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Season 13/14 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 4
 Bury
Clucas 70.
 
 Mayor 25, Nardiello 56, 63, Carroll 71.
Attendance: 2628 (220 from Bury)
 
Date: 25 February 2014

HORROR SHOW AS STAGS THRASHED BY BURY

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

After a run of good performances, including two successive home wins, Mansfield Town turned in a horror show at home to Bury on Tuesday night, as the visitors thoroughly deserved their 4-1 victory. The Stags were terrible all over the pitch and were outplayed from the moment Bury took the lead. It was hard to fathom why Mansfield were so poor. Bury, in contrast, were excellent after taking the lead, and played with confidence that reflected their tremendous recent run of form. After a quiet opening 25 minutes with neither side registering a decent chance, Bury went in front as Danny Mayor ran at the Stags defence to the edge of the box and fired a lot shot, without power into the bottom right corner of the net. He was not closed down by the defence, which was disappointing, and Marriott should have been able to get a hand on it to tip it wide in my opinion. Bury controlled the game from then on, and increased the lead on 56 minutes as the impressive Craig Jones crossed from the right and striker Daniel Nardiello was in the right place to tap home from two yards, via the left post. Nardiello, on £2.5k per week at Bury, is a striker out of Mansfield’s league financially, and he made the Stags pay again on 63 minutes with a superb goal, outpacing Dempster and chipping over Marriott. The Stags pulled a goal back on 70 minutes as Daniel did very well to get in a cross from the left, and Bury keeper Jenson flapped it straight into the path of Clucas who stabbed into the roof of the net from close range, for his 13th goal of the season. But any minor hopes of a comeback were extinguished within 60 seconds as Bury made it 4-1, Marriott tipped away another good cross from Craig Jones and Jake Carroll fired a miscued shot into the ground and into the left corner of the net. Game over. The Stags failed to muster a single corner in the entire 90 minutes. Bury’s 3-5-2 formation worked perfectly for manager David Flitcroft, with wingbacks Craig Jones on the right and Jake Carroll on the left tormenting the Stags all night, whereas the formation did not work for the Stags, with Westlake and Daniel unable to create much going forward. A thoroughly miserable night was made worse with news of wins for Northampton and Wycombe below the Stags. The Stags will need to bounce back quickly.

The game went ahead at the third time of asking, after two Tuesday postponements. It was Mansfield's first evening kick-off at the One Call Stadium in the league since returning to the Football League.

Manager Paul Cox not surprisingly named an unchanged side from the team that played so well to beat Fleetwood on Saturday. Bury included former Stags trialist Pablo Mills, who scored against the Stags for Macclesfield last season, and Chris Sedgwick who for scored for Rotherham against the Stags fully 14 years ago in a Sky Sports live TV game that Mansfield won 3-2 at Millmoor with goals from Darrell Clarke, Micky Boulding and a stunner from Chris Greenacre.

It was the last game as physio for Simon Murphy. By all accounts, from the players and management, he’s done a super job. I’ve also found him very approachable and pleasant and I enjoyed sitting next to him at one youth team game. He’ll be hugely missed and we wish him good luck in his new job as assistant physio at Leicester, who will surely be in the Premier League next season.

It was a quiet opening 25 minutes to the game. On 2 minutes, a long cross from Bury right wing-back Craig Jones was taken well by Marriott, for an early confidence boost to the keeper. On 3 minutes, an ambitious 35 yard shot from Stevenson was deflected through to keeper Brian Jenson. Then on 6 minutes, a great run from Clucas who got to the byline, and put in a good cross; Rhead headed down but couldn’t find Stevenson as the pair were too far apart. Then on 7 minutes, Stevenson drilled a cross in from the right, Rhead nodded down, but Clucas miscontrolled and it was cleared. On 11 minutes, Nardiello got to the byline, and put in a cross, Howell put in a good clearance, the Stags broke straight to the other end with a Daniel run, but the ball was cleared. On 15 minutes, Stevenson got to the edge of the box, but his shot was blocked. It was not a great spectacle in the opening 25 minutes.

Bury were ahead on 25 minutes, as Danny Mayor ran at the Stags defence to the edge of the box and fired a lot shot, without power into the bottom right corner of the net. He was not closed down by the defence, which was disappointing, and Marriott should have been able to get a hand on it to tip it wide in my opinion. Marriott conceded a very similar goal in stoppage time against Southend recently, and I thought he also should have done better with Connolly’s goal for Oxford.

On 27 minutes, Clucas went down in the area, but the ref waved appeals away, correctly, it seemed. On 29 minutes, a long ball forward from Daniel found Clucas at an awkward height and Clucas hooked a shot wide. On 31 minutes, a good header away by Sutton from a Jones cross. Bury were now getting on top and looked confident since taking the lead.

On 33 minutes, Clucas turned on the edge of the area and sent in a low shot that was easily saved.

On 39 minutes, Marriott made a superb save to tip over a shot from Nardiello after a low ball from Mayor. To the amazement of everyone, the ref gave a goalkick, perhaps his only mistake of the game.

On 41 minutes, Rhead knocked the ball back to Clucas, 25 yards out, who shot wildly over.

Chanting from the Quarry Lane End just afterwards of “What a load of rubbish” had me gasping in amazement during full commentary for StagsPlayer. If we thought it was for the players, which we did, then probably the players also thought it was for them, and that won’t have helped. At that time, the Stags had been outplayed from minute 25 to minute 41: not much after a good run of form in recent matches. However, it turns out that the chanting was aimed at stewards over some incidents, the details of which I am not sure of.

Bury kept hold of the ball well once they had taken the lead and looked impressive.

Half time 0-1

On 46 minutes, Stevenson sent a shot from a difficult angle well wide.

On 49 minutes, Pablo Mills fouled Rhead 20 yards from goal. Clements sent a poor free kick well over the bar.

On 53 minutes, Westlake put in a challenge which had Bury players claiming a penalty; the loose ball dropped to Tutte whose low shot was well-saved by Marriott at full stretch. On 54 minutes, Clucas turned on the edge of the box and his shot took a ricochet which was easily saved by the keeper.

Bury increased the lead on 56 minutes as the impressive Craig Jones pulled back to Mayor who crossed from the right and striker Daniel Nardiello was in the right place to tap home from two yards, via the left post. Dreadful defending from Mansfield who were wide open at the back.

On 57 minutes, Daniel was booked for a late challenge on Jones.

On 61 minutes, a great move involving Westlake and Stevenson, and as Stevenson was about to shoot the ball was nicked off his toe.

Palmer replaced Rhead on 63 minutes.

Nardiello made the Stags pay again on 63 minutes with a superb goal, outpacing Dempster to reach a long ball forward and chipping over Marriott. No blame to Marriott.

On 67 minutes, a good cross from Jones, and Marriott was out well to punch clear.

Michael Cain, on loan from Leicester, came on for his debut on 67 minutes, in place of the out-of-sorts Clements.

The Stags pulled a goal back on 70 minutes as Daniel did very well to get in a cross from the left, and Bury keeper Jenson flapped it straight into the path of Clucas who stabbed into the roof of the net from close range, for his 13th goal of the season.

But any minor hopes of a comeback were extinguished within 60 seconds as Bury made it 4-1, Marriott tipped away another good cross from Craig Jones and Jake Carroll was one of two players unmarked as he fired a miscued shot into the ground and into the left corner of the net. More bad defending from Mansfield, and again I would not attach any blame to Marriott.

On 78 minutes, Jones fed sub Forrester whose shot was put behind for a corner by Sutton.

Hutchinson replaced Tafazolli on 81 minutes. Daniel moved to left back, with Sutton and Dempster at centre half, and Westlake at right back in a flat back four.

On 82 minutes, a good cross from Michael Cain, into the corridor of uncertainty, but no-one gambled in the middle.

On 86 minutes, a great move from the Stags involving Dempster, Westlake, Cain, Stevenson and Clucas set up Palmer for a free shot from 4 yards, but he fired wide of the left post. A poor effort from Palmer from a glorious chance.

On 87 minutes, Hutchinson picked up a loose ball 30 yards out, and sent a soft shot straight at the keeper.

A very bad night for the Stags.

Man of the match: Sam Clucas


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



Line Up:
Marriott 5 I thought he should have saved the first goal, but not at fault for the other three. Made two good saves, one to tip over from Nardiello and one from Tutte.
Westlake 5.5 Hardly got forward at all apart from a couple of good moves.
Sutton 5 A couple of good clearances, but the defence was poor.
Dempster 5 Outpaced for the third goal. Bad night at the office.
Tafazolli 5 Part of a poor defence.
Daniel 6 Did some good things going forward, though didn’t get forward enough; good cross which led to the Stags goal.
Howell 5.5 Didn’t get a grip of the midfield.
Clements 4 Very poor game, not at the races.
Stevenson 5 Involved in a few good things, but not enough.
Rhead 5 Found himself too far from Clucas and Stevenson notable when his knock downs were wasted.
Clucas 6.5 Notched his 13th goal of the season. Involved in most of the good things the Stags did, which wasn’t much.
Sub Line Up:
Palmer (for Rhead, 63) 5 Missed a glorious chance from close range.
Cain (for Clements, 67) 6 Looked lively. One very good cross into the corridor on uncertainty.
Hutchinson (for Tafazolli, 81) -
Subs not used: Beevers, Dyer, Meikle, McGuire.
Opposition Line Up:
Jensen; Veseli, Mills, McNulty; Jones, Carroll; Sedgwick, Tutte; Mayor (Miller, 72); Nardiello (Dudley, 90), Platt (Forrester, 68). Subs: Charles-Cook, Hinds, Proctor, Burke.
Referee:
Stuart Attwell 8 Generally handled the game well and showed why he is one of the top 20 refs in the country.


Season 13/14 Reports