STAGS FINISH SEASON WITH A GOOD WIN
Mansfield Town 2 - 1 Northampton Town
White 62, Lawrence 77 (pen)
Attendance: 3,928 (635 from Northampton)
Stagsnet player ratings now in the match centre
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
Match Statistics from Press Assoc (Stags/Cobblers)
21 Goal Attempts 9
14 On target 6
6 Off target 3
1 Woodwork 0
6 Corners 3
11 Fouls 15
4 Offside 4
Report from CHAD website:
A win at last as Stags avoid the wooden spoon!
TWO second half goals capped a spirited Stags' revival as Mansfield Town triumphed 2-1 in their basement battle with Northampton Town.
Man of the match Andy White headed in a 62nd minute equaliser from Liam Lawrence's pinpoint right wing cross and then 15 minutes later Lawrence struck the winner.
Junior Mendes, a late replacement for the absent Iyseden Christie, was fouled by Northampton substitute Luke Chambers and Lawrence tucked away the spot kick to clinch Town's first win in nine matches.
The goal also meant that Northampton took the Second Division's wooden spoon with the Stags finished one place above them.
The Stags, featuring two changes both at the heart of the midfield with Leroy Williamson and Neil Mackenzie given a start, got off to the worst possible start when Darryn Stamp hit the quickest goal of the day after just 50 seconds.
Stamp raced through a static defence to convert what seemed no more than a hopeful punt upfield.
The nervous defence was then lucky not to concede further goal in a jittery opening 10 minutes.
However, from then on the Stags dominated and should have been at least level before half-time.
Liam Lawrence's 14th minute piledriver was saved only at the second attempt by keeper Glyn Thompson.
Then Mendes, looking much sharper, had three chances in 11 minutes to add to his only goal for the club.
His first shot after a neat turn flashed into the side netting, the second was well saved and the third struck the bar.
A superb, fluent passing move then ended with White's lay-off setting up the surging |Bobby Hassell, but his crashing shot was beaten away the increasingly busy Thompson.
At the start of the second half that man Thompson again saved well from Mendes and White, before the big striker curled wide of the top corner.
However, the bustling White finally got his reward with the equaliser.
After Lawrence's winner the Cobblers staged a fightback of their own and dangerman Marco Gabbiaddini, a late substitute, twice went close.
Then four minutes from time the Stags' awful habit of conceding late goals almost recurred, this time Kevin Pilkington's fine reaction stop denied Chris Hargreaves.
The Stags, who thoroughly deserved their win, finished with probably the youngest ever front line -- Andy White, substitute Craig Mitchell and fellow teenager Hankey who made his debut as a late substitute.
He became the 40th player to wear a Stags' shirt this season, a statistic which goes a long way to explaining their final position and relegation.
Report from BBC.co.uk:
Liam Lawrence's late penalty gave Mansfield a well-deserved win and ensured fellow strugglers Northampton ended up with the Second Division's wooden spoon.
Mansfield got off to bad start - Darren Stamp's first-minute goal for the visitors condemning Keith Curle's side to their 16th game without a clean sheet.
Richard Hope's through-ball was picked up by Stamp and, after shrugging off Alex John-Baptiste's challenge, the striker beat Kevin Pilkington to give the Cobblers a shock lead.
However, after that Mansfield dominated and Lawrence even had a goal ruled out with Andy White penalised for pushing.
Junior Mendes missed three good opportunities to level while Bobby Hassell's blistering shot was well saved by Glyn Thompson.
Mansfield continued to press forward after the break and White shot inches wide twice inside a minute and Pilkington did well to keep out Lawrie Dudfield's blast at the other end.
But on 62 minutes Lawrence's dangerous cross from the dead-ball line was headed firmly home by White for a well-deserved equaliser.
With 13 minutes to go Cobblers substitute Luke Chambers brought down Mendes in the box to win a penalty, man of the match Lawrence fittingly stepping up to beat Thompson.
Marco Gabbiadini and Chris Hargreaves both had shots saved to give Mansfield a tense last 10 minutes but they clung on to end the season with their first win in nine outings.
Report from footymad.net:
Two late goals clinched Mansfield's first win in nine games as they triumphed in this basement battle to leave Northampton with the wooden spoon and without a win in eight matches.
The Stags, trailing after 50 seconds to Darryn Stamps' quick fire goal, the fastest in the country on the day, looked to have been frustrated in their search for an equaliser by several fine saves from keeper Glyn Thompson.
But Andy White headed in Liam Lawrence's cross and 13 minutes from time Northampton substitute Luke Chambers fouled Junior Mendes to allow Lawrence to hit the winner from the penalty spot.
Substitute Marco Gabbiadini squandered two clear chances for a late Northampton equaliser and four minutes from time Chris Hargreaves was also denied by Kevin Pilkington's acrobatic save.
The visitors got off to the perfect start when Stamp raced clear to reach Richard Hope's long pass to score inside the first minute.
Mansfield's leaky defence, which had failed to keep a clean sheet in 15 successive games before Stamp's opener, was then torn apart twice more in the opening ten minutes.
Steve Morison fired over from Paul Trollope's free kick and then Paul Harsley's shot bobbled narrowly wide.
But from then on the Stags mounted a determined fight back.
Lawrence almost blasted the home side level with a pile driver which Thompson only saved at the second attempt.
Mendes fired into the side netting, saw another shot well saved by the keeper and later hammered against the bar.
A fluent passing move involving six players ended with White setting up the surging Bobby Hassell only for the fullback's fierce drive to rebound to safety off the busy Thompson.
Mansfield continued to dominate after half-time. Mendes was again thwarted from close range by Thompson who then dived full length to tip away White's low finish.
However, Mansfield finally found the back of the net through White before Lawrence completed the fightback from the spot.
Latest | May 2003