STAGS WIN AWAY AT HIGH FLYING SALISBURY
Salisbury City 0 Mansfield Town 1
Att 1,147 (260 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium
Mansfield Town bounced back from defeat at Luton to win 1-0 at leaders Salisbury, and earn the first away win since March. The win came courtesy of Kyle Perry's blast from 14 yards off the underside of the crossbar on 67 minutes, after Daryl Clare's shot had been saved as had Louis Briscoe's follow-up.
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Salisbury City 0 Stags 1, Saturday 15th August
By John Lomas
KYLE Perry was the hero with the only goal of the game as Mansfield Town chalked up away win number one of the new season at table-topping Salisbury City on Saturday afternoon.
Stags were keen to quickly wipe away the misery of that midweek defeat at Luton Town at the only side with a 100 per cent record from the opening two games.
And the visitors were rarely in trouble in a scrappy game, littered with free kicks on a over-long grass surface resembling a jungle.
City started the brighter but Stags' defence, marshalled superbly by skipper Luke Jones, stood firm.
Both keepers had saves to make. But Perry crowned a hard-working Man of the match performance with his 68th minute finish that finally beat keeper James Bittner after he had made a double save to deny Daryl Clare and Louis Briscoe.
In the warm afternoon sunshine at one of the league's most picturesque outposts, 260 Stags fans held their collective breath in the fourth minute of stoppage time as City star man Matthew Tubbs lifted the ball wide of an open goal after Alan Marriott had been forced to run out of his box to head clear.
Player of the Year for last season Gary Silk made his first start of the new season today after replacing suspended Scott Gardner.
It was the only change in the side beaten 4-1 at Luton Town on Tuesday night.
Ex-Stags star Darrell Clarke skippered the home side.
The early stages were cagey as both sides struggled to work the ball through the very long grass on the surface.
Tubbs fired a shot wide in a fourth minute breakaway for the home side after it seemed Jones had been fouled in a midfield challenge and play was allowed to continue.
Williams picked out Jones with a left wing free kick but the defender, unchallenged, got under it and could only head the ball upwards rather than test Bittner.
Tubbs headed straight at Marriott on 10 minutes after beating Garner to Sinclair's right wing cross.
Marriott also had to be aware to grab an unexpected Tubbs potshot from 30 yards after a neat turn from Clarke had set him into space.
On 14 minutes Tubbs brought a full length save from Marriott to his right to hold his flicked header from Clohessy's cross – the first real chance of the afternoon.
Clohessy's foul on Perry gave Stags a free kick 20 yards out on the right which Nix wasted as he over-hit the ball for a goal kick, giving none of his team mates any chance of getting a head on it at the far post.
Good defending by Armstrong saw him get across Tubbs at the near post to block any attempt to turn home a low Spence cross from the by-line.
Sinclair skidded a low shot at goal from long distance, but it was never going to seriously test Marriott.
City won the game's first corner on 26 minutes which Perry headed firmly away.
A minute later Briscoe finally got hold of the ball and went on a run, sending a powerful effort soaring just over the top from the edge of the box.
Mansfield's first corner almost provided them with a breakthrough on the half-hour. Somner got a firm header onto Nix's ball in which the keeper blocked and Perry couldn't guide his follow-up header on target as the ball dropped just wide.
Duffy seemed to get a shove in the back by Webb in the box as he tried to get on the end of Perry's first time cross from the left but play went on,
Clarke saw the game's first yellow card 10 minutes from the interval for upending nix as he tried to wriggle into the box, Perry warming Bittner's hands with an on-target free kick.
Flood came on for the injured Anderson on 39 minutes as City were forced to reshuffle.
Perry and Webb were lectured for a tussle on the edge of the home box with the free kick given City's way.
Perry then forced a great one-handed save from Bitter, diving to his left, after making space for himself on the edge of the box and trying to squeeze the ball inside the keeper's left hand post. But the sides went in all square.
City were almost ahead inside 40 seconds of the restart after a misunderstanding between Williams and Perry sae the home side break quickly.
Sinclair delayed the final pass until the last minute, feeding Flood in space to his left who, with Marriott helpless, curled a first time finish narrowly wide of the inviting goalframe.
Then Clarke played a one-two with Gray on the edge of the box but scuffed a tame finish at goal.
On 50 minutes Bittner did well to hold onto a Williams shot, after the winger had cut inside, with Duffy towering over the keeper waiting to pounce on any loose handling.
Sinclair lost the ball to Williams on 53 minutes and quickly tripped him to earn a booking.
On 57 minutes Williams was replaced by Speight, going to wide right with Briscoe switching wings.
Tubbs was hopeful of a penalty on 64 minutes she went down after getting goalside of Jones. But the striker did appear to tread on the ball and the referee certainly thought so as play went on.
Duffy was having a quiet afternoon and it was no surprise on 67 minutes when he was replaced by Clare.
And within a minute the sub had sparked the opening goal.
A left wing cross saw Clare lash a 20 yard volley at goal which Bittner did well to block.
The ball ran to Briscoe whose follow-up cannoned back off the keeper's chest and ran out to Perry who slammed the ball back into the net off the underside of the crossbar.
A delighted Perry was quickly off to celebrate with the Stags fans behind the goal which earned him a yellow card.
A quickly taken free kick saw Gray given the chance to fire in a low 25 yard shot but it contained insufficient venom to worry Marriott.
Silk was booked on 75 minutes for fouling Flood and Webb joined him in the book a minute later for bringing down Perry.
Bittner easily grabbed Garner's on-target header after Perry had helped on a Nix corner as we entered the final 10 minutes.
Briscoe sportingly put the ball out for a throw as Stags broke down the left with Clohessy on the turf injured.
Speight was inches over with a great effort from 20 yards.
Two minutes from time Tubbs was again looking for a penalty as he went down under Silk's challenge behind him but again he was over-optimistic.
Glover was given City's fourth yellow card in the last minute for dissent as Salisbury frustration boiled over.
In the last of the four minutes of stoppage time at the end, Glover raced after a through ball but was beaten to it as it bounced on the edge of the box by Marriott who tried to head clear.
The ball ran out to Tubbs who, from 25 yards, had a split second to hit the empty net but he thankfully hooked it wide and Mansfield's first away victory of the season was in the bag at the second time of asking.
SALISBURY: Bittner, Clohessy, Anderson (Flood 39), Turley, Webb, Sinclair, Clarke, Gray (Prosser 80), Tubbs, O'Hara (Glover 61), Spence. Subs: Cox, Osman/
STAGS: Marriott; Silk, Garner, Jones, Armstrong; Briscoe (Istead 85), Nix, Somner, Williams (Speight 57); Perry, Duffy (Clare 67). Subs: Sandercombe, Graham.
REFEREE: Richard Martin of Hutton
ATTENDANCE: 1,147 (260 away).
Evening Post report:
Salisbury 0 Mansfield 1
Saturday, August 15, 2009, 14:51Comment on this story
KYLE Perry's third goal of the season midway through the second half was enough to earn Mansfield their first away win of the new Blue Square Premier season.
The Stags had been beaten 4-1 at favourites Luton in midweek in their first trip of the new campaign.
But they – and Perry, who scored an own goal at Kenilworth Road – bounced back in Wiltshire with a battling three points.
They were made to work hard for it as Salisbury fought to the very end, with Matt Tubbs lobbing wide of goal in the closing stages.
However, the 260 visiting fans travelled home happy and now look forward to entertaining Barrow in midweek.
It was Salisbury pressed in the opening minutes and Tubbs brought Alan Marriott into the action with an on-target header from Rob Sinclair's right-wing cross.
The Stags keeper made two more saves from Tubbs, first holding a long-range shot at the second attempt and then diving to keep out another header, this time from Sean Clohessy's ball in.
Craig Armstrong made a vital tackle to prevent Tubbs having a tap-in from Danny Spence's low ball in from the left midway through the half.
After struggling to get hold of the ball, Mansfield suddenly went close when Louis Briscoe cut in from the right and fizzed a shot just over from 20 yards with James Bittner at full stretch.
The Stags almost broke through on the half hour when Matt Somner's header from a Kyle Nix right-wing corner was pushed away by the alert Bittner.
Kyle Perry stretched to reach the follow up but could only nod just wide of the right-hand post.
The big striker was denied just before half-time as Bittner sprung himself full length to his left to palm away a goalbound drive.
Almost immediately after the restart, the home side broke quickly through Sinclair, who picked out substitute Chris Flood and his curling effort was just over the angle.
Darrell Clarke then had the chance to let fly against his old side but scuffed his shot and it trundled through to Marriott.
At the other end, Williams tried his luck from distance but Bittner got down comfortably to make the stop.
In the 64th minute, Tubbs got the wrong side of Luke Jones only to stand on the ball as he shaped to shoot, the referee ignoring the crowd's shout for a penalty.
Mansfield introduced Daryl Clare in the 67th minute and within a minute a piece of opportunism from the frontman saw his side go in front.
Clare's volley from distance caught Bittner off guard and he could only push the ball to the edge of the six yard box.
Brisoce, following up, was thwarted by an excellent reflex save by the recovering Salisbury keeper but he could do nothing to prevent Perry slotting home at the third attempt off the underside of the bar from 10 yards.
A quickly taken free-kick gave Bradley Gray space to strike at goal but the City player's shot was weak and straight at Marriott.
As the game moved into the last quarter of an hour, Nix's corner was headed back across the face of goal by Perry for Garner but he could only steer into the arms of Bittner.
Mansfield were finishing the game strongly and substitute Jake Speight was only inches too high with a rasping drive from the edge of the box.
With time running out Tubbs went down under Silk's headed challenge but the referee was unmoved.
Deep into stoppage time, Danny Glover chased a through ball, but Marriott came out of his area to head partially clear.
The ball dropped for Tubbs, but he could only place his rushed chip beyond the right-hand post.
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