Since our last update, Mansfield have been involved in FOUR Sky Bet League Two racking up three wins and a draw in an impressive end to the year. Meanwhile, Hinckley RFC returned to winning ways in their last game of 2017.
The 23rd December striker Danny Rose’s late header sealed a 2-1 win against Morecambe at One Call Stadium.
Mansfield went into the break 1-0 up after Kane Hemmings broke the deadlock in the eighth minute. On his return to the team, the striker hit a terrific finish into the corner of the net after meeting Danny Rose’s flick-on and advancing into space on the edge of the box.
That Stags’ advantage lasted only six minutes of the second half, as Morecambe front man Callum Lang beat goalkeeper Conrad Logan with an effort across goal after he had worked his way into the area.
It remained 1-1 until the 88th minute when top scorer Danny Rose thumped a header into the roof of the net to put the Stags back in front and score what turned out to be the winner.
In the traditional Boxing Day fixture striker Lee Angol was the hero as he climbed off the bench to score the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Grimsby Town at Blundell Park.
Former Stags’ midfielder Mitchell Rose put the home side ahead in the tenth minute when he pounced on a mistake from right-back Hayden White, and Stags were forced to be patient before claiming their equaliser, which was undoubtedly deserved.
After being introduced in the 78th minute, frontman Angol struck just 2 minutes later, rifling home an effort from 12 yards, via the left-hand post.
On the 30th December, a scintillating second-half performance saw The Stags come from behind to defeat in-form Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 at Adams Park with our sponsored player, Alfie Potter, netting the equaliser.
The result meant that Stags finished 2017 having lost just one game in 17 matches in all competitions and headed into 2018 level on points with Accrington Stanley in the final play-off spot.
Wycombe went into the game in great form and they started brightly, taking the lead in the seventh minute when top scorer Adebayo Akinfenwa headed in at the far post. Things went from bad to worse for Mansfield in the opening period as they then lost top scorer Danny Rose and defender Zander Diamond to injury but Steve Evans’ side dug in and grew into proceedings as the half went on.
Mansfield were second best in the first 45 but it was a real game of two halves as the Stags dominated after the break and scored two unanswered goals to secure the win.
Mansfield’s leveler came in the 52nd minute when winger Alfie Potter beat Scott Brown with a composed finish at the back post and the winner arrived in the 81st minute, striker Lee Angol scoring against his former club, flicking left-back Mal Benning’s low pass into the corner.
Finally, on New Years Day, Potter kept his place and produced an assist for the final goal as Mansfield broke into the Sky Bet League play-offs with a commanding 3-1 victory over Carlisle United at the One Call Stadium.
Stags went into the break in a commanding position, holding a 2-0 lead. The first goal arrived in the ninth minute, striker Kane Hemmings latching onto a loose back pass to round Carlisle goalkeeper Jack Bonham and tap in from a tight angle.
On the half-hour mark, Stags doubled their lead. Defender Rhys Bennett got himself a rare goal, tapping in from a yard out after Bonham had got a weak hand to a Lee Angol effort.
Carlisle halved the deficit in the 67th minute as midfielder Jamie Devitt scored a controversial penalty after it was judged Richie Bennett was fouled by ‘keeper Conrad Logan. Mansfield didn’t let the visitors build too much momentum however as they scored their third in the 75th minute, Kane Hemmings securing his brace after turning in winger Alfie Potter’s low cross into the area.
Hinckley finished 2017 top of the RFU National League 2 North with a comprehensive 41-18 win over Huddersfield at Leicester Road.
Joe Wilson once again led the points with a try, 5 conversions, and 2 penalties. Wilson is averaging over 10 points a game for the season with 151 points in his 14 appearances.
With further tries from Alex Salt, Tom Wheatcroft, James Martin, and Joe Glover gave The Hornets their 15th win from 19 and means they lead the table by 4 points from Sale FC at the turn of the year in what remains a very tight division.
Hinckley kick-off 2018 with what is sure to be a tightly contested local derby at Leicester Lions on the 6th January.