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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 Jones 61.
Attendance: 1968 (1172 from Mansfield)
Date: 30 March 2013


Martin Shaw at The Lamb

It just goes on and on. Magnificent Mansfield Town’s incredible run is now eleven wins on the trot (extending the club record of victories since joining the football league in 1931), and it’s fifteen wins from the last sixteen games. This away win also equalled the record number of away wins of 11 in a season, set three times before in title 1976/77 and 1974/75 as well as 1923/24. This was another tight game and the Stags seemed to have found an extraordinary knack of grinding out these wins. If the game had been a draw today, no-one could have complained, but a mixture of true grit, a bit of luck, and great defending earned the points again. And a defender in Luke Jones who took his tally for the season to seven with a shot guided into the bottom left corner of the net from just inside the box. After the game I asked Jones if he was aiming for the bottom left corner of the net and he replied with a huge beaming smile “of course I was”. Keep ‘em coming Jonah. The first half was remarkable in that it was goalless as both teams had a glut of good chances. After the break, chances for both sides dried up a bit but the Stags were hanging on as Tamworth struck the bar either side of the Stags goal. Firstly Marcus Kelly’s free kick was tipped onto the bar by Marriott and then defender Michael Wylde hit the bar from about 3 yards out. But the solid Stags defence held out in front of just under 1200 joyous and bouncing Stags fans. A fabulous atmosphere created by the away fans certainly helped the Stags over the line. Kidderminster’s win means Mansfield are still one point behind top spot with three games in hand. A bonus for Mansfield was Wrexham’s defeat at Hyde, which opens the gap between Mansfield and Wrexham to eight points, but of course the two teams still have to play each other twice so two victories for Wrexham would make the table look very different. It’s one game at a time though and so on to Easter Monday and the visit of Gateshead. Expect another tough game with Gateshead scrapping for every point at the bottom of the table. Come on Mansfield!

Mansfield made two changes from the side that beat Nuneaton. With Jennings out for the season, in came new loan signing Greg Taylor at left back. Ritchie Sutton was a bit unlucky to miss out. Louis Briscoe came in to start after his matchwinner against Nuneaton, in place of Colin Daniel. Ben Hutchinson was back on the bench, in place of Nick Wright. Tamworth included Liam Mitchell in goal, on loan from Notts County. Mitchell had played on loan for the Stags earlier in the season and had done well. Former Stag Marcus Kelly played in midfield. Tamworth included 18 goal striker Adam Cunnington, who played impressively.

The Stags started very well and had two chances after 3 minutes. Green did well to get down the left, played the ball inside to Stevenson, whose shot was deflected wide. From the resulting Chapman corner, Dempster’s fine header was on target but well saved by Liam Mitchell.

Tamworth came close on 9 minutes as the dangerous Lloyd made a good break down the left and his cross was inches in front of Darren Byfield. A moment of fortune for new signing Greg Taylor on 10 minutes as Cunnington got past him but the referee awarded a dubious free kick. Cunnington was through on goal and did put the ball in the net though the whistle had already gone. On 14 minutes, Lee Hendrie had a shot deflected over the bar from 20 yards. Then a minute later it was pinball in the stags box and Byfield missed a sitter from the left, though Marriott did very well to close down the angle. Tamworth missed another sitter on 21 minutes as right back Tait did well to pull the ball back from the byeline to Cunnington who somehow fired over from 7 yards. It was a purple patch for the home side and Mansfield were grateful to be on level terms.

Mansfield were back as an attacking threat on 24 minutes as Stevenson fed Green, Green did well to make a yard for himself and his left footed shot from the edge of the box was well saved by the diving Mitchell. Moments later Briscoe had a chance but it turned out to be a swing and a miss as he missed the ball. Then from a corner from the left by Chapman, Jones sent a header a yard wide of the right post. On 26 minutes, Briscoe’s fine shot from 18 yards was deflected just wide.

On 30 minutes, a great tackle from Jones on Cunnington as he was about to shoot. On 37 minutes, Cunnington played in Lloyd on the left and his cross across the face of goal was cleared. A piece of brilliance from Lee Hendrie on 39 minutes as in one movement he flicked the ball up and over Murray and volleyed left footed over the bar.

At the other end, Mitchell came for Chapman’s corner from the right and didn’t get there and Jones sent a header just wide. Then a brilliant one-two between Chapman and Murray, and Chapman fired straight at the keeper. From a Chapman long throw moments later, Murray’s shot was blocked. And then from another Chapman long throw, the ball hit Green and rolled agonisingly wide. Then in a frantic spell, another Murray shot was blocked, and appeals for a handball in the Tamworth box were waved away as Briscoe’s shot was blocked, possibly by a hand. A minute into stoppage time, Briscoe’s left foot shot deflected off Green and went just wide.

A breathless first half with a glut of chances for both sides. The Stags started well in the opening five minutes, then Tamworth had a 20 minutes purple patch, and then the Stags finished the half stronger.

Half time 0-0

On 46 minutes, Cunnington squared the ball for Lee Hendrie who shot was easy for Marriott. On 51 minutes, a great run from Lloyd but his shot was straight at Marriott.

A double substation from Paul Cox on 52 minutes as Daniel replaced Briscoe, and Rhead replaced Stevenson.

On 55 minutes, Marcus Kelly curled a free kick towards the top left corner and Marriott did well to tip it onto the top of the bar. At the other end, on 57 minutes, Chapman’s free kick was headed by Rhead and flicked wide off a defender. From the resulting corner, Rhead headed wide, and claimed that he was being held but the referee waved away his request.

The Stags made the breakthrough on 61 minutes, Taylor’s free kick from the half way line reached Green who squared the ball for Jones and Jones expertly found the bottom left corner of the net with his right foot.

Tamworth were within a whisker of equalising on 68 minutes. A long throw flicked off Jones’ head and Wilde was unmarked at the far post with just Marriott to beat, Wilde struck the bar and Mansfield escaped.

On 69 minutes, Green went close in the area when his close-range shot was saved. On 71 minutes, Murray found Daniel who shot past the left post. A bizarre moment on 79 minutes as Beevers put his team in trouble heading the ball back to Marriott as Marriott was surrounded by two Tamworth players. It was crazy from Beevers and the ball ended up in the net but a foul on Marriott was awarded. Another strange moment on 84 minutes as Marriott came out of his penalty area to try and clear and committed a foul inside the D. It couldn’t be a red card as there were about 15 players goalside of Marriott but he was duly booked. Kelly sent the resulting free-kick just over the bar. It was a heart stopping moment and actually turned out to be Tamworth’s last chance.

Howell replaced Green on 85 minutes slotting into midfield leaving Rhead on his own up front. An astonishing 6 minutes of stoppage time was added when even home fans agreed it should not have been more than four. Former Stags’ striker Kyle Perry came on in stoppage time but barely touched the ball. Six minutes into stoppage time, Meikle made a good break but instead of heading for the corner flag, shot over the bar. In the end more than 7 minutes of stoppage time was played but the Stags hung on to great relief and celebration for the huge army of travelling fans.

Man of the match: Luke Jones

Report by: Martin Shaw at The Lamb

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Super handling. Some good stops including turning Kelly’s free kick onto the bar.
Beevers 8 Fine game though one moment of madness when he headed back to Marriott when the Stags keeper was surrounded by two strikers.
Dempster 8 Very good.
Jones 8 Just about the pick of a solid defence and edges my man of the match thanks to his goal.
Taylor 6.5 Had a nervous start and looked like he hadn’t played for a while (which he hadn’t). Got much better as the game went on and played well in the second half.
Meikle 6 Worked hard down the wing though some of his crossing could have been better.
Murray 7 Good game and didn’t let Lee Hendrie run the show.
Chapman 7 Decent game in the middle. Fabulous one-two with Murray in the first half. Long throws caused danger.
Briscoe 7 Caused danger in the first half and unlucky with two decent shots.
Stevenson 6 Worked very hard.
Green 7 Unlucky with a couple of efforts. Set Jones up for the winner. Service to him could have been better.
Sub Line Up:
Daniel (for Briscoe, 52) 6 Did ok without creating danger.
Rhead (for Stevenson, 52) 7 Gave the team more options up front. In hindsight, he probably should have started, a point acknowledged by Paul Cox after the game.
Howell (for Green, 85) -
Subs not used: Sutton, Hutchinson.
Opposition Line Up:
Mitchell; Tait, Wylde, Marshall, Courtney; Gudger (Perry 90+4), Lee Hendrie, Kelly, Lloyd (S. Hendrie 73); Cunnington, Byfield (Wright 65). Subs not used: Breeden, Oji.

Kevin Johnson (Weston-super-Mare) 7 Had a good game, though absurdly played over 7 minutes of stoppage time in the second half when it should have been no more than 4. Could have been costly.

Season 12/13 Reports