ANOTHER DEFEAT AGAINST RUBBISH OPPONENTS
Barnet 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
Yakubu 45+1, Gross 53. Barker 84.
Attendance: 1790 (approx 200 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw and Nicole Shaw at Underhill
In a near carbon copy of the Bury game last week, Mansfield Town lost again against very poor opposition. This time the opponents were Barnet. Once again the Stags totally dominated the opening half but went in a goal down at the break. Then a second goal for Barnet gave the home side confidence and the Stags looked down and out until a late Richie Barker goal gave the Stags hope. But the Stags failed to create any chances after Barker's goal and went down to a feeble defeat.
Stagsnet Report in the Match centre
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn
BARKERS GOAL IS NOTHING MORE THAN A CONSOLATION AS STAGS LOSE AGAIN
Barnet 2 Mansfield Town 1
The Stags endured another 'away day' of misery as they went down 2-1 at Barnet last weekend.
Stags playing against opponents in a slightly worse position in League 2 than they must have been hopeful of heading back up the M1 with maximum points but after a first half that promised so much, they again failed to deliver and were punished when the home side scored their first goal deep into 1st half injury time. It was harsh on a Mansfield side who had been far the better of the two sides in the opening 45 minutes, but after the break and despite a late consolation goal by Richard Barker, it was the same old sorry story for a Stags side who now enter the busy Christmas period just four points away from the League 2 relegation places.
It could have been so very different if only Matty Hamshaw's effort had hit the back of the net instead of the post. Good work from Brown and a flick on from Beardsley had created the chance for Hamshaw but lady luck just isn't winking at Mansfield at the moment.
The closest Barnet came early on as when Warhurst raced onto a clearance but his first timed, and rather rushed effort sailed well wide of White in the Mansfield goal.
On 19 minutes, Chris Beardsley turned sharply and from 12 yards shot for goal only to be denied by a save from the home keeper, Harrison. Beardsley again caused the Barnet defence problems, but this time they were saved by the linesman's flag.
In truth although Mansfield were the better of the two sides, neither were causing too much threat to the respective keepers and at times the game became rather scrappy with both sides needlessly giving away possession of the ball.
Barnet central defender, Yakubu had to leave the field for treatment to a cut above the eye. His reintroduction Mansfield could have well done without.
Just past the half hour mark, the home keeper was called into action, not once, but twice. From The Stags 2nd corner of the game, he parried away a header from Mullins and was then on hand to smother Beardsley's follow up effort at his near post. The signs were looking good for Mansfield and the frustration of the home bench and from the small crowd inside Underhill was becoming to come to the fore.
34 minutes saw another Stags corner, this time Coke fired in through a crowd of players, but his effort dragged wide of the far post.
Jason White then denied Sinclair before a few minutes later getting the vital touch to deny Viera from close range as the home side began to call the shots.
Stags though had been the more creative of the two sides and two minutes before the break, Barker could have given them the lead when he met a Hamshaw free kick. However his effort left a lot to be desired.
Astonishingly deep into 1st half added on time, the home side took the lead. Again, it was more down to poor defensive play from Mansfield than creative play from the opposition. A corner from Puncheon was met powerfully by Yakubu who headed the ball past White in the Mansfield goal. Underhill rose whilst all from Mansfield were left wondering why once again their side had not converted their chances.
Stags almost got off to a dream 2nd half start but Harrison saved well from Simon Brown.
On 54 minutes though, Stags found themselves a further goal behind when Coke missed his clearance just inside the box and Warhurst was on hand to flick the ball to Gross who made no mistake from just outside the 6 yard box.
It should have been 3-0 just a minute later but this time White denied Viera to keep Stags still in the game.
On 65 minutes, Shirtliff shuffled his pack bringing on Danny Reet for Beardsley as Stags desperately tried to get back into a game which was fast slipping away.
White was on hand again just two minutes later to refuse Barnet a third. Hendon had done well down the right before crossing to Puncheon who's first time half volley was parried away by the Mansfield keeper.
Reet then got on the end of a Jelleyman cross but wildly hit his effort wide of the mark.
Giles Coke on the ground he was sent off at last season was shown the yellow card after a late challenge of Sinclair as the Stags frustrations came to hand.
Then with six minutes, plus added on time to go, Mansfield finally scored. Richard Barker heading in a Hamshaw free kick from eight yards.
The Stags tried in vain to find an equaliser but you felt it was always going to be Barnet's day from the second their 2nd goal went in.
The final whistle was greeted by relief from the home crowd and with more feelings of discontent from the small but vociferous travelling band of Mansfield faithful.
With a hectic Christmas period only days away, it is hoped that Stags can find the confidence to provide a bit of festive cheer, starting this Friday evening, 22nd when they take on an in form Chester City side.
Match Report By Jonathan Sugar
from official Barnet website
Ismail Yakubu: Mortgage Express Man of the Match
Barnet celebrated three points at Underhill in their last League 2 game at home before Christmas as they beat Mansfield Town 2-1 on Saturday.
Manager Paul Fairclough made two changes to the starting line-up from the one that drew with Wycombe Wanderers last weekend with the suspended Liam Hatch and ineligible Adam Birchall being replaced in attack by Paul Warhurst and Magno Vieira.
It was the visitors who started the game the brighter of the two sides and they could have taken the lead after just 43 seconds when a cross by Simon Brown was flicked onto the far post by Chris Beardsley to Matthew Hamshaw who saw his right footed curling effort cannon off of a post and away to safety.
Barnet never really got started in a disappointing opening to the game for the home side and they only had an ambitious long range effort by Warhurst in the 5th minute to show for their efforts.
Mansfield continued to look the sharper and they went close again after 19 minutes when Lee Harrison was forced into making a fine one handed save at his near post following a fierce drive by Beardsley.
Barnet were struggling to retain possession, although in truth Mansfield were not creating a great deal either as both sides struggled to make an impact in the game.
It was the away side who were creating the more, however, and in the 32nd minute Harrison was again forced into making a sharp stop, this time from a powerful John Mullins header after the Bees failed to deal with a Hamshaw corner kick.
Four minutes later and the Bees created their first meaningful attack on goal when a Jason Puncheon pulled the ball back to Dean Sinclair who saw his low drive from 20 yards palmed away by Jason White in the Stags goal.
The Mansfield keeper was then called into action once more in the 40 minute when Vieira played a neat one-two with Puncheon before keeper Brown rushed quickly off of his line to block the Brazililian strikers effort with the ball spilling behind for a corner kick.
Both sides looked to be leaving the field at half time goalless but two minutes into added time Ismail Yakubu rose highest in a crowded penalty area to head home following a fine in-swinging corner by Puncheon.
The second half began with the away side again the first to mount a serious attack and they took just 40 seconds to force Harrison into a diving save, this time from a Brown effort from 15 yards.
Five minutes later and Vieira headed a Puncheon cross over the bar whilst at the other whilst Richie Barker just failed to connect to a fine Hamshaw cross.
With 54 minutes on the clock Barnet were to go 2-0 ahead courtesy of Adam Gross' first goal in a Barnet shirt.
Adam Gross: first goal for Barnet
In fact, it was the Bees left back who started the move when he received the ball just inside the Stags half, cleverly turning Brown to retain possession. the former Charlton man then played the ball forward to Warhurst, and having continued his run into the box, he received the ball from Warhurst's flicked past before firstly coolly past White into the keepers bottom left hand corner.
Three minuets later and Vieira saw his effort saved by White following a fine Simon King pass forward whilst Puncheon forced the Stags keeper into action once more when he connected first time at the back post following a fine cross by captain Ian Hendon.
Mansfield substitute Danny Reet then shot wide in the 74th minute whilst a minute later Barker headed wide from eight yards out.
With five minutes to go, though, Barker was to reduce his sides deficit when he rose highest in the box to head home a Hamshaw free kick.
Puncheon then saw a rasping drive go just over for Barnet in the final two minutes, whilst Nicky Bailey saw an effort well held by White moments before the Referee signalled the end of the game to send the home fans away happy.
Away goal but sorry Stags flop again
Barnet 2 Mansfield Town 1
RICHIE Barker finally ended Mansfield Town's away goal drought after 445 miserable minutes at Underhill this afternoon.
But his 84th minute strike came too late to save the Stags from another defeat as Barnet leapfrogged Stags to push them closer to the wrong end of League Two.
The game was almost like watching a re-run of the recent Bury home game.
The first half belonged to the Stags and it could all have been so different if Matt Hamshaw's first minute effort had not come back off the post.
Home keeper Lee Harrison also made three good first half saves to keep Mansfield at bay before Barnet grabbed an unlikely lead through Ismail Yakubu in first half stoppage time.
As in their previous two games, Mansfield were then stung by a killer second goal early in the second half, this time Adam Gross netting on 54 minutes.
And that came after Simon Brown had forced a save from Harison within seconds of the restart.
Disappointingly Stags struggled to seriously test Harrison in the second half and Barker's strike - his 14th of the season - was too little too late on a disappointing afternoon in the capital for the 198 away Stags supporters.
Mansfield made three changes from the side knocked out of the FA Cup at Doncaster in midweek.
White replaced Muggleton in goal and had an excellent game, making some good saves, Mullins filled in for the injured Jake Buxton at right back and Beardsley came in to partner Barker up front.
Arnold was relegated to the bench and Brown switched to wide right with Hamshaw again starting on the left.
Michael Boulding was left out of the 16 altogether with recent signing Charlton back among the substitutes.
Barnet were down to one recognised striker with on-loan Stags Adam Birchall not permitted to play against his parent club.
It was an uphill task from the start for the Stags as Barnet kicked off playing down the famous Underhill slope.
But they were almost off to a dream start as within the first 40 seconds Brown crossed from the right, Beardsley flicked on to Hamshaw and he cut inside a defender before curling a 16 yard shot that came back off the right post.
Warhurst was well wide with a hopeful effort from long range after a White kick had been headed straight back downfield with the keeper well out of position.
The early stages were very scrappy with no further chances though Hamshaw did try his luck from a very wide position on the right and the ball drifted wide of the far post.
White was down smartly to smother a Vieira through ball before Warhurst could capitalise.
Harrison pulled off a good save on 19 minutes as Beardsley got in a fierce shot on the turn from 12 yards.
Beardsley forced another good save from Harrison with a thumping shot after good work from Coke and Hamshaw but an offside flag was raised anyway.
With Yakuba off for treatment to a head wound, Coke blazed a hopeful effort well over from 30 yards.
On 32 minutes Harrison twice rescued Barnet from Mansfield's second corner. Hamshaw's kick was met by an Mullins header which he parried and then was back in position to smother Beardsley's on-target follow-up.
Two minutes later, after another Stags corner was worked short to Hamshaw, he found Hjelde who set up Coke for a powerful low shot that skidded wide of the far post through a crowd of players.
White finally had a save to make on 36 minutes as he got down to his right to parry a low 18 yard Sinclair effort.
And the young keeper again did well five minutes later as Vieira played a one-two with Puncheon to get into the box only to se White get a vital touch on his finish and send it wide.
But it was a couple of scares for Stags at the end of a half in which they had totally dominated and should have led.
Barker might have done better with a free header on 43 minutes from a Hamshaw free kick which he ended up sending towards the far post across goal rather than on target.
But amazingly Mansfield went into the break a goal behind as Barnet netted from a stoppage time corner.
Puncheon sent it over from the right and Yakabu rose superbly to plant a powerful header past White and punish the visitors for failing to capitalise on their earlier dominance.
Brown got away a firm on-target first time shot in the opening minute of the second half which Harrison was safely behind.
Barnet then threatened with a low Graham cross that went right across the face of goal.
Puncheon did well to get away from Mullins down the left and cross for Vieira who was too high with his header.
Stags suddenly found themselves 2-0 down on 54 minutes. Coke completely missed his clearance just inside the box as Warhurst flicked the bal to Gross to bury a finish from eight yards.
It might have been 3-0 three minutes later as Vieira found himself onside as a long King clearance caught the visiting defence square. The Brazilian looked surprised to be through and a moment's hesitation was all White needed to stand up to him and block his finish.
Stags made a change up front on 65 as Reet replaced Beardsley.
Two minutes later Barnet broke from a spell of Mansfield pressure and Hendon raced down the right before crossing long to Puncheon whose first time shot was saved by White.
Reet neatly chested down a long Jelleyman cross but sliced the ball wide as it dropped as Mansfield desperately searched for that elusive away goal with only 15 minutes to play.
Midfielder Cogan replaced striker Vieira for the last 11 minutes.
Then Sinclair set up Puncheon for a firm low shot that Hjelde blocked.
Coke was shown the yellow card for a late tackle on Sinclair and a minute later was replaced by Lloyd.
With just six minutes to go Barker handed Stags a lifeline with a powerful eight yard header on the end of a Hamshaw free kick.
Puncheon almost sealed the home side's win on 88 with a dipping shot that flew inches over.
Bailey also tested White from 20 yards but again White was there.
Mansfield pressed hard at the end but Barnet hung on for the victory.
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