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Match Reports

📝 Match Report: Mansfield Town 2 Exeter City 1

Our write-up of the Friday night fixture

4 March 2022

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Exeter City fell to defeat at the hands of fellow promotion pushing Mansfield Town.

Farrande Rawson and Matty Longstaff's goals either side of the break were the difference on a tough night for the Grecians. 

Matt Jay's instictive finish provided meer consolation for the Grecians deep into injury time bringing him back to scoring ways. 

Josh Coley went closest for the visitors in normal time forcing ever-present Stags keeper Nathan Bishop into a smart double-save. 

City were limited to half chances, which were few and far between and left Nottinghamshire empty handed.   

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Matt Taylor made three changes to the team which drew with Bristol Rovers last week. Kieran Phillips, Josh Coley and Jonathan Grounds returned to the line-up with Oz Zanzala taking his place on the bench.

It took fifteen minutes for the first strike on goal, and it came from the home side. Newcastle loanee Matty Longstaff testing Cam Dawson from range. Simple for the City keeper.

Kieran Phillips came closest for City a minute later. A short corner was neatly worked between Coley and Phillips. The latter wriggled through a couple of Mansfield challenges and got his shot away. Nathan Bishop tipped it over.

Both sides grew into life though the conditions overhead and under foot seemed tough to handle. Passes astray and misjudged touches became common place.

After half an hour the One Call Stadium rose in applause in solidarity with Ukraine, in a poignant moment.

On thirty-four minutes Mansfield led through Farrend Rawson. Longstaff found round on the left of the ball and delivered what seemed a tame ball into the box. Rawson unmarked at the far post poked home.

The home side with the momentum Stephen McLaughlin let fly from 30-yards. Dawson comfortably saw the ball over.

Jake Caprice looked to bring City back into the match two minutes before the break. In standard fashion, the wing-back cut onto his right-foot and went for goal. An awkward bounce made it difficult for Bishop who just about palmed to safety.

The Grecians made it to the break further unscathed but with a job to do to get back into the game.

Ten minutes into the second period, the Grecians earned a half-chance. Matt Jay fed Caprice in an overlap to the left, but Jake scarcely troubled the goalkeeper.

Coley came closer in the next attack. Again cutting onto his right foot, the Number 31 pulled his effort wide of the post as City looked to gain a foothold in the game.

Rhys Oates found a tad bit of room in the box for Mansfield but guided his header over.

Just before the hour mark City could have, maybe should have found themselves level.

Pierce Sweeney done excellently to fade inside and deliver a low ball into the six-yard box. Coley outmuscled his man and hit the target to be denied by a smart stop by Nathan Bishop. Bishop again was the villain as Coley picked up the loose ball, took it wide and fired low, only for the keeper to get his feet to it.

MJ looked to lead by example on 65 minutes. The captain swivelled on the edge of the box but Bishop got down well. Straight up the other end Mansfield found a second.

Another ball down the left caused City issues. A low ball into the box squirmed its way to Matty Longstaff who stroked home.

Longstaff could have added to the scoreline as he met Jordan Bowery’s cross. A fortunate ricochet took the ball wide.

A smart turn from Oates almost settled it for good, but he volleyed wayward.

Caprice again went for a hopeful effort from range as City’s time was running out to get back into the game.

Deep into injury time City found their just reward for their effort with Matt Jay popping up at the back post to return to scoring ways.

The 392 City fans remained in full voice at full-time not disheartened by their teams spirit.

 

Mansfield Town: Bishop, Akins, Rawson, Hewitt, McLaughlin ©, Stirk, Quinn (Wallace 80’), Bowery, Longstaff (Lapslie 78’), Murphy, Oates (Perch 90’)

Subs: Stech, Clarke, Maris, Johnson

Exeter City: Dawson, Key, Sweeney, Stubbs, Grounds (Sparkes 74’), Caprice, Collins, Dieng, Jay ©, Coley (Zanzala 78’), Phillips (Nombe 62’)

Subs: S.Brown, Hartridge, Taylor, Atangana,

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 6,702 (392 away)


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