Mansfield Town 3, Crawley Town 1: Evans makes perfect start against former side

Mansfield Town v Crawley Town.
Stags' new manager Steve Evans in the dug out.
Mansfield Town v Crawley Town. Stags' new manager Steve Evans in the dug out.

Three goals in ten minutes at the start of the second half saw Crawley Town floored at Mansfield Town as former boss Steve Evans started his rein at his new club in the best possible way.

A Chris Clements brace and Pat Hoban goal saw the Stags extended Reds winless run to nine matches in all competitions and sees Dermot Drummy’s side drop to 17th in the table.

Mansfield Town v Crawley Town.
Matt Green has an early attempt on goal.

Mansfield Town v Crawley Town. Matt Green has an early attempt on goal.

Clements opened the floodgates on 50 minutes with a seven-yard volley and Hoban hammered in a second within four minutes before Clements bagged his second on the hour before a Matt Harrold goal gave the visitors an 82nd-minute consolation.

It was only Stags’ third home win of the campaign and also their biggest.

Crawley arrived without a win in eight games while Stags were looking to improve on just one win in 11 League games and a poor home record of just two wins all season.

Matt Green put pressure on away keeper Glen Morris and his poor clearance reached Hoban who crashed a quick shot over the bar from distance.

Mansfield Town v Crawley Town.
Pat Hoban has an early attempt on goal.

Mansfield Town v Crawley Town. Pat Hoban has an early attempt on goal.

Crawley’s first raid ended with Billy Clifford firing well over with a first time shot from 20 yards.

On seven minutes, Green got down the right and pulled back a low cross which Ashley Hemmings turned on target but without any power and straight to the keeper.

On 15 minutes, Jamie McGuire almost broke through out of the blue with a firm header from 20 yards that sailed just over the angle.

James Collins headed over from a Lewis Young cross from the right on 19 minutes.

Good pressure from Mansfield on 25 minutes saw Hemmings have a powerful shot blocked and Hoban slip when he shaped up to try a follow-up.

Then McGuire set up Chris Clements just outside the box for a low snapshot that he pulled wide.

Poor defending on 33 minutes saw Hoban in space on the right, but he skied his hurried finish well over the bar.

A minute later a superb crossfield pass by Clements found Oscar Gobern, whose low shot skidded wide of the far post.

The retuning Mark Connolly, feeling the effects of an earlier knock, finally made way for Alex Davey on 35 minutes.

Gobern shot was narrowly wide with a first time from Mal Benning’s low, curling ball in from the left.

Then Clements was too high with a free kick from almost 30 yards as the home side remained solidly on top.

On 43 minutes, Morris made a great save to deny Hemmings. Krystian Pearce had nodded on a long Rose ball and Hemmings directed a looping header on target that the keeper had to tip over.

Hoban had a shot deflect wide for a corner in the opening minute of the half and Pearce then headed goalwards and Young cleared off the line.

However, on 50 minutes the home side were finally ahead.

Clements began and ended the move as he found Green in full flight to his left. His cross was headed down by Hoban and a poor attempted defensive header fell to Clements who bundled home a half-volley from seven yards.

Hemmings was then poleaxed in the middle of the park, but play was allowed to continue and Green sped down the right before picking out Hoban at the far post where he buried an unstoppable volley from six yards.

On 57 minutes, Morris had to save with his legs when a Green free kick from 20 yards went through the wall and took a deflection.

But Stags were three up on the hour. Green beat keeper Morris to a ball down the left and spotted Clements to his right in space.

His pass found him perfectly and, with the keeper well out of his goal, the skipper did well to guide his half-volley into the gaping net.

On 75 minutes Morris got in the way of a powerful shot by James Baxendale. He then had to get behind a powerful Hoban header as Stags went for a fourth.

Instead, Crawley pulled one back on 82 minutes as Bawling crossed from the right and it appeared that Harrold glanced home, but that was as good as it got for Reds.

Mansfield: Shearer, M. Rose, Bennett, Pearce, Benning; Clements, McGuire, Gobern, Hemmings (Baxendale 72); Hoban (Henderson 90), Green (Danny Rose 84). Subs: Thomas, Law, Jensen, Hamilton.

Crawley: Morris, Young, Connolly (Davey 35, Djalo 65), Boldewijn (Bawling 57), Smith, Harrold, Roberts, Blackman, Garnett, Clifford, Collins. Subs: Beeney, Payne, Tajbakhsh, Henderson.

Referee: Carl Boyeson of East Yorkshire.

Attendance: 2,984 (72 away).

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