{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
4 - 1
 Ebbsfleet United
Hutchinson 15, Stone OG 36, Howell 70, Green pen 77.
 Enver-Marum 23.
Attendance: 1845 (44 from Ebbsfleet)
Date: 8 December 2012


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium

Mansfield Town returned to their league programme after a break for cup matches, with a thumping 4-1 win over Ebbsfleet United this afternoon at the One Call Stadium. The Stags were irresistible going forward with terrific performances from Clements, Hutchinson, Briscoe and Green in particular. At the back there was a very welcome return for the Conference’s top goalkeeper Alan Marriott, and Lee Beevers was excellent in defence, but the rest of the defence left something to be desired, lacking pace and decisiveness. Hutchinson put the Stags in front with a lovely finish after great play by Clements on 15 minutes. Ebbsfleet equalised when the Stags defence allowed Enver-Marum to burst forward and score on 23 minutes. Briscoe’s shot was deflected in by Stone to put the Stags back in front on 36 minutes (and review of the match DVD shows that Briscoe’s shot was heading just wide). The Stags were good value for the lead at half time and increased the lead on 70 minutes with a terrific solo goal from Anthony Howell before Matt Green exorcised his Ebbsfleet demons converting a penalty after Hutchinson had been brought down on 77 minutes. A great win for Mansfield and a confidence boost ahead of the cup replay against Lincoln, who also scored four today, against Dartford. The Stags need more pace in the defence and we see a case for bringing back Ritchie Sutton, probably in place of John Thompson who had another disappointing game. The fans were right behind the team today in an atmosphere reminiscent of last season, and will surely create another intimidating atmosphere on Wednesday as the side aims to earn an FA Cup tie against Liverpool.

audio highlights from the StagsPlayer commentary by Nigel Pinnick and Martin Shaw here.

Mansfield made two changes from the side that drew at Lincoln in the FA Cup, with the long awaited return of keeper Alan Marriott for Shane Redmond, and Anthony Howell replacing Adam Murray who had been ill all week following concussion. Ebbsfleet were without dangerous striker Nathan Elder through injury, while Paul Lorraine who was responsible for Matt Green’s sending off at Stonebridge Road earlier in the season and was astonishingly not sent off himself in that game, was fittingly out through suspension.

Mansfield had an early free kick from a good position after a Barrett foul, which Clements put into the wall. On 2 minutes, Meikle’s cross was deflected for a corner and a series of corners followed. At the other end on 5 minutes, Marriott’s first touch came when he collected Enver-Marum’s deflected shot high above his head. On 13 minutes, an Ebbsfleet corner went through everyone and was just missed by early substitute Azeez at the far post.

The Stags were ahead on 15 minutes with a classy bit of football involving Briscoe, Green and Clements. A crisp pass from Clements found Hutchinson just outside the box and Hutchinson curled a terrific finish past England C goalkeeper Preston Edwards.

On 19 minutes, Green had a shot from a tight angle which was palmed away for a corner. From the resulting corner, Hutchinson had a shot blocked. On 22 minutes, Green got past two defenders on the right and shot over from a tight angle, with better options of Hutchinson and Meikle available inside.

Ebbsfleet were level on 23 minutes. A ball through the middle by Preston Edwards was headed on and left the defence flat-footed as Enver-Marum was through on goal and fired low into the net for a good finish. It was a blow for the Stags who had dominated.

Briscoe fired wide from a tight angle on 27 minutes. A bit of show-boating from Clements on 28 minutes in the middle of the park, probably trying to get himself on Soccer AM. Phil Walsh tried an audacious shot from 40 yards on 32 minutes which was a couple of yards over the bar.

The Stags were back in front on 36 minutes. Meikle’s cross from the left was volleyed by Briscoe right footed, and was heading just wide before deflecting off Stone and into the net. A little bit of luck that Mansfield deserved.

On 38 minutes, a great ball by Clements and both Green and Hutchinson had shots blocked. A comedy moment on 39 minutes as the ball slipped out of the impressive Beevers’ hands as he went to take a throw. On 40 minutes, Hutchinson’s ball forward and Green had a shot pushed away before Hutchinson’s rebound was straight at the keeper.

A good first half from the Stags who were good going forward through Clements, Hutchinson and Green but a little shaky at the back with Dempster and Geohaghon and Thompson caught in possession too many times.

Half time 2-1

Ebbsfleet had to make a change in goal on 50 minutes as Lucas Menz replaced the injured Preston Edwards. A great flick by Howell on 55 minutes was perfectly into Briscoe’s path and Briscoe’s powerful cross was straight into the keeper’s arms.

Ebbsfleet had a shot from a tight angle on 67 minutes which Marriott couldn’t hold and went behind for a corner. From the resulting corner, Azeez appeared to be tripped by Briscoe and Mansfield were possibly lucky not to concede a penalty (review of the match DVD suggests the Stags were indeed lucky).

On 70 minutes, Mansfield extended the lead. A great run forward by Howell, and he thundered a left footed shot into the bottom left corner of the net from outside the box. A great solo goal.

On 74 minutes, Howell headed wide from a Clements free kick.

The Stags extended the lead even further on 77 minutes. Hutchinson was clearly tripped by Phil Walsh in the area and the referee pointed to the spot for a stonewall penalty with no complaints. Green stepped up and sent keeper Menz the wrong way dispatching it into the left corner of the net. The togetherness of the players was evident as all ten outfield players celebrated the goal together.

Lee Stevenson came on for Hutchinson on 80 minutes with Hutchinson receiving a deserved standing ovation. Stevenson was straight into the action firing wide of the right post. Speight replaced Green on 82 as a precautionary measure with Green having been booked for kicking the ball after away after an offside decision, and then Wright replaced Briscoe. Clements had a shot blocked a minute into injury time and Ebbsfleet keeper Menz got away with a fluffed clearance on 90+2.

A great ovation for the players at full time. The good atmosphere is back at Field Mill and long may it continue. Mansfield have taken ten points from the last four league games and are starting to get on a roll, as we approach the Christmas period.

Man of the match: Ben Hutchinson/Chris Clements

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium

Line Up:
Marriott 6 Great to see him back. Had a quiet afternoon.
Thompson 5 Poor. Didn’t look convincing at right back.
Dempster 6 Not his best game but did ok.
Geohaghon 6 Disappointing first half but improved in the second half. Gave the ball away a few times. With no target man, he didn’t take many long throws.
Beevers 7 Good, the pick of the defence.
Briscoe 7 Lively and gave the defence some problems.
Howell 7 Took his goal brilliantly. Solid in midfield.
Clements 8 Very good. Classy and created a lot from midfield.
Meikle 6 Good cross for the second goal, and did ok but ran up too many blind alleys. Tracked back well.
Hutchinson 8 Very good. Fine finish for his goal, won the penalty, and gave the defenders some headaches.
Green 7 Sharp. Deserved his goal from the penalty spot. Four goals in the last 6 games.
Sub Line Up:
Stevenson (for Hutchinson, 80) -
Speight (for Green, 82) -
Wright (for Briscoe, 85) -
Subs not used: Sutton, Rhead.
Opposition Line Up:
Edwards (Menz 50); Stone, Blake, Walsh, Howe; Bellamy (Azeez 13), Barrett, Phipp, Carew; Enver-Marum (Ashikodi 83), Godden. Subs not used: Greenhalgh, Folkes.
Brett Huxtable (Devon) 7 Good game, though should have awarded Ebbsfleet a penalty.

Season 12/13 Reports