IMPRESSIVE STAGS BEATEN IN WOLVES FRIENDLY
Mansfield Town 1 - 2 Wolves
Day 62. Miller 33, Newton 65.
Att: 3,300 (308 from Wolves)
Report by Brad Rodda
Keith Curle picked a team of 7 full timers and 4 trialists to start against Wolves.
The trialists went down well with the Stags faithful, especially Hugo Henriques.
Darren Barnard slotted into the left back position quite comfortably alongside Rhys Day, Hugo Henriques and Jake Buxton. Valente joined Asamoah along with Ritgers in forward positions. To say these guys have only played this one game with the Stags they did a great job.
The Stags started the game in quite lively fashion with Asamoah's shot on 9 mins, which was deflected for the first corner of the match. After that the Stags seemed to have the majority of the possession.
Around the 32nd minute, Murray had a shot on goal which was saved by the keeper so MacKenzie picked up the rebound only to smash it over the bar.
The first goal of the game came on the 33rd min from Miller. He picked up the ball inside the Wolves half and passed to Newton who after a short run crossed the ball and Miller was there to put it past Pilkington.
After their goal it seemed to lift Wolves and threatened the Stags defence a little.
HALF TIME 0-1
The Stags came out in the 2nd half as lively as the 1st. Within a few mins Ritgers takes a shot on target but unfortunately it's saved by Oakes.
(Dimech on for Henriques 54mins)
(Corden on for Valentes 59mins)
By the 62nd min the Stags were level. Day heads a stinger from 6 yards after Murray crossed in from a corner.
Three mins later Wolves answered by Newton beating Pilkington across the face of the goal.
(Williamson on for Curtis 70mins)
(Larkin on for Ritgers 73mins)
Asamoah took a pass from Murray in the 78th min and put a shot in but was saved comfortably by Oakes. Within minutes Murray's header was just put wide after a brill cross from Corden.
(Danny Heron on for Asamoah 81mins)
Only 6 mins to go and Wolves made progress up the field but nothing came of it.
FULL TIME 1- 2
Good performance all round from the Stags against the championship team Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Mansfield Town 1 - 2 Wolves
Day 62. Miller 33, Newton 65.
Att: 3,300 (308 from Wolves)
(kick off 7.43 - a 13 minute delay due to Wolves turning up late)
Stags in new away kit.
9 mins: Asamoah shot deflected for corner.
10 mins: Day header from Murray corner tipped around for another corner by keeper.
12 mins: Pilkington out well to save at feet of Ndar.
13 mins: Day and Henriques looking a good combination in central defence.
14 mins: Poor cross from Barnard, straight into touch.
26 mins: Late challenge by Ince catches Buxton.
32 mins: Superb run from Asamoah with 3 step-overs, superb ball to cut the ball back to Murray whose shot was saved. MacKenzie smashes the rebound over the bar. Great play from the Stags.
33 mins: 0-1 A well-worked move from Wolves and Kenny Miller scores. Miller picked up the ball inside own half. He played the ball to Newton, who found Miller with a pinpoint cross. Miller beat Pilkington with a left footed volley. Goal very much against the run of play.
37 mins: Ndah blasts a chance well over the bar for Wolves.
38 mins: Great save by Pilkington, and Day does brilliantly to clear. Suddenly Wolves are on top.
39 mins: Shot from Ritgers deflected for a Stags corner.
45+0 mins: Valente shoots from 25 yards. Wolves keeper Oakes spills it initially then claims the ball.
45+1 mins: Mistake by Barnard gifts posession to Wolves but comes to nothing.
45+1 mins: Half time 0-1. Very impressive performance from Stags.
48 mins: Valente crosses from the right and Ritgers volleys on target but keeper Oakes saves.
62 mins: 1-1. Day powers home a header from 6 yards, from a Murray corner.
65 mins: 1-2 Cooper finds Newton, Barnard is turned too easily, Newton beats Pilkington across the face of goal. The Stags unlucky to be behind.
76 mins: Pilkington tips a cross around for a corner.
78 mins: Asamaoh has a great first touch, from a fine Murray pass, and then gets in a shot which is on target, but the keeper saves.
80 mins: Murray heads just wide from an excellent Corden cross.
84 mins: A good move from Wolves and a missed chance. But the Stags are on top and pushing for a richly deserved equaliser.
90+0 mins: Corden cross is cleared.
90+2 mins: Full time 1-2. A very impressive performance from the Stags. A draw would have been a fair result. Barnard made a few errors but was otherwise ok. The other trialists (Henriques, Valente & Ritgers) were excellent and received good ovations when they were substituted.
Kevin Pilkingon, Jake Buxton, Rhys Day, Hugo Henriques (central defence), Darren Barnard (left back), Adam Murray (right midfield), Neil MacKenzie, Tom Curtis, Antonio Valente (centre forward), Derek Asamoah (right side forward), Maceo Ritgers (left side forward).
Luke Dimech (for Henriques, 54 mins)
Wayne Corden (for Valente, 59 mins)
Lee Williamson (for Curtis, 70 mins)
Colin Larkin (for Ritgers, 73 mins)
Danny Heron (for Asamaoh, 81 mins)
Subs not used: Michael Langford, Scott McNiven, Alex Neil, Alex John-Baptiste, Dave Artell, Adam Eaton.
Referee: A. Woolmer.
Filed by Martin Shaw.
Stags 1 Wolves 2
MANSFIELD Town went down 2-1 against Championship outfit Wolves in another pre-season friendly at Field Mill tonight.
Rhys Day's 62nd minute header had wiped out Kenny Miller's first half goal for the West Midlanders.
But Shawn Newton restored their advantage within three minutes with what proved to be the winner.
Mansfield manager Keith Curle was left with food for thought after seeing all four of his trialists put in good displays, particularly big Portuguese central defender Hugo Enriques and a steady show on the left by the experienced Darren Barnard.
Kick-off was set for an earlier-than-usual time of 7.30pm but was then delayed for five minutes after the Wolves coach arrived later than planned.
Stags began the game with all four new trialists on display, Darren Barnard, Hugo Henriques, Antonio Valente and Maceo Ritgers.
With Wolves in their traditional old gold strip, Mansfield played in white shirts with orange shorts and socks.
Henriques partnered Day in the centre of defence with Barnard at left back.
Valente played in the centre of a three-man front line with Asamoah to his right and Ritgers to his left.
Stags won three early corners in succession. And from the second of those, taken by Murray, Day climbed well to head powerfully at goal, Oakes down low to turn the ball aside at his near post.
Wolves threatened on seven minutes as Miller tried to put Ndah away. But the big striker over-ran the ball and Pilkington was down at his feet to gather.
The action ebbed and flowed with the Stags realists showing some excellent touches.
But it was 31 minutes before we had another scoring chance. Asamoah was the architect as he tortured the visiting defence, twisting and turning to get to the right bye-line before pulling the ball back to Murray.
His shot was beaten aside by Oakes and MacKenzie sent the follow-up over the bar.
However, within two minutes Stags were behind.
Wolves broke down the right and Newton sent over a pinpoint cross for Miller to guide home a volleyed finish with his left foot from five yards out.
Three minutes later it might have been 2-0 as Miller knocked down an Edwards cross for Ndah who snatched at the finish and sent it over the top.
Ndah had an even better chance within 60 seconds as Ince's razor-sharp through ball put him in on goal. But Pilkington managed to half-stop his low finish and Day got to the loose ball first to clear the danger.
There was a hold-up while Valente received treatment for a knock. And he almost produced an equaliser a minute from the break when he turned and tried his luck from 20 yards to force Oakes to save low to his right.
Clyde replaced Edwards for the second half.
Trailing, Stags carved out a chance within three minutes of the restart as Valente crossed from the right and Ritgers got a volley on target which Oakes was safely behind.
Then Asamoah wriggled into space before launching the ball well over.
Dimech replaced the excellent Henriques on 54 minutes with Gousse on for Ndah at the same time for the visitors.
Within a minute Gousse headed narrowly over from Miller's cross.
Then a low shot from Miller was deflected wide for a corner. When that was cleared to Newton he blasted a rising shot inches over.
Corden joined the action in place of Valente on the hour.
And two minutes later Mansfield were level from a corner. Taken by Murray, he picked out Day who buried a powerful header from six yards out.
Henriques, meanwhile, was being given an ovation as he walked round the pitch, signing autographs on the way.
Wolves were back in front three minutes after Stags had levelled.
The ball found its way to Newton on the right of the box. And, from a tight angle, he drilled a low shot across goal and in off the far post.
Williamson replaced Curtis on 70 minutes and three minutes later Larkin came on for Ritgers.
Clear chances remained at a premium though Pilkington had to tip away a Clyde cross theat threatened to creep under the far angle and then Asamoah bundled a shooting chance straight at Oakes at the other end while Larkin headed wide at the far post from Corden's cross.
Youngster Herron joined the action for the last eight minutes as Asamoah left the field to hearty applause.
Gousse flashed a volley just wide from a Miller cross as time began to run out for the Stags.
HUGO IS A HIT WITH THE FANS
Evening Post, 28 July 2004
Mansfield Town 1 v 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
It is rare for a player who has not even been signed by a club to earn an ovation.
But Stags supporters left boss Keith Curle in no doubt what they thought of Hugo Henriques after his accomplished display against Wolves last night.
Official word from Field Mill yesterday was that the club had been given the opportunity to take a look at Portuguese international Hugo Leal.
Scouts in Belgium had told Mansfield they had managed to secure a trial for the highly-rated Paris St Germain player.
But, even though it wasn't that particular Hugo who started, the player Stags fans saw left a lasting impression.
He had supporters clamouring for autographs after being substituted - and the home contingent gave him a rousing seal of approval after an eye-catching performance at the heart of the Mansfield defence.
The former Benfica player admits he was surprised that the fans took to him with such gusto after just one run-out.
"The crowd was great," he said. "They don't know me and it felt very good."
He was taken aback with the pre-season support for the Stags and is impressed with the Field Mill set-up.
He said: "I'm very surprised that a team in the lowest division here can have the same conditions as first division clubs in Portugal."
Henriques admits he wants to sign for the Stags. He added: "I hope so - but I don't know if they like me!"
But the Field Mill fans have taken to him already and he wasn't the only defender to make his mark.
Former Chelsea and Barnsley player Darren Barnard, currently on trial with the Stags, gave an excellent display at left-back and Rhys Day capped a solid performance with a second-half equaliser.
Attacking midfielder Antonio Valente was another trialist to impress the fans, although striker Marco Ritgers was upstaged by Colin Larkin when he replaced him late on to resume his partnership with the lively Derek Asamoah.
It was another pleasing workout for the Stags against higher level opposition.
Town looked well organised again and, after Kenny Miller had given Wolves a 32nd-minute lead against the run of play, Stags were deservedly back on terms on 62 minutes, when Day thumped home a close-range header from Adam Murray's corner.
Shaun Newton grabbed the visitors' winner three minutes later, but there were plenty of positives for Curle - in terms of the performances of the trialists on show and their efforts as a team.
MANSFIELD: Pilkington, Buxton, Day, Henriques (Dimech 54), Barnard, MacKenzie, Curtis (Williamson 70), Murray, Valente (Corden 59), Ritgers (Larkin 73), Asamoah (Heron 82). Not used: Artell, McNiven, Neil, John-Baptiste, Langford, Eaton.
WOLVES: Oakes, Edwards (Clyde H/T), Naylor, Mawene, Craddock, Cameron, Newton, Ince, Ndah (Lowe 54), Miller (Andrews H/T), Cooper. Not used: Gousse, Clarke, Flynn, O'Connor, Mulligan, Ikeme.
INCE IMPRESSED BY 'SHARP' MANSFIELD
Evening Post, 28 July 2004
Paul Ince was full of praise for Mansfield after his side's 2-1 victory.
Wolves' former England hard-man, who picked out substitute Colin Larkin as one of the players who caught his eye, said: "Mansfield looked sharp and organised and created chances.
"You need players who are going to run for 90 minutes for the boss and if you've got that you've got half a chance."
Mansfield boss Keith Curle was pleased with his side's display.
"For 35 minutes we kept them quiet - some of our movement was good," he said.
But Curle will not say if he plans to sign any of the four trialists.
"I'm not going to commit myself until I've had another look at them," he added. "It's all about picking the right people."
However, he was upbeat about the performances of Hugo Henriques and Darren Barnard.
He said Henriques is the type of player the fans like and added: "Darren gave a good account of himself."
Mansfield travel to Matlock Town tonight (7pm).
Dave Artell, Scott McNiven, Alex Neil and Alex John-Baptiste, all unused substitutes last night, are expected to feature as well as the four trialists.
John-Baptiste has just signed a two-year extension to his contract, while Kevin Pilkington has agreed to sign a one-year extension.
According to Curle, Baptiste still has a lot to learn.
"He's on a learning curve and it's a steep one - but Alex is prepared to commit himself," he said.
Marvin Robinson is still out of action but is responding to treatment.
Latest | July 2004