STAGS BEATEN BY OFFSIDE GOAL AND MISSED CHANCES
Hereford United 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
Robinson 25, Benjamin 48. Boulding 66.
Attendance: 2,272 (129 from Mansfield)
6 November 2007
Martin Shaw at Edgar Street
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
report from bullsnews.blogspot.com
Bulls Overcome Battling Stags
Hereford United followed up their impressive weekend victory over Darlington with another three points, this time against Mansfield Town at Edgar Street. Goals in either half from Theo Robinson and Trevor Benjamin saw United cruising, until Michael Boulding netted to bring the away side back into the game. The Bulls had to withstand a late surge from Mansfield to hold on for the win.
There was only one change made by United as Karl Broadhurst returned in the heart of defence, with Trent McClenahan out of the side completely. Richard Rose moved to right back as a result of the change. Michael Boulding, scorer of nine goals so far this season, started up front with weekend hattrick hero Simon Brown, and looked to threaten United's back-line.
Mansfield made the early impressions at Edgar Street, as The Bulls looked slightly shaky. Matthew Hamshaw shot weakly at Wayne Brown before the goalkeeper stopped a decent effort by Boulding. United mustered up their first chance of the half when Benjamin used his strength to hold off a challenge from Alex Baptiste, and set up Toumani Diagouraga to blast wide off the post. Boulding and Brown looked lively, with the former getting on the end of a one-two, but was only able to slide wide from close range after coming under pressure from Brown in United's goal. Both Hamshaw and Boulding saw half-chances deflect wide, before Hereford, slightly against the run of play, took the lead.
Lionel Ainsworth found space on the right hand side, before playing a good ball down the by-line which Theo Robinson, who beat the offside trap, ran on to and collected. He took the ball into the box before cutting past the sliding defender, and tucked the ball under Carl Muggleton to the delight of the home support. Mansfield responded instantly, with the lively Boulding going extremely close, with a curling effort that had to be tipped around the post by a diving Brown. Lee Bell also came close after his shot took a slight deflection and was inches away from the post. The final chance of the half fell to Mansfield's Boulding, after Hamshaw struck a shot into the path of the striker, but Boulding could only divert it over the bar from six yards out.
Like Saturday, United scored early on in the second half, with this time Benjamin nodding in. Ainsworth again was the provider, as he burst down the right hand side after getting free from Daniel Martin, before providing an excellent cross, which Benjamin powerfully dispatched past the helpless Muggleton. Much like the first half, Mansfield created far more chances than United, and Martin had a powerful free-kick in a dangerous position blocked by Benjamin. Ian Holmes and Jonathan D'Laryea were both introduced as they looked to get back into the game, with the ineffective Brown and winger Nathan Arnold making way. Mid-way through the second half, and Mansfield pulled back a deserved goal. Stephen Dawson found space just outside the box, and struck a well placed shot against the post but Boulding was on hand to tap in his tenth of his season.
The pressure started to mount, and Hamshaw saw a free-kick from long range smash against the outside of the post. Dawson then threatened after Toumani Diagouraga sliced a clearence, but the shot was well wide. The strength of Benjamin allowed him to bring the ball down, and evade the challenge of Baptiste, before shooting powerfully at 'keeper Muggleton. From the corner that followed, Diagouraga's front post header was well over. Simon Johnson came on for Benjamin with 15 minutes remaining, as Hereford looked to use their pace to exploit Mansfield when on the counter-attack.
Boulding continued to look dangerous, and cut in to test Brown but the former Chester shot-stopper was equal to it. Boulding then held the ball up before laying off for substitute Holmes to place a shot wide off goal. With little time remaining, and Mansfield still putting the United defence under a lot of pressure, Ben Smith and Ainsworth made way, with the usual replacements Kris Taylor and Luke Webb taking their places. Deep into stoppage time, after Sean McAllister had replaced Bell in the middle, Baptise found himself with a fine chance to level. The ball had fell to the big centre half in the box, after a scramble but he could only find the Merton Meadow Car Park, with an awful shot.
It was hard work for Hereford to gain all three points, and Mansfield perhaps should have had a point at least. However, Hereford were comfortable up until the Mansfield goal, when the away side really came back into it. Again, John McCombe was in good form at the back whilst Theo Robinson looked lively throughout up front, and took his goal well. A bumper crowd is expected next up as Leeds visit on Friday night; tonight's crowd was just 2272 with 129 making the trip from Mansfield.
Hereford: Brown, Rose, Broadhurst, McCombe, Threlfall, Ainsworth, Smith, Diagouraga, Easton, Benjamin, Robinson.
Subs: Ingham, Taylor, Gwynne, Webb, Johnson.
Mansfield: Muggleton, Mullins, Buxton, Baptiste, Martin, Hamshaw, Bell, Dawson, Arnold, Boulding, Brown,
Subs: White, Jelleyman, McAllister, D'Laryea, Holmes.
Hereford 2-1 Mansfield
Hereford kept up their push at the top of League Two with goals in each half from Theo Robinson and Trevor Benjamin.
Toumani Diagouraga fired wide before Robinson met Lionel Ainsworth's pass on 28 minutes and rounded Carl Muggleton.
Ainsworth was the provider again after the break when Benjamin headed home, but Mansfield refused to give in.
The impressive Micky Boulding scored the goal his performance deserved after Wayne Brown parried Stephen Dawson's shot, but there was not to be a second.
Hereford United 2 Mansfield Town 1, Tuesday 6th November
By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town will be wondering how their four-game unbeaten run was halted by a 2-1 defeat at high-flying Hereford on Tuesday night.
The Stags dominated for long spells and had the better chances in the first half but at the break found themselves undeservedly trailing to Theo Robinson's breakaway goal on 26 minutes.
When big Trevor Benjamin headed a second four minutes after the break Stags could easily have folded.
But they plugged away gamely and Boulding, who twice came close in the first half, finally grabbed his 10th of the season on 66 minutes.
Courageous Mansfield then pinned the Bulls firmly in their own half for much of the rest of the game but Hereford hung on to what they had.
Mansfield made just one change with Mullins back from a one-game ban to replace Jelleyman.
McAliskey missed out on a place on the bench with illness.
Brown tried to slip Boulding clear in the opening seconds but overhit the pass and keeper Brown gathered.
A poor header from Buxton left Martin in trouble as Ainsworth intercepted and sped away only to be halted by Buxton's challenge.
Boulding brought down an Arnold pass to send a right foot shot from 25 yards screaming into the midriff of Brown as the visitors made an assured start.
Broadhurst slid in with a good tackle to stop Boulding in the box as he tried to make the most of a long ball forward by Martin.
Mansfield had enjoyed the better of the first 19 minutes but the home side suddenly had a spell of pressure and Diagouraga burst into the box on the right but sliced a shot wide.
On 22 minutes Boulding cut in from the left and squared an inviting pass to Hamshaw in acres of space but his finish was deflected over.
Hereford had barely threatened. But they were undeservedly ahead on 26 minutes.
Arnold's misplaced pass on the left while Stags were piling on the pressure allowed Ainsworth to break and thread a pass through to Robinson.
There was no offside flag and the Watford loanee sped into the box, superbly sidestepped the challenge of John-Baptiste and then crashed a low finish under Muggleton.
It was the first goal Stags had conceded in 315 minutes.
The game was halted soon after as the referee consulted his assistant and went over to book Buxton for dissent on 28 minutes.
Stags quickly hit back hard and on 29 minutes Boulding cut in and, from a tight angle, crashed in a superb curling effort which would have gone in at the far post if Brown had not finger-tipped it round.
The corner was cleared as far as Bell whose firm first time effort was deflected just wide for another flag kick which Mullins headed over at the far post.
To Mansfield's horror Boulding missed an open goal from five yards on 33 minutes.
He began the move as he played the ball to Brown who spun to intelligently put Hamshaw in plenty of space. He could have shot but instead put the ball across the six yard box, past the keeper, to where Boulding was lurking.
But, with the goal at his mercy, the ball flew at him too quickly and he was unable to guide it on target as it flew over the top.
Dawson was also cautioned for dissent five minutes from the end of an impressive but frustrating half for the visitors.
Stags made the worst possible start to the second half as Benjamin extended the Bulls' lead within four minutes.
Nippy former Derby winger Ainsworth left Martin in his wake on the right and crossed into the six yard box where the imposing Benjamin rose to power home an unstoppable close range header as Muggleton clawed fresh air.
The night continued to go downhill on 56 minutes as Brown stayed down after a challenge and eventually limped off to be replaced by Holmes.
D'Laryea joined the action on 62 minutes in place of Arnold.
And four minutes later Boulding gave Stags a lifeline.
Dawson battled well on the edge of the box to take possession and fire in a shot which Brown could only Parry and Boulding was well placed to tuck away the rebound.
McCombe was booked a minute later for tugging back Boulding almost 30 yards from goal.
Up stepped Bell to let fly with an almighty free kick that Brown got the slightest of touches onto the post and wide.
Boulding saw a vicious low 30 yard drive held by Brown on 83 minutes and soon after Buxton twice headed tamely at Brown from corners.
Holmes also sliced wide from Boulding's touch back as the home defence creaked but held on, despite Baptiste firing over in a scramble in the last few seconds.
HEREFORD: Brown, Broadhurst, McCombe, Rose, Ainsworth (Webb), Smith (Taylor 88), Benjamin (Johnson 75), Threlfall, Easton, Diagouraga, Robinson. Subs not used: Ingham, Gwynne.
STAGS: Muggleton, Mullins, Buxton, John-Baptiste, Martin, Dawson, Bell (McAllister 90), Brown (Holmes 56), M. Boulding, Arnold (D'Laryea 62), Hamshaw. Subs not used: White, Jelleyman.
REFEREE: Fred Graham of Essex.
GOALS: Hereford - Robinson 26; Benjamin 49. Stags - Boulding 66.
CAUTION: Hereford - McCombe 67 ('pro' foul on Boulding). Stags - Buxton 28 (dissent); Dawson 40 (dissent).
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Michael Boulding
Latest | November 2007