Stats on Stags - Leyton Orient (A)

The Stags managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory at Leyton Orient on Saturday, despite leading 2-0 with eight minutes of normal time remaining. After conceding the better opportunities in the first half, Mansfield had appeared comfortable throughout the second period, with goals from Jordan Bowery and Andy Cook seemingly setting Graham Coughlan's side on track for their first maximum points of the season. However, Coughlan was left fuming thanks to questionable game management and individual errors. The games conclusion evoked memories of Orient at home last season, when the Stags squandered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2, but in my opinion more closely mirrored Carlisle at home in February, as shown below.

Despite the result feeling like a defeat rather than a draw, there were still plenty of positives to fall back on. The early season performances of Harry Charsley have been interesting to watch. Having joined in January, the initial signs were that Charlsey may be a stop gap until the summer, when Coughlan would be able to bring in his own players, however the dynamic midfielder has cemented himself as a key cog in the starting eleven. As the average position map below shows, Charlsey often finds himself as the Stags most advanced player, making constant runs beyond the two strikers, as well as helping out defensively and often starting the press. His incisive run led to the second goal. Having been picked out by George Maris, Charsley dribbled into the box on the left hand side, reaching the byline before cutting the ball back for Andy Cook to sweep home from 8 yards. The former Everton man ranked highest for shots (2), shots on target (2) and key passes (2). He was close to adding a third for Mansfield when his powerful effort from outside the box was brilliantly saved by Vigouroux. He was also the second most accurate passer of the starting eleven (72.2%). He did again top the list of bad touches, but as his role often involves rushing onto second balls rather than collecting accurate passes, it's not difficult to see how this could occur.


Mansfield struggled for possession against Orient (39%), perhaps by design, with Coughlan saying in the week leading up to the game that they were expecting a technical test. The early signs are that the Stags boss is in no hurry to adapt his tactics to a more possession based style, as only Bradford attempted less passes than The Stags (276) this weekend. However, possession is not the be all and end all. Only two teams had less possession than The Stags in this round of fixtures, and both ran out victorious, keeping clean sheets in the process (Colchester and Crawley). Given their prominent role last weekend, it's no surprise to see that our wing backs again recorded the most touches, but their crossing stats were much reduced, only managing 8 between them, compared with 25 last week. Ryan Sweeney attempted the most passes (36), the second lowest total of any 'top passer' from any other team. A noticeable trait was Sweeney playing long, diagonal passes from left to right towards Cook or Bowery, with O'Keeffe and Charsley backing up and providing an overload. Sweeney has enjoyed a good start to the seasons, winning 9 out of 10 aerial duels contested.

Orient were, as anticipated, a very smart, technical side. James Brophy caught the eye for contrasting reasons. His mishit backpass forced him into fouling Andy Cook, leading to Bowery's opening goal from the spot. However, on the ball, Brophy was instrumental. He had the most touches of any player in League Two (107), and attempted 72 passes. This was the most of any Orient player, and double the amount attempted by Ryan Sweeney. Having got themselves back into the game following a scrappy rebound, one of the left backs 4 key passes assisted The O's equalising goal. Brophy played a one two down the left, dribbled past Menayese and then cut the ball back for Sotoriou to convert into the empty net, Stech having left his position to confront the full back. Ollie Clarke failed to track Brophy's run, incurring the wrath of Coughlan post mach for his lack of concentration, as well at attempting to score from the halfway line with just a couple of minutes remaining when the opportunity to retain possession should have been the preferred option.

So two points from a possible six, a total which Graham Coughlan believes is four short of where it should have been based on performances. Personally, I think Orient were worth a point based on the overall picture of the game, but certainly having got themselves two goals in front with 82 minutes on the clock, it is easy to see where Coughlan was coming from. The Stags are scheduled to face Exeter at home on Saturday, but the game could be in doubt following the revelation that some members of the Orient squad have tested positive for COVID-19. The Grecians have only one point from a possible six, but it appears they may have been similarly unlucky thus far. 

Top Stats

Shots : Clarke, Charsley, Maris (2)
Key Passes : Charsley (2) Clarke, Maris, O'Keeffe, Cook, Bowery (1)
Passes : Sweeney (36), Stech (30), Menayese, Bowery (28)
Passing Accuracy : Bowery (82.1%), Charsley (72.2%), Clarke (66.7%)
Aerial Duels Won : Rawson (4), Cook, Menayese (3)
Touches : O'Keeffe (60), Benning (58), Sweeney (43)

See you all next week. Up The Stags!