ARNOLD GOAL MAKES IT FIFTH ONE-NIL FOR HOLDSWORTH
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Lewes
Att: 2,434 (22 from Lewes)
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
A superb finish from Nathan Arnold was enough to give the Stags a 1-0 win over Lewes at Field Mill on Saturday. Arnold latched on to a fine Ryan Williams ball to lob over the keeper from the edge of the box wide on the right. It was Mansfield's fifth one-nil win under the new manager, and keeps up the remarkable record of not conceding a single goal in five home games in which Holdsworth has been in charge. It could have been more comfortable for the Stags: Nathan Arnold was denied a penalty when he was blatantly tripped in the box in the first half and Aaron O'Connor blasted a fine shot against the post in the second half, but 1-0 was enough. The Stags have taken an impressive 20 points from 9 games under Holdsworth, with just 2 goals conceded.
Stagsnet report in the Match Centre.
Audio commentary on Stags winner, taken from exclusive full match commentary by Nigel Pinnick and Martin Shaw on Stagsworld here
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn:
ARNOLD SHOOTS DOWN LEWES
Mansfield Town 1 Lewes 0
'1-0 to the Mansfield' is fast becoming a familiar chant around Field Mill as David Holdsworth's Stags recorded their fifth 1-0 win in nine games with victory over bottom of the table, Lewes.
The no nonsense Stags boss has now notched up an impressive 20 points out of a possible 27 since taking over the hot seat keeping alive the slim hopes that the club could make a speedy return to the Football League.
Rock bottom Lewes, besieged by problems on and off the field gave it a go against an in form Mansfield but try as they might they could do nothing about slipping to their 10th defeat on the trot.
It was though looking at being a frustrating afternoon for Mansfield as a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing kept the Stags at bay that was until Nathan Arnold's decisive finish on 70 minutes.
Any thoughts that a Stags victory was a forgone conclusion were quickly dismayed as early as the first minute when the visitors, roared on by an away following of just 22 earned a corner when Wilkinson's shot was deflected wide.
Stags though responded well and a fierce shot from last weekend's goalscoring hero, Rob Duffy gave the Stags their first corner, all this in the opening 60 seconds.
Lewes goalkeeper, Rikki Banks was probably expecting another busy afternoon after conceding 70 goals in their previous 34 games and indeed was forced into early action to deny Mayo.
From Mansfield's 2nd corner of the game, Duffy rose at the far post to head the ball back onto the edge of the six yard box where it looked as if Garner would provide a telling finish however, Banks managed to grasp the ball after a brief scramble.
On 10 minutes Lewes raised a few eyebrows when they forced three successive corners. Thankfully though Stags held firm.
Just before the ¼ hour mark, stags created the best chance of the game when good play from Arnold resulted in the ball dropping at the feet of Aaron O'Connor. The Stags striker, with his back to goal, flipped the ball up and went for a spectacular overhead that flashed just wide of the mark.
With Somner injured, a starting eleven place went to Neil MacKenzie and it was he who dictated all the free kicks awarded to the Stags, from one of which the ball fell to the feet of the unmarked, Moses but after doing well to control it, he hit it straight into the grateful arms of Banks in the Lewes goal.
On 20 minutes Lewes created their best chance of the game. Keehan was allowed far too much space and time on the edge of the Stags area before unleashing a powerful shot that narrowly arched its way away from goal with Marriott beaten.
The half hour mark saw Banks at his best as Mansfield were frustrated once more. Good play between Arnold and MacKenzie resulted in 'Macca' dropping a shoulder and attempting to curl the ball home, only to see Banks leap through the air to dramatically push the ball out for a corner kick. From the resulting kick, Duffy once again won the ball before it fell to Garner, whom Banks once again denied.
In the 33rd minute, Arnold sent a powerful drive towards goal that Banks did well to push over the crossbar for yet another Stags corner kick.
Just before the half time whistle Blackwood's ball across the area fell on the head of O'Connor but all he could do was head the ball straight at the grateful Banks.
Half time was greeted with a mixture of muted boo's and grumbles, obviously born of frustration.
Stags though almost took the lead just five minutes after the break. Duffy did well to head the ball down into the path of O'Connor, but the Stags strikers' half volley although beating the outstretched hand of Banks, cannoned off the foot of the keeper's left hand post. Straight after, Williams came on for Blackwood as Holdsworth tried to shake his pack.
Banks was increasingly keeping his hands warm as he denied Stags time and time again. First he was down well at the feet of Duffy following a cross from Silk and then he denied Garner.
On 64 minutes, the hungry Louis Briscoe came on for O'Connor and with 2 minutes, he found his name in the Referee's notebook for a foul on Wilkinson.
The long awaited breakthrough came on 70 minutes and it was a goal well worth waiting for. A cross-field ball from Ryan Williams found Nathan Arnold who efficiently lobbed the ball over the advancing Banks to send Field Mill wild more with relief than joy.
Stags were now baying for blood and forced two quick corners but they were almost undone when Lewes broke with speed and forced Alan Marriott into his customary class save. Foreman laying the ball off for Wheeler who hit a low drive that the stags keeper parried away.
Marriott was forced into one more save before the end as he got on the end of a drive from Cox.
The end of the game saw a nice gesture from Stags manager Holdsworth who along with several Stags players, walked over to applaud the travelling Lewes supporters.
It had been another solid if not spectacular performance from Mansfield who will hope to keep their impressive run going with positive results from away at Cambridge and new weekend, at home to strugglers, Forest Green Rovers.
Observer man of the match – Ryan Williams, came on 5 minutes into the 2nd half but provided a real sparkle including setting up the winner.
report from The Argus:
Lewes pay for Banks mistake
Saturday 7th March 2009
By Howard Griggs »
Lewes paid for an error of judgment from Rikki Banks as they went down 1-0 away to Mansfield.
Banks, who had earlier made two great saves, had no need to come charging out of his goal 20 minutes from time to provide Nathan Arnold with the easy decision of lobbing the ball into an unguarded net.
It was harsh on Lewes who showed plenty of heart and looked like they might end their miserable run which has now stretched to 13 consecutive Blue Square premier defeats.
The had to defend for long periods but also had chances of their own including Joe Keehan's first half effort which flew narrowly wide and David Wheeler's stinging shot three minutes after falling behind.
The Rooks started with a teenage strikeforce with Southend loanee Rhys Henry, 19, coming in for his full debut alongside 17-year-old Fred Foreman.
Henry, who impressed as a substitute against Histon last week, replaced for Josh Klein-Davies who was ruled out by injury.
Klein-Davies' loan from Bristol Rovers is up for review and manager Kevin Keehan will assess the injury he picked up in training with his parent club before deciding whether to extend his stay with the Rooks for a third and final month.
Anthony Barness returned from a one-match ban so Chris Breach and Stefan Cox, who was replaced by Foreman, dropped to the bench.
It took just 30 seconds for Lewes to produce a shot at goal, Shaun Wilkinson's low shot being deflected wide for a corner.
Mansfield responded with efforts from Rob Duffy and Paul Mayo, all within the first four minutes.
The early stages were very open and the Rooks played their part by forcing four corners in the opening ten minutes.
Lewes went close to breaking the deadlock on 20 minutes when a 25-yard effort from Keehan flew inches past a post with keeper Alan Marriott beaten.
Banks made a fine save on the half-hour mark to push Neil MacKenzie's shot round the far post for a corner after the Lewes defence was stretched.
Banks then tipped a Nathan Arnold over the bar three minutes later following a recycled corner.
The pressure was mounting from the hosts but Lewes held firm and Mansfield were greeted with some boos from the stands as they left the pitch at half-time.
Within minutes of the restart Mansfield forward Aaron O'Connor crashed a 20-yard shot against the near post with Banks beaten.
Banks came to the rescue of Lewes again on 63 minutes as he tipped a header from Scott Garner over the bar following Arnold's cross from the left.
The breakthrough when it came with 20 minutes remaining was avoidable. Ryan Williams played a long ball down the right flank for Arnold to chase with Sam Fisk for company. Fisk seemed to be dealing with the situation but Banks came charging out and Arnold lobbed the ball into an empty net.
Lewes responded with a smart move started by Danny Cullip's pass out of defence for Fred Foreman who in turn fed the overlapping Wheeler and his rasping shot stung goalkeeper Marriott's palms.
Stefan Cox and Tim Rivers were thrown on in an attempt to find an equaliser but the goal would not come. The closest they came was a 20-yard effort from Cox which Marriott held comfortably.
For Lewes, Cullip was immense at the back while there were several other impressive performances Lewes: Rikki Banks; Anthony Barness, Danny Cullip, Guy Butters, Sam Fisk; David Wheeler (sub Tim Rivers 84), Joe Keehan, Shaun Wilkinson, Michael Standing; Rhys Henry, Fred Foreman (sub Stefan Cox 80). Subs not used: Chris Breach, Grant Hall, Chris Winterton.
Mansfield: Alan Marriott; Gary Silk, Scott Garner, Adie Moses, Paul Mayo; Nathan Arnold, Jonathan D'Layrea, Neil MacKenzie, Michael Blackwood (sub Ryan Williams 51); Robert Duffy, Aaron O'Connor (sub Louis Briscoe 64). Subs not used: Curtis Woodhouse, Gianluca Havern, Jason White.
Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire).
Latest | March 2009