POOR STAGS BEATEN DESPITE LATE RALLY
Leyton Orient 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
Alexander 25, 33. Lloyd 87.
Attendance: 3,882 (389 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw at Brisbane Road
The Stags were beaten at Leyton Orient this afternoon to drop into the bottom half of the table. The Stags were poor for 87 minutes but an excellent rally in the final 6 minutes nearly claimed an undeserved point. The Stags finished 13th, the same position as in 2000/2001, and the season was so average that the final goal difference was zero.
Man of the Match: Simon Brown
Stagsnet report now in the Match Centre.
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn.
CAPITAL DEFEAT DESPITE LATE RALLY
Leyton Orient 2 Mansfield Town 1
A late Callum Lloyd goal, his 3rd in the last three games proved nothing more than a consolation as The Stags ended their season with a 2-1 defeat at Leyton Orient last weekend.
Mansfield staged a late rally but failed to find enough to make up for two moments of poor defending in the 1st half where O's striker, Gary Alexander was gifted his seventh and eighth goal of the season.
Stags Manager, Carlton Palmer made three changes to the side that had ended their Field Mill campaign with a win just seven days previous, Coke, Heron and Fraser McLachlan all dropped to the bench, Curtis and Lloyd starting in midfield, whilst there was a debut at right back for young, Austin McIntosh.
Before the game both sides formed a line on honour for O's striker, Andy Scott who has been forced to retire from the game due to a heart condition. It was a touching moment, which received a warming response from both sets of supporters.
The game got off to a scrappy start and looked for all what it was, and end of season encounter with both sides having nothing to play for.
The first real moment of danger for Mansfield came on 11 minutes when O's centre half Mackie, who seemingly spent the rest of his time on the field bringing down Stags Simon Brown, headed over from a corner.
Zakuani was lucky to get away with not conceding a penalty kick when it clearly looked like he tugged back Simon Brown but the Referee was having none of it.
The home side almost took the lead when a cross from Simpson was headed towards goal by McMahon and with White stranded, Stags were grateful that Luke Dimech was on hand to clear from the line.
On 25 minutes, the O's breeched The Stags back line with simplicity. Springing onto the attack, Duncan sent over a left sided cross into The Stags area where two Orient players raced in unmarked from the right hand side, one of them, Gary Alexander gleefully side-footed the ball home with White somewhat stranded.
Mansfield were trying in vain to get a foothold on the game but lacked any real penetration in the last third, an effort by Rundle that flashed just by the post being the best they could offer.
It was 2-0 on 33 minutes and again it was more a case of poor defending by The Stags than creativity by the home side. Lee Steele was allowed room to get in a left sided cross where once again, Gary Alexander was unmarked. This time the O's striker had time to pick his spot with a header that gave White in The Stags goal, no chance whatsoever.
The home side were in dominant mood and Stags were grateful to Alex Neil who cleared off the line following an O's corner.
Neil was again on hand, this time with a timely tackle on Duncan after Alexander had raced clear and crossed in hard and low.
Just before the half time break, Simpson spotted White off his line and from just inside the Mansfield half tried an audacious shot on goal. White though managed to get back and tip the ball over.
The start of the 2nd half saw Palmer make two substitutions, McNiven and McIntosh were withdrawn, Giles Coke and Rhys Day entering the fray and The Stags reverting to a 3-5-2 formation.
The home side though looked at ease with the situation, both Day and Dimech having to be at their best to prevent Steele and Alexander from causing more woes for the visitors.
The Stags best chance arrived when a long ball found Brown racing towards the O's goal, but an excellently timed tackle outside his area by the O's keeper, Harrison denied The Stags player a chance on goal.
Palmer sent on McLachlan for Alex Neil, moving Tommy Curtis over to the right hand side. Stags were enjoying large amounts of possession but failing to test the Orient back line, that was until 75 minutes when McLachlan headed towards goal, the ball was flicked on by Brown, forcing Harrison to save, unfortunately though Brown's follow up effort curled past the far post.
The home side seemingly content with their two-goal haul were inviting pressure, Coke the next to try his luck, but his effort flew high from 30 yards.
Rundle then let fly with a tremendous effort that was well saved by Harrison, and from the resulting corner, Stags grabbed a lifeline. Tom Curtis' corner was won at the far post by Day who headed the ball back to the near post where Callum Lloyd squeezed the ball home for his third goal in three games.
The Stags suddenly sprung to life and McLachlan was denied when Miller cleared off the line. Harrison was again at his best to deny a long-range effort from Curtis, Day's effort blocked from the rebound. Brown and Barker also had chances to bring The Stags level.
The home side where under the cosh but broke out and Echanomi headed just over from a Wayne Carlisle cross.
The final chance of the game came to Tom Curtis but competitive Stags midfielder fired over from 25 yards.
The defeat meant a final Coca Cola League 2 placing of 13th for Mansfield Town. No doubt it will be a busy summer for Carlton Palmer and his players as they aim to make next term one of success.
Stags rally but lose in Leyton
DESPITE a stirring late rally, Mansfield Town paid the price for poor defending as they lost 2-1 in the last game of the season at Leyton Orient this afternoon.
Stags struggle to make any impact in a poor first half and twice gifted chances to Gary Alexander who gratefully netted two goals in eight minutes and could have ended the half with four.
But manager Carlton Palmer reshuffled his pack in the second half and, much improved, they pinned Orient back, creating a wealth of chances in the last 15 minutes.
But Callum Lloyd's 88th minute goal proved to be only a consolation as the season ended in defeat.
Stags made three changes with Giles Coke, Danny Heron and Fraser McLachlan relegated to the bench.
Tom Curtis and Callum Lloyd came into the midfield with a debut for teenager Austin McIntosh at right back.
Alex Neil pushed up to the right of midfield and Simon Brown partnered Richie Barker up front.
The home side were led out by Andy Scott who netted their winner at Field Mill last November but has since had to quit the game with a heart condition.
The game began in bright sunshine and breezy conditions on a surface that had earlier taken heavy rain and hail showers.
John-Baptiste was in the way of Alexander's shot on the turn in the fifth minute as both sides made a scrappy start.
Then Mackie headed over from the first corner of the game on 11 minutes.
Zakuani was lucky not to concede a penalty a minute later when he appeared to tug Brown in the Orient box.
There was a stoppage when Zakuani and Barker needed treatment for a clash of heads.
And on the restart the Londoners almost went ahead.
Simpson floated in a cross which White left his line for. But McMahon got there first with his head which beat White only to see Dimech clear off the goal line.
Barnard got a header onto Duncan's long left wing cross on 24 minutes but it was straight at White.
John-Baptiste then got another good block on another Alexander shot on the turn.
But Alexander was not to be denied on 25 minutes as he put Orient ahead.
Stags were caught by a counter-attack and Duncan crossed low from the left to where two home players were queueing unmarked, Alexander providing the deadly finish from 10 yards.
Stags' first real shot in anger came on the half-hour when a poor clearance fell to Rundle 20 yards out and he flashed a first time blast narrowly wide of the near post.
McMahon might have extended Orient's lead on 32 minutes but sliced well wide when Lockwood's corner was cleared invitingly into his path.
But the second goal arrived on 33 minutes as Steele crossed from the left and Alexander was afforded a free far post header which he buried with some aplomb.
McMahon was well wide with a first time shot from 25 yards shortly after as Orient maintained the pressure.
McMahon's crossfield ball found Miller and Alexander's header from his cross was only just too high.
Orient's fourth corner saw a scramble in which Neil eventually had to kick off the line.
There was no let-up and when the offside flag stayed down, Alexander crossed hard and low and Neil just managed to get there before Duncan could net.
Simpson tried to catch White napping in stoppage time. From a free kick just two yards into the Mansfield half he spotted White off his line and tried to lift the long kick over him, White just managing to get back and help it over the bar.
Full backs McNiven and McIntosh were withdrawn for the second half with Coke and Day coming on.
Stags went to three at the back and five in midfield.
Carlisle replaced Mackie on 51 minutes and, seconds later, Steele tried to break away down the right. But Dimech stuck with him and did enough to force him to shoot wide.
Then, when Day failed to cut out a long pass forward, Alexander blasted just wide of the far post from a tight angle.
Dimech just managed to put Lockwood's dangerous low cross out for a corner before Echanomi came on for Steele.
Harrison produced an excellent tackle just outside his box to prevent Brown getting a shot on goal in a rare Stags attack.
Palmer then sent on McLachlan for Neil, Curtis moving to the right.
Coke needed treatment after being chopped down as he crossed after going past three opponents and the Stags bench were incensed that no card was shown.
Saah replaced the injured Duncan for the last 17 minutes.
Enjoying so much of the possession, Stags finally created a good chance on 75 minutes as McLachlan headed powerfully across the box and Brown's head made sure the ball was on target, forcing Harrison to save. The ball went back to Brown but from an almost impossible angle he curled the ball across goal and out past the far post.
Stags were now enjoying their best spell of the game and Coke was well off target from 30 yards as Orient seemed content to sit on their two-goal lead.
Carlisle was booked for his lunging tackle on Coke on 85 minutes.
Rundle then saw a magnificent 20 yard drive saved superbly by Harrison on 87 minutes. And, from the resulting corner, Stags pulled a goal back.
Curtis hit his corner long to Day who headed back towards the far post where Lloyd squeezed the ball over the line.
Suddenly it was all Mansfield and McLachan saw an effort beat Harrison but get kicked off the line by Miller.
Then Harrison again saved superbly from a long range Curtis drive with Day's follow-up blocked.
In stoppage time Brown's poor first touch from Rundle's cross allowed Harrison to deny him.
Barker fired straight at the keeper at the far post from the corner.
Under seige, Orient broke for their first real chance since the 55th minute in injury time as Carlisle floated the ball in and Echanomi headed powerfully over.
It was breathtaking stuff and there was still time for Curtis to fire over from 25 yards as time finally ran out on Mansfield's brave rally.
Latest | May 2005