Full Time Score Mansfield Town 4-0 Morecambe
Competition Sky Bet League Two
Venue One Call Stadium
Stags Goal Scorer(s) Jacob Mellis, Krystian Pearce, CJ Hamilton, Mal Benning
Attendance 5,177 (107)
Craig Priest writes…
Buying a Mansfield Town ticket should come with a health warning – I’m thinking increased heart rate, high blood pressure and stress – lots of bloody stress! Alas when the results and performances are like the one against Morecambe, it’s well worth the health risk!
The Stags needed a huge display following a rather nervy weekend at Northampton last time out and really needed to show they had the nerve to challenge for a place in the top three and try and put some breathing space between themselves and the chasing pack.
Did they do that? 1000000000000000000000000000000000% they did with a dominant display full of intent, confidence and the critical key element – a red hot killer touch.
From the very first whistle the Stags fought to win the ball and for a good half an hour didn’t allow Morecambe time to breathe – peppering the goal mouth only to be denied by Barry Roche, who showed keepers really do get better with age, with a goalkeeping master class in the first half.
Jacob Mellis’ opening goal was vital as I feel had we dominated without reward, the frustration would have boiled over and given the heat and occasion, we may well have made a punishable mistake.
There was a time in the second half where I feared that the visitors would get back into the game and Mansfield should be credited for finding their way through that and adding the killer touch to gain a three goal cushion and crush the visitors hopes.
Monday’s game needs to be just as intense from our perspective as the bigger the gap between ourselves and those chasing us, the easier the final two games will be – especially considering we have to play one of the chasing teams!
Nothing, absolutely NOTHING, is sealed yet – three games now to play and it could all change dramatically, all I ask Mansfield Town FC, is to repeat that display of energy, pressure, intent, desire and killer instinct – because THAT is the difference between success and failure! COME ON!
Two changes were made by David Flitcroft as he looked to release the hand break on our attack – introducing Jorge Grant and Jacob Mellis for Alex MacDonald and Willem Tomlinson, who both settled for a place on the bench.
Mansfield started with a real spring in their step and should have taken the lead on five minutes as Jones connected with a left sided cross, denied by a fine save from Roche – whp just a minute later, denied Mellis as he thundered a shot forward.
Jones, Hamilton and Walker all had opportunities for an opening but couldn’t quite force open the door, Roche then made a double save on 21 minutes first denying Walker, and then Hamilton on the follow up.
Four minutes later Roche was at it again, denying Grant’s long range effort before back peddling to tip the spinning ball off of the line – Mansfield were really asking questions and got the answer on the half-hour, as Jacob Mellis’ driven effort from Benning’s cut back, finally got the better of Roche.
Ten minutes later Mellis was denied again this time by a Morecambe defender – Gethin Jones had the final effort of the half, again denied by an on forn Roche, who single handily kept the score to just 1-0 Mansfield.
A change of shape from the visitors at the break made it harder for Mansfield but that didn’t stop Roche being called into action again, denying Grant with his feet on 48 minutes before Walker turned the ball wide on 57 minutes from a Stags corner.
Mansfield then soaked up pressure where Morecambe looked like they would burst Mansfield’s bubble, the chief had other ideas and doubled the Stags lead on 70 minutes – showing great composure to turn inside the box and drill into the net.
Three minutes later the Stags made it 3-0 as Hamilton twisted and turned his way beyond Roche, before the icing was put on the cake with five minutes remaining by knight of the relm Sir Mal Benning, whose long range effort zipped beyond Roche to seal a massive victory for Mansfield Town – lifting them to second as Bury lost 3-1 at Newport, MK Dons move up to third, having beaten Conference bound Notts County 2-1 – Mansfield go one point above MK Dons with the 4-0 victory widening the goal difference to +8 goals over MK. Bury sit fourth two points behind Stags with +7 goals in the Stags’ favour.
It’s still all to play for.
FULL TIME: Mansfield Town 4-0 Morecambe
STAGS [3-4-1-2] Conrad Logan, Matt Preston, Krystian Pearce ©, Ryan Sweeney, Gethin Jones, Neal Bishop (Willem Tomlinson 83), Jacob Mellis, Mal Benning, Jorge Grant (Alex MacDonald 72), Tyler Walker (Danny Rose 77), CJ Hamilton
Unused Subs: Jordan Smith, Will Atkinson, Zayn Hakeem, Ben Turner
Referee: Trevor Kettle
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