Yeovil Town got full revenge on Mansfield Town this afternoon at Field Mill, as they conducted a smash'n'grab on the Stags. Last October, Mansfield gained an ultra-late 1-0 away win at Huish Park as they scored in the 10th minute of second half injury time. Today, Yeovil didn't leave it quite that late, but there had still been 91 minutes of play when Ryan Dickson scored his second goal in two games, as he converted a pullback cross from substitute Brandon Goodship to give the Glovers all three points and the first time the club had recorded three wins in a row since the sequence of games that included the club's League One play-off final and their opening fixture in the Championship back in 2013. In doing so, the win lifted them to 20th place, and with York City losing in Dagenham and Redbridge's do-or-die six-pointer at Victoria Road, that put them nine points clear of relegation.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes to their starting line-up, from the side that took to the field on Tuesday night. Jakub Sokolik went off at half time in midweek after suffering a dizzy spell and the man who replaced him at the break got a second chance, with Nathan Smith playing at the back. The front positions were rejigged as well with Brandon Goodship and Tahvon Campbell dropping to the bench, and Kevin Dawson coming in to make his first start for the club since the Manchester United FA Cup tie in January 2015. He was joined by Francois Zoko, now clear of his illness. On the bench, new signing Leroy Lita was included in the squad, whilst Simon Gillett departed as part of a loan spell at Peterborough United. Shaun Jeffers was the 19th man - travelling with the squad but not named on the sheet.
Mansfield's first half play showed them frequently getting in behind the Yeovil defence, with threaded through balls causing problems for the high back line, and Artur Krysiak having to be particularly alert throughout the half. Early on they had a shout for a penalty kick turned down as Nathan Smith challenged inside the box, whilst Krysiak's rush to collect a through ball had them appealing for a handball as the keeper caught the ball on the line of the penalty box, with the question of whether he had stepped over it being turned down by both referee and linesman. Reggie Lambe - scorer of the Stags winning goal last October - got in the first effort on goal as he forced Krysiak into a parried save, with Smith's attempt to clear ricocheting off the legs of James Baxendale and wide.
Ryan Tafazolli headed over the bar from a corner, whilst at the other end Yeovil's chances were few and far between - the odd sight of centre-back pairing Darren Ward and Nathan Smith combining as the latter forced the first save from Scott Shearer, half an hour into the game. But in the main, it was all Mansfield, with Connor Roberts putting in a superb challenge on Matt Green to block the striker's teeing up of a shot and send the ball out for a corner. Then Colin Daniel put a header wide and on the balance of play the Glovers were probably glad to be going in level at the break.
Whilst Darren Way didn't make any half time substitutions, it became clear that the half time talk had involved a ten minute warning to the eleven who were on the pitch. After Lee Collins had forced Artur Krysiak into another strong save, following a corner, out came a double substitution. In fairness to the pair who came off, Matt Dolan appeared to be limping as he was withdrawn, whilst Francois Zoko had only recently come back from illness, possibly contributing to his quiet performance. They were replaced by Ryan Bird and Tahvon Campbell, meaning that Kevin Dawson slipped back into midfield to cover Dolan's slot. There was also a subtle tweaking of the formation, with Harry Cornick dropping much deeper, as Bird and Campbell played as a front pairing in a 4-3-1-2.
This was an improved second half performance in that Mansfield were not getting the extreme gaps behind the Glovers back four that kept Artur Krysiak on his toes so much during the first period. But still Chris Clements shot wide for the home side, whilst Matt Green's effort had to be parried by the Glovers keeper for a corner. Then Mansfield came inches away from the lead as Reggie Lambe struck the crossbar after Mansfield had kept a corner routine alive, quickly followed by Stags substitute Adi Yussuf being denied by Krysiak, to keep the game goalless.
In the closing stages, Harry Cornick seemed to pull up with a hamstring tweak and Brandon Goodship replaced him, with the Glovers restoring their 4-3-3 for the final 20 minutes of the match. Tahvon Campbell shot just wide from 20 yards out, but with two minutes remaining Mansfield were denied by the linesman's offside flag as Matt Green put the ball into the back of the net - thankfully the early raise of the flag made it clear it wouldn't count. As the game dipped into injury time, the Glovers struck gold. Brandon Goodship got himself to the byline, and pulled the ball back across the box, finding Ryan Dickson running in at close range to convert from six yards out to stun Mansfield in the same way that they had stunned the Glovers so badly back in October. On the balance of the game, it might not have been warranted, but in terms of a spot of revenge on the Huish Park result, it most definitely was, putting Yeovil Town nine points clear of the drop as Dagenham and Redbridge finally broke their home ground hoodoo with a 1-0 win over York City. With eleven games remaining, the pressure is surely lifting off the club, hopefully meaning they can look upwards during the closing stages of the 2015-16 season.
Link: 2015-16 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Mansfield Town 0 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Ryan Dickson (0-1, 90 mins)
1. Scott Shearer
27. Daniel Alfei 6. Lee Collins 15. Ryan Tafazolli 3. Malvind Benning
8. Chris Clements 7. Adam Chapmam 14. Colin Daniel
31. James Baxendale 10. Matt Green 19. Reggie Lambe
4. Mitchell Rose 9. Chris Beardsley 12. Brian Jensen 18. Adi Yussuf (62 mins for Colin Daniel) 20. Jack Thomas (81 mins for Adam Chapman) 23. Sean Kavanagh (74 mins for James Baxendale) 24. Jamie McGuire
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 26. Darren Ward (Capt) 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson
8. Marc Laird 4. Matt Dolan 2. Ben Tozer
7. Kevin Dawson 39. Francois Zoko 23. Harry Cornick
12. Chris Weale (GK) 6. Jakub Sokolik 9. Ryan Bird (55 mins for Francois Zoko) 19. Brandon Goodship (77 mins for Harry Cornick) 16. Tahvon Campbell (56 mins for Matt Dolan) 21. Alex Lacey 38. Leroy Lita
Mansfield Town Bookings: Lee Collins (foul, 58 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Kevin Dawson (foul, 67 mins)
Mansfield Town Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 5; Fouls: 13.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 2; Fouls: 9.
Referee: Darren England (South Yorkshire). Assistants: Steven Rushton (Staffordshire) and David Richardson (West Yorkshire). Fourth Official: Neil Radford (Worcestershire).
Attendance: 2,713 (with 183 Yeovil supporters).
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