MATCH REPORT: Mansfield 1-0 Blackpool

Midfielder Brad Potts.Midfielder Brad Potts.
Midfielder Brad Potts.
A cruel last minute goal saw Blackpool lose their unbeaten run with a 1-0 defeat away at Mansfield.

In a game low on quality and chances, both sides seemed content to see out a 0-0 draw.

But the hosts grabbed all three points with what appeared to be an unlikely winner, with substitute Danny Rose netting at the back post.

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It means Pool lost their six-game unbeaten run and fell out of the play-off spots, as new Stags manager Steve Evans enjoyed his second win in just four days.

The Stags made a bright start and had their first shot on goal inside the first minute of the game, with midfielder Oscar Gobern dragging a shot from range just wide of goal.

Pool replied instantly with an opportunity of their own a minute later, and it was a good one. Mark Cullen was fed in down the left channel by skipper Danny Pugh, but his pull back - initially intended for striker Jamille Matt - found its way to Brad Potts but the midfielder got the ball stuck under his feet and couldn’t get a shot away at goal.

The hosts were clearly buoyed by their weekend win and in confident mood following the recent appointment of Steve Evans as manager.

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And their fast start to the match didn’t wane either, with Ashley Hemmings heading narrowly wide of the bottom corner from a teasing left-wing cross.

Industrious striker Pat Hoban then brought a good save out of Sam Slocombe after cutting inside from the left and shooting towards the far corner.

The good start lasted all of 15 minutes, with Gary Bowyer’s side then using their game management to good effect by limiting the hosts to hopeful punts into the box.

The Seasiders managed to slow the game down a little as they looked to put a stop to the Stags’ relentless start.

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The first half then became a bitty affair, with the referee forced to halt proceedings for a number of cynical fouls - while matters weren’t helped by the animated Steve Evans and Paul Raynor on the sidelines.

The angry duo were up in arms for every disputed foul, with the fourth official forced to give them a stern talking to.

Both sides struggled to get their foot on the ball in a stop-start end to the first period as both sets of players struggled with the drizzly conditions.

As the half grew on, it was the Seasiders who looked the more likely to open the lead as they looked to break at speed on the counter.

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But opportunities, for either side, were very few and far between in what soon deteriorated into a low quality affair.

Mark Cullen battled admirably up top but the Seasiders were clearly missing the presence of Kyle Vassell, who sat out the game through injury.

The Stags settled early on in the second half as they looked to make the most of some intricate play on the edge of the box. But, as was the story of the match, they weren’t able to find that all-important ball in the final third.

Tom Aldred was then forced off the pitch for the second time as he struggled with what looked to be a nose injury - but he battled on bravely.

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Full back Kelvin Mellor was forced to produce a crucial tackle at the back after Matt Green had beaten a couple of Pool defenders.

At the other end, Brad Potts drilled in a low free kick from Danny Pugh’s lay off which was well collected by Scott Shearer in the Mansfield goal.

Shearer then produced a top drawer one-handed stop to keep out Clark Robertson’s close range header at the second attempt.

Slocombe was forced into action to keep the scores level after producing a strong stop to keep out Chris Clements’ rasping drive from range.

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The hosts piled on some late pressure in their search for that elusive goal, but Blackpool looked like they were going to hold firm with some superb defending.

As the game entered injury time, the Stags launched the ball into the box from all directions but the Blackpool defence was on the end of every cross, throw in and corner.

The visitors were prepared to sit back on their point as they looked to avoid defeat for the seventh game running.

But they were punished in the second minute of injury time as the Stags found that all-important goal.

It came in poor fashion for Blackpool too, with Danny Rose striking at the back post after Sam Slocombe had saved well from Matt Green, who had been given too much space inside the box.