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SCOTT GARNER SEALS SUPER WIN FOR STAGS AT SEASIDE
2/February/2009 11:24:03

Eastbourne Borough 1 - 2 Mansfield Town
Atkin 7. D'Laryea 45+2, Garner 78.
Attendance: 1,420 (approx 300 from Mansfield)

Martin Shaw at the Langney Sports Club

Mansfield Town picked up a third consecutive away win, and a fifth win in seven games, with a wonderful 2-1 win at in-form Eastbourne Borough this afternoon. A very strong wind created a game of two halves. Eastbourne had the wind behind them in the first half and pinned the Stags into their own half for long spells and could have been further ahead than the one goal from Andy Atkin on 7 minutes. The Stags needed to get to half time only one behind to give themselves a good chance for the second half, but did better than that as Matt Somner's great curling cross was buried with a beautiful right foot finish from 8 yards by captain Jon D'Laryea two minutes into stoppage time at the end of the half. The second half saw the Stags in the ascendancy as Eastbourne found difficulty getting the ball out of defence and after the Stags had missed some good chances, the winner came on 78 minutes as Michael Blackwood's super free kick from the left was met with a bullet header from the towering Scott Garner and the ball flew into the net. It was a fabulous moment for the young centre half who was still buzzing when he spoke to me after the game (full interview to follow on Sunday Supplement on mansfieldtown.net on Sunday morning). The Stags had a massive let-off on 88 minutes as the ball rebounded off a Stags player in their own box and time stood still as it slowly rolled against the post and away to safety. So a tremendous win for Mansfield and one which brings David Holdsworth's record to a fantastic 10 points from 4 games, unbeaten with just one goal conceded.

Full report in the Match Centre
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Observer report by Steve Hartshorn

IMPRESSIVE RUN CONTINUES

Eastbourne Borough 1 Mansfield Town 2

The Stags recorded their 3rd win in four games as the David Holdsworth Field Mill revolution continued with a 2-1 victory away at in-form Eastbourne Borough. Mansfield have now picked up 10 points from a possible 12.

The home side took a 7th minute lead when Atkin finished from close range, but Holdsworth's new-look Stags reacted well to conceding their first goal under the new manager's reign with goals from Jonathan D'Laryea and Scott Garner proving enough to bring the points back home from the East Sussex coast.

The strong windy conditions dictated the pattern of each half with the home side clearly in the ascendancy for long period of the first and Stags virtually controlling the second.

Mansfield, who had not conceded a goal in their previous three games were rocked back on their heals when the in-form home side took a seventh minute lead. Eastbourne centre forward, Dan Smith raced clear from the halfway line, Stags' keeper, Marriott did well to save at his feet on the edge of the area but the loose ball landed at the feet of Harding who clipped a perfect ball onto the head of the waiting, Atkin who nodded home despite the desperate attempts of James Kay on the line.

The blustery conditions were clearly having a large effect on the game as the Stags defence struggled to get any distance on their clearances. Indeed whilst Marriott's kicks often failed to even reach the halfway line, Boro Keeper Hook's kicks often ended up bouncing through to his opposite number.

The home side could have gone a further goal ahead but for the agility of Marriott who dived down well to save a decent hit shot by Smith. The pressure on the Mansfield goal was relentless. In the 13th minute Boro earned three successive corners. Stags though were holding firm but on 19 minutes were grateful to Somner who blocked a shot by Harding.

It took Mansfield 26 minutes before their first real threat on the Eastbourne goal, unfortunately though Duffy headed well wide from Blackwood's corner.

Just before the half hour mark, Stags were awarded a free kick about 20 yards from goal. Woodhouse took it but his effort cannoned off the wall and was cleared from danger.

With 32 minutes on the clock, Manager, Holdsworth decided that his pre-match plan was not working and so changed his line up. O'Connor replaced James Kay who had begun the game at left back. Woodhouse dropped in at left back as Stags reverted to a 4-4-2 with a front two of Duffy and O'Connor, Ameobi moving over to the right hand side.

Stags would have probably been happy to get to the interval just one goal behind but the half time 'cuppa' tasted sweeter thanks to a goal in added on time from D'Laryea. The industrious Matty Somner crossed in a delightful ball from the right hand side where the incoming D'Laryea neatly slotted home from 8 yards giving the hapless Hook no chance.

The 2nd half proved to be a story almost entirely written about Mansfield as aided by the strong wind the Stags passed the ball well and for long periods dominated the proceedings.

On 51 minutes, O'Connor did well to capitalize on a slip from Harding but his shot was always rising from the moment the ball left his foot and sailed over the crossbar. Two minutes later, from a Stags corner, Eastbourne keeper, Hook fluffed and the ball dropped to Ameobi who had his shot blocked. From another Blackwood corner, Hook punched the ball, which hit the back of the head of one of his own defenders and narrowly floated over the crossbar.

Just before the hour mark, Stags centre forward, Duffy let loose a shot from the edge of the area that was deflected on route to goal but was brilliantly saved by Hook.

Duffy again went close as he powered a header just over the crossbar from a free kick taken by Blackwood as Stags took full advantage of t he conditions to dominate.

On 73 minutes Briscoe replaced Ameobi. Two minutes later Duffy laid the ball back to Somner who from just outside the area, blasted over the bar.

With just 12 minutes left on the clock, Stags were awarded a free kick wide left. Blackwood took the kick then spun away in delight as his ball was powerfully headed in from close range by centre half, Scott Garner.

The Stags had shown great character to come from a goal behind against one of the in-form sides in the BSP.

As expected the home side raised their game in an attempt to salvage at least a point. Crabb headed over when he should have done better, but the real let off for Mansfield came on 88 minutes. A free kick from Wormull took a slight deflection and bounced agonisingly towards goal. Thankfully for The Stags the ball bounced off the post and was cleared.

The final chance of the game came when O'Connor went around the keeper but was forced too wide to finish.

This weekend, Stags face York City at Field Mill. Holdsworth's men are four points above their opponents and a win for Mansfield would take them possibly to just three wins away from the play off positions.

Observer Man of the match – Matt Somner. Great ball in for the first goal and never let his head go down at any point of the game.

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