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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 2
 Southend United
Palmer 77.
 Leonard 16, Worrall 69.
Attendance: 2719 (325 from Southend)
Date: 1 November 2014


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town put in a terrible performance both defensively and going forward this afternoon and were completely outplayed by an impressive Southend United. The tone was set early as Riley was easily beaten by Weston and Marsden put in a great block to spare Riley’s blushes on 12 minutes. Southend took a deserved lead on 16 minutes in a superbly worked corner to Ryan Leonard on the edge of the box, who smashed home off the underside of the bar. The Stags were very much second best by half time with the central defence of Riley and Sendles-White playing so poorly while up front Oliver barely won a header or held on to the ball and Carr was anonymous. Southend should have been further ahead by the break, and would have been if Studer hadn’t made a wonderful save from Barry Corr from 18 yards on the stroke of half-time. The Stags didn’t get any better at the start of the second half though neither side created a single chance until Oliver headed over on 68 minutes. But a minute later, Southend made the Stags pay for horrendous defending as a long free-kick from the goalkeeper was headed across goal and David Worrall was left completely unmarked 10 yards out and fired past Studer. Route one football at its most deadly. It was only after that that Mansfield started playing well. On 72 minutes, sub Palmer headed on Studer’s kick and Bingham had a golden opportunity to pull one back but the keeper made a great save. The Stags did pull a goal back on 77 minutes as a mistake in the Southend defence presented Palmer with a chance 7 yards out and he buried it. The Stags were within an inch or two of an undeserved equaliser on 85 minutes when sub Bell fired just wide of the left post. And on 89 minutes Palmer headed a long throw straight into the keeper’s arms. Southend held on for their deserved victory. You can’t play as badly as the Stags did for 75 minutes and deserve to get anything out of a game. Only Studer, who had a good game, Marsden, who was the clear pick of the defence, and sub Palmer who scored and made things happen up front, can really come out of the game with any credit. The Stags fall 6 points behind the play-off zone and are 7 points above the relegation zone. On to the FA Cup next Saturday and there is no doubt the Stags could do with a decent cup run.

The Stags went in to the game on the back of four successive draws, and a fifth would equal the club record of five set in October to November 1986 under Ian Greaves (Chester 1-1, Rotherham 2-2, Bristol City 0-0, Swindon 0-0, Bolton 2-2).

The Stags were without 9 players through injury: Dempster, Tafazolli, Jones, Sutton, Freeman, Hearn, Rhead, Fisher, Heslop. Boss Paul Cox made one change from the side that drew at York as Riley returned from a back spasm to replace Sutton, out for 4-6 weeks with an injured jaw. Sutton is a big loss, having played so well this season. It was again a 4-4-2 formation with Danny Carr up front alongside Vadaine Oliver.

In the opening 5 minutes, there was some good passing around by the Stags which came to nothing.

Southend fired the first warning shot on 8 minutes when Myles Weston got to the byline on the left and cut the ball back to Barry Corr who fired wide of the right post from a good position.

On 10 minutes, a great tackle by Murray and then a brilliant ball forward towards Bingham but keeper Bentley managed to just get to the ball first and put it out for a throw.

On 12 minutes, Riley was muscled off the ball by Weston who got past him into the box and shot goalwards but Marsden did brilliantly to block the shot. It spared Riley’s blushes. A minute later, Leonard got into the area on the left and put the ball across goal which Beevers put behind for a corner. From the resulting corner, Studer made an easy save from a header from Weston.

Southend took the lead on 16 minutes. A corner from the right was played low to the edge of the box where Ryan Leonard hit a first time shot that crashed in of the underside of the bar. It was no more than Southend deserved. Leonard also scored at Field Mill last season.

On 20 minutes, Worrall crossed from the right and the Stags allowed Corr a free header which he sent over the bar, as Sendles-White jumped for the ball and missed it.

McGuire was booked on 21 minutes for an accumulation of fouls.

On 22 minutes, Leonard played a one-two and curled a shot well over the bar. But this was excellent play from Southend.

The Stags won a free kick 30 yards from goal on 24 minutes. Bingham took it and fired wide of the left post.

On 33 minutes, Worrall’s corner from the left found Corr unmarked 10 yards out, as Riley missed his header, and Corr had time to take aim with his shot. Studer took the sting out of the shot with a good save and then Taylor cleared it off the line.

On 42 minutes, McGuire found Bingham on the right. Bingham had a shooting chance but chipped over the bar. On 44 minutes, Murray played a ball down the right to Bingham who got past one man and tried to pull the ball back but it was put behind for a corner. Murray took the corner and Beevers headed over.

On 45+1 minutes, a wonderful save from Studer kept the Stags in the game as Corr shot powerfully from 18 yards and Studer beat it away.

The Stags were outplayed in the first half. Southend were clearly the better side. To put it in context, after the game, Southend manager Phil Brown said it was about the best he’d seen his Southend side play. But the Stags were poor. Riley and Sendles-White gave the Southend strikers far too much room, while upfront, Oliver and Carr, who had been impressive last week at York were very poor, Oliver barely winning a header and Carr anonymous.

Half time 0-1

It was a quiet start to the second half with chances in short supply for both sides.

On 54 minutes, a Southend cross from the right and Timlin headed back across goal but no one got on the end of it.

Clements then replaced McGuire. McGuire was on a yellow card and the Stags needed more creativity but Clements started with 2 poor crosses.

On 60 minutes, Bell replaced the anonymous Carr. The Stags switched from 4-4-2 to a 3-2-2-1-2 formation. Beevers moved from left back to become a third central defender. Marsden and Taylor switched to right and left wing back. Bell slotted in behind the front two of Bingham and Oliver.

On 66 minutes, Marsden and Timlin tussled in the box but there was no foul.

The Stags best chance of the game so far came on 68 minutes. A good move saw Bell play the ball to the left, Taylor crossed, it was headed out to Marsden on the right who crossed back and Oliver headed over.

But Southend made it 2-0 a minute later. A long free-kick from keeper Bentley was headed across goal by Corr, who out-muscled Riley, and David Worrall was totally unmarked 10 yards out with time to fire past Studer. It was more horrendous defending from the Stags who had left players unmarked far too many times.

On 70 minutes, Palmer replaced Oliver, who had had a poor game. There were some boos but it wasn’t clear to me what they were for. If they were for Palmer, that was unfair on a player who always gives his all even if he hasn’t hit any form this season.

The Stags should have pulled a goal back on 72 minutes. Studer’s long kick was headed on by Palmer, defender White missed it leaving Bingham through on goal and his shot brought a great save from keeper Bentley but Bingham should have scored.

A minute later, there was good defending at the other end from Marsden, who was putting in a good display while the other defenders around him were having a shocker. On 75 minutes, a Southend free kick from near the corner flag was headed over the bar by Williams.

The Stags did pull a goal back on 77 minutes. A long goal-kick from Studer was flicked on by Palmer, an attempted clearance hit Palmer and rebounded into the box, where Sokolik missed his kick giving Palmer a chance from 7 yards which he slotted in left footed. Terrible defending from Southend. Reward for determination from Palmer. Palmer’s first goal of the season, to give him a much-needed boost.

On 82 minutes, Taylor had the ball on the edge of the area but didn’t pull the trigger and the chance was gone. On 84 minutes, there was a good tackle by Riley, and Southend claimed a penalty but it never was.

The Stags were close to an equaliser they didn’t deserve on 85 minutes. A long throw from Marsden, Taylor’s shot was blocked and the ball dropped to Bell who fired a couple of inches wide of the left post. So close.

On 89 minutes, the Stags had another chance when Marsden’s long throw was headed straight into the keeper’s arms by Palmer. On 90+1, Bingham had a shot from the edge of the area which was blocked. The Stags had a chance to put the ball in the box on 90+3 with a free-kick but the set-piece from Clements was headed away.

The full time whistle brought a smattering of boos from the home fans. Southend deserved their victory but the Stags defended so poorly and only came alive up front after Palmer came on on 70 minutes.

To put Southend’s performance in context, their boss Phil Brown said after the game: “The first half was quite close to being the best I've seen us play.” Southend were very good and put the Stags under huge pressure. But the Stags need to do better than this.

A comment on the styles of football played in this game. From going through the game again on the DVD, Southend played a lot of route one football, and it was successful for them. The Stags played some in the opening 70 minutes, but not much as it was not proving successful with Oliver failing to win headers. When Palmer came on, the Stags knocked the ball up to him, he won flick-ons and the Stags suddenly created several chances. The Stags are at their best when they mix up the styles. But to do that, you have to win balls in the air and there is no better player to do that than Matt Rhead who has been missed in recent games, and you have to be creative too, and the Stags have missed Chris Clements, who is now back but needs to be better than he was when he came on here.

Man of the match: Sascha Studer and Liam Marsden

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

Line Up:
Studer 7 Made a superb save from Corr and otherwise had a good game. A big improvement with his kicking and no mis-kicks.
Marsden 7 The only defender to play well. One superb block.
Sendles-White 5 His first poor performance in a Stags shirt after looking so solid and strong in previous games.
Riley 4 Very poor game. Out-muscled early on. Part of a poor defence that gave Southend too much room. Finished the game better with a good tackle.
Beevers 5 Poor.
Bingham 6 One or two good moments.
Murray 6 Far from his best but did put in a few good tackles and a couple of good passes.
McGuire 5 Booked for an accumulation of fouls. Didn’t contribute much. One good ball out to the right.
Taylor 5 Never really ran at the Southend defence. Had one chance for a shot and didn’t pull the trigger.
Carr 5 Anonymous. Disappointing after his second half display at York.
Oliver 5 Barely won a header or held on to the ball.
Sub Line Up:
Clements (for McGuire, 54) 5 Great to see him back, but he disappointed here. Delivery from crosses from poor.
Bell (for Carr, 60) 6 So close to an equaliser with a shot a couple of inches wide.
Palmer (for Oliver, 70) - Set up a chance for Bingham, scored and had a header on target that was saved. His goal was a reward for determination. Excellent 20 minutes which could have earned an undeserved point.
Sub not used: Evtimov, Lambe, Thomas.
Opposition Line Up:
Bentley; White, Sokolik, Prosser, Williams; Worrall, Deegan, Leonard, Timlin; Corr, Weston (Coulthirst, 85). Subs not used: P. Smith, Thompson, Atkinson, Hurst, Bolger, Payne.
Gary Sutton 7 Barely noticed, so must have handled the game competently.

Season 14/15 Reports