BELPER TOWN 1 - 1 MANSFIED TOWN
Belper Town 1 Mansfield Town 1
Stevenson 3. R Boulding 57.
Att 258 (app 140 from Mansfield)
23 July 2007
Stagsnet report by Gordon Cleugh:
Stags - 1st half:
John-Baptiste, Wood, Mcintosh, Jelleyman
Hamshaw, Bell, Martin, Sleath
Reet, M Boulding
Stags - 2nd half:
Kitchen, Martin, Buxton, Mullins
Arnold, Bell, Dawson, R Boulding
Belper took the lead in the 3rd minute with a free kick from Stevenson from about 25 yards out which White got nowhere near.
The nearest Stags came to scoring in the first half was close to half time when a clearance from a Belper defender rebounded off another player and it took a good save from their keeper Ogden to keep it out of the net.
The second half saw almost the complete team change. The Stags looked more settled and finally grabbed an equaliser on 57 minutes from Rory Boulding.
There were a few chances at each end but it was not the most exciting of pre season matches.
This was the first match and I do not think we can read too much into the performance. All the first team squad got a run out with the exception of Simon Brown.
MacIntosh looked impressive at teh back and Bell in Midfield had a reasonable game. MacAliskey did not do very much and needs to make use of his height.
Stags wore an interesting kit. The shorts were from last season but the shirts were the blue away shirts with GMB as sponsors which must be more than 10 years old.
The other observation was that Dearden and Hollett watched the entire game from behind the goal.
The match was played without floodlights and the light was beginning to go at the end. Interestingly at Sleaford last week on a much brighter evening, the referee insisted on the lights being put on for the 2nd half.
Crowd was 258 and there were 137 from Mansfield (well just over half at a guess - the queue at the tea bar at half time was nearly all Stags fans).
Rory rescues rusty Stags a point in pre-season opener
CHAD report By John Lomas
RORY Boulding's second half goal rescued Mansfield Town a 1-1 draw as they finally opened their pre-season friendly programme at UniBond League Belper Town tonight.
Rusty Stags had made the worst possible sat when, after conceding two early free kicks on the edge of their box, they saw Lee Stevenson gratefully ram home the second of those free kicks after only three minutes.
But, after an almost complete change of line-up, Stags played the ball about much better in the second half and deserved their 57th minute leveller by the younger of the Boulding brothers.
With the Leicester City game rained off last Friday and no word back from Crewe yet over proposed behind-closed friendly on Wednesday, manager Billy Dearden gave all his players at least 45 minutes and said: "That was a good work-out.
"We were sloppy to start with - very ring rusty - and although we had a lot of possession we didn't create enough.
"Also we have got to be more ruthless around the goal and get more crosses in for the front men.
We didn't do anything to hurt them first half. We didn't get the ball down the channels and it didn't stick on the front men first half but did better in the second.
"We gave too many free kicks away early doors and they scored from one of them."
He added: "There were one or two good performances and one or two bad performances. A lot of them were very rusty and things can only get better.
"It was a big game for Belper and they gave us a game so I am pleased we went there. They showed us what we will have to put up with when we come up against the bigger sides in our division.
"They caused us a few problems. But we had enough possession to win the game.
"Everyone got 45 minutes under their belts which was the main thing."
The biggest worry pre-season is picking up injuries and both Alex John-Baptiste and Dan Martin ended the night limping.
John-Baptiste took a kick on the bottom of his foot and Martin suffered a dead leg but Dearden said neither were serious.
Of the new boys, Martin McIntosh won his headers in a solid first half while Martin and Lee Bell had steady games in central midfield, Bell earning a round of applause from both sets of fans for sliding in to win a tenacious tackle and then jumping up to drag the ball back between two opponents and move away - one of few real moments of high quality on the night.
In the second half the towering John McAliskey partnered Danny Reet and showed some very neat footwork and held the ball up well.
To say Belper's pitch and buildings were under water a week ago, the pitch looked in superb condition under the bright sunshine.
And the 258 crowd had barely taken their places at the start before Stevenson drilled an excellent low free kick inside Jason White's bottom right hand post from 20 yards to give the Nailers a shock early lead.
Stags eked out some half chances with John-Baptiste, playing right back, heading over from a Matt Hamshaw corner and then Bell lobbing the ball straight into keeper Adam Ogden's arms.
Then on 26 minutes Bell hooked a McIntosh header over the defence for Michael Boulding to chase.
He was away on goal but hauled back crudely by Jon Hobson.
In a League game it would have been a red card. However, on this occasion he escaped with a yellow and Hamshaw curled the free kick over.
Justice was still almost done on seven minutes later when Gary Middleton cleared the ball against Hobson's legs and it flew back at his own goal, Ogden down smartly to save his blushes.
Sadly for Stags it was their only on-target threat for Ogden in a largely disappointing first half.
At the other end Anthony Wilson knocked the ball past White on 31 minutes but the whistle had already gone for a foul on central defender Chris Wood while a 45th minute cross took a couple of deflections in the Mansfield box before bouncing just wide.
But the Nailers still held the interval advantage as Dearden made eight half time changes.
The new line up quickly began to knock the ball around quicker and better and Jake Buxton was unlucky on 49 minutes as John Mullins had a shot blocked from a corner and the ball ran to Buxton whose piledriver was tipped over superbly by Ogden and a goal kick awarded!
Danny Toronczak might have made it 2-0 when he headed wide from a Sean Gummer cross on 56 minutes. A minute later Stags were level as Rory Boulding swivelled at the near post to steer a finish across Ogden and just inside the other post.
Bell battled well to win possession before shooting wide on the hour as tiring Belper finally began to ring the changes themselves.
Stevenson stretched out a leg to poke a Richie Lopes cross straight at Carl Muggleton.
But Stags were looking the more dangerous and Rory Boulding was just wide after a good run.
A fine ball from Danny Sleath sent Nathan Arnold clear on 83 minuets but Ogden heroically got in the way of his finish - a great chance for the visitors.
Sleath again ran at the defence four minutes from time and squared to McAliskey who checked inside instead of shooting first time and was dispossessed.
With no floodlights put on, in the gathering gloom Peter Smith gave Stags a late scare with a shot wide in stoppage time.
BELPER: Ogden, Harcourt (Hutchinson 73, Harcourt 87), Rushbury, Stevenson, Middleton (Schofield 59), Hobson, Lopes, Hudson (Kotylo 69), Toronczak (Smith 66), Wilson (Tevendale 63), Gummer.
STAGS: White (Muggleton h/t), John-Baptiste (Mullins h/t), Jelleyman (Kitchen h/t), McIntosh (Buxton h/t), Wood, Hamshaw (Arnold h/t), Bell (M. Boulding 73), Martin (Dawson h/t), Sleath (R. Boulding h/t), Reet (Sleath 73), M. Boulding (McAliskey h/t).
Stags boss Deaden confirmed afterwards that Irish midfielder Stephen Dawson has finally agreed to sign his new contract and is expected to put pen to paper later this week.
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