STAGS LOSE 3-2 TO BOLTON AFTER LEADING 2-0
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 2 - 3 Bolton Wanderers
O.Clarke 65, Reid 72. John 79, Benning OG 85, Gnahoua 89
Attendance: behind closed doors
Date: 17 February 2021
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town were beaten 3-2 at home by Bolton Wanderers this afternoon thanks to three goals from the visitors in the final 11 minutes, after the Stags built up a two-goal lead midway through the second half. It was an extraordinary final 25 minutes and completely gutting for Mansfield who played pretty well overall but came away with nothing in a very entertaining game.
In the first game at the One Call Stadium for six weeks after four postponements due to a combination of Covid, bad weather and a pitch that didn’t have the right preparation in the summer as a result of lockdown due to Covid, the Stags had much the better of the opening 25 minutes and could have been in front. Stephen Quinn’s shot after 16 minutes from 12 yards was blocked by his own man Jordan Bowery, Ryan Sweeney’s header was headed off the line by former Stags Alex Baptiste, and Harry Charsley’s cross was headed over the bar with a diving header from Ollie Clarke after 21 minutes. And on 35 minutes, Bowery headed just wide from a George Maris corner. Earlier, on 13 minutes, the Stags had shouts for a penalty as Quinn went down in the area under a challenge from Marcus Maddison. Nigel Clough said after the game he thought it was a stonewall penalty. He would have looked at footage from the analyst Matt in the West Stand. From the main camera footage from the Bishop Street camera, I think it falls under the category of 'seen them given' but I wouldn’t call it 'stonewall'.
Bolton went very close after 30 minutes as former Stags loanee Dapo Afolayan hit the inside of the post from 20 yards. And they went close again after 37 minutes as Declan John’s deflected shot was knocked inches wide by Maddison.
A very entertaining first half was goalless at the break.
After a quieter opening to the second half, the Stags took the lead after 65 minutes. Bowery found Ollie Clarke 35 yards from goal, Clarke pushed forward and let fly from 25 yards with a blistering shot that was straight at keeper Matt Gilks but Gilks couldn’t keep it out. A great hit from Clarke but a bit of luck that the keeper made a mess of it.
Mansfield increased the lead after 72 minutes with a fine goal. Quinn cut inside MJ Williams and laid a wonderful ball forward into the path of Jamie Reid who took a great first touch before burying a clinical finish past the keeper into the bottom left corner of the net.
Bolton went close to pulling a goal back after 77 minutes when Declan John’s cross from the left was turned against the near post by Kieran Lee.
But Bolton did pull a goal back after 79 minutes with a complete fluke as Declan John’s cross from the left flew over Aidan Stone and into the top corner of the net.
Things got worse after 85 minutes as John’s cross from the byline on the left skimmed of substitute Mal Benning’s knee and flew into the net for an own goal.
The Stags nearly regained the lead as Charsley’s shot from the edge of the area was deflected just wide, and moments later Reid’s goalbound shot was blocked.
But it was Bolton who won it with a fine goal after 88 minutes from former Stags trialist Arthur Gnahoua as he had too much space 20 yards from goal to take aim, and his shot flew into the right corner of the net. Bolton boss Ian Evatt conceded after the game that Gnahoua’s shot took a slight deflection, and it did, off James Perch who dived in trying to block the shot. But that doesn’t take away that it was a great finish from Gnahoua, much as Frank Nouble’s shot was after 88 minutes at Colchester on Sunday.
The Stags still had one chance to equalise, two minutes into stoppage time, as Stephen McLaughlin’s goalbound shot from the left was blocked.
So the Stags fell to defeat, just the third in 16 games under Nigel Clough, and this was gutting to say the least. The Stags played well for most of the match, and the fluke goal for Bolton went a long way to changing the result when they were 2-0 down with 11 minutes left. On the other hand, Bolton did hit the woodwork twice.
The Stags have no choice but to lick their wounds and go again on Saturday as League Two leaders Cambridge are the visitors. The games are coming thick and fast now. The Stags remain 9 points below the play-offs and 11 points above the relegation zone.
The game went ahead at the third time of asking after two previous postponements. It was the first game between the two clubs here for 28 years. At Bolton’s request, there was an unusual kick off time off 5pm. After playing on hard pitches in freezing conditions in the last two away games at Walsall and Colchester, this was a soft pitch in much milder temperatures which made for a better game of football.
The Stags were unbeaten for 8 games, with 5 wins and 3 draws, and were unchanged from the draw at Colchester. Lapslie (hamstring), Gordon (knee) and Sarkic (thigh) remained out through injury. The bench was also unchanged. Nigel Clough had said that he would promote Nathan Caine to the bench if he needed a striker on the bench, but Caine is also injured.
Bolton had won two and drawn one of their previous three games, since the original game should have been played. Prior to that they had gone six games without a win. They were therefore in much better form than when the original game should have been played. Bolton boss Ian Evatt had stoked up fury among Stags fans with absurd comments in the media about the previous two postponements. Nigel Clough had referred to the comments as “disrespectful”.
Bolton included three former Stags in their starting line-up, Gethin Jones at right-back, Alex Baptiste at centre-half, and Dapo Afolayan in the attacking midfield position.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
WED 17 FEB 2021, LEAGUE TWO
Match report supplied by PA Media, by John Lomas.
Mansfield Town 2-3 Bolton Wanderers
O Clarke (65'minutes), Reid (72'minutes)
John (79'minutes), Benning (85'minutes og), Gnahoua (89'minutes)
Bowery (65'minutes), Quinn (72'minutes)
Gnahoua (79'minutes), Doyle (89'minutes)
Bolton Wanderers scored three goals in the final 11 minutes to come back from 2-0 down and pull off an unlikely victory at in-form Mansfield Town.
The Stags, who were unbeaten in eight games, were 2-0 up thanks to goals from Ollie Clarke and Jamie Reid.
But Wanderers fought back as Declan John's effort and Mal Benning's own goal levelled the scores before substitute Arthur Gnahoua struck an 89th-minute winner.
In an exciting first half, Dapo Afolayan struck the home post with a low 20-yard shot on the half-hour.
Mansfield's best moment saw Alex Baptiste clear Ryan Sweeney's header off the line.
But in the 65th minute keeper Matt Gilks was caught out by the sheer power of Clarke's 25-yard strike from Jordan Bowery's pass as the ball flew through his hands.
The hosts doubled that lead after 72 minutes, Stephen Quinn opening up Bolton down the middle and Reid crashing home a low finish.
Bolton rallied and Kieran Lee turned a low Nathan Delfouneso cross against the near post in the 77th minute.
Two minutes later the Trotters had a lifeline from nowhere as John's long cross from the left sailed straight in under the far angle.
Then after 85 minutes John's firm low cross from the left by-line deflected in off home substitute Benning's leg amid a crowd of players.
The game was turned on its head a minute from time as Gnahoua smashed an unstoppable finish across Aiden Stone from the edge of the box to snatch victory.
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Bolton
Possession Home 52% Away 48%
Shots Home 16 Away 7
Shots on Target Home 4 Away 2
Corners Home 7 Away 3
Stags stunned! Mansfield Town undone by three late Bolton Wanderers goals
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne, Wednesday 17th February 2021
Mansfield Town's eight-game unbeaten run came to an end as Bolton Wanderers fought back from 2-0 down to claim the three points.
Ollie Clarke and Jamie Reid put Nigel Clough's side into a commanding position, but three goals in the final 11 minutes left the Stags stunned.
Declan John netted twice for the visitors before one-time Mansfield trialist Arthur Gnahoua had the final say as the hosts lost a League Two match for the first time in more than two months.
The Stags - playing their first home game in six weeks and unchanged from Sunday's draw at Colchester United - created the better early chances.Jordan Bowery tested Trotters stopper Matt Gilks with a first-time effort before Stephen Quinn had an early penalty shout dismissed by referee Antony Coggins.
The presure continued as Ryan Sweeney's flick on was cleared off the line by Mansfield old boy Alex Baptiste and Clarke's diving header cleared the bar.
Despite the Stags looking on top, it was Wanderers' Oladapo Afalayan who went closest to opening the scoring with half an hour on the clock.
Picking the ball up deep in his own half the West Ham loanee, who had a brief spell at One Call Stadium two years ago, confidently skipped two challenges before seeing his low drive beat Aidan Stone but rebound into play off the inside of the hosts' upright.
Looking to regain their upper hand, Stags striker Bowery headed a George Maris corner off target.
As the game opened up, Stone did well to get a finger to John's strike after the effort took a looping deflection, the keeper's intervention enough to put off the lurking Marcus Maddison as he attempted to capitalise on the loose ball.
The second half began in similar fashion to the first, Bowery forcing a save from Gilks. This time his tight-angled effort was pushed away by the Bolton keeper at his near post.
Maddison's trickery saw him reach the byline and fire an inviting low ball across the Stags' six yard box, but with no teammates gambling the chance disappeared, as did Maddison moments later as he was replaced by Nathan Delfouneso.
Stephen McLaughlin saw a similar cross evade everyone in the opposite area as the opportunity, like the game, was calling out for somebody to just take a chance.
That man was Stags skipper Clarke who opened the scoring in the 65th minute.
His 20-yard effort was struck with power behind it but Gilks should have done better with the strike which he - with a clear sight of the flight of the ball - somehow palmed into his own net.
That lead was doubled in the 72nd minute by in-form Reid.
George Maris' pinpoint pass split the Trotters defence, allowing the Mansfield man to set himself before firing his low effort beyond Gilks and in off the post.
Bolton's hopes of forcing their way back into the contest saw Stone react well to clear his lines following a goalmouth scramble.
But there was little he could do as John's apparent cross from out wide on the left swerved beyond the keeper's reach before nestling into the net.
The Trotters were level with five to go as John's corner was returned. This time he smashed in a low cross that found the net off Mal Benning, who had just replaced Quinn.
Harry Charsley's effort was deflected wide as the Stags pushed forward to regain the lead, Reid and Benning failing the find a killer touch from the resultant corner.
Former Stags trialist Gnahoua completed the turnaround with a moment of class, a 20-yard curler that left the hosts wondering just how the contest was turned on its head.
A tough one to take.
STAGS: Stone, Perch, Rawson, Sweeney, McLaughlin, Maris, Quinn (Benning 83), O. Clarke, Charsley, Reid, Bowery; Subs (not used): O'Keeffe, O'Driscoll, J. Clarke, Sinclair, Law.
BOLTON: Gilks, Jones, Williams, Almeida Santos, Doyle, Maddiosn (Delfouneso 62), Isgrove (Miller 83), Baptiste, John, Lee (Thomason 83), Afolayan (Gnahoua 72); Subas (not used): Comley, Tutte, Jackson.
REF: Antony Coggins.
Report: Mansfield Town 2-3 Bolton Wanderers
Substitute Arthur Gnahoua’s last minute thunderbolt completed a sensational comeback for Ian Evatt’s men as they fought back from two goals down with just 18 minutes of the match remaining to pick up a memorable three points.
After a goalless first half, Mansfield probably thought they were home and dry on a very wet pitch when goals from Ollie Clarke and Jamie Reid looked to have set them on course for victory.
But a Declan John goal and an own-goal from Mal Benning appeared to ensure the game would end up all square.
But 17 minutes after replacing Dapo Afolayan, Gnahoua smashed the ball beyond Aidan Stone with a beautiful right-footer from 20 yards out.
The Wanderers manager made two changes from the side that beat Stevenage at the University of Bolton Stadium at the weekend.
Kieran Lee came back into the starting eleven following a spell of self-isolation, in place of George Thomason who was named amongst the substitutes.
Lloyd Isgrove also started in place of Nathan Delfouneso who was on the bench.
Former Wanderers loanee Harry Charsley was issued with a yellow card after just three minutes on the clock after his high tackle on Dapo Afolayan left the winger writhing in agony.
MJ Williams picked out Maddison with a precise pass which sent the winger on his way but Ryan Sweeney outmuscled him as the ball rolled out for a goal kick.
Maddison shot high and wide from the edge of the box after Isgrove picked him out from the other flank when Wanderers had broken into the Mansfield half.
Matt Gilks dived low to keep out a side footer from Jordan Bowery after the frontman was played in by Stephen Quinn.
James Perch was the second Stags player to have his name taken by the referee after a heavy and late challenge on Isgrove.
Wanderers earned a corner when Perch put the ball behind whilst under pressure from Isgrove, who ran on to a beautiful pass from Lee who impressed on his return to the team.
Afolayan hit the inside of the post after some superb build-up play by Wanderers. As the half wore on Wanderers were looking more composed and comfortable in possession.
Bowery rose to George Maris' corner but could only steer his header wide of goal.
No changes were made by either side during the half-time break.
A threatening ball in from the right side by Maddison evaded both sets of players after Wanderers restarted the second half brightly.
At the other end, Bowery’s cross-shot rebounded off Gilks’ right-hand post.
Wanderers made their first change of the evening after 62 minutes when Delfouneso came on for Maddison.
Stags captain Ollie Clarke broke the deadlock after 65 minutes when his powerful strike from distance beat Gilks who inadvertently allowed the ball to slip through his hands.
Adofalyan made way for Arthur Gnahoua as Evatt made his second change of the evening.
The hosts then raced into a two-goal lead when Jamie Reid broke through fired into the bottom corner.
Wanderers almost got themselves back into the game when they broke away with Lee heading John’s cross against the post. Mansfield eventually cleared the ball away from danger.
Evatt’s men got a goal back to set up a nail-biting finish when John’s cross from the far side looped over Aidan Stone and into the back of the net.
The visitors made a double sub with eight minutes to go with George Thomason and Shaun Miller coming on for Lee and Isgrove.
Wanderers were back on terms shortly afterward when John’s cross from the left-hand side was diverted past Stone by Benning.
Charsley’s shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner as Mansfield battled to try and restore their lead.
But it was Wanderers who found the back of the net when substitute Gnahoua beat Stone with a thunderbolt from 20 yards out with a minute of normal time remaining to complete a sensational comeback.
Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Jones, Williams, Almeida Santos, Doyle, Maddison (Delfouneso 62), Isgrove, (Miller 82) Baptiste, John, Lee (Thomason 82), Afolayan (Gnahoua)
Subs Not Used: Comley, Tutte, Jackson.
Goals: John (79), Benning OG (85), Gnahoua (89).
Mansfield Town: Stone, Perch, Rawson, Sweeney, McLaughlin, Quinn (Benning 83), Maris, Clarke, Charsley, Reid, Bowery
Subs Not Used: Stech, Clarke, Law, O'Driscoll, O'Keeffe, Sinclair.
Goals: Clarke (65), Reid (72).
Mansfield Town 2-3 Bolton Wanderers - Marc Iles's Big Match Verdict
theboltonnews.co.uk, By Marc Iles, Wednesday 17th February 2021
WANDERERS had waited a long time for a night like this - and in the end, they were muddy marvellous!
After two false starts at Mansfield it looked like a lonely drive back as they trailed by two with 18 minutes left on the clock.
But after Declan John set the ball rolling with a cross-shot - his second in as many games - an own goal quickly followed. And then out of the Mansfield mire arose King Arthur.
Substitute Gnahoua’s finish earned a quite unexpected three points and put Ian Evatt’s side into 11th spot ahead of their long trip to Southend United this weekend.
Evatt made two changes from the side that beat Stevenage, bringing Kieran Lee back into the side after self-isolation for George Thomason and swapping Lloyd Isgrove for Nathan Delfouneso.
All the pre-match talk had been about the playing surface, which had been responsible for two wasted journeys before this game finally went ahead.
The turf cut up during the warm-up but thankfully the rain which had been forecast prior to kick-off only arrived towards the end of the first half. The conditions, while far from perfect, did not impact massively on what proved a pretty entertaining affair.
Wanderers’ best chance of the opening 45 minutes was made and nearly finished by West Ham loanee Dapo Afolayan. Cutting in off the left, he beat a man with a step-over then drilled a low shot against the inside of Aidan Stone’s right-hand post.
Other half-chances came and went. Marcus Maddison came close to collecting a majestic sweeping pass over the top from Ricardo Santos and moments later was nearly played in on goal by Eoin Doyle after some fine football on the edge of the box.
That is not to say Bolton had it all their own way. Mansfield played some neat stuff when they got the opportunity and went close when Jordan Bowery seemed to block a goal-bound shot from his team-mate Stephen Quinn.
The Stags also had a decent shout for a penalty as Quinn and Maddison tangled early on but referee Antony Scoggins waved away the appeals.
Midway through the half Evatt would have had a heart-in-mouth moment as Matt Gilks landed awkwardly after trying to punch away a corner from Stephen McLaughlin. With no keeper on the bench, there was a sizeable portion of the Bolton fanbase poised to say ‘I told you so’ but, to his relief, the veteran was soon giving a thumbs up to the bench and was happy to continue.
In the melee, Alex Baptiste had made a goal-line clearance. And when ref Scoggins restarted with a drop ball, Peter Sweeney headed McLaughlin’s cross narrowly over the bar.
John finished the half strongly, ever-eager to push on from the left flank and put some pressure on the Mansfield goal. The Welshman had a couple of efforts blocked close in - the second of which nearly dropped to Doyle for a tap-in.
Playing into the more heavily scarred side of the pitch in the second half, Wanderers continued to produce some enterprising stuff around the penalty box.
Afolayan fizzed a pass out for Maddison on the corner of the area and though the winger managed to get a yard on his marker, he couldn’t squeeze a shot inside the far post.
Once again the pendulum swung back the other way and Bowery’s fierce cross-shot bounced off the woodwork with Gilks in close attendance.
For the first few minutes of the half at least, Wanderers continued to try and play intricate football in areas of the pitch that looked better suited to potato farming. Afolayan produced a lovely ball for Maddison on the corner of the box and after he beat his man, the low cross he produced was simply begging to be turned into the net.
No sooner had Evatt brought Nathan Delfouneso on to replace the tiring Maddison, than Mansfield produced a telling blow.
Ollie Clarke was willed on by a hesitant Bolton back line and his stinging shot managed to squirm past Gilks, dropping apologetically over the line.
Wanderers struggled to get themselves going again after the goal but Mansfield sensed that the game could be killed off completely. And so it happened on 72 minutes as Quinn slid a ball in behind Baptiste and Reid produced a quality finish for the second of the night.
Evatt had sent Gnahoua on seconds earlier to try and revive some attacking intent but with the clock ticking down their chances did not look good.
Not in a million years would you believe that just 11 minutes later, Bolton would be 3-2 up.
John was the catalyst. After one cross caused panic in the Mansfield box, the Swansea loanee got down the touchline again a few moments later, this time lashing a shot into the top corner and halving the deficit.
He got forward again six minutes later to drive a low cross towards the front post which took a nick off sub Mal Benning to bury itself into the back of the net.
Mansfield very nearly struck straight back - and while Gnahoua will get the headlines, Baptiste’s outstanding block to deny Reid his second goal at 2-2 was a pivotal moment.
Then, it happened. Doyle and MJ Williams combined to leave Gnahoua bearing in on goal and the winger smashed a shot into the top corner to seal a quite sensational comeback.
Mansfield Town 2-3 Bolton Wanderers
February 17, 2021, By Chris Mann
Arthur Gnahoua scored in the final minute of normal time as Bolton came from two-down to win 3-2 at Mansfield Town.
Trailing to second-half goals from Ollie Clarke and Jamie Reid, Wanderers - who had failed to register a single shot on target at that point - reduced the deficit with 11 minutes to play as a wayward cross from Declan John found a way into the top corner of Aidan Stone's net.
Stags substitute Malvind Benning put through his own goal with five minutes remaining and although many Trotters supporters would have been satisfied with a point under the circumstances, their team took all three when Gnahoua lashed home from the edge of the box with stoppage-time looming.
It was the first time Bolton had come from at least two goals down to claim victory on the road since January 2004, when they bounced back from 3-1 down to win 4-3 at Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League.
Ian Evatt made two changes to the team that started against Stevenage on Saturday as Kieran Lee and Lloyd Isgrove returned in place of the benched George Thomason and Nathan Delfouneso.
Wanderers have been on the receiving end of some dubious officiating in recent weeks - with Marcus Maddison and MJ Williams having red cards overturned in back-to-back games - and they made sure referee Antony Coggins had a decision to make inside three minutes when former Trotters loanee Harry Charsley went into the book for a late challenge on Oladapo Afolayan.
The first chance of the evening fell the way of the visitors, with Isgrove's switch from left to right perfectly weighted for Maddison, who cut inside before firing high over the crossbar with seven minutes played.
Mansfield's first opportunity arrived three minutes later as Jordan Bowery found space inside the box, but Matt Gilks was equal to his effort by making the save.
James Perch joined Charsley in the book moments later, with Isgrove this time on the receiving end of a late challenge right in front of the home dugout.
A stoppage allowed Gilks to receive treatment on 19 minutes after he landed awkwardly and remained on the ground whilst play continued, a period of time which saw Alex Baptiste clear the ball off the line as he denied his former club an opening goal.
Clarke headed over from Charsley's uncontested drop-ball once Gilks was cleared to continue, shortly before Isgrove saw a goalbound attempt blocked by Perch.
Bolton came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock on the half-hour as Afolayan broke towards the edge of the Mansfield box and firing low beyond Stone, only to see the ball bounce back off the inside of the post.
Bowery soon headed wide from a George Maris corner at the other end, while the final chance of the half saw Maddison prod wide from close range after Declan John's deflected strike had looped past a stranded Stone.
Despite a goalless opening 45 minutes, neither manager looked to change as the players returned for the second half, which began with Maddison cutting inside and firing wide within 90 seconds of the restart.
Bowery clipped the outside of a post with a mishit cross moments later, while Maddison's final act of the game saw him drill a ball across the face of the Mansfield goal soon after the hour.
Maddison was replaced by Delfouneso immediately after that chance had gone but the change failed to have the desired effect, as Wanderers fell behind on 65 minutes.
Gilks has been hugely dependable since taking the goalkeeping jersey in November but was at fault on this occasion, failing to get his weight behind the ball as he fumbled a long-range effort from Clarke into the net - giving the Stags a 1-0 lead.
Evatt responded by bringing Gnahoua on in place of Afolayan on 72 minutes but, yet again, the attacking change backfired as Reid found space between Baptiste and John before picking out the bottom corner of Gilks' goal.
It looked as though it would be a case of 'game over' for Wanderers at this point but they rallied and came close to getting a goal back five minutes later, with Lee clipping the post after he had been picked out by Delfouneso.
They did have the ball in the net with 11 minutes to play, however, as a wayward cross from John looped up and over Stone, finding the top corner to make it 2-1.
Then, the visitors suddenly found themselves back on level terms as John's corner was cleared back to the on-loan Swansea City defender, whose second attempt at a cross was turned into his own goal by the unfortunate Benning, who had only been on the pitch a matter of seconds.
Many would have been satisfied with a point at this stage but not Gnahoua, who received the ball from an uncharacteristically quiet Eoin Doyle, worked himself a yard of space on the edge of the box, and drilled low and hard into the corner to put Wanderers 3-2 up going into added time.
Five minutes were allocated for stoppages but there was to be no further goalmouth action, with the Trotters defending superbly to see out time and claim three points which had looked beyond them with a little over 10 minutes to play.
The win, Bolton's third in their last four outings, moves them up to 11th in the League Two table ahead of a weekend trip to struggling Southend United.
Mansfield Town: Stone, Perch, Rawson, Sweeney, McLaughlin, Quinn (Benning 83), Maris, O Clarke, Charsley, Reid, Bowery
Subs Not Used: Stech, O'Keeffe, O'Driscoll, J Sinclair, Law
Booked: Charsley, Perch
Goals: O Clarke 65, Reid 72
Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, John, Baptiste, Santos, Jones, Lee (Thomason 83), Williams, Isgrove (Miller 82), Afolayan (Gnahoua 72), Maddison (Delfouneso 62), Doyle
Subs Not Used: Comley, Tutte, Jackson
Goals: John 79, Benning 85(og), Gnahoua 89
Referee: Antony Coggins