{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
1 - 0
 AFC Telford United
Green 50.
 Watson sent off 75.
Attendance: 2725 (67 from Telford)
Date: 2 March 2013


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium

Mansfield Town made it nine wins from the last ten games thanks to a well taken goal from leading scorer Matt Green early in the second half against bottom of the league AFC Telford. Mansfield had hit the woodwork four times in the first half, and it looked like it might be of those days until Green pounced on defensive hesitancy for a finish similar to his goal against Dartford. Briscoe hit the underside of the bar with a piledriver, then Murray sent a volley against the bar from the edge of the box, Daniel should have scored from close range but somehow managed to hit the post, and Stevenson sent a cross-come-shot onto the top of the bar. Telford had chances to snatch an unlikely point as experienced striker Steve Jones was thwarted by a fine save from Alan Marriott when he was through one-on-one in the first half, and in stoppage time at the end of the game Mansfield hearts were in mouths as a header from Jordan Rose dropped wide of the right post. A deserved three points for the Stags who move into third place and the chase for the title gets hotter.

On a sunny and mild afternoon, Mansfield made one change from the side that won at Lincoln, as Dempster dropped out through injury and was replaced by Sutton, who made a rare appearance as centre half rather than full back. Geohaghon provided defensive cover on the bench. The forgotten man of Field Mill, Jamie Tolley was also on the bench, having not played since the second game of the season when he was subbed after 11 minutes. Louis Briscoe was wearing new luminous green boots and would have to play well to justify wearing them! Former Stags loan player Nialle Rodney was on the bench for Telford. Telford were without a manager as Mark Cooper had left on Friday to go to Swindon as assistant manager. In an incredible statistic, this was the Stags’ third consecutive game against a side without a manager, and we think this was a good time to play these three sides, as opposed to playing them just after they had appointed a new manager.

Mansfield were on the front foot from the offset, and within 15 seconds Clements fired wide of the left post. On 4 minutes, Green had a shot blocked. Then a minute later, Briscoe sent a fabulous shot from 25 yards thundering off the underside of the bar and bouncing out. On 7 minutes, Stevenson crossed across the edge of the box and Daniel had a shot blocked. The Stags were completely on top in the opening 15 minutes winning all the 50:50 balls and putting together several good passages of play. Out of the blue, Telford had their first chance on 16 minutes as Jordan Rose sent a free header wide from an Ian Craney free kick - poor marking from the Stags. A good move from the Stags on 17 minutes, involving Beevers, Clements and Green, and Briscoe sent a 22 yard shot just over. Telford appeared to be gaining confidence from the Stags failing to score, and on 28 minutes they should have been ahead. Steve Jones got a lucky ricochet as the ball bounced off his face and he was clean through one-on-one against Marriott. As he drove forward, he actually shook his head, clearly suffering from the impact, Marriott came out to close the angle and saved brilliantly from his shot. Jones was not able to continue shortly afterwards and had to be substituted.

Mansfield were unlucky again on 32 minutes as Murray sent a volley from the edge of the box against the crossbar. Superb technique from Murray - it would have been the sort of goal we saw regularly from him in his first spell for the club. On 36 minutes, Daniel powered a free kick from a good position straight into the wall. From the resulting throw-in, Daniel volleyed over the bar. A minute later, with the Stags firmly on the front foot, Luke Jones had a shot which spun just wide of the right post.

A double chance for the Stags on 40 minutes. Green crossed from the right and Daniel, at the far post, knocked the ball onto the post with the goal at his mercy. He should have scored. Then Stevenson chipped a cross-come-shot onto the top of the bar. It was the Stags’ fourth effort against the woodwork. On 45+3, Telford sub Graham crossed from the left across the face of goal and somehow it was missed by Jordan Rose as Telford claimed a penalty. The Stags broke straight to the other end as Stevenson made a run down the left and his low shot was saved by keeper Ryan Young.

A frustrating half for the Stags who should have had the game wrapped up and on another day could have three or four goals ahead.

Half time 0-0

Meikle replaced Briscoe at the start of the second half due to a slight injury.

Mansfield were in front of 50 minutes. Defender Karlton Watson dallied on the ball 35 yards from his own goal and was dispossessed by the ever-alert Green, who bore down on the Telford goal, before flicking a sublime shot with outside of his right foot past the keeper into the right of the net. It was classy finishing, a little like his goal against Dartford four weeks ago.

On 51 minutes, a long throw from Beevers seemed to hit the hand of a Telford defender, but no penalty was given. Then on 55 minutes, Meikle’s soft shot was deflected wide after a good run. A minute after that, Jones had a header easily saved following a Jennings cross.

A rare chance for Telford on 57 minutes as Jordan Rose sent in a powerful shot that Marriott clutched above his head.

On 60 minutes, Stevenson claimed a penalty in an off the ball incident, but the referee waved away appeals. Moments later a feeble header from Meikle from a cross. On 65 minutes, Clements, who seemed to have gone missing in the game, played a good one-two with Green and fired over the bar.

On 70 minutes, Stevenson sent a great free kick just wide of the right post from 30 yards. It was a superb effort, in the style of Lampard, Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale.

Wright replaced the tiring Daniel on 71 minutes; Meikle moving to the left, and Wright to the right.

The Stags had a goal disallowed on 71 minutes. A free kick from Jennings was headed in by Jones but the referee spotted a foul on the keeper.

Murray was the subject of a nasty challenge from the hapless Karlton Watson on 75 minutes. Watson was shown a second yellow card and a red, to follow his gaff for the Stags goal. Murray eventually got up to bravely complete the game, despite hobbling.

On 79 minutes, Jones headed well wide from a Beevers long throw. On 82 minutes, Meikle cut inside from the left and his powerful shot was only just claimed by the keeper. Then a minute later, Jennings crossed, Jones headed goalwards and it hit the hand of a defender who had his arms raised. It looked like a penalty to us but the hapless referee again waved away appeals. Then from a Clements corner, Jones headed back and Stevenson sent an overhead kick over the bar.

On 85 minutes, Green’s shot from close range was incredibly saved by Ryan Young as the Stags seemed certain to increase the lead.

On 87 minutes, a comedy moment as Telford right back Will Salmon mis-kicked the ball out for a corner.

Three minutes of stoppage time were added, which the Stags dealt with rather poorly, giving the ball on a few occasions instead of winding the clock down. On 90+1, Graham crossed from the left, and Jordan Rose headed wide of the right post as my heart skipped a beat.

The final whistle was greeted with relief as the Stags deservedly held on. On to Woking on Wednesday night on what will be a terrible pitch, with everything to play for.

Man of the match: Adam Murray

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

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Super save in the one-on-one from Steve Jones. Didn’t put a foot wrong.
Beevers 7 Good game.
Sutton 7 Really solid game coming in at centre half.
Jones 7 Defended well, and threatened the Telford goal on occasions.
Jennings 7 Solid.
Briscoe 7 So unlucky with terrific shot against the underside of the bar, and had another decent effort. Not quite fully fit and subbed at half time
Clements 5 Went missing for long passages of the game.
Murray 8 Did the job of two midfielders. Did misplace a couple of passes, but was all the pitch.
Daniel 6 Missed a glorious chance. Didn’t utilise his pace enough.
Stevenson 6 Great free kick, but generally looked a little half-hearted. Disappointing after his recent home performances.
Green 7 Great finish for the winning goal. Looked sharp. Needed more support.
Sub Line Up:
Meikle (for Briscoe, 46) 7 Came on looking like a steam train and fired up.
Wright (for Daniel, 71) -
Subs not used: Geohaghon, Tolley, Rhead.
Opposition Line Up:
Young; Salmon, Ford, Watson, Valentine; Craney, Trainer, Rose, Henry (Rodney 81); Jones (Graham 33), Reid. Subs not used: Smith, Leslie, Taylor.
Charles Breakspear (Walton-on-Thames) 4 Dreadful. Constantly ignored blatant fouls on Green.

Season 12/13 Reports