Matt Green’s late winner sealed victory for Mansfield at Brisbane Road. Green who was subject to an apparent £500,000 bid from Orient earlier in the week blazed a first half penalty over before being on hand at the back post one minute from time to stroke home the winner. Mitchell Rose opened the scoring in the second half lashing home at the back post. Liam Kelly equalised for the home side just five minutes later. But Green who could till leave the Stags before the transfer window ends fired home to inflict misery on the O’s.
Following back to back wins, O’s boss Andy Hessenthaler made only one change to the side that won 2-1 at Grimsby last weekend. Ollie Palmer came in as the lone front man with Jordan Bowery dropping down to the bench. Last seasons top scorer Jay Simpson remained unavailable due to a back injury.
After suffering their first league defeat to Plymouth last week, manager Adam Murray made two changes to his side. Krystian Pearce made his first start of the season in defence, in place of Chris Clements who was out with a hamstring injury. While Darius Henderson started against his former club in place of Ashley Hemmings who dropped to the bench.
In a low key start, neither side failed to test their opposition goalkeepers in the opening exchanges. Ollie Palmer who was starting against his former club had the first real but his header from Harry Cornick’s right wing cross flew wide. Palmer who netted his first of the season last weekend, really should have made it two on the quarter hour mark. After a good move down the left, Sandro Semedo crossed, the loose ball fell to Palmer but the striker snatched his effort which flew high over the bar.
With attention on Matt Green who was subject to an apparent bid from Orient on Friday, you knew that he would be involved in the action. However after a long ball froward was flicked on by Henderson, Green could only volley well wide of the target. The game was livening up with both sides having sighters on goal with Gavin Massey curling effort wide of Brian Jensen post.
Orient’s frailty from set piece would be their undoing once more, after a corner was only half cleared, Mansfield defender Krystian Pearce picked the ball up. He skipped past two before O’s center half Yvan Erichot brought him down with referee Kevin Johnson pointing to the spot.
Green stepped up and with the spotlight right on him, he blazed his spotkick high over the bar keeping the scores level. The penalty had rocked the home side who were gifting chances to their opponents at will. Kevan Hurst fired an effort from distance which Alex Cisak tipped over. From the resulting corner Tom Parkes had to be on hand to clear Pearce’s goal bound header.
Following a frantic period of play, Hessenthaler called for his side to calm down when in possession. The game was ebbing towards half time when another corner caused the O’s problems when Pearce headed down to his defence partner Kyle Hawkins who fired over.
Neither side made changes at the interval but Henderson was replaced by CJ Hamilton early in the second half. Orient’s play still lacked tempo and pace, playing right into the hands of the Stags. Tom Parkes flashed a header wide after connecting with a Dean Cox corner before Mansfield nearly went ahead. With Pearce causing yet more problems from set pieces, his header was brilliantly tipped away by Cisak in the Orient goal.
Orient made a double chance with Paul McCallum and Jordan Bowery entering the fray for Ollie Palmer and Harry Cornick as the hosts moved to 4-4-2.
However just eight minutes later, the visitors struck into all to familiar fashion. Kevan Hurst cut in from the left flank, his deep in swinging cross deceived Semedo at the back post who left Mitchell Rose unmarked and the midfielder punished the mistake to fire his side into the lead.
The goal attempted to wake the home side up with the fans asking for the ball to feet and on the floor. And just five minutes after the opener, Orient drew level through Liam Kelly. Following a nice move down the right, Nigel Atangana found Jordan Bowery with his back to goal, the substitute laid off to Kelly on the edge of the area who passed the ball home.
Both sides searched for a winner but it wasn’t until a minute from time when the Stags struck. And you’ve guessed it, it had to be Matt Green. Malvin Benning’s left wing cross found Rose who pounced in front of Semedo to knock the ball to Green. Green had drifted off O’s defender Yvan Erichot and finished low beyond Ciska to ensure he had the last laugh.