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          Clough making impact at Mansfield, as Brown hits top form

          League Two Talk

          2020/11/17 11:16
          By Ollie Smith
          E0

          Here's Playmaker's Ollie Smith with his regular review of what's what in League Two - Nigel Clough's immediate impact at Mansfield, Jevani Brown's transformation into free-scoring centre-forward and a win, finally, for Southend United all coming under the microscope this week. 


          Nigel Clough’s Mansfield shock Forest Green

          Nigel Clough managed two cup wins in his first week as Mansfield manager, but three points in the league was the main target going into Saturday’s clash away at Forest Green Rovers.

          His Mansfield side proceeded to stun Rovers at the Innocent New Lawn, with a 2-1 victory capping off an impressive first league game in charge for the former Burton Albion boss.

          Charlton Athletic loanee George Lapslie opened the scoring for the Stags after just six minutes, with the visitors then doubling their lead after an uncharacteristic misplaced pass from Ebou Adams slotted in Jordan Bowery, who set up Harry Charsley to score.

          Odin Bailey offered a bright spark for the hosts as they looked to get back in to the game, but - despite the 20-year-old grabbing a goal back in the 85th minute - it was simply too little too late for Mark Cooper’s men.

          Forest Green slipped down to fifth in the table as they suffered their first home defeat of the League Two season, while Mansfield climbed a place to 21st as they achieved not just their first league win of the campaign, but also their first win at Forest Green since a National League clash back in 2013.

          Mansfield were impressive throughout and looked a different team to the one that was languishing in 22nd place with just seven points prior to kick off.

          ©Getty / MI News

          The 23-year-old Lapslie was signed for Mansfield from Charlton Athletic on a season-long loan in October and has often been the ‘diamond in the rough’ for the Nottinghamshire side.

          Having first joined Charlton in 2009, Lapslie has risen up through the youth ranks and won Charlton’s Young Player of the Year award in the 2018/19 season.

          The midfielder grabbed the first goal for Mansfield on Saturday against Forest Green and also bagged the winner for the Stags against Sunderland in the FA Cup.

          In seven appearances for Mansfield, Lapslie has three goals and one assist - but also one yellow and one red card.

          His strengths appear to be dribbling, short passing and tackling with an average of 40.5 passes and three tackles per game, however discipline could be a problem with 2.5 fouls per game.

          At the Innocent New Lawn, Lapslie won three tackles but also committed four fouls – the most on the pitch that day.

          After a poor start to the campaign under Graham Coughlan, Mansfield are showing signs that they are turning their fortunes around under Clough, with Lapslie playing a key part.

          The Stags are now five games unbeaten in all competitions and host Colchester at the OneCall stadium on Friday night.

          As for Forest Green, they will be looking to bounce back from three defeats in all competitions with a win as they make the trip to Barrow on Saturday.

          Brown's centre-forward switch paying dividends

          Jevani Brown was Colchester’s star man again, as The U's saw off Leyton Orient 2-1 at the JobServe Community Stadium on Saturday, with Brown bagging a brace.

          The hosts took a 10th -minute lead through Brown, who calmly slotted past Lawrence Vigouroux after Michael Folivi played him through.

          Vigouroux denied Brown from doubling Colchester’s lead twice in a couple minutes, but the 26-year-old secured his second goal to made it 2-0 in the 71st minute, with a close-range finish marking his 11th goal of the season in all competitions.

          Brown was the U’s man of the match on Saturday, with the marksman’s goal tally now into double figures for the season.

          The win was Colchester’s fourth successive home league win and was a largely impressive performance on the whole, with Orient stopper Vigouroux limiting the margin of victory with some heroic saves.

          ©Getty / NurPhoto

          Averaging 0.72 goals scored per 90 minutes, Brown has seven league goals in 10 league appearances this campaign, making him joint second top goal scorer in the division.

          That’s eight in four matches for Brown, who has spoken about how he now regards himself as a centre-forward rather than a creative midfielder.

          “I’m a number nine – I’m not a number ten anymore," Brown told local newspaper The Daily Gazette

          “I’d played up front on quite a few occasions but before if you’d ask me what my favorite position was, I’d have said the number ten role. But this season, that’s changed.”

          Brown has played 1175 minutes already this season, which is 14 more than he completed in the entirety of last season, where he was sporadically used at Colchester, leading to a spell out on loan at Forest Green.

          With two hat-tricks this season however, Brown is certainly in electric form and will be a vital asset if Colchester wish to maintain their playoff push.

          The U’s remain unbeaten at home in their opening six games for the first time since the 1980s and victory over Orient moved Colchester up into the final League Two play-off position.

          Steve Ball’s men now make the journey to revived Mansfield on Friday night, where both teams will be looking to build on their recent wins.

          Struggling Southend claim first win of season

          League Two trailers Southend claimed their first win since March as Emile Acquah’s late goal secured victory against Walsall at the Bank’s stadium.

          Southend looked set for a seventh straight league defeat, when Tom Clifford brought down Cameron Norman for a Walsall penalty.

          However, Elijah Adebayo smacked his 81st minute spot-kick against the bar and the visitors took full advantage five minutes later, with Acquah finishing into the bottom corner with two minutes to go.

          Harvey Bates was dismissed for Walsall in stoppage time for a second yellow card to round off a disappointing afternoon for the Saddlers.

          Southend substitute Acquah was on hand to score his second goal of the season, but just his side’s sixth goal of the campaign.

          ©Getty / Alex Pantling

          It was a third clean sheet in 65 league games, but most importantly three points, ending a run of 16 matches without victory for the Shrimpers.

          Prior to kick off, Walsall had lost just once in 16 in all competitions and hosted a Southend team, who were yet to win in the league this season.

          It had been a tough week leading up to the clash against Walsall for Southend, with a humiliating 6-1 defeat at local rivals Colchester and an FA Cup exit at the hands of Boreham Wood.

          Blues fans padlocked the Roots Hall stadium gates to stop the coach getting back into the car park after the midweek embarrassment at Colchester and new left back Sam Hart was not able to be officially registered due to the club’s transfer embargo.

          Despite winning at Walsall, Southend remain bottom of the table, with 23rd-placed Scunthorpe also winning last Saturday.

          The Shrimpers remain in deep trouble and must now look to make this a turning point in their season.

          Up next for Mark Molesley’s side is a tough test against high-flying Cambridge and the Blues have to continue to do the ugly things well to be in with a chance of more positive results.

           

          England
          George Lapslie
          NameGeorge Lapslie
          Born1997-09-05(23 -yrs-old)
          Nationality
          England
          England
          PositionMidfielder (Centre Midfielder)

          Photos(1)

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