STAGS BEATEN AT MORECAMBE
Morecambe 3 - 1 Mansfield Town
White OG 5, Stanley 44, Baker 51 (pen). Boulding 40
Attendance: 2980 (577 from Mansfield)
Stagsnet player ratings now in the Match Centre
Evening Post report:
Stags all at sea as shrimps romp to victory
Morecambe may be the birthplace of Britain's greatest comic talent, but Saturday's visit was no laughing matter for Mansfield or their fans.
John Eric Bartholomew took for his stage surname from his home town and, together with sidekick Ernie Wise, became a massive television hit in the 1970s.
But even a DVD of their best shows would have struggled to raise a smile on the Stags supporters' bus as it returned home, so poor were the Stags once again.
The hope was the previous week's debacle against Lincoln was just a one off, a bad day at the office.
However, it quickly became clear there was more slapstick to come from the visitors - and the joke was firmly on them.
The most worrying thing is Morecambe are not going to be the best side in League Two this season by a long chalk.
Yet they were still far too good for Mansfield who, appropriately for the venue, were all at sea.
If the Stags were to put in this kind of performance in their next away game at Peterborough in just under two weeks' time, the scoreline could easily be doubled.
Because, as boss Billy Dearden knew only too well, Mansfield's defending was awful.
Confidence could not have been high in the back four after letting in four at Oldham and three against Lincoln.
Even so, those players have enough ability and experience to be handling teams better than they are at the moment.
Every time the Shrimps put the ball into the box, Mansfield seemed to be at panic stations.
That state of affairs is bad enough, but add to that glaring individual errors and it is not hard to work out how such a bad defeat came about.
As he will be well aware, goalkeeper Jason White should have taken a routine cross from Garry Thompson as Morecambe ventured forward for the first time in the fifth minute.
Instead, he somehow pushed the ball back into his own net to gift the hosts an early lead and spark a barrage of abuse for the Mansfield followers behind him.
It was the concession of yet another early goal - just like in all their other games so far this season - and once again left the side with an uphill battle.
As against Lincoln, though, the Stags did manage to find an equaliser in the 40th minute after going close with a couple of half-chances.
Morecambe keeper Joe Lewis showed White was not the only keeper prone to a mistake as he dallied too long on ex-Stag David Artell's back pass. When he eventually tried to clear, Michael Boulding charged down his kick and the ball flew into goal.
But, just like the week before, they undid all their hard work by falling behind again a minute before the break.
White was again culpable as Craig Stanley's volley flew under him when he should have made a save but Jake Buxton ought to have cleared the long ball forward in the first place.
Not long after the restart came another mistake that was to put the kibosh on Mansfield's hopes of a comeback.
Gareth Jelleyman nibbled at Thompson in the 51st minute as the Shrimps man swept past him but then crunched into him in the box and a penalty was duly awarded. Carl Baker converted with the minimum of fuss.
From then on there was only ever going to be one winner, giving former Manchester United player Sammy McIlroy's side their first win since promotion from the Conference.
Although Mansfield's defence was clearly at fault, the midfield should not be immune from criticism either.
Too often Stephen Dawson and Lee Bell were caught advancing up the pitch together, leaving little in the way of protection for the men behind them. That is where Jonathan D'Laryea's calming influence is sorely missed - and why Dearden may look to introduce new blood in that area before Wednesday's permanent transfer deadline.
After a game like this it is hard to find Mansfield positives, but there were one or two out there - if you looked hard enough.
The Stags did create a fair few openings and while Michael Boulding also made it three goals in three League Two starts in 2007-2008 and continued to show his pace can be a useful weapon.
Those things merely paper over the cracks, though, because there is no getting away from the fact massive improvement is needed.
If things at the back are not remedied quickly, the prospect of playing in the Blue Square Premier League next season is going to become an increasing concern.
Morecambe 3-1 Mansfield
Morecambe recorded their first-ever Football League victory against Billy Dearden's struggling Mansfield.
Garry Thompson's cross was fumbled into his own net by Mansfield goalkeeper Jason White before the visitors were gifted an equally soft equaliser.
Joe Lewis' clearance struck Mansfield striker Michael Boulding and ended up in the back of the net.
However, Craig Stanley put the hosts ahead before Chris Baker extended their lead with a penalty after the break
MORECAMBE 3 MANSFIELD TOWN 1, Saturday, 25th August 2007
By John Lomas
THERE was more misery for Mansfield Town as they became the victims of new boys Morecambe's first ever Football League win at Christie Park this afternoon.
A howler by keeper Jason White in only the fifth minute set the tone as a virtual re-run of last week's home defeat by Lincoln was played out.
As happened last week, Stags gave away an early goal, spent much of the first half trying to and finally succeeding in levelling the game, then went quickly behind again before being killed off by an early second half goal.
The game was a huge disappointment for almost 600 travelling fans on an August Bank Holiday trip to the seaside and Stags have now failed to find a win in any of their first four games of the new campaign.
The teams ran out to the sound of Morecambe and Wise over the tannoy. But the 90 minutes brought anything but sunshine to Stags boss Billy Dearden who saw more poor defending and whose options were severely restricted due to his lengthening injury list.
After getting undeserved stick from a section of home fans last weekend, Mansfield keeper White obliged his critics by dropping Garry Thompson's fifth minute cross into his own net.
He also might have done better as Craig Stanley's 20 yard shot went under his dive on 44 minutes just after Mickey Boulding had closed down home keeper Joe Lewis and saw his tackle send the ball into the net for an unexpected equaliser
It was Boulding's third goal in as many League games.
But any hopes the visitors had of staging a comeback were killed off just six minutes into the second half when Carl Baker secured their first ever League win from the spot after Gareth Jelleyman had brought down Thompson.
Manager Dearden was forced to name his only 16 fit players after both Alex John-Baptiste and Dan Martin were ruled out with back injuries.
Mullins came in at right back while Sleath got the nod ahead of Arnold for the left midfield slot.
The afternoon began with the two sides lining up as a guard of honour to welcome guest of honour Sir Tom Finney.
Mansfield forced the early pace and in the second minute a
Hamshaw free kick was headed out as far as Dawson 18 yards from goal and he blazed his first time effort well over.
But Stags found themselves behind in the fifth minute after dreadful error by White.
In Morecambe's first raid of the game Thompson sent over a far post cross from the right and White seemed to have gathered it but somehow fumbled it over the line.
Lifted by that unexpected gift, the Shrimps quickly won two corners, Twiss finally screwing a shot well wide as Stags tried to clear the second.
On 10 minutes Mansfield tested home keeper Lewis for the first time as Sleath got in a firm low shot under pressure which the keeper was safely behind.
Soon after, Sleath tried another effort from 25 yards but it lacked enough pace to seriously trouble Lewis.
Lewis safely caught a Boulding cross and set Shrimps on their way with a quick break down the centre that saw Thompson threaten to race clear only to lose control at the vital moment and the ball ran to White.
McAliskey rolled an inviting pass to Bell on the edge of the Morecambe box and the Stags midfielder had a powerful low shot blocked.
Good work from Dawson saw him get to the by-line and pulled the ball back into Hamshaw's path. Instead of a first time shot he tried to take it on but was halted by Bentley's tackle.
Lewis easily caught Hamshaw's corner, Mansfield's first, on 22 minutes.
Boulding dragged a poor 20 yard shot well wide as the visitors continued to make the running.
A neat move saw Hamshaw feed the overlapping Mullins. But, with plenty of blue shirts to look for, he pulled it back into space behind Hamshaw and the Shrimps were able to clear.
Having gone behind to a bizarre goal, Stags appropriately levelled through an equally bizarre strike on 40 minutes.
Former Stag Artell played a poor backpass towards Lewis with Boulding closing in. As the keeper tried to clear Boulding flew in with a tackle and the ball rocketed back into the empty net.
Twiss was booked for hacking down Hamshaw on 43 minutes.
But, as against Lincoln last week, Stags quickly found themselves behind again after hauling themselves level.
This time Stanley was allowed to hook a 20 yard shot at goal which flew under White's dive and found the net inside the keeper's right hand post.
The Shrimps created the first danger of the second half when Buxton rose well to out jump Baker but saw the ball fly to
Twiss who sliced a volley wide when, if he could have got it on target, Stags might have been in big trouble.
Then Curtis was allowed acres of space on the edge of the box to turn, look up and finally fire the ball over.
But Morecambe did extend their lead on 51 minutes.
Jelleyman twice tried to pull back Thompson as the Shrimps' winger tried to burst into the box from the right. Both times the referee waved play on but, when Jelleyman finally brought Thompson down in the box, the referee pointed to the spot.
Jelleyman was booked and Baker made no mistake with a well struck penalty.
Bentley was cautioned for a foul on Boulding but Hamshaw's free kick sailed harmlessly past everyone for a goal kick.
At the other end Baker had a shot deflect just wide for the first of two corners.
Rory Boulding was thrown into the action in place of McAliskey on 56 minutes.
Yates was lucky as he seemed to bring down Bell just inside the box right on 58. But Stags were only given a free kick on the white line of the penalty area and McIntosh's kick was eventually cleared.
Mickey Boulding was trying hard to add to his tally and forced a save from Lewis with a low shot at his near post and seconds later was just wide from 20 yards.
Stags tried to clear another home corner but the ball bounced unkindly for them and gave Thompson a sniff of a chance which he quickly whipped wide.
Sleath powerfully headed wide from a good position from a right wing Hamshaw free kick on 66 minutes.
That was Sleath's last action as he was withdrawn to allow Reet to come on two minutes later and form a three-man front line.
The visitors responded with a spell of pressure in which a firm, straight Hamshaw strike was blocked by Artell.
Another flowing Mansfield move ended with Dawson firing wide.
However, the Stags were almost caught on the counter as a tremendous lofted ball down the centre by Stanley set Curtis away. As he tried to shake off last man Buxton, the Stags man stumbled leaving him with only White to beat but he pulled his finish well wide to the groans of the home fans.
Stanley curled another effort wide on another counter attack after Buxton had given the ball away.
A splendid burst of pace by Dawson on 84 minutes saw him race past Allen and, with Lewis off his line, try the chip, the keeper just managing to get a fingertip to it and claw it onto the roof of the net.
But there was no way the Shrimps were going to let go of their precious first League win.
MORECAMBE: Lewis, Yates, Artell, Bentley, Stanley Hunter 82), Twiss (Allen 69), Curtis, Baker (Newby 86), Thompson, Sorvel, Adams. Subs not used: Drench, Howard.
STAGS: White, Mullins, Jelleyman (Arnold 83), McIntosh, Bell, Hamshaw, Dawson, McAliskey (R. Boulding 56), M. Boulding, Buxton, Sleath (Reet 68). Subs not used: Muggleton, Wood.
REFEREE: Clive Oliver of Northumberland
Report from morecambefc.com:
Morecambe 3 Mansfield Town 1
report by seanoconnor - (25/08/07)
Morecambe secured their first three points of their League Two campaign with an impressive 3-1 victory against a Mansfield Town side who started brightly gifted an early goal, fought back with an error in The shrimps defence but in the second half The Shrimps dominated despite some dangerous counter attacks by The Stags.
Morecambe hosted Mansfield Town for their first competitive match. Only David Artell and Fraser McLachlan have played for both teams. Mansfield Town named two changes in a bare 16 man squad with John Mullins coming in for Alex Baptiste and Danny Sleath for Daniel Martin. Morecambe named one change Wayne Curtis coming in for the disappointing Jamie Burns. New signing Damien Allen started on the bench today. Both teams were looking to get their first points of the season.
Stags manager Billy Dearden was down to the bare bones coming into today's match whereas Sammy McIlroy was pleased to say that Striker Matty Blinkhorn, whose fee had been set at Tribunal yesterday, was on the way back and again was warming up with the team on the pitch prior to todays game.
A heroes welcome for honorary guest Sir Tom Finney as he was led out with Chief Executive Rod Taylor between a guard of honour from both teams The crowd gave a warm welcome for the ex North End and England footballing legend.
It was The Stags who started brightly through a 2nd minute Stephen Dawson 20 yard volley high over the bar from Matt Hamshaw's free kick
Morecambe though opened the scoring with a gift of a goal when a cross from the right was fumbled into his own net an attempted catch by White which went backwards and no one was able to clear the mistake. The goal was credited to Garry Thompson. It will be interesting to see whether Mr Oliver will credit Thompson with the goal, Oliver's son Michael refereed the Conference Play off final at Wembley back in May.
Two quick corners from the danger created by Michael Twiss gave Mansfield Town a lot to think about and Twiss himself fluffed a chance from 20 yards two minutes later.
On ten minutes Danny Sleath forced Joe Lewis to make his first save of the game low to his right from the striker's 18 yard drive. Michael Boulding forced a better save from Lewis on 12 minutes from the left flank and from the counter break Thompson showed his pace running at the heart of the defence but his first touch let him down when Baker looked to be in a good scoring position.
Mansfield bounced back from their early disappointment and looked lively and dominated possession on both flanks with Sorvell having to make a good interception on Dawson and Sleath and Boulding combining well on the left flank. The Stags defence remained solid with Curtis caught offside on a number of occasions.
Mickey Boulding fired a low drive wide of the target from 25 yards when he should have done much better. On 25 minutes The Stags forced their 4th corner of the game from the threat of Hamshaws' free kick. But straight away Thompson found Baker and his darting run almost prized an opening in the Mansfield Defence.
Mullins did the same at the other end but couldn't find a team mate after a great run down the right.
After 31 minutes Carl Baker went down in the centre circle in an off the ball incident and received treatment from Club Sports therapist David Edge and was well enough to continue.
Great link up play from Sorvell and the impressive Stanley on 35 minutes allowed The Shrimps to press again for a second winning a third corner form Carl Baker's cross and defender McIntosh with the back header but this time White was able to collect.
On 38 minutes Joe Lewis gave the North Stand a scare when it looked as though he would gift a goal to The Stags but in fact a minute later David Artell played a ball back to Lewis a poor ball back to his keeper and Lewis was then tackled by Boulding and in the tackle the ball cannoned off Michael Boulding and back into the net.
The Stags perhaps deserved their equaliser with plenty of pressure and frustration set in for Michael Twiss on 43 minutes with a poor tackle on Matt Hamshaw. However, Craig Stanley with a 20 yard volley fired The Shrimps into a 2 1 half time lead thanks to an excellent strike after a poor clearance from The Stags but Stanley took his goal well.
A half full of errors really but The Shrimps were happy to go in with a 2-1 half time lead
The second half started with Michael Twiss having a great chance to put Morecambe further into the lead in the 47th minute when he mistimed a volley 18 yards out and sliced it horribly wide with his wrong foot towards the corner flag.
Wayne Curtis was also guilty two minutes later with a chance to hit the target from 18 yards but fired high and wide but on 49 minutes an advantage as played by the referee and Gareth Jelleyman brought down Garry Thompson in the box after a great run and a penalty which Carl Baker converted to score his first ever League goal. Jelleyman was booked as was Shrimps skipper Jim Bentley with a foul on Michael Boulding at the other end of the pitch.
The Shrimps forced the first corner of the second half on 53 minutes with Jim Bentley and Dave Artell threatening at the back.
The Shrimps then press again with another corner on 54 minutes which Twiss forced another corner with an in swinging corner.
Shrimps right back Adam Yates looked to have brought down Lee Bell inside the box but referee Oliver allowed a free kick instead and The Stags forced a corner despite the wall's best efforts. A lucky escape for The Shrimps as it looked to all the world a penalty.
Michael and Rory Boulding caused a few problems for Lewis with one or two good shots from distance.
On 62 minutes The Shrimps won a further corner and from open play the ball fell at Thompson's feet and he missed a good chance with his poor attempt going well wide and his hands over his head said everything.
An impromptu “stand up if you love Morecambe” from the main stand was well received around the ground!!!! With The Shrimps leading 3-1.
On 66 minutes, Matt Hamshaw's header from the right flank and really The Stags should have pulled one back from Michael Boulding when his header should have been directed on target from 12 yards.
David Artell had to make three clearances to deny Reet only seconds after making an appearance on the pitch. Stephen Dawson was given too much space when there was a great chance again to test keeper Lewis in the Morecambe goal.
Morecambe pressed The Stags' goal again with another great run down the right by Garry Thompson who had a good game back on the right wing and perhaps should have scored. His fellow Cumbrian Wayne Curtis had a golden chance on 74 minutes after a superb 30 yard through ball from Craig Stanley and he did everything right to turn his man but his shot unopposed from 18 yards was poor and well wide of the target.
On 77 minutes Allen linked up with Baker at the edge of the Stags box and Baker almost threaded an opening but The Stags defence remained resolute.
On 79 minutes The Shrimps broke away and Carl Baker found Craig Stanley in acres of space and the midfielder had plenty of time to curl a shot close to the far post from 20 yards.
Joe Lewis made his save of the game on 83 minutes when the dangerous Stephen Dawson attempted to chip the 6 foot 5 keeper from 18 yards but Lewis was able to tip the ball over for a corner.
Garry Thompson had a 20 yard effort from the left side of the 18 yard box but this was lofted high and wide of the far post.
Jon Newby almost carved open the defence deep into injury time with a great run down the left and dangerous cross but the whistle blew for full time seconds later.
Morecambe 4 4 2
Lewis 7 Yates 7 Adams 7Artell 8 Bentley 7 Stanley(Hunter82) 9 Sorvell 7 Twiss(Allen68) 6
Thompson 8 Curtis 6 Baker(Newby85) 7
Subs Howard Drench Allen Newby Hunter
Mansfield Town 4 4 2
White 6 Mullins 6 Jelleyman(Arnold82)5 McIntosh 6 Bell 6 Hamshaw 7 Dawson 7 McAliskey(R Boulding 56) 6 Boulding 7 6Buxton Sleath(Reet 67)6
Arnold, Muggleton Wood Boulding Reet
Attendance 2980 (570) from Mansfield )
Ref Clive Oliver
Starman Craig Stanley
Latest | August 2007