TRAVESTY AS STAGS BEATEN BY HARTLEPOOL
Mansfield Town 0 – 1 Hartlepool United
Attendance: 3531 (628 from Hartlepool)
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
Mansfield Town were beaten 1-0 at Field Mill this afternoon by a Hartlepool side that chalked up a ninth successive victory. But the Stags were the better team and were cruelly beaten by a dubious penalty decision. Jason White saved the penalty and the resultant follow-up, but the second rebound fell to Andy Monkhouse who headed in. The Stags are now just one point above the drop sign, albeit with games in hand. Given the quality of the performances over the Christmas break, it is a ridiculous position to be in, but the table doesn't lie and that is the situation. With no game for a fortnight, it is certainly an uncomfortable position.
Richie Barker played against the team that it is speculated he will be joining this month. Before the game, he told Mansfield 103.2 that he did not want to leave, but that he does not know what is happening. After the game, he said much the same, hinting that he thought the decision would be made at a level above the manager.
Man of the match: Gareth Jelleyman
Mansfield 0-1 Hartlepool
Hartlepool extended their winning streak to nine matches with a controversial win at Mansfield.
Mansfield were furious with the referee after his decision to award a penalty in the 75th minute led to the goal.
There were no appeals when Jon Daly went down but the referee pointed to the spot and, though Jason White saved, Andy Monkhouse nodded in the ball.
Mansfield had earlier wasted the best chance of the game when Michael Boulding shot wide.
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn:
MONKHOUSE BOB ON AS STAGS LOSE NEW YEARS OPENER
Mansfield Town 0 Hartlepool United 1
Santa delivered a mixed bag of fortunes for Mansfield Town this festive period, the latest of which was a cruel home defeat by in-form Hartlepool United.
Stags had started the busy Christmas period with an excellent 2-0 win away at Darlington, that was followed by the appointment for a 2nd term of Manager, Billy Dearden and then the postponement of the Accrington Stanley game after just 45 minutes. It was hoped that the start of 2007 was going to herald a new beginning for the Stags, Dearden's first home game in charge, a side playing full of confidence against a side on a record run of victories. It was going to be Mansfield Town's day, wasn't it?
Unfortunately not. Right from the start you could tell that the visitors were high on confidence and why not they were on winning streak of eight games but there seemed a fresh fire in the stomach of the Mansfield players who were defending well and going forward, were creating chances.
The visitors were made to look anything but special but controversially and as often goes in games against sides from the top and bottom, lady luck shone brightly for the team in good form.
The only goal of the game came on 73 minutes when to the astonishment of the whole ground, Referee R Lee pointed to the spot after Daley went down under a challenge from Giles Coke. The Mansfield players immediately surrounded the Referee in protest and well they might for not even the Hartlepool players appealed. Coke was then booked as the Field Mill faithful vented their anger.
If the penalty was harsh on the Stags, what followed told its own story of why teams at the wrong end of the table tend to suffer more than most. When eventually, the kick was taken by Daley, White dived to his left and made the save, he then reacted brilliantly to deny Duffy on the follow up but as the ball rebounded from Whites second save it fell kindly for Monkhouse to steer the ball home. Whilst Monkhouse ran the length of the pitch in celebration, boo's and cries of “Cheat!” rang around the ground. It was indeed very harsh on The Stags who had created the better chances of the two sides.
Indeed the game would have taken a different view if only on 29 minutes Micky Boulding had scored instead of putting his effort just wide of the post. He had been played in by Brown and had raced clear of the last defender but as the keeper came out, Boulding's finish agonisingly shaved the post. It was the closest either side had come.
Both teams spent the first half trying to play the game in the way it was intended, and although United were clearly still playing on a high, Mansfield were more than their match. Indeed the first 30 minutes had The Stags as just the better of the two teams. The last 15 minutes of the half clearly belonged to the home team with Barker going close with a couple of headers and the Pools keeper Konstantoplous, having to be alert to prevent Liddle from scoring an own goal following a low cross by Mullins. Buxton also went close for Mansfield as the home side ended the first half in the ascendancy.
The talk at half time was whether The Stags would rue their missed chances in the 2nd half, eventually it would ring true but as the rain pelted down The Stags never once gave up trying to break down a side who have now gone an incredible 772 minutes without conceding a goal.
Referee, Lee angered the home crowd once again when he awarded the Stags a free kick. The frustration came as Brown was clear in the box and had the Referee allowed play to continue would have had a great chance to equalise. As it was, play was pulled back and the chance came to nothing.
As the game came towards its conclusion, Barker once again tested the visitors keeper and deep into injury time, Arnold, who had replaced Boulding with 9 minutes to go, sent a cross over that Brown cheekily backheeled from close range but again Konstantoplous was equal.
It was a bitter and harsh defeat for Mansfield but surprisingly one that supporters should gain hope from for the side played well enough to suggest that good fortune is just around the corner.
Billy Dearden now has a few days to work at things at Field Mill with The Stags now not in action again until the 13th when they travel away to Hereford United. It is a testing time for Mansfield with the relegation places looming closer as the weeks go by but even though their New Years Day game ended in defeat there was enough evidence on the field to suggest that brighter times are ahead.
Mansfield Town 0 Hartlepool United 1
IT wasn't the best of homecomings for Billy Dearden as Mansfield became the latest victims of Hartlepool United's club record winning streak at Field Mill this afternoon.
But Dearden, back for his second spell as Stags boss, and his players were furious with referee Ray Lee over the 75th minute penalty decision which ultimately led to the winning goal by Andy Monkhouse after two great saves from Jason White kept out the spot kick and the first follow up.
Michael Bolding fired wide after being put clean through on 29 minutes but most of Mansfield's other efforts were straight at keeper Dimi Konstantoplous.
The visitors rarely threatened but looked solid at the back as the clean sheet meant they have now not conceded a goal in 772 minutes of football.
And this was their ninth successive League win - an outstanding run.
A disappointed Billy Dearden said: "I don't know if it was a penalty or not. My lads say it wasn't but their lads say it was.
"Whatever, it was the major decision of the game.
"What really disappointed me was that my players were congratulating the keeper on saving the penalty instead of following the ball.
"But Hartlepool are the form team in the league at the moment and we gave them a game.
"The conditions deteriorated but we stuck at it and had the better chances.
"I have a big job on here and no one will be grafting harder than me and the players to do it.
"There is no point in heads going down. If we play like we did today until the end of the season then no danger, we'll be okay."
Stags made just one change from Saturday's abandonment at Accrington with Hamshaw passed fully fit to return to the right wing in place of Arnold.
Muggleton had also shaken off a back strain to provide goalkeeping cover on the bench.
Stags defended an early Hartlepool corner.
Then Clark produced a timely tackle to slide in and rob Boulding in the box as Hamshaw tried to set him free.
Mansfield cleared another Hartlepool corner as both sides tried to play neat football.
Keeper Konstantoplous had to claw away a Brown cross which was threatening to creep in. And Barker headed over from the resulting corner.
Buxton sent a long header forward which released Barker. He crossed and the ball found Brown who came inside and fired a low shot that forced the keeper into a comfortable diving save.
United's first real threat came on 20 minutes as Monkhouse sent a dipping shot inches over the home crossbar.
Barker got in a good block on a low Humphreys free kick as the visitors forced two more corners. Stags broke well from the second but Boulding's first touch let him down and the chance was gone.
Stags won a free kick on the left of the box which Hamshaw whipped in and Konstantoplous fisted away.
Boulding then spurned the best chance of the half on 29 minutes. Put clear by Brown he raced into the box but sent his finish across goal and wide of the far post.
The keeper was back in action to made a good close range reaction save as Liddle almost poked a low Mullins cross into his own net. And he safely grabbed a Boulding shot from a tight angle.
Hamshaw was furious as he appeared to be felled just outside the box and the referee, who had given Mansfield very little all afternoon, waved play on.
A good cross from the left by Jelleyman picked out an unmarked Barker but the Stags striker guided his header straight at Konstantoplous.
A minute from the break Buxton headed over from a corner, suffering a clash of heads in the process.
Jelleyman did well to block a Brown shot in the opening minute of the second half after the United striker had done well to work a position.
Daly replaced Williams on 52 minutes for the visitors.
Seconds later Sweeney blazed a 20 yard free kick well over the Mansfield bar.
Humphreys did just enough to prevent Barker getting a head on a Jelleyman cross five yards from goal.
Brown disputed a free kick decision against him and when he then kicked the ball away in disgust he was shown a yellow card.
Monkhouse volleyed wildly over as the visitors enjoyed a better spell.
Amazingly, as Brown burst into the box, the referee blew to bring the game back for a Stags free kick and the advantage was lost.
On 62 minutes Coke brought down a clearance and sent a powerful shot straight at the keeper.
Clark was yellow carded for obstructing Boulding as he tried to go clear on 66 minutes.
Mullins got up well to reach a Buxton cross but headed firmly over.
The visitors wasted a good chance on 72 as Brown did well to make space on the right and crossed low where Duffy sidefooted wide from seven yards.
But the game exploded on 73 minutes as Daly went down under a Coke challenge. No United player appealed but the referee pointed to the spot.
Outraged Stags players surrounded him and Coke was eventually booked.
Up stepped Daly and White went the right way to keep it out. But he couldn't hold onto the ball and had to make another save as Duffy followed up. That left White helpless as the ball fell kindly to Monkhouse to finally head home.
Jelleyman whistled a shot wide from 30 yards at the other end.
Then Brown was booked for felling his Hartlepool namesake on 80 minutes.
Arnold replaced Boulding for the last nine minutes.
Soon after Hamshaw was just wide from distance, but it was desperation stuff for the home side now.
In stoppage time Barker got a head onto an Arnold cross but again it was straight at the keeper.
Even deeper into time added on Arnold crossed low from the right and Brown's cheeky backheel at the near post again flew straight to the keeper.
There were angry scenes at the end as home players crowded round the referee and he was eventually protected by stewards.
Another worrying sight at the end of a disappointing afternoon was Stags striker Richie Barker applauding the West Stand and shaking hands with fans on his own at the end, suggesting he still believes he will be sold to Hartlepool or elsewhere in this transfer window.
And visiting boss Danny Wilson admitted to the press at the end that Barker was a player he wanted.
All in all not the happiest of New Years at Field Mill.
Report by : Proudtobeapoolie
Hartlepool United go marching as Andy Monkhouse scores the only goal of the game this afternoon at Field Mill, that's NINE straight wins, EIGHT straight clean sheets! Here's the match report...
Hartlepool United boss Danny Wilson named an unchanged side for this afternoon's away game with Mansfield Town. Loan players Andy Monkhouse and Darryl Duffy both lined up for what looks to be there final games for the club before returning to their parent clubs Swindon Town and Hull City respectively. Wilson has indicated that he hopes to sign both player permanently, but at present it appears he maybe successful with a move for Monkhouse but not Duffy.
James Brown continued up front alongside Duffy despite the match turning substitute appearance from David Foley against Peterborough on Saturday afternoon. Mansfield Town named Pools transfer target Richie Barker in attack for what is Billy Dearden's first full game since being handed the reigns at Field Mill for a second time, I suppose Accrington on Saturday was technically his first game in charge, but that game was called off due to a waterlogged pitched in the second half.
On 3 minutes former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Matt Hamshaw whipped in a dangerous cross but Gary Liddle was on hand to clear the danger. Eifion Williams won the first corner of the game for Pools on 6 minutes, Willie Boland floated the set piece into the area but the home defence cleared the danger.
Pools won their second corner of the game on 12 minutes but Hamshaw hacked clear under pressure from James Brown. Dimi Konstantopoulos was called into action on 15 minutes as he put a dangerous cross behind for Mansfield's first corner of the game, the delivery came into the box but was headed over the cross bar.
On 20 minutes Andy Monkhouse had a good chance after he latched onto a James Brown flick on, unfortunately the on loan Swindon winger put his shot over the Mansfield cross bar. Pools were awarded a free kick on 25 minutes, Ritchie Humphries tried a shot but the ball deflected off Richie Barker for a Pools corner kick. Willie Boland took the set piece short with James Brown but again Barker was in place to put the ball behind for another Pools corner kick.
Mansfield should have taken the lead on 30 minutes, Michael Boulding went clear and slide the ball past Konstantopoulos, however the ball rolled just wide of the Pools post and the score remained goalless. 6 minutes last and Tony Sweeney almost scored an own goal, thankfully Konstantopoulos made a great reflex save to prevent the OG.
With just a minute of the first half remaining Mansfield won another corner kick, the delivery was headed just over the Pools cross bar. The fourth official signaled for two minutes of additional time at the end of the first half. After four minutes of additional time the referee finally brought the first half to a close, figure that one out!
Half Time: Mansfield Town 0 Hartlepool United 0
Inside the first minute of the second half Pools won a corner kick after a mazy run from James Brown but Willie Boland's delivery was quickly headed clear.
Danny Wilson made his first substitution of the game on 52 minutes as Eifion Williams was replaced with Jon Daly. James Brown moved out to the right wing with Daly partnering Duffy in attack.
James Brown collected the first yellow card of the game on 58 minutes after back heeling the ball away after giving away a free kick. Dimi Konstantopoulos did well to take a decent shot from Jonathan D'Laryea on 64 minutes as the rain started to make conditions difficult. Ben Clark received a yellow card on 67 minutes after he eased Michael Boulding out of the way 35 yards from the Pools goal.
Pools were awarded a penalty on 73 minutes after Giles Coke pulled Jon Daly down inside the 18 yard box, Darryl Duffy found his striker partner but Daly couldn't get a shot away before Coke fouled him. Daly placed the ball on the spot but his low penalty was saved by Jason White, James Brown reacted quickly but his shot was saved by White, thankfully Andy Monkhouse was Jonny on the spot and he stooped to head home the loose ball and give Pools the lead.
Mansfield made a change as striker Michael Boulding was replaced by Nathan Arnold. Jon Daly collected a yellow card on 86 minutes as Pools defended the lead which was given to them by Monkhouse. In the final minute of normal time Richie Barker put a decent header straight into the arms of Konstantopoulos.
The fourth official signaled for three minutes of additional time at the end of the second half. Simon Brown flicked the ball into the hands of Konstantopolous in the final minute of additional time. Danny Wilson made his second change of the game as Darren Williams replaced goalscorer Andy Monkhouse. With 30 seconds extra played on top of the additional time the referee finally brought the game to a close.
Full Time: Mansfield Town 0 Hartlepool United 1
What can I say? I'm honestly running out of words to praise Danny Wilson and his players. Lets recap, nine straight league wins, eight games without conceding a goal, stunning form. Pools are now just three points behind third placed Lincoln City, the automatic promotion places are now within reach. With the transfer window now open Danny Wilson is in the perfect position to attempt to add strength to his side. Superb Pools, simply superb.
White, Mullins, Buxton, Baptiste, Jelleyman, Brown, D'Laryea, Coke, Hamshaw, Boulding (81 Arnold), Barker
Substitutes not used:
Hjelde, Beardsley, Muggleton, Lloyd
Konstantopoulos, Humphreys, Clark, Liddle, Barron, Monkhouse, Boland, Sweeney, Williams (52 Daly), Brown yellow, Duffy
Substitutes not used:
Bullock, Provett, Foley
Referee: R Lee
Latest | January 2007