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STAGS DENIED BY REF IN STOPPAGE TIME
18/February/2009 15:56:15

Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town 0 - 0 Kettering

Attendance: 2355 (175 from Kettering)

Date: 17 February 2009

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Report from Northants Evening Telegraph:
All-square as Poppies draw a blank

After the first 20 minutes, it was hard to believe this clash would end in a goalless draw.
Kettering Town and Mansfield Town set off like two Formula One racing cars, only to run out of ideas when it looked like it might get interesting.

As the game wore on, clear-cut chances came in short supply and it soon became clear that neither team would make a breakthrough.

It's not for us to say whether Mansfield will be pleased with the outcome.

But for Kettering Town this was another good result to follow up their win at Woking.

Guy Branston and Exodus Geohaghon were towering at the back while any attacking they did came through the wonderful boot of Andre Boucaud who was excellent once again.

It's two clean sheets in a row for the Poppies and that will delight manager Mark Cooper.

However, he will remain concerned at his team's lack of goals. Apart from the opening quarter, Alan Marriott was rarely tested in the home goal. Perhaps Gareth Seddon's return – whenever that comes – is the answer to that particular problem.

It was real backs-to-the-wall stuff for the Poppies to start with as Mansfield came out fired up for what proved to be an explosive opening 20 minutes.

Lee Harper – as he did at Woking at the weekend – was forced to make a magnificent early save as he tipped Matt Somner's glancing header over the bar.

And within two minutes, Andre Boucaud was Kettering's saviour as he hacked Alan O'Hare's header off the line.

The Poppies finally got into their stride and Boucaud was desperately unlucky not to put them in front when his 25-yard blockbuster crashed off the post with Alan Marriott motionless in the home goal.

Craig Westcarr was also denied by the woodwork as his free-kick cannoned off the bar but Dale Bennett had to make a fine last-ditch tackle at the other end to deny Louis Briscoe.

Things did finally settle down with both sides cancelling each other out in the remainder of the half and that was the way it stayed in the early stages of the second period.

Neither team was able to get a grip on things as the impressive opening 20 minutes fast became a distant memory.

Jonathan D'Laryea's effort barely tested Harper but there no other real chances as the defences dominated.

Mansfield had an excellent shout for a penalty waved away in stoppage-time as Gary Silk was upended by Richard Graham.

But a winner either way would have been harsh in a game that, ultimately, got the result it deserved.

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report from http://www.ketteringtownfc.co.uk

It was a stalemate at Field Mill tonight as neither team could penetrate each other's defence, and the game petered out for a 0-0 scoreline.

Kettering fielded the same starting line up as at Woking last Saturday and with Jason Lee ineligible to play, Nicky Eaden was name as a substitute.
Mansfield, as yet unbeaten in 2009, recalled fit again Nathan Arnold, but was without Scott Garner and Aaron O'connor. Alan O'Hare and Louis Briscoe got the nod and Michael Blackwood reverted to substitute.

The home team started off extremely brightly and Kettering's Dale Bennett had to be sharp to intercept a cross at the expense of a corner. From the restart Nathan Arnold set up a shot for Matt Somner which Lee Harper did very well to tip over for a corner. From this corner, former Poppy Rob Duffy's header from 12 yards was also well saved by Harper. Then, on 5 minutes, Jonathan D'Laryea had a shot deflected over for a corner. From this corner Andre Boucaud cleared off the line from Alan O'Hare's header.

The Poppies eventually got out of their own half and after their first corner was cleared as far as Boucaud, his shot rattled off the right post with keeper Alan Marriott beaten. From the rebound Alfie Potter's shot was well blocked by O'Hare.

On 15 minutes a trademark Craig Westcarr free kick from 20 yards on the left hit the home crossbar- again with Marriott as a spectator. Mansfield kept pressing and only two timely interceptions from Bennett and Frankie Artus kept the home side at bay. It was becoming end-to end stuff as Westcarr's curler on 20 minutes was just wide of Marriott's left upright. Three minutes later Richard Graham's corner also fell to Westcarr and again his curled shot was just wide of the target.

Dale Bennett came to the rescue again to cut out Louis Briscoe's cross and from the clearance Matt Somner shot high over the bar. On the half hour Alfie Potter's shot was deflected into the grateful hands of Marriott.

The Poppies had a great chance to open the scoring after 35 minutes. Richard Graham's corner was met by Exodus Geohaghon's head. The Ball fell to Jean-Paul
Marna, who back-heeled for goal. The ball was partly cleared and ran to Geohaghon- who could only drag the ball wide from a great position. Almost immediately the Stags broke and with Briscoe shaping to shoot from 12 yards, Guy Branston got back to concede a corner.

At the end of the half,Alfie Potter shot wide after Richard Graham's corner;a Geohaghon throw was nodded back to Graham by Westcarr but the wide man's shot was over the top. Two further Graham corner's were dealt with, before, at the other end, Adie Moses headed Woodhouse's corner wide.

Half Time:

Mansfield 0 - 0 Kettering Town

The second half proved to be something of an anti-climax as both defences dominated. Two early corners for Mansfield saw Duffy finally get no power into his overhead kick. For Kettering Andre Boucaud lifted a ball into the home area, after a corner clearance, but the ball rolled harmlessly wide.

Marna won a corner for Kettering and Luke Potter's header from Graham's corner went wide. On 68 minutes a poor clearance fell to D'Laryea who may have done better as he shot straight at Harper. For the next 15 minutes it was complete stalemate, with no goal chances but with a succession of yellow cards as players and referee seemed to get frustrated.
Seven minutes from time, Lee Harper and Branston did well to again nullify a good break involving Duffy and substitute Mark Stallard. Two minutes later Chris Beardsley's cross from the right was well defended to snuff out any danger. On 87 minutes Westcarr's free kick was well held by Marriott, and then Westcarr nodded the ball on for ex Stag, Beardsley, but Moses and Marriott defended well.

In the last minute of normal time the Stags had a good shout for a penalty turned down by the Referee as substitute Gary Silk went over in the box after a challenge by Graham. Late pressure from the Poppies was to no avail as Geohaghon's long throw and Graham's subsequent corner were both well defended.

Full Time:

Mansfield 0 - 0 Kettering Town

Attendance: 2355 (Poppies Fans 175)

Poppies Man of the Match: Dale Bennett

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report from http://www.poppiesfans.com

Poppies v Mansfield Town ends in stalemate
February 16, 2009—

Mansfield Town 0
Kettering Town 0

Kettering Town travel to Mansfield Town on Tuesday night for a re-arranged league fixture with Mark Cooper looking to avenge the Poppies 3-1 defeat at home back on Boxing Day. If Kettering are able to produce a win over the Stags it will be their first back-to-back league victories since mid-October.

A fairly bright start to the match with shots on goal already into double figures after 15 minutes gone. Craig Westcarr had Kettering's best effort so far as his strike came back off the crossbar. The home side enjoying slightly more of the possession in the early stages and Robert Duffy was denied from close-in by Lee Harper in the Poppies goal.

Kettering beginning to pressure the home defence as the half-hour mark arrives. Alfie Potter's ball in the box is collected by Marriott in the Stags goal and Westcarr fires one wide of the post. Richard Graham fires just over the bar as half-time approaches. Kettering finish the first 45 period strong but it's goaless going into the break at Field Mill.

Half-time: Mansfield Town 0 Kettering Town 0

Straight back into the action as Robert Duffy fires a shot wide and at the other end Marriott reacts quickest to collect a ball in from a Richard Graham inswinging corner. Graham switches to far post and Alfie Potter's effort goes wide left.

Already six corners in the first 15 minutes of the second period but not much in the way of a quality final ball to trouble either keeper so far approaching the hour-mark at Field Mill. Silk replaces Gardner for Stags.

On 64 minutes Louis Briscoe is the first into the referee's notebook in tonight's match for a foul and most of the huffing and puffing isn't really looking like producing that vital end result when it reaches the penalty area for either side. Potter brings a save from Marriott and Harper denies D'Laryea at the other end.

Mark Cooper makes a change as Alfie Potter is replaced by Darren Wrack with just over twenty minutes left to play. Chris Beardsley replaces Jean-Paul Marna for the last 15 minutes and the referee books Robert Duffy, Matthew Somner and Exodus Geohaghon in a busy flurry of yellow cards.

Into the final ten minutes of the match and any mistake leading to a goal could well settle this encounter at Field Mil in the closing stages with goals very hard to come by so far tonight. Brett Solkhon comes on for Frankie Artus to see the match out for Kettering.

A free-kick just outside the box at centre taken by Craig Westcarr was on target but well held by Alan Marriott in the Stags goal. Into the dying seconds and the home side appeal for a penalty as Silk was clipped in the box but the referee waves play on.

Stoppage-time comes to an end and the match ends honours-even with neither side able to breach their opposite defences despite plenty of action in the middle of the park. It's another point away from home and another clean sheet for Kettering.

Att: 2,355

Kettering Town: Harper, Bennett, Branston, Geohaghon, L.Potter, R.Graham, Boucaud, Artus, A.Potter, Westcarr, Marna. Subs: Eaden, Wrack(A.Potter 68), Dempster, Solkhon(Artus 81), Beardsley.

Mansfield Town: Marriott, Gardner, Moses, O'Hare, Mayo, Arnold, Somner, D'Laryea, Briscoe, Duffy, Woodhouse. Subs: White, Silk(Gardner 62), Stallard(Arnold 71), Blackwood, MacKenzie.

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