BARKER AND BROWN ON TARGET AS STAGS BEAT SWINDON
Mansfield Town 2 - 0 Swindon Town
Barker 3, Brown 38.
Attendance: 2274 (276 from Swindon)
report from CHAD:
Stags return to winning path
THE Richie Barker and Simon Brown partnership was back in business as Stags managed a superb tonic first win in five games, 2-0 against second placed Swindon at Field Mill last night.
Both strikers netted in the first half as Mansfield turned in a much improved display on recent weeks to comfortably see off the relegated high-flyers, who had won their previous four games on the bounce and only lost twice in their previous 10 away games this season.
Stags had failed to score in open play for a worrying 548 minutes but, after Barker had settled them down with a third minute opener, Mansfield went on to create decent chances and Brown wasted two before adding the crucial second - his first goal since the opening day of the season.
The closest Swindon came was when a deflected shot hit the Stags bar on six minutes though Lucas Jutkiewicz twice came close after the break as Carl Muggleton saved one good effort and saw another go just wide of his far post.
Stags were unchanged from the side that drew 1-1 with Doncaster on Saturday.
Muggleton comfortably grabbed a dangerous Roberts cross inside the opening seconds.
But Stags swept ahead in the third minute with their first goal from open play in seven games - just the tonic they needed.
Hamshaw crossed from the right, Hjelde helped it on and Barker was perfectly placed to poke home from inside the six yard box.
Swindon almost levelled on six minutes. A neat move ended with Williams crashing a shot at goal which struck Hjelde's leg and looped up and over Muggleton only to hit the crossbar.
A good break led by Boulding saw the ball laid to Barker via Brown. And when he chipped the ball back across the middle, Brown's flicked header dropped wide of the far post.
But Brown really should have made it 2-0 on 20 minutes. The visitors were struggling to clear their lines and the ball broke kindly for him seven yards from goal, only to see a spreadeagled Phil Smith get his body in the way.
A quick throw from Buxton put Barker into space in the box and he flashed a shot just wide.
Brown missed another great chance on 38 minutes after Jelleyman had crossed long, Barker had knocked the ball back across the box and Brown turned it wide at the far post with the keeper at his mercy.
But, within seconds, he was celebrating a goal at last. A diagonal ball from Hamshaw sent him behind the defence with at least one opponent playing him onside and he waited his moment with a defender closing in before burying a sure finish from five yards with all four sides of the ground holding their breath.
The visitors forced two early corners after the break but Stags were first to really threaten as a great Hamshaw run down the left ended with him shooting firmly at Smith from 18 yards.
But Muggleton had to be at his best to push away a Jutkiewicz shot after the big striker had turned sharply into the box.
Both sides made a change on 63 minutes as Arnold came on for Boulding on the Mansfield left and disappointing Swindon star man Roberts was replaced by Brownlie. Three minutes later Brown came on for Shakes as the visitors desperately sought a way back into the contest.
Zaaboub saw the first yellow card of the night on 73 for deliberate handball.
Arnold sent a low ball ball across the Swindon boss towards Brown who was wide with his first time effort as we entered the last 15 minutes.
On 78 minutes Timlin was booked for hacking down D'Laryea on the Stags by-line as he shielded the ball. Worryingly he had to be replaced by Lloyd.
Royce Brownlee was hurt in going in very late on Muggleton and was booked before he was helped off the field.
Jutkiewicz made a strong run into the left of the box and was only just wide with a low finish six minutes from time.
MANSFIELD: Muggleton, Brown, Jellyeman, D'Laryea (Lloyd 80), Hjelde, John-Baptiste, Hamshaw (Mullins 87), Barker, M. Boulding (Arnold 63), Coke, Buxton. Subs: White, Reet.
SWINDON: P. Smith, J. Smith, Ifil, Williams, Nicholas, Shakes (Brown 66), Weston, Timlin, Jutkiewicz, Roberts (Brownlie 63, Wells 84), Zaaboub. Subs: Stewart, Pook.
REFEREE: Michael Jones of Cheshire.
GOALS: Mansfield - Barker 3; Brown 38.
CAUTIONS: Swindon - Zaaboub 73 (hands); Timlin 78 (foul); Brownlie 83 (foul).
MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Hamshaw.
report from http://www.swindontownfc.co.uk
Mansfield 2 Swindon 0
Date : Tue 05 Dec 2006 Kick Off : 19:45
Venue : Field Mill Attendance : 2274
Comp : Coca-Cola Football League Two Referee : M Jones
Goals : Barker 3
Swindon Town manager Paul Sturrock made three changes to the side that had faced Morecambe at the weekend, with Lee Peacock missing out on a return to his former club. Peacock was replaced by Jutkiewicz up front whilst there were also starts for Sofienne Zaaboub and Michael Timlin who replaced Aaron Brown and Gareth Whalley respectively. Ben Wells was named amongst the substitutes.
Mansfield manager Peter Shirtliff named the same starting eleven that drew at home to Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup at the weekend, with former Nottingham Forest defender Jon Olav Hjelde lining up at the back for The Stags.
The home side kicked the game off but it was Mansfield keeper Carl Muggleton who was put under the early pressure, claiming from a Roberts cross.
It was the worst possible start for Swindon who went behind after just three minutes. A cross from the right was knocked in by Hjelde which found Hamshaw. The midfielder's right footed effort from 10 yards fell to the feet of Richard Barker who sidefooted past Smith for his 13th goal of the campaign.
In immediate response Town saw Ady Williams' left foot effort cannon off the bar. Having lost his marker on the edge of the box, Williams saw his left foot effort partially blocked by Hjelde and the ball ballooned over Muggleton but unfortunately for Swindon, hit the bar and went behind.
The home side continued their attacking stance and Simon Brown saw his header fall just wide from a Barker cross on 14 minutes. Ady Williams then headed over from 8 yards from a Jack Smith free-kick after a foul on Nicholas on 18 minutes. Phil Smith produced an outstanding save a minute later. A loose ball found its way through to Simon Brown just inside the box and Smith got down quickly to deny the hosts a second goal of the evening.
Sofienne Zaaboub made a bright start to his full debut and was again the tormentor of the Stags backline before the half-hour mark was up. His promising run ended with a superb cross from the left which was narrowly missed by Roberts. The ball ran back out to Shakes whose effort was met bravely by the head of Jutkiewicz, who took a whack for his troubles, but the danger was cleared.
Barker then struck just wide after a quick-throw from Buxton on 29 minutes before Zaaboub saw his header saved at the other end from a Smith cross. Simon Brown then missed an excellent opening for his side. The ball flashed across the face of goal after some neat interplay from Barker, but Brown could only hit wide from four yards out. However, sixty seconds later Brown made amends with 28 minutes on the clock. Brown timed his run well to beat the offside trap and after rounding Smith, he smashed the ball into the net past Jack Smith on the line to make it 2-0. Barker then found himself through but an excellent covering tackle from Williams cleared the threat. Ricky Shakes then fired straight at Muggleton from outside the box on 42 minutes before the half-time whistle blew.
Half-Time: Mansfeld Town 2 Swindon Town 0
Swindon emerged from the half-time break looking to get straight back into the game and managed to force two early corners, but once again were unable to really test Muggleton in the home goal.
Matty Hamshaw tested Phil Smith from the edge of the box with the Stags' first effort on goal in the second period with 51 minutes on the clock. Michael Boulding then sent a low drive across the box on 53 which Williams did well to hack over his own bar. Smith was then forced to save low from Giles Coke with Swindon once again finding themselves under pressure.
Lukas Jutkiewicz provided a moment of inspiration for Swindon on the hour. Having used his power and pace to muscle his way into space on the right hand edge of the box, he turned before hitting a left foot shot which was parried away by Muggleton - Town's fourth shot on target all game.
Both managers decided to make a change on 61 minutes with Michael Boulding being replaced by Nathan Arnold for the home side. Royce Brownlie came on in place of Christian Roberts for Swindon up front.
Shortly after Aaron Brown was introduced in place of Ricky Shakes, with Brown taking his place on the right flank.
Sofienne Zaaboub entered the referee's notebook for the first caution of the evening on 74 minutes with handball the offence. Shortly after Zaaboub saved Tow's blushes with an excellent tackle inside the area on Giles Coke.
Michael Timlin was then booked after a challenge on D'laryea on 78 minutes with time running out for any sort of Swindon revival. The Stags defender was unable to continue with Callum Lloyd coming on in his place.
Six minutes before time Royce Brownlie's evening came to an end. Having entered the fray as a second half substitute, the Australian was injured - and cautioned - after colliding with keeper Muggleton on the edge of the box. Ben Wells came on for Brownlie, with Aaron Brown acting as the makeshift striker with Wells taking his place on the right.
Swindon failed to make anything of the four minutes of added time with the home side doing enough to condemn their visitors to the first defeat under Paul Sturrock - and the hosts' first victory in five games.
Overall it was a disappointing performance from Swindon who had failed to heed Sturrock's post-match warning, with the hosts doing all the biting and scratching required to earn a deserved victory.
Full-Time: Mansfeld Town 2 Swindon Town 0
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