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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
4 - 0
Howell 21, Briscoe 73, Green 77, Hutchinson pen 90+1.
Attendance: 3472 (82 from Gateshead)
Date: 1 April 2013


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium

Mansfield Town beat Gateshead 4-0 at the One Call Stadium this afternoon to continue the extraordinary run of victories: it's now twelve wins on the trot (extending the club record of victories since joining the football league in 1931, and equalling the record set before joining the football league that was set in 1924/25). It also equals the Conference record of 12 consecutive wins set by Burton Albion and Hereford United. And it's sixteen wins from the last seventeen games. Add that to an achievement by keeper Alan Marriott who kept his 50th clean sheet for Mansfield. Fantastic stuff from the Stags stopper. Meanwhile Alan Alger of Conference sponsors Blue Square tweeted that Mansfield (and former Eastwood) boss Paul Cox has the following record in regular season matches between Jan-May in last 3 seasons: P65 W50 D10 L5 F155 A54.

Mansfield went ahead midway through the first half when the returning Anthony Howell stabbed home from close range after Adam Murray's superb free kick was pushed onto the woodwork by the keeper. Mansfield were denied the most blatant of penalties as Briscoe was tripped in the area and the match officials will be red-faced when the study the video footage. Mansfield made the game safe with three goals in the last 17 minutes as first Briscoe fired in a wonderful goal left footed, then Green finished clinically after good play from Meikle, and finally substitute Ben Hutchinson scored from the spot after his own free kick had hit a hand in the wall. Kidderminster won at our friends (ahem) Luton to maintain their one point lead at the top, with Mansfield having three games in hand, and the two teams now have the same goal difference. Wrexham drew at home to Macclesfield and are now ten points behind Mansfield with the same games played. Newport have gone a point ahead of Wrexham after their victory today. Four wins from the Stags final six games would guarantee the title.

Gateshead came into the game having played 'home' games on Thursday night and Saturday, at Boston and Hartlepool respectively, and were reportedly looking jaded on Saturday. Mansfield made two changes from the side that won at Tamworth, as Daniel came in for Meikle, and Howell came in for Chapman. Loan signing Greg Taylor was making his home debut. It was a windy afternoon but fine and dry, on a bobbly pitch.

A quiet opening to the game and it was Gateshead who had the first chance as Henderson's shot from a tight angle was straight at Marriott. Mansfield had a free kick from the left on 12 minutes, as Murray played it short to Stevenson who didn't seem to be expecting it and hurriedly shot well wide. The Gateshead central defensive pairing of the massive James Curtis and the talented Liam Hatch (converted from a striker) were dominant as the Stags couldn't get control.

The all-important first goal came on 21 minutes. Murray's free kick from the left was dipping into the far corner of the net, as the keeper Bartlett scooped it onto the woodwork, and it dropped down invitingly for the alert Howell who poked into the empty net.

Straight to the other end, Donaldson shot wide of the right post from an unmarked position.

Mansfield should have had a penalty on 25 minutes as Briscoe was clearly tripped by Paddy Boyle in the area. You will never see a more stonewall penalty. The referee looked to his linesman who didn't give anything. Embarrassing is the only word to describe the decision, having studied the video footage.

Briscoe set up Stevenson for a good chance on 29 minutes, and Stevenson fired into the side netting with the outside of his left boot. He should have scored. On 30 minutes, Henderson played the ball out to Gillies on the right, and his cross-come-shot was well wide of the left post. Then on 32 minutes, Briscoe's free kick hit the wall and rebounded away. No luck this time, unlike his free kick against Nuneaton which deflected into the net.

A double chance for Mansfield on 33 minutes. Murray's corner was headed back by Jones and headed towards the roof of the net by Green and parried away by the keeper, then Jones knocked it back into the middle again and Stevenson flicked an effort onto the roof of the net. A minute later, Greg Taylor played a 1-2 with Stevenson, and Taylor fired wide of the right post with his right foot. On 35 minutes, Henderson had a free shot for Gateshead and shanked it wide from 10 yards. Then a minute after that, Gillies sent a free kick from 35 yards just wide of the right post as Marriott watched it all the way.

The Stags were within a whisker of a second goal on 42 minutes. Murray's corner was headed forward by Jones, and Stevenson flicked it goalwards, and it was cleared off the line, with the linesman signalling that it was not over the line.

Then on 45 minutes, Stevenson played a great ball forward for Green who was one-on-one with the keeper but he hit it straight at the keeper. In the form of this season and last season, you would have expected Green to score.

Half time 1-0

On 46 minutes, Daniel headed the ball down to Green who played it into to Stevenson, who cut onto his right foot and fired just over the bar. A good chance. Then on 48 minutes, Briscoe progressed forward and fired well wide. Gateshead had a chance on 51 minutes as a cross from the right found Donaldson who put his effort over the bar.

Rhead replaced Stevenson on 58 minutes, as Mansfield desperately needed another goal to calm their nerves.

Rhead was in the action on 66 minutes. A backpass was played into his path, but he dallied and allowed it to go to the keeper. Daniel made a great run on 68 minutes as he got past Hatch and fired wide of the left post. A minute later, he had a great shot from 30 yards that was straight at the keeper.

Murray booted the ball onto the roof of the West Stand on 69 minutes, and I can never recall that happening before.

The Stags needed a second goal and it came on 73 minutes with a beauty from Briscoe. Green teed it up beautifully and Briscoe struck a fabulous low drive, left footed, into the bottom left corner giving the keeper no chance.

Daniel fired wide of the right post, from the left on 75 minutes. He was replaced by Meikle moments later.

A fine move from the Stags on 76 minutes, as Murray found Briscoe on the right and his low cross, across the face of goal, was ahead of Rhead.

It was 3-0 on 77 minutes, and a confidence boost for Green who had just seemed to have lost his sharpness in front in goal recently. Meikle did really well to find him, Green cut inside onto his right foot and buried a shot past the keeper into the right of the net. A great finish.

Gateshead had a chance straight away as they played the ball out to the left and Gillies shot was well saved by Marriott.

Hutchinson replaced Green on 79 minutes as the Stags striker went off to a terrific reception. A good one-two between Beevers and Murray on 86 minutes but it went out for a corner. Then on 87, Taylor fed Meikle, who did superbly to tee up Rhead but Rhead miscued his shot well wide.

Mansfield made it 4-0 on 90 minutes. Beevers made a surging run forward and was brought down. Hutchinson took the free kick and struck powerfully, it hit Chandler on the hand and the referee pointed to the spot. Hutchinson and Briscoe wrestled over the ball for who would take the kick, and Hutchinson won the day. His kick was accurate, going in off the right post.

On 90+2 minutes, Meikle played the ball to Briscoe, whose shot which was really travelling, was blocked. Then on 90+4, Rhead cut inside and his shot was deflected wide. It was nearly 5-0 on 90+5 minutes, as a Jones header from a Hutchinson corner was saved on the line by the keeper.

So in the end, a thumping win and another huge confidence boost, as the Stags go into the last six games of the season.

Man of the match: Howell/Murray/Briscoe - can't split them

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

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Quiet afternoon, but solid as ever, and now has 50 clean sheets for Mansfield. Congratulations to the best keeper in the Conference.
Beevers 7.5 Continuing his fine run of form. Very solid. Some decent long throws in the absence of Chapman.
Dempster 7.5 Solid as a rock. No mistakes.
Jones 8 Decisive clearances. Very good.
Taylor 7.5 Very pleasing home debut, and is now looking really good after a nervous first 20 minutes at Tamworth.
Briscoe 8 Great goal just when we needed it to calm the nerves, and won a stonewall penalty which was unbelievably missed by the officials - one of the worst decisions you'll ever see.
Murray 8 Great free kick that led to the first goal. Rallied the troops really well when it was needed at 1-0.
Howell 8 Sharp in the box for his goal. Composed in the middle of the park.
Daniel 5 Disappointing. Actually had improved dramatically just before he was substituted, including one fine shot from distance.
Stevenson 7 Great ball forward for Green's 1-on-1 that he missed. Missed two good chances in the first half.
Green 7.5 Worked very hard. Took his goal superbly and great to see him on the scoresheet, after having missed a 1-on-1 that he would normally have put away. Set up Briscoe for his goal.
Sub Line Up:
Rhead (for Stevenson, 58) 7.5 Did very well and boosted the crowd with his presence.
Meikle (for Daniel, 75) - Immediately set up Green for his goal with a fine piece of play.
Hutchinson (for Green, 79) - Free kick earned the penalty, which he dispatched right into the corner.
Subs not used: Sutton, Chapman.
Opposition Line Up:
Bartlett; Cummins, Curtis, Hatch, Boyle; Chandler, Gillies (Fowler 79), Turnbull, Brown (Bore 60), Donaldson, Henderson (Everson 85). Subs not used: Nixon, Galpin.
Graham Horwood (Bedforshire) 4 What a shocker from the officials. Appalling decision not to give penalty for foul on Briscoe (decision was actually given by the linesman), and several other shockers.

Season 12/13 Reports