{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 0
Fisher 90.
Attendance: 2185 (65 from Morecambe)
Date: 16 September 2014


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Alex Fisher was the Stags hero on Tuesday night, heading home from close range ten seconds before the 90 minute mark to give Mansfield a deserved victory over second-placed Morecambe. The goal came as Tafazolli headed on a long throw from Liam Marsden. It looked like the Stags were going to be frustrated after going close numerous times throughout the evening, with Bingham missing a glorious chance early on, and Beevers hitting the top of the bar in the first half, and then three goalbound shots blocked in quick succession in the second half, plus chances for Matt Rhead, and Fisher heading straight at the keeper from an earlier Marsden long throw. At the other end, Evtimov made a fine save in the first half from McGowan, Ellison missed from the edge of the box in the second half, and Riley made a superb last ditch tackle on Ellison on 86 minutes. Other than that Morecambe offered nothing in front of goal. The Stags had played some good football through most of the game, whilst Morecambe played more long ball than the Stags; the second home game running this has happened, after Burton also played more long ball than the Stags. Good entertainment for the Stags fans, who gave the team a standing ovation at the end and were right behind them throughout the 90 minutes. Mansfield are up to 10th.

Manager Paul Cox kept an unchanged side from the one which was undeservedly beaten at Wycombe. Second placed Morecambe rested star player Kevin Ellison because at his age, he is now not able to play three games in seven days apparently. Ellison was though on the bench.

The Stags made a positive start. Rakish Bingham, on his home debut, made a good run from his own half to the edge of the area after 2 minutes having been gifted the ball from a Morecambe corner but was dispossessed. On 3 minutes, Marsden tried his luck from 35 yards but his shot was high and wide.

On 5 minutes, a poor back header from Sutton nearly let in Amond but the Morecambe striker couldn’t get on the end of it and Evtimov was able to claim.

On 6 minutes, Murray’s free kick into the box found 3 Stags players offside, as Tafazolli squared to Bingham who put the ball into the empty net but the offside flag was already up.

On 10 minutes, the Stags should have been in front. Rhead fired in a great shot from 25 yards which the keeper parried out straight to Bingham, but with a clear sight of goal, Bingham blasted wide with his left foot. He should have scored.

The Stags were playing it on the floor and were all over Morecambe.

On 14 minutes, a good move from the Stags ended with Murray trying to play in Bingham and eventually, the Stags got a free kick for a high kick on Beevers. Clements took it which was cleared back to him and his second cross was also cleared.

The Stags went close again on 17 minutes. Keeper Roche came to the edge of his area to clear only as far as Beevers who curled an effort from 25 yards on to the top of the bar.

On 28 minutes, Morecambe’s first sight of goal as McGowan sent a shot towards the top left corner which Evtimov saved well, clawing it away. From the resulting corner, the ball was played back in and the offside flag went up after which Morecambe put the ball in the empty net.

On 29 minutes, Murray tried to shoot but couldn’t make contact.

The Stags were right on top in the opening half an hour and the fans were appreciating the play.

On 31 minutes, Marsden’s long throw was headed on by Tafazolli and eventually cleared. A minute later, a free kick from Clements from the right, Tafazolli headed it back across goal, it hit Rhead and ended in the keeper’s arms.

Controversy on 43 minutes as it appeared that Morecambe keeper Roche cradled the ball in his arms just outside his area but the officials waved play on. The match DVD is inconclusive as to whether or not it was a foul, but if it had been, it would have surely been a straight red.

A decent half from the Stags who were right on top, but unable to turn that into goals. Delivery from free kicks was a slight disappointment.

Half time 0-0

On 47 minutes, a Stags free kick from the halfway line, Rhead headed it across goal and Bingham hung out a leg but couldn’t reach it. Two minutes later, a good run from Bingham from the halfway line and he fired over the bar via a deflection, coming after good play at the back from Riley and then from Marsden to clear it up field. From the resulting corner, Rhead headed down but it was cleared. On 50 minutes, Murray tried his luck from 35 yards and shot high and wide.

On 56 minutes, Morecambe introduced strike pair Mullen and Ellison.

On 58 minutes, Clements tee’ed up Bell for a shot from 22 yards but it was straight at the keeper.

On 60 minutes, a trio of shots for the Stags were all blocked inside 3 minutes. Firstly Bingham’s shot from 12 yards was blocked. A minute later, Beevers’ shot from 12 yards was blocked and deflected for a corner. Then, on 63 minutes, Clements’ corner came out to Murray who side-footed goalwards, and it was cleared off the line. On 64 minutes, good play between Bingham and Bell and Bell tried to get past his man but just couldn’t. On 67 minutes, Bell found Bingham who crossed but the ball was cleared .

On 71 minutes, a good effort from Rhead from 35 yards and keeper Roche tipped it wide. From the resulting corner, Rhead headed low straight at the keeper.

Bell had picked up a shoulder injury and was replaced by Fisher on 74 minutes. Moments later, Bingham shot goalwards from 12 yards and the keeper saved with his legs. On 76 minutes, Marsden put in a ball to the far post and it came off the top of Rhead’s head for a goal kick.

A minute later, a long throw from Marsden and Fisher flicked a header into the keeper’s arms.

A rare chance came for Morecambe on 78 minutes, their first of the half, as Ellison shot wide from the edge of the area following a good move. Sutton did just enough to put Ellison off.

A minute later, a trademark Murray ball swept from right to left to switch play. On 81 minutes, Rhead shot well wide after interchanging with Fisher.

It was Rhead’s last action as he was replaced by Palmer. On 83 minutes, Fisher was booked for a foul on Ellison.

A critical moment came on 86 minutes as Riley put in a superb last ditch tackle on Ellison just inside the area. Ellison would have been through on goal but for Riley’s tackle and, if Riley had mistimed it, it could have been a penalty and a straight red card.

The Stags got the goal they deserved 10 seconds before the 90 minute mark. Marsden’s long throw from underneath the scoreboard was headed on by Tafazolli and Fisher headed in from 2 yards.

On 90+2, Heslop replaced Bingham.

In the third and final minute of stoppage time, Morecambe won a corner on the right and sent keeper Roche forward for it. Evtimov punched away decisively and it was the last significant action.

At the final whistle, there was a thoroughly deserved standing ovation for a good performance and an important three points.

Man of the match: Adam Murray

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

Line Up:
Evtimov 7 Good save from McGowan in the first half, and decisive punch from late corner. Had a quiet game otherwise.
Sutton 7 One back header was left short, but generally defended well, and did well to put Ellison off when he shot wide.
Riley 7.5 Superb last ditch tackle on Ellison on 86 minutes which could almost be described as match-winning, as much as the winning goal itself. Very solid.
Tafazolli 7.5 Very solid at the back. Caused danger in the Morecambe box and headed on for the winner.
Marsden 7 His long throw was the weapon that led to a goal when other routes had failed. Defended solidly.
Beevers 7 Doing well filling in at left wing-back. Unlucky with a shot against the top of the bar, and another shot blocked.
Murray 8 Marshalled the troops well. Some great passing. Had a shot cleared off the line.
Clements 7 Some good set pieces and some not so good. Kept the Stags moving with some good passing.
Bell 7 Some very good link-up play with Bingham. Classy. Shoulder injury forced him off.
Bingham 7.5 Exciting home debut, with great running at the Morecambe defence, and getting shots in. Should have scored early on and let himself be affected by it in the first half; needs to just move on when he misses a chance. Excellent second half.
Rhead 7.5 Two fine shots from distance, and created danger with headers too.
Sub Line Up:
Fisher (for Bell, 74) 7 Scored the decisive goal, and went close with a carbon copy effort earlier.
Palmer (for Rhead, 81) -
Heslop (for Bingham, 90+2) -
Sub not used: Studer, Taylor, McGuire, Thomas.
Opposition Line Up:
Roche: Parrish, Hughes, Edwards; McGowan (sub Devitt, 77), Kenyon, Drummond, Fleming, Widdowson; Amond (sub Mullen 56), Sampson (sub Ellison 56). Subs not used: Arestidou, Williams, Goodall, Wright.
Stephen Martin 7 Decent game.

Season 14/15 Reports