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Season 13/14 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 3
 Torquay United
O'Connor OG 46.
 Dempster OG 12, Yeoman 31, Coulthirst 78.
Attendance: 3389 (275 from Torquay)
Date: 26 April 2014


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

Mansfield Town ended their home games for this season with a very disappointing defeat to bottom side Torquay United, who despite winning, were relegated to the Conference. The only real positive for the Stags was an impressive debut for young Liam Marsden at right wing-back. The Stags have ground their way into mid-table safety through guts and sheer determination, but sadly once the threat of relegation, and then the brief sniff of the play-offs, was extinguished, the fight and determination has disappeared from the team, and Torquay today (and Cheltenham on Monday) wanted the victory more. Without the determination, there wasn’t enough quality to compensate for lack of fight. After a positive opening from the Stags, in which Palmer should have scored, Torquay took the lead when Dempster shanked a cross a cross into his net. Torquay made it 2-0 when Yeoman headed home from close range from a fine cross from the left from the impressive Courtney Cameron. On 43 minutes, Matt Rhead was sent off for an over-the-top lunge; it was a rash challenge and a rare loss of composure after he’d been crocked minutes earlier. In the first minute of the second half, the Stags pulled a goal back through an own goal. The match DVD hasn’t got the goal but I’ve studied the footage from SkySportsNews and it looks a clear own goal from Anthony O'Connor who heads Clements corner into his own net. The Stags played with a bit more spirit following the goal but couldn’t find the equaliser and Torquay got a third when the excellent Coulthirst, on loan from Spurs, headed home. Too many poor performances from Stags players, but Adam Murray was a notable exception having shown spirit and leadership, while in goal Lewis Price made some good saves to prevent an embarrassing scoreline. One game left, away to Bristol Rovers next week, with Rovers needing a point for safety, but the Stags need to up their game to avoid a total damp squib end to the season.

Before the game a host of player of the season awards were given out: Matt Rhead picked up the SSA, CHAD, Ollerton Stags and Shirebrook Stags awards, while Sam Clucas picked up the award for most man of the match performances. The mansfieldtown.net award for player of the season will be announced at the End of Season dinner, currently Ryan Tafazolli is in the lead. Also to be awarded at the End of Season dinner will be the Goal of the Season, currently Ben Hutchinson is leading. At half time, the Stags Youth team were awarded their medals for winning the HKL North Midlands League, and Dan Fletcher picked up the Jack Retter young player of the year award from Paul Taylor.

Paul Cox made five changes to the side that lost to Cheltenham; young Liam Marsden came in for Westlake, Dempster replaced Tafazolli (out with a hip flexor injury), Daniel came in for Howell, Palmer replaced Clucas, and Clements replaced McGuire. It was a 3-2-2-1-2 formation with Daniel as the attacking midfielder.

Torquay came into the game needing two wins from their two games and hoping other results went their way.

Inside the first minute, Liam Marsden made a good touch to boost his confidence. On 2 minutes, a Jennings free kick went through everyone and the keeper tipped it away. Then on 3 minutes, Rhead set Palmer away down the left, he pulled the ball back to Clements, whose shot was deflected wide. It was a good start from the Stags.

On 7 minutes, Marsden got the ball in face from Sutton, which didn’t phase him.

The Stags should have been in front on 8 minutes. Jennings crossed from the left and Palmer headed wide from 3 yards with the goal at his mercy. Palmer may have been put off by Rhead getting a little flick on it, but he certainly should have got it on target. On 10 minutes, Marsden headed away from a cross. A minute later, Jennings broke down the left, and slid the ball across the box, but it was cleared.

Torquay hadn’t got anywhere near the Stags goal, but took the lead from an own goal on 12 minutes. Cargill crossed from the left, and Dempster shanked an attempted clearance, it came off his shin and past Lewis Price into the net.

On 15 minutes, a Marsden long throw was met by Rhead who headed onto the roof of the net. Marsden’s long throw is a bonus that he brings to the side and can be a valuable weapon.

Daniel limped off on 20 minutes, to be replaced by Clucas.

On 23 minutes, a Marsden long throw came back to Marsden, whose cross was deflected up and into the box, Rhead headed on and Dempster headed on target, and keeper Rice saved low to his left. On 29 minutes, Palmer won the ball and sent in a fine shot from the right corner of the area, which the keeper saved above his head.

It was 2-0 to Torquay on 31 minutes. A great cross from the left by Cameron was met by Yeoman unmarked who headed straight at Price who parried it and Yeoman bundled in the rebound. It was an incredible scoreline given that Torquay had not threatened apart from the own goal and then the goal.

On 39 minutes, a Clucas shot was going well wide but cleared anyway, Torquay broke quickly, the ball was played forward by Benyon to Yeoman who was through 1-on-1 with Lewis Price, but Yeoman pushed it past Price and wide of the post.

On 42 minutes, a Jennings free kick flicked off a defender for a corner. The resulting corner from Clements from the left, to the far post was perfect for Rhead who sent a clean just over the bar. It was a frustration for Rhead, who had been crocked moments earlier.

And Rhead’s frustration got the better of him as he lunged in with an over the top tackle on Mansell on 43 minutes. It was rash challenge and no surprise that the referee produced a straight red card. Clucas went up front in a 3-2-2-2 formation.

A strange scoreline at the break as Torquay had done little to justify their 2-0 lead, and the Stags were a man short.

Half time 0-2

Mansfield pulled a goal a minute into the second half, when the ball ended up in the net from a Clements corner from the left (details when we’ve seen the goal on TV as it’s not captured on the match DVD). Update: SkySportsNews footage shows that the corner from Clements from the left is headed into his own net by Anthony O'Connor.

On 48 minutes, Clucas cut in from the right and his shot hit a defender. Torquay broke straight to the other end and a shot from ?? went wide. On 52 minutes, Coulthirst got to the byline and Dempster did well to block the cross, but Riley dilly-dallied and Torquay won a corner. Following that corner Mansell fired just over the bar. On 54 minutes, Cargill crossed from the left and it went behind for a corner. From that corner, Lathrope fired wide.

On 60 minutes, Clucas cut in from the right, and hit cross/shot appeared to hit a Torquay hand but appeals for a penalty were waved away. On 61 minutes, Cameron was through on the left, ran at goal, and Lewis Price did brilliantly to tip his shot over. On 62 minutes, Murray did well to find Clucas who got past one man, but couldn’t get past the second on the edge of the box and the ball was cleared. On 65 minutes, Coulthirst sent in a good low shot from the right and Lewis Price saved well with his legs.

Jennings was booked for a foul on 68 minutes. On 70minutes, Yeoman sent an overhead kick over the bar from a corner. On 74 minutes, a Cameron corner from the left and Pearce volleyed over the bar from close range.

It was 3-1 to Torquay on 78 minutes. Riley gave the ball away on the halfway line, sub Jordan Chappell came forward down the right, crossed into the middle and Coulthirst headed past Lewis Price, unmarked.

Within a minute, Riley was substituted by Howell. He’d had a poor game.

On 81 minutes, Marsden did well to block a Cameron shot for a corner.

Spurs loanee Coulthirst was subbed on 84 minutes and received a round of applause from home fans.

On 85 minutes, Speight came on for Palmer.

On 87 minutes, Cameron crossed from the left and sub Stockley poked wide. Good play from Marsden on 90 minutes. Then on 90+1, an incredible save from Lewis Price from Mansell with his knees, and then Stags cleared off the line from a scrambled effort.

Full time brought relegation for Torquay with results going against them, and discontentment from home fans at a second consecutive home defeat.

Man of the match: Liam Marsden

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

Line Up:
Price 7.5 Made three very good saves in the second half and can’t really be blamed for the goals.
Sutton 5.5 Poor.
Riley 5 Second consecutive poor game. Gave the ball away for the third goal.
Dempster 5 Poor.
Marsden 7.5 Impressive debut from the youngster.
Jennings 5 Poor set pieces.
Murray 7 Battled hard and showed spirit and leadership.
Clements 6 Good corner for Rhead’s header and corner led to the goal. Didn’t create enough from open play though.
Daniel - Limped off injured early on.
Palmer 5 One good effort with a shot from the corner of the box, but one glaring miss when he should have got a header on target.
Rhead 5 Sent a free header over the bar, and lost his composure to get sent off.
Sub Line Up:
Clucas (for Daniel, 20) 6 Didn’t make much of an impact.
Howell (for Riley, 79) -
Speight (for Palmer, 85) -
Subs not used: Briscoe, Stevenson, Meikle, McGuire.
Opposition Line Up:
Rice; Tongue, Pearce, O’Connor, Cargill; Coulthirst (Stockley 84), Lathrope, Mansell, Cameron; Yeoman, Benyon (Chapell 76). Subs not used: Poke, Downes, Harding, Thompson, Stevens.
Gavin Ward 7 Generally handled the game well. Sending-off was correct.

Season 13/14 Reports