• Cam Felton

Meltdown at the Mill. Stags 2-3 Bolton Wanderers

Updated: Mar 9

Stags boss Nigel Clough will be seething after watching his side throw away a two goal lead and throw away three points, ending their unbeaten start to 2021 in Sky Bet League Two. Cloughs men going into the game on the back of two 1-1 away draws and were looking to get back to winning ways as Ian Evatts men visited The One Call Stadium. It would be the Stags who created the most during the opening exchanges, Jordan Bowery with one of the best but his placed shot was claimed tamely by Trotter ‘keeper Matt Gilks.

Moments later midfielder Stephen Quinn had a penalty appeal waved away after what looked a blatant trip by the Bolton defender.

Three minutes later Quinn was in the action again after the ball fell to his feet and smashed the ball towards goal but Jordan Bowery inadvertently blocks the shot.

The Trotters nearly got the opening goal on the half an hour mark as former Stags loanee Afolayan saw his powerful shot cannon back off the right upright.

The chances kept coming for the Stags on 35 minutes, Jordan Bowery the unlucky party on this occasion as his header floats just wide of Gilks post.

On the stroke of half time Harry Charsley had a chance to put the Stags ahead but his shot was blocked by former stag Alex Babtiste after Perch sent him through on goal.

Mansfield made a quick start to the second half, Jordan Bowery crossing into the area and his delivery hits the outside of the woodwork.

The deadlock was finally broken on the 65th minute and Ollie Clarke could thank Trotters ‘keeper Gilks for a hand in this one. A powerful shot from 20 yards finds its way into the back of the net after the keeper couldn’t get his body behind it.

Mansfield doubled their lead after 72 minutes and a fine finish by Jamie Reid. After a fantastic ball through from Stephen Quinn, Reid manages to hold off his man and smash the ball low past Gilks.

The action wasn’t done there as Bolton were handed a lifeline on 79 minutes as a cross-shot from Declan John floated over Stags ‘keeper Aidan Stone after John’s original corner was cleared and came back to him and had time to deliver the ball in.

The Trotters had the wind in their sails and had their leveller on 89 minutes, Jon again involved as his corner was cleared back to him and his low cross found its way through the packed six yard box and turned into by Stags left back Mal Benning.

The come back was complete in the last minute of normal time and it was former Stags trial player Arthur Gnahoua with the excellent finish. Eoin Doyle running onto a long ball over the top and squared it to Gnahoua who hammered the ball past the outstretched Stone to give the Trotters the lead and all three points.

STAGS XI: Stone (GK), Sweeney, Rawson, Charsley, O. Clarke (C), Bowery, Maris, Perch, Quinn (Benning 83’), Reid, McLaughlin.

UNUSED SUBS: Stech (GK), O’Keeffe, O’Driscoll, J. Clarke, Law, Sinclair.

Referee: Antony Coggins

Assistants: by Gareth Mellor and Paul Evans.

Fourth official: Samuel Barrott.

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