STAGS V ALAVES - STAGSNET REPORT
Mansfield Town 0 C.D. Alaves 3
A strong Alaves team overcame a young stags team tonight, in front of just over 3,000 fans. Mansfield were clearly pleased to be hosing such prestigious hosts, and were determined to make the most of it. The two sides received a standing ovation as Leeroy Williamson proudly led out the teams.
After several photographs and hand shaking the two teams settled down to business, Mansfield started the match kicking towards the empty north stand, and although the hosts were desperate to put in a good start it was the visitors who stamped their class on the game, scoring the opener inside 3 minutes, Geli, fed the ball accurately from midfield crossed a pinpoint cross into the Mansfield area for Navarro to head home, giving Pilkington no chance. Mansfield's first chance fell to a Scott Sellars free kick, which was awarded after Williamson had been tripped outside the area, but the opportunity of a quick Mansfield reply went begging as Sellars hit the ball wide of the post. By 12 minutes, the stags were getting more into the match and were becoming more threatening, Scott Sellars, once again playing well, chipped the ball through to Andy White on the byline, who then evaded two challenges from the Spanish defenders to cut back to Craig Disley, however, his stinging shot was blocked by a diving tackle from the Alaves captain, Karmona. After 28 minutes Alaves once again showed class, easily dissecting the Mansfield play, Geli, in midfield, some 40 yards out from the Mansfield goal, passed to Helguera, running down the byline, who put in a great cross into the area, and fell nicely to Cruyff, who on the half volley, shot towards the Mansfield goal, only to see Pilkington tip it over the bar.
Half time – Mansfield Town 0 C.D. Alaves 1
Subs – Mansfield Town – Scott Sellars for Wayne Corden
C.D. Alaves – Geli, Turiel for Edu Alonso and Astudillo.
The only first action of the second half, much like the first, was that Alaves scored with the 1st chance, however this goal was no masterpiece, and in fact was caused by a defence howler by Stuart Reddington, who was caught in possession, while being the last man, leavong the unknown Spanish attacker with a one on one with Pilkington, and eased the ball into the corner of the net, this was meant with moans from the crowd, probably hoping that the defence will actually learn from past mistakes, and stop making the same silly, but costly mistakes. Mansfield, much like the first half tried to rally, and minutes later Craig Disley, about 25 yards out saw Pablo knapping, and lobbed him, only to see the ball agonisingly hit the base of the post, and then elude the stags players waiting for the rebound, leaving the Spanish defence able to clear their lines. The tired looking Andy White was replaced by Iysedon Christie and the new Norwegian trialist Rune Wiken replaced Colin Larkin. Indeed it was Christie, who got immediately involved by being awarded a free kick on the edge of the Spanish side's area, with Sellars being substituted, Corden tried his luck, but his fine effort was tipped over by Pablo, the resultant corner kick was met by Disley, but his header just missed the goal. The last meaningful action of the second half was the Spaniards third goal, a well worked goal, coming from a corner, Ochoa crossed in and Eggen stole in at the near post to head powerfully home, with the stags defence once again beaten by their higher class opposition. Minutes later, Mara, the no.8 for Alaves, once again produced the theatricals and rolled around several times, when he hadn't made contact with the Mansfield player!, among slow hand clapping and jeers from the crowd, he slowly arose to his feet.
Full time – Mansfield Town 0 C.D. Alaves 3
The score did reflect the nature of the game, and did show accurately the difference between the two sides, however, the stags were playing against high class opposition, and some of the passing and movement was of a good standard, and at times, they had the Alaves players looking the weaker side!. This was Mansfield's third home game of the pre season, and yet they have failed to score in any of them, something that must be addressed for the new season, commencing Saturday, they are though, creating chances and getting shots away. Larkin, with good touches, and several shots played well, as did Scott Sellars who played once again, a great match, and produce some good passes. Mackenzie and the trialist Rune Wiken also looked good. The stagsnet man of the match however, goes to Leeroy Williamson (as they didn't name one!). He was typically cut throat, and certainly let the Spanish defence and midfield know of his presence, some fine crosses and through balls were all-welcome.
Report by Adam.
Latest | August 2002