STAGS LOSE TO MACC AGAIN AND DROP TO MIDTABLE
Mansfield Town 0 - 1 Macclesfield Town
Attendance: 3816 (259 from Macclesfield)
Football First match report:
By John Lomas
transcribed by carole
MANSFIELD'S goal drought reached 314 minutes as they were beaten by Macclesfield for the second time in five days.
Stags boss Keith Curle rested several key players for the midweek LDV Vans Trophy game at Moss Rose and was sent home with a 4-0 spanking.
But, even with seven changes for this League clash, he still couldn't find a way through Macclesfield's gritty defence before Mike Sheron's winner
Mansfield are now five games without a win and rapidly falling away from the play-off spots, after starting the season in such bright style.
Manager Curle said: “Saying we were poor in the first-half is being polite. Our performance was totally unacceptable.
“Players were tentative and lacked urgency and we did not play at the right tempo or with enough passion.
“You can't give any side a 1-0 start in the League. Although responding magnificently in the second-half, we did not get the break we needed.
“We did not look enough of a threat in the right areas. Players did not sparkle like they can and we looked a yard short. We played with more urgency in the second-half and Kevin Pilkington was a spectator. But give credit to Macclesfield.
“They came here and gave a dogged show and narrowed our chances down to just a couple of balls flashing across their box.
“I can get my players to believe what we are doing is right. But I can't give them confidence when they are out there. We need to get a run of results behind us and November is a very big month for us.”
Mansfield were very poor in the first-half, in which they failed to test the visiting keeper Alan Fettis.
And the visitors were almost handed the lead when Mansfield's Tom Curtis headed a Matthew Tipton free-kick against his own angle after just six minutes.
Two half-time changes gave Mansfield the lift that they needed and it was one way traffic from then on. Even so, Fettis had just one real save to make, turning a low Alex Neil shot round the near post as Macclesfield got all 11 men behind the ball and frustrated the home side, who were booed off the field.
Indeed, the visitors could have sewn up the points at the break, with Jon Parkin spurning two chances, shooting one wide and seeing Pilkington save the other.
Macclesfield manager Brian Horton said: “I thought that was a thoroughly professional performance and I was delighted.
“It was a good win against a good side.
“We had to stick in there in the second-half. We had to stand our ground and weather it a bit.
“But our system worked well and we always looked dangerous on the break.”
49-----------Possession %---- 51
8------------Shots on Target---5
6------------Shots off Target---4
Match Stats (Stags/Silkmen)
14 Goal Attempts 9
8 On Target 5
6 Off Target 4
0 Hit Woodwork 0
1 Offsides 1
6 Corners 2
15 Fouls 14
Stags 0 Macclesfield 1STAGS flopped against Macclesfield Town for the second time in five days as Mike Sheron's header stole all three points at Field Mill this afternoon.
The Stags have now failed to win in five outings and only scored once in that time - a goal drought of 314 minutes.
Stags had played a second string at Moss Rose in midweek and were thumped 4-0.
Manager Keith Curle boldly said he would gain revenge with a full strength side in the League Two clash but, despite seven changes, they failed to gel in the first half and rarely looked like scoring.
Tom Curtis headed against his own bar early in the game.
But, with Stags struggling to create anything through their midfield, they fell behind four minutes from the break when Sheron was allowed to get a head onto Graham Potter's cross from the left wing and guide it past Kevin Pilkington.
With two changes at half-time, Stags showed more creativity and urgency in the second period.
But the visitors frustrated them with 11 men behind the ball most of the time and the final whistle saw Stags booed off the pitch after only their second home League defeat.
Stags boss Keith Curle said: "Saying we were poor in the first half is being polite. Our performance was just totally unacceptable.
"Players looked tentative and lacked urgency. We didn't play at the right tempo or with enough passion.
"Goals win games and we didn't look enough of a threat in the right areas.
"Players didn't sparkle like they can and we looked a yard short.
We played with much more urgency in the second half and Kevin Pilkington was a spectator. But give credit to Macclesfield. They came here and gave a dogged performance and narrowed our chances down to just a couple of balls flashing across their box.
"We need to get a run of results behind us and November is a big month for us.
"I can get my players to believe that what we are doing is right. But I can't give them confidence when they are out there.
"You can't give any side a 1-0 start in this league and, although we responded magnificently in the second half, we didn't get the break we needed."
Stags began the afternoon on the attack and Parkin had to hook clear a Corden free kick from just in front of goal in the second minute, the ball eventually reaching Woodman whose cross just eluded the head of Neil.
But Curtis almost put through his own net on six minutes.
The referee bought what appeared to be outrageous dive by Sheron and Macclesfield won a free kick on the left. Tipton floated it in and the ball came off the top of Curtis' head and against his own angle.
On 13 minutes Stags struggled to clear their box after more Silkmen pressure and eventually Widdrington whipped a 25 yard shot wide of goal.
Curtis and Woodman in succession had good crossing opportunities but over-hit the ball.
When Artell faild to cut out a left wing cross, the ball reached Whitaker who saw his blast blocked by John-Baptiste for the game's first corner on 32 minutes.
Fettis had to leave his box to clear McNiven's forward ball ahead of Asamoah.
Asamoah then got in the way of a powerful drive by team mate Woodman while a minute later Asamoah crashed a dipping shot just over the bar from 25 yards.
But the home fans were growing increasingly restless as their side laboured to find a way through the visitors' compact defence.
And, after a couple of stray passes, the boos began to ring with half-time still five minutes away.
The afternoon went further downhill a minute later when Macclesfield grabbed a 41st minute lead.
Parkin did superbly well to get between Artell and Dimech and turn smartly to send Potter away in acres of space down the left. He crossed into the box where Sheron nipped in to direct a free header past a helpless Pilkington.
The half-time whistle inevitably sparked more boos after a poor half by the home side.
Inevitably also were changes at the break with MacKenzie on in midfield in place of Corden and Ipoua on for Dimech, John-Baptiste moving into the centre of defence.
Within seconds Larkin turned well 25 yards out and sent a shot just wide of the far post.
Then MacKenzie sent a left footed first time wide of the other post from the edge of the penalty area.
Stags were looking more dangerous now as the passes began to flow.
But a swift counter almost caught them napping as Whitaker crossed from the right and Parkin just couldn't direct it on target on the far post.
Stags replied with a cross from Woodman from the left which Asamoah just couldn't reach in front of goal.
Asamoah then turned Harsley back and forth before pulling a low shot just wide from 18 yards.
Stags forced their first corner of the afternoon on 66 minutes which Neil sent over and Artell headed at goal to force the first save of the day, albeit a comfy one, for Fettis.
A second corner soon followed as Stags began to turn up the heat.
Asamoah tried to find space for a shot but, when he was crowded out, he let it run to MacKenzie whose sidefooted low effort was straight at Fettis.
Neil came even closer with an 18 yard drive that Fettis had to turn round his near post while, shortly after, MacKenzie's attempted lob dropped wide of the far post.
By now Macclesfield were getting all 11 players behind the ball at every opportunity to preserve their slender advantage.
O'Neill came on for Asamoah for the last 12 minutes.
Mansfield won two more corners, which the Silkmen defended.
Then there was a hold-up after Tipton stayed down following an excellent McNiven tackle, rescuing a situation where Tipton had robbed Woodman and threatened to go clear.
Eventually Tipton limped off and was replaced by Miles.
Larkin fired another chance wide after the ball had been chested into his path by Ipoua.
Macclesfield broke down the right and, despite the attentions of Woodman, Parkin got in a low shot which Pilkington was safely behind.
Macclesfield boss Brian Horton said afterwards: "I thought that was a thoroughly professional performance and I was delighted.
"It was a good win against a good side.
"We had to stick in there in the second half. We had to stand our ground and weather it a bit.
"Our system worked well and we always looked dangerous on the break.
"The lads worked very, very hard and we looked a good, solid unit.
"Our front three were asked to defend when we didn't have the ball, which they did, and Mike Sheron scored an excellent goal for us.
"We beat Mansfield in midweek when they didn't put a full side out. But winning games and scoring goals are good habits to get into.
"Now we have to keep our feet on the ground for the FA Cup game next week. We do have a few bumps and bruises which you will get after defending like that."
Macclesfield staged a classic smash and grab raid to beat promotion rivals Mansfield for the second time in five days with a 1-0 win at Field Mill.
This time the single Mike Sheron goal was enough to clinch their third away win of the season and leave the Stags without a win in five games - and with just one goal in that spell.
A lethargic Mansfield, who have now won just once in 11 games, totally dominated the second half but failed to find a way through Macclesfield's massed ranks as the Silkmen held on to Sheron's 41st minute header.
The home side, showing seven changes from the weakened side which crashed out of the LDV Trophy 4-0 at Macclesfield earlier in the week, almost scored twice in the opening two minutes.
First Wayne Corden's curling free-kick was hacked clear inside the six-yard area by Graham Potter and from the rebound Alex Neil glanced Craig Woodman's cross narrowly wide.
In the sixth minute Mansfield were fortunate to survive when Tom Curtis's inadvertent back header from a Matthew Tipton free-kick crashed against the bar.
Macclesfield, giants compared to Mansfield's lightweight line-up, harried the home side out of their stride throughout the first half and from one of many free kicks Tommy Widdrington struck a half volley into the side netting.
On the half hour a desperate lunge from Alex Jon-Baptiste deflected Danny Whitaker's fierce 20-yard drive over the bar.
But in the 41st minute there was no escape for the Stags when Jonathan Parkin beat Luke Dimech and fed Potter whose early cross was nodded in by the unmarked Sheron.
Mansfield made two half-time changes and in the opening seconds again went close to an equaliser, Colin Larkin curling wide and substitute Neil Mackenzie blazing wide.
Their hopes of a fight-back should have ended on the hour when Parkin just failed to convert Whitaker's by-line cross in a rare Macclesfield attack.
In the 66th minute Mansfield finally forced their first corner and from Neil's flag kick David Artell's header forced Macclesfield keeper Alan Fettis into his first save.
Derek Asamoah, Neil and Mackenzie all went close to an equaliser as Mansfield piled on the pressure with five corners in 14 minutes, but the Silkmen held on.
Macclesfield Town Official Site
Macclesfield Town weathered a second half storm at Field Mill to come away with three points thanks to Mike Sheron's header from a sweeping Silkmen move.
After a flurry of activity in the first five minutes, Jon Parkin clearing off the line and the Silkmen hitting the cross bar from a Tipton free-kick, the game went to sleep for most of the rest of the half.
But fifteen minutes before half time the action began again as Danny Whitaker hit a first time volley which was delfected just wide of the post and the corner was cleared. The home side then won a free-kick on the corner of the box but the dangerous ball was seen off by Barras.
Asamoah went close withlong range effort for the Stags before the Silkmen took the lead. The move began in the Macclesfield half as Weaver won the ball and played a good ball forward to Parkin. Under pressure from two players, Parkin used his nifty footwork to find space and hit a cross-field ball to Potter. Potter then advanced from his own half and played a cross long and from deep onto the head of Sheron who made no mistake.
The Silkmen withheld a spell of Mansfield pressure as the game ran through the minute of time added to half time.
The second half was a more eventful affair although the Silkmen were forced into perhaps their best defensive performance of the season as Mansfield dominated possession without registering much in the way of shots on target. Two changes at half time by Keith Curle seeming to have done the trick as they had two early shots, from Guy Ipoua and Neil Mackenzie went over and wide respectively.
The pressure was eased briefly as a good Macclesfield move saw Whitaker in space on the right but his low cross whizzed past Tipton and Jon Parkin, at a narrow angle, could not direct his half volley goalwards.
Asamoah shot into the side netting before Fettis was called upon to pluck a header from a corner out of the air. Another corner for the home side was cleared before Parkin had a breakaway chance at the other end but was denied by Pilkington.
Mackenzie had a long shot caught by Fettis who then tipped around the post for a corner, which he had no trouble in gathering.
A Silkmen free-kick from the edge of the area was cleared and Jon Parkin and Danny Whitaker linked up well to create an opening but Whit's shot was blocked.
With injury time looming, Tippy limped off to be replaced by John Miles but three minutes of time added-on came and went, much to the delight of the Silkmen faithful, nearly 300 in number, who had made the trip.
Verdict: After the disappointment of the 3-0 defeat at Rochdale, the Silkmen have won two, scored five and conceded none in the last two games. The result, although not lifting the side any further up the table, has put a two point gap between ourselves and eighth placed Boston, with only one point separating the Silkmen from the top three.
Mansfield 0 Macclesfield 1
simon carter, http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk
BATTLING Macclesfield earned three vital away points with a thoroughly professional performance at highly-rated Mansfield.
In doing so, Brian Horton's side made Keith Curle eat his words who had said Mansfield were the better side with the better players.
It was a smash and grab act courtesy of a clinical finish from veteran Mike Sheron.
In the 41st minute, the ex-Man City striker cruised onto a perfect Graham Potter cross to nod a downwards header firmly into the far corner - the sort of strike that makes finishing look simple.
Macc bossed the first half and might have scored when Matthew Tipton's free kick was nodded onto his own crossbar by Tom Curtis.
Mansfield fought like tigers in the second half but Macc sat back and soaked up the pressure, with Fettis only having to make one telling save to deny Alex Neil with 20 minutes still remaining.
Sheron Rolls Back The Years
Story by Dave Morris , Silkmen MAD
Mansfield Town 0 Macclesfield Town 1:
Ex-team mate of Stag's manager Keith Curle, Mike Sheron rolled back the years to score a stunning goal to take the points at Field Mill.
Macclesfield took to the field in their all white away strip again. Macc started in what looked like the dog-legged 4-4-2, but they soon settled down with the 5-3-2 with Fettis in goal, Harsley, Weaver, Carragher, Barras and Potter at the back. Whitaker, Widdrington and Sheron in midfield and Parkin and Tipton up front. The Silkmen were unchanged from Tuesday except for Rooney coming in on the sub's bench for Jassim. Mansfield made several changes from the team that were well beaten in the LDV Vans Trophy game.
The ref was soon giving the home side a free-kick just outside the Macc penalty area, Parkin clearing the ball from the goal mouth. On 4 minutes, the ref returned the favour to Macc as Sheron fell over. It looked like the ball was heading into the Stag's goal but it was cleared away. Macc had looked a bit out of sorts but settled now with Sheron playing left side of midfield and although he wasn't as influential as Tuesday night, he was covering plenty of ground.
Neither side was able to create much in the way of goal chances as both defences were looking on top. Little was going right for Tipton, but Parkin was bustling as usual. On 32 minutes a cross in from Potter fell nicely for Whitaker but his shot was blocked away for a corner. The ball in was cleared to Whitaker who tried again with a shot but this one was well over. There was a moment of danger for the Silkmen as Asamoah threatened to break through on the visitor's goal, but Barras and Fettis were able to deal with the situation.
On 40 minutes, Macc took the lead and it was a goal to savour. A long ball out was controlled by Parkin and the Beast did very well, beating three defenders and feeding the ball out to Potter wide on the left. He fed in a great ball towards the Stag's penalty area and MIKE SHERON met it like in the old days, his header giving Pilkington no chance.
Into the second half and the home side started to apply the pressure. Larkin tried an effort from the edge of the penalty area which was wide. Macc were sitting back and defending. In doing so they were losing possession to the home team. On 59 minutes and Macc broke forward with Sheron, he put the ball out to the left wing and the ball in was for Parkin but the defender did enough to make safe. Then Macc broke down the right for Whitaker to get to. With three Macc players racing in, he played the ball for Parkin at the back post, but he couldn't steer it in.
Then it was the Stags at the other end, Woodman putting a nasty ball in across the Macc box, but Fettis scrambled and got to it. Then it was Asamoah trying to rush in at the near post, putting the ball wide. Macc were hanging on to their lead and the points. On 69 minutes and a fired in shot by the Stags was saved by Fettis at the near post. Macc were looking ragged at times but hanging on. On 80 minutes, Tipton had to be helped off the pitch after coming off second best after a full throttle challenge. Miles replaced him matching up against Woodman. Mansfield continued to press for the equaliser as Macc sat back and continued to find it difficult to get possession of the ball. On 85 minutes Parkin broke forward but his shot was saved by Pilkington. As extra time wound out, the Silkmen hung on to gain what is believed to be their first win at Field Mill.
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