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Season 13/14 Stagsnet Match Report
Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town  
0 - 1
 Nottingham Forest
 Majewski 50 seconds
Attendance: 3993 (1482 from Forest)
Date: 13 July 2013


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium

On a roasting afternoon at Field Mill, Mansfield Town were quite poor in the opening thirty minutes against a Nottingham Forest side that knocked the ball around very nicely and had gone ahead after just 50 seconds with an uncharacteristic howler from the usually excellent Alan Marriott. But after finally settling down, the Stags played some good football and were the better side in the second half. So in the end, this was a really good workout for Mansfield who deserved a good ovation that they got at the end of the game. There were some very encouraging performances from a number of players, with Sam Clucas and Ryan Tafazolli particularly catching the eye.

A word on the pitch: Mez had been worried earlier in the close season that the grass wasn’t growing well. Today it looked absolutely fabulous, and seemed to play extremely well.

Forest were ahead after just 50 seconds (timing from match DVD) when Majewski shot from 25 yards, it should have been easy for Marriott but went straight through the keeper and into the net.

On 12 minutes, a good cross from the right by McLaughlin, and Matt Darbyshire sent a header goalwards which Marriott saved well low down.

It was a very slow start from the Stags who were totally unable to get into the game.

The next chance for Forest came on 21 minutes as Darbyshire sent a weak shot from 22 yards straight at Marriott and Marriott comfortably saved it. On 25 minutes, a great cross from the right from Darbyshire, and Majewski volleyed over the bar at the far post with the aid of a deflection from Riley.

Forest completely bossed the opening 30 minutes with the Stags often chasing shadows.

The Stags had a goal disallowed on 33 minutes and video evidence shows it was the wrong decision. A free kick from Jennings was headed on by Rhead, Meikle had a shot blocked, it rebounded back to Rhead and he headed it forward to Stevenson who fired past the keeper into the corner of the net. The linesman flagged that Stevenson was offside, but using the lines of the fresh markings in the turf, it can be seen from the match DVD that Stevenson was onside when Rhead headed it forward.

On 37 minutes, Beevers played a fine crossfield pass, Clucas chested it into the path of Rhead, who in turn chested it back to Clucas, and Clucas shot wide of the right post. At the other end on 39 minutes, Darbyshire shot well over the bar from the edge of the D.

The Stags came close again on 41 minutes. A free kick from Jennings was headed on by Rhead and Murray flicked the ball to McCombe who sent an acrobatic kick from 12 yards just wide of the right post.

Half time 0-1

Forest had knocked the ball around impressively and the Stags had struggled to find their feet until the last 15 minutes of the half.

The Stags made 4 changes at the break with the introduction of Tafazolli, Howell, Briscoe and Speight.

Briscoe was straight into the action in the first minute as his cross towards Clucas was put behind for a corner. Jennings took the resulting corner from the right and Howell, unmarked, headed just over the bar. Moments later a cracking ball forward from Murray, and Briscoe set up Speight whose low shot was saved.

On 49 minutes, Forest’s Patterson got to the byline but Marriott did well to tackle him with his feet. A minute later, McLaughlin cut inside from the right and Marriott made a good save low to his left. From the resulting corner from Cohen, Halford headed wide and was annoyed with himself. On 52 minutes, Darbyshire cut inside from the left and squared to Cohen who side footed over the bar from the edge of the box. Straight to the other end and Rhead flicked the ball into the path of Speight who fired over from an impossible angle.

Dempster and Dyer were introduced into the action after 56 minutes.

A good break from the Stags on 60 minutes involving Clucas and Speight came to nothing. On 64 minutes, Darbyshire played in McLaughlin on the left and his tame effort was past the right post.

The Stags were so close to equalising on 65 minutes. A great cross from the left by Jennings picked out Clucas 12 yards out, and Clucas powered an excellent header towards the left corner of the net but the keeper Darlow produced a superb save to tip the ball wide. From the resulting corner the ball came out to Briscoe just outside the penalty area and his sweetly struck left footed half volley struck the keeper on the chest and rebounded away.

Two minutes later, good interplay between Clucas and Speight on the right but Clucas fired well over.

Clements came on for Murray on 70 minutes. On 73 minutes the impressive Tafazolli headed wide from a Jennings free kick.

Black replaced Jennings on 74 minutes.

The Stags were so unlucky again not to equalise on 81 minutes. Clements played a good ball forward to Briscoe who side footed against the bar. A minute later Morgan squared for Gnahore who fired well over the bar. Tafazolli was close again on 84 minutes, glancing a header wide from a good free kick from Clements.

Man of the match: Sam Clucas

Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium

Line Up:
Marriott 5 Embarrassing start with a howler after 50 seconds, for the only goal of the game, though recovered well. Fortunately this was a game where the result didn’t matter too much. Marriott himself tweeted after the game “Didn't exactly cover myself in glory today!! #stinker #fuming #embarrased”.
Beevers 7 Started slowly but grew into the game.
Riley 6 Not a great start to the game as the Stags didn’t click at the back in the first half.
McCombe 6 Not a good first half.
Jennings 7 Defensively not good in the first half, but improved, and put in some good set pieces.
Meikle 6 OK but didn’t really get going.
Murray 7 Decent game.
McGuire 5.5 Disappointingly quiet; in fact I hardly mentioned his name in commentary in the first half.
Clucas 7.5 Started slowly, but then really looked good. Unlucky with a fine header, superbly saved.
Stevenson 6 Quiet. Had a goal disallowed though.
Rhead 7 Won most of his headers, though often there was no-one on the end of them.
Sub Line Up:
Tafazolli (for Riley, 46) 7.5 Impressed in the second half, dominant in the air, and going close a few times in the Forest box.
Howell (for McGuire, 46) 7 Added bite and purpose to the midfield.
Briscoe (for Meikle, 46) 7 So unlucky to hit the bar with a fine effort. Gave the Forest defence some problems.
Speight (for Stevenson, 46) 7 Looked purposeful. Back from illness and injury, so did well.
Dempster (for McCombe, 56) 7 Defended well, and formed good partnership with Tafazolli.
Dyer (for Rhead, 56) 6 Didn’t really get into the game. Great to see him on the Field Mill turf though.
Clements (for Murray, 70) -
Black (for Jennings, 74) - A couple of disappointing free-kicks.
Subs not used: Deakin, Sutton, Nathan Arnold (trialist), Hutchinson.
Opposition Line Up:
Darlow, Lichaj, Halford, Fenton (Wallace 82), Cohen (Kamaneno 64), Paterson (Gnahore 71), Greening, Blackstock (Morgan 79), McLaughlin (Tounkara 79), Derbyshire (Devine 69), Majewski. Subs not used: Polimos, Evtimov.
Andrew Haines (Tyne & Wear) 7 Handled the game well.

Season 13/14 Reports