STAGS WELL BEATEN AT DONCASTER
Doncaster Rovers 4 - 2 Mansfield Town
Blundell 38, Green 53, McIndoe pen 68, Brown 76.
Lawrence 21, Corden 81
Attendance: 8,500 (2,760 from Mansfield)
Match Statistics (Rovers/Stags)
16 Goal Attempts 9
10 On target 5
6 Off target 4
0 Woodwork 0
11 Corners 7
9 Fouls 8
5 Offside 5
Stags flop on derby day
FOR once this season, Mansfield Town finished a game very much second best after a 4-2 derby day defeat at Doncaster Rovers this afternoon.
With thousands of Stags fans making the short journey up the road, it was a real shame Mansfield chose this one to have an off day after those four successive League wins..
However, Rovers deserve much credit. They wanted it that bit more than the visitors who were second best throughout.
Stags even had the temerity to take the lead against the run of play through Liam Lawrence on 21 minutes.
But Gregg Blundell had Doncaster level seven minutes from the interval and the in-form home side then slammed in three without reply after the break.
At 4-1 and with the points wrapped up the home side eased off to allow Stags their best spell of the match for the last 12 minutes which produced a goal from Wayne Corden.
But it was all too little, too late for the out-of-sorts Stags, despite another superb display from Lawrence.
With Rovers winning four and drawing one of their previous five League games and Stags winning their last four League games on the trot, it was all set up for a cracking derby.
Stags made six changes from the side that lost to Stockport in midweek in the LDV Vans Trophy with Iyseden Christie back from suspension, central defenders Luke Dimech and Dave Artell reunited in the centre, Tony Vaughan back on the left, and returns to midfield for Liam Lawrence and Tom Curtis.
Out went Craig Disley, Rhys Day, Colin Larkin, Wayne Corden, Alex John-Baptiste and Jake Buxton.
Rovers included former Stags midfield ace John Doolan.
Huge numbers of away fans arrived in the bright, warm shunshine and packed the terraces behind the goal to capacity as well as a third of the main stand.
Both sides won corners in the frenetic early exchanges.
It took 10 minutes before either side managed a shot at goal, Brown rolling the ball towards Ryan whose 25 yard shot was just wide of the Mansfield goal.
The same pair combined again three minutes later as Ryan hoisted a high ball forwards and Ryan's on-target header was saved by Pilkington.
Rovers should have gone ahead pn 15 as they borke quickly from a Mansfield corner. Tierney sent the ball over the defence to put Blundell away.
But, with Pilkington advancing, his attempted lob at the open goal fell wide from 18 yards.
Stags had yet to test Warrington in the Rovers goal but snatched the lead with their first real shot on 21 against the run of play.
Williamson switched play from left to right and, when defender Ryan was just unable to cut the ball out, Lawrence raced in and took it on before rifling a firm finish across Warrington and inside the far post to send the bank of fans behind the goal into a frenzy of celebration.
Rovers roared back and from a corner that reached Brown beyond the far post who blasted the ball goal wards and Williamson was left grounded in pain after getting in the way.
Doncaster won a succession of corners and from one of them, Brown poked into the side netting at the far post.
Rovers took their corner tally to eight and Clarke managed to block a low Tierney blast while, shortly after, Curtis got a good block on Albrighton's low drive.
Rovers were finally level on 38 and it was little more than they deserved.
The lively McIndoe was the provider with a neat through ball and Blundell slotted the ball just wide of the advancing Pilkington into the net.
Stags replied with a shot from Christie that flashed just wide of the far post.
Doolan saw an ambitious long range free kick go into the Mansfield wall. But the ball came back to him and he flicked an intelligent ball to his right where Blundell shot straight into Pilkington's midriff.
Just before the break a defender slipped allowing Williamson possession 18 yards from the Rovers goal and, as he tried to steady himself, MacKenzie ran in to take the ball off his toe and shoot wide.
Stags finished the half on the attack but could feel delighted to still be level after Doncaster had dominated the first half.
But they needed to get their passing game into action and went for a flair injection at half-time with Corden on in place of MacKenzie.
Then seven minutes into the half Mansfield made a swap up front with teenager Beardsley replaced by Larkin.
But Rovers rocked them with a second goal almost immediately on 54 minutes.
A far post cross was headed down by McIndoe and Green was left in the six yard box with a criminal amount of time to control, look up and ram the ball home.
Pilkington did well to race out his box and just pip McIndoe to a through ball shortly afterwards. And Blundell blazed over from the right of the box after controlling a high free kick.
In a rare Mansfield raid, Lawrence tried to send Christie through but Warrington was down bravely at his feet.
Then a perfectly flighted through ball from Lawrence looked to have put Larkin in the clear but the Stags striker couldn't control at the vital moment.
Day was brought on for Clarke with Dimech switching to right back as Curle made his last change with 24 minutes to play.
But disaster struck on 69 minutes as McIndoe played the ball up the left for Blundell to chase. He tried to flick the ball past Day but it struck the defender's hand and a penalty was awarded.
Up stepped McIndoe to coolly send Pilkington the wrong way.
With 15 minutes to play Christie had a shot charged down and sent the follow-up high over the goal to the jeers of the home fans.
Rovers then struck again on 78 minutes with a gift of a goal from Stags keeper Pilkington.
Controlling a backpass he sent a poor kick straight to Brown 25 yards from goal who simply ran on, rounded the embarrassed keeper, and slotted home to really rub Mansfield noses in it.
But Stags pulled one back nine minutes from the end as Christie went in with the keeper and Warrington ended up going over the top of the striker and landed on the ground. With the keeper helpless and the ball loose, Corden floated the ball over a defender into the empty net.
Just after Larkin has sight of goal on the right and blazed a shot just over the near angle.
Stags were really rallying now and Corden had a shot blocked while Vaughan missed his header right in front of goal from a left wing cross.
But it was all too little, too late and, with Stags pressing, Rovers almost had the last say in stoppage time as they broke down the left and Brown set up Tierney who was denied by Pilkington's legs.
DONCASTER: Warrington, Price, Foster, Albrighton, Ryan, Tierney, Green (Ravenhill 85mins), Doolan, McIndoe, Blundell, Brown. Subs not used: Richardson, Morley, Barnes, Fortune-West.
STAGS: Pilkington, Williamson, Christie, Beardsley (Larkin 52mins), Curtis, Artell, Mackenzie (Corden half-time), Vaughan, Dimech, Clarke (Day 66mins), Lawrence. Subs not used: J. White, Disley.
REFEREE: Mark Halsey of Bolton.
SCORERS: Doncaster - Blundell 38mins, Green 54mins, McIndoe 69mins, Brown 78mins. Stags - Lawrence 21 mins, Corden 85mins.
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Liam Lawrence.
Report from footymad:
Doncaster stretched their unbeaten run to six games in a vital top-five clash between two of the highest scorers in Division Three.
It was Doncaster's superior firepower that ultimately paid off but Mansfield never gave up the fight and were close to scoring more goals themselves.
Rovers emerged the better side after a scrappy start in which both sides cancelled each other out.
Teenage striker Chris Brown had a 14th minute header saved and Gregg Blundell missed a good chance when he lobbed wide with visiting keeper Kevin Pilkington stranded a minute later.
But it was the Stags who snatched the lead against the run of play with a well-taken goal in the 21st minute.
Lee Williamson latched onto a poor clearance and hit a curling pass to Liam Lawrence who slotted home a low shot in fine style from just inside the penalty area.
Rovers came roaring back with Brown twice going close to snatching an equaliser before Francis Tierney had a shot cleared off the line by Tony Vaughan.
Doncaster were rewarded for their persistence when Blundell levelled the scores with a neat finish in the 38th minute following good work by Michael McIndoe.
Blundell had a powerful shot saved just before the interval but Doncaster did not have long to wait to snatch the lead in the second half.
Tierney and McIndoe combined to set up midfielder Paul Green, who scored with a shot on the turn from close range in the 53rd minute.
It was all Doncaster at that stage and McIndoe made it 3-1 from the penalty spot in the 69th minute after David Artell had been penalised for hand ball.
Brown added a fourth when he rounded Pilkington to fire home after latching onto a bad mis-kick by the keeper.
But the Stags never gave up the fight and they pulled one back three minutes later when substitute Wayne Corden lobbed home after Andy Warrington had palmed out a cross under pressure from Isyeden Christie.
Mansfield went close twice more in the closing stages before Pilkington made a fine save to prevent Tierney adding a fifth in injury time.
Report from Press Association:
Doncaster's superior firepower paid off as they beat Mansfield 4-2 in the meeting of the division's highest scorers.
It was Mansfield who struck first against the run of play when top scorer Liam Lawrence slotted home a low shot after 21 minutes.
Rovers came roaring back and Gregg Blundell levelled following neat work by Michael McIndoe.
Doncaster began brightly after the interval and Paul Green put them ahead from close range, before McIndoe added a third from the penalty spot after David Artell (correction - Rhys Day - Martin) was penalised for handball.
Chris Brown hit the fourth in the 77th minute before Mansfield substitute Wayne Corden pulled one back, and they went close to scoring several times in the closing stages.
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