Stags Climb Up To Third After First-Ever Win At The Peninsula Stadium Against Salford City
The unbeaten league run continues as Mansfield Town earn their first victory at the Peninsula Stadium with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Salford City.
The Stags’ 16th game with a defeat saw them take the lead in the 19th minute as Jordan Bowery’s curled effort beat Ammies’ goalkeeper Alex Cairns and found the top corner.
Salford responded immediately as League Two top goalscorer Matt Smith nodded Ryan Watson’s cross into the back of the net.
Minutes before half-time, Mansfield Town restored their advantage as Davis Keillor-Dunn fired the ball home from close range after an inch-perfect cross from Callum Johnson.
The amber and blues held onto the one-goal cushion until the full-time whistle as they finally broke the Peninsula Stadium curse and won away to Salford City for the first time.
Salford City manager Neil Wood made two changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Peterborough United in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup last weekend. Kelly N’Mai dropped to the bench whilst Adrian Mariappa missed out with Declan John and Matty Lund coming into the starting XI.
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough also named two changes from the side that crashed out of the FA Cup after a 2-1 loss to Wrexham. Calum Macdonald returned at full-back in place of Baily Cargill with George Maris replacing Ollie Clarke.
The first chance of the game fell to the current League Two top goalscorer Matt Smith as the forward connected with a header at the back post but he failed to keep his effort down.
Aaron Lewis’ free-kick into the area deflected through to Lewis Brunt, however, the Leicester City loanee was unable to have a shot at goal as he miskicked the ball.
Back into the starting XI, Rhys Oates had two fantastic opportunities to break the deadlock but failed to find the target on both occasions.
In the 19th minute, the Stags took the lead as Jordan Bowery, starting up front with Oates, curled his effort beyond Alex Cairns and into the top corner.
Salford were able to respond pretty much immediately as Smith got on the scoresheet after nodding Ryan Watson’s cross beyond Christy Pym.
A couple of minutes before the end of the first half, Nigel Clough’s side were back in front as Callum Johnson’s cross found Davis Keillor-Dunn who fired in from close range to restore Mansfield Town’s lead.
The hosts looked to respond straightaway once again as Smith headed the ball down for Matty Lund but he was denied by a fantastic save from Pym.
In the second half, the Ammies almost made the perfect start as they progressed forward with Stephen Mallan firing goalwards but Pym made another important stop.
Salford were building a head of steam as Lund had another chance but his front post header failed to hit the target.
Bowery bared down on goal as he looked to score his second afternoon but Cairns stood strong at the near post to deny Stags’ number nine.
The Stags had a fantastic chance to extend their lead as Louis Reed’s reverse pass found George Maris who rounded Cairns but his touch was a poor one as the ball went out of play.
Luke Garbett stood over a free-kick 25 yards from goal as he looked to test Pym but his direct effort flew over the bar.
Stags’ number one was forced into a save minutes later as Conor McAleny’s goalbound effort was tipped over by the goalkeeper.
Salford were really pressing for an equaliser as Declan John’s cross found the head of Kelly N’Mai but his effort failed hit the target.
Mansfield Town were able to hold onto their 2-1 lead until the full-time whistle as they earned their first win over Salford City at the Peninsula Stadium.
The victory moved the Stags into the automatic promotion places as they claimed third place with the Ammies dropping down to 15th.
Both sides are back in action next weekend as Salford travel to Gillingham whilst Mansfield Town host Newport County.
Salford City’s XI Cairns, Shephard (McLennan 46′), Ingram, Tilt, John, Garbutt, Watt, Watson, Mallan (N’Mai 69′), Lund (McAleny 69′), Smith
Mansfield Town’s XI: Pym, Johnson, Flint, Brunt, Macdonald (Cargill 89′), Reed (Williams 90+3′), Maris, Clarke, Akins, Keillor-Dunn (Boateng 82′), Bowery, Oates (Gale 90+3′)