STAGS BOUNCE BACK AT GATESHEAD WITH GREAT WIN
Blue Square Premier
Gateshead 1 - 3 Mansfield Town
Mackay 45+1. Hotchkiss 59, Burgess 69, Morris 90+3
Attendance: 643 (approx 170 from Mansfield)
Date: 1 December 2009
Super Stags won 3-1 at Gateshead on Tuesday night.
Stat attack by Martin Shaw:
1) It was the first time the Stags have come from behind to win a game since December 2008, at home to Weymouth.
2) And it was the Stags first win away from home in a night match since January 2008, when Micky Boulding scored an injury time winner at Lincoln.
Gateshead 1, Mansfield Town 3
by Steve Brown, The Journal
PERHAPS they should have called it off after all. The recent weather forced a pitch inspection before Gateshead's home clash with Mansfield Town. It as good as beat them last night too.
The Tynesiders led Blue Square Premier's fifth-placed team after a first half they started and ended on top of.
However, without the advantage of a driving wind behind their sails after the break, the hosts capitulated.
By the end the scoreline suggested a comprehensive victory for the visitors, yet the opening exchanges suggested a different tale set to unfold.
Inside five minutes Michael Mackay raced on to Graeme Armstrong's flick and, with an angled shot, drew a watchful save from Mansfield goalkeeper Alan Marriott.
Until the end of the first period, the visitors - without dominating - at least enjoyed the greater share of openings.
Louis Briscoe's cross-shot was kicked clear by Gateshead goalkeeper Paul Farman, Kyle Perry headed off target, Briscoe's half volley veered wide and, later, Andy Burgess' free-kick was deflected behind.
By then, though, the hosts had mustered a few chances of their own, and by half-time were ahead.
On 40 minutes Craig Baxter's deep free-kick was palmed behind by Marriott and, from the resulting corner, Gary Silk appeared to use a hand to block Kris Gate's shot.
After Wayne Phillips' speculative yet unsuccessful shot and before Andy Haworth fared similarly, Silk then allowed Farman's long, 46th-minute punt upfield to bounce over his head and Mackay slipped in on his blindside to steer the ball beyond Marriott.
Gateshead started the second half brightly, Haworth drilling a free-kick wide and Mackay spurning a gilt-edged opening 10 minutes after the restart.
Four minutes later, Mansfield were level. Darren Williams committed a needless foul on Perry outside the box, and Olly Hotchkiss thumped the ensuing free-kick past Farman.
Ten minutes later, the about-turn was complete and, again, the weather - that driving breeze - played its part as Burgess' corner swirled clear of Farman and, despite the best efforts of Baxter on the line, into the net.
Once or twice thereafter, Haworth threatened, but it was all over really. Right at the death, Lee Morris stole clear and clipped past Farman to guarantee the points.
GATESHEAD: Farman, Baxter, Curtis, Williams (Swailes 71), Cave, Haworth, Gate, Keltie, Winn (Phillips 33), Armstrong (Richardson 71), Mackay. Subs (not used): Provett, McDermott.
Goal: Mackay 45.
MANSFIELD: Marriott, Silk, Jones, Gardner, Armstrong, Briscoe (Morris 80), Somner, Challinor, Brough (Hotchkiss 44), Burgess, Perry. Subs (not used): Sandercombe, Williams, Sturrock.
Goals: Hotchkiss 59, Burgess 69, Morris 90.
Attendance: 643 Referee: D Bond
Gateshead 1 Stags 3 - 1st December 2009
CHAD report by By John Lomas
NEW boy Andy Burgess scored directly from a corner to put Mansfield Town on the way to three points and a big confidence-booster at Gateshead's International Stadium last night.
That came just 10 minutes after Stags sub Ollie Hotchkiss marked a return to his native North-East with his a fabulous 25 yard free kick.
And Lee Morris made it three Stags players scoring their first goals for the club with a points-sealing added time third on the break.
A route one goal by Michael Mackay in first half stoppage time had separated the sides in a poor first half, dominated by the wind.
The last time the Stags were on Tyneside was before 41,459 screaming Geordies at St James' Park in the 1-0 FA Cup defeat by Newcastle a month shy of four years ago.
But in the bizarre surroundings of Gateshead's giant athletics stadium, just 643, with over 100 from Mansfield, watched this one.
After Saturday's poor display in the defeat at Ebbsfleet, Stags knew they would be for the high jump with boss David Holdsworth if they didn't top the rostrum at the Tyneside stadium more suited to top class track and field than BSP football.
Neither side really got out of the blocks in the first half but, with the wind at their backs, Stags finally took a grip in the second half with the two goals in 11 minutes, Morris putting the icing on the cake.
Burgess, Challinor, Briscoe and Garner really caught the eye in a much better performance in testing conditions and the result eases the pressure on Stags with struggling Grays at Field Mill on Saturday.
Stags sprang a surprise on Gateshead tonight when Kyle Perry was unexpectedly named in the starting line-up for tonight's BSP clash at the International Stadium on Tyneside.
Perry had been sidelined with a thigh injury and tonight looked set to be the first time this season Mansfield had been without all three of their 28-goal strike force with Jake Speight injured and Rob Duffy suspended.
But Perry came through a late fitness test and looked set to play a lone role down the centre with the returning Louis Briscoe and Andy Burgess on the flanks and a three-man central midfield.
Perrys' return was one of four changes. Paul Heckingbottom was replaced at left back by Craig Armstrong with Duffy, Ryan Williams and Blair Sturrock all out and Gary Silk back at right full back with Brough pushed into midfield.
Gateshead were without Stags loanee Daryl Clare, under the agreement between the clubs and new striker Jon Shaw with injury.
The game kicked off in the surreal surroundings of the International Athletics Stadium surrounded by running track and well away from the freezing, sparse crowd.
Briscoe was unlucky to see a low cross blocked and cleared after good work on the right to cut inside two defenders in the second minute.
The strength of Mackay caused problems as he tried to battle goalside of Jones who pulled him back in the box and was lucky the striker stayed on his feet to get away a near post shot that Marriott saw round his post for a corner.
More skill from Briscoe saw him beautifully control a Burgess header and then stab the ball right in front of goal where keeper Farman just beat Challinor to it.
Garner had to leave the field for a head injury and returned with a bandage round it.
More Stags pressure from a free kick saw both Briscoe and Burgess have crosses cleared from both flanks. Then Perry headed a Burgess corner back across goal. But still the visitors could not find a scoring touch.
Silk needed treatment after Keltie launched into a nasty lunge on him which earned the former Darlington man a 19th minute booking.
Marriott safely caught Gateshead corner number three while their fourth was overhit as we reached the half-hour mark with neither keeper seriously troubled and neither side really able to put much together.
Scunthorpe loanee Winn stayed down after a heavy Garner tackle and eventually had to be helped off by two Gateshead staff before he was replaced by Phillips.
Stags won a second corner on the right which Farman flapped at and was lucky no visiting player took advantage as the ball dropped loose in front of goal.
A great crossfield ball from Burgess almost set Briscoe free on the right. But Cave stuck to his task and eased him to the by-line for a corner that was cleared.
On 39 minutes Armstrong's left wing cross was headed on by Perry and Briscoe sent a curling effort off the outside of his boot just over the far angle in one of the best efforts so far.
It was Marriott's turn to drop a corner on 41 minutes and home fans were shouting for a penalty as the ball seemed to strike a Mansfield hand in the brief scramble before Somner cleared.
Brough was forced off with injury for Mansfield a minute from the break, Leeds loanee Hotchkiss joining the action.
Burgess saw a 20 yard free kick deflect wide for a corner off the home wall a minute later.
Out of the blue Gateshead grabbed the lead in the first minute of stoppage time straight from keeper Farman's clearance to on-loan Hartlepool striker Mackay.
The ball bounced over Silk and Mackay but it was the Gateshead man who showed the quickest reaction and greater strength as he beat Silk to the ball and flicked a superb finish past the oncoming Marriott.
It might have been even worse a minute later as Marriott had to leave his box to clear ahead of Mackay and the ball was cleared as far as Howarth who had a shy at goal from 30 yards by which time Marriott was there to make the save.
As the second half began, rain and sleet swirled in to add to the wind that had hampered first half play on a bitter night. At least the wind was now in the visitors' favour.
Gateshead had the first opportunity of the half with a 25 yard free kick that Haworth stabbed low and wide.
Baxter got a great block on a first time effort by Burgess after Challinor had got into the box and been tackled, then gate got in the way of a Somner blast as the visitors began to take control.
On 55 minutes centre half Jones allowed Armstrong to get behind him at the other end and Marriott spared his blushes by whipping the ball off the Gateshead man's toes before he could capitalise on the defender's indecision.
Stags continued to play their best football of the night and were rewarded with a 59th minute equaliser.
Williams' tackle from behind on Perry conceded a free kick 25 yards from goal and slightly right of centre. Burgess lined up to take it left footed but it was substitute Oliver Hotchkiss who popped up to his left to curl a fantastic right footed effort inside the left post which gave Farman no chance.
Curtis headed well wide from a high free kick from the left as the home side dusted themselves down after the equaliser setback.
Somner was inches wide from 18 yards after Briscoe tricked his way inside two defenders with a smart turn and put the ball into the box,
Stags were in front at last on 69 minutes as Burgess made full use of the wind advantage to curl a right wing corner directly into the top far corner, despite Baxter's best attempts to head it clear as it flew in.
Gateshead quickly made a double change as Richardson and Swailes came on for Williams and Armstrong.
The impressive Burgess almost netted again when a close range poke was deflected wide for a corner from a long Challinor throw. And he almost curled another corner directly in but play was halted for pushing.
Gateshead were far from finished, however, and Howarth was only just wide from 20 yards on 74 minutes with a low shot that had Marriott diving full length to make sure the goal was covered.
A superb left wing cross from Burgess was met by Briscoe who couldn't get over the ball and saw his header balloon over from a good position.
Garner saw Mansfield's first yellow card of the night for bringing down Mackay.
Mansfield had a little pressure to soak up near the end but kept Marriott well protected as they kept a firm grip on the spoils, Howarth slicing the best effort wide from the edge of the box.
In the second minute of stoppage time the Tynesiders got caught pushing forward as Stags broke down the centre and new boy Morris showed his class with a delicate little lift over the advancing keeper to put the crown on the night for Mansfield.
GATESHEAD: Farman, Baxter, Gate, Curtis, G. Armstrong, Cave, Mackay, D. Williams, Winn, Haworth, Keltie. Subs: Provett, Richardson, Phillips, Swailes, McDermott.
STAGS: Marriott; Silk, Jones, Garner, C, Armstrong; Briscoe, Brough, Challinor, Somner, Burgess; Perry. Subs: R. Williams, Morris, Sandecombe, Sturrock, Hotchkiss.
REFEREE: Darren Bond of Lancashire.
Strikers inspire Stags win at Gateshead
Evening Post report
WHAT a time for Mansfield's players to answer their manager's call for more goals from outside their star striker triumvirate.
Only this week David Holdsworth was bemoaning the over-reliance of the sharp-shooting of Rob Duffy, Kyle Perry and Jake Speight.
And with two of the three missing – Perry made a shock return from a thigh injury – that problem once again looked to be their Achilles heel at a bitterly cold International Stadium.
The Stags were trailing just before the hour mark from a sloppy goal conceded in first half injury time.
But three first goals of their Mansfield careers – for Ollie Hotchkiss, Andy Burgess and Lee Morris – turned the game completely on its head.
Suddenly, after the prospect of a second away defeat to struggling opposition inside four days, the Stags put their play-off hopes back on track.
And after the disaster that was Ebbsfleet, it will delight all connected with the club.
The last time Mansfield were on Tyneside just under four years ago, more than 40,000 watched Newcastle nick a 1-0 FA Cup win with a late Alan Shearer goal.
This time the crowd was in three figures and it was the visiting supporters who were rewarded for sitting through driving second half sleet with a victory.
The first half had little to write home about as neither side were able to stamp their authority on the game. Moments of quality were few and far between.
Mansfield's best chance of a goal looked to come from wide men Burgess and Louis Briscoe, who were charged with the task of supplying the ammunition for Kyle Perry.
The big striker was a shock recall following a thigh injury and replaced the suspended Rob Duffy at the head of a 4-3-3 cum 4-5-1 formation.
There were also three other changes with Paul Heckingbottom, Ryan Williams and Blair Sturrock replaced by Craig Armstrong, Gary Silk and Briscoe.
But the changes, initially at least, did not galvanise Mansfield as boss Holdsworth would have hoped.
And they were not helped when Michael Brough limped off just before the interval with Hotchkiss taking his place.
Alan Marriott was called into early action when he was forced to touch a Mackay shot around the post after the striker had out-muscled Luke Jones.
Mansfield's first serious raid saw the visitors keep the ball patiently, which allowed Gary Silk to cross from the right.
His ball in was headed back across goal by Andy Burgess for Louis Briscoe whose low but weak effort was hacked away by keeper Paul Farman with Jon Challinor lurking.
Perry might have done better in the 15th minute when Farman came for a right-wing Burgess corner and did not get there but the big striker could not steer a header on target at full stretch. As half-time approached, Briscoe was only a whisker away with an angled volley that drifted just past the left-hand post following Perry's flick on. But the Stags went behind in added time. Farman's long goal kick bounced over Silk and Mackay beat him to the ball to trickle a low shot past Marriott and into goal.
The second period started in sheeting sleet as Andy Haworth powered a free-kick well off target.
Gateshead players made two important blocks in a matter of seconds as first Craig Baxter got in the way of a goalbound drive from Burgess and then Kris Gate charged down Matt Somner's effort after smart work from Briscoe.
Almost immediately, Baxter put Mackay away as confusion reigned between Jones and Marriott but the keeper recovered to make a save.
However, a decent spell of possession from Mansfield culminated in an equaliser just before the hour.
Darren Williams fouled Perry 25 yards out and Hotchkiss stepped up to bend a right-foot shot into the top left-hand corner, giving Farman no chance.
Buoyed by their goal, Mansfield nearly bagged a second as Somner curled inches wide of the post after Briscoe and Challinor had fashioned the opening.
But the Stags did go in front in the 69th minute as Burgess curled in a right-wing corner over Farman and Baxter was unable to clear off the line.
In the closing stages, Andy Haworth twice flashed drives inches wide either side of a Briscoe header wide. But as the Heed poured men forward in stoppage time, it was Mansfield who struck again when substitute Morris broke clear and dinked the ball over the advancing Farman.
It was the perfect finish to an excellent night's work by the Stags.
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