MANSFIELD TOWN 1 NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0 (ABAN,72 MIN)
MANSFIELD TOWN 1 NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0
(ABANDONED 72 MINUTES)
Attendance: 5,329 Away attn:2,104
STORMING FINISH FOR STAGS
RICHIE Barker's close-range header in first half injury time gave Mansfield Town a 1-0 'win' over local rivals Nottingham Forest in a rain-interrupted friendly match at Field Mill.
Having started in bright sunshine, the second 45 minutes was a totally different affair as a tropical-style thunder storm caused Lancashire referee Mr. G. Sailsbury to take the players off for safety reasons in the 73rd minute.
The decision was welcomed by a chorus of boos from fans on all sides of the ground, which was only replaced by richly deserved applause for the brave victorious Stags side as they left the pitch.
However, Stags boss Peter Shirtliff said the referee had made the correct decision to bring the players off early.
"He said 'we're coming off to see what happens in the next five or 10 minutes'. I didn't think he had any choice but to do what he did," he said.
Having made just two changes from their last friendly against Derby County -- with Manchester City trialist Collins coming in for Gareth Jelleyman and former Forest season ticket holder Callam Lloyd playing in place of Stephen Dawson - Mansfield knew they were in for a real test of their mettle inside the first two minutes when Forest created their first chance as Nicky Southall headed wide at the far post from a Gino Padula cross.
Stags saw their first opening in the fifth minute when D'Laryea blasted his 20-yard effort high, wide and handsome after good build-up play involving Barker, Simon Brown and Adam Birchall.
Another ball to the Stags back post led to the first real clear-cut chance for either side when good link-up play between Jack Lester and Neil Harris led to Southall blazing his sliding effort over the bar from around seven yards.
And five minutes later there were more hearts in mouths when a bad back pass almost gifted Forest a goal as Spencer Weir-Daley pounced on the loose ball in a flash only for Muggleton to come rushing off his line to stop the young striker.
But the danger was never cleared and Forest got more joy with yet another great ball to the far post, which landed straight onto the head of Southall after a retreating Muggleton had half-palmed the ball away.
However, with the goal at his mercy the Forest player could not quite stretch enough and saw his header deflected onto the outside of the upright.
In the 24th minute Forest's Julian Bennett was almost embarrassed by the tenacity of Brown who almost nipped in to take the ball of the toe of the centre-back on the edge of the visitor's penalty area.
Brown then had an even better opportunity in the 26th minute when he broke clear after a Forest corner and shrugged off a Bennett challenge.
But with just Padula to beat, the Argentine defender stood his ground well to hold up the Stags striker before eventually winning the ball with a brave sliding challenge in the Forest box as the Reds' men piled back in numbers.
Padula was again the Forest hero when he cleared a Barker header off the line at the far post after a Hamshaw corner in the 36th minute.
And Stags continued to push forward wit Hamshaw's long-range drive forcing Forest's new signing Paul Smith into his first real save of the match.
In the 41st minute a great chance fell to Forest centre-back Danny Cullip who volleyed over the bar from just six yards when he really should have scored.
But right on the stroke of half-time Mansfield took the lead through Stags captain Richie Barker after neat build-up play between his team mates.
Simon Brown picked up the ball on the left and found Hamshaw in acres of space in the right-side of the box.
The impressive new summer signing kept his composure well to control the ball and cross it straight on the head of his skipper, who had the simplest of tasks to head the ball into the roof of the net from just two yards.
After proving themselves more than a match for their more illustrious opponents Stags knew they would be in for a totally different test in the second period when new Forest boss Colin Calderwood changed all 10 of their outfield players.
Mansfield boss Peter Shirtliff restricted himself to just three changes as Jelleyman replaced Collins, Dawson came on for Lloyd and the goal-scoring hero against Derby, Michael Boulding, replacing Birchall.
And the new players were welcomed by an electric show of thunder and lightning as the heavens well and truly opened for the second 45 after the hot and humid first half.
With all the changes the game was destined to get a bit scrappy but Brown flashed a shot across the face of goal in the 56th minute of the game after great play by Hamshaw saw him trick his way into the box after turning Morgan inside out.
Shirtliff made further changes throughout the second half and with the game now being played in torrential rain it was never going to be a pretty spectacle.
But both sides kept working hard and were still trying to play football the right way by playing passes to feet and keeping the ball on the ground.
For a period Forest started to take control and look like getting an equaliser but composed defence from the Stags and lack of penetration in the final third by the Reds saw Mansfield grow more and more composed and fight their way back into the game.
In the 70th minute Tyson did well to hold off two Stags challenges and fire a 20 yarder past the despairing dive of Muggleton only to beat the post as well.
But Mansfield fought back and only a diving header from Fernandez in the 73rd minute scrambled the ball clear for a Stags corner as Boulding came steaming in trying to connect to a Dawson cross.
But the set-piece was never taken because the referee immediately took the players off for safety reasons as the thunder storm passed directly above Field Mill with fork lighting flying overhead.
The stadium announcer told the crowd the referee would consider resuming the game once the storm had passed but ten minutes later it was revealed the game would not continue.
But a win is a win and Stags will go into Wednesday's match against Sheffield Wednesday (7.30pm kick-off) full of confidence.
Speaking after the game, Shirtliff told Chad he was pleased with the performance of his players.
"I'm comfortable with the squad," he said. "I was just a bit disappointed that the boys who came in couldn't get a few more minutes under their belts. But I thought overall the lads looked looked strong and fit. I thought we showed good resilience today."
In more good news the Stags manager also confirmed that former striker Michael Boulding had agreed to put pen to paper to a 12-month deal to return to Field Mill.
"He's agreed a contract," he told Chad. "The chairman and I had a chat with him on Friday and he's happy to sign a one-year contract. There's still a few i's to dot and t's to cross but everything's in place. It's a great addition to the squad."
And Shirtliff hinted he might not have finished his summer shopping just year and would be bringing in three players to look at in training over the next few days even though he was happy with how his side is beginning to take shape.
STAGS: Muggleton, Mullins, Collins (Jelleyman 45), D'Laryea (Arnold 70), Hjelde (Buxton 57), John-Baptiste, Hamshaw (Coke 58), Lloyd (Dawson 45), Barker (Beardsley 70), Brown (Reet 64), Birchall (Boulding 45).
FOREST: Smith, Padula (Bastians 45), Cullip (Morgan 45), Perch (Gary Holt 45), Bennett (Fernandez 45), Breckin (Thompson (45), Southall (Eaden 45), Clingan (Gardner 45), Lester (Tyson 45), Weir-Daley (James 45), Harris (Grant Holt 45).
REFEREE: G. Sailsbury, of Lancashire.
ASSISTANT REFEREES: S. Attwell, M. Dexter.
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: MATT HAMSHAW
Abandoned (72 min) Mansfield Town 1 v 0 Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest's pre-season friendly with Nottinghamshire rivals Mansfield was abandoned after 72 minutes as a fierce thunder and lightning storm rocked Field Mill.
The Stags were leading 1-0 at that stage - thanks to a goal on the stroke of half-time from Richie Barker.
Barker did his best to ruin Colin Calderwood's Mansfield return as he became the first man to breach the Nottingham Forest rearguard in pre-season.
Calderwood launched his career at Field Mill but it was anything but a happy 'homecoming' for the Forest boss as Barker opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time.
The experienced striker headed home from point blank range after good work from Simon Brown and Matthew Hamshaw - the first goal The Reds have conceded in 314 minutes of pre-season action.
Forest, who had drawn a frustrating blank against MK Dons on Wednesday, created openings in front of the Mansfield goal but were unable to find a way past veteran goalkeeper Carl Muggleton.
Nicky Southall came closest to a Forest goal when his header struck an upright, while Danny Cullip volleyed over the bar after the home side had only partially cleared a corner.
Gino Padula, looking to make the most of the opportunity to impress Calderwood, produced a superbly timed tackle to put the brakes on a quick break by Brown.
And the Argentinean followed that up with a goal-line clearance to deny the wily Barker.
Forest's hopes of salvaging a draw from their trip to North Nottinghamshire were dented - by a combination of Mansfield's dogged rearguard and the elements!
A fierce thunder storm over Field Mill prompted referee Graham Salisbury to bring the game to a premature end 18 minutes from time.
The Lancashire official was left with little alternative - despite howls of protest from a large proportion of the 5,000-plus crowd.
Forest, who introduced no fewer than 10 out-field players as substitutes at half-time (goalkeeper Paul Smith was the only survivor from the first half), struggled to create any clear-cut openings in the second half.
Grant Holt fired high and wide from a promising position, while Nathan Tyson drilled a low shot inches wide before the game ended ahead of schedule.
Forest: 1st Half Smith, Cullip, Bennett, Breckin, Padula, Southall, Clingan, Perch, Lester, Weir-Daley, Harris
Forest: 2nd Half Smith, Eaden, Fernadez, Thompson, Morgan, James, Gary Holt, Gardner, Bastians, Grant Holt, Tyson
Scorer: Barker 44min
Attendance: 5,329 Away attn:2,104
Latest | July 2006