Shaw at Field Mill
an absolutely fabulous win for the Stags as fourth placed Scunthorpe were
seen off 2-1 at Field Mill this afternoon. Scunthorpe led 1-0 at half-time
thanks to a needless and stupid goal, but two goals from loan star Adam
Murray gave Mansfield a richly deserved win despite a couple of late
Stags boss Stuart Watkiss made some surprising positional changes to the
Stags side, moving Les Robinson to left-back, Wayne Corden to the
right-wing/midfield (where he has not started before for the Stags) and
Martin Pemberton to the left-wing/midfield (where he has also not started
before for the Stags). Bobby Hassell returned to his familiar right-back
position, while on-loan Paul Wheatcroft dropped to the bench. Stags were
fortunate that Scunthorpe's excellent midfielder Peter Beagrie was ruled
out through injury.
The Stags were the better side in the opening stages and Wayne Corden had
a couple of half-chances. Scunthorpe had barely been seen in attack, but
took the lead on 27 minutes in ludicrous circumstances. There was no
danger whatsoever when Les Robinson, running back towards his own goal,
chose the wrong option in playing a back-pass right down the centre of the
pitch to Kevin Pilkington. The pass was under-hit and Pilkington had to
move quickly to clear. Unluckily for him, with Brian Quailey bearing down
in him, the ball bobbled and he missed his kick, allowing Quailey to roll
the ball into the empty net. It was a stupid and unnecessary goal. As
Robinson was running back to his goal I was screaming for him to put it
into touch, but he took the wrong option - this was simply not the pitch
to take chances. Pilkington's missed kick was far from the only such
occasion in the match, as even Hodges, who was outstanding for Scunthorpe
in the first half, was made to look a fool by the bobbly pitch.
The goal really knocked Mansfield back, and Scunthorpe were the better
side for the remainder of the half, without particularly looking like
Half time 0-1
Stags started the second half very brightly and Pemberton was unlucky to
see his 10 yard drive blocked for a corner. Then the game changed course
after 51 minutes. Hassell played a long ball from the back. Murray got
control of the ball and moved into the right hand corner of the box. As
the keeper came out, I was hoping for a penalty as it seemed Stags best
hope from that position, but Murray sailed past the keeper and slipped a
superb shot into the net from a tight angle. It was the finish of a
Premiership player. The goal lifted the team and the crowd and Stags began
to dominate. On 70 minutes the Stags got the winner. Following a
corner, Corden sent in a great cross and Murray sent a cushioned header
just inside the far post to send the crowd wild. Suddenly Scunthorpe
realised that they needed to attack, something they barely yet attempted
to that point. Going into the final 5 minutes, Scunthorpe looked as though
they might get an undeserved equaliser. Hodges fired over, then Calvo-Garcia
shot wide when it looked as though he would find the corner of the net.
Also Hassell made one great last-ditch tackle when it seemed Scunthorpe
would score. At the final whistle Stags management team rejoiced, as did
the 5000 home fans. This was a big win.
It was a physical encounter in which Adam Murray was the star of the
show winning many 50:50 balls and distributing the ball well. In the
first half Hodges was outstanding for Scunthorpe, but Stags managed to
keep him quiet in the second half. Murray's goals gave Stags their second
2-1 success in 4 days coming back from a goal behind and showed the
grit and character of the side. It will be another tough game at Hull
on Tuesday but the Stags are capable of getting a good result and
keeping the promotion band-wagon on the road.
Man of the Match: Adam Murray.
Pilkington 7 Handled the ball
well and made a couple of decent saves. Unlucky with the bobble for
Hassell 8 Super performance at right back.
Reddington 6 Beaten in the air by Torpey several times, but generally
coped well. Distribution was poor.
Barrett 7 Defended well.
Robinson 5 Stupid back-pass in the conditions gifted first goal away.
Generally defended ok in unaccustomed position, but repeated another
unnecessary back-pass in the second half.
Corden 6 Not at his best on the right wing, but great cross for the second
goal. A tendency to give the ball away in dangerous positions.
Williamson 6 Below his best, but still fought like a tiger in the middle.
Murray 9 Outstanding performance. Won most of the 50:50 balls and scored
an outstanding first goal.
Pemberton 6 Didn't quite look in his best position on the left wing, but
did ok and made a couple of good forging runs.
Greenacre 6 Quiet game but, as always, worked hard and held the ball up
Kelly 7 Fine game. Showed his experience on numerous occasions.
Bradley (for Kelly, 70 mins) 6 Looked short of the pace of the game, and
was lucky when he gave the ball away once in a dangerous position.
A White (for Greenacre, 85 mins) 6 Held the ball up front ok. Little time
to make an impact.
Subs Not Used: Bingham, Asher, Wheatcroft