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Archived News from July 2002

23rd July 2002 23:20

The Stags continued their pre-season with a comfortable 2-0 win at Rushall tonight. A 1st half goal from Danny Bacon was followed by a 2nd half strike from youngster Chris Beardsley as the Stags fielded a strong 1st half line-up with Michael Bingham in goal, a back four of Clarke, Gadsby, Holyoak and Jervis, a midfield of Sellars, Murray, Williamson and Holloway with Bacon and Bradley up front. Bobby Hassell wasn't at the game.

The Stags dominated the early exchanges and Sellars hit a dangerous low cross in the 5th minute which Bradley was just beaten to. Bradley was again involved just before the quarter hour as the Stags almost took the lead. A Sellars cross was headed back to Bradley by Bacon and his side foot volley was headed off his own line by a Rushall defender. Bradley then connected with Williamson's corner but was again denied, this time by a fine save and from the 3rd successive corner Gadsby saw his right foot shot deflected just wide. Again Bradley was in the thick of the action as his long range effort was deflected over for a corner which Gadsby headed onto the underside of the bar and in the scramble was just unable to finish. A neat through ball by Jervis found Bacon free but his half volley strike was easily saved by the keeper. In the next attack Bradley neatly flicked a ball down for Bacon whose shot was deflected just wide. Williamson's right wing corner was headed powerfully by Bradley but just over the bar. The Stags took the lead 10 minutes before the interval, Bradley ran onto a through ball and just managed to get his toe to the ball as the keeper came out, the keeper managed to tip the ball wide but Bradley kept the ball in play and floated a perfect cross to the far post for Bacon to head home unmarked. Bradley then almost ended the half with a goal of his own, turning well inside the area and firing his shot just wide.

A mass of substitutions followed just after the break. Lazarus replaced Holloway, Buxton came on for Gadsby, Beardsley replaced Bradley and Rew replaced Murray. This took the pressure off the home side for a few minutes as the Stags re-organised but soon the visitors were back on the attack. Williamson picked the ball up on the Stags left, cut inside and curled a superb right foot shot which beat the keeper but was headed off his own line by a Rushall defender. The corner caused more havoc in the home side's defence with Rew's shot somehow deflected over. The Stags swapped keepers with Jason White replacing the untroubled Michael Bingham. Mid-way through the 2nd half the Stags added a 2nd. Bacon broke free on the left and put in an inch perfect cross for Beardsley to side foot home. Jervis then found space on the left, cut the ball back to Williamson whose first shot was blocked and then as the ball came back to him his follow-up was saved. Sellars then powerfully headed a right wing cross only to be denied by a fine save and a great volleyed cross by Lazarus was headed just wide by a diving Bacon.

All in all this was a fine display by the Stags. The passing was generally very good and the players looked sharp. Hugh Murray showed glimpses of his class and Gadsby looked a good prospect at centre half. Holloway had a fairly quiet game, but he is a powerful lad and did impress when surging forward from midfield. Little doubt though who was the best player on show, Shayne Bradley had a fine 1st half as a target man, held the ball up well and had several decent efforts on goal.

Final Score: Rushall Olympic 0-2 Mansfield Town

Report by Rob & Tom Wheldon

Pictures: Left: Trialists Chris Holloway and Hugh Murray. Right: Scott Sellars puts in a dangerous corner.


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