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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Stockport County  
1 - 3
 Mansfield Town
Meaney 81.
 Daniel 38, Stevenson 40, Green pen 45+3.
Attendance: 2647 (139 from Mansfield)
Date: 15 January 2013


Martin Shaw at Edgeley Park

A very comfortable win for Mansfield Town at a poor Stockport County side on Tuesday night came thanks to a terrific spell of three goals in ten minutes at the end of the first half. The Stags cold have been behind early on as Hattersley sent a free header over, then on 8 minutes Stockport were awarded a penalty as Sutton tried to block a cross, and it deflected off his leg onto his hand. The hapless Hattersley pulled a soft shot wide of the left post. Marriott dived well and might have even saved it had it been going inside the post. The recalled Lee Stevenson had a shot blocked but Stockport were slightly the better side in the opening half hour. Two good corners from Adam Murray then created chances for Beevers and Dempster before the Stags took the lead on 38 minutes as Daniel powered in a free kick from inside the D outside the penalty area, exactly the same position from which Kidderminster scored on Saturday. The kick went straight through the wall and nearly took the net with it. Two minutes later it was 2-0 as Beevers’ free kick reached Green on the right of the penalty area, he turned and his cross-cum-shot was deflected into the path of Stevenson who was poaching at the far post to tuck home on the volley and celebrate wildly with the Stags fans. In stoppage at the end of the first half, from another good corner by Murray, Dempster was blatantly and absurdly pushed over by the hapless Hattersley, who was having a game resembling Jonathan Walters for Stoke against Chelsea at the weekend. Green confidently stepped up and slammed the penalty into the top left corner. The game was clearly over and the Stags looked very comfortable in the second half though were unable to add to the lead. Stockport gained nothing more than a consolation on 81 minutes when Whitehead hit the inside of the right post and sub Meaney knocked in the rebound.

A good night for the Stags, who have now won 3 away games on the trot in the league, whilst losing 2 home games on the trot in the league. And all that after having previously the equal best home record and one of the worst away records in the league. The Stags now desperately need a consistent spell after a spell of win one/lose one.

Boss Paul Cox brought back Luke Jones for Geohaghon who was out with a tight hamstring. Sutton came in for Thompson, having replaced him at half time on Saturday. Lee Stevenson came in as an attacking midfielder, to bring more goals from midfield, with Clements having had three consecutive poor games in the league and not having scored all season. Daniel came in for Briscoe. Boss Cox described it as a 4-3-3 formation with Meikle and Daniel alongside Green. I would describe it as 4-1-3-1-1 with Murray in front of the back four, Stevenson behind Green, and Meikle and Daniel either side of Howell, but it’s fluid and hard to capture in one description! Cox revealed before the game that Speight may have to have a knee operation, and that Luke O’Neill will not be joining the club on loan as Burnley want to use him, having put him on the bench at the weekend.

The pitch was only playable thanks to the excellent job of the pitch covers that were only taken off at 6.30pm. It was so cold in the area that I nearly slipped over in the ice as I got out of my car in the car park when I arrived.

The first chance fell to Stockport on 4 minutes when Hattersley sent a free header over the bar from a corner with Marriott nowhere.

The home side were awarded a penalty on 8 minutes when Sutton tried to cut out a cross Halls. The ball was deflected up off Sutton’s leg on to his hand and the referee awarded a penalty. Hattersley stepped up and struck the outside of the post with a tame effort.

The Stags’ first chance came on 16 minutes when Green got into the box on the left hand side and Stevenson’s shot from 6 yards was blocked. On 26 minutes, Marriott got down low to his left to make a good save from a header by Hattersley from a cross from the left.

On 35 minutes, Murray’s excellent corner was headed goalwards by Beevers and tipped on to the top of the bar by the keeper. From the resulting corner, another good one by Murray, Dempster headed wide.

The Stags were ahead on 38 minutes. Howell was fouled inside the D in a central position. Daniel took it and belted it straight through the wall and into the middle of the net.

Two minutes later, it was 2-0. A free kick from Beevers from the left hand side was flicked on to Green who turned well and his attempted shot was going wide and was deflected into the path of Stevenson who volleyed home at the far post from close range.

On 42 minutes, Marriott had to tip wide a 30 yard shot from Whitehead.

The Stags sealed the game 3 minutes into stoppage time at the end of the first half. From another excellent Murray corner, Dempster was clearly pushed over by Hattersley. Green took the spot kick and buried it high into the net on the left.

Half time 0-3

On 55 minutes, Kenyon flicked just wide from a Newton corner. Then on the hour, a great ball forward from Dempster but Green couldn’t quite get on the end of it. The Stags were nearly 4-0 in front on 66 minutes. Murray’s free kick was knocked down by Jones, and Howell fired wide of the left post when he should have got it on target. A superb run forward from Dempster on 69 minutes and he found Meikle with a good ball and Meikle’s cross was just in front of Stevenson.

Briscoe replaced the out-of-sorts Meikle on 70 minutes. Two minutes later, Dempster, already having been booked, was lucky to escape a second booking with a rash challenge. Kenyon was well wide for Stockport shortly afterwards, and then at the other end, Howell turned and shot straight at the keeper. On 76 minutes, Daniel’s free kick from 26 yards was straight into the wall. Jennings fired just over for Stockport on 78 minutes. A good burst forward from Briscoe on 80 minutes and he sent a shot just wide of the left post.

Stockport bagged a consolation goal on 81 minutes. Whitehead made a good run into the box and he fired against the inside of the right post. The rebound was knocked in by Meaney.

On 85 minutes, Briscoe played a good ball forward for Green who cut inside but his shot was deflected straight to the keeper. Marriott saved above his head from a shot by Jennings on 89 minutes, and 3 minutes into stoppage time, a Stockport cross was headed down and Tunnicliffe fired over.

Man of the match: Matt Green

Report by: Martin Shaw at Edgeley Park

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Early mistake not coming for a corner but played well after that, and probably would have saved the penalty if it had been just inside the post.
Sutton 7 Defended very solidly. Unlucky to concede the penalty when the ball deflected off his leg onto his hand. One particularly awful cross from in front of the Stags fans wouldn’t have gone down well, and he really needs to work on his crossing.
Dempster 7 Good game. Very solid at the back and earned the penalty when pushed over. One incredible run forward was out of character but excellent and made him look more like Franz Beckenbauer. Very lucky not to pick up a second yellow card with a bad foul.
Jones 7 Slotted straight back into the side very well in place of the injured Geohaghon, and looked good. Deserves to keep his place in the side even if Big Ex is for for Saturday.
Beevers 7 Good game. Defended well and some good work going forward.
Murray 7.5 Very good, just in front of the back four. Consistently put in good corners that gave Jones and Dempster a chance to attack them.
Meikle 5 Disappointing. The game seemed to pass him by, though as always he continued to work hard.
Howell 7 Decent game.
Daniel 7 Blistering free kick to open the scoring and change the game. Only the Stags second goal direct from a free kick all season, both by Daniel.
Stevenson 7 Brought in to increase the number of goals from midfield and he did that. Decent game in an offensive role.
Green 8 Looked very sharp from the off. The best Stags player in the opening stages when the team didn’t have the best start, and continued to play very well. Deserved his goal from the penalty spot, clinically taken, and put the second goal on a plate for Stevenson.
Sub Line Up:
Briscoe (for Meikle, 70) 7 Replaced the out of sorts Meikle and looked hungry with a couple of good runs.
Subs not used: Thompson, Clements, Wright, Rhead.
Opposition Line Up:
O'Donnell, Halls (Mainwaring, 46), Newton, Connor, Tunnicliffe, Whitehead, Kenyon, Hattersley (Collins, 46), Nolan (Meaney, 77), Fagbola, Jennings. Subs not used: Ormson, Hobson.
Darren Handley 6 Got the two penalties right even though Sutton was unlucky. Very generous to Dempster not giving him a second yellow, and did the same to a Stockport player shortly afterwards

Season 12/13 Reports