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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
2 - 1
 Oxford United
Williams 20, Speight 24.
 
 Constable 73.
Attendance: 3,933 (637 from Oxford)
 
Date: 22 September 2009

SUPER STAGS BEAT LEADERS OXFORD IN EPIC ENCOUNTER

Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Mansfield Town beat previously unbeaten Oxford United in a thunderous match at Field Mill on Tuesday night. Mansfield deservedly went two-nil ahead midway through the first half, with super finishes from Ryan Williams and Jake Speight, after Speight had earlier crashed a shot against the post. Oxford nearly pulled a goal back when Jamie Cook fired a piledriver against the post on the stroke of half-time. But they did make it 2-1 when Constable converted Adam Murray's cross on 73 minutes, to set up a frantic finale as the Stags somehow hung on, with Jamie Cook again hitting the bar on 90 minutes. It was a wonderful match - an incredible advert for the Blue Square Premier - and gets the Stags well and truly back on track after a run of 5 winless games.

Highlights of Stagsworld commentary here

To download a podcast of the Stagsworld commentary, click below
1st half 2nd half

Mansfield made three changes from the starting eleven that lost at Rushden. Luke Graham replaced Luke Jones, who was ruled out by an ankle injury picked up in training and which will keep him out for 6-8 weeks. Jake Speight came in for Blair Sturrock, and Kyle Nix replaced the suspended Gary Mills. Oxford arrived at Field Mill unbeaten all season and not having conceded a goal for 560 minutes.

The game started in a crackling atmosphere. Silk got in a terrific early tackle on Constable, after Briscoe had given the ball away. On 3 minutes, Green cut inside from the right and fired wide. Stags first chance came on 5 minutes when Williams crossed from the left and Somner did well to get in a header but it was wide of the right post. On 12 minutes, Briscoe found Speight inside the 6 yard box with a lovely pass, but Speight couldn’t control it and a glorious chance had gone.

On 14 minutes, the Stags came within a whisker of taking the lead. Garner had a shot blocked as far as Speight whose low shot from 18 yards hit the right post. Two minutes later, Speight played a ball inside for Briscoe who advanced on goal and his shot from 7 yards was deflected into the side netting.

It was a tremendous start from the Stags in those opening 16 minutes but Oxford hit back with three chances of their own in the next 3 minutes. First Green had a shot which Garner blocked for a corner. Then Bulman had a powerful shot from the edge of the box which Marriott blocked, and finally on 19 minutes, Batt played Green clean through on the right and as Marriott came out of his goal, Green chipped it over him but wide of the right post.

On 20 minutes, the Stags were deservedly in front. Nix headed the ball forward and Speight was through on goal, but his shot was blocked by the keeper, only as far as Williams on the left who sent a delightful left footed chip over the stranded keeper and into the net. Field Mill erupted.

Four minutes later, it was 2-0. A loose ball squirted off Williams to Duffy in the middle. Duffy fed it back to Williams on the left, who slid in a lovely ball for Speight, who sent a rasping shot into the right side of the net.

The Stags next chance came on the half hour. Williams played a pass from the left out to Briscoe on the right and back into Duffy who chipped over the bar from 22 yards. On 34 minutes, Adam Murray sent a free kick straight at Marriott. On 43 minutes, Nix took a free kick from 23 yards but it was well over the bar. Oxford were unlucky not to pull a goal back a minute before the break when Constable chested a ball down to Jamie Cook 23 yards from goal, who sent a fabulous shot crashing against the Stags bar with Marriott nowhere near it.

Half time 2-0

A superb half from Mansfield, that blew Oxford away. But there was still 45 minutes to go, and thoughts went back to the previous game when we had led Stevenage 2-0 only to lose 3-2.

On 47 minutes, Constable was nearly through on goal. Marriott came out to try and get the ball and both players got there at the same time. The ball screwed away and the Stags were glad to see Silk put the loose ball into touch. On 49 minutes, Foster headed over from a corner for Oxford. A minute later there was a scare for the Stags as Marriott claimed a cross and fell awkwardly over Silk. Both players were down for a couple of minutes and fortunately they were able to carry on. The Stags did not have a reserve keeper on the bench.

Chances were at a premium now but on 53 minutes Briscoe let fly from 35 yards and was well over. Clare replaced Speight on 61 minutes and then Sturrock replaced Duffy. On 66 minutes, Briscoe broke into the Oxford box, beat a couple of defenders and managed a goalbound shot but it was blocked.

Oxford started to get up a head of steam in the last 20 minutes and pulled a goal back on 73 minutes. Murray played a ball in from the right hand side and Constable stole in between Garner and Silk to fire past Marriott from just inside the box.

Briscoe had a shot from 18 yards that was easily saved on 76 minutes, as the Stags mounted a rare attack. Istead replaced Williams on 81 minutes.

It was a tense final ten minutes. Marriott turned a dipping Midson effort over the bar, and then right on 90 minutes, Jamie Cook headed against the bar from a cross from the left, with Silk just able to scramble the ball away as Green tried to head in the rebound. The tension was almost unbearable as five minutes of injury time was added on. Three minutes into stoppage time, Constable was nearly in as Midson got a touch on Foster's header, but Marriott was able to gather it. The final whistle brought a massive cheer from the Stags fans, and relief for my ailing voice in the commentary box.

A great night for the Stags.

Man of the match: Kyle Nix

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill



Line Up:
Marriott 8 Great handling as usual.
Silk 8 Superb, whole-hearted display.
Garner 7 Good game, under immense pressure in the second half. Possibly slightly at fault for the goal.
Graham 8 Very good replacement for Luke Jones, in his natural centre-half position.
Armstrong 7 Did well on a tough evening against the dangerous Green and Batt.
Briscoe 7 Played well.
Somner 8 Immense performance, with some superb challenges.
Nix 9 Outstanding, all action display.
Williams 8 Excellent goal. Excellent first half.
Duffy 6 Did ok.
Speight 9 A real handful in the first half, took his goal superbly, and hit the post.
Sub Line Up:
Clare (for Speight, 61) 6
Sturrock (for Duffy, 64) 6
Istead (for Williams, 81) -
Subs Not Used: Gardner, Porter.
Opposition Line Up:
Clarke, Batt, Creighton, Foster, Kinniburgh (Midson 54), Green, Murray (Chapman 87), Bulman, Clist, Constable, Cook. Subs: Turley, Potter, Perry.
Referee:
Tony Harrington (Cleveland) 8 Very good. Handled a tense game expertly.


Season 0910 Reports