UNLUCKY STAGS BEATEN BY ORIENT
Mansfield 0 Leyton Orient 1
Lockwood pen 75
Att 4763 (698 from Orient)
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
Mansfield Town were unlucky to be beaten at home by Leyton Orient on Saturday afternoon. Orient failed to muster a meaningful chance in the entire 90 minutes but were gifted a penalty by a clumsy challenge from Jake Buxton. Richard Barker missed some great chances for the Stags, who were generally very impressive against a team in an automatic promotion place. A win would have taken the Stags within 4 points of the play-offs but, as it is, the Stags can look forward to a top-half finish with more performances like this.
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Man of the match: Giles Coke
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Observer (Sunday national paper)
Lockwood breaks Mansfield's resistance
Sunday April 16, 2006
Grimsby dropped from second to fourth as a result of their 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury and the wins by Northampton and Leyton Orient. Orient did not have the easiest of matches at Mansfield. The home team have been one of the most difficult sides to score against in recent months, partly because of their central defensive partnership of Jon-Olav Hjelde and Alex John-Baptiste.
The latter, who has made more than 100 first-team appearances for Mansfield but is still only 20, is attracting the attention of bigger clubs and 33-year-old Hjelde says of him: 'Sooner or later, he is going to be playing at a higher level because he is good on the ball, is exceptionally quick and is prepared to really push himself in training.
Sometimes, talented young players don't want to put in the hard work behind the scenes, but that's not the case with him.' Up to yesterday's match, Mansfield had conceded only 17 goals in their 16 previous league games. The other indication of their ability in that department was that Orient's 1-0 win over them - which took the east Londoners into the automatic promotion zone - was due to a Matthew Lockwood penalty.
Lockwood rocks Mansfield Play-off hopes
MANSFIELD TOWN 0 LEYTON ORIENT 1
PENALTY king Matthew Lockwood all but killed off Mansfield Town's Play-off hopes with another spot kick success that rocketed Leyton Orient back into the top three automatic promotion spots at Field Mill this afternoon.
Lockwood buried a 75th minute spot kick - the 26th of his O's career - to condemn unlucky Mansfield to their first home defeat in seven games and only their second defeat in 12 outings.
But the Londoners know they were highly fortunate to leave Field Mill with all three points as, aside of the penalty, home keeper Kevin Pressman had only had one save to make, denying Joe Keith on 14 minutes.
The Stags had enjoyed the better chances with three of the best falling to 22-goal top scorer Richie Barker and most fans would have staked their mortgage on him netting at least one of them.
But Barker had an afternoon to forget in front of goal.
In the first half he blazed over from close range and sent a firm header wide of the far post.
And in an often ill-tempered second half he again blasted over the top with Simon Brown in space to his right on 73 minutes.
But the points were settled two minutes later as Jake Buxton brought down Donny Barnard and Lockwood stepped up to bury his seventh goal of the season, sending Pressman the wrong way.
"That result was definitely harsh on us - the best team lost.
"But that's football and it goes like that sometimes.
"We didn't take our chances, on another day we would have. Then we gave a soft penalty away. That about sums the day up.
"I thought we played very well in the first half without getting the goal our play justified. But we huffed and puffed a lot in the second half.
"Until the penalty I thought we had looked quite comfortable and they had not caused us too many problems. I am sure Martin Ling thinks they are a bit lucky to get three points.
"I don't know if that's the end of our Play-off hopes. Who knows what will happen. We have four games left and we are looking to win them all.
"It was a decent game between two decent sides. My young players will have learned something from it. I have told them they need to be winning the tight games 1-0 if they want to get anywhere."
Stags were unchanged from the side which drew at Lincoln last weekend.
Stags were fortunate on three minutes when a Simpson cross passed through everyone from the right and Pressman was able to smother in front of goal.
Then Pressman had to fist away a free kick from former Stag Corden.
Mansfield's response was a corner which Rundle took short to Uhlenbeek. He turned on the by-line to pull back to D'Laryea who hoisted a first time effort over the angle from 12 yards.
More Stags pressure saw Uhlenbeek miss the ball as he tried to volley and then Barker set up Rundle for a shot that deflected wide for the first of two more corners.
As Orient cleared from more home pressure, John-Baptiste sliced a shot well wide from 25 yards.
Corden was afforded too much time and space on 14 minutes and was able to get away a 25 yard shot that curled wide of the far post.
Seconds later Keith came even closer from just outside the left of the box with a fierce low shot that Pressman was behind.
Uhlenbeek tested Garner with a dipping 20 yard volley in the 19th minute but the keeper judged it well.
But the home side really should have gone ahead in the 25th minute. Uhlenbeek dinked the ball over everyone and Rundle kept it in play on the far by-line. He put the ball back over, just too high for Reet to get his head on at the near post and then, of all people, Barker blazed over from six yards.
Reet was caught offside for the second time in five minutes as the home side continued to dominate.
There was a hold-up for treatment to Zakuani who eventually limped off to be replaced by Tann.
He almost made a quick impact too as he got a head onto Lockwood's 37th minute corner but was wide at the far post.
Barker won a free kick some 40 yards from goal on 40 minutes. Rundle floated it in and Barker met it with a powerful header that flew wide of the far post.
But an entertaining half ended with a goal, though Stags will feel they should have gone in with something to show for their efforts.
Wilson took a bang in the face while jumping with Alexander early in the second half and needed lengthy treatment.
The visitors produced a spell of pressure which saw Buxtonmake two good clearances and Hjelde a great tackle on Simpson in the box. Stags also survived a corner.
Reet had been lucky not be booked for a string of fouls and, when he was warned on 58 minutes, he was withdrawn and, to great cheers from the home fans, Brown entered the fray.
Pressman did well to race well out his box to clear as Alexander threatened to get to a through ball.
Barnard flew into a superb tackle on Rundle just outside the Stags box and fed Corden for a shot that was blocked.
Tempers flared on 66 minutes after Simpson went in hard on Coke as the Stags' youngster tried to keep control of the ball while on the floor. Players from both sides raced in for a shoving contest.
But when the dust had settled the referee elected to give a bounce-up and kept his cards in his pocket.
However, the crowd were up in arms and it was clear on the pitch that everyone had not yet calmed down.
Alexander continued to argue every decision against him with the officials but still no card was shown.
And Barker might have had a case for a penalty as he was sandwiched while trying to jump for a cross, though Brown's fall behind him a couple of seconds later was less impressive.
However, Stags again wasted a great chance on 73. Brown blocked Simpson's attempted clearance which put him and Barker two-on-two at the visiting defence.
Brown put himself in plenty of space in front of goal. Barker used him as his foil but blazed over with Brown screaming for the boil.
Stags were left rueing that miss two minutes later as the visitors went ahead from the penalty spot.
Buxton's clumsy challenge on Barnard conceded the kick and Lockwood sent Pressman the wrong way with a deadly spot kick finish.
Buxton was also booked for his troubles.
Another flare-up two minutes later saw the players again squaring up after John-Baptiste clashed with Connor. This time the two of them were booked.
With just 10 minutes left, Shirtliff played his final cards and sent on Russell and Dawson for Rundle and Uhlenbeek.
Corden wasn't too far away with a rasping shot over the angle from 20 yards.
Stags then won a free kick almost 30 yards from goal. Last wek's free kick hero Russell fancied his chances but this time the ball hit the wall and Garner bravely smothered the ball at the feet of Barker.
Wilson and D'Laryea were well off target with desperate efforts near the end.
And in time added on Russell was just wide of the far post as he tried to aim at an empty net from the right hand corner of the penalty box after Garner had raced out to challenge Brown.
Mansfield Town 0 - 1 Leyton Orient
Coca-Cola League Two
MATT LOCKWOOD'S second half penalty fired Orient back into the top three on Saturday as they defeated Mansfield to record their tenth awayday success of the campaign.
The O's had their defensive mettle tested during a first half in which they were very much second best, but the hosts failed to make their dominance count and saw their play-off hopes all but evaporate with Lockwood's strike - his seventh of the season.
The Londoners will again reflect on their victory as a case of the points being more important than their peformance, taking advantage of Jake Buxton's foul inside the area to claim all three on a day when they failed to click going forward.
And with Grimsby only managing a draw in their game with Shrewsbury, Martin Ling's men also ensured they would grab the opportunity to steal a march on their automatic promotion rivals ahead of their Easter Monday showdown.
Mansfield's desire to attack at tempo was obvious from the off, although it was the O's who registered the first attempts on goal of the game.
Firstly, on 14 minutes, former Stag Wayne Corden saw a long-range effort drift wide of the goal after Matt Lockwood had laid off a free-kick for his winger 30 yards out.
And then, less than 60 seconds later, Gary Alexander retained possession excellently in the attacking third and fed Joe Keith, who ghosted past Buxton but couldn't beat veteran 'keeper Kevin Pressman with his low angled drive from the edge of the box.
But this was a rare example of Orient working the ball around a resolute Mansfield backline during a first half in which the visitors found themselves on the back foot.
Glyn Garner was called into meaningful action for the first time with 19 minutes on the clock when Corden was caught in possession near his own goal.
Adam Rundle nipped in and passed to Gus Uhlenbeek, whose 25-yard shot bounced into the O's stopper's grasp.
Mansfield looked to exert pressure on their visitors from wide positions and their left-winger, Rundle, almost found the key to unlocking Orient's defence on 25 when he collected Uhlenbeek's wayward ball on the by-line and hung up a cross that Richie Barker, in stretching to reach, could only knock over the top.
Orient were being hindered in attack by a lack of support for their strikers from midfield and, with Mansfield making better use of their possession, the pressure started to mount.
Barker and strike partner Danny Reet caused Orient problems with their mixture of power and pace, although the visitors did keep Garner will protected, displaying all the defensive qualities that have underpinned their recent good form.
Gabriel Zakuani limped out of the action 12 minutes before the break but Adam Tann slotted in seamlessly, and Mansfield were restricted to one more half chance before the break, Barker dropping a header wide of the post after Rundle had picked him out with a deep free-kick.
The pattern of defences being on top continued immediately after the break, although Orient came forward with a little more pace and began to pose questions of their own.
Mansfield, having failed to turn their first half dominance into goals, appeared slighjtly flat but were stung into action when Craig Easton's late tackle on Giles Coke provoked a pushing match in the centre circle.
Orient continued to probe without much success and at the other end, 17 minutes from time, Michael Simpson's error let in Barker for his third, and probably best, chance of the afternoon.
The former Rotherham man ran goalwards but Lockwood jockeyed his man brilliantly, covering the square pass to Simon Brown and hurrying his shot, which thankfully for Orient, flew over the bar.
Two minutes later the O's took advantage of their let off, seizing upon the only real defensive error committed by Mansfield all afternoon to grab the points.
Buxton was the man at fault, letting Corden's innocuous right wing centre bounce over his head before clumsily bringing down Donny Barnard in the box as he tried to retrieve the situation.
Referee Carl Boyeson awarded the penalty and Lockwood, as composed from the spot as ever, sent Pressman the wrong way with his low shot into the bottom left corner.
Orient were rarely troubled in protecting their slender advantage, but Garner caused away hearts to flutter in injury time when he came charging out for a ball that Tann had covered.
Former O's trialist Allan Russell missed the opportunity to benefit, however, lofting his shot well wide of the vacant net.
That proved to be the Stags last chance as Orient survived the four added minutes to give their automatic promotion push another vital shot in the arm and set them up perfectly for Monday's Grimsby clash.
by Leo Tyrie
posted by MSW
Mansfield Town 0 Leyton Orient 1
Attendance: 4763 (698 travelling O's)
THE O's went into this clash needing at least a point to stay in touch of
the automatic promotion spots ahead of Monday's dog-eat-dog Grimsby clash.
Mansfield were, however, a contrasting side to the one we beat earlier in
the season and were enjoying a 7-game unbeaten home run spanning back to
last December and still haboured remote play-off hopes – despite having
propped up the table back in October.
Donny Barnard replaced the injured Justin Miller, whilst Joe Keith won a
recall in place of the injured Shane Tudor. Wayne Corden, who had a long
spell at Field Mill, again started on the right flank.
Today's line-up: (4-4-2) Garner – Barnard, Mackie, Zakuani (Tann 33),
Lockwood – Corden, Simpson, Easton, Keith (Demetriou 90) – Alexander (Steele
Subs (not used): Morris, Ibehre.
Out-of-touch Alexander should have given his side an early lead but failed
to connect with Barnard's 3rd minute cross, before Kevin Pressman was forced
into a desperate punch-out from former Stag Corden's goal bound in-swinging
Mansfield, with nothing to play for, should have taken a 25th minute but
Richie Barker headed wide of an open goal after Adam Rundle had sprung the
On 37 minutes Adam Tann – who minutes before had replaced the injured
Gabriel Zakuani – who fell awkwardly on an ankle - was unlucky to direct
Matthew Lockwood's corner wide when he rose highest in a crowded box.
Five minutes from the break Barker wasted another gilt-edged chance when he
directed Rundle's free-kick wide with an under worked Glyn Garner beaten.
The O's started the second half on the attack, but despite enjoying
territorial advantage they never managed to test Pressman and nearly shot
themselves in the foot when Simpson was caught in possession 18 minutes from
time by giving Ritchie Barker a clear run at goal. Again Mansfield's top
scorer missed the target with only Garner to beat to the relief of the
Orient travelling support.
That proved to be the turning point as three minutes later a clumsy Jake
Buxton challenge on Barnard left the referee little alternative but to point
to the spot. Lockwood coolly stepped up and easily beat Kevin Pressman with
a well-struck penalty kick.
The O's had to survive a few nervous moments towards the end of the match,
notably when former trialist Allen Russell blazed wide of an open goal –
albeit from an acute angle - when Garner missed his kick.
O-net man-of-the-match: Donny Barnard: worked hard and proved an impressive
replacement for the injured Miller. In right place at the right time to win
Writer: Jay Masters
Date: Saturday April 15 2006
O's Stagger To Victory
Mansfield Town 0 Leyton Orient 1
It wasn't pretty, it definitely wasn't enthralling and it won't live long in the memory, but it was a game that Orient simply had to win and in the end they didn't disappoint. Matt Lockwood's 75th minute penalty was enough to give Orient all three points but it failed to paper over the large cracks that were all too evident within the O's side at Field Mill. Mansfield could have and should have scored at least twice and but for some woeful finishing from top scorer Richie Barker, the Stags could have taken all three points. Orient probably didn't deserve to win the game as the midfield was all too easily by-passed by some impressive passing and movement from a Mansfield side who were boasting a record of just one defeat in eleven games. However, Orient showed their resilience once again and climbed into the top three with four games remaining.
With Shane Tudor and Justin Miller missing through injury, Joe Keith and Donny Barnard both started and it was the O's that looked the brighter during the opening exchanges. With fourteen minutes on the clock, former Mansfield winger Wayne Corden shot wide from a Lockwood lay off whilst a minute later, Gary Alexander played in Joe Keith who saw his shot well saved by Kevin Pressman. That was about it for Orient as an attacking force as the home side started to dominate proceedings. After Garner had made a routine save from Uhlenbeek, the Stags had a fantastic chance to take the lead on twenty five minutes. Poor defending on the Orient right let in Adam Rundle and the left winger sent the ball to the back post where top scorer Barker could only toe the ball over the bar from four yards. It was an extraordinary miss as there was nobody near the Stags striker who will still be wondering how he managed to miss.
The O's failed to find any sort of rhythm whatsoever as Mansfield took a grip on the game and bossed possession in the midfield. Despite having a lot of the ball the Stags failed to create too many clear cut chances. Things weren't going at all well for the O's and twelve minutes before the break Gaby Zakuani was forced to leave the action due to injury and was replaced by Adam Tann. With Orient's defence now lacking the pace of Zakuani, Danny Reet looked to get in behind the O's backline but was constantly adjudged to be offside. The last chance of the first half fell to Barker again but he headed aimlessly wide after Rundle had picked him out at the far post.
A rather dire and unimpressive first half came to a close with the O's playing close to mediocre if not worse. Orient looked more purposeful in the second half, although it would have been some effort to have looked any less than they had in the first half. Craig Easton's late tackle on Giles Coke was the catalyst for a small brawl between both sets of players and ignited a game that needed something to excite the 4,763 that had turned up at Field Mill. The game seemed deadlocked and had 0-0 written all over it but with 17 minutes remaining Mansfield should have taken the lead. Michael Simpson was guilty of dwelling on the ball and was easily dispossessed by Barker. The Stags top scorer charged towards the Orient goal and with his option to pass blocked by Matt Lockwood, the former Rotherham man was forced to shoot high and wide when he really should have at least hit the target from eighteen yards.
Having had a slight reprieve the O's took full advantage of the situation. Mansfield had coped quite admirably with the threat posed by Alexander and Connor all afternoon and yet the one time they did make a mistake they were severely punished. Wayne Corden sent a cross into the Stags penalty area where Jake Buxton committed a schoolboy error with a poor defensive error. Donny Barnard was first on the scene and as the O's right back took the ball, Buxton took his legs and the referee pointed to the spot. With nearly every Orient fan suffering with wobbly knees and finger nails in mouths, Matt Lockwood was the epitome of calm and the O's left back put away the penalty sending Pressman the wrong way.
Though they scarcely deserved it, Orient had the lead and they went on to preserve it without too many awkward moments, although there was of course one particular incident where Garner charged out of his area to clear a ball that was never his to clear. Allan Russell, a former Orient target, tried to take advantage and lofted the ball towards goal but much to the relief of the travelling fans the ball sailed high and wide. That was the last threat to the Orient goal as the O's recorded their tenth away victory in League Two this season.
John Mackie once again led by example giving a real captain's peformance. On a day when the entire midfield seemed to vanish, Mackie showed how passionate he is about the club and task in hand. Even with Zakuani leaving the pitch, Mackie took on even more responsibility and proved how crucial he is to Martin Ling and Leyton Orient Football Club.
Papering Over The Cracks
A win is a win and on a day where the only thing that mattered was three points, Orient got the result they needed. It would be quite unjust however to suggest the O's deserved the win against a Mansfield side that must be kicking themselves having had two gilt edged chances to have taken the lead.
The problem for Orient at the moment is the fact that the midfield has gone on holiday. Craig Easton was all too often found guilty of gifting possession to the opposition whilst Joe Keith was anonymous at best. Keith's reluctance to beat his man is infuriating whilst Wayne Corden failed to replicate the form he showed last weekend against Boston.
Whilst Michael Simpson played with gusto and determination, he cannot run the midfield on his own and certainly the lack of supply to the strikers is extremely worrying. Neither Alexander or Connor looked likely to trouble Pressman and the O's only managed two efforts on target all afternoon and that included the penalty!
Indeed, who really cares? It wasn't the best display but Orient now sit one point ahead of Grimsby and occupy the third automatic spot. Victory over the Mariners on Monday would give the O's a massive advantage going into the final three games of the season.
It promises to be a truly titanic tussle between two of the sides that have been at the top of the table since the start of the season. The Mariners however have lost their last two away games and managed only a 1-1 draw at home to Shrewsbury. Still, it's going to be one hell of a game.
It doesn't get any bigger than this, it's Orient in 3rd against Grimsby in 4th. It's the game that will surely define the season. If you thought today was tense, then you're in for quite a ride on Monday.
Come on you O's!
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