4 - 0 TO THE SUPER STAGS
Mansfield Town 4 - 0 Shrewsbury Town
Coke 6, Rundle 65, Barker 69, Uhlenbeek 71
Attendance: 3334 (488 from Shrewsbury)
Goal-crazy Stags off bottom spot
THREE goals in six second half minutes lifted the gloom and Stags off bottom spot as Mansfield Town finally hit top gear to slam Shrewsbury Town 4-0 at Field Mill tonight.
The visitors arrived knowing a win could get them in the play-off positions.
But struggling Stags settled their nerves with a sixth minute strike from Giles Coke - his third goal in five games - and dominated the first half.
Mansfield then weathered a spell of Shrews pressure early in the second half before it started raining goals.
The result strengthened caretaker-manager Peter Shirtliff's claims to the job full-time and, after so many defensive howlers in recent games, the clean sheet will have pleased him as much as the goals glut.
It was Mansfield's first win in 10 League matches and drew a 3,334 gate.
With Gavin Peers out injured and Adam Birchall on international duty with the Welsh U21s, Rundle was brought in to play left midfield and Uhlenbeek to play right midfield.
Jelleyman moved to left back and Buxton to right back.
Stags began well and a break involving Rundle and Uhlenbeek ended with a Dawson shot deflecting wide for a corner. From that Dawson again fired just wide.
The visitors threatened on five minutes as Hope headed a corner on target and John-Baptiste had to kick clear almost off the line.
But Stags roared ahead a minute later. Walton could only half clear a throw and Coke was there 20 yards from goal to bury a superb volley into the top right hand corner.
Brown should have added a second on nine minutes when Dawson looped a superb ball over the defence to the far post where Brown sliced his finish wide from close range.
A Dawson blast hit team mate Barker at the near post and bounced wide.
Then Barker headed on to Brown whose 16 yard blast was well held by Hart.
Stags continued to probe for a second goal and on 33 minutes Barker headed firmly straight at Hart from eight yards from Rundle's cross.
A Shrewsbury break ended with Denny directing a harmless shot that lacked pace at Pressman.
Within seconds a Rundle rocket from 25 yards warmed Hart's hands at the other end as Mansfield ended an excellent half 1-0 ahead.
Shrewsbury made two changes for the second half with Darby and Herd withdrawn and Stallard and Langmead coming on.
A strong run from Coke saw him set up Brown for a shot straight at Hart.
Soon after Brown broke down the left but, with better options to his right, chose to go alone and blazed over.
Pressman was forced into his first real save of the night on 54 minutes as he got behind McMenamin's header from a Denny cross.
Stallard pulled a shot well wide soon afterwards as the visitors enjoyed their best spell of the night.
However, Brown should have made it 2-0 on 61 minutes. Buxton hoisted a cross to the far post Barker headed it back across goal and Brown, completely on his own five yards from goal, somehow managed to head his finish wide.
But the second goal did arrive on 65 minutes. Barker turned powerfully in the box and threaded a pass to Brown on the by-line. He drilled a low ball across the face of goal and Rundle was there to turn it home from point blank range.
Four minutes later it was 3-0. Brown robbed Sorvel just outside the Shrews' box. He found Rundle who took the ball on before seeing his low shot parried by Hart. But he was helpless as Barker tucked away the loose ball.
Two minutes later , in the 71st minute, it was 4-0. Buxton crossed from the right touchline and Uhlenbeek controlled before lashing home his first goal for the club under the keeper from 10 yards.
McMenamin had a brief glimpse of goal soon after but blasted over from 18 yards while Denny dipped one just wide of the far post shortly after.
Littlejohn replaced Brown for the last 10 minutes and Lloyd then came on for Uhlenbeek on 83.
Dawson limped off after a challenge two minutes later to be replaced by McLachlan as Stags ended the night to a tremendous ovation.
Gary Peters makes the one change from the side who drew with Grimsby Town with Stuart Whitehead coming into the starting line-up and Kelvin Langmead dropping to the bench.
Mansfield had a good early chance after they hit Town with a great counter attack but the final shot took a defelection and went behind for a Mansfield corner.
Town's best early chance came after Pressman had failed to keep in a back pass and handed Town a corner. The ball was swung into the box and found the Dave Walton who put in a great header that looked to be going in until Gareth Jellyman stuck out a foot to block.
The Stag's took the lead after 6-minutes with an excellent strike from Giles Coke, the ball was played in by Jellyman and Coke hit a sweet volley that flew into Hart's top corner giving the Town keeper no chance.
The home side were in front but they were looking nervey on the ball and seemed to want to get the ball forward as quickly as possible, resorting to a number of long aimless punts down field. When they did get the ball down and played football they looked like they could hurt Town, and when the ball was played into Stephen Dawson inside the Town box his first time shot looked goalbound until the Stag's Richard Barker got his head in the way.
It was the Stag's who were having the better of the chances and when a clever nod of the ball over the Town backline found Simon Brown in space the Stag'sa number 20 let loose a vicious drive but it was easy for Hart who collected easily.
Town were looking the better of the sides technically and with Sorvel always available in the centre of the park the lions share of the possesion was with the visitors. The problem was in the final third where Town weren't hurting the home side, when they did get in behind the Stag's defence Town just seemed to lack that little spark in front of goal.
Town were still playing the better of the football and were starting to get nearer to Pressman's goal, Sorvel played a lovely ball out to the right for Whitehead who then pushed forward, he then threaed a nice ball down the centre to Darby who had his back to goal, he flicked a great ball to put in Denny on the rightside of the 18-yard box but he had two markers in attendance and his shot lacked power.
Gary Peters rung the changes at half-time with Mark Stallard and Kelvin Langmead on to replace Duane Darby and Ben Herd. Town switched to 4-3-3 with Whitehead going to right-back and Kevin Sharp dropping back to the left-back slot.
The changes had given Town more presence in the final third and it was begining to create more chances for the visitors. Town were still having the better of the play and when a lovely ball was whipped in from the right there was McMenamin with a lovely header but Pressman was down well to his right to save.
The chances were still coming for Town and after Langmead had got in behind the defence on the right he clipped a great ball into the run of Stallard, he hit a first time shot but it skewed wide of Pressman's post.
The Stag's should really have been two in front after an excellent break down the right saw them hit Town with pace, the ball was floated over to the backpost where Barker nodded it back in to the 6-yard box for Simon Brown but somehow he put his header wide of Hart's post.
On 65-minutes the Stag's got a well worked second goal after they hit Town down the right with some crisp passing, the ball was pushed to Brown as the Town defenders appealed for offside but nothing was given and Brown played a great low ball into the 6-yard box to find Rundell who stabbed the ball home to make it 2-0 to the home side.
Minutes later the Stag's grabbed a third after they pounced on a pass from Sorvel, the ball was with Rundell on the right and he showed good pace as he cut in from the right and drilled in a low drive which Hart got down well to save but the Town keeper could only get a hand to it and there was Richard Barker to greatfull put the ball away.
It only took the home side minutes to get their fourth goal as the Town defence crumbled, again the damage was done down the right but this time if was Buxton who got the ball into the the Town box and there was Gus Uhlenbeek to drill the ball under the dive of Hart and make it 4-0.
Town were still pushing and looking to get back in the game and first Jay Denny went close with a great dipping volley which flew inches wide of Pressman's upright, and then Kelvin Langmead showed great dtermination and skill as he burst over the halfway line, he continued his run as he jinxed past one player, then another but then went to ground on the edge of the Stag's box but the ref was having none of it.
The chances were still coming for Town but nothing that was troubling Pressman too much, first a lovely ball from Ashton found the head of Mark Stallard who looped a header over Pressman but the Stag's keeper tipped the ball over the bar. Then from the resulting corner Dave Walton rose highest but his header was wide of the post.
Joe Hart could have done little for any of the Stag's goals but he nearly handed them a great chance, the ball came in from the right and Hart jumped to collect under pressure from Fraser McLachlan but the Town keeper spilled the ball but McLachlan didn't see the ball and Hart recovered to collect the ball.
A nightmare second half from Town saw them let in three goals in a couple of minutes to make the scoreline look awful.
Town handed the game to the Stag's with this collapse as before that the visitors had look the side in control.
But for all their possession it's goals which win games and Mansfield scored four and Town didn't get any.
Latest | October 2005