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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Macclesfield Town  
0 - 3
 Mansfield Town
 Green 40, Meikle 66, Jones 87.
Attendance: 1272 (202 from Mansfield)
Date: 20 November 2012


Martin Shaw at Moss Rose

Mansfield Town produced a near-perfect away performance to crush Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose on Tuesday night. The Stags away form had been dreadful, in fact the worst in the division, and this performance was long overdue. Luke Jones, replacing the suspended Exodus Geohaghon, produced a man of the match display in central defence, winning everything in the air and capping his display with a goal near the end with a header from a corner. Matt Green, back in the starting line-up after his equaliser off the bench against Luton, scored the opening goal, also with a header from a Chris Clements corner, though Macclesfield keeper Lance Cronin will feel he should have got there first. The second goal was a wonderful goal to watch with crisp passing football involving Green and Briscoe who fed to Meikle to pass the ball into the net. It was pass-pass-pass and just like watching Barcelona, well at least for fifteen seconds anyway! Shane Redmond recovered from his disappointing game against Luton with a fine performance including some crucial saves. The back four were very good, with Thompson at right back and Beevers at left back both playing well, though Beevers was given a torrid time when the fantastic Jack MacReth came on as substitute for Macclesfield. Sutton also looked comfortable alongside Jones. In midfield, Murray who replaced the injured Howell, started slowly but grew into the game and protected the back four superbly in a way that Howell has not been doing recently, while Clements continued his fine form and his corners were deadly. The Stags now have a break from the league with cup ties against Matlock Town in the Trophy and Lincoln City in the FA Cup. Bizarrely after an MTFC vs MTFC contest last night, it is another one on Saturday against Matlock Town FC. Come on Mansfield!

Paul Cox made three changes from the side that played so well in a draw with Luton two days earlier: Luke Jones can in for the suspended Geohaghon (Jones had been training with the youth team as Cox had cut down the number of players training with the first team); Adam Murray replaced Howell who was out with an ankle injury; and Green came in for Wright.

Mansfield played in this season’s away shirt of white, but instead of the usual blue shorts with it, had to play in amber shorts as Macclesfield were in blue shorts. The players arrived in four or five cars. The coach had had trouble getting into the hotel for the pre-match meal apparently, going down a wrong lane, while four or so of the players had turned up separately in their cars. Because of the problems the coach had had, all the players bundled into the cars that they had there to get from the hotel to the ground.

Matt Green had a shot blocked in the opening minute, and moments later Adam Murray sent a shot miles over the bar. On 9 minutes, Green made progress down the left, twisted into the box and fired over the bar. Redmond made a good save, low down, on 17 minutes as he dived on Charlie Henry’s cross-come-shot from the right. A minute later, Holroyd failed to control a ball forward and Luke Jones nipped in to dispossess him. Jones also made several good headers away around this time.

On 22 minutes, Chris Clements curled a shot just wide. Six minutes later, Briscoe crossed from the right and Clements bundled the ball wide. Then on the half hour, Green made a run and unleashed a fine shot from 22 yards that Cronin turned away. From the resulting corner, Jones headed the ball down but it was cleared away. Moments later, Hutchinson shot from distance and Cronin just saved, between his legs, following a good Stags move. Then Clements’s low shot was easy for Cronin. It was a good spell for the Stags.

Out of the blue, Sam Wedgbury, who had one game on loan at the Stags a few years back, sent a vicious shot goalwards from 35 yards, which may have swerved in the air, and Redmond did well to keep it out, parrying it up in the air, before claiming.

On 39 minutes, Briscoe’s free kick from 22 yards was deflected for a corner. From the resulting Chris Clements corner, Green got his head to the ball first to head home from 2 yards, though Macclesfield keeper Lance Cronin will feel he should have got there first. After the game, in fact nearly an hour after the game finished, manager Steve King emerged to speak to the remaining media - three from Macclesfield plus me, and said that the first goal was his goalkeeper’s fault.

On 42 minutes, Redmond had to tip over Henry’s shot which had bounced into the ground and was heading into the roof of the net. Good defending from Sutton on 44 minutes, and he put a cross from Barnes-Homer behind for a corner. On 45+1 minutes, Redmond saved well from Jackson’s left-footed shot which took a little deflection.

As the players came off for half time, the diminutive Kissock had to be held back by his teammates in an altercation with Meikle.

So a deserved lead for the Stags at the break.

Half time 0-1

On 50 minutes, Jackson played a dreadful backpass towards Cronin. Green anticipated it and intercepted. The linesman’s flag went up, clearly not realising it was a backpass - a howler by the official. Meanwhile the referee, who was behind Green waved play on. Green took a couple of steps forward and fired wide with only the keeper to beat. The goal would have stood, but the linesman’s flag may have put Green off.

Wedbury sent a shot well wide on 55 minutes. Brilliant play by Meikle on 58 minutes, getting past 3 defenders before shooting towards the roof of the net and Cronin saved it above his head. A minute later, Clements fired just over from 35 yards. Then a minute after that, Meikle showed more trickery, and his shot was deflected over.

Jack MacReth came on as sub for Macclesfield on 60 minutes, and within a minute he made a great run down the right and crossed for Holroyd, who headed straight at Redmond.

The Stags went further ahead on 66 minutes and what a goal it was. Green pushed forward down the right, and laid a perfect pass back for Briscoe, who took a couple of steps forward and squared for Meikle who side-footed into the net from close range. A wonderful goal of crisp passing.

Redmond was unable to hold a cross on 69 minutes, and Jones was alert to clear it. A minute later, Kieran Murtagh fired wide of the left post. On 72 minutes, Amari-Morgan Smith replaced Matthew Barnes-Homer, to chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” at boss Steve King, from the deluded Macclesfield fans. Barnes-Homer was having a poor game.

Speight replaced Green on 73 minutes. No chanting this time, but applause for Green and his second goal in 2 days.

The impressive MacReth fired into the side netting on 75 minutes. Redmond was booked for time-wasting, somewhat harshly. Stevenson replaced Hutchinson on 79 minutes. On 81 minutes, Wedbury’s shot hit Clements and went wide. From the resulting corner, Kissock’s shot was well-saved by Redmond. Daniel replaced Briscoe on 82 minutes. Speight had a shot parried away on 86 minutes, following Stevenson’s ball forward.

It was 3-0 on 87 minutes. Another pinpoint corner from Clements was met by Luke Jones who headed home from close range. The keeper got a hand to it but couldn’t keep it out.

On 90+4 minutes, Clements’s quick free kick was saved.

At the end of the game, the home fans chanted “what a load of rubbish”. They were quite wrong actually. Macclesfield hadn’t played badly. They were simply outplayed by a superb Mansfield side.

Man of the match: Luke Jones

Report by: Martin Shaw at Moss Rose

Line Up:
Redmond 8 Made some very good saves, and handling was decent.
Thompson 8 Very good at right back.
Jones 9 Outstanding, returning from the wilderness of training with the youth team. Won everything in the air in both boxes and deserved his goal.
Sutton 7 Good game in central defence. No-nonsense defending.
Beevers 7 Excellent against Charlie Henry, but then given a torrid time by outstanding substitute Jack MacReth.
Briscoe 7 Some crisp passing, and a wonderful pass for Meikle’s goal.
Murray 7.5 Started slowly but grew into the game and protected the back four superbly in a way that Howell has not been doing recently. Some good blocks.
Clements 8 High quality crossing.
Meikle 7 Poor first half, but gave the Macc defence the run-around in the second half, and finished off the move for the wonderful second goal.
Hutchinson 7 Good performance playing just behind Green.
Green 7 Another goal, this time with a header from a corner.
Sub Line Up:
Speight (for Green, 73) -
Stevenson (for Hutchinson, 79) -
Daniel (for Briscoe, 82) -
Subs not used: Wright, Rhead.
Opposition Line Up:
Cronin, Jackson, Charnock, Martin, Braham-Barrett, Henry (Mackreth, 60), Murtagh, Wedgbury, Kissock, Barnes-Homer (Morgan-Smith, 72), Holroyd. Subs: Winn, Diagne, Fairhurst.
Karl Evans (Greater Manchester) 7 Handled the game well. Possibly a bit card-happy, booking four Stags players.

Season 12/13 Reports