Scott Cuthbert header not enough as goals from O’toole and Stirk result in a frustrating afternoon at The Lamex for Stevenage…
Alex Revell named two changes from Tuesday’s victory against Cambridge United in the Papa John’s Trophy as Scott Cuthbert and Arthur Read returned to the starting line-up.
Prior to the game, both teams as well as supporters, observed a minute’s silence to show their respect for Remembrance day.
Seven minutes in, Luther James-Wildin won possession of the ball on the right-hand side before quickly playing in a dangerous low-driven cross into the area. The ball was eventually cleared, denying Boro the first goal of the game.
Shortly after, Stevenage earned themselves, without doubt, the best chance of the game so far as Elliott List found plenty of space on the right before delivering a perfect ball to Jamie Reid whose first-time effort deflected off the post.
The game was very open for both sides within the first fifteen minutes as, from Mansfield’s first corner of the game, the ball fell to Oliver Hawkins who blasted over.
Unfortunately for Alex Revell’s men, this sparked a flame for The Stags as, after eighteen minutes, John-Joe O’toole managed to tuck the ball past Adam Smith to put the visitors ahead.
Around the half-hour mark, there was a brief stoppage in play after Elliott List took a knock to the back of the head and required treatment. The forward was soon able to return to the pitch and play was resumed.
Six minutes later, a long ball was sent over everyone and fell to the feet of Rhys Oates. The Stags striker had the perfect chance to double the lead but his effort drifted inches past the post.
Another big Mansfield chance came just before half time as a scramble in the Stevenage area resulted in the ball falling to George Maris whose deflected effort went just past the post.
The final chance of the half came seconds before the referee’s whistle as Jamie Reid’s shot from twelve yards out hit the post for the second time of the game, ending an extremely frustrating half for Stevenage.
Ten minutes into the second half, Stevenage earned themselves a corner. Arthur Read whipped the ball in perfectly to Scott Cuthbert who nodded home with no mistake to get the equaliser for Boro and his first goal of the season.
Ten minutes after Cuthbert’s equaliser, Mansfield earned themselves a chance from nothing as Ryan Stirk picked up the ball in the Stevenage area and calmly placed the ball past Adam Smith to put the visitors ahead for the second time.
Boro almost instantly replied as Arthur Read attempted a long-range effort, but Nathan Bishop did well to keep the ball from going in. Read tried from range again ten minutes later but his shot went just wide of the post.
On the eightieth minute, it was Jake Reeves’ turn to take aim from distance, but Nathan Bishop flew across his goal to deny the Stevenage equaliser.
The Fourth Official revealed that there would be seven additional minutes remaining of the second half. Stevenage found themselves trying absolutely everything in their power to get that crucial equaliser whilst The Stags looked to wind down the clock.
Despite even Adam Smith making his way into the box for a last-minute free-kick, Boro couldn’t quite get the goal they needed as the referee blew his whistle to end a disappointing afternoon for Stevenage.
Attendance was 2946 with 535 away supporters.