Stevenage fail to win again as Stags rally to a 2-1 victory
- Credit: Archant
Boro’s winless run was extended to five matches at the hands of Mansfield Town.
Chris Clements and James Baxendale gifted the hosts a 2-0 lead before Armand Gnanduillet struck a consolation in the dying moments – though in truth, the hosts should have won by more.
And yet things could have been so different had Michael Tonge’s early free-kick been a yard or so over to the left. Unfortunately for the midfielder, his effort curled around the wall only to strike the outside of the post as Boro failed to get an early foothold into the game.
At the other end Matt Green made a run towards the Stevenage area only to drive the ball straight at Chris Day after space had opened up in front of him, while Boro had two early shouts for penalties.
However, Charlie Lee’s claim that his pass had hit a hand and then Callum McFadzean’s plea that he had been pushed by Adam Chapman were both ignored by the officials.
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McFadzean then fired a weak effort at goal after Lee had flicked on Connor Ogilvie’s ball forward, while at the other end Day was forced to tip over Clements’ header after a lovely floated ball in by Chapman.
And as the hosts tried to ramp up the pressure, Ogilvie was back on his defensive duties with a well-timed tackle to deny Craig Westcarr.
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Three minutes before the break, Stevenage fell behind when Fraser Franks fouled Clements on the edge of his box and the midfielder, who scored from the same position last week, edged the Stags in front to end a half they just about shaded.
There was only one side in it for the first 15 minutes of the second half, and it wasn’t Boro.
Day was forced to save from Reggie Lambe after a mistake by Jamie McCombe allowed the half-time substitute in, and then moments later Franks was forced to block from Westcarr.
Boro did have a chance of their own as Rohdell Gordon picked out Franks at the far post, but the defender headed wide.
Day was called into action again when Westcarr, under pressure from Ogilvie, tried to slide his shot from eight yards under him, and it seemed like it was only a matter of time before Mansfield scored again. And it was.
The goal came from new boy James Baxendale on 65 minutes in his first game since joining from Walsall. Played in by Green’s touch, the winger opened up his body and curled past Day from 22 yards.
There were efforts from substitutes Tom Conlon and Armand Gnanduillet as Boro looked for a way back into the game, before Day was called upon to save from both Mitchell Rose and Green.
In the dying moments Gnanduillet fired past Brian Jensen to deny the home keeper a clean sheet, but seconds later the full-time whistle blew for a deserved three points for the hosts.
Mansfield Town: Jensen, Pearce, Chapman, Clements, Green, Westcarr (Rose 68), Tafazolli, Hunt, Thomas (Lambe 46), Adams, Baxendale (Blair 87). Subs: Shearer, Collins, Beardsley, McGuire.
Stevenage: Day, Henry, Franks, McCome, Ogilvie, Gordon (Conlon 67), McFadzean (Gnanduillet 57), Gordon, Tonge, Pett, Matt. Subs: Crowe, Hughes, Akinyemi, Gorman, Johnson.
Ref: David Webb
Att: 3,126 (112 away)