Boos greet third consecutive Stevenage defeat

Teddy Sheringham

Teddy Sheringham - Credit: Archant

Match report: Stevenage 0 Mansfield Town 2

Boos greeted Stevenage’s third consecutive defeat as yet another second-half collapse saw them leave their match with the Stags empty-handed.

For the fourth time in just 11 games this season Boro conceded at least two goals in the second period as Ryan Tafazolli and Jack Thomas both found the net to give the visitors all three points.

In fact, of the 19 goals that Boro have conceded a staggering 16 of them have come after the interval. It is a concerning statistic.

What is also of concern is that judging the first half, it almost seemed inevitable that Mansfield would find the net at some point.

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They controlled much of the play in the first half, getting the ball wide and causing problems for Boro down the wings.

In fact, apart from two chances, one at either end of the first period, Boro rarely seemed to get out of their own half.

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A couple of early Mansfield strikes off target sandwiched a flying header from Tom Conlon who ran on to Ronnie Henry’s cross only for Brian Jensen to tip over the bar.

Late on in the half Chris Whelpdale burst through on goal, but his shot was blocked by Tafazolli.

In between Mansfield dominated their hosts, and they were helped in part from Boro being unable to hold the ball up in the final third.

Too many passes forward came back, and in truth the visitors’ best chance of the half was created by a Stevenage player when Jack Jebb passed backwards without looking and in doing so set up a Mansfield attack. Matt Green collected the pass, and his through ball to Craig Westcarr should have led to a goal but Jesse Joronen did enough to deny the Mansfield man.

Teddy Sheringham’s side were met by a few boos when they trudged off the pitch at half-time, and Jebb didn’t return after the break with Connor Smith replacing him.

However, any plans Boro would have had to take control of the game in the middle of the park came undone with two Mansfield goals within six minutes.

First, Tafazolli headed past Joronen at a corner. And then the visitors took a quick free-kick to catch Boro off guard, and Westcarr ran on to it before finding Jack Thomas who made no mistake.

The hugely talented Ben Kennedy, who has been out of action since the end of last season, was brought on, and although he was stuck out on the right he did his best to drift inside in an attempt to get things moving.

However, Stevenage continued to be their own worst enemy with free-kicks going out of play, passes going astray and Mark Hughes committing a Jebb-like error when he failed to find Joronen with a back pass only for Matt Green to fluff his lines and take one touch too many.

Boro took off Conlon, not a popular decision with the home fans, but the decision to bring on Dipo Akinyemi was necessary. Conlon had not played badly, but Boro needed their young striker to make more of an impact than both Brett Williams and Tom Hitchcock had until then.

Akinyemi had a shot off target, but his arrival wasn’t enough to change the outcome – a fully deserved three points for Mansfield Town.

Stevenage: Joronen, Henry, Johnson, McCombe, Hughes, Whelpdale (Kennedy 60), Jebb (Smith 46), Conlon (Akinyemi 74), Schumacher, Williams, Hitchcock. Subs: Day, Franks, Wells, Pett.

Mansfield Town: Jensen, Benning, Pearce, Hunt, Tafazolli, Chapman, Lambe, J Thomas, McGuire, Green (Beardsley 91), Westcarr (Collins 89). Subs: Shearer, Marsden, Thomas, Blair, Yussuf.

Ref: Trevor Kettle

Att: 2,509

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