REPORTS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
Daily Telegraph report:
Mansfield rally after early alarm
By Neil Goulding
Scunthorpe (1) 1 Mansfield (0) 1
It took just 75 seconds for Scunthorpe to open their account against fellow high-fliers Mansfield, but from then on it was one-way traffic as the visitors wreaked havoc on Brian Laws' team.
Deservedly, Mansfield grabbed a point for their efforts when defender David Artell equalised with 20 minutes remaining and cancelled out Ian Baraclough's early strike against his former club.
Scunthorpe are second, Mansfield fifth, but Town's manager Keith Curle was right to be disappointed that his side did not snatch all three points.
Town keeper Keith Pilkington was left no chance after a failed clearance allowed defender Baraclough to let fly with a powerful left-footed drive, to the delight of the Glanford Park supporters.
However, pressure and patience were key – and it was no surprise when Artell directed his header from Alex Neil's corner past the helpless Musselwhite.
Steve Hartshorn's Observer Report:
A thunderous header from Dave Artell earned Stags a well-deserved point at Glanford Park, Scunthorpe, last weekend.
Boss, Keith Curle welcomed both McNiven and Asamoah back from injury and there was a place in the starting line up for new loan signing, Craig Woodman as Mansfield aimed to bounce back from the mid-week Cup exit at the hands of Preston North End.
A higher than normal crowd packed into Glanford Park, both sets of supporters eager to watch the Division's game of the day. They were not to leave disappointed.
Unfortunately, for the second game running, Stags conceded an early goal. Former Mansfield Town player, Ian Baraclough was afforded far too much space outside The Stags box and from 22 yards rifled an unstoppable left footed shot into the top left hand corner of Kevin Pilkington's goal.
It was just the tonic that United Manager, Brain Laws would have wanted coming in the week that his former mentor, Brian Clough had sadly passed away.
To The Stags credit, they didn't let the early set back rock them and were soon causing the days Coca Cola League 2 table toppers plenty of problems.
Livewire front man, Derek Asamoah was giving former Oxford United Captain, Andy Crosby a torrid time. On 10 minutes, after a run starting from the halfway line, Asamoah was unceremoniously dumped to the floor with Crosby lucky to escape with nothing other than a stern telling off from Referee, Mr. Woolmer.
From the resulting free kick, Corden floated the ball into the box, when all wondered why he didn't strike towards goal, and the chance came to nothing.
On 12 minutes, Colin Larkin sent over a teasing cross towards Asamoah, unfortunately the Stags striker made contact with ball with his hand and was booked. Much to the pleasure of the home crowd who had adopted Asamoah as their target for abuse.
On 14 minutes a strong run by Corden saw the Stags wingman feed the ball to Asamoah, he in turn laid the ball into the path of Alex Neil who's first time effort flew just past the angle.
It was all Mansfield and the home side found it increasingly difficult to get out of their own half.
On 18 minutes, Craig Woodman, making an impressive debut in the Stags colours, fed Colin Larkin. The Coca Cola League 2 leading marksman turned neatly but his effort fell straight into the grateful arms of the experienced United keeper, Paul Musselwhite
Hayes almost added to his season's tally of three but the Iron's striker crashed his effort just over The Stags crossbar. Less than a minute later, Adam Murray reminded us all of his brilliance when from fully 35 yards he powered in a thunderous effort that crashed against the top of the Scunthorpe crossbar. The home keeper, Musselwhite never moving and Murray only inches away from what could have been the goal of the season.
The home side were finding chances at a premium but on 25 minutes, Woodman came to The Stags rescue when he was on hand to clear away the danger right from his own goal line.
Stags were dominating play for long periods and creating chances aplenty. Curtis was next to threaten but his shot flew high over the bar. Asamoah also shot wide and the home defence were grateful as an effort from Tom Curtis was blocked.
The half ended when a cross from Corden found the forward roaming Murray, unfortunately his glanced header ended up in the arms of Musselwhite.
The 2nd half carried on in pretty much the same vain with The Stags controlling play and searching for the equaliser they deserved. The home support began to get frustrated with their side as they struggled to brake down a resolute Stags back line and ball winning midfield.
Adam Murray was putting in an inspirational performance and could have pulled Stags level on 57 minutes but after a stylish run, his attempt was saved.
Chances came and went, but still the equaliser eluded Mansfield despite Stags clearly being the better of the sides.
Pilkington though did have to be on top form to deny Paul Hayes when the Iron's striker put in a diving header, but that was a rare scare for Mansfield.
On 70 minutes the long sort after equaliser arrived. A corner from Alex Neil was met superbly by the head of Dave Artell. The Stags centre half giving Musselwhite no chance whatsoever as the ball thundered into the top corner of the net to spark wild celebrations both on and off the field.
On 80 minutes, Scunthorpe raised their game and substitute, Michael Rankine blazed over when it looked easier to score. Moments later, Cleveland Taylor also fashioned himself a chance, but again the chance went begging.
In the 84th minute, Stags Man of the match, Scott McNiven raced towards the United goal, unfortunately the ball ended up on his weaker foot and the Stags right back could only manage a tame attempt.
All the good work that Mansfield had done almost came to nothing just four minutes from time when the home side had a goal disallowed. Cleveland Taylor looked to have laid on the perfect cross for Rankine but as the big striker headed the ball into The Stags net, the Referee's Assistant stood with flag aloft. The ball judged out of play before Taylor had crossed. It was a big let off for The Stags, but the correct decision.
For the most of the game, Mansfield had looked the better of the two sides and for long periods were in total control. The only thing missing was that final killer touch needed to turn their dominance into deserved goals.
Still it was a massive point for The Stags, now giving Keith Curle's side a 5 game unbeaten League run.
That will be tested this weekend when Stags face Lincoln City at Field Mill (3 pm kick off). The Imps are not having a good start to the season and sit in 18th place in Coca Cola League 2. City drew 1-1 at home at the weekend to fast improving, Chester City, but with a big crowd expected and the usual white hot derby-day atmosphere assured, City will be hoping to get back to wining ways, whilst Keith Curle's men will be eager to avenge last season when the Imps did the double over the promotion hunting Stags.
Scunthorpe United 1 Mansfield Town 1
Baraclough 1, Artell 70.
Att; 5463. (1263 from Mansfield)
Not used – Langford, Dimech, MacKenzie, O'Neill.
Observer Man Of The Match – Scott McNiven.
Football First match report:
By Cliff Padley
transcribed by carole
SCUNTHORPE had to settle for a point from their clash with The Stags, and were happy after being second-best for much of the game.
The Iron grabbed the initiative in the opening 75 seconds, but were then on the back foot as Mansfield settled down to play some excellent football without too much penetration.
Scunthorpe boss Brian Laws commented: “I am happy with a point. Mansfield are a good side and if we stay in touch with them by a point and one place, we'll be in a good position.
“We got right into them from the start, were fast out of the blocks, and coped well with them; we didn't allow them to boss the midfield. Mansfield are a top-three side, but we lacked a man to hold the ball up front.
He continued: “We had to show our credentials and work hard for this point, but we did not cave in.”
Stags boss Keith Curle said: “I am happy with a point. Scunthorpe have a good home record; they were top, but we played some good football and gave a good account of ourselves.
“If we can continue to win at home, draw away and nick two wins on our travels, I shall be very happy.”
Mansfield found themselves on the back foot inside three minutes when Scunthorpe broke quickly through Nathan Stanton and Paul Hayes down the right before the ball reached ex-Stags man Ian Baraclough, who fired home a shot to Kevin Pilkington's left hand for his first Scunthorpe goal.
Thereafter, it was Mansfield who dictated the game through the strength of David Artell and Tom Curtis, while Scott McNiven kept a watchful eye on the evergreen Peter Beagrie.
Curtis tried to break through, but was off-target, and then keeper Paul Musselwhite and Andy Butler closed in on the tricky Colin Larkin to stop him dead. The nearest Scunthorpe went to adding to their tally was Hayes with a back-header after Beagrie had opened them up.
Mansfield almost grabbed an equaliser after 23 minutes when Adam Murray attempted a long-range 35-yard shot that clipped the bar.
Hayes proved valuable when he cleared an Alex Neill header off the line, and Musselwhite denied Murray again as the Stags turned the screw.
McNiven had an effort cleared before the visitors grabbed the equaliser.
Neill knocked in a 71st-minute right-wing corner which fell to the powerful Artell, who powered the ball home.
Scunthorpe raised their game, and substitutes Cleveland Taylor and Michael Rankine threatened. But it would have been tough had Mansfield succumbed at this point.
Scunthorpe Utd………Mansfield Town
45-----------Possession %---- 55
4------------Shots on Target---10
2------------Shots off Target---6
6 Goal Attempts 11
3 On Target 6
3 Off Target 4
0 Hit Woodwork 1
2 Offsides 4
2 Corners 8
12 Fouls 13
Scunthorpe 1-1 Mansfield
An early strike from Ian Baraclough was not enough to give high-flying Scunthorpe a win over Mansfield.
Baraclough struck from long range inside three minutes, but Mansfield were the better side afterwards.
Colin Larkin caused plenty of problems for the hosts' defence, while Adam Murray lashed a superb 35-yard shot against the crossbar.
And with 20 minutes remaining, David Artell's drilled shot (comment from Martin – shot ... eh???) earned Keith Curle's side a well-earned point.
The Iron had to settle for a point against a strong Mansfield side at the two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Glanford Park.
Scunthorpe got the perfect start with just over a minute on the watch, the ball was half cleared to Baraclough on the edge of the box and he took a touch before firing the ball into the top right hand corner of the net.
At the other end Alex Neil went close when after a good move he shot over from the edge of the box.
The game continued to flow from end to end and when Hayes got the better of Artell he blasted over the cross bar from just outside the box.
Adam Murray fired another warning shot for Mansfield, the midfielder unleashing a 30-yard shot that Musselwhite watched bounce off the top of the cross bar and behind.
United manager Brian Laws introduced Tom Brighton for Richard Kell at half time with Sparrow switching inside and Brighton taking up a position on the right wing.
Musselwhite had to make a good save on 58 minutes when Larkin rode a challenge in the area and poked a shot to the 'keepers right but the Iron stopper dived low and managed to grab the ball at the second attempt.
Paul Hayes had a half chance at the other end when he flicked on Beagrie's left wing cross but Pilkington was able to react and saved comfortably.
After increasing Mansfield pressure they levelled on 70 minutes when David Artell headed home from Neil's right wing corner.
The Iron could have gone back in front on 80 minutes when Rankine flicked on Crosby's free kick and Taylor volleyed over at the far post.
Substitute Michael Rankine had a goal disallowed five minutes from time when he headed home from Taylor's cross, however the linesman ruled the ball had gone behind for a goal kick before Taylor had cut it back.
ARTELL NETS AS STAGS DRAW IN TOP OF TABLE CLASH
A SUPERB performance by Stags and a bullet header from Dave Artell earned them a deserved 1-1 draw at leaders Scunthorpe United this afternoon.
Victory might have put Stags top of the table, depending on other results, but they were rocked by a goal from former Mansfield star Ian Baraclough after only 76 seconds.
Full credit to Keith Curle's men as they put that blow behind them to dominate the game and grab a deserved point with Artell's 70th minute header.
And Stags certainly deserved a little good fortune when the home side had a late effort disallowed in a dramatic finish.
"I said we wouldn't go to Scunthorpe to contain them," said Curle. "We went to play our football at our tempo and it was up to Scunthorpe to contain us.
"They are a good side but I think today they know they have played against a team that is going places.
"We earned the right to play our football and produced some attractive football at a good tempo that had them wobbling."
Stags gave a debut to Bristol City left back Craig Woodman, who signed on a month's loan yesterday and Derek Asamoah shook off his calf injury to return up front.
But it was former Stag Baraclough that gave the game an explosive start when a loose ball ran invitingly to him after 76 seconds and he buried a glorious finish into the top right corner from 25 yards.
Stags shrugged off the early blow to grow in confidence, however, and almost levelled on 16 minutes when Tom Curtis neatly dummied a low pass from Asamoah to give Alex Neil a shot at goal which passed narrowly over from 20 yards.
Then a cutting pass from Adam Murray, who had his best game of the season for Mansfield, put Larkin in sight of goal and keeper Paul Musselwhite had to spread himself to block the finish, Neil unable to get the follow-up on target.
Scunthorpe did threaten briefly when Paul Hayes skipped past Artell to fire just over the far angle from 25 yards.
But Murray came even closer when his 35-yard screamer grazed the home crossbar.
Curtis, Asamoah and Muray all came close with chances as the interval arrived with Stags unlucky to still be behind.
A burst into the box from Murray on 58 minutes saw him force another good stop from Musselwhite.
And on 70 minutes a long Scott McNiven throw was headed on target by Larkin only to see home skipper Andy Crosby head of the line.
However, within seconds Stags were level.
Neil's right wing corner picked out Artell who crashed an unstoppable header into the net.
At this point it was all Mansfield and it seemed they could go on and win the game.
But Scunthorpe made a double substitution which saw them stage a grandstand finish.
And on 85 minutes one sub, Cleveland Taylor, crossed from the bye-line for fellow sub Mark Rankine to head home from close range at the far post.
The referee looked set to allow the goal but his assistant was waving that the ball had gone out of play before it was crossed.
It was a let-off Mansfield deserved and they had more pressure to weather in the eventual five minutes of stoppage time before they could celebrate a fifth League game unbeaten and an excellent point.
Iron Share The Points With Stags
Scunny started this one as if the three points were nothing but a formality at Glanford Park this afternoon, but Mansfield Town woke up after a short time and decided to make things a little harder for the Iron.
You couldn't have wished for a better start to the afternoon's proceedings when Ian Baraclough picked up the ball, set himself up for a shot and then launched the ball into the top right hand corner with his left foot from 25 yards.
The next ten minutes the game was filled with fouls, free-kicks and throw ins as both teams got used to each other in a game neither side really wanted to lose.
On 14 minutes Derek Asamoah found himself getting a yellow card for handball, shortly after Alex Neil tried his luck from 25 yards when he drilled a shot just over the bar, while Colin Larkin had two chances from 18 and 30 yards, Paul Musselwhite was equal to both of his efforts.
For the Iron, Neil and Hayes fired over the Stags bar and Adam Murray went the closest of all when he launched a shot from 30-odd yards that hit the bar and went behind.
Musselwhite was called into action again when a foul on Adam Murray by Matthew Sparrow resulted in a free-kick from Craig Woodman needing to be saved.
Peter Beagrie tried his luck from 20 yards, but Kevin Pilkington in the Stag's goal easily dealt with the shot. At the other end Larkin set up Curtis who fired over the bar while Asamoah put another effort over Scunny's goal.
Half-Time: Iron 1-0 Mansfield
The second period started with a change, Tom Brighton came on for Richard Kell. Brighton's first job was to clear an Alex Neil corner at the far post. In fact Scunny had to deal with a few corners from the visitors leading up the hour mark, none of them caused too much of a problem though.
Musselwhite had to be alert on 58 minutes though when Larkin got through, it took two attempts to get the ball safely in his grasp, but he did it. Four minutes later and Beagrie was setting up Paul Hayes, but Pilkington was equal to his headed effort.
Mansfield needed an equaliser and eventually they got it through David Artell on 70 minutes when he headed home into the top left of goal from another of Neil's corners.
Laws reaction was to replace Beagrie with Cleveland Taylor and Andy Keogh with Michael Rankine and for the next few minutes Scunny had to deal with another short succession of Stags corners. Then Rankine got onto the end of a Taylor flick on from a Crosby free-kick but he fired over the bar.
Rankine looked had the ball in the net late on when he headed home a Taylor cross, but celebrations were short lived when the assistant referee spotted that the ball had gone over the byline before the cross was delivered.
A point for Scunthorpe an a win for Yeovil means a slip to second place, but it's early day's and just keeping in touch is enough.
Scunthorpe: Musselwhite, Stanton, Crosby, Butler, Ridley, Sparrow, Kell (Brighton ,45 ), Baraclough, Beagrie (Taylor ,71), Hayes, Keogh (Rankine ,71)
Subs not used: Evans, Jackson
Mansfield: Pilkington, McNiven, Artell, Baptiste, Woodman, Neil, Murray, Curtis, Corden, Larkin, Asamoah (Day ,89)
Subs not used: Langford, Dimech, MacKenzie, O'Neill
Bookings: Asamoah (Mansfield)
Referee: A Woolmer (Northampton)
Latest | September 2004