Sky Bet League Two | Saturday 2nd January 2021 – One Call Stadium [Behind Closed Doors]
When the clock strikes midnight and the bells of big ben chime to signal a new year, for many a subconscious part of the mind takes control and motivates positive changes into your life. Mansfield Towns New Year’s resolution was to start winning at home – and boy did they do that in style.
Port Vale had won once in their previous nine league matches before yesterday’s match but despite their poor form nothing was a given and the Stags needed to start taking control of their own destiny and show teams who visit the One Call Stadium that visiting brought no guarantees.
You have to give credit to the Stags’ hunger and desire to start well, taking the lead inside the opening minute as skipper Ollie Clarke grabbed his first goal for the club.
From then on, Mansfield controlled the majority of the game and looked very comfortable throughout the first half – going into the break 2-0 up thanks to Jordan Bowery’s well struck effort on 32 minutes.
Nigel Clough’s side were playing some very fluid football and the only danger in my mind of losing the game from the second goal onwards, was the weather as snow covered the One Call Stadium pitch during the break.
Port Vale going down to ten men disrupted the Stags’ flow a little and they had Marek Stech to thank for keeping out Tom Pope, but that wake up call was all Mansfield needed to press on and ensure victory with Bowery adding two more and sealing his first ever hat-trick.
Bowery has particularly impressed under Clough who has instilled confidence into the experienced front man – his all round play has been a massive contributing factor to the Stags form – who had the season started when Clough took charge, would be sixth in the league two table.
It’s important to remember that one brick doesn’t build a house and as such yesterday’s victory won’t solve the Stags’ problems – but it’s a huge boost for the boys who, thanks to postponements elsewhere, used the match as their game in hand over a few teams around them – the same will apply again on Tuesday with the re-arranged game with Salford.
Fresh faces are still needed and I believe they will be added in due course as a busy January continues to unfold – for now though let’s enjoy the winning feeling and make the resolution to stay focussed, take things game by game and focus on still being a Football League club at the start of the 2021-22 campaign.
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Marek Stech | James Perch, Farrend Rawson, Ryan Sweeney, Mal Benning (Stephen McLaughlin 81) | Harry Charsley (Aaron O’Driscoll 83), Ollie Clarke © (Corey O’Keeffe 83), George Maris | George Lapslie, Jamie Reid (Andy Cook 81), Jordan Bowery (Tyrese Sinclair 83)
Unused Subs: Aidan Stone, Rollin Menayese
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