Mansfield Town 4 Fleet 1

Fleet had an afternoon to forget as ill luck and a poor second half combined to leave Liam Daish’s side on the end of an unflattering scoreline and still in the relegation zone.

With Patrick Ada out of the starting line-up, Craig Stone was forced into deputising in the centre of defence, Ryan Blake coming in at full back. Lanre Azeez, meanwhile, made way for Liam Bellamy in midfield while top scorer Nathan Elder was still on the casualty list.

Bellamy, however, lasted only 13 minutes before a knee complaint saw him make way for Azeez and Mansfield were ahead two minutes later when Ben Hutchinson sent a shot into the top-right corner. That lead lasted only eight minutes, Liam Enver-Marum scoring in a second successive game, shooting home from Mat Godden’s pass.

Despite a good period after that for the visitors, Mansfield got their noses in front on 37 minutes when the ball looped off Craig Stone from a shot and beyond Preston Edwards. Stone and Neil Barrett then got in the way of Hutchinson and Matt Green in a scramble as the home side searched for a third.

Fleet struggled to string together more than two passes in the second half as Mansfield controlled proceedings and when Edwards went off with what appeared to be back trouble on 50 minutes, Lucas Menz making his first league appearance, the writing seemed to be on the wall.

Sure enough, on 70 minutes Anthony Howell breezed through the Fleet defence which failed to put a challenge in and Menz could do little to stop his shot making it 3-1. Then, nine minutes later, the home side wrapped it up with a penalty, Matt Green firing home after Phil Walsh had fouled Hutchinson.

TEAM: Edwards (Menz 51), Howe, Blake, Stone, Walsh, Bellamy (Azeez 13), Barrett, Carew, Phipp, Enver-Marum (Ashikodi 84), Godden. Subs not used: Greenhalgh, Folkes.
Att: 1,845


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