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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
1 - 0
 Forest Green Rovers
Rhead 89.
Attendance: 2019 (60 from Forest Green)
Date: 13 October 2012


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium

A back-header by Matt Rhead from an Exodus Geohaghon long throw with just a minute left was enough to earn Mansfield Town a welcome three points against early pace-setters Forest Green Rovers at Field Mill this afternoon. It brought huge relief to home fans, players and staff alike after a run that had seen the Stags drop off the pace in the league table. A very even game could have gone either way, with both sides playing some good football. The Stags were denied a penalty when Rhead appeared to be pushed in the back on 85 minutes, while both keepers made fabulous saves with Liam Mitchell saving superbly one handed from Matty Taylor, and Sam Russell making a great save from a Colin Daniel volley.

It is interesting to compare where the Stags are compared to where they were before last season's 1-0 win over Forest Green at Field Mill on 7 January 2012. Going in to that game against Forest Green last season, the Stags had played 26 games with 39 points. An average points per game of 1.5. The win against Forest Green last season was the start of the club’s fantastic run with only 2 defeats in the final 20 games that took them to the remarkable tally of 89 points. This season the Stags have now played 14 games with 21 points. An average points per game of 1.5, exactly the same as at 7 January 2012.

After this victory, only Newport have a better home record than the Stags this season (goal difference aside). Now to sort out the away form!!

Manager Paul Cox made only one change from the side that drew with Lincoln. Exodus Geohaghon returned from injury in place of the injured Ryan Tafazolli, in a three man defence. The strength of Forest Green’s squad was highlighted by having the highly paid Magno Viera (signed from Fleetwood) and Reece Styche on the bench.

The Stags had the first chance on 2 minutes when, from Roberts’ free-kick, Geohaghon’s close range effort struck the heel of a defender. Forest Green’s first chance came on 9 minutes when Norwood’s shot was blocked. A glorious chance for Forest Green on 13 minutes as Klukowski was through on the left. Mitchell came out and made himself big but it was a bad miss as Klukowski fired wide of the right post from 8 yards.

Another Roberts free kick on 19 minutes and another chance for Geohaghon as he headed wide. Then on 22 minutes, Roberts had a shot blocked and the ball came out to Daniel who sent a terrific 25 yards volley towards the top left corner of the net where keeper Sam Russell made a brilliant save. From the resulting corner by Roberts, Rhead headed wide. Moments later, Russell dropped a corner, but got away with it.

On 35 minutes, a chance for Forest Green as Forbes shot from the left just past the right post and just out of reach of Norwood. Two minutes later, Hodgkiss crossed from the right and Norwood headed over.

Forest Green had the ball in the net on 39 minutes but Klukowski had deliberately charged into Mitchell knocking him over in the process. A half chance for Matt Green on 45 minutes but the ball was taken off his toe by Paul Green.

An improved first half by the Stags from Tuesday’s first half, and a very even game.

Half time 0-0

Five minutes inside the second half, the Stags had an excellent spell like they did early in the second half against Lincoln. On 50 minutes, Dempster back-headed a Geohaghon long throw, but it was an easy save for the keeper. A scare for Mansfield on 57 minutes as Murray was penalised for a foul. The ref got the red card out of his pocket by mistake, and then proceeded to show a yellow.

The game was still so even, with both teams playing reasonably well.

A brilliant save by Stags loanee keeper Liam Mitchell on 62 minutes. Matty Taylor had a free header from 6 yards and Mitchell got down low to his right to claw the ball away.

Meikle replaced the out of sorts Matt Green on 64 minutes. There were boos for Green being taken off and chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” to Paul Cox, but I’m sure Green himself would admit he wasn’t at his best.

Meikle was straight into the action on 66 minutes with a positive run forward and it looked like he got a push in the back but the referee waved play on.

From another Roberts free-kick on 71 minutes, Dempster headed the ball up in the air, and got another bite at the cherry as he headed over the bar. Two minutes later, Rhead sent a snap shot just wide of the right post from 20 yards. At the other end, Matty Taylor fired over.

Briscoe replaced Todd on 77 minutes.

The Stags had claims for a penalty on 85 minutes when Rhead appeared to be pushed in the back inside the box. Moments later, a similar foul on Rhead in the middle of the park and the referee gave it.

The Stags had an escape on 88 minutes as keeper Mitchell’s clearance hit Geohaghon and was heading towards the net before it hit Sutton and bounced away. Quite why Mitchell chose to kick the clearance away was not clear when he could have picked the ball up.

The Stags got the ball straight up field and won a throw-in halfway inside the Forest Green half. Geohaghon took it and hurled it straight towards goal. Rhead got a flick on it and sent it into the right corner of the net giving the keeper no chance. Field Mill erupted with joy and relief.

In stoppage time, Briscoe had a shot at goal which Russell saved diving low to his right.

There were no scares as the Stags held on to win for the first time in 5 attempts.

A break from the league now, with a trip to Workington in the FA Cup, and the Stags first visit there since the days of Dave Smith in the 1974/75 record breaking Division IV championship season, winning 3-1 with two goals by Jimmy McCaffrey and one by Gordon Hodgson. McCaffrey by coincidence was a welcome visitor to Field Mill today.

Man of the match: Liam Mitchell

Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium

Line Up:
Mitchell 8 Wonderful one handed save in the second half. Handling was generally good and when he elected to punch he always got good distance. Heart stopping moment when his clearance hit Geohaghon seconds before the winner.
Sutton 7.5 Really good game in a three man defence.
Dempster 7.5 Defended well.
Geohaghon 7.5 Fans text-vote man of the match. Defended well and hurled in the decisive long-throw.
Todd 6 Not at his best, but a determined display. Once when he lost the ball he did brilliantly to win it back
Roberts 6 Some decent free kicks.
Murray 6 Worked very hard. Decent game.
Daniel 6 Unlucky with a terrific volley that was brilliantly saved.
Rhead 7.5 The winning goal with a good header. Unlucky with a shot that whistled past the post, and was clearly fouled for what should have been a penalty on 85 minutes.
Speight 6 Did ok.
Green 5 Disappointing game. Just not quite 100% sharp in the box.
Sub Line Up:
Meikle (for Green, 64) 8 Terrorised the Forest Green defence by running at them. Very positive.
Briscoe (for Todd, 77) -
Subs not used: Beevers, Howell, Stevenson.
Opposition Line Up:
Russell; Hodgkiss, Turley, Racine, Asafu-Adjaye; Forbes, Paul Green (Vieira 65), Brogan (Wright 75); Norwood (Koroma 87), Taylor, Klukowski. Subs not used: Styche, Rowe.
Ross Joyce (Billingham) 7 Handled the game very well.

Season 12/13 Reports