Mansfield Town’s poor form continued on Saturday as one mistake changed the entire course of the game, allowing Burton Albion to come out on top to climb to top of the leader board.
Paul Cox made five changes to the side which lost in disappointing fashion to Dagenham last weekend including handing a debut to Nottingham Forest loan man Dimitar Evtimov in goal ahead of Sascha Studer. The changed line up appeared to be working as Stags began brightly and should have had a good two goal cushion, Ollie Palmer squandering a great chance in a 1 v 1 situation whilst the excellent Lee Beevers and Sam Clucas also came close.
However all was to change in the 42nd minute as a miss placed pass on the half way line saw Stags gift possession to Burton and practically hand over the points. It took just one directional pass for Burton to unlock the Stags, Alexander Macdonald latched onto the pass and cut inside to fire Burton into the lead, with the ball deflecting beyond debutant Evtimov who perhaps should have done better.
From then on in, Mansfield were really in the game at all and it was only a matter of time before Burton grabbed their second on 70 minutes. Fluent football had Mansfield chasing shadows before a low cut back across the six yard box should have been collected by Evtimov, instead Martin Riley was forced to dive into a challenge and slid the ball straight into the path of Callum McFadzean who had the simple task of rolling the ball into the empty net.
Four minutes later Matt Rhead reduced the deficit as he looped home a header following Adam Murray’s deep free kick before Stags were given a real boost as Burton were reduced to ten men. Albion’s Robbie Weir was shown a straight red card for violent conduct after clashing with Jamie McGuire, yet despite the extra man the Stags failed to complete a comeback and again left supporters dismayed wondering how the good form of two weeks previous could change so quickly.
STAGS: Dimitar Evtimov, Ritchie Sutton, Martin Riley, Ryan Tafazolii, Lee Beevers (Simon Heslop 90+1), Adam Murray ©, Jamie McGuire, Rob Taylor (Fergus Bell 78), Sam Clucas, Ollie Palmer (Alex Fisher 63), Matt Rhead
UNUSED SUBS: Sascha Studer, Jack Thomas, Liam Marsden, Chris Clements
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