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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Alfreton Town  
0 - 3
 Mansfield Town
 Geohaghon 43, Daniel 57, Dempster 72.
Attendance: 1537 (756 from Mansfield)
Date: 1 January 2013


Martin Shaw at the Impact Arena

Mansfield Town bounced back from the dreadful Boxing Day defeat to Alfreton, with a thumping 3-0 win this afternoon against the same opponents. It could have been 6-0 in the end as the Stags missed a hatful of chances in the second half. On the other hand, with the score at only 1-0, Alfreton were denied a clear penalty when Clayton was brought down by Marriott, having knocked the ball past him. The referee booked Clayton for diving (and the dangerous centre forward had to be substituted later after losing his rag and coming close to getting sent off). The decision was the rub of the green that Alfreton got on Boxing Day for their second goal. Following the non-award of the penalty, the Stags broke straight to the other end and made it 2-0, through Daniel after great play from Meikle. The Stags made it 3-0 on 72 minutes when a free kick from Clements was flicked home by Dempster for his second goal of the season, both goals coming against Alfreton. After that the Stags mixed six glorious chances to make it a massacre, but it didn’t really matter. In the first half, the Stags were marginally the better side and took the lead on 43 minutes when Dempster headed back a corner from Clements, and Geohaghon headed home from close range. This was the Stags’ second consecutive away win in the league, after the win all the way back on 20 November at Macclesfield, so the away form that was so awful in the first part of the season is now improving. Mansfield can now focus on an exciting FA Cup tie against Liverpool when the focus of the world will be on The One Call Stadium.

Box Paul Cox made three changes from Boxing Day. Thompson came back for the suspended Sutton. Murray came back from injury (his last game was at home to Matlock) in place of the injured Briscoe (back spasms). And Daniel came in for Hutchinson. The formation was 4-5-1, with Murray in front of the back four, and Clements pushing forward just behind Green. Meikle was on the right of midfield and Daniel on the left. Cox preferred to describe it as 4-3-3 with Meikle and Daniel up front.

Alfreton had the first chance on 7 minutes when Nathan Arnold cut inside and fired wide. On 10 minutes, good play from Thompson to find Clements who cut inside and fired low and hard but well wide. Arnold broke down the right on 11 minutes, cut inside Geohaghon, and his left footed shot was well saved by Marriott. Good play by Meikle on 13 minutes as he teed up Clements but his shot was high and wide. A minute later, the Stags had a free kick 28 yards from goal which Clements blazed high and wide.

On 18 minutes, a ball was cleared to Murray who sent a first time effort wide of the right post. On 23 minutes, Thompson crossed from the right and Daniel, unmarked, headed wide. Good play from Green on 30 minutes as he cut the ball back to Daniel who side footed a shot which was deflected just wide. A good move from the Stags on 32 minutes and Daniel was in the action again but his shot from a central position was easily saved. A minute later at the other end, Clayton found Arnold whose shot was blocked. A Stags corner on 35 minutes was deflected on to the roof of the net. Moments later, the Stags were awarded a throw in on the left hand side. Clements was about to take it but threw the ball down in disgust as Beevers came across to take it instead.

Alfreton came within a whisker of taking the lead on 39 minutes. Clayton controlled a great ball forward and stabbed a shot past Marriott and just wide of the right post.

The Stags were in front on 43 minutes. A corner from the left by Clements found Dempster unmarked who headed the ball back across goal and Geohaghon nipped in in front of the defence to head home from close range. Clements, who looked terribly out of sorts, was noticeably the only player not to celebrate the goal.

The Stags could have increased the lead on 45 minutes. Another corner from Clements came out to Murray on the edge of the box who headed the ball forward and Dempster turned and his shot was deflected wide. Moments later, Murray had a shot from outside the box which fizzed just wide of the left post as the Stags finished the half on top.

Half time 0-1

On 53 minutes, great play by Meikle dribbling past several defenders and sliding the ball through to Daniel on the left who blazed over.

A key moment of the game came on 56 minutes. Clayton was through on goal with just Marriott to beat. He nicked the ball past Marriott and was clearly caught by Marriott going down in the process. The referee immediately booked Clayton for diving. A review of the DVD shows that Clayton got to the ball first and was certainly brought down.

The Stags went straight to the other end and made it 2-0. Green broke down the right hand side and his shot from a tight angle was saved. It came back to Meikle who passed the ball across the face of the goal to Daniel who slid in at the far post to score from close range.

On 60 minutes, Thompson was booked for a late tackle. The frustrated Clayton, not involved in the incident, pushed Thompson in the face and was lucky to get away without a second yellow card. Alfreton boss Nicky Law substituted Clayton shortly afterwards.

The Stags nearly made it 3-0 on 66 minutes when Dempster’s diving header from a Clements’ cross was cleared off the line. On 67 minutes, a header from Howell was cleared off the line, this time from a cross from Daniel and seconds later, Beevers curled a shot just wide.

It was 3-0 on 72 minutes. Clements took a free kick, side footing it into the box and Dempster nipped in to flick the ball home. Review of the DVD shows that Dempster and Clements were in conversation before the free kick showing that it was pre-planned.

On 74 minutes, Alfreton nearly scored a consolation as Arnold’s close range shot was saved by Marriott, it came back to hit Arnold and went wide. A minute later a free kick from Josh Law, the manager’s son, was headed wide. Hutchinson replaced Clements on 78 minutes. On 81 minutes, great skill by Howell as he flicked the ball up past the defender but then volleyed wide. A minute later, Green was through but his shot was saved, it came back to Daniel who was dispossessed. Green was through again on 83 minutes, he cut inside and his shot was deflected just wide. On 85 minutes, a free kick from Hutchinson was headed over his own bar by a defender. A minute later, a Geohaghon long throw was headed on and smothered on his line by the keeper. A minute into stoppage time, an Alfreton shot was blocked and Arnold sent the follow up well wide. Straight to the other end and a superb one-two between Beevers and Murray and a side footed shot by Beevers was blocked. A minute after that, Emerton shot into the side netting and then another shot by Emerton was saved by Marriott as Tomlinson slid in.

Man of the match: John Dempster

Report by: Martin Shaw at the Impact Arena

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Good handling and a good save from Arnold in the first half. Got lucky when he brought down Clayton in the second half and the ref booked Clayton for diving.
Thompson 7 Good game and showed some promise moving forward as well.
Dempster 8 Very good in defence and again looked dangerous in the opposition box. Scored one, made another for Geohaghon, and was close with a shot.
Geohaghon 8 Back to his best after the poor game on Boxing Day. Powerful in defence, and deserved his goal.
Beevers 7 Continued his fine form at left back.
Meikle 8 Terrorised the Alfreton defence, running at them, and creating lots of danger.
Murray 8 Started slowly, but excellent in front of the back four after that. So close to a cracking goal on the stroke of half time.
Howell 8 Powerful in the middle of the park against his former side. Great skill to create a chance for himself that he then volleyed wide.
Clements 6 Strangely out of sorts, playing in an attacking midfield role. Most of his corners were awful, but set up the first goal with a fine corner onto Dempster’s head, and the third goal with a free kick into Dempster’s path. Noticeably did not celebrate with the other players after the first two goals, and threw the ball away in a hissy fit when Beevers came over to take a long throw. May have been upset by abuse from the Alfreton fans telling him to come and sit next to them in the stand. Substituted on 78 minutes looking forlorn. Boss Paul Cox explained it as just an off day. Was poor but gets a rating of 6 thanks to his contribution to two goals.
Daniel 8 Excellent after a slow start. Deserved his goal after going close earlier.
Green 7 Good game, working hard for the team. Could have done with a goal to boost his confidence, having two good chances in the last few minutes.
Sub Line Up:
Hutchinson (for Clements, 54) - Looked sharp having been unlucky to be dropped.
Subs not used: Jones, Speight, Rhead, Stevenson.
Opposition Line Up:
Barnes, Law, Quinn, Killock, Brown, Bradley (Emerton 80), Franks, Russell (Meadows 63), Arnold, Tomlinson, Clayton (Taylor 63). Subs not used: Streete, Wilson.
Ross Joyce 5 Gave the Stags a lucky break booking Clayton when he should have awarded a penalty.

Season 12/13 Reports