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Archived News from October 2008

STAGS BEATEN AGAIN AS POOR RUN CONTINUES
21st October 2008 14:43


Mansfield Town 1 - 2 Wrexham
Sinclair 26. Mike Williams 31, Marc Williams 57.
Attendance: 2757 (529 from Wrexham)

Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Mansfield Town fell to a fourth straight defeat today, at home to Wrexham. When the four points are deducted on Monday, the Stags will be one point above the relegation zone, and 11 points behind the final play-off place. It has been an astonishing three weeks since we sat third after an exhilarating win at Salisbury.

The Stags took the lead through the remarkable pace of on-loan striker Emile Sinclair, making his debut. But Wrexham equalised within 5 minutes as the other on-loan player making his debut Sam Wedgbury lost his marker from a corner. Wedgbury soon limped off with a possible broken leg. 1-1 was a fair reflection of the first half, but the Stags were very poor in the second half and Wrexham deserved their winner on 57 minutes after on-loan Max Chanot was barged off the ball too easily. The Stags now have only one league game in the next 27 days.

Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre

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Highlights from the Stagsworld audio commentary of the home defeat to Wrexham, here

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report from buckleyreds.co.uk

Thanks again to Rory Sheehan who will be providing match reports and feature articles

Mansfield 1 Wrexham 2
Wrexham recorded their 3rd successive win since appointing Dean Saunders as manager and the resurgence continues.

They travelled to Field Mill where relegation from the Football League was effectively sealed last season, though the home side Mansfield eventually went down with us. They'd made a better start to life in the BSP but that has been curtailed by off-field issues and a recent points deduction.

New signing Ashley Westwood made his Wrexham debut at centre-half in place of Steve Evans. Levi Mackin replaced the injured Fleming and Simon Brown replaced Spann. Michael Proctor came in for the injured Louis. Ex-Dragon Michael Blackwood was in the 'Stags' line-up.

There was no real quality on display in the opening stages or any proper clear-cut opportunities. Simon Brown received plenty of stick from the fans of his former club and Carl Tremarco pulled up with an ankle injury early on. He was replaced by Silvio Spann who made an immediate impact – at the wrong end.

As Simon Brown dawdled on the ball following a Wrexham corner he was caught by Mansfield's Emile Sinclair. Sinclair carried the ball into the Wrexham half but Spann closed in on him to dispossess the pacy forward… or not! His feeble mis-kick for a back-pass was pounced on by Sinclair who rounded Ward to open the scoring on 25 minutes.

It was a dreadful howler and to say Spann looked devastated would be an understatement. Maybe it was because he'd only recently returned on a long flight back from Trinidad, or because he's starting to show his true quality as a player, fans and team-mates alike rallied behind him, immediately forgiving the error. Spann then went on to have a good, productive game.

As it was, we were soon back level. Just after half an hour a superb Baynes corner was met by an unstoppable Mike Williams header for his first senior goal. Wrexham were by now far the better team, going forward regularly and looking dangerous.

The home team started the second-half brightly but Wrexham were soon in control and creating chances. Our dominance paid off when Mike's younger brother, Marc Williams, continued his rich vein of form in front of goal.

Proctor did the hard work in the area before playing the ball to Williams, who shrugged off the challenge of a defender, before lashing home from close-range in front of the travelling fans near the hour-mark.

Almost immediately Mansfield replaced one veteran striker (Mark Stallard) with another (Jason Lee) in an attempt to draw level. To counter Lee's height Saunders replaced Simon Brown with Steve Evans. Still, it was Wrexham who remained on top.

Goalscorer Mike Williams became the latest injury victim as he went down concussed in centre-circle from an earlier incident with quarter of an hour to go. He was replaced by Sam Aiston. With one eye on running down the clock we hung on defensively at times in the closing stages though Proctor did have a shot saved point-blank from 6 yards out.
The final whistle eventually sounded to ensure that the Dean Saunders 100% record continued. Once again a young Wrexham side showed the character to come from a goal down away from home to take all 3 points.

Our instant turnaround in form since the arrival of Saunders has been well-earned and very welcome. The future now looks interesting if not very exciting.
He's managing to draw performances out of players previously written off by some fans and the old regime – Spann, and Marc Williams to name just two, and is generally getting the best out of everyone else. Who knows what other hidden depths of talent he'll find in the squad?

Maybe we'll discover more when we start our FA Cup campaign at home to Eastwood Town this weekend…

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report from Daily Post
Mansfield 1 Wrexham FC 2
Oct 20 2008 By Mark Currie
http://www.dailypost.co.uk

IT was one of those 'I was there' occasions for the 529 Wrexham fans who travelled to Field Mill on Saturday as brothers Mike and Marc Williams wrote themselves into the Racecourse record books by becoming the first brothers in the club's history to score in the same match.

Their goals put the Dragons duo in exalted company alongside Bobby and Jack Charlton, who both netted for England in a 5-1 victory over Wales way back in 1966, but more importantly they earned a third straight win for manager Dean Saunders.

Former international striker Saunders has hit the ground running in the latest phase of a distinguished career and extended his unblemished record to date despite being forced by circumstances to shuffle his pack both before and during the game.

Injuries to Jefferson Louis and Andy Fleming had robbed Saunders of two key figures in the previous win against York City and the rigours of the afternoon added two more casualties to an ever-growing list as both Carl Tremarco and goal-scorer Mike were forced off either side of the interval.

But the Racecourse boss, who has clearly injected a fresh sense of purpose and enthusiasm into his squad, doesn't do excuses and the players he called upon to maintain the standards he has set were not found wanting.

Given their chance, both Michael Proctor and Levi Mackin came in and played crucial roles in another solid team performance, while Silvio Spann shrugged off the effects of his trans-Atlantic travels to once more demonstrate he is also keen to grab the career lifeline offered by the managerial change.

Proctor, who set up Wrexham's winner and went close to adding a spectacular third, was among those singled out for praise by Saunders and the striker admitted he was again enjoying life at the Racecourse after being marginalised by previous boss Brian Little.

"It's the first 90 minutes I've had for a long time – I think I've only started one other game this season – so it's nice to be involved again," he said.

"Even though I was starting to feel it in the last 10 minutes I enjoyed it, especially with us getting the win.

"I thought it was a good performance because we had to dig in a bit. We knew Mansfield would come at us and try and bombard us with crosses, but I thought we worked really hard and we knew that eventually our chances would come."

And Proctor said he was pleased to have been involved in the history-making performance by the two brothers.

"I'm delighted for them both," he added. "The first was a set piece we have worked on in training. The gaffer said he thought we would score from a set piece and it was an excellent header from Mike.

"Then Marc showed great upper body strength and produced a tidy little finish, so it was great for them."

But in addition to bringing the best out of players who had been virtually discarded, Saunders has also displayed a so-far unerring ability to spot – then try to fix – the squad's deficiencies.

On loan midfielder Joe Allen followed his impressive debut 12 days earlier with another fine outing in which the teenager displayed a maturity beyond his years for a contest that demanded as much bravery as skill.

And newly-signed defender Ashley Westwood brought steel and stability to the back four in a manner that revived memories of Gareth Davies in his heyday. The 32-year-old veteran marshalled and organised his fellow defenders with authority and his anticipation more than made up for any erosion of pace.

Leading by example, Westwood's first tackle of the game was spot-on and stopped former Racecourse winger Michael Blackwood in his tracks following the winger's penetrating run that had taken him past two Wrexham players.

A battle featuring the two worst sides in the Football League last season was always going to be about a little more than the three points at stake so it was frenetic at times and defender Maxime Chanot was fortunate to escape a booking after only five minutes when he bundled Marc Williams out of a promising goal scoring opportunity.

It was the opening round of a fascinating contest between the two, Wrexham's teenage striker eventually coming out a convincing winner, but in the wider context the home side drew first blood with the opening goal in the 26th minute.

Having successfully defended a corner, won when Chanot deflected a Williams shot behind, Mansfield took full advantage of a careless touch from Simon Brown and knocked the ball forward for loan striker Emile Sinclair to chase.

Spann, who had replaced the injured Tremarco just three minutes earlier, won the race, but his attempted back-pass to Gavin Ward was woefully under hit and Sinclair was able to round the keeper and fire into an empty net.

The lead, however, was short-lived and the Dragons were back on equal terms within five minutes when a Mike Williams header from Wes Baynes' corner gave Paddy Gamble no chance and brought the defender his first goal for the Dragons.

Mansfield – with four defeats in their previous five openings – suddenly looked vulnerable and Alen Jeannin did well to deny Marc Williams, Proctor squandered a superb opportunity when he headed wide from a pin-point Neil Taylor centre and Westwood ventured upfield to send a looping effort over the crossbar.

But it was not until the 57th minute that Wrexham got their noses in front. Spann was involved with a telling pass to Proctor whose reverse pass left Williams with a lot to do.

But the youngster eased Chanot out of his way, took a touch to improve the angle and then comprehensively beat the keeper from 10 yards to register his fourth goal in the last three matches.

Home boss Billy McEwan's response was to replace veteran striker Mark Stallard with the equally experienced Jason Lee and within five minutes Saunders had countered by introducing Steve Evans for Brown.

But Wrexham were then forced into another defensive shuffle when Mike Williams, who had been treated minutes earlier after a clash of heads, was unable to continue and was helped to the dressing room suffering from delayed concussion.

Nevertheless the visitors went close to increasing their lead with the best move of the afternoon in the 78th minute.

Allen's 40-yard pass picked out Spann, who played in the overlapping Baynes. His centre was met perfectly by Proctor's volley, but Gamble flung himself to his left to save.

That gave the home side hope and they pressed forward for a point, but the visitors' defence held firm to give their manager a perfect nine points out of nine as Wrexham prepare to make history again this weekend with a first appearance in the FA Cup qualifiers.

Mansfield Town: Gamble; Silk, Chanot (Robinson 86), Moses, Jeannin; Arnold, Wedgebury (Hurren 43), D'Laryea, Blackwood; Stallard (Lee 61), Sinclair. Subs: Somner, Knight.

Booked: Chanot.

Wrexham: Ward 7; Baynes 7, Westwood 9, Mike Williams 7 (Aiston 76), Tremarco 6 (Spann 23, 6); S Brown 5 (S Evans 66, 7), Allen 7, Mackin 7, Taylor 7; Proctor 8, Marc Williams 8. Subs: A Williams, Kearney.

Booked: Baynes, Marc Williams, Allen.

Referee: P E Curry.

Attendance: 2,754.

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