ABSOLUTE GARBAGE, STAGS. EASY FOR FLEET
Ebbsfleet United 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
Vieira 2, Holmes 57. Viera pen saved 85. Duffy 16 pen.
Attendance: 850 (app 160 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw at Stonebridge Road
An absolutely terrible performance by Mansfield at Gravesend & Northfleet on Saturday afternoon as the Stags not only conceded a goal after two minutes - the Fleet's first goal after 8 blank scoresheets, but went on to be comfortably beaten - Fleet's first home win of the season and first win at all for 15 games. Ebbsfleet could even afford a missed penalty - well saved by Stags super-stopper Alan Marriott. Ebbsfleet gave the impression all afternoon of wanting the points more than Mansfield, they closed players down quicker than Mansfield, showed more purpose going forward, and thoroughly deserved the points. The Stags were rubbish.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
report from kentnews.co.uk
Vieira and Holmes hand Fleet first home win
Ebbsfleet United 2 Mansfield Town 1
By Steve Tervet
Ebbsfleet United collected three points at home for the first time this season as goals from Magno Vieira and Peter Holmes helped them to a 2-1 win over Mansfield Town.
The Fleet's goal drought, which had stretched back eight games, was finally broken as Liam Daish's side produced a fantastic display to thoroughly outplay their promotion-chasing guests.
Having failed to land a striker before Thursday's emergency loan deadline, Daish continued with Vieira alone up front, occasionally supported by Ricky Shakes.
The Fleet boss did hand a debut to Cyprus youth international Alex Stavrinou, the 19-year-old midfielder having signed on a one-month loan deal from Charlton Athletic. With Darius Charles suspended and Leon Crooks and Clint Easton injured, Will Salmon and Dean Pooley started in a reshuffled Ebbsfleet defence.
Mansfield's Jon Challinor, having scored on his Stags debut following a loan switch from Cambridge United, continued in central midfield but striker Lee Morris, another new arrival, had to make do with a place among the substitutes.
Having failed to score in the previous 720 minutes, the Fleet took just three to open the scoring. Shakes raced clear down the right wing and his cross was expertly volleyed past Alan Mariott by the onrushing Vieira at the near post.
Bair Sturrock had Mansfield's first sight of goal when he rose highest to meet a right-wing cross but Lance Cronin was able to watch the ball drop wide of his far post.
The equaliser arrived amid a storm of controversy in the 15th minute. Following Ross Smith's poor clearance, the ball dropped to Andy Burgess on the corner of the area and when his shot was charged down, referee Matty McLaughlin answered the Stags' claims for handball and pointed to the penalty spot.
Richard Duffy made no mistake with his spot-kick, stroking calmly past Cronin from 12 yards to restore parity.
Vieira and Duffy could both have added to their personal tallies as half-time neared - Vieira thwarted when he attempted to convert Peter Holmes' low centre and Smith flying in with a perfectly-timed tackle to deny Duffy at the other end.
The hosts came out after the break in determined fashion and once again Vieira went close to a second. Peter Holmes, overlapping down the right, cut the ball back and Vieira's near-post flick brushed the side netting with Marriott beaten.
With the pressure mounting, Ebbsfleet took a well-deserved lead in the 56th minute with a goal of real quality. Stavrinou's lofted pass was back-heeled in mid-air by Vieira and Holmes took a touch before drilling low beneath the body of Marriott from six yards.
The Stags were now rocking and despite the introduction of Morris and Louis Briscoe, Ebbsfleet looked increasingly likely to add a third. When Marriott skewed a clearance horribly, Michael West saw his chance to strike but could only shoot wide from 25 yards with the goal gaping.
As Mansfield threw men forward, gaps began to appear at the back at the Fleet posed a real threat on the counter-attack, with the pace of Shakes and the movement of Vieira a constant menace for David Holdsworth's side.
The home side had the perfect chance to wrap things up in the 85th minute when Vieira went down under the challenge of Burgess and for the second time in the match, McLaughlin awarded a penalty. However, Vieira's kick lacked power and Marriott, diving low to his left, was able to cling on and save.
Only Marriott's fingertips then denied Holmes as the Fleet skipper drilled a low shot towards the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Even in the dying seconds, Ebbsfleet continued to press and Mansfield's grandstand finish failed to materialise with the final whistle sparking joyous scenes around Stonebridge Road.
Ebbsfleet are back in action on Tuesday night when they host second-placed Stevenage Borough. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.
Ebbsfleet: Cronin, Heeroo, Smith, Pooley, Salmon, West, Stavrinou, Holmes, Bailey, Shakes, Vieira
Unused subs: Welsh, Wills, Read, Lamprell, Ginty
Mansfield: Marriott, Brough, Jones, Garner, Heckingbottom, Williams (Briscoe 58), Challinor, Somner (Armstrong 88), Burgess, Sturrock (Morris 54), Duffy
Unused subs: Eley, Silk
Fleet 2 Mansfield Town 1
Saturday, 28 November 2009 18:53
Goals from Magno Vieira and Peter Holmes ended 723 goalless minutes of torment for Fleet fans and at the same time broke the Fleet's home duck as locals exited Stonebridge Road victorious for the first time since late April.
Liam Daish handed a debut to on-loan Addicks teenager Alex Stavrinou and he slotted in just in front of a back four that more or less picked itself given the Fleet's suspensions and injury woes, while Ricky Shakes tucked in behind Magno Vieira rather than alongside him as has been the case in recent outings.
Mansfield, unbeaten in seven league games, had debutants of their own, Andy Burgess starting in midfield following his move from Luton and ex-Burton striker Lee Morris was on the bench.
But it was the Fleet who got off to a dream start barely three minutes into the game when a flowing move saw Vieira slip the ball out wide right to Shakes and the winger advanced into the final third before releasing the ball into the box. Vieira, continuing his run, sped on to it and stretched a leg to volley it past goalkeeper Andy Marriott from 10 yards.
The reaction on the terraces included a conga as goal-starved fans could barely believe their start, though Daish quickly calmed his charges and demanded they get on with the job in hand.
The visitors looked to reply immediately and striker Blair Sturrock showed good touches to unsettle the Fleet defence, though he headed wide from Michael Brough's cross on 11 minutes. But the Stags' equaliser on 16 minutes came from a far more erratic source as referee McLaughlin issued the first of a series of questionable decisions. Burgess, outside the box, sent a scorching shot goalwards that appeared to hit Gavin Heeroo on the chest and deflect for a corner. Even had it hit his hand, it was certainly a case of ball to hand given the speed at which the ball was travelling. Mansfield made vociferous protests for a penalty and the referee initially appeared to wave them away before deciding that he did in fact agree with them after all.
Former Oxford striker Rob Duffy confidently struck the spot-kick past Cronin and it seemed all the Fleet's good work was once again undone. Yet the Fleet, rather than feeling sorry for themselves, went in search of justice. Dean Pooley showed great determination to climb highest from a corner to head just over the bar and then Vieira slid in and looked certain to convert Peter Holmes' cross from the left byline but a combination of Luke Jones and the woodwork kept it out.
Mansfield continued to press, but Duffy's wayward shot aside, never came close to taking the lead. Several times they threatened to break through but Heeroo and Ross Smith in particular pulled off excellent last-ditch tackles.
Stefan Bailey found himself victim of Mr McLaughlin's inconsistency towards the end of the half for a challenge on Brough that certainly looked no worse than Jon Challinor's on Will Salmon a minute before, and he picked up his second yellow card in as many games.
But if Fleet fans had seen it all before in terms of a promising first 45 minutes, they were in for a treat in the second as their side refused to let up. And a combination of Shakes, Holmes and Vieira - which became the pattern for the second-half - almost unlocked the Mansfield defence on 50 minutes. Shakes advanced down the right, slipped the ball wide to Holmes, and he crossed into the box where Vieira carved out a delicate shot that ended just wide of the near post.
On 55 minutes, Michael West broke upfield and Bailey despatched a wonderful crossfield pass for Vieira and though the Brazilian took it down well, he could only fire wide of the goal. Stavrinou tried his luck from distance a minute later as the Fleet enjoyed a spell of pressure and the Chalrton youngster had a hand in a quite brilliant second goal two minutes later. He calmly exchanged passes with Shakes before a ball over the top of the Stags defence found Vieira who produced a sublime back-heel into the path of Holmes and the Fleet skipper smashed a great shot past Marriott for 2-1.
It was exactly what the Fleet's pressure deserved and they kept pouring forward with a purpose born of confidence. Vieira was giving the Mansfield central defenders a torrid time with his movement and skill, while Holmes' ability to press forward, in part because of Stavrinou's good defensive work, was giving the Fleet a hitherto-unknown dimension. West too was enjoying a much-improved game and he almost caught Marriott off his line as Mansfield dallied in defence and the Fleet midfielder's 20-yard shot went just wide of an empty net.
The Stags had little to offer, even on the introduction of Morris for Sturrock; Duffy still looked to be a handful in the air but he was continually second best to Smith and Pooley and was eventually booked for his continued complaining at the officials, a punishment his colleague Matt Somner somehow escaped. At left-back, Salmon had a fine second 45 minutes and was able to get forward as much as defend to relieve the pressure on his colleagues.
But on 68 minutes, the Fleet got their biggest scare when Challinor crossed from the left and as the ball cleared Cronin, Pooley was on hand to hack it out of the six-yard box with yellow shirts lurking. Yet still the Fleet dominated and Shakes was giving left-back Paul Heckingbottom a torrid time, enjoying his role on the flanks where he was able to supply Vieira with a succession of opportunities. And the home side could have eased the worries of their fans five minutes from time when Vieira was bundled over by Burgess on the edge of the box as he attempted to turn, though it was another decision that looked a touch soft.
Vieira's resulting penalty was also a touch soft, but would likely have made it into the back of the net had Marriott not guessed the right way and gathered it low. The Stags looked to profit and Cronin had to be alert to tip away a deep Louis Briscoe cross from under his bar but desperate for the three points, the Fleet refused to sit deep and Holmes had one final opportunity on target while man of the match Vieira struck another wide.
Three minutes beyond the 90 were not enough for Mansfield and the Fleet celebrated their first home win for seven months, their first win of any kind since August, and their first goals in 12 hours of football. It took a long time coming but the smiles at the end suggested it was well worth waiting for.
TEAM: Cronin, Heeroo, Salmon, Smith, Pooley, Stavrinou, Holmes, Bailey, West, Shakes, Vieira. Subs not used: Lamprell, Read, Wills, Welsh, Ginty.
Ebbsfleet 2 Mansfield Town 1
Saturday, November 28, 2009, 14:42Comment on this story
EBBSFLEET ended their 15-game winless run as the strugglers inflicted defeat on Mansfield Town today.
Magno Vieira fired them ahead after just three minutes, ending the club's 12-hour goal famine.
But Rob Duffy pulled it back from the penalty spot as the first half finished 1-1.
Shortly before the hour mark Peter Holmes fired Ebbsfleet ahead with what proved to be the winner, sealing a 2-1 victory.
After eight games without a goal, Ricky Shakes crossed from the right and Vieira turned beyond Alan Marriott to give the hosts the lead.
Blair Sturrock headed wide for Mansfield before Gavin Heeroo was adjudged to have handled Andy Burgess' shot on 15 minutes.
Duffy converted his fifth penalty of the season before he then crashed over a volley.
At the other end, a late interception by Luke Jones denied Vieira a second as the half ended all square.
Five minutes after the break skipper Holmes provided a low ball for Vieira at the near post and the fans thought he had scored but the striker turned it the wrong side of the upright.
Lee Morris was handed his debut after 54 minutes, replacing Blair Sturrock.
But it was Ebbsfleet who went ahead three minutes later when Stavrinou and then Vieira produced delicate flicks to release Holmes inside the box and the captain made no mistake as he smashed beyond Marriott.
With the lead for a second time, the hosts were full of confidence and kept pressing Mansfield as they searched for the goal that could put the game out of sight for the Stags.
And they won a penalty five minutes from time when Burgess barged over Vieira in the box. But from the spot, Marriott dived to his left to save Vieira's effort. But Mansfield could not force an equaliser.
Ebbsfleet 2 Mansfield Town 1, Saturday 28th November
CHAD.co.uk, 28 November 2009
By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town suffered a shock and embarrassing BSP defeat at struggling Ebbsfleet United o Saturday afternoon.
Sloppy defending saw home livewire Magno Vieira end the home side's horrendous 723-minute goal drought after only three minutes.
A disputed Rob Duffy penalty levelled the game on 16 minutes but, with Stags unable to take control, the home side grew in confidence and were back in front from a magnificently engineered goal on 57 minutes by skipper Peter Holmes.
Mansfield were simply unable to find a spark as Ebbsfleet dominated and it took a late penalty kick save from Alan Marriott to deny United a third goal.
After seven successive defeats and 15 without a win, the home side could barely believe they had turned over a lacklustre Mansfield so easily.
It was Stags' first BSP defeat in seven games and an end to a run of four away games without defeat and three successive BSP away wins.
Andy Burgess, who agreed an 18-month deal on Thursday after leaving Luton Town, was given a debut on the left wing with Ryan Williams switching to the right and Louis Briscoe dropped to the bench.
But fellow new face, striker Lee Morris, had to be content with a place among the substitutes as did full back Gary Silk, back from suspension, but unable to dislodge replacement Michael Brough.
The only other change saw Blair Sturrock in for the injured Kyle Perry up front.
The day's bright sunshine disappeared just before kick off leaving the crowd to face a bitterly cold afternoon.
Sturrock got into the home box in the first attack but had a low cross blocked.
But when Challinor dallied on the ball a second too long outside the United box and was heavily tackled, Ebbsfleet broke quickly down the right to snatch a shock third minute lead.
Shakes raced forward and crossed low to the far post where Vieira, in acres of space, simply turned the ball past a helpless Marriott.
It was United's first goal in 723 miserable minutes of football.
Sturrock came close to equalising on 12 minutes as he met Brough's right wing cross with a header from 12 yards that skimmed wide of the far post when a more solid contact might have found the net.
However, the Stags were level from a controversial 16th minute penalty.
Duffy flicked the ball to Burgess who smashed a powerful effort on goal which deflected wide for what seemed to be a corner. But Burgess was screaming for handball against defender Heeroo and after a moment's hesitation, the referee pointed to the spot.
At that pace of shot it would have more than likely been ball to hand but the decision stood to United's disgust and Duffy was as cool as ever as he dinked it inside the keeper's left hand post for his fifth spot kick success in his 12 goals this season.
Pooley headed over the Stags crossbar from close range from the game's first corner of the afternoon.
Challinor was caught in possession again on the left and was robbed by Shakes who saw Marriott safely gather his cross.
Stags then broke well with Williams taking the ball on his chest and cutting inside before launching a testing far post cross that Duffy controlled before blazing over from a tight angle.
Holmes fired straight at Marriott from 20 yards after Vieira's neat lay-off. Then it took a good challenge from Jones to prevent Vieira finishing at the near post from Holmes' left wing cross.
Pooley was too high with a flicked backheader as West got the ball into the box from a left wing free kick.
Stags were rarely threatening the home net through Sturrock did have a flicked effort blocked from a corner four minutes from the break.
United managed to get over two more dangerous balls into the box before the break, Marriott taking both out of the air.
Bailey was booked in the third minute of stoppage time for a late tackle on Brough, but the half ended all square.
Ebbsfleet almost caught Stags out at the near post again six minutes after the restart when a good throw from keeper Cronin sent Shakes on his way down the right. He laid the ball forward for Holmes whose near post cross was turned wide by Vieira.
Stavrinou was well over with a rising 20 yard shot two minutes later as the home side began the brighter.
Holdsworth's response on 54 minutes was to make a change up front as Morris was given a debut in place of Sturrock.
Immediately Williams was booked for handball.
Then Ebbsfleet produced the move of the match to regain the lead on 57 minutes.
Perfect flicks from first Stavrinou and then Vierira carved open the visiting defence as skipper Holmes found himself with only Marriott to beat and still had the presence of mind to delay before making sure from seven yards.
Williams was withdrawn to bring Briscoe into the action as Stags faced the embarrassing prospect of defeat at a side in such a dreadful run of form.
United were almost gifted a third when a poor Heckingbottom backpass put Marriott under pressure and his sliced clearance went straight to West who quickly whipped a 25 yard effort just wide of an unguarded goal with the keeper racing to get back into position.
The second of two long Heckingbottom throws was headed on by Duffy and cleared away right in front of goal by Pooley as Mansfield tried to exert some pressure.
West had Marriott backpeddling for a second when he shaped to cross from the left of the box but almost lifted the ball over the keeper's head as it began to dip quickly.
Then the super Vieira turned well 25 yards from goal and unleashed a powerful effort that Marriott made light work of, safely holding on.
With only 12 minutes left Duffy was booked for persistent fouling, his fifth of the season which will see him missing for Tuesday night.
Mansfield defended another two Fleet corners before the home side wasted a great chance to finish Stags off from the penalty spot four minutes from time.
Vieira went down under the challenge of Burgess in the box. The new boy was booked and Vieira stepped up but saw Marriott block a poor penalty low to his left as home boss Liam Daish looked the other way, unable to watch the spot kick.
Cronin clawed a testing Briscoe cross from under the home crossbar a minute later.
Marriott had to get down well to his left to make another good save, turning a low Holmes effort round the post. Before play restarted, Armstrong replaced Somner for the final minute plus three minutes' stoppage time.
But it was Fleet that had the fire in their bellies as they searched for a third and two more corners followed while Man of the Match Vieira dragged a 20 yard effort wide.
Smith did well to get across Briscoe in the box as the visitors managed to get out of their own half.
Armstrong became the fourth Stags booking for hacking down Holmes, Marriott behind West's cheeky blast at the near post from a tight-angled free kick as the home side finished on the offensive.
The final whistle drew huge cheers from the long suffering home fans.
STAGS: Marriott; Brough, Garner, Jones, Heckingbottom; Williams (Briscoe 59), Somner (Sturrock 89), Challinor, Burgess; Duffy, Sturrock (Morris 54). Subs: Eley, Silk.
EBBSFLEET: Cronin; Heeroo, Salmon, Smith, Pooley; West, Stavrinou, Holmes, Bailey; Shakes; Vieira. Subs: Welsh, Wills, Read, Lamprell, Ginty.
REFEREE: Matty Mclaughlin of Bedfordshire.
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