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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Hereford United  
1 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Bowman 8.
 Green 37, 90+2.
Attendance: 2,141 (627 from Mansfield)
Date: 16 April 2013


Martin Shaw at Edgar Street

Mansfield Town kept title hopes in their own hands with the most dramatic of late wins at Hereford as Matt Green scored in the second minute of stoppage time to spark celebrations the like of which have rarely been seen in Mansfield's history.

The permutations for the final day of the season on Saturday are now as follows: Mansfield are at home to Wrexham, who are already in the play-offs. Kidderminster are at home to Stockport, who are trying to avoid relegation. If we win, we're promoted. If we draw, and Kidderminster lose, draw or win by one goal, we're promoted. If we draw, and Kidderminster win by two goals or more, Kidderminster are promoted. If we lose, and Kidderminster lose or draw, we're promoted. If we lose, and Kidderminster win, Kidderminster are promoted.

BBC Radio Nottingham commentary of Matt Green's winning goal at Hereford here.

Mansfield made two changes to the side that lost at Braintree as Meikle was rotated in for Daniel, and Chapman came in for Howell. Speight was on the bench for the first time since January and his ankle injury. To our left there were a couple of Kidderminster players watching on including the big-haired Josh Gowling.

The Stags were off to a positive start and within 15 seconds were in the Hereford box through Meikle, and then the ball was recycled into the box and Green had a chance but he was flagged offside.

Hereford were ahead on 8 minutes with virtually their first foray into the Stags box. The ball was squared from the right and Bowman was completely unmarked on the penalty spot. He slotted the ball past Marriott into the bottom right corner. It looked at first sight that Beevers should have been marking Bowman, but from the match video he was marking another player, so quite who was at fault is unclear and it has to go down as bad defending collectively.

The Stags continued to have a large share of the possession, probably 60-70% but far too often the final ball was poor and attacks broke down. Hereford were playing the game like the away side trying to attack on the break.

Beevers went down injured on 22 minutes as his shoulder popped out again and he looked in agony. This time, unlie at Luton, the physio and doctor were unable to pop it back in and on 25 minutes he was replaced by Sutton who slotted in at right back.

The Stags claimed a penalty on 32 minutes when Dempster seemed to get a little push in the back but it probably wasn’t enough to warrant a spot kick. Four minutes later, at the other end, a ball bounced up and hit Luke Jones on the hand in the area but again the officials correctly decided it was no penalty.

The Stags were level on 37 minutes. Chapman played Meikle in on the left, he got to the byeline and superbly crossed for Green at the far post. Green headed into the empty net. It looked an easy header at first sight, but on review on the video, he had to arch his body and did very well. Another Greenie header and they are becoming less of a collector’s item.

The Stags were collecting some bookings as Murray 'took one for the team' with a professional foul after Sutton had back-tracked too far allowing a runner into the Stags half and towards the edge of the area. Green had earlier been booked.

On 45+2 minutes, Marriott couldn’t get hold of a scramble in the Stags box, but the Stags escaped as Dempster cleared off the line.

A half where the Stags had most of the possession but could not get enough quality on the final ball until Meikle stepped in.

Half time 1-1

Calls for a handball in the Hereford box on 47 minutes were waved away as Chapman’s dinked ball forward seemed to strike a hand. Then a Hereford cross from the right was flicked wide. On 53 minutes, Clucas made a good run down the left and he fired just wide of the left post.

Mansfield should have been in front on 54 minutes, as Green set up Meikle for a shot from close range but Meikle shot straight at the advancing keeper’s legs. What a chance missed! On 62 minutes, Chapman’s long throw was flicked on by Jones and ended up just out of the reach of Murray at the far post.

Rhead replaced Stevenson on 63 minutes to give more of an aerial presence up front. Then great play by Murray on 65, when he flicked the ball up and over a defender, a la Gazza in Euro 96 against Scotland, but his shot went just wide.

Mansfield were within a whisker of the lead on 66 minutes as Green’s acrobatic effort was superbly clawed away by the ever-impressive keeper Bittner. Video evidence seemed to show that the linesman called it correctly that it was not over the line.

Straight to the other end and Hereford claimed a penalty when Watkins went down under a challenge from Dempster. The referee waved away appeals. At first sight, I thought it should have been a penalty but video evidence showed it was a great tackle by Dempster.

Murray had a shot blocked on 71 minutes as the Stags were really turning up the heat, and then Rhead drilled a poor effort miles wide. On 75 minutes, Clucas sent a 27 yard free kick just wide. On 77, Chapman’s free kick was spilled by Bittner and claimed at the second attempt. On 82 minutes, Dempster headed a corner over from Murray, who had now taken over set piece duties from Chapman.

Daniel replaced Briscoe on 83 minutes. The Stags were piling on the pressure, but on the break Marley Watkins fired straight at Marriott on 87 minutes. Then with 4 minutes of stoppage time added on, in the first minute, a Hereford shot went harmlessly wide.

On 90+2 minutes came the moment that will live long in the memory of Stags fans. Marriott’s huge ball forward was flicked on by Rhead, and Green held off his marker to fire past Bittner and spark wild scenes of celebration.

The final whistle then brought more fabulous celebrations.

And so on to the final game of the regular season, and the Stags know that it is now in their own hands. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Matt Green

Report by: Martin Shaw at Edgar Street

Line Up:
Marriott 6 No chance with the goal, got a bit lucky with one scramble in the box. Otherwise very solid.
Beevers 6 Went off injured midway through first half.
Dempster 7 Very solid.
Jones 7 Another decent game.
Taylor 7 Continues to impress.
Briscoe 6 Didn’t get into the game too much.
Murray 7 Tremendous effort throughout. One great moment, a la Gazza in Euro 96 against Scotland, when he flicked the ball up and over a defender, but his shot went just wide.
Chapman 5.5 Not at his best. Set pieces were disappointing and it was surprising that it took until near the end for Murray to take over.
Meikle 8 Terrific game. Provided a bit of quality to put the first goal on a plate for Green. Caused problems for the defence all night. Should have scored though early in the second half.
Stevenson 6 Did ok.
Green 9 Two goals to turn the game around. So unlucky not to get a hat-trick as his acrobatic effort was clawed away by ever-impressive Bittner.
Sub Line Up:
Sutton (for Beevers, 25) 7 Came in and did a very solid job. One mistake when he misjudged a ball forward and Adam Murray had to take a booking for the team for a foul.
Rhead (for Stevenson, 63) 7 Super flick-on to set up Green for the dramatic winner.
Daniel (for Briscoe, 83) -
Subs not used: Howell, Speight.
Opposition Line Up:
Bittner, Connor, Graham, Stam, Bush, Watkins, O’Keefe, James, Clucas, Bowman (McDonald 88), Sharp (Jackson 72). Subs not used: Heath, Jones, Smikle.
Lee Swabey (Plymouth) 5 Had a poor game.

Season 12/13 Reports