Bax­en­dale makes a fly­ing start for Stags

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Tim Mor­riss

MANS­FIELD coach Micky Moore paid trib­ute to loan sign­ing James Bax­en­dale af­ter the on-loan Wal­sall mid­fielder played a star­ring role in their first win in five matches.

Bax­en­dale struck a fine solo se­cond-half goal that proved to be the win­ner af­ter Chris Cle­ments’ 20yard free-kick had given Mans­field the lead.

“Bax­en­dale’s goal was a great fin­ish,” said Moore.“He is a League One foot­baller and has played over 100 league games at that level. He is at a club that is fly­ing high and he found his time on the pitch lim­ited.

“We feel we have cap­tured a good loan sign­ing who will have that lit­tle bit of qual­ity in the fi­nal third and help us.

“It was a won­der­ful free-kick by Chris Cle­ments. He showed it last week against Ac­cring­ton. He has that abil­ity. It gave ev­ery­one a lift. Scor­ing the first goal is al­ways im­por­tant and in the se­cond half we were able to take the game to them.”

Steve­nage sub­sti­tute Ar­mand Gnan­duil­let’s close-range fin­ish five min­utes into in­jury time was just a con­so­la­tion for Boro, who are now with­out a win in five matches.

The vis­i­tors started the brighter and ap­peared to have good claims for a penalty re­jected af­ter home de­fender Krys­tian Pearce blocked a shot with his arm.

Mans­field had a lucky es­cape in the 12th minute when Michael Tonge’s curl­ing free-kick struck the post but they grabbed a 42nd-minute lead when Cle­ments won a free-kick and got up to curl the ball into the top cor­ner.

Blair Adams’ low drive was saved, sub­sti­tute Reg­gie Lambe was de­nied by the boot of Chris Day and Craig West­carr’s drive was de­flected over as Mans­field chased a se­cond.

Steve­nage should have lev­elled when Fraser Franks headed Ro­hdell Gor­don’s cross wide.That miss proved vi­tal when Bax­en­dale raced on to Green’s touch and curled a 20-yard fin­ish in­side the post to dou­ble Mans­field’s lead.

Sub­sti­tute Mitchell Rose was twice de­nied a third Stags goal, his header saved by Day and the fol­low-up strik­ing the post.

“Their player has charged the ball down with his hands and the penalty is not given,” fumed Steve­nage boss Teddy Sher­ing­ham. “Last week that was given against us when Fraser (Franks) had his hands down by his side.That’s a stonewall penalty with­out a doubt and prob­a­bly would change the whole vibe of the game and would have made us feel more com­fort­able. We are not get­ting that rub of the green at the mo­ment.

“We had the bet­ter of the first half and were on the front foot again. It’s dis­ap­point­ing to go in a goal down when you are on the front and feel­ing good.”

PIC­TURES: Andy Wal­ter/ Pro Sport

STAR MAN GWION ED­WARDS Craw­ley

Town HAVE A GO HERO: Craw­ley’s Lee Barnard fires in the shot which leads to the first goal for Matt Har­rold, who cel­e­brates in­set

STAR MAN JAMES BAX­EN­DALE

Mans­field

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