UNBEATEN RUN WASHED AWAY IN BRISTOL RAIN
Bristol Rovers 2 - 0 Mansfield Town
Igoe 13, Walker 16.
Attendance: 5253 (277 from Mansfield)
Report by Martin Shaw, Jeff Barnes and Nigel Harris at the Memorial Ground
Mansfield's eight game unbeaten run came to a soggy end at a rain-lashed Bristol Rovers this afternoon. The Stags were 2-0 down after 16 minutes and never looked like getting back into the game with a woeful first half display, despite a slightly better second half showing.
Stagsnet report now in the Match Centre.
REPORTED BY: Ian Cole at the Memorial Stadium
IGOE & WALKER EARN ROVERS WIN
Rovers strolled to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Mansfield Town this afternoon to close the gap on the play-offs to just three points.
It was a game Rovers dominated throughout, with Mansfield rarely threatening Scott Shearer's goal in wet and muddy pitch conditions.
Sammy Igoe opened the scoring in the 14th minute, with Richard Walker doubling the home side's advantage shortly after.
Rovers were out of the blocks bright and early, and a superb Walker cross into the danger area - completely missed by a Mansfield defender - came within inches of making it the perfect start. But a surprised Junior Agogo was unable to capitalise from five yards out, and the loose ball spun away from his control.
Steve Elliott headed wide of the left post from a corner, and then a half-cleared Lewis Haldane cross was collected by Igoe on the edge of the penalty area, before the on-loan Millwall man unleashed a tremendous volley beyond Kevin Pressman and into the back of the net.
Three minutes later 1-0 became 2-0 as a perfectly weighted through-ball from Igoe found the run of Walker, with the striker keeping his composure well before rounding Pressman and slotting into an empty net with his left foot.
Haldane was denied as Pressman parried an effort behind for a corner, and then an Igoe free-kick just cleared the top corner of the Mansfield goal.
Haldane could have made it 3-0 just minutes before half-time, but the young striker was unable to beat Pressman after intercepting a dreadful clearance from the Stags goalkeeper.
Laurence Wilson struck a low shot wide for Mansfield at the start of the second half, with Jake Buxton also going close not long after the restart.
Agogo was unlucky as his turn and shot only found the arms of Pressman, and then Shearer was called into action at the other end as he made a fine diving save to beat out an effort from Richard Barker.
Agogo should have done better when he blazed over the crossbar with Pressman ten yards off his line, but the striker continued to look a real threat for Rovers all afternoon as he went on to tee up a Walker header which went inches wide.
It could have been three for Rovers at the death as Haldane's powerful effort was parried away to the feet of Ali Gibb, but the Rovers substitute was unable to get his low shot on target as the ball sailed wide of the left upright.
A convincing win for Rovers, and a result which closes the gap on the top seven to just three points again.
2-0 MANSFIELD TOWN
BRISTOL ROVERS: Scott Shearer, Aaron Lescott, Steve Elliott, Craig Hinton, Chris Carruthers, Sammy Igoe, James Hunt, Craig Disley, Lewis Haldane, Richard Walker, Junior Agogo (Ali Gibb 83)
Unused Substitutes: Christian Edwards, Chris Lines, Martin Horsell, Jon Bass
MANSFIELD TOWN: Kevin Pressman, Gareth Jelleyman, Jonathan D'Laryea, Rhys Day, Stephen Dawson, Gus Uhlenbeek (Giles Coke 61), Richard Barker, Jake Buxton, Jon Olav Hjelde, Laurance Wilson (Adam Birchill 77), Danny Reet (Simon Brown 61)
Unused Substitutes: Jason White, Adam Rundle
REFEREE: Mike Russell
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