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Match Report: Notts County brought back to earth in Mansfield Town defeat

Joe Jones

As amazing as Notts County have been for most of September, they sadly fell at the final - and arguably most challenging - hurdle as their League Two derby at Mansfield Town saw them head back down the A60 on the back of a 3-1 defeat.

The first half was a scrappy affair but the Stags enjoyed several gilt-edged chances, the first of the game coming on six minutes when Alex MacDonald's lofted free-kick into the area was nodded by Kane Hemmings into the path of Danny Rose three yards out, but the latter was unable to control and get a decent shot at goal from close range as the ball bounced wide for a goal kick.

Notts then attacked and Jorge Grant saw a curling effort deflect over onto the roof of the net for a corner, and on 18 minutes the Nottingham Forest loanee sent a free kick goalwards which Johnny Hunt hooked over the bar.

Neither side was able to break the deadlock come the half-time whistle but Mansfield got off the mark early after the restart, with Richard Duffy making a hash of a headed backpass which allowed Rose to sneak in and lob the ball over Adam Collin.

On 53 minutes County came close to drawing level during a goalmouth scramble scramble, but David Mirfin was well placed on the line to deny Jonathan Forte from seven yards.

Three minutes late, the visitors were two down as Omari Sterling-James's cross to the far post allowed Hemmings to send a header goalwards which Collin turned onto the post, with Rose pouncing on the rebound and drilling home.

Rose was involved again as the Stags claimed a third, a low cross from the striker taking a deflection off Duffy and into the Notts net.

Kevin Nolan's beleaguered charges did manage to net a consolation late on through a Carl Dickinson free kick, while Shaun Brisley headed against the bar deep into injury time, but it proved a comfortable win for Mansfield in the end and left the Notts boss with work to do on the training ground.

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