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MANSFIELD 2 - 3 DERBY COUNTY
30th July 2008 0:00


Mansfield Town 2 Derby County 3, Saturday 26th July

Read report at mansfieldtown.net here

Read report at CHAD.co.uk here

Mansfield Town 2 Derby County 3, Saturday 26th July

ANOTHER patchwork Mansfield Town XI, containing seven trialists, pushed Championship neighbours Derby County all the way in a thrilling five-goal pre-season friendly before losing 3-2 in front of 4,002 fans at Field Mill on Saturday afternoon.

http://www.chad.co.uk/stagsreports/Mansfield-Town-2-Derby-County.4326597.jp

Stags twice led in the first half and, after Derby hit back with two late goals in as many minutes, Ryan Goward saw Roy Carroll save his last minute spot kick to deny the gutsy home side a deserved draw.

The pace and thrills of the first half belied the searing temperatures as Alan O'Hare saw his 10th minute opener quickly wiped out by Rob Hulse.

Ex-Derby striker Mark Stallard crowed an assured first half with Mansfield's second only for the Rams to roar back with two quickfire replies from Emmanuel Villa (77) and Paul Green (79).

Carroll twice denied Goward at the death, but Stags boss Billy McEwan will be largely pleased with what he saw of his players and potential players against a high class of opposition.

Rams included debut-making Mansfield-born Kris Commons as a second half substitute. His last appearance at Field Mill had been as an 11-year-old Stags mascot!

The trialists will get another chance to impress on Monday night when Sheffield United are the visitors.

Mansfield were without injured pair Michael Blackwood and Jason White.

There was one new face in the starting XI with Nottingham-born former Gresley Rovers hot shot Aaron O'Connor (24) who began the game up front with Stallard.

He struck 80 goals in 127 games with Rovers and won their Player of the Year twice in as many seasons.

O'Connor has also had spells with Ilkeston Town, Scunthorpe United, Nuneaton Borough and latterly Grays.

On a gloriously sunny afternoon, the visitors had brought so many fans that, with the North Stand completely full, hundreds of other Rams supporters had to be led round the pitch into the opposite South Stand as the players ran out.

The Championship visitors paraded new strike partnership Ellington and Hulse.

And they should have taken the lead inside the first minute. Mears lifted an intelligent ball into a hole between two defenders on the right of the box where Oster darted in with a perfectly timed run to meet the dropping ball with a volley across the face of goal.

The game exploded with two goals in as many minutes.

Stags drew first blood on 10 minutes as Jeannin's right wing corner picked out Moses beyond the far post. He nodded it back into the danger zone and O'Hare buried a close range header.

However, the Rams replied immediately as Oster found space on the right and delivered a beautiful cross to the far post where Hulse expertly buried it first time past the helpless Gamble.

Soon after Stewart strode into the Stags box on the left and it took a vital interception from Hurst to prevent it reaching an unmarked Oster in front of goal.

A mistake by O'Hare almost let in Hulse as he lost possession in the box but the final deflected shot was easy for Gamble to deal with.

But it was Mansfield who retook the lead on 36 minutes. O'Connor ran at the Rams defence on the left before rolling a square ball to Stallard who forced his way through one challenge and, with the ball running kindly for him, was left with just Carroll to beat and made no mistake.

It could have been 3-1 soon after but Jeannin's finish flew across goal and wide from Arnold's far post cross.

The good early pace of the game had now died down in the intense heat and half time arrived with no further incident.

Early in the second half O'Connor showed good pace to get to the left by-line but his low cross was too near the keeper with Stallard waiting hopefully.

At the other end a corner was met by Ellington right in front of goal but the ball flew straight to Gamble from close range.

An Arnold corner for Stags knifed across the six yard box with no one able to tuck it way and bounced through for a goal kick on the far side.

The afternoon's first stoppage of the afternoon came on 59 minutes when Silk stayed down after a challenge after taking a bang of the head.

Silk went off and that change sparked the first of the inevitable regular substitutions,

On 76 minutes in a rare Derby raid Commons saw Moses get in a good block on a low Commons shot.

Then there was a comedy of errors at the other end as Carroll and his defence got in a tangle and the keeper was dragged out his box, lost possession but was relieved as Stags were unable to get a decent shy at the open net.

However, the game was turned on its head as the Rams bagged two quick goals in succession.

On 77 minutes Commons swung a corner from the left to the far post where Villa was allowed a free header to level the scores.

And two minutes later Ellington put in a low ball from the right which Green took in his stride with a well placed finish just inside Gamble's right hand post.

Carrooll had to race out his box to clear ahead of Lee near the end.

And there was late drama as Stags won a last minute penalty. Goward dropped his shoulder to make space in the box for a low shot that Carroll saved.

But Albrechtsen held onto the youngster as he tried to get back up to strike a follow up and a spot kick was awarded.

However, Carroll again came out on top as he dived to his right and kept out Goward's powerfully struck low penalty.

STAGS: Gamble, Silk (Wood 60), Hurst (Goward 60), Somner, Moses, O'Hare, O'Connor (Robinson 67), D'Laryea (Shaw 63), Stallard (Lee 62), Arnold (Trimmer70), Jeannin. Subs not used: McGhee, Burrell, Hamed

RAMS: Carroll, Mears (Connolly 59), Stewart (McEveley 60), Green, Nyatanga (Stubbs 63), Albrechtsen, Oster (Commons ht), Kazmierczak (Eromoigbe 63), Ellington (Dickinson 80), Hulse (67), Davies. Subs not used: Bywater, Lewis.

REFEREE: Dave Richardson.

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McEwan happy with Stags despite friendly defeat

STAGS boss Billy McEwan declared the 3-2 defeat against Derby County at Field Mill on Saturday 'a good workout against a very good side'.

http://www.chad.co.uk/stags/McEwan-happy-with-Stags-despite.4328773.jp

He told Chad after a last minute penalty save denied the underdogs a deserved draw: "I am not really interested in results at the moment, just performances and seeing the lads get their touch.

"I can remember as a player losing every pre-season game and winning the Championship.

"But it would have been nice to win and I thought we might at least get a draw at the end with the penalty.

"The young lads did well in the second half and Goward could have been a hero if he'd scored that penalty. He certainly deserved to take it.

"All credit to both sets of supporters for turning out. It was a good crowd. We could be taking on easier opposition than that at the moment, but we are fulfilling fixtures that were here when I took over and Derby are a very good side who caused us a lot of problems.

"We looked solid in the first half. But I had to make the changes after half time to give players that needed a game some action.

"Also, we have another big game on Monday night so I had to be careful. And it was very warm out there."

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Stags miss out on transfer target

TWO of Stags boss Billy McEwan's trialists have left the club.

http://www.chad.co.uk/stags/Stags-miss-out-on-transfer.4328776.jp

McEwan revealed on Saturday that defender Mark McGregor has signed for another club, while Chad understands that striker Rob Duffy - who played at Hucknall a week ago - has been released.

Mcewan said after the 3-2 friendly defeat to Derby County: "Mark McGregor has left us which is disappointing as he had trained with us for two weeks.

"I got a phone call from him out of the blue to say he was signing elsewhere but life goes on."

Chad understands that the defender, who scored for the Stags at Ilkeston in midweek and also figured in the first friendly at Hucknall a week ago, has joined Nuneaton Borough.

McGregor (31), was released by Port Vale at the end of last season and has also played for Blackpool, Burnley and Wreham, amassing almost 400 League games.

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New trialist striker in Stags team to play Derby - Latest score 2-3, (full-time)

MANSFIELD Town boss Billy McEwan again named a clutch of trialists for this afternoon's friendly with Derby County - which the Stags lost 3-2.

http://www.chad.co.uk/stags/New-trialist-striker-in-Stags.4326586.jp

It was the first match at Field Mill since since the summer takeover of the club by three Mansfield businessmen - Andy Perry, Andy Saunders and Steve Middleton.

Click here for full match report

And a large crowd (4.002)responded to the change of ownership, eager to show their support to the trio - with 1,000 Derby fans adding to the carnival atmosphere in the sunshine.

In fact, there were so many Rams fans at the ground that many were transferred to the empty South Stand, with all the home fans confined to the packed West Stand.

In just three weeks since the takeover the club has been transformed off the pitch following a major clean-up operation - helped by many fans.

And as the match got underway, a section of fans celebrated the new era with chants of 'We got Haslam out' . . . a reference to their protests against former owner Keith Haslam.

The transformation on the field under new manager McEwan - against one of his former clubs - also continued following two 1-0 away victories at Hucknall and Ilkeston in the previous seven days.

One new face among seven trialists starting the match was Nottingham-born former Grays striker Aaron O'Connor. His only Football League experience came when he was released by Scunthorpe after three substitute appearances in 2003.

O'Connor (24) was a Gresley Rovers hot shot, struck 80 goals in 127 games with Rovers and won their Player of the Year twice in as many seasons.

O'Connor has also had spells with Ilkeston Town, Scunthorpe United, Nuneaton Borough and latterly Grays.

French left sided player Alex Jeannin, a second half substitute at Ilkeston, started on the left of midfield.

Keeper Jason White and new signing Michael Blackwood were ruled out through injury. Trialist keeper Luke Herriott was a substitute, as were two other new faces this season, Tom Hamed and Anthony Robinson.

Robinson, a striker, came on as a second half substitute.

The Stags grabbed a 10th minute lead when Adie Moses headed a Jeannin corner back for Alan O'Hare to powerfully nod in.

Two minutes later John Oster crossed for Rob Hulse to level from close range.

Mark Stallard restored the Stags lead 10 minutes before half-time with a neat close range finish.

Substitute Villa headed in a Commons' corner from close range to level for the Rams in the 77th minute - seconds after the Stags should have made the game safe when 'Keystone Kops' defending from Derby ended with Goward's weak shot cleared off the line with keeper Carroll stranded out of his goal.

Then Green swept in an Ellington cross two minutes later to put the visitors ahead.

Right on full-time Goward's penalty for the Stags, which he won himself, was saved.

MANSFIELD TOWN: Gamble; Silk (Wood 59mins), Moses, O'Hare, Hurst (Goward 59mins); Arnold (Trimmer 70mins), D'Laryea (Shaw 63mins), Somner, Jeannin; Stallard (Lee 60mins), O'Connor (Robinson 67mins). Subs: Herriott, McGhee, Burrell, Hamed.

DERBY COUNTY: Carrol; Stewart (McEverley 59mins), Mears (Connolly 59mins), Albrechston, Nyatanga (Stubbs 63mins), Oster (Commons 46mins), Kazmierczak (Eromiogbe 63mins), Green, Davies, Ellington (Dickinson 79mins), Hulse (Villa 67mins). Subs: Bywater, Lewis.

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