BOSTON UTD 3 - 0 MANSFIELD TOWN
02 Aug 2008
Att 657 (202 from Mansfield)
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn:
PILGRIMS SAIL BY SORRY STAGS
Boston United 3 Mansfield Town 0
With the new campaign just a matter of days away The Stags crashed to a disappointing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Unibond side, Boston United.
It was Mansfield's last major Pre-season game before the real hostilities get underway on the 9th when McEwan's men make the difficult trip to Ebbsfleet.
It could though have been quite different if it were not from a little wayward finishing and at least four class saves from the Boston United goalkeeper, Martyn Margarson.
Stags had two new faces in their line up in Jamie Annerson, from Sheffield United, who had stepped in at the last minute to help out between the sticks and left sided midfielder, Craig Nelthorpe who had joined the Club on trial from Championship side, Doncaster Rovers.
The game kicked off almost 25 minutes late due to traffic congestion but it was the visitors who sped away from the blocks and should have taken an early lead. Arnold crossed in from the right hand side, O'Hare swung and Jason Lee stabbed but the United keeper held on well. Seconds later though and the home side were celebrating a goal.
The Keeper threw out the ball and Boston attacked down Stags right hand side, Farrell doing well to simply pick out Kieron Leabon in the centre who finished well from close in to send the 400 or so home fans on celebratory jog around the empty terraces.
The Stags though seemed not too disheartened and gamely pulled up their socks in an attempt to equalise. Nathan Arnold going close with an effort that curled just wide of the upright.
On 22 minutes Stallard knocked the ball down to his striking partner, Jason Lee who agonisingly watched the Boston custodian leap through the air and get a hand to the ball to tip it over for a corner.
On 30 minutes, Margarson was at it again, this time to deny Jonathan D'Laryea. The Stags midfielder unleashing a shot from a central position and some 25 yards from goal. For all intents and purposes the ball was heading for the top right hand corner but was stopped doing so by a fine one handed save from the Boston keeper who once again tipped the ball out for a corner.
Nelthorpe was pumping in several crosses which Jason Lee was doing well to reach, but it looked like it wasn't to be the big Stags strikers' day.
As the half drew to a close, O'Hare crossed from the right hand side, Somner was inches away from making contact but Lee who did make contact couldn't direct it on target and stabbed the ball wide.
Boston began a series of changes at the start of the 2nd period when they took off their 1st half goalscorer, Leabon, replacing him with Liam Parker, one of several United players to enter the fray in a numberless shirt!
Stallard went close with a header but again the United keeper was more than equal.
United should have added a second but when in acres of free space and just 6 yards from goal, Captain, Wes Parker headed wide.
In the space of two minutes, United had two great chances of going 2 goals up. First on 52 minutes, Froggatt headed wide and then on 53 Ollie Ryan saw Annerson dramatically push away his effort for a corner.
Stags responded with a shot well wide from Arnold and a curling shot from Stallard. But then one of those moments in football you wish had never happened occurred when trailist Nelthorpe, who had slotted in at left back decided to run across his own area with the ball. You just knew it would all end in tears. Nelthorpe decided not to lay the ball back to Annerson and instead set off from left to right across his own area where he was closed down by two United players, one of which won the ball and was then fouled by Nelthorpe giving the ref no option but to point to the spot for a penalty kick. A bizarre 60 seconds was added to by Annerson saving the kick but being powerless to prevent Ryan slotting away the rebound.
The goalscoring was finished, again in strange circumstances. Boston made three, and Mansfield two substitutions and seconds later, one of the subs had a dream first touch as he put the home side 3 goals up. It was a fine threw ball and a cool confident finish from Alex Beck but the Stags defending left a lot to be desired.
Stallard and Trimmer, one of the earlier substitutes gave Mansfield a glimmer of hope of a consolation but it wasn't to be as The Stags slumped to a 3-0 defeat that must have left the 200 or so away followers wondering if they should have stopped under the cloudy grey skies on Skegness beach.
It is less than two years ago that both of these sides clashed in a League 2 encounter, a game that now seems a million years ago. Times have been cruel to both, here's hoping for an upturn in fortune and that brighter times are just around the corner.
Observer Man of the match – Stallard.
Read report at mansfieldtown.net here
Read report at CHAD.co.uk here
MANSFIELD Town slumped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat at UniBond League Boston United in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday afternoon.
The Stags had their moments in a reasonably good first half but could not find a way past impressive home keeper Martyn Margarson, who made four superb saves.
And the Mansfield defence was caught napping on the break as Kieran Leabon tucked away an easy seventh minute goal.
But the visitors rarely impressed in a poor second half in which Boston took a firm grip with the help of a mistake by trialist youngster Craig Nelthorpe and then a spot kick which was saved but netted at the second attempt.
With Monday's expected away friendly at Matlock Town now changed to a youth team fixture on Thursday, this one will have given new boss Billy McEwan much food for thought as he prepares for Saturday's Blue Square Premier opener at Ebbsfleet.
The match saw 202 Stags fans in the crowd of just 657.
Two new faces were in the Mansfield line-up.
Left-sided player Nelthorpe arrived on trial from Doncaster Rovers and started the game on the wing while, with Paddy Gamble ill and Jason White injured, Mansfield had to borrow keeper Jamie Annerson from Sheffield United.
Due to traffic congestion in town, the game did not kick-off until 3.23pm.
Stags played some tidy early football and twice almost scored in the seventh minute.
A left wing corner bounced just the wrong side of an unmarked O'Hare right in front of goal. The ball was cleared back out to Arnold on the left whose far post cross was met by Lee but his finish was not powerful enough to beat keeper Margarson who was able to smother.
The Pilgrims then went quickly downfield to score a simple goal, still in the eventful seventh minute.
Farrell made progress down the left and sent over a low cross to Leabon who had stolen free and had the simple task of passing the ball past a helpless Annerson.
Arnold was just over the angle with a curling shot on 12 minutes as they looked for a quick reply.
Boston forced a couple of corners but on 22 minutes Stags came close as Stallard set up Lee for an 18 yard shot that the keeper had to tip over.
Lee returned the compliment six minutes later with a flick that saw Stallard's dipping finish easy for Margarson.
D'Laryea was almost an unlikely scorer a minute later as his 25 yard blast looked destined for the top left corner until the keeper made his second fine tip-over of the game. And Lee was just too high with his far post header from the corner.
Lee was again too high from another decent Nelthorpe centre soon after. And he was unlucky again a minute later as a looping O'Hare cross came off his shin and bounced just wide.
Talbot's outstretched foot took the pace off Lee's next effort which was straight at Margarson as Boston held on to their advantage.
Stallard nodded a tame header straight at the keeper in the 47th minute while Wes Parker headed wide of the far post at the other end soon after.
But they really should have gone further ahead from a 52nd minute corner. Matthews put it in from the left and Froggatt was left completely unmarked six yards from goal for a free header that he did not get enough contact on and glanced wide.
Soon after Ryan's 20 yard effort brought a good full length save from Annerson.
Arnold had a brief shooting chance at the other end but crashed a wild shot well wide.
Good skill from Stallard saw him sidestep two opponents before curling another effort narrowly over the angle.
But a rush of blood to the head by new boy Nelthorpe led to Boston going 2-0 ahead.
The youngster had dropped back to left back and easily cut out a long ball. But he inexplicably ran it across his own six yard box with his keeper screaming at him and was suddenly squeezed out by two opponents.
In trying to keep possession he caught Froggatt and gave away a penalty.
Annerson dived to his right to make a great save from the spot kick from Ryan but the ball fell back kindly to Ryan who was able to steer it back across the keeper at the second attempt.
Boston made three changes at once and Stags made two, sending on youngsters Goward and Trimmer.
But within seconds it was 3-0 as Boston sub Beck made an immediate impact as he raced away on a through ball with his first touch and, although Margarson got a hand to his finish, he couldn't stop it finding the net.
Stallard made space to his right for another good effort for the visitors but again found Margarson in his way with another great tip-away.
Trimmer's header from Shaw's cross was well wide as Stags looked to have run out of steam and ideas.
Boston: Margarson, Matthews (Millson 76), Green, W. Parker (Steadman 76), Bloomer, Clarke, Ryan (Beck 65), Talbot (Wood 65), Froggatt (Joyce 83), Leabon (L. Parker ht), Farrell (Beeson). Subs: Semple, Pascu, Butcher.
Stags: Annerson, Silk, O'Hare, Hurren (Shaw 55), Moses, Somner, Arnold, D'Laryea, Lee (Trimmer 67), Stallard, Nelthorpe (Goward 67). Subs: Wood, McGhee, Robinson, Ahmed, Burrell, Saynor.
REFEREE: James Turner.
McEwan not overly concerned by defeat
BILLY McEwan was not overly concerned by the 3-0 friendly defeat at Boston United this afternoon.
More at CHAD.co.uk here
With several players unavailable, another patchwork Stags side had a good first half in which they failed to take their chances and were caught on a counter attack, beating guest keeper Jamie Annerson.
However, in a largely poor second half display, a suicidal dribble across his own box by trialist Craig Nelthorpe led to a penalty kick which eased Boston towards their victory.
McEwan said: "I am obviously disappointed to lose the game but I thought that in the opening stages we had some good chances to score but didn't put them away.
"We had a lot of players missing and so I used this game to try one or two things out and experiment which I wouldn't do in a League game. And hopefully that won't be the team I put out next week.
"In the first half hour we put a lot of balls into the box with no one on the end of them. We had some really good opportunities to score.
"But we got caught out at the back for the first goal with some poor defending. We gave the ball away cheaply up front and they just went through us too easily.
"The goals we conceded in the second half were poor.
"We brought in young Nelthorpe from Doncaster who is a left sided player who I thought could play left back as well as left side midfield. But clearly he can't. What he did was inexplicable. He was obviously a round peg in a square hole and will learn from that. He is here for a while for us to look at him and I won't make decisions on one game.
"I also tried Alan O'Hare at left back but wanted to get him back into the centre.
"We are short at left back right now until I can get the Alex Jeannin deal tied up. But his agent is dealing with a big move involving Glasgow Rangers right now which is holding ours up.
"Paddy Gamble was very ill yesterday so thanks to Sheffield United for allowing Jamie Annerson to play for us. He played 45 minutes for United the night before which I watched and I thought he did very well for us.
"We did cause them problems up front but we lacked penetration coming from midfield or the flanks. And we have a lot of naivety in the squad. There is lots to work on and while I am concerned about today, I am not unduly concerned."
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