestled off the ball in the box.

The hosts began to take the initiative once more as the midpoint of the half approached and it took a brave save with his head from Jonathan Mitchell to keep out a Lucas Akins shot after he already blocked an effort from Kilgour.

Mansfield doubled their advantage on 26 minutes. A corner was half-cleared out to Kilgour on the edge of the box with the centre half smashing a shot home.

The remainder of the half was a tame affair, with Mansfield comfortable in their lead and Rovers struggling to muster a great deal of attacking threat.

There was a flash of danger before the break as George Miller took possession in the middle of the park and slid a pass through to Seaman who cut onto his left foot only to see his shot blocked.

Brown and Lavery were both handed their debuts from the bench at half time as Rovers searched for a way back into the game.

And Rovers delivered a bright start to the second half as both substitutes caused problems down the right.

And the deficit was reduced on 53 minutes. Ro-Shaun Williams slid a pass through the middle which Hurst collected, controlled and slotted into the far corner.

Confidence was growing in the Rovers camp, illustrated by Brown going for goal from 40 yards and sending a pile driver narrowly over the bar.

But the wind was taken out of the sails on the hour mark. Rovers failed to deal with a long ball forward as Akins hustled his way into space and lifted a lob over the onrushing Mitchell.

Harrison Biggins went for goal from 35 yards with a free kick as Rovers looked to reignite a comeback but it proved to be a comfortable save for Mansfield keeper Scott Flinders.

At the other end, Anderson turned the ball over his own bar with a block as Ollie Clarke fired first time from 12 yards.

Mansfield appeared happy to soak up pressure and present Rovers with a puzzle to unlock in the remaining minutes.

Rovers really should have had another goal back ten minutes from time. Lavery beat the offside flag to race into the box where he squared for Miller who saw his first effort saved by Flinders before slamming his follow-up wide.

The game was decisively put to bed on 86 minutes when substitute Swan raced clear of the Rovers back line and slotted a shot into the far corner.

Mansfield: Flounder, Hewitt, Kilgour, Perch, Johnson, Reed, McLaughlin (Wallace 7, Swan 83), Boateng (Clarke 45+1), Quinn, Oates (Bowery 83, Akins. Subs not used: Mason, Harbottle, Johnson.

Rovers: Mitchell, Anderson, Williams (T Miller 87), Nelson, Seaman (Brown 46), Close (Lakin 76), Biggins, Maxwell, Molyneux (Lavery 46), Hurst, G Miller. Subs not used: Jones, Olowu, Barlow.

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