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Archived News from September 2003

17th September 2003 22:30

Bolton Evening news, http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk
Connell double can't save Bury
Last posted: Wednesday 17 September 2003 16:12
Mansfield Town 5 Bury 3: ANDY Preece reckoned his team's potential downfall this season might come in scoring goals.
Right now, Preece's problem is how to stop the ball flying into the net at the other end of the pitch.
And the Bury player boss agrees that until the right balance is found, there could be a few more results like this one in the months ahead.
"I've always said I don't think we are as strong as we were last season," said Preece.
"And until we get that blend then we are going to be up and down.
"Sometimes with the younger players, and the older ones as well, they don't always take on board what you're telling them."
Lee Connell's header, from a Ben Thornley cross, put Bury in front against the run of play.
They protected their lead for ten minutes before Junior Mendes grabbed an equaliser.
Soon, the lively Wayne Corden swivelled inside the area to make it 2-1 and just before the break he rounded off some slick football to grab his second.
After 57 minutes, Bury got one back when Seddon unleashed a terrific 20-yard shot that fizzed into the bottom corner.
In the 62nd minute Lawrence restored the two goal cushion with a fine solo goal.
Connell flashed in another long distance effort to make it 4-3, before Lawrence completed the scoring.
"That fifth goal summed up our night," said Preece. "We didn't react when Glynn made the save, we didn't react when the ball came off the crossbar and we allowed their player to go past two players and shoot home."
Bury form guide: Garner 7, Unsworth 5, Swailes 7, Strong 5, Woodthorpe 4 (Kennedy 6, 53mins), Thornley 7, Connell 8, Duxbury 5 (Seddon 7, 46mins) O'Shaughnessy 7, Singh 6, Preece 6 (Porter 5, 73 mins); Subs: O'Neil, Gunby.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)
Attendance: 4,145
Manchester Evening News, http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk
Mansfield 5 Bury 3
Trevor Baxter
MAYBE because he spent his playing career as a defender that former Manchester City star Keith Curle has become so attack minded as a manager.

Certainly, his team is constructed to score goals rather than stop them as the Shakers found to their cost.

Andy Preece's team netted three times for the first time this season but still had nothing to show for it's efforts.

A goal up after 21 minutes, the Shakers trailed 3-1 and 4-2 before the Stags scored the decisive eighth and final goal.

It was only when Bury were forced to tear up their game plan at half-time they looked likely to offer a serious threat.

Skipper Lee Duxbury was sacrificed at the interval as Gareth Seddon made the difference as an extra striker.

Seddon and Connell were on target with fine goals as the Shakers revived but Mansfield had too much firepower not to win the game.

"We've got to start playing when we are 1-0 up not when we are 3-1 down," said Preece.

"It was totally unacceptable the way we defended both individually and collectively.

"Lee Connell scored two goals but I don't think he did his job in the first half. The same went for Paul O'Shaughnessy."

At least Connell, restored to the starting line-up, finished with a brace to join Preece as top scorer on four goals. He could easily have finished with four .
Evening Post, 17 September 2003

Mansfield Town boss Keith Curle believes his side is capable of "destroying" teams should they continue to play such ferocious counter-attacking football.

Stags scored five goals in a match for a second time at home this season, despite only having one out-and-out striker in the team.

But the manager said he always knew that any of his players could score goals - should they stick to the right style of football.

Curle said: "It was a positive performance and we can destroy teams by our movement and passing.

"We can play some good quality football at a high tempo and when that is coming off, it is hard for other teams.

"We tore apart a good team on a number of occasions.

"It was an entertaining game and I know we can score goals from all over the pitch if we play in the right manner.

"We can create a lot of chances and that's what we did.

"That is the way I want to play football - getting the ball down and playing on the front foot. It's good to watch."

But despite being positive about the goals scored and chances created, Curle was disappointed to have conceded three and to have gone behind at the start.

"I don't like giving teams a goal start or conceding three goals," said Curle.

"So there were a few negatives and I will have a good look at them but I am a positive person and there were a lot of positives to be taken out of that game."

Another blow was the second-half injury to centre-half Dave Artell.

Before the match he had been voted the club's player of the month but the defender could now be sidelined for a few weeks.

Curle added: "It appears he has a hamstring injury. I will have to wait and see and look in-house to rebuild.

"I have a small squad but it is a quality small squad."

Evening Post, 17 September 2003

Mansfield Town 5 v 3 Bury
Field Mill is fast becoming a fortress, in which the Stags are simply scoring for fun, leaving visiting teams with a giant task should they want to go away with a result.

It could have been more comfortable for Mansfield last night, had Bury not struck two torpedo-style drives in the second half to claw their way back into the game. But on both occasions, the Stags players managed to step up that extra gear and take the pressure off with a crucial goal.

It was another game that proved that Field Mill is going to be the place to see exciting, entertaining football this season.

Despite Bury taking the lead against the run of play, Keith Curle's side did not lose heart and produced some breathtaking counter-attacking football to put them 3-1 ahead at the break.

With just one-front man on the pitch, in Junior Mendes, fans could have been forgiven for thinking they might struggle for goals.

Instead, the opposite happened with everyone looking to get on the scoresheet, including wingers Liam Lawrence and Wayne Corden, who netted two goals apiece.

In the end they proved to have bags of goals in them and could have had more, had it not been for two fine saves by Glyn Garner in the Bury goal.

The visitors provided some tough resistance at times, but all three Bury goals came from nothing and they never really took control of the match for long periods.

On seven minutes, the Stags looked to have taken the lead when Corden twisted and turned on the left before rifling a ball across the box, but Craig Disley's point-blank effort from six-yards-out was spectacularly beaten away by Garner.

Neil MacKenzie and Corden then saw 20-yard efforts scream just over the bar before Corden's nifty footwork enabled him to strike a stinging low shot from the left, only for Garner to produce another great save on 19 minutes.

And just two minutes later, Bury took the lead against the run of play. Former Manchester United midfielder Ben Thornley got down the right and whipped in a cross for Lee Connell, who rose between two Stags defenders and headed into Kevin Pilkington's left-hand corner from six-yards out.

Stags equalised shortly afterwards when Liam Lawrence produced some clever-step overs before forcing his way inside the box on the right to hit a high cross to the back post which found Junior Mendes, who headed home.

Stags began to break at a frightening pace and MacKenzie won the ball in the middle before playing in Lawrence down the right once again. His deflected cross then fell to Corden at the back post and he thrashed it into the net from ten-yards.

Rhys Day produced a great headed clearance from Andy Preece's shot at the other end before Pilkington made a fantastic stop at the feet of Connell. But a fine counter-attack extended the Mansfield lead a minute before the interval.

MacKenzie played Lawrence the ball on the right and he threaded it down the line to Bobby Hassell. The full-back put in a great low cross to Mendes, who cushioned it back to Corden to fire home.

On 58 minutes, and with Mansfield appearing to be coasting, Bury pulled back a goal from nowhere through a screamer from sub Gareth Seddon.

Stags soon extended their lead again, Chris Beardsley crossing for Mendes, who teed it into the path of Lawrence to score, making it 4-3.

Lee Connell hit back with a fantastic stinging drive but minutes later, Stags finally put the game to bed. MacKenzie's initial drive from the edge of the box was well saved by Garner and Beardsley followed up only to crash his effort against the bar. The ball fell to Lawrence on the edge of the box and he cut inside before firing into the top corner.

The result means four league games unbeaten at home and a hat-trick of victories.

Keith Curle - and the fans - will hope the players can keep up the scoring frenzy when Yeovil arrive at the weekend.

But Stags will also need to keep a tighter grip at the back to ensure Field Mill continues to become a place where other teams dread to visit.


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