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Match Reports


Landmark goals for James Collins and Glen Rea in important win for the Town

2 April 2018

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The Hatters got back to winning ways with a fantastic come-from-behind win against Mansfield Town at Kenilworth Road this afternoon - with Nathan Jones' side dedicating the victory to injured midfielder Luke Berry.

After going a goal down in the first half through Kane Hemmings' low finish, James Collins and Glen Rea netted in nine second half minutes to move the Town up to 77 points for the season – the same tally they achieved for the entire 2016/17 campaign.

Nathan Jones made four changes from the side that was defeated at Colchester on Friday, with Alan McCormack, Jack Stacey, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Elliot Lee coming in for Luke Berry, James Justin, Glen Rea and Andrew Shinnie, with the Hatters looking to stretch the gap between themselves and fourth place to ten points.

After a stop start opening ten minutes, Town fashioned the first real opportunity of the afternoon. Intricate play between Elliot Lee and Danny Hylton saw the former tee up Dan Potts to cross in from the left, with his ball just avoiding James Collins in the box, before Hylton was unable to tuck away Olly Lee's flicked ball into the box 12 minutes in.

Nine minutes later and Hylton again was at the centre of the action, this time firing over from what was a crossing position out on the right, however with Conrad Logan off his line the striker tried to smash it in from an acute angle, but the effort flew just over the crossbar.

Town began to assert their authority on the match and Dan Potts was unlucky not to see his close range strike find the back of the net after Collins had played the defender through, the striker then seeing his 25 yard effort drift just over Logan's goal.

Just before the half hour mark the impressive Mpanzu swung a great cross in from the left with Hylton and Olly Lee waiting at the back stick but it evaded both and Mansfield managed to clear away.

Zander Diamond was guilty of missing a great chance for his side moments later when the Stags won a corner out on the far side, the defender met the cross six yards out, but his header was over the Town goal.

That sparked the visitors into life and they managed to score against the run of play in the 34th minute, when Kane Hemmings turned Scott Cuthbert from Logan's long ball down field, the striker then tucking it under Shea.

Shea somehow denied the Stags with a brilliant double save four minutes later, the keeper first throwing his body in the way of Alex MacDonald's effort before CJ Hamilton hammered an effort straight at the former Wimbledon man, with the Town defence caught on the back foot, but they were able to finally deal with the situation as they got it away.

The Hatters were forced into a change when Cuthbert went down holding his groin with two minutes of the first half to go, with Glen Rea slotting in, in his place.

Elliot Lee went agonisingly close to getting the Hatters back on level terms eight minutes into the second half when he volleyed from the edge of the box from a Mansfield clearing header, but his top right corner bound effort was somehow palmed over by Logan.

The Hatters got their equaliser a minute after the hour mark after some fantastic play out on the right from Mpanzu, as he powered down the wing before crossing low, with James Collins there two-yards out to net his 20th goal of the campaign. The striker celebrating by retrieving a Berry shirt from the bench and lifting it up, as the Town midfielder begins his recovery from a serious ankle injury picked up at Colchester.

The comeback was complete nine minutes later when Collins countered from a Mansfield corner, only to be hacked down from behind by Hemmings 25 yards from the Stags' goal. Alan Sheehan took it, it looked a simple enough save for Logan, but the keeper palmed it straight into the path of Glen Rea who made no mistake, firing it past the despairing keeper from five yards for the defender's first goal of the season.

Three minutes into second half stoppage time Man-of-the-Match Mpanzu nearly netted the goal his performance deserved when he pounced on a defensive mix-up from the Stags, but his effort was well saved by Logan.

Town: Shea, Stacey, Cuthbert (Rea 43), Sheehan, Potts, McCormack, Mpanzu, O Lee, E Lee (Justin 83), Hylton (Jervis 69), Collins.

Subs not used: Stech, Justin, Cornick, Downes, Gambin.

Yellow: Sheehan, Shea

Goal: Collins 61, Rea 70

Mansfield: Logan, Bennett, Diamond, MacDonald, Mellis, Angol, Atkinson (Potter 71), White (Miller 88), Hunt, Hamilton, Hemmings.

Subs not used: Digby, Pearce, Anderson, Olejnik, Byrom, Miller.

Goal: Hemmings: 34

Yellows: Angol, Hemmings, White


AWAY: 725

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