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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Hayes & Yeading Utd  
1 - 3
 Mansfield Town
Mingoia 37.
 
 Howell 5, Dyer 66, Green 70.
Attendance: 487 (approx 350 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 14 April 2012

STAGS CONFIRM PLAY-OFF PLACE WITH 14th WIN FROM 18

Martin Shaw at Kingfield, Woking FC

Mansfield Town confirmed a place in the play-offs with a 3-1 win over Hayes & Yeading at Kingfield. Mansfield were ahead early on through Anthony Howell’s calm finish but were stunned when Hayes hit back with a goal out of the blue before the break. Ross Dyer’s great left footed goal put the Stags back in front in the second half and another clinical finish by Matt Green made the game safe four minutes later.

Mansfield, with 83 points, have now beaten their previous record points haul in a season since three points for a win was instigated, which was 81 points in 1985/86. This was Mansfield’s 14th win in 18 games since the Christmas break, and 11th win in 13 games with the only two games not won both being against champions Fleetwood. Meanwhile the Stags are the 4th top scorers in English football (after Fleetwood, Sheff Utd, and Man City, and ahead of Man Utd).

Mansfield fans outnumbered Hayes & Yeading fans almost three to one, and were in good voice throughout. Another great day for the Stags. Things just keep getting better and better.

Ross Dyer nets Mansfield's second goal. Photo by Jeff Barnes' mate:


Paul Cox made four changes to the side that beat Stockport on Easter Monday. Roberts replaced the injured Murray. Meikle came back in for Smith. And Dyer returned for Rhead. Finally, in a surprise change, Ben Hutchinson came in for Monday’s magnificent goal hero Briscoe. The Stags were in a 4-3-3 formation with Dyer on the right and Meikle on the left up front alongside Green, and Hutchinson just in front of Howell and Roberts in the middle. Hayes & Yeading included Dan Spence, who played for the Stags last season, at left back. The pitch was bobbly, probably the worst of the season.

On 4 minutes, Cadmore’s free kick was headed down by Phil Walsh, and Riley’s clearance hit Wishart, whose shot was deflected for a corner.

The Stags were in front on 5 minutes. Hutchinson set Green away down the left. Green turned inside and set up Howell 16 yards out, who coolly side-footed into the bottom right corner of the net.

On 11 minutes, Meikle set up Hutchinson for a near-identical chance to Howell’s but Hutchinson put his boot through it and powered it over the bar. After the game, Hutchinson said he should have gone for placement. Green got down the left again, from a good Meikle ball, but instead of squaring for a colleague this time, he tried a shot to the near post and only found the side-netting. It was a good start from the Stags.

Hayes & Yeading started to get a foothold into the game, and Walsh was causing Riley some problems. On 28 minutes, the Stags were within a whisker of a penalty when O’Neill surged forward and was tripped a foot outside the box. Roberts had to take the free kick as O’Neill received treatment and had to leave the pitch momentarily, Dyer knocked it down, and Howell skied a shot over the bar.

On 32 minutes, O’Neill’s corner seemed to be heading for Riley but Walsh just flicked it away, Roberts put the ball back into the middle and Green headed wide. A rare incident on 34 minutes as Pele kicked the ball out of Marriott’s hands as he was about the launch the ball upfield. I was surprised Pele didn’t pick up a yellow card.

It was 1-1 out of the blue on 37 minutes. Cadmore’s free kick from deep was launched to the edge of the box where Walsh outjumped Riley to knock the ball down, and Mingoia, on loan from Watford, nipped in between Geohaghon and O’Neill and poked the ball past Marriott. Sloppy defending all round really.

A good run from Luke Williams on 40 minutes and he got to 20 yards out before firing wide of the right post. A good move from Mansfield on 42 minutes involving Hutchinson, and Meikle’s shot was tipped away by keeper Arnold. On 45+1, Mansfield at last got a head on a Geohaghon long throw, of which there had been several, as Dyer flicked on but it just evaded Green. Then on 45+2 Hutchinson fired just over the bar from 22 yards.

A frustrating half for Mansfield ultimately and Paul Cox was heard at half time by supporters giving his team an absolute rollicking in the changing rooms (through an open window at the back of the stand).

Half time 1-1

On 52 minutes, Jamie Hand played a ball forward for Walsh to chase. Marriott came out with his feet and looked favourite to win it, but Walsh got there first and knocked an effort over Marriott and over the bar. Jamie Hand protested to the ref that it should have been a penalty. On 55 minutes, Bentley headed wide from a ball from the right.

Rhead replaced Hutchinson on 58, and Briscoe replaced Meikle on 63.

The Stags were back in front on 66 minutes. Luke O’Neill’s free kick was booted up in the air by Jamie Hand, and Rhead headed it down allowing Ross Dyer to swing his left foot at it and sent a wonderful shot into the right corner of the net.

And it was 3-1 on 70 minutes. O’Neill fired a ball over the top for Green to run on to down the right. Green got goalside of the defence, rounded the keeper and clinically fired home from a tight angle.

Rhead backheaded a Geohaghon long throw just wide of the far post. Then Roberts showed tenacity on 78 minutes to win the ball on the right touchline, and sent in a great cross that was flicked away from Briscoe by a defender. Roberts had an effort saved on 83 minutes, and then on 85 Briscoe cut in from the left and sent a shot towards the left post which the keeper put behind for a corner.

Great control by Rhead on 86 minutes as he controlled a pass, lobbed it up and volleyed a shot at the keeper from the edge of the box. On 90+1 minutes, Dyer set up Briscoe and Briscoe’s shot from inside the box was parried wide by the keeper.

Hayes had a rare chance on 90+2 minutes when sub Julian Owusu, who scored in the game at Field Mill, was through on the left, and his shot brought a diving save from Marriott.

The final whistle brought slightly muted celebrations considering the play-off place was confirmed, but as manager Cox said after the game, the hard work starts now. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Gary Roberts


Report by: Martin Shaw at Kingfield, Woking FC



Line Up:
Marriott 7 One fine save from Owusu at the end. Good handling.
O'Neill 7 Good game, with some fine set pieces.
Riley 6 Difficult afternoon against the impressive Phil Walsh who won most of the headers. Recovered well in the second half
Geohaghon 6 Solid game.
Sutton 7 Good game, solid defensive display.
Howell 7 Cool finish early on.
Roberts 8.5 Very good game, winning challenges and spraying some fantastic crossfield passes.
Hutchinson 6 Did ok, one or two nice passes to show real promise. Did try some fancy-dan stuff when a simple pass may have sufficed.
Dyer 8 Good game, and capped it with a wonderful finish from the edge of the box with his left foot. A well-deserved goal at a crucial time to send the fans into raptures.
Meikle 7 Some trickery down the left. Set up Hutchinson for a good chance.
Green 8 Set up Howell for the first goal, and took his 29th goal of the season with aplomb. Put the home defence under a lot of pressure.
Sub Line Up:
Rhead (for Hutchinson, 58) 8 Won everything in the air, which switched the momentum back to the Stags.
Briscoe (for Meikle, 63) 7 Very lively and unlucky not to score.
Subs Not Used: Redmond, Andrew, Worthington.
Opposition Line Up:
Arnold, Argent, Cadmore, Pele, Spence; Williams, Hand, Bentley (Collins, 85), Mingoia (Owusu, 73); Walsh, Wishart (Warren, 73). Subs (not used): Beasant, Wickham.
Referee:
Andy Davies 7 Handled the game well.


Season 11/12 Reports