12th January 2019

Jordan Green opened the scoring in the nineteenth minute which proved to be the only goal of the game.

Jake Gray struck the woodwork in the second half and Tyler Walker had a goal chalked off for offside just after Nathan Baxter produced a wonder save to deny Danny Rose.

Just a minute into stoppage time Matt Preston received a red card which made the task of getting back into the game an impossibility as Town ended their winless run.

Making four changes for the trip to Nottinghamshire, Town’s newest recruits were handed their debuts after arriving on Friday. 

Josh Grant slotted in at right-back whilst Alex Dobre started on the left wing as Darren Way opted for a 4-3-3 formation. 

Elsewhere, Tom James moved into a holding midfield position where he was joined by the recalled Gray, as Adel Gafaiti replaced Bevis Mugabi in the heart of defence.

On a cold and windy afternoon in Nottinghamshire, the first sight of goal fell the Glovers way after Francois Zoko was brought down on the edge of the area. 

Tom James lined up closer in than he usually does and hit the free kick over the bar. 

In an energetic start for the visitors, Town were winning the ball well in the middle and limiting options for the hosts much to the frustration of the home fans. 

The Stags were then lucky not to concede a penalty only eight minutes in. Green chested the ball past Jordan Smith who got no ball but brought down the Town man, referee Carl Boyeson was not convinced and Smith restarted with a goal-kick. 

Having been contained for the opening exchanges the hosts had their first chance of the match. Released down the left CJ Hamilton cut in from the left and from a narrow angle was denied by Baxter. 

Instantly afterwards Town took the lead through Green when Carl Dickinson’s long ball forward found the winger who controlled well and expertly slotted underneath Smith. 

Baxter was then called into action to deny an equaliser, Walker was fed in on the right and the young stopper dived to save the shot at his near post as his superb solo performance continued.

Searching for a way back into the game Mellis lined up a shot from range which Baxter tipped over the bar.

As half time approached Town dug in to keep the lead at the half, a fantastic last-ditch challenge from Adel Gafaiti on Hamilton denied the forward a free run in at goal.

Well into the two minutes of additional time James struck a free kick from 25 yards which Smith saved low to his left and the resulting corner proved to be the last action of the half. 

Rose replaced Khan at half time as the Stags looked for an equaliser, and they almost found one five minutes into the second half. 

Mal Benning’s free-kick was headed across goal by Preston but James was there to head away from goal and the ball eventually went safely behind. 

With the home side applying constant pressure, Town enjoyed a flourish of their own after Zoko was fouled by Preston just inside the Glovers half.

The free-kick fell to Green in the area whose shot at goal was well saved by Smith, the rebound made its way to Gray who struck the woodwork before Sessi D’Almeida’s half volley was deflected wide. 

Looking dangerous on the counter Town still had to defend resolutely to deny an equaliser with Gary Warren and Gafaiti throwing themselves in front of every shot and cross.   

With their backs firmly against the wall, Baxter produced an incredible save to keep out Danny Rose’s shot on the line as the ball pinged around in the area to keep the lead for Town. 

Mansfield did manage to get the ball into the net through Walker but he was flagged offside and Baxter’s goal remained unscathed. 

At the other end the green and whites almost doubled their lead, Green jinked his way into the area and his shot at goal was palmed away by Smith and Zoko lost his footing as he tried to steer the effort goalwards.

Looking determined not to be beaten Baxter denied Walker, diving to his right to palm away the shot at goal which he later gathered.

To add to the hosts misery Preston was shown a second yellow card for a bad challenge on James as the game entered the first of six minutes of stoppage time.

Mansfield couldn’t manage to magic up an equaliser in the remaining minutes as all three points travelled with Town back to Somerset.

Mansfield Town: Smith; Preston, Pearce, Sweeney; White (Graham 57′), Khan (Rose 45′), Atkinson (Elsnik 63′), Mellis, Benning; Hamilton, Walker.
Bookings: Sweeney 45+3′, Preston 90′ (sent off),
Subs not used: Logan, Butcher, Law, Smith.

Yeovil Town: Baxter; Grant, Warren, Gafaiti, Dickinson; Gray (Fisher 83′), James, D’Almeida; Green, Zoko (Mugabi 88′), Dobre (Browne 72′).
Bookings: Zoko 79′
Subs not used: Nelson, Santos, Rogers, Arquin.