ERRORS COST STAGS DEAR AT CRAWLEY
Crawley Town 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
Quinn 16, Cook 46. Silk 79.
Att 2013 (262 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw at Broadfield Stadium
The Stags tenure at the top of the league lasted one week only, as they were replaced by todays victors Crawley Town at the summit of the Conference. Crawley thoroughly deserved their 2-1 success against a disappointing Mansfield side who only came to life in the last 25 minutes after they were 2-0 down. Two bad goalkeeping errors by young Paddy Gamble gifted Crawley their goals but it was a poor display all round by the Stags. Crawley on the other hand were impressive, and rise to the top of the Conference for the first time in their history. It was only when substitute Aaran O'Connor came on that the Stags upped their game, and after Gary Silk's goal on 79 minutes, they were so close to grabbing an equaliser in stoppage time when Somner missed a good chance.
Stagsnet report and player ratings now in the Match Centre
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn:
STAGS TASTE DEFEAT IN SUSSEX
Crawley Town 2 Mansfield Town 1
Stags slipped to only their second defeat of the season losing 2-1 at Crawley Town to drop down to 4th in the Blue Square Premiership. The result moving their hosts to the top of the table.
The Broadfield Stadium packed for its biggest attendance for some time created an exciting atmosphere for both sets of players but despite a 79th minute strike by Gary Silk, a poor first half showing and two errors by Paddy Gamble proved enough for Crawley to leapfrog Mansfield to the top of the league.
Stags Manager, McEwen made the decision to leave O'Connor on the bench for the start of the game due to the fact that the striker had not trained all week after receiving a knock the previous week, his place in the side going to Robinson in a Stags starting formation of 4 4 2.
Despite the crackling atmosphere, neither side start started the game too brightly and chances and clean passing were at a minimum in fact the only noteworthy incident of the opening few minutes was that Mark Stallard received a blow above the right eye that forced him into having to change his shirt.
On 7 minutes though Stags had a great opportunity to take the lead. Stallard exchanged passes with Blackwood who then found himself bearing down on goal. However when possibly a hard low shot was his best option, Blackwood opted for a cheeky chip that was easily saved by Raynor in the Crawley goal. It was to be one of only a few goalscoring chances Mansfield were to have in a first 45 minutes where the home side were clearly the better of the two sides.
On 15 minutes, the home side took the lead, but it was more a case of the goal being gift-wrapped instead of earned. Weatherstone floated over a free kick from the right hand side and with Gamble trying to punch thin air, one time Stags target, Quinn had the simplest of tasks of heading the ball home.
McEwen's men almost equalised less than a minute later when Somner got on the end of a Blackwood cross, however his header was saved on the line by Raynor.
Just past the 20-minute mark tempers rose when Robinson and Killeen clashed as both players battled for the ball. The Stags striker earning a yellow card. Afterwards Crawley manager, Evans claimed that Robinson deserved to be sent off. From the resulting free kick, Gamble made amends for his earlier error by pushing away a powerful drive by Forrest.
The home side were clearly on top at this stage whilst Stags struggled to get any sort of passing game going. Indeed from a Mansfield corner, Crawley broke and despite the fact that D'Laryea and Arnold got back to snuff out the danger, neither player was allowed to settle with the ball to effect a decisive clearance, and when the home side won the ball back, Pinault let fly from the edge of the box, his effort flashing narrowly wide.
On 38 minutes Stags won their 2nd corner of the game. Arnold and Blackwood combining well for Blackwood to hit in a curling cross come shot that the keeper did well to save. From his resulting clearance Crawley almost scored a second. Killeen knocking the ball to Weatherstone who hit a superb effort towards goal that Gamble did well to turn away.
At this stage of the game it was all Crawley and they created further chances with Cook and Forrest both going close.
The best Mansfield could offer was a run and blocked shot by Arnold. Stags were clearly not at the races in the first 45 minutes, but worse was to follow just 20 seconds into the restart. O'Hare's header looked favourite to reach Gamble but the young Stags keeper hesitated enough for Cook to realise he could gain the advantage. The Crawley man then had the simplest of tasks of rounding the keeper and stroking the ball home into an empty net.
It was almost 3-0 moments later but Gamble held onto Killeen's header from a Forrest right wing cross.
Stags were under the cosh and were thankful for a miss from close range from Killeen, who in missing the chance got injured and was replaced by Steve Fletcher.
Stags were offering very little but on the hour mark McEwen sent on O'Connor for Robinson. This seemed to boost Stags enough for them to begin to create chances of their own with Arnold shooting from a Somner pass and Stallard forced Raynor into a stunning save.
The keeper though, 11 minutes from time was to provide Stags a chance of getting back into the game. Arnold's shot looked as if Raynor would gather it but the ball bounced off his chest and fell neatly for Silk to hammer into the roof of the net.
This set up a grandstand finish where both sides tried to force the issue but for Mansfield it wasn't to be.
This weekend it is hoped that the public of Mansfield come out in force as Stags take on Cambridge United at Field Mill. Both sides have got off to a good start to the season and the game promises to be an exciting encounter.
Observer Man of the match – Gary Silk, if only for the way he took his goal. Not a good day at the office for most.
FULL-TIME: Crawley Town 2 Mansfield Town 1
CRAWLEY Town went top of the Blue Square Premier for the first time in their history when they completed a tremendous 2-1 victory over previous leaders Mansfield Town at Broadfield Stadium.
Adam Quinn gave them the lead over the Nottinghamshire side in the 16th minute when he went up to head home a free-kick felivered into the box by Simon Weatherstone.
Jamie Cook then made it 2-0 within 22 seconds of the restart after the break wheADVERTISEMENTn he intercetped a back pass and beat keeper Patrick Gamble.
Mansfield tried to get back into the game with a goal by Gary Silk 11 minutes before full-time, put in after an initial attempt by Arnold was spilled by keeper Simon Rayner.
However it was to be Crawley's day as Mansfield could offer little more and Reds, who had been dominant throughout, were able to see out time to claim the three points.
Second-placed Cambridge Utd drew 0-0 with Torquay, meaning Crawley's victory took them to the top of the table.
92mins - Mansfield have a chance but cannot control as Silk finds Somner but he cannot control and the ball runs out of play.
90mins - 4 added minutes
90mins - SUBSTITUTION (Crawley) Brad Thomas replaces Weatherstone.
89mins - Glenn Wilson heads a chance away for a corner and looks to have hurt himself but is able to carry on playing.
88mins - Douglas has a shot from the left which forces a save at the near post by Gamble.
84mins SUBSTITUTION (Crawley) Anton Douglas replaces Jamie Cook
79mins - GOAL (Mansfield) 2-1 Gary SILK brings the visitors back into the game with a goal 11 minutes before the end. A ball from Arnold on the right wsas spilled by keeper Rayner and Silk was on hand to bury the loose ball.
73mins - Alex Jeannin crosses for Mark Stallard, who unleashes a powerful shot on goal from the right side of the area, only to be denied through a terrific save by Simon Rayner.
60mins - SUBSTITUTION (Mansfield ) O'Connor replaces Robinson.
52mins - SUBSTITUTION (Crawley) Big Steve Fletcher replaces Lewis Killeen upfront, partnering Cook. He gets a hero's welcome from the crowd after he won the match for Town last week. This is the earliest he has got on the pitch this season having twisted his ankle in pre-season.
49mins - Killeen is hurt when he comes in to meet a cross by Weatherstone in the six-yard box and put the ball over the bar. He has to leave the field with his injury.
48mins - Crawley force another save from Gamble when Forrest crosses for a Lewis Killeen header.
46mins - GOAL (Crawley) 2-0 Jamie COOK seizes on a poor header back by Alan O'Hare for keeper Gamble, intercept the ball and makes an easy job of rounding the keeper and tapping-in Crawley's 2nd goal.
And Reds could have been two or three goals up, such was dominance in the opening 45 minutes.
As well as Quinn's header, which came from a Simon Weatherstone free-kick, Town had several chances in the first half, notably from Jamie Cook (twice) and Weatherstone, who made keeper Patrick Gamble make a full-length save to keep the visitors in the game.
HALF-TIME: Crawley Town 1 Mansfield Town 0
42mins - Rents crosses to Cook in the penalty area, who cannot control his header which flies wide.
38mins - Killeen sets up Simon Weatherstone for a well-taken shot from 25 yards which forces Gamble into a superb diving save to turn around for a corner.
34mins - A good Crawley move from the left reaches Thomas Pinault who has a clear shot on goal but his first time effort slices wide of the upright.
23mins - Crawley's Jamie Cook fires a good shot which is saved by keeper Patrick Gamble.
22mins - YELLOW card for Mansfield's Anthony Robinson for a foul on Simon Weatherstone.
16mins - Rayner catches a header from Matthew Somner in a similar move to Crawley's goal at the opposite end of the pitch.
16mins - GOAL (1-0) CRAWLEY take the lead with their first meaningful attack, a free-kick by Simon Weatherstone on the right finding the head of defender Adam QUINN.
8mins - Mansfield create the first attempt on goal when a one-two between Stallard and Blackwood resulted in Blackwood trying to chip keeper Simon Rayner from the left hand channel, only for the Crawley custodian to comfortably catch it.
CRAWLEY Town manager Steve Evans kept an unchanged side for the big match at home to leaders Mansfield Town.
Mansfield boss Billy McEwan made one change to the side which beat Eastbourne Borough 3-1 at home last Saturday, bringing in striker An thony Robinson for Aaron O'Connor, who was on the bench.
REDS: Rayner, Rents, Weatherstone, Wright, Forrest, Bulman (capt), Pinault, Cook, Killeen, Wilson, Quinn. Subs: Stevens, Giles, Fletcher, Thomas, Douglas
STAGS: Gamble, Silk, D'Laryea, Moses (capt), O'Hare, Arnold, Somner, Stallard, Blackwood, Jeannin, Robinson. Subs: Shaw, McGhee, Hurren, O'Connor, Herriott
REF: Brendan Malone (Salisbury)
ATTENDANCE: 2,013 (262)
OBSERVER MAN OF THE MATCH: Thomas Pinault
Latest | September 2008