BOULDING DOUBLES TAKES STAGS OFF BOTTOM
Mansfield Town 2 - 0 Peterborough United
M.Boulding 35, 60
Attendance: 3107 (735 from Peterborough)
Click here to listen to Stagsworld audio highlights.
Click here to watch the video of the goals (from Sky, with apologies to Virgin media and Stagsworld for stealing their thunder).
Finaly, click here to listen to how to accept defeat with good grace (not) - a caller to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire after the game.
Super Michael Boulding took his season's tally to 15 with both goals in a 2-0 win over Peterborough at Field Mill on Boxing Day.
Aaran McLean had early chances for the Posh, but it was Boulding who came closest to scoring when his shot was half-saved by Tyler and then cleared off the line on the half hour.
But on 35 minutes, Boulding opened the scoring with a tremendous left-footed shot after a great touch by the returning John McAliskey. The Stags should have doubled the lead moments later through McAliskey but he decided to square the ball rather than shoot when well-placed.
Then Stags fans were left shocked when their team nearly scored from a corner, as Posh keeper Tyler stopped McAliskey's header on the line. The Stags corners have been nothing short of pathetic all season.
McLean went close with a header in the second half, before Boulding scored the second on the hour with another great finish as he took a touch and drilled the ball past Tyler.
After that, the expected Posh fightback never came, and the Stags comfortably held on for a vital win that stretches their home run to 10 points from the last 4 league games, with no goals conceded. The game against Accrington on Saturday is another massive game, and the Stags could even get out of the relegation zone if they can get another win.
REPORT FROM theposh.co.uk:
It is now one win in 17 years for Peterborough United on Boxing Day as Darren Ferguson's men were comfortably beaten 2-0 at Field Mill by bottom of the table Mansfield Town with Posh lacking the fight and the ability in possession to contain the determined Stags.
Peterborough United named an unchanged starting line-up for the clash at Mansfield Town and it was the hosts who had the first effort of the game as former Sheffield Wednesday winger Matt Hamshaw sent a dipping volley straight at Mark Tyler.
Darren Ferguson's men should have gone 1-0 up on eight minutes after Adam Newton played in the league's top goal-scorer Aaron Mclean, but he somehow scuffed his shot well wide although the front man was screaming for a corner kick.
The Stags were certainly giving it a go with the midfield pressed up high and it was creating plenty of space in behind which Craig Mackail-Smith exploited, but his weak shot was saved by Muggleton. George Boyd then saw a well-struck shot blocked by McIntosh.
Mclean was then cautioned for leaving his foot in on Muggleton - his sixth booking of the campaign. A snap-shot from Mackail-Smith was comfortably saved by Muggleton on 29 minutes as Posh continued to create the more notable opportunities in front of goal.
Goalkeeper Tyler made a superb save to deny Michael Boulding at the other end as McAliskey glanced a fine header into his path with Blackett clearing the danger as the ball trickled loose.
The home side got the breakthrough on 34 minutes as the front two combined again with McAliskey chesting the ball into the path of BOULDING who took a touch before rifling a left-foot shot through the legs of Morgan and into the bottom corner.
The Stags should have doubled the lead moments later after a shocking error from Blackett but McAliskey decided to try and pass to Boulding rather than shoot when well-placed.
Tyler was called upon to deny a free McAliskey header from deep corner moments later as Posh were all at sea defensively. A Boyd volley was claimed at the second attempt by Muggleton after a Jeff Hughes corner was only half-cleared as Posh tried to respond.
A head injury to Boyd saw play stopped for a couple of minutes as the first half drew to a close and it gave Posh a chance to try and re-organise. Morgan was booked for barging into McAliskey as the first half entered two minutes of added time and the fans behind Tyler's goal were praying for half-time as their team laboured.
There were no changes at the break and no real change in the pattern during the opening 10 minutes of the second period as Posh struggled to retain possession and carry any threat going forward.
Posh were within a whisker of the equaliser on 57 minutes as Mclean dashed in between two centre halves and planted a header inches past the post after Newton's decent delivery.
Mansfield doubled the lead on the hour mark as a fortunate deflection off Keates fell for BOULDING and he took a touch and drilled the ball past Tyler and into the back of the net.
Straight after the goal Hughes was replaced by Charlie Lee as Keates drifted to the left. Mclean scuffed a Lee cross wide of the target moments later as the substitute floated a teasing centre across the six-yard box.
The out of sorts Mclean then blazed a presentable volley well over the crossbar and the double act up front were certainly squandering plenty of chances to get Posh back into the fixture.
Mclean was then replaced by Rene Howe with manager Ferguson clearly not happy with his striker. A 20-yard drive from Lee went wide of the near post midway through the second half as Posh became more and more desperate.
Boulding tested Tyler on the counter attack as the game became stretched with Posh piling the bodies forward in the hope of getting back into the encounter.
Keates saw a left-foot effort roll wide of the target as Mansfield brought on Simon Brown in the hope of stealing a third goal on the break. As the minutes ticked by Posh should have reduced the arrears as Boyd's shot rebounded off Muggleton to Howe, but he couldn't force the ball over the line and the danger was cleared.
Blackett was cautioned in stoppage time for a tug on substitute Brown and the Stags played out the final three minutes with ease. Posh never looked like they were going to cause Mansfield any problems, the possession retention was awful at times and the midfield never looked like getting to grips with their opponents. It can be put down to a bad day at the office, but unfortunately that office is open on Boxing Day and Posh have only pocketed three points on one occasion in recent times - back in 1996 to be exact.
Final Score: Mansfield Town 2-0 Peterborough United
Referee: Mr M Haywood (West Yorkshire)
Attendance: 3,107 (735 Posh fans)
report from the CHAD website:
Mansfield Town 2 Peterborough 0, Wednesday, 26th December 2007
by John Lomas
TWO more goals from Mickey Boulding hauled Stags off bottom spot against all the odds against second-placed Peterborough United at Field Mill this afternoon.
Boulding struck in each half to take his tally to 15 while League Two top scorer Aaron McLean drew a blank as depleted Mansfield deservedly upset the form book at the same time as other results went their way.
Carl Muggleton made an outstanding save at 0-0 and then the whole side dug in for an excellent victory with Boulding, John McAliskey, Stephen Dawson John Mullins and Martin McIntosh in superb form.
It is now 458 minutes since Stags leaked a goal at home, though Boulding's first goal was their first League strike in 419 minutes.
Mansfield suffered a double pre-match blow when centre halves Buxton (tonsillitis) and John-Baptiste (back strain) were ruled out.
McIntosh came back in for his first start since 22nd September and he was partnered by Jelleyman with Martin back from injury at left back.
Dawson was passed fit to play after an ankle injury last weekend and McAliskey replaced Brown up front.
Hamshaw warmed Tyler's hands with a shot after only 36 seconds but it was always straight at the keeper.
League Two top scorer McLean showed why he is up there on four minutes as his first touch took him between two defenders and into space down the centre only to screw a dreadful finish wide to Mansfield's relief.
On 10 minutes Stags won a free kick 30 yards from goal which McIntosh curled tamely into Tyler's arms.
Muggleton came to Mansfield's rescue on 19 minutes after Jelleyman allowed Boyd to rob him and send Mackail-Smith in on goal, the keeper spreading himself to block the low finish.
A minute later McLean was booked for a late lunge at Muggleton as the keeper grabbed the ball ahead of him.
Muggleton was then fortunate when he spilled a McLean cross from the left by-line but D'Laryea managed to clear.
Stags wasted a good free kick situation when Boulding sent it low straight at the wall from 18 yards in the 26th minute.
Muggleton was in action again to gather a low Mackail-Smith shot.
But Boulding almost found a way through for the home side on 33 minutes as McAliskey flicked on a Martin ball and he took it on into the box and only a great last ditch challenge by Blackett prevented him forcing the ball home.
Posh broke quickly when the corner was cleared and it took a great challenge from Jelleyman on Hughes to prevent them going through on goal.
But Boulding provided the breakthrough two minutes later. McAliskey again got the click and this time Boulding swivelled to steer a low finish just inside the right hand post.
It was Mansfield's first League goal in 419 minutes of football.
Soon after McAliskey had two great chances to exted that lead.
First he accelerated onto an Arnold pass and, with Tyler in his sights, tried to square to Boulding instead of shoot and the chance was gone.
Then he headed straight at the keeper from close range from a corner as the home fans warmed to their side's efforts.
Muggleton was again in the right place as, from a half cleared corner, Boyd hooked an acrobatic shot into the ground that flew up at the keeper,
Morgan was booked for pulling back McAliskey in first half stoppage time as Mansfield ended the first half with the slender advantage.
Hearts were in home mouths when Mackail-Smith put a dangerous ball into the home box in the opening seconds after the restart which was thankfully cleared.
But Stags kept the pressure o0n and Tyler had to race 20 yards out his box to beat Boulding to a lofted through ball.
However, McLean was inches wide with a header from Newton's 58th minute cross from the right.
But ace marksman Boulding snatched a crucial secong goal on 61 for Mansfield.
Under pressure, an attempted Posh clearance struck Mullins and spun back towards the edge of the box where Boulding took command, kept his cool and fired a superb finish past Tyler.
Posh looked for a reply and Boyd hoisted a pass towards McLean who crashed a half volley well over from 18 yards.
It was the division's top scorer's last action as he was replaced by Howe on 69 minutes to jeers from the home fans.
Lee pulled a low shot well wide from distance and then Howe did the same from 25 yards as the home defence continued to hold firm.
Boulding almost got away for a hat-trick as he played a one-was with McAliskey and fired straight into Tyler's arms as he was forced wide.
McAliskey received warm applause as he made way for Brown with 11 minutes to go.
On 86 minutes Boyd saw Muggleton behind his low shot, but he failed to hold on to it and Mullins had to clear from the scramble as home nerves became increasingly frayed.
But they held on for a famous victory and new hope.
STAGS: Muggleton, Mullins, Jelleyman, D'Laryea, McIntosh, Hamshaw, Dawson, McAliskey (Brown 79), M. Boulding (R. Boulding 90), Martin, Arnold. Subs not used: White, Holmes, Wood.
PETERBOROUGH: Tyler, Blackett, Morgan, Newton, Hyde, McLean (Howe 69), Boyd, Keates, Mackail-Smith, Day, Hughes (Lee 62). Subs not used: Jalal, Low, Whelpdale.
REFEREE: Mark Haywood of West Yorkshire.