Craig Priest & Emily Sykes write...
A late penalty from Sky Blues skipper Carl Baker saw Mansfield Town narrowly beaten as the preparations for league two continues. Up against an under strength Coventry side Stags struggled to control parts of the game and the lack of a killer touch was evident, despite the best efforts of Sam Clucas and trialist Calvin Andrew.
Paul Cox named two new trialists on the bench, 19 year old midfielder Eddie Gnorea and 22 year old Australian international striker Brent McGrath who came on for the final 15 minutes – both will presumably be given a longer run out tomorrow at Boston.
In terms of performance, it was another warm evening so the tempo was slow and sluggish – we said at half time that the lack of pressure put on the opposition in midfield was becoming a concern although in fairness, things tightened up after the interval.
Stags enjoyed the best early chance on five minutes as Lee Beevers’ long throw was flicked on by Ross Dyer and then headed narrowly over by John Dempster, two minutes later the visitors squandered the chance to take the lead as Fabio Martins blazed over Cyrus Christie’s driven right sided cross.
Alan Marriott then came to the Stags rescue seconds later as McCombe missed an interception on the half way line and allowed Mathieu Manset to canter forward at pace, the Sky Blues front man denied by a smart save by the Stags custodian.
An excellent break from Stags on 16 minutes saw Jamie McGuire nod wide from Beever’s first time cross however Cox’s men would come closer seven minutes later as Calvin Andrew latched onto Ross Dyer’s flick on, curling into the top corner after picking Daniel Orozco’s pocket to give Stags the lead.
Coventry were then awarded a soft penalty on 37 minutes as Callum Wilson went to ground under the challenge of Marriott, the Stags keeper guessed correctly but failed to keep out Carl Bakers spot kick as the visitors pulled level.
Calvin Andrew nearly put the Stags ahead on the stroke of half time nodding wide from James Jennings’ free kick, he was then involved four minutes after the break as Stags again took the lead. It was route one stuff from Mansfield as Marriott launched forward, Andrew provided the flick and Sam Clucas did the rest, skipping forwards to drill beyond Lee Burge in the Coventry goal.
The Stags then had two chances to add another as on 53 minutes, Ross dyer volleyed over from a Jennings corner before Andrew nodded over from another Jennings set play four minutes later.
Cox’s men then gifted the visitors a leveller on 62 minutes as Alan Marriott palmed Callum Wilson’s low cross into the path of Lee Beevers who could do nothing bar watch on with agony as the ball bounced off him and trickled into the empty net.
Trialist Brent McGrath curled an effort wide on 83 minutes before Anthony Howell drive a 20 yard effort wide seconds later as Stags bid for the lead once again, however it was the visitors which stole the match with the last kick of the game in similar fashion to the visitors first goal – Marriott upended Wilson with Baker tucking home the spot kick, this time sending a bemused Marriott the wrong way.
FULL TIME: Stags 2-3 Coventry City
Stags: Alan Marriott, Lee Beevers, John McCombe (Ritchie Sutton 76), John Dempster, James Jennings, Ross Dyer (Brent McGrath 76), Jamie McGuire, Adam Murray (C) (Anthony Howell 69), Junior Daniel (Lindon Meikle 69), Sam Clucas, Calvin Andrew (Lee Stevenson 69).
Substitutes Not Used: Jake Speight, Ryan Tafazolli, Paul Black, Eddie Gnorea, Chris Clements
Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincs)
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