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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
1 - 0
 Wrexham
Green pen 40.
 
 
Attendance: 6394 (132 from Wrexham)
 
Date: 20 April 2013

WE’RE BACK! GREEN PENALTY SEALS RETURN TO FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium

Mansfield Town sealed a return to the Football League after a five year exile with a completely dominant display again Wrexham which was nevertheless unbelievably nervy as the Stags couldn’t build on a one goal lead. Wrexham failed to create a single chance in the 90 minutes. In the end, it was Matt Green’s clinically taken penalty after Louis Briscoe had been fouled in the box that was the key moment and it was fitting that Green scored the winner with his 57th goal in two seasons. Green can now be classed alongside the likes of Ray Clarke as one of the greatest strikers in the club’s history. With Kidderminster thumping Stockport as we all expected, it showed the importance of the win at Hereford on Tuesday thanks to Green’s goal in stoppage time, and it meant that any slip-up in the final few minutes would have cost us the title. There can be little doubt that with 95 points collected during the season, 60 of which were from the final 23 games, Mansfield deserved this. Kidderminster’s run was also fabulous and pushed the Stags all the way. Special mention has to go to John Radford for his backing of the club and his faith in the manager; I think we will be forever indebted to John Radford for getting us back into the Football League as he said he would. Special mention also to Paul Cox for guiding us back in only his second season with the club, he has done a phenomenal job under tremendous weight of expectation from the fans. Special mention to our captain fantastic, the inspirational Adam Murray. No club could have a captain who wanted success more than this man. We’re back!

Quite simply this was the best day in the history of Mansfield Town Football Club!!

On a lovely sunny afternoon, befitting of the final day of the season, manager Paul Cox fielded an unchanged side from the team that won at Hereford. The benefits of a settled side were clearly demonstrated throughout the whole second half of the season. Wrexham meanwhile included only two of the side that started at the Racecourse Ground just 16 days ago, with little to play for other than avoiding further injury ahead of their play-off campaign starting on Tuesday.

Field Mill was rocking from before kick-off with expectation and nervous excitement.

Mansfield were out of the blocks quickly as they have been in all recent games. Inside the first 2 minutes, a Jones header was cleared away off the line following Chapman’s long throw. On 8 minutes, Stevenson’s low shot from a tight angle was easily saved after a good pass from Murray. From another Chapman long throw on 13 minutes, the ball dropped to Murray whose low volley was straight at the keeper when a yard either side and it would have been in. Then on 16 minutes, Meikle cut inside from the left but his shot nearly hit the corner flag. Moments later a cross from Beevers was only just cleared.

It was a great start from Mansfield that only lacked a goal.

On 23 minutes, Mansfield were close again as Jones headed Murray’s free kick across goal, and a defender headed it towards his own net with the keeper doing well to save it on his line. The Stags were totally dominant.

A great tackle from Beevers on 25 minutes as Wrexham made a rare foray into the Mansfield half. On 27 minutes, Briscoe fed Green who cut inside from the left and fired over the bar.

On 29 minutes, a rare mistake from Greg Taylor, as he was dispossessed by Adebola in the box, but Ogleby picked up the loose ball and was clearly offside before pulling his shot wide. It could have been a dreadful moment from a rare mistake.

On 33 minutes, Stevenson’s shot was deflected for a corner. Then a minute later, Chapman’s long throw sailed over the keeper with some kind of deflection but was somehow cleared off the line. Then on 35 minutes, Stevenson back-heeled Briscoe’s low cross just wide. A great run from Briscoe on 37 minutes but the ball was cleared.

The key moment of the game came on 40 minutes. Briscoe it was who was felled inside the box on the right by Little. It looked a clear penalty, confirmed by TV replays and the TV commentators. Green stepped up and buried a fine penalty just inside the left post, past the keeper who went the right way and was well off his line but couldn’t quite get there as it was perfectly placed. It was Green’s 27th goal of the season and a richly deserved lead for the Stags.

Two minutes into added on time, Dempster headed over the bar from a Murray free kick.

It was a dominant half from Mansfield with plenty of chances but the Stags surely deserved more than the single goal lead.

Half time 1-0

On 53 minutes, Chapman’s cross went wide. A great run from Briscoe on 55 minutes, and he fed Meikle who went too wide and the chance was gone. A minute later a great run and a great cross from Briscoe again, this time it was put behind by Artell.

On 57 minutes, Beevers made another great tackle, on Ogilby as he pushed forward. A Stags corner on 61 minutes eventually fell to Stevenson who fired over. Then on 66 minutes, yet another run by Briscoe and his fine shot was saved by the keeper. A minute later, from Chapman’s long throw, Stevenson chipped onto the top of the bar. Marriott caught a header into the Stags box from a Wrexham free kick on 68 minutes. On 76 minutes, Marriott had to be out quickly as Wrexham broke, and he made a fine tackle, when if he had mis-timed it, it could have been disastrous.

Daniel replaced Meikle on 80 minutes. Howell replaced Stevenson on 86 minutes. The tension was unbearable, but still Wrexham didn’t create a single chance.

On 90 minutes, Artell was late and high on Daniel and was sent off for a tackle right in front of the Stags dugout.

Rhead replaced Green in stoppage time as Mansfield tried to waste a bit of time. The final whistle brought celebrations the like of which have not been seen for many years.

Man of the match: Briscoe/Green/Beevers (can’t separate them)

Men of the season: Adam Murray, Matt Green, Luke Jones, Paul Cox, John Radford


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



Line Up:
Marriott 7 So many crucial saves this season, but a quiet afternoon today. When he was needed, he made one fantastic tackle outside his box that if mis-timed could have been disastrous.
Beevers 8 Two outstanding tackles capped a great performance and a tremendous second half of the season. The man of steel was in hospital this week and still continued to play on.
Dempster 7 Mr reliable, solid as he has been throughout the second half of the season.
Jones 7 Couldn’t find that special moment in the opposition box as he has done so many times this season, but was dependable as ever at the back.
Taylor 7 Another good game; what a replacement he turned out to be for James Jennings.
Briscoe 8 Won the crucial penalty, and had some great runs. Always the man for a big game.
Murray 6.5 Worked really hard, but uncharacteristically gave the ball away a few times. No-one deserves to win the title more than Adam Murray.
Chapman 7 Put himself about and was all over the pitch.
Meikle 6.5 Tracked back excellently; didn’t cause the Wrexham defence enough problems.
Stevenson 7 A few efforts on goal, and unlucky to hit the bar.
Green 8 Scored the winner, yet again, and deserves to get the golden boot. So many crucial goals, and so many memories to cherish for ever such as Lincoln and Hereford. Credit must go to his advisor Gifi for keeping his focus razor sharp.
Sub Line Up:
Daniel (for Meikle, 80) -
Howell (for Stevenson, 86) -
Rhead (for Green, 90+1) -
Subs not used: Sutton, Speight.
Opposition Line Up:
Andy Coughlin; Declan Walker, Leon Clowes, David Artell, Johnny Hunt; Rob Evans, Glen Little (Jonathan Royle 84), Jay Colbeck; Dele Adebola, Adrian Cieslewicz (Mark Creighton 76), Rob Ogleby (Bradley Reid 59). Subs not used: Kyle Parle, Jamie Morton.
Referee:
Declan Ford (Lincoln) 8 Handled the game well. Got the penalty right and the sending off.


Season 12/13 Reports