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Season 13/14 Stagsnet Match Report
Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town  
4 - 2
 Peterborough United
Dempster 16, Daniel 30, Clucas 82, 88.
 Mendez-Laing 14, Sinclair 68.
Attendance: 768 (51 from Peterborough)
Date: 17 July 2013


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium

Mansfield Town produced a superb performance against two different Peterborough United sides (in each half) at the One Call Stadium last night to record a 4-2 victory, which could easily have been much more emphatic. The Stags created an enormous number of chances and bossed the game apart from a spell in the second half when Peterborough’s substitutes’ fresh legs caused the Stags some problems. The Stags had two contenders for goal of the season as Colin Daniel crashed in a spectacular free kick from 30 yards, and Sam Clucas curled in a beauty from 25 yards.

Manager Cox made three changes from the side that played the game against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, with Dempster in for Riley, Howell in for Murray, and Daniel in for Meikle, and of course none of the side that started against Chester on Tuesday started the game here. Peterborough were without Grant McCann, skipper Tommy Rowe, and former Crawley striker Tyrone Barnett. It turned out that the Posh played two entirely different sides, apart from one player Brisley (who played the 90 minutes).

Mansfield created a chance straight from the kick off as Stevenson had a chance from the edge of the box but his shot was straight at keeper Day. On 4 minutes, Clucas crossed to the right post, Daniel cut back on to his left foot and his shot was deflected wide. A minute later, Jennings crossed, Dempster nodded down and Rhead’s acrobatic shot was brilliantly saved.

It was all Mansfield in the opening 12 minutes but then, out of the blue, Peterborough had claims for a penalty as Joe Newell went down in the area but the ref waved play on.

Peterborough were in front on 14 minutes. Mendez-Laing cut inside Jennings and Clucas on the Mansfield left and his shot took a slight deflection off Dempster to wrong-foot Marriott.

Mansfield were level within 2 minutes. A free kick from Jennings was headed on by Clucas, and Dempster sent a sweet half volley from the edge of the box just inside the right post. A fine goal from Dempster.

On 17 minutes, Howell was wide of the post with a shot with the outside of his left boot after a good move. At the other end a minute later, a brilliant tackle by Beevers in his own penalty area as Mendez-Laing prepared to shoot. On 19 minutes, Rhead headed wide from a Jennings’ free kick on the right. On 23 minutes, McCombe tried a snap shot from 25 yards which wasn’t too far away. Then 2 minutes later, Dempster headed over from another Jennings’ free kick.

It was 2-1 to Mansfield on 30 minutes with a sensational goal. Daniel let fly with a free kick from 30 yards which flew into the top right corner.

On 31 minutes, Dempster headed straight at the keeper from a Jennings free kick from the left. A minute later, Howell did well to get into the penalty area on the left past two defenders but shot wide of the left post. On 38 minutes, Howell shot from a tight angle which was pushed wide by keeper Day. From the resulting corner taken by Jennings, Dempster’s header was cleared off the line. A minute later, Clucas tried an acrobatic effort which was only just over the bar. On 41 minutes, another Jennings free kick and Rhead headed the ball on and the keeper spilled the ball and just clutched it before McCombe got there. At half time, I heard Barry Fry say “we can’t handle Matt Rhead”.

Half time 2-1

Speight replaced Stevenson at the break, while Posh had an entirely new team with the exception of Brisley.

The difference was immediately apparent as Posh suddenly looked livelier than Mansfield. On 50 minutes, Ajose shot wide of the left post and 2 minutes later, he had another chance 8 yards out in the centre of the goal and somehow he put it over the bar. At the other end, McCombe set up Clucas on 54 minutes and Clucas fired wide of the right post from 24 yards. On 57 minutes, following a Jennings free kick, McCombe had a shot from close range saved by the keeper.

Posh then hit the woodwork twice in a couple of minutes. On 59 minutes, Sinclair fired against the inside of the post from the edge of the box with Marriott beaten. On 61 minutes, Swanson sent a shot from the right hand side on to the top of the bar.

Marriott had to be alert on 64 minutes as he got out quickly to deny Sinclair who was bearing down on goal.

Murray replaced Maguire on 66 minutes. On 67 minutes, Rhead was bundled over in the area but the ref waved away penalty appeals. Posh broke straight to the other end and Sinclair showed great pace to round Marriott and slot into the empty net to make it 2-2.

Arnold replaced Daniel on 70 minutes. A minute later, Speight sent an overhead kick straight at the keeper following a Beevers long throw. On 74 minutes, Rhead chested down to Speight who tried to manufacture a shot, it rebounded back to Rhead who sent a left footed shot well wide. Rhead was cynically brought down on the edge of the box on 76 minutes. The referee completely lost the plot as he took no action against the Posh player but did book Rhead for dissent. Jennings sent the resulting free kick just over the bar via a deflection. From the resulting corner taken by Jennings, Dempster’s header was deflected wide.

Mansfield were deservedly back in front on 82 minutes. Arnold broke forward down the left and initially lost the ball but won it back and squared to Clucas who took aim and fired a brilliant shot from 25 yards in off the left post.

On 87 minutes, Dempster headed wide from a Jennings corner.

Mansfield made it 4-2 on 88 minutes. From Marriott’s kick forward, Speight did well on the left and cut the ball inside to Clucas whose shot from inside the area deflected past the keeper.

Footnote: Grant McCann tweeted about Mansfield’s tackling being bad and this was discussed on TalkSport radio. In fact, and having reviewed the match DVD, the only bad tackle from a Mansfield player was one from Howell, which was two footed. Howell was booked for it (could have been sent off in a league game) and Paul Cox apologised to Peterborough about after the game.

Man of the match: James Jennings

Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Beaten by a deflected shot for the first goal. Made some good saves.
Beevers 8 One fabulous tackle inside his own area. Very solid.
Dempster 8 In addition to his goal, he had five other attempts on goal.
McCombe 7 Looked solid at the back, though had no chance with pace against Sinclair, one of the quickest players in the Football League. Unlucky with a couple of decent efforts on goal.
Jennings 8.5 Defended solidly. An outstanding game of set pieces, which almost all landed on the head of a Stags player.
Daniel 7 Fabulous goal from free kick.
McGuire 7 Much improved from the Forest game.
Howell 7.5 Good game, and got forward a lot. One very bad tackle, which Paul Cox apologised to Peterborough about after the game.
Clucas 8.5 One outstanding goal, and in the right place for the other one which was deflected in. Looks as though he could be a key player for us this season.
Stevenson 6 Quiet first half and subbed at the break.
Rhead 7 Won most of his headers again, and I heard Barry Fry say his team couldn’t handle him.
Sub Line Up:
Speight (for Stevenson, 46) 7 Looked sharp. Set up the fourth goal with a nice pass.
Murray (for McGuire, 66) -
Arnold (for Daniel, 70) - Set up the third goal. Looked sharp again, after he had played very well the night before at Chester.
Subs not used: Sutton, Riley, Pilkington, Black, Murtagh, Dyer, Amari Morgan-Smith (trialist).
Opposition Line Up:
Posh first half: Joe Day, Michael Richens, Joe Newell (sub Nat Knight-Percival), Shaun Brisley, Gaby Zakuani, Nat Mendez-Laing, Jack Payne, Jevani Brown, Lee Tomlin, Shaq McDonald, Jaanai Gordon.
Posh Second half: Bobby Olejnik, Craig Alcock, Nat Knight-Percival, Peter Grant, Shaun Brisley, Jermaine Anderson, Kane Ferdinand, Danny Kearns, Danny Swanson, Nicky Ajose, Emile Sinclair.
David Coote (Manchester) 5 Lost control of the game in the second half, in particular when Rhead was fouled cynically, the Posh player was not booked but he did book Rhead for dissent.

Season 13/14 Reports