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STAGS BEATEN BY IN-FORM BRENTFORD TO GO BOTTOM
5th February 2008 8:51


Mansfield Town 2 - 3 Brentford
Elder o.g. (later credited to M.Boulding) 15, Louis 64. O'Conner 25, Connell 56, Elder 85
Attendance: 2511 (402 from Brentford)

Mansfield lost a topsy turvy game 3-2 at home to Brentford. Brentford have now won 5 and drawn one from their last six games, while the Stags have lost 5 on the trot at Field Mill. The Stags drop to the bottom of the table, three points adrift from safety.

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Observer report by Steve Hartshorn
BEES STING STAGS LATE ON TO CLAIM POINTS
Mansfield town 2 Brentford 3

It is true what they say that when you are down at the bottom, things just don't go your way and so it proved for Mansfield Town as they suffered their fifth successive home defeat to land them at the foot of the league 2 table.

Fresh from their well earned win over rivals, Lincoln City in midweek, hopes were high that Stags could earn back to back wins and have a chance of getting out of the relegation places but it wasn't to be as in form Brentford snatched the last goal in five to return to the capital with all three points.

The Stags started the game in good form, looking hard to press home their confidence. Brentford in the meantime looked a little lost and unsure and unable to cope. There was little or no indication in the early stages that they would go onto win their fifth in six games.

Mansfield could have taken an early lead when on five minutes they were awarded a free kick. A well worked out routine between Hamshaw and Dawson looked to have fallen away but when the ball eventually came back to the feet of Dawson, he chipped in a delightful cross that Captain Jake Buxton headed against the crossbar, the ball then dropped for Mullins, who saw his effort cleared off the line. It would have been just what Stags deserved for a bright and neat passing start.

Ian Holmes then slotted the ball through to Boulding, who on this occasion after neatly dropping a shoulder and beating a defender, disappointingly fired into the side netting.

Brentford were offering very little and the home side were playing well, all they needed was a goal to really stamp their dominance – That came on 15 minutes.

Matty Hamshaw's free kick was headed towards goal by Boulding, Elder stuck out a leg to block but only managed to slightly wrong foot his own keeper as the ball flew into the back of the net. Boulding ran away claiming the goal for himself, but it was announced as an own goal. It mattered not; Stags were deservedly a goal to the good.

The visitors then picked themselves up and Connell was proving a handful. Muggleton having to reach up and grab his goal bound cross and then Connell picked out Poole who's shot was blocked by Wood and palmed away by Muggleton, Jelleyman on hand to head away the loose ball.

Muggleton was again called into action to save an on target header from Elder from a Bee's corner.

It looked only a matter of time before Brentford grabbed an equaliser and so it proved after they were awarded a free kick conceded by Buxton.

O'Conner from 25 yards sending the ball into the top corner of the net. It was a goal of real quality.

The game then went into a bit of a scrappy period where neither side seemed to have the time to look out for a decisive pass, although Boulding did turn well and have a shot blocked.

Just before the half time break, Brentford broke on a three on three situation but after Muggleton had done well to beat out Poole's shot, Jelleyman was again on hand to pop the ball away from the prowling, Shakes.

Then as time ticked by Dawson was unlucky to see his stabbed effort go just past the post.

Brentford started the brighter of the two sides in the 2nd half when Connell set up Smith for a drive, which just flashed past Muggleton's right hand post.

The visitors were well on top and controlling the midfield and it came as no surprise when they scored a well worked out 2nd goal. Smith doing to neat set up play and Connell on hand to slot the ball home.

Dearden then sent on Atkinson and Louis for D'Laryea and Holmes and within seconds Louis had a powerful run and shot blocked.

Seven minutes into coming onto the field however, Field Mill rose to celebrate the first of what they hope will be many goals by Louis. Boulding seemed to weave his way through several challenges and bodies to neatly slot the ball through to Louis who made no mistake to hammer the ball into the net.

There were no thoughts at this time that Stags would lose the game, as the whole place seemed to be on a wave of confidence.

Hamshaw fed the overlapping Wood whose cross was perfect for Atkinson who just couldn't find the target.

Stags were playing some good football but Muggleton had to be at his best once more this time to deny Shakes on 71 minutes.

Boulding looked to have set up Hamshaw inside the area, but from a tight angle the Stags midfielder shot well, wide.

Louis did extremely well to power his way down the left hand flank but in the end was stopped and Stags awarded a free kick. Hamshaw's kick eluding everyone and sailing the wrong side of the post with the keeper beaten.

Louis then broke away and saw his effort blocked and go over, but with just five minutes remaining, Stags were undone.

A through ball found the Stags defence asking for offside but young defender Wood was playing the advancing Brentford players onside and Elder showed coolness to race on and clip the ball over the advancing Muggleton to give Brentford all three points.

It was hard on Stags but it could have been worse if Buxton had not been on hand to clear off the line to deny the Bee's a fourth.

Games like these are great if your team are midtable. It allows you the luxury of shrugging your shoulders and saying that you lost a decent game, however Stags are far from midtable and this weeks 'Cup final' was lost.

This weekend Mansfield travel to play off chasing Wycombe Wanderers who have only lost three times at home all season. Here's hoping for yet another corner to be turned.

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BBC report:
Mansfield 2-3 Brentford
Nathan Elder hit the winner on his Brentford debut, after giving Mansfield the lead with an own goal, as the Bees moved into the top half of the table.
Jake Buxton had already hit Brentford's bar before Elder diverted Michael Boulding's header into his own net.

Kevin O'Connor equalised with a superb 25-yard free-kick before Gary Smith set up Alan Connell to put Brentford ahead.

Mansfield's debutant Jefferson Louis levelled from Boulding's pass before Elder broke free to hit the winner.
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CHAD report by John Lomas
Mansfield Town 2 Brentford 3, Saturday 2nd February 2008
Despite scoring twice against in-form Brentford, Mansfield Town lost a fifth successive home game to drop back to the bottom of the Football league once more this afternoon.
It was a sickening blow so soon after the superb midweek away win at Lincoln City.

But bottom side Wrexham produced the good with an excellent 2-0 home win over Play-off hopefuls Darlington while Stags were stung by a late Bees breakaway winner as they looked for an offside flag that never came.
New signing Jefferson Louis certainly made his mark with a goal just seven minutes after coming on for his debut as a substitute to square tings up at 2-2.

But the headlines went to Brentford's debut-making Nathan Elder whose own goal put Stags in front before he went on to snatch the late winner.

That continued an amazing run of success for new boss Andy Scott who came in when the Bees had lost five on the bounce and have now gone on to take 20 points from a possible 27, winning four times away from home. That was their fifth win in six games.

Stags knew it would be a tough one against a record like that but more than played their part in a thrilling end to end encounter and probably deserved a point from it, though the visitors will point out that home keeper Carl Muggleton again had to make as string of fine saves over the 90 minutes.

Newcomers Atkinson and Louis had to make do with places on the bench.

But there was a defensive reshuffle with Martin out suspended, Jelleyman going to left back, Mullins to the centre and young Wood in to play right back.

Brown was dropped to the bench to allow Holmes in to partner Boulding up front.

The afternoon began with a minute's silence for former Stags player Brian Lambert who died recently.

Mansfield began in enterprising fashion, playing some neat football and almost grabbed a fifth minute lead.

Hamshaw and Dawson's training ground routine corner was cleared. But Hamshaw put Dawson back into space on the right and his excellent deep cross picked out Buxton who saw his header come back off the bar and Mullins had a follow-up blocked on the line.

A Holmes pass then sent Boulding sprinting into acres of space but, having neatly cut inside the defender, he harmlessly dragged a poor finish wide of the near post.

Stags won a free kick 30 yards from goal which Hamshaw curled straight into Hamer's arms, then Boulding was only just beaten to the ball by Hamer right on the edge of his box as he chased Bell's forward ball.

It was a fine start by the home side and they crowned it with a goal on 15 minutes. Hamshaw's free kick was headed goal wards by Boulding and, as Elder stretched out a leg to block, he only succeeded in turning it past his keeper.

Boulding pointed to himself as he tried to lay claim to the goal.

Within two minutes the Bees generated their first threat of the afternoon as Connell was allowed a free header on Dickson's free kick which flew narrowly wide.

Connell posed more danger on 20 minutes as he burst through a square defence with no offside flag showing. But he was forced wide and, when he tried to chip a cross over Muggleton, the keeper did well to reach up and grab it.

Connell next picked out the run of Poole who sent a powerful first time effort at goal which took a deflection off Wood. But Muggleton was able to parry and Jelleyman headed clear.

From the corner, taken by Dickson, Elder saw the Stags keeper make another fine save from his on-target header.

Just as you could sense Stags would score after their spell of pressure, it looked like Brentford were about to level. And they did so on 25 minutes from a 25 yard free kick, conceded by Buxton.

O'Connor produced a superb curling effort which no keeper would have stopped, finding the net just under the angle.

The frenetic action settled down for a time then though Boulding did see his shot on the turn blocked on 34 minutes. Then Halshaw tried to get Boulding away but two defenders stuck with him as he tried to line up a shot and it eventually lacked enough power to trouble Hamer.

Muggleton was back in action on 43 minutes as Stags found themselves defending three on three. Poole's low shot forced the keeper to dive full length to block and Jelleyman slid in beat Shakes to the loose ball with the empty net beckoning.

Dawson was just wide with a poked shot from 18 yards for Stags and Mullins came up with a saving tackle as Dickson raced in on goal at the other end as the half ended honours even.

The Bees almost stung Stags immediately after the break as Connell set up Smith for a low 20 yard effort that was only just the wrong side of Muggleton's right hand post.

Buxton was cautioned on 53 minutes for his late tackle on Shakes.
The visitors won two corners and Heywood headed the second of those straight at Muggleton.

At this point the visitors were simply passing Stags out of the game and it was no surprise when they virtually walked in a splendid second goal.
Smith was the architect with some neat footwork and Connell was ahead of him to steer home a pinpoint finish as he received the killer pass.

Stags immediately sent on new boys Atkinson and Louis in place of D'Laryea and Holmes and within seconds Louis had a fierce shot blocked for a corner.

Buxton was very lucky on 63 minutes when he seemed to hold Connell back in the box but nothing was given.

And a minute later the scores were level again as sub Louis found the net within seven minutes of coming on.

Boulding did the spadework as he battled through a sea of legs and tackles just inside the box to poke the ball into his new strike partner's path and he made no mistake from close range before sprinting to the home dugout to celebrate.

Connell was furious again when he again went down under Buxton's challenge in the box but this time seemed to be looking for it and again received nothing.

Another good Stags move saw Hamshaw feed the overlapping Wood and his excellent first time cross found Atkinson who was unable to steer it on target.

This was much better from Stags though the impeccable Muggleton had to make another fine save to keep out a low effort from Shakes on 71 minutes.

Boulding did well to control a sliced cross from Wood and set up Hamshaw for a volley which he miscued well wide.

Louis tried to nudge the ball to Boulding but was tackled and then stayed down, thankfully he was able to continue after treatment.

Louis' persistence won Stags a free kick 20 yards out and Hamshaw watched his kick sail through a sea of bodies in the box and just wide of the far post with Hamer beaten.

A quick Stags break saw Louis race forward and eventually see his finish deflect up and over the top.

But Stags were caught out by a Brentford breakaway five minutes from time which produced the winner.

Mansfield defenders were looking for an offside flagas a gaping hole appeared down the centre with two opponents racing after a long through ball unchallenged.

Elder took the ball on towards Muggleton before lifting it expertly over him to atone for his own goal and seal the points.

Buxton prevented an undeserved fourth goal with a goal line clearance from Connell's shot after Shakes had skipped past two defenders on the by-line at the end of another afternoon of misery at the Mill.

STAGS: Muggleton, Mullins, Jelleyman, D'Laryea (Atkinson 57), Bell, Hamshaw, Dawson, M. Boulding, Buxton, Holmes (Louis 57), Wood. Subs not used: White, Brown, Arnold.

BRENTFORD: Hamer, O'Connor (Stone 79), Sankofa, Smith, Pead, Connell, Poole (Parkes 77), Elder, Heywood, Dickson, Shakes (Montague 90). Subs not used: Brown, Osborne.

REFEREE: Jon Moss of West Yorkshire.

ATTENDANCE: 2,511 (402 away).

STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Carl Muggleton.

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report from brentfordfc.co.uk:
Nathan Elder scored the winning goal on his debut five minutes from time to give Brentford their fifth win in six matches and their third away win on the bounce.


The powerful striker raced clear, having sprung the Mansfield Town offside trap, to slot past Stags' stopper Carl Muggleton and hand The Bees the points.


It completed an interesting afternoon for the debutant, who scored the opening goal of the game in his own net, and rounded off a rip-roaring match which was a fine spectacle and a great advert for League Two football.


The home side probably had the better of the first half and deserved to be ahead before they took a 15th minute lead.


Stags' skipper Jake Buxton headed a Matthew Hamshaw cross against the crossbar, Gary Smith cleared the re-bound from John Mullins off the line and prolific striker Michael Boulding pulled a shot wide soon after.


But Mansfield did score when a Hamshaw free kick was flicked on by Boulding and deflected past Ben Hamer by Elder.


The Bees hit back, with Elder leading the line and the fight back, Alan Connell flicked a header narrowly wide, Muggleton saved superbly from a deflected Glenn Poole effort and Gareth Jellyman cleared with Ricky Shakes ready to pounce.


Muggleton saved superbly from an Elder header soon after but could do nothing to prevent Kevin O'Connor equalising with a beautifully curled free kick from 25 yards.


The home side finished the first half brighter, Boulding had a shot blocked and forced Hamer into a low save before Stephen Dawson fired wide.


But Brentford could have gone in a head when a fantastic Connell dummy created space for Smith and Muggleton had to get down low to deny the Brentford midfielder.


That was a taste of what was to come as Brentford flew out of the blocks in the second half, Smith fired just wide and Elder had a shot blocked and header saved before the visitors edged ahead with a delightful goal.


Ryan Dickson, Poole and Smith teased the Mansfield defence in the inside left channel before the latter threaded a pass through to Connell who turned and fired past Muggleton first time with his left foot.


But Mansfield refused to be beaten.


Substitute Jefferson Louis almost created an opening for Dawson before Buxton headed wide soon after as they pressed forward.


And Louis pulled them level with 20 minutes remaining when Boulding bulldozed his way through and the ball broke kindly for the recently introduced striker.


The game was finely poised and it was Brentford who took control, Shakes forced a fine low save from Muggleton as they tried to grab the killer goal before Elder did so late on.


Mansfield had their chances, a Hamshaw free kick flew inches wide and Louis had a shot deflected wide but they could not fight back once Brentford grabbed their third goal.


And Connell could have made it four when his shot, after nice play by Shakes, was cleared off the line.


Elder and Jordan Parkes almost added the crucial goal late on but it proved not to matter as Brentford continued their fine run of form.


Mansfield Town: Muggleton; Wood, Mullins, Buxton, Jellyman; Hamshaw, Bell, Dawson, D'Laryea (sub Atkinson 57 mins); Holmes (sub Louis 57 mins), M. Boulding


Subs (not used): White, Brown, Arnold


Bookings: Buxton (53 mins)


Brentford: Hamer; Pead, Heywood, Sankofa, Dickson; Shakes (sub Montague 90 mins), O'Connor (sub Stone 79 mins), Smith, Poole (sub Parkes 76 mins); Connell, Elder


Subs (not used): Simon Brown, Osborne


Bookings:


Attendance: 2,411 (422 Bees fans)


Written by Chris Wickham



 

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