MANSFIELD TOWN 4 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 0
Mansfield Town 4 - 0 Sheffield Wednesday
Barker pen 23, 84, Dawson 77, D'Laryea 88
Attendance: 3665 (1644 from Sheffield Wednesday)
Wednesday 26th July 2006
Four star Stags destroy Wednesday
STUNNING Stags continued their fine pre-season form with an impressive 4-0 thumping of Championship side Sheffield Wednesday at Field Mill on Wednesday.
A first-half penalty from prolific striker Richie Barker and a three goal blitz from Stephen Dawson, Barker and Jonathan D'Laryea late in the second half capped an excellent all-round team performance by Peter Shirtliff's fast-improving Mansfield side.
Wednesday began the game well with some slick possession football and should have taken the lead inside the first two minutes, when an unmarked Steve Maclean fired a header wide from 12 yards after an excellent cross by the impressive Chris Brunt.
But they failed to capitalise on their early possession and determined Stags began to play their way back into the game with some crunching midfield tackles and neat passing moves.
Mansfield went close on 13 minutes when hit-man Barker headed over a neat right-wing cross from John Mullins, and three minutes later when Gareth Jelleyman forced Chris Adamson into a good diving safe.
But Stags' pressure eventually paid off in the 22nd minute when Matt Hamshaw was pushed in the box by Madjid Bougherra after a deep cross from the surging Mullins.
And clinical Barker cooly steered home the resulting penalty to give the League Two outfit a deserved 1-0 lead.
Stags should have added to their lead when tricky winger Michael Boulding, who was a constant threat down the left side, steered a Giles Coke cross straight at the keeper from six yards out on 37 minutes
Below-par Wednesday briefly rallied close to half-time and nearly equalised after a long range piledriver by playmaker Brunt forced Carl Muggleton into a sprawling save low to his left on 41 minutes.
The Owls started the second-half strongly and were unlucky not to draw level on 47 minutes when a Lee Bullen strike from 25 yards whistled narrowly past the post with Muggleton rooted to the spot.
Dangerous Brunt again went close for Wednesday when he fired a 30-yard cracker straight at Muggleton.
But as in the first-half, the visitors rapidly ran out of steam as the more committed and tough-tackling Mansfield midfield again took firm control.
Stags began to surge forward and went agonisingly close to doubling their lead when the pacey Simon Brown saw his powerful low shot tipped inches past the post on 56 minutes.
The gripping friendly entered a quite spell on the hour mark after a string of substitutions by both teams disrupted the flow of the game.
But Stags, who showed much more desire and belief than their more famous opponents, settled the quicker after the break and nearly doubled their fragile lead on 68 minutes, when a Brown shot was ruled out for offside after a fluid five-man build up through midfield.
Stags were again denied on 75 minutes when Dawson crashed a drive against the left post and Hawshaw dragged the rebound wide following a blunder by the nervy Adamson.
But any fears that Mansfield would let their slender lead slip were wiped out in style on 78 minutes when a defence-splitting pass by the classy Hamshaw was drilled home from 26-yards by Brown.
However, instead of sitting back on their lead fast-flowing Stags powered forward in search of a third goal to the delight of the raptourous home fans.
And the Stags supporters didn't have long to wait after another defensive blunder saw Hamshaw, who tormented his former club all night long, pick out the on-rushing Barker at the far post, to find the back of the net with a powerful header.
The rout was completed on two minutes from time when substitute Callum Lloyd surged into the Wednesday box and picked out the industrious D'Laryea, who fired home to make it 4-0.
Speaking after the game, delighted boss Peter Shirtliff praised his side's showing.
He said: "I think Sheffield Wednesday had a lot of jetlag but we played extremely well. It was a great performance.
"Matthew Hamshaw played really well, he is a good player and a great addition to the team. I have targeted him all summer and managed to convince him that we can do something good here."
And Shirtliff has now called on his squad to take their excellent form and team spirit into the new season.
He added: "The team showed fantastic spirit and it is important that we keep that sort of spirit going throughout the whole season. If we can do that then I am convinced we can achieve something here.
"If we keep together as a group and keep working hard then I am certain we can improve on last season."
STAGS: Muggleton, Mullins, Jelleyman, D'Laryea, Hjelde (Buxton 63), John-Baptiste, Hamshaw (Lloyd 85), Coke (Dawson 70), Barker (Beardsley 85), Brown (Reet 81), Boulding (Birchall 66).
Sheffield Wednesday: Adamson, Simek, Bullen, Lunt (McCallister 73), Coughlan, Bougherra (Whelan 59), O'Brien (Spurr 59), Folly, Maclean, Burton (Graham 73), Brunt.
REFEREE: Rob Shoebridge of Derbyshire.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Richie Barker.
YOUNG TEAM ROUT SEASONED RIVALS
Evening Post, by JAMES ROBSON
Mansfield Town 4 - 0 Sheffield Wednesday
WHATEVER Peter Shirtliff says to the contrary, he's sitting on something special.
The Mansfield manager was scratching around for reasons to quell the enthusiasm that accompanied last night's 4-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday - but one of the best-kept secrets in the lower leagues is now out.
If freak storms washed out a potential victory against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, it was Shirtliff who put the dampeners on an even more impressive performance by his band of young players.
Whatever the mitigating circumstances, Mansfield systematically dismantled a side two leagues above them. That it came on the back of such assured displays against Derby and Forest only goes to emphasise Mansfield's promotion potential this season.
Shirtliff doesn't want to raise expectations, but there's only so long he can ignore what is in front of him.
"Sheffield Wednesday have just been to America and are probably a bit leggy from the traveling," he said. "But not taking anything away from our players, I thought we played quite well.
"If you get decent performances and score a few goals then obviously it breeds a bit of confidence. Hopefully we can take that into the season, but we're not sitting back expecting it to be easy."
The vibrancy and enthusiasm of his young band is infectious and the 4-0 scoreline did not flatter them.
A first-half penalty from Ritchie Barker put them in control after Wednesday started brightly, then Stephen Dawson, Barker again and Jonathon D'Laryea turned an impressive performance into a rout.
It prompted Mansfield supporters to goad their opponents. "Championship? You're having a laugh," they chanted towards the visitors.
Still, Paul Sturrock's men could have taken control inside the opening minutes when Steve MaClean twice found himself in promising positions, but failed to hit the target.
Mansfield picked themselves up and began to take the initiative. In the central midfield pairing Giles Coke and D'Laryea, they have an engine room with legs and lungs while in Simon Brown they have someone with pace and trickery to spare. He was outstanding throughout - and if he can avoid the injury problems of last season, he and Barker could terrorise the defences of League Two.
Wednesday found him a problem as he picked holes in their rearguard.
When the pressure paid off in the 23rd minute it was a result of Wednesday struggling to keep up with their lively opponents as Deon Burton hauled down Matt Hamshaw in the penalty area.
If awarding a spot kick was a formality, so was Barker's conversion, sending Adamson the wrong way.
Chances came and went at both ends, but Wednesday's best opening came right on half time when Burton was denied by Muggleton when one-on-one with the keeper.
A Lee Bullen rocket shaved the outside of the post just after the break, while Muggleton was impressive again to block MaClean from close range. At the other end Brown forced a wonderful save from Adamson.
Substitutions from both sides briefly affected the fluidity, before Mansfield opened the floodgates. Dawson struck the post after good work from Brown and Barker with 15 minutes left, but just two minutes later found the back of the net stabbing the ball low past Adamason with the outside of his boot.
Barker then got his second of the match, meeting Hamshaw's 84th minute corner with a towering header that crashed into the roof of the net.
Visiting supporters left with each goal but for the ones that remained there was more misery to endure as, with only a minute left on the clock, D'Laryea fired a fourth.
It was richly deserved for his hard work throughout, as proven by the fact that he was still prepared to chase into the Wednesday penalty so late in the game to meet Callam Lloyd's cut back.
Mansfield: Muggleton, Mullins, Jelleyman, D'Laryea, Hjelde (Buxton, 64), Baptiste, Hamshaw (Beardsley, 85), Coke (Dawson, 71), Barker (Lloyd, 85), Brown (Reet, 81), Boulding (Birchall, 67)
Wednesday: Adamson, Simek, Bullen, Lunt (McCallister, 74), Coughlan, Bougherra (Spurr, 58), O'Brien (Whelan, 58), Folly, Maclean, Burton (Graham, 58), Brunt. Subs: Whelan, O'Donnell, Spurr, McCallister, McCardle, Bodin
Referee: R Shoebridge
Inexcusable Owls mauled by Stags
By Andy Parsons
Wednesday were humiliated 4-0 at Mansfield Town tonight in their first pre-season game on home soil after their US tour.
Despite playing the strongest side they could put out, Paul Sturrock will no doubt go ballistic after this shocking result at Field Mill.
Former Owl Richard Barker opened the scoring with a penalty after Deon Burton brought down another ex-Wednesday star, Matt Hamshaw.
Stephen Dawson came off the bench to hammer one past Chris Adamson on 78 minutes and Barker headed his second just five minutes later.
Jonathan D'Laryea took advantage of some erratic defending to finish the rout and give Sturrock lots to think about before the game with Middlesbrough on Saturday.
In what must go down as one of Wednesday's most embarrassing pre-season results in years, The Owls have to get their act together and quickly as the season draws closer and closer.
Wednesday's team: Adamson, Simek, Coughlan, Bougherra (Spurr), Bullen, Brunt, Lunt (McAllister), Folly, O'Brien (Whelan), MacLean, Burton (Graham).
Mansfield Town 4-0 The Owls
The Owls fell to a heavy defeat in their first friendly on English soil as an enthusiastic Stags outfit eased to victory at Field Mill. Two strikes created by former Hillsborough favourite Matthew Hamshaw for another ex-Middlewood trainee, Richie Barker, formed the backbone of the victory, while Stephen Dawson and Jonathan D'Laryea completed the scoring.
The fact that Mansfield included the two former Wednesday players in their starting line-up doubtless contributed to the greater urgency shown by the hosts in the first half.
Sturrock's men had started by almost taking a third minute lead, when Steven MacLean headed just wide from Chris Brunt's cross. But after that it was the Stags who made all the early running. Chris Adamson made a smart save from Gareth Jelleyman's curler and Michael Boulding skied an effort from five yards out before Deon Burton bundled Hamshaw over at the far post to give Barker his penalty chance. The home captain made no mistake from the spot, sending the Owls keeper the wrong way with a powerful drive.
Burton O'Brien should have done better than to head Kenny Lunt's deep cross off target but it was only a momentary reprieve for the Owls as Adamson saved from Boulding and then Simon Brown shot wide after springing the offside trap. Burton did well to fashion a chance to equalise on the stroke of half-time but the hosts deserved their interval lead.
Wednesday came out in more determined mood after the break and Lee Bullen shaved the far post with a 48th-minute piledriver. But still they relied upon Adamson to deny Barker with a routine catch and then Brown twice in the space of three minutes as the League Two side showed the organisation that had kept them unbeaten in previous friendlies against Derby and Nottingham Forest.
After a raft of changes, the Owls thought they had benefited from a narrow escape when one of the Stags' subs, Dawson, hit the post only three minutes after coming on. But just moments later he broke free of the Wednesday defence and poked a low shot past Adamson to open the floodgates.
Barker and Hamshaw combined again, six minutes from time, the former heading home the latter's corner at the far post. And D'Laryea set the seal on a disappointing night for the visitors two minutes from time with a close range shot.
Mansfield 1-0 SWFC (Barker pen 23): The former Owl smashes home from the spot after Burton pushed Hamshaw
Mansfield 2-0 SWFC (Dawson 78): The substitute breaks free to fire low past Adamson
Mansfield 3-0 SWFC (Barker 84): The striker heads home Hamshaw's corner
Mansfield 4-0 SWFC (D'Laryea 88): Wednesday fail to clear the ball and D'Laryea takes full advantage
Paul Sturrock names a strong line-up for the club's first domestic pre-season friendly.
Mansfield (4-3-3): Muggleton; Mullins, Hjelde (Buxton 64), John-Baptiste, Jelleyman; Hamshaw (Beardsley 85), D'Laryea, Coke (Dawson 72); Brown (Reet 83), Barker (Lloyd 85), Boulding (Birchall 67).
Wednesday (4-4-2): Adamson, Simek, Coughlan, Bougherra (Spurr 59), Bullen; Brunt, Lunt (McAllister 74), Folly, O'Brien (Whelan 59); MacLean, Burton (Graham 59). Subs: O'Donnell, McArdle, Boden.
Referee: R Shoebridge
Att: 3,665 (1644 away)
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