Baxendale makes a flying start for Stags
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.”
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