STAGS HAND IT TO WYCOMBE
Mansfield Town 1 - 4 Wycombe Wanderers
Barker 54. McLachlan disallowed goal 55.
Claridge 59 (pen), 90+1, Stonebridge 62, Uhlenbeek 87.
Attendance: 2,497 (91 from Wycombe)
Eight crazy minutes determined this game. The Stags took the lead through Richie Barker on 54 minutes, with a fine 18 yard finish, after good play by McLachlan.
McLachlan then had a goal disallowed for offside, before a penalty was harshly awarded against Alex Neil for handball. Claridge scored from the spot. Then Stonebridge incredibly put Wycombe in front. Later a Wycombe defender headed against his own post, and then two goals in the last 3 minutes gave a bizarre scoreline. Kevin Pilkington had a night to forget with mistakes for two of the goals.
The attendance of 2,497 was the lowest for a league game since May 1st 2001, when just 1,878 watched the Stags beat Darlington 3-2.
Tonight was the first time since March 29th 2003 that the Stags have conceded four goals or more in a home league game - 1-5 against Peterborough. Stats by Svante Bernhard
Match stats (Stags/Wanderers):
11 Goal Attempts 12
10 On Target 8
1 Off Target 4
0 Hit Woodwork 0
4 Offsides 4
8 Corners 9
11 Fouls 7
Veteran striker Steve Claridge hit his fourth goal in three games as away day specialists Wycombe maintained their play-off push and probably ended Mansfield's own promotion hopes on a snow covered Field Mill pitch.
Wycombe grabbed four goals in 28 second-half minutes to clinch their eighth away win of the season against a Mansfield side boasting the best defensive record in League Two.
The Stags had taken a 54th minute lead when Richie Barker fired his fifth goal after Stuart Nethercott failed to cut out an Adam Rundle cross.
A minute later Fraser McLachlan thought had had doubled the home side's lead, but his close range tap-in was ruled out for offside and Mansfield were made to pay dearly.
In the 59th minute they failed to clear a Danny Senda cross, Alex Neil inadvertently handled and Claridge leveled from the penalty spot.
Three minutes later the home side again defended poorly. This time they failed to deal with a Steve Guppy cross and the ball fell kindly for Ian Stonebridge to score from 12 yards.
The Stags piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser. Wycmbe keeper Frank Talia bravely denied Rundle, Barker went close with a diving header and then forced Senda to head against his own post.
Keeper Kevin Pilkington kept the home side in the game with two superb saves to deny Claridge.
But the he made a horrendous error as Wycombe sealed victory in the 87th minute.
Claridge helped the ball into the Mansfield half, the keeper charged out of his area and Gus Uhlenbeek scored from 40 yards.
Then in injury time, Wycombe rubbed salt into Mansfield's wounds when Claridge tapped into an empty net to stretch the Chairboys' recent run to one defeat in nine games.
In the first half the Stags had adjusted well to the treacherous conditions. Adam Murray lobbed over from 30 yards, Rundle drove straight at the keeper when well placed and Colin Larkin's curling shot was well held by the diving Talia.
However, even then Wycombe were creating the better chances. Stonebridge fired over from a partially cleared Guppy free-kick and then Matt Bloomfield blazed wide from another quick counter attack.
Twelve minutes before half time the veterans Claridge and Guppy carved open the home defence, but Claridge shot wide from six yards as the visitors failed to test Mansfield keeper Pilkington.
Stags crash 4-1 to Wycombe
AWAY specialists Wycombe Wanderers came from 1-0 behind with a four-goal salvo to comfortably take the three points at snowbound Field Mill last night.
Stags, with three wins in their last four games, put themselves in charge when Richie Barker broke the deadlock on 54 minutes on a treacherous snowy surface which survived two inspections.
But within eight minutes Wycombe had hit back with two goals in four minutes - a Steve Claridge penalty and an Ian Stonebridge strike - and late efforts from Gus Uhlenbeek and Claridge gave the match a lop-sided score that was harsh on Mansfield.
Stags were unchanged from the side that won at Bury on Saturday, while visitors Wycombe included four ex-Premiership players in their starting line-up in Claridge, Guppy, Nethercott and Uhlenbeek.
Wanderers had taken seven points from their last three away matches and began the night with the second best away record in the division while Stags had the best defensive record.
The pitch had to be cleared several times in the lead-up to kick-off as heavy snowfalls kept coming down to leave ground staff fighting a difficult battle.
But they had the lines marked green ready for the start, although the snow continued to fall.
Stags enjoyed some early pressure on the tricky surface as players slipped and slid around.
But the first shot was from veteran star Claridge on four minutes which was deflected wide for the first of two corners for Wycombe.
Stonebridge was close when a Guppy free kick was cleared to him 18 yards from goal and he dipped a shot just over.
Bloomfield was also allowed to get a shot over the bar from 20 yards as Stags struggled to clear.
Mansfield attacked again and when Barker fed a loose ball to Rundle to his left, the winger forced Talia to block his drive at his near post.
Stags made hard work of clearing Wycombe's third corner and a fourth soon followed as the visitors began to adapt the better.
Barker tried to get Murray away but the keeper was down bravely at his feet in the box.
Then a neat volleyed pass from Neil to Larkin saw the striker cut in from the right and shoot low to again force Talia to save.
Wanderers almost conjured up an opener on 34 minutes as Guppy broke down the left and picked out the run of Claridge inside who sent a first time shot inches wide from a great position.
Easton tested Pilkington with a low 25-yarder soon after.
Stags then won two corners to no avail, while at the other end McLachlan's scuffed clearance went to Bloomfield who fired into the side netting.
In stoppage time Guppy sent over Wycombe's sixth corner and Johnson glanced a header wide as the half ended scoreless.
Murray warmed Talia's hands with a vicious 18 yard drive just 65 seconds into the second half as Mansfield made a bright start.
But there was temporary chaos at the other end on 48 as a right wing cross evaded Pilkington's grasp and, with the keeper out of position, Easton crossed towards Stonebridge who saw John-Baptiste clear off the line.
Senda shot from 35 yards but Pilkington was always behind it.
But Stags snatched the lead on 54 minutes. Neil curled in a low cross from the right and as McLachlan and Nethercott went for it, the ball came back off the defender's leg towards Barker who drilled home a confident low finish.
Within a minute Stags had the ball in the net again after a brief scramble, McLachlan lifting it confidently over Talia from close range only to be foiled by a raised offside flag.
Disaster then struck at the other end as Wycombe levelled from the spot on 58 minutes.
Stags laboured to clear their lines and when Senda was offered a second chance to get in a cross, it struck a slipping Neil on the hand at the far post and Claridge stepped up to send Pilkington the wrong way for his third goal in as many games.
Within four minutes the visitors were ahead as Stags were again punished for not getting the ball clear. Guppy pumped in a left wing cross and when Stonebridge's first attempt ran loose the striker just managed to steer a weak finish over the line inside the right hand post.
Jelleyman was booked for a foul on Bloomfield before Palmer made a change and went 4-4-2 on 65 minutes with Asamoah on for McLachlan.
Stags won two more corners and when an Asamoah run was halted, Rundle took the ball on into the box and forced Talia to spread himself to make a fine save.
Rundle swapped wings and had a big penalty shout when his cross hit a defender's hand, but play was waved on.
And when a corner was played back into the box on 71 minutes, Barker pressured Senda into heading against his own post.
Rundle had a shot deflect wide for a corner and another soon followed. But Talia gathered and time was running out on Mansfield.
Bloomfield's pass found Claridge in space in the box and it took a great tackle from John-Baptiste to prevent him finishing.
Claridge should have settled it on 84 minutes as Buxton allowed him to block his clearance and race away on goal. But Pilkington must have got the slightest touch as his slotted finish went inches wide for a corner.
But it was all over on 87 minutes as Stags' defence was caught out by Uhlenbeek's run onto a Claridge knock-on and, with Pilkington racing 20 yards out his box, Uhlenbeek got there first and poked a low finish towards goal from 30 yards and it just managed to cross the line before a defender could get there.
Larkin almost pulled one back straight away but saw his shot cleared off the line by Nethercott.
STAGS: Pilkington, Neil, Larkin, Barker, Murphy, Rundle, Jelleyman, Buxton, McLachlan (Asamoah 65), Curtis, John-Baptiste. Subs not used: White, Smeltz, Dimech, Lloyd.
WYCOMBE: Talia, Senda, Easton, Johnson, Nethercott, Ryan, Bloomfield, Uhlenbeek, Guppy (Silk 73), Stonebridge, Claridge. Subs not used: Dixon, Perpetuini, Philo, Martin.
REFEREE: Fred Graham of Essex.
SCORERS: Mansfield - Barker 54. Wycombe - Claridge 58 pen, 90; Stonebridge 62; Uhlenbeek 87.
CAUTIONS: Mansfield - Jelleyman 63 (foul on Bloomfield).
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Adam Rundle.
Latest | February 2005