{ match reports }
 
Stagsnet wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town  
1 - 3
 Aston Villa
Fisher 41.
 
 Bent 61, 90, Gardner 85.
Attendance: 3432 (1078 from Aston Villa)
 
Date: 17 July 2014

STAGS IMPRESSIVE AGAINST PREMIER LEAGUE OPPOSITION

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium

Mansfield Town put in an impressive display against Premier League Aston Villa on Thursday night. The circumstances were very different to the last time a Premier League club came to the One Call Stadium of course (Liverpool in the FA Cup) but this was a useful pre-season workout against Villa’s first team players including debutantes Joe Cole and Kieran Richardson and the returning Darren Bent. The Stags received a standing ovation from the 2400 home fans at the end of the game despite conceding two goals in the last five minutes to lose the game. In an even first half, Mansfield took the lead on 41 minutes when a trademark long throw from young right wing-back Liam Marsden was headed on by John Dempster and headed in by Alex Fisher. The Stags had already come close with a crisply struck 30 yard free-kick from Sam Clucas that was turned around the post by Shay Given. At the other end, Mansfield’s unnamed trialist keeper from Birmingham City made two good saves while Richie Sutton cleared off the line. In the second half Clucas had a sight of goal before worryingly limping off and then leaving the stadium on crutches and a protective strapping that went up to his knee. Later in the evening Clucas tweeted “Good news from X-ray just need to see what MRI scan says tomorrow” which was better news than it might have been. Darren Bent equalised for Villa on 61 minutes with a tap-in following excellent play along the by-line from Scottish international Alan Hutton. Stags trialist keeper made three more fine saves. It took until the final ten minutes of the game for Villa’s Premier League stars to finally get on top of the Stags and it was no surprise when they scored twice in the final 5 minutes running rings around Mansfield’s tiring defence, as first Gary Gardner toe-poked home after a superbly worked move, and then Bent headed in from close range after good play from Andreas Weimann.

Plenty of positives for the Stags with particularly good displays from Alex Fisher, Ollie Palmer, Fergus Bell (before he limped off), Sam Clucas, the central defenders (who all played 90 minutes before they tired late on) and young Liam Marsden who continues to not look out of place in the side and whose long throw is a potent weapon . The trialist keeper from Birmingham also made some very good saves though his kicking was erratic.

Villa’s style of play won’t reflect what we can expect in League Two, and we’ll get more of an idea where the Stags are in terms of preparation for the season with the trips to Grimsby and Lincoln, and the home game with Walsall. But the players are getting good workouts with the current prestigious friendlies at the One Call Stadium.

Stags team (3-2-3-2 formation):

Trialist keeper (from Birmingham City; LATER NAMED AS NICK TOWNSEND);
Sutton, Dempster, Riley;
Marsden, Trialist left wing-back (who also played 75 mins against Notts Co, LATER NAMED AS ROB TAYLOR);
Trialist defensive midfielder, McGuire, Fergus Bell;
Palmer, Fisher.

Subs:
Clucas (for Fergus Bell, 29 mins)
Amari’i Bell (for Trialist left wing-back, 46)
Howell (for Trialist defensive midfielder, 46)
Rhead (for Palmer, 46)
Jack Thomas (for Clucas, 55)
Trialist striker (LATER NAMED AS SHAUN HARROD) (for Fisher, 67)
Chris Spencer (youth teamer) (for McGuire, 80)
Trialist no.11 (for Marsden, 80)

Villa (1st half): Given, Lowton, Okore, Clark, Bennett, Bacuna, Carruthers, Delph, Tonev, Cole, Agbonlahor.

Villa (2nd half): Steer, Herd, Westwood, Baker, Hutton, El Ahmadi, Gardner, Richardson, N’Zogbia, Bent, Weimann.


On a beautiful evening in Mansfield, the Stags had the first chance: on 2 minutes, Trialist left wing-back (who also played 75 mins against Notts Co) shot over the bar from 22 yards.

On 6 minutes, Sutton did well to clear off the line when the dangerous Bacuna rounded the trialist goalkeeper and Bennett’s close range effort was goalbound.

On 8 minutes, Palmer drifted across the edge of the box and fired wide of the left post.

Marsden put in two good blocks.

Then on 17 minutes, Marsden put a brilliant ball down the line, Fisher controlled well, and shot from a tight angle straight at Shay Given, though he was never going to beat him from that angle.

On 20 minutes, a good save from the trialist keeper from Bacuna’s shot.

On 23 minutes, Palmer superbly trapped a ball over the top, but it didn’t come to anything.

On 29 minutes, Bacuna crossed from the right and Gabby Agbonlahor headed just over.

Moments later, Fergus Bell had to limp off, to be replaced by Clucas. A shame, because Fergus Bell had started well.

On 31 minutes, Agbonlahor set up Bacuna on the right, who fired wide.

A great ball from Clucas to Palmer on 33 minutes but Palmer was muscled out of it.

A free kick for the Stags 30 yards out on 34 minutes after a high kick against Fisher. Clucas took it and struck it crisply but Shay Given turned it round the post.

On 35 minutes, a corner from Clucas from the left and Dempster got a header on target but it was cleared.

On 37 minutes, another good save from the trialist keeper, low down, from Bacuna’s low shot.

Mansfield took the lead on 41 minutes when a trademark long throw from young right wing-back Liam Marsden was headed on by John Dempster and headed in by Alex Fisher at the far post.

A good first half from Mansfield with impressive displays especially from Fisher, Fergus Bell, Marsden and Ollie Palmer. Trialist left wing-back had a tough job against the fabulous right winger Bacuna and did ok in the circumstances. Villa had lots of possession in their own half, but didn’t create much with it.

Half time 1-0

Three changes for the Stags at the start of the second half as Amari’i Bell, Howell (playing again effectively as a trialist), and Rhead, replaced Trialist left wing-back, Trialist defensive midfielder, and Palmer. Villa changed their entire 11.

On 52 minutes, Clucas had half a sight of goal but the ball was cleared. Clucas looked as though he got crocked by the Villa keeper and he was to come off 3 minutes later, replaced by young Jack Thomas. Meanwhile, on 53 minutes, Gardner sent a free kick from 28 yards wide of the left post for Villa.

It was 1-1 on 61 minutes as Darren Bent equalised for Villa with a tap-in following excellent play along the by-line from Scottish international Alan Hutton.

On 67 minutes, Trialist striker replaced the impressive Fisher.

On 73 minutes, another good save from the trialist keeper, from close range from Bent. Bent was flagged offside but the keeper wouldn’t have known that.

Then on 78 minutes, the trialist keeper made a good save with his legs, from a Bent shot following a cross into the middle. On 80 minutes, El Ahmadi shot just wide.

Youth teamer Chris Spencer replaced McGuire, while another Trialist (no.11) replaced Marsden.

On 85 minutes, Aston Villa went in front. Gary Gardner toe-poked home after a superbly worked move.

On 87 minutes, Kieran Richardson crossed and Andreas Weimann’s close range shot was excellently saved with his legs by the trialist keeper.

It had taken until the final few minutes of the game for Villa’s Premier League stars to finally get on top of the Stags.

On the stroke of 90 minutes, and with virtually the last kick of the game (no injury time has been played in the friendlies so far), Bent headed in from close range after good play from Andreas Weimann who got to the by-line.

A standing ovation for the Stags players at the final whistle.

Man of the match: Alex Fisher


Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium



Line Up:
Trialist keeper (from Birmingham City; LATER NAMED AS NICK TOWNSEND) 8
Sutton 7
Dempster 7
Riley7
Marsden 8
Trialist left wing-back (who also played 75 mins against Notts Co, LATER NAMED AS ROB TAYLOR) 7
Trialist defensive midfielder 6 (LATER NAMED AS SEANAN CLUCAS)
McGuire 6
Fergus Bell 8
Palmer 7
Fisher 8
Sub Line Up:
Clucas (for Fergus Bell, 29 mins) 8
Amari’i Bell (for Trialist left wing-back, 46) 6
Howell (for Trialist defensive midfielder, 46) 6
Rhead (for Palmer, 46) 6
Jack Thomas (for Clucas, 55) 6.5
Trialist striker (LATER NAMED AS SHAUN HARROD) (for Fisher, 67) 6
Chris Spencer (youth teamer) (for McGuire, 80) -
Trialist no.11 (for Marsden, 80) -
Opposition Line Up:
Villa (1st half): Given, Lowton, Okore, Clark, Bennett, Bacuna, Carruthers, Delph, Tonev, Cole, Agbonlahor.
Villa (2nd half): Steer, Herd, Westwood, Baker, Hutton, El Ahmadi, Gardner, Richardson, N’Zogbia, Bent, Weimann.
Referee:
Craig Pawson


Season 14/15 Reports