picked up a fabulous away win at the Moss Rose this afternoon. It was a
real tonic for the side after successive defeats against Oxford and
Exeter. Mansfield dominated the game, creating numerous chances whilst
keeping the home side to hardly a single chance. But the game turned in
injury time. After Pilkington had made a brilliant one handed save to
prevent a certain goal, Stags went to the other end, and from a disputed
corner, Allen Tankard sent a header looping into the top left corner of
the net to send Stags players and fans into ecstasy. Considering the
freezing conditions, Macclesfield did extremely well to get the game on,
and to get the pitch into almost perfect condition. This was mainly due to
having sheets to cover the pitch. Indeed Mansfield could learn a lesson
from this. Bradley came into the Stags side for the flu-ridden Piper
in an otherwise unchanged line-up. Tankard had recovered to retain his
place in the starting line-up.
Stags dominated the first half and created about 6 or 7 good chances, but
failed to take any, whilst the home side barely mustered a shot at
goal. Corden had 3 shooting chances, whilst Lawrence had the best
chance with a shot from 8 yards that went wide after the ball seemed to
get stuck under his boots. At the back, Stags were rarely troubled with
Barrett in outstanding form.
Half time 0-0
At half time Macclesfield centre half Tinson, who had had a good half, was
substituted, presumably through injury, but in truth Stags looked less
like scoring after the break. Barrett continued in dominant form at the
back, and the home side had a few half chances but the game looked to be
heading for a 0-0 stalemate as the snow started to fall in the last few
minutes. Stags appeared to have a good shout for a penalty when
Hassell played a brilliant one-two with Lawrence and forced his way into
the box. Just as he was about to shoot, he appeared to be brought down,
but the referee, who incensed Stags fans all afternoon, booked Hassell for
diving. Earlier, Greenacre had come within a whisker of the crucial goal,
when his shot from 18 yards was tipped agonisingly around the post (by a
couple of inches) by the Macclesfield keeper.
The game entered 3 minutes of stoppage time and the action really
started. For the first time in the game, a Macclesfield player got
behind the Stags defence, and shot from 10 yards towards the right hand
corner of the net. It seemed a certain goal all the way, but
Pilkington pulled off a world class save diving to his left and tipping
the ball away to the left. Stags broke to the other end, and a ball was
played across the area. It seemed it just needed a touch to poke it in,
but it went all the way across the goal. A corner was given, to the
annoyance of the home fans who thought that no-one had touched it.
Lawrence played the corner in, and there was Allen Tankard to rise highest
and loop a header into the top left hand corner of the net. The goal
sparked joyous celebrations. There was no time for a Macclesfield reply as
the whistle went within a minute. This truly was a late, late winner.
There is no doubt that Stags deserved the win, but for long periods it
didn't look like coming. The match stats tell the story: 21 goal attempts
with 9 on target for the Stags, compared to 11 with 5 on target for the
home side. Well done to Pilkington for his late wonder-save, and to
Tankard for the late goal, but the man of the match award has to go to
Adam Barrett, who had a storming game at centre half, wining absolutely
Man of the Match: Adam Barrett
Report by Martin Shaw
A brilliant late save, and generally coped well.
Hassell 7 Did ok at right back.
Commanding display, winning absolutely everything.
Very lucky on two occasions to get away with poor play, but otherwise
Not his best game, but came up with the late winner.
Not his best game, but never gave up trying.
Didn't really run the midfield like we know he can, especially in the
Seems to have lost a bit of form, but still gave 100%, even when things
weren't going his way.
Corden 7 Looked
dangerous on a many occasions.
Greenacre 6 A
bit too quiet again, but unlucky with one good effort.
Especially good first half, and looked in good form.
Subs Not Used: Bingham, Asher, Reddington, Pemberton, A.White.