Fisher pen 19, Riley 23, Palmer 88.
Attendance: 2331 (729 from Notts County)
Date: 12 July 2014
STAGS OUT-PLAY COUNTY IN IMPRESSIVE START TO PRE-SEASON
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium
The standing ovation that greeted the Stags at the final whistle was a good reflection of a very impressive start to the pre-season friendlies for Mansfield against Notts County. After Notts County had taken the lead with very poor defending by Mansfield from a corner, the Stags were soon in front with a penalty from new signing Alex Fisher after he had been brought down, and then a Martin Riley header from a well-worked corner as Matt Rhead headed back across goal. The Stags remained in control and got a third goal that their supremacy deserved with a header from Ollie Palmer direct from a Liam Marsden long throw near the end. Notts County played all their first teamers (this was not a youth team squad), including Hayden Mullins a player with vast Premier League experience, and veteran Alan Smith, now a midfielder rather than centre-forward. There were several impressive displays for Mansfield with Alex Fisher linking up well with Matt Rhead. Fisher showed good pace, while Rhead won everything in the air and usually found a Stags player with his well-directed lay-offs. Sam Clucas looked very good in a free role behind the front two. Of the two new signings in the last week: Amari’i Bell looked good at left wing-back, while Fergus Bell looked impressive with some running at the County defence. And aside from a dodgy opening 15 minutes, the Stags defence looked very solid and untroubled.
We were asked not to release the name of 4 trialists for Mansfield:
no.12, left footed player, played on right in first half and on left in second half,
no.20, defensive midfielder.
However after the game, it was released that the trialist goalkeeper was Dimitar Evtimov, a 21 year old goalkeeper from Nottingham Forest, who is a Bulgarian U-21 international. Evtimov didn’t have a single save to make in the entire 90 minutes (reflecting Mansfield’s superiority) and had no chance with the goal. He did make one good headed clearance outside his area in the second half, but he had looked a little nervous in the first half. He probably would have liked a few shots to save in order to have a chance to impress! However his kicking to find the head of Matt Rhead in the first half was very accurate.
The no.12, a left footed player, who played on right in first half and on left in second half, looked very good. NAME ADDED LATER AS ROB TAYLOR
The no.15, trialist striker didn’t impress. NAME ADDED LATER AS SHAUN HARROD
The no.20, a defensive midfielder was only on for 15 minutes, but looked ok. NAME ADDED LATER AS SAM TOGWELL
I will add the name of the trialists to this report later, once there is no reason to keep them quiet.
The two Mansfield elevens for the two halves were as follows:
1st half: Trialist (Dimitar Evtimov), Martin Riley, Ryan Tafazolli, John Dempster; Trialist (no.12, left footed, played on right), Amari’i Bell; Adam Murray, Jamie McGuire; Sam Clucas; Matt Rhead, Alex Fisher.
2nd half: Trialist (Dimitar Evtimov), Ritchie Sutton, Martin Riley, Ryan Tafazolli; Liam Marsden, Trialist (no.12, left footed, played on left in 2nd half); Fergus Bell (no.19), Anthony Howell, Chris Clements; Trialist (no.15, striker), Ollie Palmer.
Dempster (for Tafazolli, 75 mins)
Trialist (no.20, defensive midfielder) for Trialist (no.12) (75 mins)
It was a hot day in North Notts for this first pre-season friendly.
On 2 minutes, Stags trialist keeper Evtimov came for a high looping cross and muffed it. It signalled a nervous start for the keeper. The first chance of the game came on 6 minutes, when a long throw came out to McGuire who volleyed over. Then Evtimov was out of his area to make a good slide-tackle.
Notts County took the lead on 8 minutes. A low corner from the right, across the edge of the six-yard box, and the Stags defence was static as McGowan fired in, with McGuire unable to keep it out on the far post. Sleepy defending.
On 16 minutes, more sleepy marking from the Stags as a County free-kick from the left gave a free header for the County no.11 who headed wide. Rhead was supposed to be marking him.
On 17 minutes, a chance for Fisher when Rhead headed on Evtimov’s long goal-kick and Fisher was through on goal and chipped over County keeper Spiess and over the bar.
The Stags were level on 19 minutes. Fisher broke into the area on the left, heading away from goal, and was brought down by County keeper Spiess. It was a clear penalty. Having won the penalty, Fisher was determined to take it, and he sent the keeper the wrong way, confidently placing it down the right of the goal.
On 20 minutes, Evtimov’s nervousness showed again as he went to clear a throw-in and it rolled under his boot for a corner.
On 22 minutes, a Stags throw-in came to Amari’i Bell on the edge of the area, who shot goalwards and it deflected over.
The Stags were in front on 23 minutes. Murray took a corner from the left, to beyond the far post where Rhead headed back across the goal, and Riley headed in at the near post.
On 31 minutes, an Amari’i Bell long throw was headed on by Rhead, Fisher let it run across his body, swivelled and fired 2 yards over the bar. Encouraging stuff from Fisher. And Rhead’s knock-downs were consistently finding an amber shirt.
A minute later, Stags trialist no.12 made a positive run into the area.
On 34 minutes, a big kick out from keeper Evtimov, Rhead flicked on again, Fisher got on the end of it and tried to lob the keeper, by the keeper got a hand on it to palm it away. But more encouragement from Fisher.
On 40 minutes, a big kick out from keeper Evtimov again, Rhead headed it across the edge of the box, and Clucas sent a first time shot left-footed wide, having sliced it a bit.
A very encouraging first half. The Stags looked inventive going forward. It was a competitive game with some tasty battles involving Murray and McGuire in the centre of the park.
Half time 2-1
Plenty of changes at the start of the second half. The Stags made 7 changes (see team lists above) while County changed all 10 outfield players.
On 47 minutes, a backpass nearly reached Ollie Palmer.
With so many changes, the game didn’t get going.
On 62 minutes, a very good run down the right from Fergus Bell to win a corner.
On 63 minutes, a corner from the left by Stags trialist no.12 reached Sutton who had a shot which hit one of his own players, the trialist striker no.15.
On 64 minutes, Fergus Bell picked up a poor clearance, ghosted to the edge of the area, and had a good shot which the keeper tipped behind.
On 67 minutes, a long ball forward from keeper Evtimov, to Palmer, who got to the edge of the area and miscued well wide.
Tafazolli limped off on 75 minutes, and was replaced by Dempster, who had played in the first half. The injury to Tafazolli is not serious. At the same time, Stags trialist no.12 was replaced by trialist no.20, a defensive midfielder.
A rare chance for Notts County, who were very poor, on 78 minutes, as Liam Noble shot well wide from the edge of the area. Still no shot for Evtimov to save, and indeed he never got one.
On 79 minutes, Stags trialist striker no.15 had a poor shot from the edge of the area that went well wide.
On 83 minutes, Evtimov did well, coming out of his area and with a diving header, cleared away the danger.
But trialist no.20 defensive midfielder gave the ball away, a County player broke into the area and there were shouts for a penalty after a challenge by Sutton, but it looked a weak claim.
On 86 minutes, a County player broke into the Stags box, and Dempster blocked a shot which ended up with Evtimov.
It was 3-1 to Mansfield on 88 minutes. Marsden hurled a long throw in from the right, and Palmer met it with a clean header into the top right of the net.
The Stags deserved the two goal lead, and received a standing ovation at the final whistle.
Man of the match: Alex Fisher
Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium
Evtimov 6 Didn’t have a single save to make in the entire 90 minutes and had no chance with the goal. He did make one good headed clearance outside his area in the second half, but he had looked a little nervous in the first half. He probably would have liked a few shots to save in order to have a chance to impress! However his kicking to find the head of Matt Rhead in the first half was very accurate
Riley 7 Defence made a poor start, but very solid after that. Scored with a header.
Tafazolli 7 Looked assured and composed.
Dempster 7 Good block, and defended well.
Trialist (no.12, left footed) 7.5 Looked very good, some good runs. Decent corners in the second half.
Amari’i Bell 7 Looked good at left wing-back.
Murray 6.5 Got stuck in from the start. Super corner for Riley’s goal.
McGuire 6.5 Some tasty battles.
Clucas 7.5 Looked very good in a free role behind the front two.
Rhead 8 Won everything in the air and usually found a Stags player with his well-directed lay-offs. Set up the second goal.
Fisher 8 Linked up well with Matt Rhead and showed good pace. Won and scored a penalty, could have had two other goals.
Sub Line Up:
Sutton 7 Defended solidly. Could have scored from a corner.
Marsden 7 Did well in the right wing-back role. Two long throws near the end causing danger, the second from which Palmer scored.
Fergus Bell 7.5 Looked impressive with some running at the County defence. One very good shot was tipped away.
Howell 6.5 A couple of decent balls.
Clements 6 Didn’t get into the game too much.
Trialist (no.15, striker) 5 Didn’t impress.
Palmer 6 Fine header for the goal.
Trialist (no.20, defensive midfielder) - Came on after 75 mins. Gave the ball away unnecessarily, nearly leading to a penalty.
Opposition Line Up:
Notts County First Half: Spiess, McGowan, Mullins, Tempest, Dixon, Adams, Smith, Trialist, Balmy, Murray, Bishop.
Notts County Second Half: Spiess, Thompson, McKenzie, Hollis, Keane, Trialist, Noble, Wroe, Trialist, Trialist, Waite.