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Season 13/14 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
3 - 0
 Northampton Town
Hutchinson 31, Clucas 34, Doumbe OG 64.
Attendance: 3469 (460 from Northampton)
Date: 21 September 2013


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town moved into 5th place in League Two with a 3-0 win over last season’s play-off finalists Northampton Town at the One Call Stadium. Two high class goals separated the sides at half-time, as Ben Hutchinson fired in a magnificent free kick from 25 yards into the top corner, and then Sam Clucas fired home from the edge of the box after Calvin Andrew had headed down. The Cobblers put Mansfield under pressure after the break and it took some super saves from Alan Marriott, a great goal-line clearance from James Jennings, and some great defending to keep them out, before an own goal sealed the win for Mansfield. Sponsors’ man of the match Ryan Tafazolli launched a ball into the Cobblers half and defender Doumbe sliced his attempted clearance over his keeper from 35 yards and into the net. A lucky goal but it came as a result of constant Mansfield chasing down of loose balls which forced the defender into panicking. Northampton continued to have chances and hit the inside of the post with the last kick of the game as Mansfield ran out deserved winners.

This was Paul Cox’s 100th league game in charge of the club. His record now stands at 59 wins and 196 points (W25 D14 L7 in 11/12, W30 D5 L11 in 12/13, W4 D3 L1 in 13/14). An average of 1.96 points per game. Astonishing. And there are still some fans not happy. Well done Coxy, keep it going!

Before the game John Radford congratulated Public Announcer Alan Wilson on his 25 years’ service. Well done Alan.

A disappointing crowd, with only 3000 home fans to watch the Stags move into the top 5 of the league. Online ticketing can’t come soon enough.

Cox made two changes from the side that won at York. Ryan Tafazolli came in for the suspended Martin Riley, and Anthony Howell came in for the injured Chris Clements.

On 2 minutes, a cross from Hackett found Clive Platt at the left stick with a free header which he mis-directed well wide of the right post. On 4 minutes, Jennings squared to Hutchinson whose shot from 22 yards was blocked by a Northampton defender, and claims for a handball were waved away. On 14 minutes, Hutchinson floated a free kick into the box from 35 yards, Andrew headed it goalwards and it was easily saved. To the other end on 16 minutes, Clive Platt flicked on a cross from the left and Jacob Blyth could only help it on to Marriott. A minute later, Ian Morris sent a speculative effort well over.

On 18 minutes a hopeful ball into the box and the Northampton defence were asleep as Clucas nearly got on the end of it.

There was a blatant handball by Amankwaah on 21 minutes halfway inside his own half which was unbelievably missed by all the officials. Jennings tripped a player in frustration at the decision and received a lecture as a result.

On 22 minutes, Howell’s ball forward for Clucas on the left, Clucas got to the byline and crossed just in front of the goalline, but Andrew didn’t read the situation and didn’t gamble on it. He should have done.

The Stags were in front on 31 minutes. Hutchinson curled a beautiful free kick from 25 yards out, in a central position, into the top left corner. A fabulous goal. And a goal Mansfield needed to spark life.

On 32 minutes, McGuire played a ball forward, Clucas hared after it, but the keeper got there first to clear.

It was 2-0 on 34 minutes. Sutton’s free kick from the centre circle, was headed across the edge of the box by Calvin Andrew, it was helped on by Tafazolli, to Clucas who swept it right footed into the net from the edge of the box. The keeper got a hand on it but couldn’t keep it out.

Another fine goal, and two pieces of quality had the Stags two in front.

On 37 minutes, Blyth sent a speculative shot from the corner of the box just over the bar.

On 45 minutes, Marriott tipped over Darren Carter’s free kick from 29 yards as it looked to dipping under the bar. From the resulting corner, Lee Collins sent a free header wide.

Not much in it in the first half, but two pieces of quality separated the sides.

Half time 2-0

On 49 minutes, a powerful cross from Northampton sub Widdowson across the goalline missed everybody. On 51 minutes, an important header away by Jennings from Hackett’s cross from the right.

Lee Stevenson replaced Hutchinson on 53 minutes. On 55 minutes a lovely bit of football from the Stags which didn’t come to anything [to include on highlights].

Northampton could have been level with a flurry of action on 59 minutes. There were calls for a penalty in the Stags box, then seconds later Stevenson brought down a player on the edge of the box, to the right of centre. Darren Carter’s free kick was well-palmed away by Marriott, then in the follow-up Marriott saved well from Morris’s shot from outside the box, and finally Blyth headed over from a cross from the right. A triple chance for the Cobblers.

Rhead replaced Andrew on 61 minutes. He was straight into the action, heading on for Clucas who couldn’t quite get on the end of it.

With Northampton right on top, Mansfield made it 3-0 on 64 minutes. Tafazolli launched a ball into the Cobblers half and defender Doumbe, under pressure from Clucas, sliced his attempted clearance over his keeper from 35 yards and into the net. A lucky goal but it came as a result of Clucas breathing down the defenders neck which forced him into panicking.

You had to feel sorry for the Cobblers being 3-0 down. Well maybe not ..

On 70 minutes, a great save from Marriott, with his legs, and then Jennings did brilliantly to head off the line. On 72 minutes, Platt flicked a header inches wide from a cross from the left, we thought that one was in.

Clucas did well to round the keeper on the right on 73 minutes, he couldn’t shoot from such a tight angle, but he crossed back to Rhead whose weak effort was easily cleared.

On 77 minutes a brilliant nod-down from Clucas, but a terrible shot from Rhead was well wide. A minute later, Clucas created a shooting chance for himself from 20 yards, but his shot was deflected through to the keeper. A terrible shot from Morris on 80 minutes was well wide.

Clucas was replaced by Speight to a prolonged standing ovation on 81 minutes. Immediately a lovely flick from Rhead for Speight, but the bounce of the ball beat Speight.

On 85 minutes, Blyth shot weakly straight at Marriott after a ball over the top. A minute later, at the other end, a Stags free kick came out to McGuire whose was straight at the keeper, not dissimilar to his goal against Dagenham. A minute after that, Blyth blazed a shot over from 8 yards.

On 89 minutes, McGuire headed over from a Jennings free kick from the left. Then on 90+3, Darren Carter made a great run and his shot from 20 yards smashed off the inside of the left post and away. It was the last kick of the game.

Man of the match: Sam Clucas

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

Line Up:
Marriott 8 Made some super saves and his handling was impeccable. Looks in great form.
Sutton 8 Part of superb back-line.
Dempster 8 Very good game. Very efficient job.
Tafazolli 8 Came in for Riley and looked assured and confident in his first game of the season, in fact his Football League debut. Played in Clucas for the second goal.
Beevers 8 Very good game.
Jennings 8 Cut out cross after cross from right winger Hackett. Brilliant goal-line clearance.
Howell 6 Quiet.
McGuire 7.5 Like a tiger in his work-rate. Battling performance.
Hutchinson 7.5 Wonderful game-changing goal.
Clucas 9 Looked classy yet again. Ran the Cobblers defence ragged. Also noticeable how many headers he won that he had no right to win. Outstanding. Received a prolonged standing ovation.
Andrew 7 Won header in the build-up to the second goal. Disappointingly showed lack of striker’s intuition when Clucas put a cross across the six-yard box and he didn’t attack it.
Sub Line Up:
Stevenson (for Hutchinson, 53) 6 Didn’t make much of an impact.
Rhead (for Andrew, 61) 6 One good flick-on for Speight, but missed a couple of chances.
Speight (for Clucas, 81) -
Subs not used: Daniel, Murtagh, Meikle, Palmer.
Opposition Line Up:
Duke; Amankwaah, Heath (Widdowson 13), Doumbe, Collins; Hackett, Carter, Harriott (O’Donovan 71), Morris (C); Platt, Blyth. Subs not used: Tozer, Hooper, Emerton, McNamara, Toney.
Stephen Rushton 5 The officials missed such an obvious handball, albeit in the middle of the park. Probably should have booked a couple of players in the first half. Had no game-changing decisions to make.

Season 13/14 Reports