STAGS LOSE TO LATE GOALS AT HARTLEPOOL
Hartlepool United 2 - 0 Mansfield Town
Porter 77, 90+2
Attendance: 3899 (188 from Mansfield)
Stagsnet report now in the Match Centre.
Late Porter double sinks Stags
HARTLEPOOL substitute Joel Porter struck twice in the last 17 minutes to ensure Mansfield Town faced a long journey home with nothing to show for their efforts after a 2-0 defeat at Victoria Park last night.
It certainly wasn't the best the Stags have played this season in a largely scrappy match, but they did have their chances on the night before the 'Monkey-Hangers' broke through with Porter on 77 minutes. Then with Mansfield pushing everythingforward, Porter added a second in stoppage time to rub salt in the wounds.
Mansfield skipper Richie Barker had seen a glorious second minute chance saved but, worryingly, was later withdrawn with a head injury which could leave both he and strike partner Simon Brown doubts for Saturday's even longer trip to Torquay.
Stags keeper Jason White had an excellent night, making four saves, one particularly outstanding.
Stags made one change with Brown ruled out through the dead leg he sustained in Saturday's 4-1 win over Hereford United.
Boulding was pushed up front to utilise his pace, with Birchall coming in to replace him for his first start of the season.
Stags really should have taken a second minute lead.
Sloppy defending saw Dawson pounce on a loose ball just outside the box and square it to Hamshaw. His precise pass fed Barker in the box but, with only keeper Konstantopoulos to beat, he saw his low side-footed finish saved from nine yards.
Then Birchall was well over with a 25 yard effort three minutes later.
Mansfield had a let off on 18 minutes. Hartlepool's first corner was taken short and White punched the ball away as it came in. But the defence pushed up quickly and Boland chipped the ball back in to an unmarked Daly who headed straight at White with the goal at his mercy from eight yards.
There was more panic for the visitors as Robson broke into the box from the left and White did well very well to block both his initial shot and his follow-up.
Brown almost ignited the game with its best moment of skill on 41 minutes as he teased Buxton with some neat footwork, before unleashing a thunderous finish across White only to see it come back out off the inside of the far post.
Straight away Boulding tested Konstantopoulos at the other end with a powerful low 20-yarder.
But it was a brief respite as Hartlepool, growing in confidence, continued to get the ball into the Mansfield box and Stags had to survive another corner.
Boulding played a one-two with Barker in the final minute of the scoreless first half, but Konstantopoulos was again behind his shot.
Dawson needed treatment for a knock, but was unhappy when he got up to see he was being substituted by Coke in the 54th minute.
Clearly second best since the break, the home side made two changes within three minutes as Boland and Daly were withdrawn and Strachan and Porter sent on.
Barker tried to get a diving header in on a dangerous Sheehan cross, but clashed heads with Liddle. The physic quickly signalled to the bench that Barker would be coming off and he eventually got up and was helped away and replaced by Beardsley on 69 minutes.
But both sides then went desperately close to a breakthrough. On 72 D'Laryea picked out Beardsley in the box. But as he pulled his foot back to finish, in slid Williams with a brilliant saving tackle.
Then a minute later as the home side broke, Porter chipped a perfect pass to Brown at the far post where he cheekily lifted the ball over Sheehan's head and crashed a close range finish at goal only to see White make a superb one-handed save.
But the home broke through on 77 minutes. Two defenders stuck out legs to prevent a low Sweeney cross from the left getting through to Brown, but the loose ball rolled invitingly towards Porter who placed a perfect finish just inside the far post.
Stags sent on Reet for Boulding for the final 11 minutes. And he twice almost pulled them level within four minutes.
He had one shot that took a deflection narrowly wide and then appeared to be blatantly flattened by Nelson's challenge in his box but no penalty was awarded.
Coke also sent a tame half volley at the keeper from 18 yards.
But Porter sealed Mansfield's fate in time added on as his 20 yard shot took a wicked deflection before flying past White.
Latest | September 2006