STAGS BEATEN BY POSH DESPITE DECENT PERFORMANCE
Peterborough United 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
Low 29, Crow 75. McAliskey 53.
Attendance: 4,721 (420 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw at London Road
Mansfield Town were narrowly beaten by Peterborough in a game of tremendous entertainment at London Road this afternoon. The second half in particular was a real ding-dong battle with chances galore at either end, but the Stags came away empty handed from a game that they surely deserved a point from. Michael Boulding missed a sitter for the Stags in the opening minute and the Stags were on top in the opening 15 minutes, but Posh scored on the half hour with a goal by Josh Low after some shoddy defending by Gareth Jelleyman who had pronounced himself so keen to impress at his old club. John McAliskey deservedly equalised on 53 minutes after terrific play by Hamshaw, but sub Danny Crow scored the winner on 75 minutes after more atrocious defending by Jelleyman allowed Low to get in a cross from the right.
Stagsnet report now in the Match Centre
Evening Post report:
SAME OLD STORY AS STAGS FAIL TO LEARN A LESSON
It is such a depressingly familiar story for Mansfield this season - but one they need to learn from if things are to improve.
Four times in five matches they have fought back from a goal down but on only one of those occasions - against Brentford on the opening day - have they gone on to claim a point.
It is never ideal to concede the first goal in any game, least of all for a side like Mansfield who play their best football when confidence is high. But, to their credit, the Stags have levelled every single time - and did so against much-fancied Posh.
Yet, again, though, they were caught out just when they appeared to be getting on top, leaving them no way back and defeated once more. It may seem harsh to be too critical of the Stags after this performance in which they acquitted themselves very well against strong hosts and deserved a draw.
But the fact is they have to stop conceding the amount of goals they are, particularly after getting back into games, if they want positives results on a regular basis.
Mansfield have let in at least two goals in each of their last four League Two games and that is not conducive to winning football.
Only when they keep clean sheets, or concede just one goal, are they going to give their forwards the chance to win games. Yet it may be have been different had Mansfield forged ahead as they should have done after just 30 seconds.
With most players on the two sides having yet to touch the ball, Michael Boulding found himself clear on goal with just keeper Mark Tyler to beat.
Had he scored, it may have given the Stags the confidence to go on and cause a shock because they proved against Stockport last week what an early goal in their favour can do for them.
But, crucially, Stags' top scorer's effort was saved by the legs of Tyler and the Peterborough side and their supporters breathed a sigh of relief. Even then, those who follow Mansfield with any kind of regularity were fearing they might live to pay for that miss, despite the visitors carrying on their bad start.
And so it was just before the half-hour as the Stags conceded a characteristically sloppy opener.
Claude Gnakpa's cross seemed to be dropping over Aaron McLean's head but a prodigious leap saw him head across the face of goal for Josh Low to bundle in from close range.
As half-time approached, Matt Hamshaw ran at his marker before whipping over a dangerous cross which was just too far ahead of the late-arriving Lee Bullock.
Just before the break, Carl Muggleton kept Mansfield in touch as he did well to push away a low shot from Low while the referee ignored the home fans' calls for a penalty as McIntosh and McLean went down in a heap chasing the follow-up.
Peterborough almost doubled their advantage in stoppage-time as Micah Hyde's quick free-kick was powered goalwards by Boyd. Muggleton made a decent stop and Low fizzed the rebound well wide of the target.
Four minutes after the restart, Mansfield had a reasonable opportunity to get back on level terms only for Bullock to head Hamshaw's deep cross after a half-cleared corner straight into Tyler's arms.
But the Stags were back level in the 53rd minute with John McAliskey's second goal of the season and his first with his head.
Loan signing Sean McAllister - in for the suspended Lee Bell - found Hamshaw in space on the right and he slipped past his marker before whipping over a tantalising ball that was headed in at the far post by the former Huddersfield man.
The goal revitalised Stags and they looked an increasing threat on the break. From one such raid, Boulding turned adroitly just inside the box but his shot was too tame to trouble Tyler.
They were unfortunate not to go ahead in the 68th minute when Bullock flicked a Boulding centre into the path of McAliskey who prodded past Tyler, only to be ruled offside. Stags boss Billy Dearden later claimed video footage proved it wasn't.
However, Peterborough were back in front in the 71st minute when Low was released by McLean and his cross picked out Crow who could barely miss from six yards having just come on.
Mansfield had a go in the last few minutes but could not find a way through and Charlie Lee should have sealed victory for the home side when he shot wide when clear in the final minute.
The bottom line is that Mansfield have been beaten for the third time in five League Two matches - and that is far from ideal going into the Chesterfield game this weekend.
The Spireites have made an impressive start in their campaign for immediate promotion back to League One and with Jack Lester up front are going to be a real handful at Field Mill.
But if the Stags can play with the same purpose going forward as at London Road - and cut out the defensive mistakes - they have a fighting chance of a derby victory.
Peterborough United 2 Mansfield Town 1, Sunday, 9th September 2007
Stags unlucky not to get a draw at Posh.
By John Lomas
BATTLING Stags pushed promotion favourites Peterborough United all the way at London Road today but failed to bring home the point they deserved.
Substitute Danny Crow grabbed Posh a winner 15 minutes from the end, just seven minutes after John McAliskey had seen a goal disallowed for offside.
Michael Boulding had wasted a golden one on one situation with home keeper Mark Tyler only 30 seconds into the game.
And the visitors were punished when Josh Low opened the scoring on 29 minutes.
But the Stags were always in the hunt and the equaliser came on 53 minutes when McAliskey headed home at the far post.
We deserved a point - Dearden
Chances came and went at both ends with Mansfield keeper Carl Muggleton in fine form.
But it was the Posh who stole victory and it is now 10 meetings between the sides since Mansfield last tasted victory
Stags were given a pre-match boost when Dawson was declared fit after limping off with a hamstring injury.
As expected both Bullock and McIntosh had also shaken off injuries to rejoin the side while on-loan Sheffield Wednesday midfielder McAllister was handed a debut in midfield.
Boulding really should have given Mansfield a perfect start when a long Buxton clearance saw him race clear down the centre.
However keeper Tyler spread himself well and kept out Boulding's indecisive low finish.
Charnock was booked in the sixth minute for chopping down Bullock.
But Posh easily cleared the free kick and Stags' first corner soon after, both taken by Hamshaw.
McIntosh was well over with a 30 yard free kick as the visitors continued to make the more impressive start.
A slip by Buxton allowed day space in the Mansfield box but the skipper recovered well to stretch out a leg and block his shot before it had chance to test Muggleton.
Peterborough almost broke the deadlock on 22 minutes when they broke well down the left. Day outstripped Mullins and crossed invitingly towards McLean who crashed a volley over the top which would have been a candidate for goal of the season if it had found the net.
Tyler did well to snatch a fine McAllister cross almost off the head of Bullock.
Then Boyd warmed Muggleton's hands with a 20 yard shot from Westwood's square pass, the keeper grabbing at the second attempt.
But Stags' promising start to the game was rocked by a Posh goal on 29 minutes.
Gnakpa crossed long from the right, McLean sent it back across goal from the far post and Low stole in at the back stick to bury the ball from close range.
Posh enjoyed a spell of pressure and forced two corners. But the visitors settled down again and continued to create half-chances.
Hamshaw teased Blackett on the right before curling the ball across the face of goal, just too hard for the incoming Bullock at the far post to be able to turn it home.
Then Tyler had to leave his box to stop Boulding reaching a Hamshaw through ball after Mullins had set up the move with a superb saving tackle on Day as he tried to break clear at the other end.
But Posh were furious on 44 minutes when they felt they should have been awarded a penalty.
Muggleton dived to his left to block a Low shot and the ball ran loose towards McLean. McIntosh stretched out a leg and did just enough to prevent him finding the empty net but the striker and the home fans felt he was fouled.
However, the referee was well placed and judged McIntosh had come up with a crucial but fair piece of defending.
In stoppage time Bullock headed a Hamshaw free kick wide of goal.
And there was still time for United to almost sneak another goal before the interval as a quickly taken free kick by Hyde caught Stags napping.
He rolled it low into the path of Boyd in the box and when Muggleton again produced the save, this time the ball ran to Low who completely missed the target with his follow-up.
A second goal for Posh would have been an injustice against a Stags side that had acquitted themselves well in the first 45 minutes.
Newton replaced Westwood in the Peterborough defence for the second half.
Stags won a corner within four minutes of the restart which eventually found its way back out to Hamshaw whose first time cross picked out Bullock at the far post. But he headed tamely at Tyler.
A minute later hesitant Mansfield defending allowed Boyd another shy at goal only to find Muggleton in the way again.
But Stags were level on 53 minutes. Dawson found himself crowded out in the box as he tried to get a shot away.
The ball ran to McAllister who quickly found Hamshaw to his right. He crossed first time to the far post and the towering McAliskey was there to nod home just inside the upright.
Bullock was shown a yellow card for bringing down Boyd on the halfway line on the hour.
McIntosh tried to send Boulding through. The striker got there and turned well but his low shot was weak and straight at Tyler.
Tyler then had to race out his box to clear ahead of Dawson as he loped after a Hamshaw through ball.
A long Blackett cross from the left deceived Muggleton who allowed it over his head at the far post where Mclean, from an impossible angle, hit the post.
The ball came out to Low whose follow-up was blocked.
The thrills continued as Stags had a goal disallowed on 68 minutes. Bullock helped Boulding's ball on for McAliskey who prodded past the advancing Tyler only to see the flag of Amy Rayner held high.
Muggleton came to Mansfield's rescue on 70 minutes as McLean raced down the centre and tried to lob the keeper but he reached up to tip it over the top.
Heartbreakingly, Posh did retake the lead on 75 minutes.
Low got to the line on the right and chipped in a superb cross in front of goal where sub Crow, only on the field for four minutes, was able to bury a header from six yards.
Arnold replaced McAllister for the last 10 minutes as Stags searched for that spark of magic needed.
Tyler did well to drop and grab a low Boulding effort with McAliskey and Dawson well placed if he did not hold onto it at the first time of asking.
Muggleton was there to hold a diving Keates header and seconds later was happy to see McLean drag his finish wide of the near post.
Jelleyman was booked on his return to his old club for a nasty challenge on Low five minutes from time.
Muggleton then had to beat out another low McLean shot at his near post before Stags went for broke and brought off defender Jelleyman and sent on striker Holmes.
Tempers flared a minute from time as McLean dived late into Muggleton as he went down on the ball.
After the pushing and arguing had calmed down, McLean was booked.
Four minutes of stoppage time were added in which both Boulding and McAliskey just couldn't get shots away in the box.
Then a wonderful piece of football by Low saw him dribble his way out of trouble deep in his own half and weaved his way into the Stags half before sending Lee clear. But with only
Muggleton to beat he trickled a dreadful finish wide.
That would have given the scoreline a lop-sided feel the visitors did not deserve as they finished the afternoon without the point that would have better reflected their efforts.
PETERBOROUGH: Tyler, Low, Blackett, Westwood (Newton ht), Lee, Hyde, McLean, Boyd (Keates 78), Day (Crow 71), Charnock, Gnakpa. Subs not used: Jalal, Strachan.
STAGS: Muggleton, Mullins, Jelleyman (Holmes 86), McIntosh, Hamshaw, Dawson, McAliskey, M. Boulding, Buxton, Bullock, McAllister (Arnold 80). Subs not used: White, Sleath, Wood.
REFEREE: Carl Boyeson of East Yorks.
Peterborough 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
London Road (PET)
Posh Hang On For Victory
A goal from substitute Danny Crow earned Peterborough United a 2-1 victory over Mansfield Town at London Road, but it was not a convincing win despite a host of chances and the Stags nearly breached a defence that had not played many games together.
Mansfield made a fast paced start to the game as Kieran Charnock miss read a long ball from the back and Boulding raced clear, however goalkeeper Mark Tyler made a smart save to deny the front man.
Centre back Charnock cautioned for a rash challenge on Hamshaw on six minutes leaving him vulenerable for the rest of the 90 minutes.
Youngster Jamie Day saw a right footed effort blocked on 21 minutes after a deep cross by Frenchman Gnakpa.
A flying move a moment later, which started with a clipped ball over the top from Boyd should have been finished by striker Mclean but his acrobatic right footed volley flew over the crossbar.
A snap shot from George Boyd was plucked out of the air by experience goalkeeper Carl Muggleton as Posh continued to create chances without cutting open the Mansfield back line.
Posh opened the scoring on 29 minutes as a diagonal cross from Gnakpa was powerfully headed across goal by Mclean and Josh LOW fired home from close range.
In-form midfielder Lee saw a volley find the roof of the away end after Gnakpa had again caused a few problems down the right hand side.
Another great move from the home side should have resulted in a second goal as first Low saw a shot parried by Muggleton and then referee Mr Boyseon could have awarded a spot kick as Mclean appeared to be pushed by McIntosh as he attempted to convert the rebound.
In first half injury time Bpyd was denied by Muggleton and then Low fired a volley on the rebound wide of the target.
Five minutes after the restart Boyd saw a curling shot saved by Muggleton after another incisive build up involving Boyd.
Mansfield deservedly levelled on 53 minutes as a deep centre from Hamshaw picked out the giant MCALISKEY who was left in acres of to head past Tyler in the Posh goal.
Posh were becoming extremely frustrated as their continued attempts to break down the Mansfield rear guard were being thwarted and the visitors were growing in confidence and in experienced striker Boulding they had a player who is a improving influence on proceedings.
Mclean was denied at the far post by Muggleton as The Stags were nearly caught out before manager Darren Ferguson introduced Danny Crow to the action, replacing Day.
Mansfield had the ball in the back of the net on 62 minutes as McAliskey lobbed Tyler but the offside flag ruled the effort out.
Mclean was denied by an expert tip over by Muggleton following a neat ball forward, but in truth the front man had more time than he realised and could have probably gone on a bit further.
An inspired substitution by manager Ferguson paid off on 75 minutes as a delightful cross from Low was headed past Muggleton by Danny CROW for his second goal of the campaign to date.
Gnakpa proved he could do the job at centre back with a superb last ditch tackle to deny Boulding as The Stags created a decent opportunity down the right hand side.
Goalkeeper Tyler showed great handling to deny a fierce low drive from Boulding as the Posh defence, which featured two centre backs who have had a lack of first team football began to tire.
A fine header from Keates was plucked out of the air by Muggleton after Mclean had delivered a teasing header into his path. Mclean then fired wide of the near post after Hyde played him in as Posh tried to kill off this League Two encounter.
Jelleyman was cautioned for a high challenge on Low on his return to London Road as the game entered the final five minutes.
A snap shot from Mclean was well parried by Muggleton before the linesman's flag cut short another decent neat move. Lee wasted a golden opportunity to add a third deep into stoppage time after racing clear, but the miss didn't prove costly as the referee blew for time moments later.
Final Score: Peterborough United 2-1 Mansfield Town
Referee: Mr C Boyeson (E Yorkshire)
Attendence: 4,721 (420 Mansfield fans)
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