TERRIBLE STAGS BEATEN AWAY YET AGAIN
Blue Square Premier
Wrexham 2 - 0 Mansfield Town
Anoruo 9 pen, Crofts 25.
Attendance: 2,401 (166 from Mansfield)
Date: 4 April 2009
Martin Shaw at the Racecourse Ground
Mansfield Town were beaten away from home for the fifth time in six games, at Wrexham this afternoon. It was an awful performance from the Stags, but the game did hinge on two key decisions that both went against Mansfield. Wrexham were awarded a penalty after 9 minutes when the ball touched Scott Garner's hand inside the box, but quite clearly he had slipped over, was off balance, his arm was not outstretched and he could not avoid it. After the game Stags boss Holdsworth described the decision as "rubbish". Even the Wrexham media admitted it was never a penalty. After Wrexham had made it two nil with a header from Crofts following dreadful marking from the Stags, the other key moment of the game came on 38 minutes when Scott Garner cleanly headed home a Nathan Arnold cross, but to everyone's astonishment the linesman flagged for offside. The Stags were terrible after the break and never looked like getting back in the game, having only one decent chance when sub Briscoe was unlucky to see his cracking effort tipped wide by the keeper.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn
STAGS SHY FROM DRAGONS' FIRE
Wrexham 2 Mansfield Town 0
The Stags slumped to their fifth defeat in six away games losing 2-0 at the hands of Wrexham leaving Manager David Holdsworth furious and apologising to the fans for his sides 'inept' performance.
Stags started the game with an attacking 4-3-3 formation but were rocked back on their heals and found themselves two goals down inside the opening 25 minutes. The 2nd period faired no better for Mansfield who for once under the reigns of David Holdsworth failed to sparkle and deservedly left Wales to the tune of a 2-0 defeat and the angry voice of their manager ringing long in their ears.
The game started with a booking within the first 60 seconds when Wrexham right-winger, Silvio Spann clattered into Paul Mayo leaving the Stags defender in need of attention.
Spann turned out to be a prominent figure in the opening minutes with his hard faced right wing crosses that caused the Stags defence a multitude of problems.
The Stags seemed to be a little short of zest and it was the home side who were controlling the midfield and springing attacks with front runner, and former Stag, Jefferson Louis causing problems for the Mansfield back four.
It took the Welsh side 10 minutes before they registered the first goal of the afternoon, but it came in controversial circumstances. Spann did well to whip in a cross from the right hand side, the ball then hit Stags' defender, Scott Garner on the hand and the referee pointed straight to the spot for a penalty kick. It seemed a very harsh decision on the young defender who had his hand down at his side and not going towards the ball. Obi Anorou placed the ball down and sent Marriott the wrong way. It was yet another poor decision from a BSP official.
It took Mansfield 23 minutes before they had a sniff of the Wrexham goal but it wasn't enough to force the home keeper into action, D'Laryea's effort flying wide of the target.
Less than 60 seconds later, Curtis Woodhouse was shown the yellow card for a crunching foul on Andy Fleming.
As the clock ticked into the 25th minute of the game, Wrexham went a further goal ahead. Full back Curtis was allowed far too much time in which to direct a cross into the Stags area where debutant, Gianluca Havern was beaten to the ball by Andy Crofts who directed the ball past Marriott with a well finished diving header.
Immediately Holdsworth made a change by bringing off Curtis Woodhouse and putting on Daryl Clare and reverting to a 4-4-2 formation in an attempt to get a foothold on the game.
Stags forced three successive corners but failed to create alarm with any of them apart from a vicious drive from Arnold that was not cleared too well and when the ball was returned into the mix, Garner headed the ball over Nielsen into the net but had his celebrations cut well short by a guilty looking Linesman who stood with his flag aloft – The goal ruled out for offside.
Hopes that Stags would finally get going in the 2nd period were dashed when Stags failed once more to shine or sparkle.
In the 54th minute Moses was booked for a challenge on Anorou as the home side went in search of a 3rd goal. Holdsworth decided that Stags needed another push and so introduced Briscoe for Williams.
Louis was still causing concern but should have done batter when he won the ball just short of the midfield and with the Stags back line struggling to keep pace unleashed an effort that flew well wide.
The home fans were furious when Scott Garner was only shown a yellow card after an untimely looking tackle on Obi Anorou left the Wrexham man in need of attention. From the free kick, Williamson shot into the arms of Marriott.
With just under 20 minutes to go and Mansfield yet to trouble the home keeper, O'Connor was thrown on for Rob Duffy.
On 75 minutes, Stags finally forced Nielsen into action. Louis Briscoe, who had looked lively since his introduction let go from 25 yards. The ball looked to be flying into the top corner until a fine save from Nielsen denied the Stags player what would have been his first goal in a Stags shirt.
Wes Baynes unleashed a dipping long-range drive that drew an intake of breath from the home fans, but an easy save for Marriott.
Matty Somner and Paul Mayo received a yellow card making a total of five for the Stags in a largely unforgettable afternoons work as the game petered out.
Afterwards, Manager, David Holdsworth was clearly displeased with the attitude of his team and stated that he laid into his players and warned that those out of contract in the summer were helping him make easy decisions on their futures.
Stags have a midweek Field Mill encounter with Ebbsfleet United before facing Barrow also at Field Mill this coming Saturday and end a busy Easter period with a trip to relegation threatened, Northwich Victoria.
Observer Man of the match – Stags manager, David Holdsworth who afterwards in his press interviews displayed the kind of passion his players should have shown during the game.
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