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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
3 - 2
 Carlisle United
Beevers 4, Bingham 37, 41.
 Amoo 61, Dempsey 70
Attendance: 3117 (313 from Carlisle)
Date: 20 September 2014


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

In a real game of two halves, Mansfield roared into a 3-0 lead at half-time over Carlisle, playing some super football in the opening 15 minutes and final 15 minutes of the half. Carlisle fought back in the second half with goals after 61 and 70 minutes and put the Stags under considerable pressure, playing some very good football themselves going forward. It was clear to see where Carlisle’s problems lie, and why they are bottom of the table, as their defence looked poor, but they certainly had some quality going forward. Mansfield’s three first half goals were no more than they deserved: the first goal came from an unlikely source as Lee Beevers headed home only his second Stags goal (and his first had come at Telford from a miscued cross). Liam Marsden had crossed for that goal, and Marsden provided another perfect cross for the second goal which was beautifully converted with a side-footed volley by Rakish Bingham to score his first home goal. Mansfield’s third goal came when Beevers won the ball halfway inside his own half, ran all the way to just outside the Carlisle box and teed up Bingham who fired just inside the right post. Outstanding first halves from Beevers, Marsden and Bingham. But the second half was a different story as Carlisle pulled a goal back out of the blue on 61 minutes, and then proceeded to take control, scoring again on 70 minutes, and having some good chances to equalise. The Stags showed some grit to hold on in the closing stages, for back to back home wins for the second time this season, and climbing to 8th (level on points with two play-off places).

The build-up to the game had seen Carlisle announce former Stags manager Keith Curle as their new manager on Friday. Often there is a “new manager effect” when teams pick up two or three wins with new managers as players who have probably been underperforming tend to give an extra 10 or 20% in those first games. Curle himself of course won his first three league games as Stags manager when he took over the side struggling in the third tier in 2002 (see here). So it wasn’t great news for the Stags with the timing of Curle’s appointment on Friday, and although you wouldn’t have known it in the first half, the players certainly looked determined to play for the new manager in the second half. Mind you, the Stags can’t complain and had remarkable luck in the Conference promotion season when three games on the trot we played teams without a manager just before they appointed a new manager (reference here)! A classic example of the effect a new manager can have is Accrington’s 5-4 win at Northampton today.

The Stags were unchanged from the side that played so well in beating Morecambe on Tuesday. Fergus Bell played with a painkilling injection in his shoulder, injured on Tuesday night. New signing Reggie Lambe was on the bench.

The Stags were quick out of the traps, and a good move in the opening minute as Bell fed Bingham on the edge of the area and curled a shot into the keeper’s arms. On 3 minutes, Dempsey crossed for Carlisle, Paynter headed across goal and Evtimov claimed.

The Stags were ahead on 4 minutes. Marsden crossed from the right and Beevers headed in from 6 yards. Only Beevers’ second goal for the Stags, and an unlikely way for him to score with a header. He has come close with shots in recent weeks, including a shot against the top of the bar against Morecambe and another shot blocked.

The Stags were playing some nice football, with Bell and Clements clearly intent on keeping the ball on the floor.

On 8 minutes, a lovely touch from Beevers on the left touchline, and then moments later he was fouled for a free kick. The free kick from Clements was punched away. A chance for Carlisle on 11 minutes as Stephen Elliott flicked just wide of the left post.

On 17 minutes, good work by Rhead to find Murray, and Murray couldn’t get a shot in.

On 19 minutes, the Stags crossed into the middle, keeper Gillespie came to the edge of his area and put in a poor clearance but the Stags couldn’t capitalise.

On 23 minutes, Riley did well to block a shot by Antony Sweeney.

Bingham showed a bit of inexperience on 26 minutes when a he thought he was fouled but wasn’t given a free kick, he chased after his man and a reckless challenge brought him a yellow card. On 29 minutes, the left-footed Brough, playing on the right, cut inside Beevers on to his favoured left foot and sent a powerful shot wide. Beevers should have taken him out wide. Carlisle had a good spell of 15 minutes between 15 and 30 minutes after the Stags had dominated early on.

On 34 minutes, Rhead headed on, and Bingham nearly got there but the keeper just beat him to it. Moments later, good play from the Stags as Bingham won the ball, got it out to Rhead, who crossed back in. Rhead probably should have taken a shot first time, though it was easy to say in hindsight.

It was 2-0 to the Stags on 36 minutes. A long throw from the left from Marsden, came back out to him, and Marsden sent over a delicious cross to Bingham, who volleyed with the side of his right boot into the net from a tight-ish angle from the right. It was Bingham’s second Stags goal, at first at Field Mill.

On 39 minutes, quick thinking from Murray as he slid a free-kick down the line on the right for Bingham who got a shot in on goal which was saved, but the offside flag was up. It typified the Stags approach of plenty of play on the deck.

It was 3-0 on 41 minutes. Beevers won the ball halfway inside his own half, ran all the way to just outside the Carlisle box and teed up Bingham on the edge of the box who fired just inside the right post. It looked like Bingham’s shot had come off the outside of his right boot, but he told us after the game that it came off his shin!

3-0 at the break and the Stags had been irresistible for the first 15 minutes and last 15 minutes of the half. Beevers and Marsden were superb, and Bingham was exciting the home crowd. Carlisle’s defence looked shoddy. A great reception from the home fans as the players came off. At the break, the Carlisle media pack told us that Carlisle would need a miracle from Keith Curle to stay up. I said I thought they looked ok going forward in that first half, but agreed they were very poor at the back.

Half time 3-0

Mansfield were forced into a change they didn’t want to make on 48 minutes when the influential Clements had to go off with a hamstring injury. McGuire replaced him and Mansfield lost some invention.

On 55 minutes, the Stags won a free-kick 22 yard from goal. Fergus Bell took it, straight into the wall. At the other end on 56 minutes, a Carlisle corner from the right, and Evtimov came and just got enough on it to clear, though it wasn’t entirely convincing. But on 60 minutes, a great punch from Evtimov from a Brough cross.

Carlisle pulled a goal back on 61 minutes. Paynter shanked a shot from the right, it fell to half time substitute David Amoo, 8 yards out, and he had all the time in the world to fire into the net unchallenged. The Stags defence had switched off.

On 62 minutes, Murray fired over the bar from 30 yards.

On 66 minutes, Evtimov made a fine save, from Elliott’s low shot following a corner. A minute later, Elliott crossed from the left, and Amoo outjumped Beevers and sent a free header wide. It was close. The warning signs were there for the Stags who needed to re-assert their authority from the first half.

But Carlisle scored again on 70 minutes to cut the arrears to 3-2. Dempsey made a great run across the edge of the penalty area from left to right and then fired back across Evtimov into the net; a very good goal. Carlisle had taken control and the Stags were defending poorly allowing too much space in and around the box.

On 73 minutes, Fergus Bell did well to block a shot from Gary Dicker. Moments later, a Carlisle cross from the right and half-time sub Beck headed over but the whistle had already gone for a foul on Riley.

The Stags were forced into another change on 74 minutes as Fergus Bell went off with his shoulder sore again. After the game, Bell jokingly asked me if I had a spare shoulder when I spoke to him. The fact that he was joking about it, suggested the injury wasn’t too serious.

On came Reggie Lambe for his Stags debut.

Bingham tried his luck from 35 yards on 78 minutes and caught it sweetly but was well over the bar.

Mansfield had started to get a grip back on the game, at last, but Carlisle created another chance on 80 minutes as Archibald-Henville flicked wide from a cross from the right.

The Stags could have increased the lead on 81 minutes with a good move involving Lambe, and Marsden put in a low cross from the right, but no-one attacked it, although a Carlisle defender nearly put it into his own net anyway and put it behind for a corner. From the resulting corner, taken by Murray from the right, Rhead headed onto the roof of the net.

Bingham had run out of steam, and was replaced by Fisher on 83 minutes. There boos from a small section of the crowd and some cries of “you don’t know what you’re doing”. Out of order in my opinion. In the later few minutes of the game, Rhead was also running on empty, but I would always want Rhead on in the last few minutes to head away corners and long throws when you’re holding on to a lead, and this was probably Paul Cox’s thinking. Having said that, if Clements and Bell had not already gone off injured and Bingham run out of steam, then Palmer would probably have replaced Rhead as well.

Carlisle’s final chance came on 90 minutes as Amoo headed well over from a Grainger corner. Evtimov firmly punched away a free-kick from the half-way line in stoppage time.

Relief for the Stags at the final whistle. The Stags players gathered into a huddle, showing the spirit that they recovered in the final minutes of the game to hang on to the points after a great first half showing, but then crumbling for about 20 minutes from Carlisle’s first goal on 61 minutes until about 80 minutes. Carlisle were superb in that period, and if they sort their defence out, are well capable of climbing the table.

Several good performances, but it would be tough for any of Bingham, Marsden and Beevers not to get full credit for the win, and so I split my man of the match between the three of them. Wonderful entertainment for the neutral, and the Stags are really playing some exciting football with Bingham, Bell, Clements doing their best to show flair, and Reggie Lambe briefly showed he might have similar flair, while the 60 yard run from Lee Beevers for the second goal was out of the top drawer.

Man of the match: Bingham, Marsden and Beevers

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

Line Up:
Evtimov 6.5 Two good punches away and one good save. One cross he got just enough on to clear, though it wasn’t entirely convincing. No chance with the goals.
Sutton 6.5 Solid first half, part of the defence that went to sleep in the second half.
Riley 6.5 Mostly solid, and one good block. Went to sleep for a period in the second half, before getting to grips with the game again.
Tafazolli 6.5 Decent first half, but also had a poor second half.
Marsden 8.5 Outstanding first half, including two superb crosses for goals.
Beevers 8.5 His 60 yard run for the second goal was fabulous, and he also scored from a header.
Murray 7 Some good passing.
Clements 7 Good first half, looking inventive, before going off with hamstring injury.
Bell 7 Played some good football. Had to go off with shoulder injury.
Bingham 8.5 Two goals and excited the crowd again by running at defenders.
Rhead 6.5 Gave everything and was running on empty at the end. One header onto the roof of the net.
Sub Line Up:
McGuire (for Clements, 48) 5.5 Didn’t get into the game.
Lambe (for Bell, 74) - Briefly showed he has some flair.
Fisher (for Bingham, 83) -
Sub not used: Studer, Taylor, Helsop, Palmer.
Opposition Line Up:
Gillespie, White, Archibald-Henville, Brough, Grainger, Sweeney (Amoo 46), Dicker, Potts (Beck 46), Dempsey, Paynter, Elliott (Kearns 83). Subs not used: Marrow, Symington, Hanford, Marriott.
Seb Stockbridge 7 Good game, barely noticed.

Season 14/15 Reports