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Match Reports

REPORT: Mansfield 3-2 Robins

20 January 2018

Nine-man Cheltenham Town were beaten at Mansfield Town for the first time since 2003 in an action-packed Sky Bet League Two fixture at the One Call Stadium.

CJ Hamilton netted the winner deep into added time for ten man Mansfield in a match embroiled in controversy, with three red cards in total.

The Robins started well and Harry Pell put them ahead from the penalty spot with his second goal of the season after Mo Eisa was tripped in the area.

But CJ Hamilton converted at the far post to level the scores up ten minutes later when Alfie Potter’s cross evaded Lee Angol and the Cheltenham defence.

The situation got worse for the visitors five minutes before the break as Taylor Moore was sent off for an elbow on Danny Rose, manager Gary Johnson was then sent to the stands in the aftermath.

But midway through the second half Mansfield were also down to ten men as Hayden White took Ilias Chatzitheodoridis out off the ball.

Substitutes Danny Wright and Elijah Adebayo then combined, with the latter netting his first goal in a Cheltenham shirt, squeezing in a brilliant finish at the near post with 15 minutes to go.

The Stags hit back again though as Kane Hemmings equalised once more from close range before Wright was sent off for an off the ball incident as the Robins were reduced to nine men before Hamilton smashed in a dramatic late winner for the hosts.

Johnson made three changes to the side that started at home to Accrington Stanley last week, including handing a debut to new signing Chatzitheodoridis.

The Greek defender who signed on loan from Brentford started at left wing-back as Jerell Sellars dropped to the bench and Harry Pell returned to the starting line-up, replacing Nigel Atangana in central midfield.

Brian Graham also came back into the side up front for Elijah Adebayo, who was named amongst the substitutes.

After an early Mansfield free-kick evaded everyone in the Cheltenham box, Graham had the first attempt on goal in the second minute, slicing an effort well wide from long range.

Joe Morrell then broke through the midfield but after running into three home defenders he was booked for diving midway into the opposition half.

After a dull ten-minute spell, a fantastic cross-field pass from Alex MacDonald on the right-hand side found CJ Hamilton on the corner of the box but Taylor Moore bravely came across to block his shot.

Hayden White then drilled a shot high over the crossbar for Steve Evans’ side after 20 minutes of very few clear-cut chances at Field Mill.

But after 23 minutes the game burst into life as Cheltenham were awarded a penalty.

A surging run from Captain Carl Winchester got the Robins in behind and the Northern Irishman played a clever ball in to Eisa who was tripped by White inside the penalty area and Pell buried the penalty to put the visitors ahead.

It was a lead that only lasted until the 34th minute as Hamilton tapped in at the far post when Alfie Potter beat debutant Chatzitheodoridis on the left and flashed a cross across the face of goal for the Stags winger to score.

Graham nearly put Johnson’s side back ahead at the other end when Kevin Dawson pulled the ball back for the Scotsman to slide wide, but the visitors would face an uphill task when they were reduced to ten men moments later.

Moore was given a straight red for raising an elbow across the face of Rose just five minutes before half-time, before Eisa was taken off on a stretcher after a nasty collision with two Mansfield defenders deep into first half stoppage time.

The home team had the first attempt of the second half with MacDonald hitting a tame effort straight at Scott Flinders, but the ten men of Cheltenham were competing well and substitute Adebayo was a handful early on.

More stoppages in play prompted another long delay before Morrell was dispossessed in midfield and Potter’s low delivery was shielded behind by Manny Onariase.

The match was threatening to boil over and Mansfield were then reduced to ten men themselves as White crashed into Chatzitheodoridis with a two-footed tackle.

There would then be another twist as Wright crossed the ball into the feet of Adebayo who controlled brilliantly and fired home from a tight angle in the 74th minute to send the travelling supporters wild.

Mansfield sub Kane Hemmings then scrambled home the equaliser in a packed penalty area to level once more before more drama unfolded as Wright was sent off for an incident with Potter.

With a one-man advantage once more, Hamilton slammed in a 94th minute winner to earn a first home victory over Cheltenham in 15 years.

MANSFIELD TOWN: Logan (GK), Bennett, Benning, Pearce (C), MacDonald, Mellis (Angol 27) (Diamond 70), White, Potter, Hamilton, Byrom (Hemmings 77), Rose.

Subs not used: Olejnik (GK), Atkinson, Spencer.

CHELTENHAM TOWN: Flinders (GK), Grimes, Pell, Dawson, Winchester (C), Eisa (Adebayo 45), Graham (Atangana 65), Morrell, Moore, Onariase, Chatzitheodoridis (Wright 71).

Subs not used: Lovett (GK), Sellars, Bower, Thomas.

Referee: Darren Handley

Attendance: 3483 (149 from Cheltenham)

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