MORE CALAMATOUS DEFENDING COSTS STAGS SO DEAR
Mansfield Town 2 - 3 Notts County
Barker 15, Jelleyman 60. Hurst 18, 85, Edwards 81.
Attendance: 6444 (1683 from Notts)
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
For the second time in 48 hours, some dreadful defending cost the Stags so dear. This time the Stags paid the ultimate price and were beaten at home by near neighbours Notts County. In a generally entertaining encounter, the Stags led twice, with goals from Barker and Jellyeman, but an appalling mistake by Baptiste gifted County their first goal, and then two goals in the final 9 minutes saw the Stags end up pointless.
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Man of the match: Richie Barker
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn
POOR STAGS DEFENDING PROVES COSTLY AS COUNTY TRIUMPH
The Stags ended the bank holiday period with just one point from a possible six. A draw away at Boston United and a demoralising home defeat to near neighbours, Notts County both highlighted the team's inability to defend adequately from set-piece situations.
The Stags had began brightly at York Street, Boston, and roared on by a big away following it looked like it could have been Mansfield's day. However on 9 minutes, Lee won an aerial challenge with Rhys Day and set up the unmarked, Danny Thomas who had time and space to fire the home side ahead.
The Stags battled back and on 25 minutes were awarded a penalty kick. Jason Lee had clearly earlier been rattled by a confrontation with Rhys Day and for some reason only known to himself, pulled down Day in the area, conceding one of the clearest penalty decisions ever. Richie Barker stepped up and confidently beat Abbey to pull Stags level.
Any thoughts of a complete Stags comeback were dashed though on 34 minutes when a free kick taken by Maylett was headed in with ease by Alan White, who's looped header went over Pressman and escaped the attention of two Stags defenders on the line who despite desperation, could do nothing to keep the ball out.
Stags were back in the game when Simon Brown deservedly equalised on 70 minutes. Brown received the ball just before the halfway line and advanced at pace towards the Boston goal. He avoided two challenges before firing low and hard across the keeper. It was a quite stunning finish.
The game finished with loud home cries for a penalty when it looked like Buxton bought down Joachim, but in the end, most felt Stags deserving of their point but there was a concern over sloppy defending, something which would come back to haunt the Stags two days later in the big derby-day clash with Notts County.
Boss Carlton Palmer made five changes from the side that had drawn with Boston, most notable being the introduction of Hjelde and Baptiste as a centre half pairing.
Both sides started brightly but the best early chance came to the visitors, Steve Scoffham shooting wide when in a position to do much better.
On 15 minutes, Mansfield broke the deadlock. Fine link up play between Chris Beardsley and Richie Barker resulted in Barker firing in his second goal of the holiday period. A neat turn and shot eluding the outstretched right hand of Stags former, Custodian, Kevin Pilkington.
However the home sides lead didn't last long and yet again it was a case of more poor defending from Mansfield. Stags failed to clear the danger from a free kick and Stags dithering was punished in clinical style by Glynn Hurst, much to the delight of the travelling 1,683 from Nottingham.
Stags were dealt a further blow when striker, Chris Beardsley faced Pilkington in a 50-50 race for the ball. The County keeper got there first but collided with Beardsley resulting in the young Stags forward having to leave the field on a stretcher with a possible broken leg.
The game threatened to boil over and several ill-timed challenges from both side ensued as the first half ended in typical derby-day style.
Stags went ahead when on 59 minutes, Pilkington flapped in his area and the ball broke loose to Gareth Jelleyman, who from close range scored his second goal of the season.
That is where The Stags so called derby-day delight ended as the visitors staged a late rally to take all three points.
Yet again Mansfield's frailties from set piece situations was highlighted as Mike Edwards rose unmarked to head the ball home following a corner on 81 minutes. Then with just five minutes of the game remaining, Former Stag, Andy White had an header cleared off the line by Alex John-Baptiste, but there was Glynn Hurst yet again to scoop up the rebound to net his second and County's third goal of the day.
The final whistle was greeted by delirious cheers from the County fans, whilst the home following were left feeling aggrieved at yet another poor defensive performance from The Stags. As one disgruntled fan remarked when leaving his seat, “You don't deserve to win games if you can't defend.”
This weekend Stags face the tricky trip to the Deva Stadium to take on former Manager, Keith Curle and his Chester City side. The game, which takes place this coming Friday due to the Wales v England clash will be a stern test for The Stags as they aim to bounce straight back.
Mansfield 2-3 Notts County
Notts County scored twice in the last seven minutes to win a bad-tempered derby match at Mansfield.
Michael Edwards headed home from a corner to make it 2-2 before Glynn Hurst scored after Alex John-Baptiste cleared off the line from Andy White.
Richard Barker had opened the scoring before Hurst equalised for County.
Mansfield's Chris Beardsley was stretchered off with a broken leg after a collision with Kevin Pilkington before Gareth Jelleyman made it 2-1.
Stags stunned by County late show
LEAGUE Two leaders Notts County struck two late goals to snatch victory after Mansfield Town had twice led in an enthralling local derby at Field Mill this afternoon.
And Stags' misery was compounded by a broken leg for young striker Chris Beardsley after a collision with former Mansfield keeper Kevin Pilkington near the end of the first half.
However, there was also post-match misery for the Magpies when they returned to find their dressing room had been looted. No one from Mansfield Town was prepared to comment on the theft.
However, County said they had reported it to Stags chairman Keith Haslam and Police are investigating.
Richie Barker put Mansfield ahead on 15 minutes but Glynn Hurst levelled within three minutes.
Gareth Jelleyman put Stags back in the driving seat on the hour and, with keeper Kevin Pressman making three superb saves to keep out Hurst, all looked rosy for the home side.
However, Notts levelled from an 83rd minute corner through Michael Edwards and, with Stags rocking, the Magpies swooped again three minutes later with Hurst finally beating Pressman again.
Stags have had the Indian sign over their county neighbours in recent seasons but, having put themselves into a winning position, this time they just couldn't hold on against a Notts side that remain unbeaten this season.
Stags manager Carlton Palmer said"I am very disappointed. We have now conceded eight goals which is not good enough.
"Our general play is good, but if you don't defend set pieces you will get beaten no matter what level you are playing at.
"I know we are a young side and still learning. But we should have more points on the board than we have right now and that is because we cannot defend restarts.
"They have to learn and learn fast as, if we keep playing well and losing, then confidence will get low.
"I don't believe Kevin Pilkington's challenge on Chris Beardsley was malicious. He is not that kind of player. It looks to be a clean break and we'll just have to see how he goes."
The Bank Holiday game attracted a crowd of 6,444 with 1,683 from Notts County making the trip.
With games coming thick and fast Mansfield made five changes to rest players.
Day, Buxton, Jelleyman and Coke dropped the bench with Peers left out completely.
Uhlenbeek dropped back to play right back, John-Baptiste to centre of defence alongside the incoming Hjelde, Brown made his first start of the season on right of midfield, Birchall coming in on the left with McLachlan and Dawson both drafted in to play the central midfield roles.
County lost Matthew Gill and David Pipe to injury from their 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
The sides came out to a marvellous reception from both sets of fans and the opening stages were nervous and scrappy.
Notts had the first real opening on seven minutes when Hurst held the ball up, despite the attention of two defenders, and laid it off for Scoffham to take it on and fire low and narrowly wide of the near post.
Scoffham was lectured soon after for putting a foot in on Pressman after the keeper had cleared the ball.
Team mate Edwards was next for a stern talking to after bringing down Brown in full flight.
Brown was looking hungry and a good run down the right saw him cross to the near post where Beardsley dummied and the loose ball was eventually rifled over the bar by McLachlan.
The rough stuff continued as Baudet got away with a two-handed shove in Barker's back but was lectured seconds later for chopping the Stags striker down, again no card was shown.
A loose ball from John-Baptiste had Stags in trouble and Palmer saw his powerful shot deflect just wide off Uhlenbeek.
Mansfield made the big breakthrough on 15 minutes. Beardsley got up to nod Uhlenbeek's ball down into Barker's path and his strike partner expertly steered the ball across Pilkington and inside the left hand post.
However, Notts were level within three minutes. Baudet's free kick went straight into the Mansfield wall, the home defenders dithered as the ball ran loose and Hurst gratefully rammed it home from six yards.
Palmer had another shot deflect over for a second Notts corner on 25 minutes.
Another uncharacteristic John-Baptiste error saw him gift the ball to Hurst who swapped passes with Scoffham before firing goal wards. Pressman parried his first shot and, from a difficult angle, Hurst sent a follow-up header over the crossbar.
Baudet then out-jumped Hjelde at the far post to power a header over the top.
Birchall did well to pull the ball back from the left. But McLachlan and Brown both went for it and Brown ended up scooping his finish well over.
Notts almost struck from their fourth corner on 37 minutes. Sent over by McMahon, Hurst met the kick with a powerful close range header that Pressman did superbly well to parry. A scramble ensued which ended when Wilson lashed the loose ball wide of goal.
Pilkington beat Beardsley to a through ball outside the box and the Stags striker crashed into the keeper. Sadly there was a hold-up as Beardsley was lifted onto a stretcher with a broken tibia.
Pilkington was booed but he had won the chase for the ball and Beardsley had continued in with his challenge. So the former Stags man appeared blameless.
Buxton came on, playing central defence, with John-Baptiste pushing into midfield and Brown moving up front.
Brown was furious when, seconds after play restarted, Wilson flew into a two-footed tackle near the corner flag, earning the Notts man the first yellow card of the game.
There was fury at the other end in stoppage time as Hurst flicked the ball through for Scoffham. He got goalside of Buxton who got in a challenge which had Notts screaming for a penalty.
For the second time in three days the decision went Buxton's way and amidst the confusion, Hurst shot straight at Pressman.
Palmer was replaced by Martin for the second half with Stags sending on Jelleyman to play down the left in place of Birchall.
John-Baptise went back into defence, Buxton to right back and Uhlenbeek switched to right midfield.
Dawson's through ball sent Barker on a run which saw him cut inside a defender and blast over the far angle in the first move of note on 49 minutes.
Jelleyman helped the ball on as Notts struggled to clear their lines and Brown eventually turned and shot into the side netting.
Hurst was well off with a header from Ullathorne's cross in Notts' first half chance of the second half.
Stags regained their lead on the hour. Brown's cross from the right saw Pilkington come for it. But Wilson got in there first before Pilkington could grab it and the ball hung invitingly for Jelleyman to guide home the second goal of his career and his second in a week.
Baudet was finally booked for bringing down Brown on 62.
County's first shot on target of the half came on 67 when McMahon's long throw was cleared back to him and he let fly with a shot straight at Pressman.
Sheridan came on for Long for the visitors while Stags replaced Dawson with Coke.
On 73 minutes Uhlenbeek pulled a 25 yard shot wide after Stags had weathered a spell of County pressure.
Former Stags striker White joined the action for the last 14 minutes in place of Scoffham.
Sheridan was booked on 81 minutes for an appalling late tackle on Talbot as tensions heightened.
Notts were unlucky on 82 minutes when Hurst latched onto a long through ball and, with only Pressman to beat, saw the former Sheffield Wednesday stopper get down to turn it away for a corner.
But County were level from that corner as Edwards rose to power home a close range header from McMahon's flag kick.
O'Callaghan was not far over with a dipping shot as the leaders looked for the winner.
And it looked to have come on 86 minutes. Martin's long range drive was blocked by Pressman, John-Baptiste kept out White's follow-up off the line but Stags were helpless as Hurst rammed the ball home at the third time of asking from close range.
White should have made it 4-2 on 89 but somehow headed Sheridan's long cross into the turf right in front of goal and watched it bounce over.
Talbot watched his low shot deflect but still fly straight to Pilkington while the former Stags keeper was also down at his near post to make sure Brown's low shot stayed out and preserve maximum points.
County manager Gudjon Thordarson said: "We didn't help ourselves as we had plenty of chances and we conceded two goals.
"But from my point of view, the most important thing was that we went behind twice away from home, kept going and managed to win the game.
"We showed fantastic commitment and I was pleased with the attitude of the players.
"At 2-1 down I didn't think we were going to lose - I always thought we'd at least get an equaliser.
"When we did there was a lot of pressure on them and they were finding it hard to cope. The chances were there and I felt we might get a winner.
"We are three points clear now and need to keep a cool head. It is very encouraging, but there is a long way to go."
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