STAGS THRASH CRISIS CLUB CHESTER
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town 4 - 0 Chester City
Jones 23, 34, OG Ben Jones 37, Speight 80
Attendance: 2882 (55 from Chester)
Date: 23 January 2010
Stags 4 Chester City 0, Saturday 23rd January 2010
CHAD.co.uk, 23 January 2010
By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town showed crisis club Chester City no mercy with a 4-0 romp in a one-sided clash at Field Mill this afternoon.
City, who could be wound up in court this week and who were only able to field a young, inexperienced side, were 3-0 down inside 36 minutes as Stags defender Luke Jones headed the first two goals of his Mansfield career before City striker Ben Jones put the ball past his own keeper.
Livewire striker Jake Speight completed the scoring 10 minutes from time to crown a Man of the Match display with sorry City pleased to hear the final whistle to end their torment in a game in which they were rarely able to get out of their half.
Chester have now failed to score in 653 which meant a comfortable and dominant debut for Stags' new boy Luke Foster in the centre of a much-changed defence as Stags went back onto the top five play-off spots.
Stags made five changes following last weekend's defeat at AFC Wimbledon.
That included three of the four defenders who played in that game being left out.
New boy Luke Foster came in at centre half today as did Luke Jones with Paul Heckingbottom replaced by Craig Armstrong at left back.
Ryan Wiliams returned to play left wing in place of the injured and suspended Andy Burgess while Jake Speight took the place of Kyle Perry up front.
City, without a win in nine games and without a goal in 563 minutes of football, face a winding-up order in court this Wednesday and have seen their manager and many players walk out recently with some not having been paid their wages for three months.
Today's line-up featured mostly youngsters with keeper John Danby the oldest at 22! And the Seals could only muster four substitutes.
Mansfield made a promising start and Briscoe had a dangerous right wing cross stabbed away from the six yard box in the third minute.
Kelly did well to block another low, hard cross from Briscoe. And when keeper Danby punched clear the resulting throw-in, Hotchkiss curled an 18-yard finish over the angle.
The pressure continued and a left wing cross from Speight was just too high for Duffy.
On 13 minutes it was almost unlucky for Chester after a superb reverse pass behind the full back by Speight sent Williams chasing towards the by-line before his far post cross was headed over by Briscoe.
Foster's header from a long range Armstong free kick took a deflection for a corner which, when sent over, saw Somner head goalwards and the ball punched away by Danby.
Chester then tried to play the ball out of defence but Duffy chased in and managed to intercept a pass with a poked shot that deflected wide for a corner.
From that Williams and then Jones, twice, had shots blocked with the Stags screaming for a penalty for handball from the last block.
Wilkinson was booked on 20 minutes for his foul on Hotchkiss.
Hotchkiss almost provided the breakthrough on 23 minutes as his shot, from Williams' pass, took a nasty deflection which forced Dandy to readjust and tip ove as the ball almost dropped under the bar.
But from the corner, taken by Williams, Jones appeared at the near post to plant a firm header home for his first goal for the club.
Chester's first goal attempt came on 26 minutes as Davidson hurried a 30 yard effort well over the top.
However, Jones delighted the home fans by doubling his tally from another corner on 33 minutes.
This time Williams put the ball in from the right and Jones, on this occasion further out, simply powered home an unstoppable header from 10 yards.
It was 3-0 three minutes later, thanks to a Chester own goal , again stemming from a Williams right wing corner.
This time Foster got on the end of it with a close range header that Danby parried, Speight strode in to take possession but, before he could work a shooting angle, Chester sriker Jones stuck out a leg to tackle him but could only watch in horror as the ball flew inside his own near post.Speight cut inside Rule to fire a low shot narrowly wide of the far post shortly afterwards as Stags looked to inflict further misery on the Seals.
Speght then put a cheeky backheel onto Somner's square pass which found Duffy for a low shot that Danby just managed to turn round as he sprawled to his right.
From this, Stags' eighth corner, Jones almost completed a hat-tick but his header was headed off the line by Rule.
Still the Stags poured forward and in the next attack Speight steadied himself before trying an ambitious overhead bicycle kick that was straight down Danby's throat and the keeper held on to hold Mansfield to a 3-0 interval lead.
Briscoe almost made it four on the restart but Lea blocked his shot after good work on the by-line saw Speight wriggle into a position to pull the ball back to him.
Roberts then almost kicked Duffy's head off his shoulders as the Stags striker stooped to try to get a diving header onto a Silk cross from the right.
From the home side's first corner of the half Foster headed too high at the far post. Then Duffy was on target with his flicked header from a Williams free kick, forcing Danby down to his left to save.
From home corner number 13, Duffy got something on it at the near post but the ball bounced tamely wide.
Silk twice dived in on tackles on Coulter and he was booked for the second one on 73 minutes.
With 15 minutes left Duffy and Briscoe made way for Perry and Sturrock as Stags sought fresh legs with which to torment Chester.
Somner almost added the fourth but was narrowly wide of the far angle with a screaming shot from 20 yards with 13 minutes left.
The tireless Speight finally got his reward 10 minutes from time.
Armstrong went on another raid forward and found Perry whose shot deflected of a defender towards Speight who dispatched in hard and low first time across the keeper inside the far post from 12 yards.
He almost added another on 88 minutes but Danby this time was there. And a minute later he was denied by an offside flag as he headed Sturrock's cross home from close range.
STAGS: Marriott; Silk, Jones, Foster, Armstrong; Briscoe (Perry 75), Somner, Hotchkiss (Challinor 85), Williams; Speight, Duffy (Sturrock 75). Subs not used: Sandercombe, Brough.
CHESTER: Danby; Roberts, Kelly, Rule, Lea; Wilkinson, Ellams, Davidson, Meynell; Jones, Coulter. Subs: Murphy, Walker, Freeman, Maxwell.
REFEREE: Billy Khatib of Sunderland 7/10.
Mansfield 4 Vs Chester 0
Evening Post report
LUKE Jones struck his first two goals for Mansfield Town to set up an emphatic home victory over bottom club Chester.
It enables the Stags to climb back into the Blue Square Premier play-off places.
Mansfield Town had slipped out of the top five in midweek after Kettering's victory at Ebbsfleet.
But the Poppies' defeat at Stevenage, combined with the Stag's easy win, saw their positions reversed.
Mansfield's success was never in doubt once Jones opened his account and the Stags were coasting at 3-0 up by half-time.
David Holdsworth's men could only add one more in the second period through man of the match Jake Speight, but it was more than enough to send the fans home happy.
Keeper John Dandy – their oldest player at 22 – was City's star of the show and prevented Mansfield from notching even more.
The hosts started brightly and Shaun Kelly almost turned a Louis Briscoe cross into his own goal.
Moments later, Ollie Hotchkiss tried his luck from the edge of the box but was just too high.
Speight then got away down the left but his cross was just too high for Duffy.
A precise ball from Speight released Ryan Williams in the 13th minute only for Briscoe to head over the diminutive winger's centre at the far post.
Mansfield had a spell of pressure that began with a misplaced pass which saw Duffy's shot deflected wide off Kevin Roberts for a corner.
From it, Williams and Luke Jones twice had shots blocked, the last of which saw frantic Mansfield penalty claims for handball waved away by the referee.
As the Stags stepped up the pressure, Hotchkiss' deflected shot was well tipped over by John Danby.
From the corner kick, the Stags went in front as Williams' near post flick was headed firmly in from close range by a delighted Luke Jones.
Mansfield continued to press in search of a second and they got it from the same combination as the first in the 33rd minute.
This time Williams swung in a corner from the right and Luke Jones rose highest to head powerfully beyond Danby from 10 yards.
Yet another Williams corner enabled the Stags to make it 3-0. Danby pulled off a fine point blank save from Luke Foster's header but as the ball came out, the unfortunate Ben Jones turned the ball into his own goal in trying to tackle Speight.
Mansfield were by now rampant and Speight flashed wide of goal after cutting inside his marker on the edge of the box.
An intricate move involving Matt Somner and Speight saw the latter backheel for Duffy whose first time low shot was pushed around the post by Danby.
From the corner, Luke Jones was denied his hat-trick as his header was cleared off the line by Glenn Rule before Speight's overhead kick was into the arms of a grateful Danby.
As half-time approached, Speight was then crowded out with Chester rocking, but the visitors held out without a further concession.
Mansfield quickly reasserted their authority after the restart and Michael Lea did well to block a curling effort from Briscoe.
More good defending from Roberts then prevented Duffy heading in a Gary Silk centre.
On the hour mark, Williams whipped in a free-kick from the left for Duffy whose header was held by the diving Danby
With the Stags content to retain possession, the chances were not coming as quickly.
But Duffy was not too far away, the ball, appearing to strike his shoulder, from a 13th home corner of the game, taken by Williams.
With 13 minutes to go, Somner took a pass inside from Silk and had a dig from 20 yards, drilling inches wide of the left-hand post.
It was 4-0 to Mansfield soon after as Speight scored a much-deserved eighth of the season.
Armstrong fed Perry whose shot was blocked but the ball rebounded to Speight and he lashed in a superb strike that found the left hand corner from the edge of the area.
In the closing stages, Williams, from a tight angle, was denied by Danby, as Mansfield stayed in charge right until the final whistle.
MANSFIELD: Marriott, Silk, Foster, Jones, Armstrong, Briscoe, Somner, Hotchkiss, Williams, Duffy Speight.
Subs: Perry, Sandercombe, Sturrock, Challinor, Brough.
CHESTER: Danby, Roberts, Kelly, Rule, Lea, Wilkinson, Ellams, Davidson, Meynell, Jones, Coulter,
Subs: Murphy, Walker, Freeman, Maxwell.
Referee: Billy Khatib (Sunderland).
Mansfield Town 4 Chester City 0
Jan 23 2010, Chester Chronicle
THE tragic demise of a once-proud football club continued at Field Mill this afternoon as City crashed to their eighth Blue Square Premier defeat in nine matches.
Although director of football Morell Maison said after the match – one of the most one-sided you are ever likely to see – that he is confident the crisis-torn Blues will survive their latest in a long line of D-Days, even if they do avoid being wound up in the High Court next week, this remains a club on its knees.
With a second successive relegation now almost a certainty, Chester's supporters – for whom the prefix 'long-suffering' does not do justice to the unmitigated and relentless misery they have been subjected to – will have to get used to watching their rock-bottom team get beaten week in, week out until the end of a campaign that cannot come quick enough.
It is heartbreaking stuff, but no fault of the club's ever-dwindling band of players. Unpaid for two months, a number are not yet ready for first-team football. But given that the powers that be at the Deva Stadium have decided to release the more experienced members from an already-threadbare squad, absolute rookies like Ryan Davidson, Sam Coulter and Ben Jones are being forced to carry the can.
It is without question unfair on them to do so, and against a Stags side that smelt blood once they broke the deadlock midway through the first half, they were very much lambs to the slaughter.
How City missed their captain and most experienced campaigner, Tim Ryan, who was starting a two-game suspension after he picked up his 10th booking of the season in midweek.
His place in an otherwise unchanged team was taken by midfielder Coulter, who showed promise on what was his first senior start.
The visitors – who could name only four substitutes on the bench and whose average age of their starting line-up was just 20 – frustrated their play-off pushing hosts early on.
But the tone of the game was well and truly set, and after Oliver Hotchkiss and Louis Briscoe saw half chances come and go, only a brave block from Glenn Rule stopped Rob Duffy from tapping-in following a slip from otherwise impressive stand-in skipper Shaun Kelly.
Rule's last-gasp interception merely served to delay the inevitable, however, and it came as no surprise when Mansfield opened the scoring in the 24th minute.
After John Danby reacted quickly to tip over Hotchkiss' deflected, looping effort, Luke Jones rose unchallenged at the near post to steer in Ryan Williams' resulting corner.
It was centre-back Jones' first goal for the club, but he had to wait only nine minutes later for his second to arrive as again he was given the time and space to head in another Williams corner, this time delivered from the opposite flank.
The Blues simply could not deal with set-pieces into the box, and after Danby produced a point-blank range stop to keep out debutant Luke Foster, Ben Jones inadvertently turned the ball into his own goal under pressure from Jake Speight.
The Stags were rampant and could and should have scored three more times in the final nine minutes of the period, with Speight firing wide, Danby saving well from Duffy, and Rule clearing off the line to prevent Luke Jones from making it a hat-trick of headers.
But Chester survived until the break, and to their credit, emerged after the restart determined to avoid an embarrassment, even if they did not once come close to ending a goal drought that now stretches back 11 long hours.
That they didn't cave in also had much to do with the fact that Mansfield took their foot off the gas, and it wasn't until the 80th minute that they finally made it four courtesy of a smart left-footed finish from man-of-the-match Speight.
MANSFIELD: Marriott, Silk, Foster, Jones, Armstrong, Briscoe (Perry 75), Hotchkiss (Challinor 85), Somner, Williams, Duffy (Sturrock 75), Speight. Subs: Sandercombe, Brough.
GOALS: Jones 24, 33, Jones OG 36, Speight 80.
CHESTER: Danby, Rule, Roberts, Kelly, Lea, Ellams, Wilkinson, Meynell, Coulter, Davidson, Jones. Subs: Murphy, Freeman, Walker, Maxwell.
REFEREE: Billy Khatib (Sunderland).
ATTENDANCE: 2,882 (55 away).
Fears that Mansfield Town defeat could be Chester City's last game
Jan 25 2010 by Neil Turner, Liverpool Daily Post
THE result of this one sided match was incidental for the 55 long-suffering City supporters who made the trip to Field Mill, many of whom fear that this may well have been the final game in City's history.
Chester face a winding up petition brought by HM Revenue and Customs on Wednesday, and if £26,000 can't be found or an acceptable and believable repayment plan reached the Deva Stadium outfit will be liquidated.
City, who it is understood couldn't afford to pay for a temporary physiotherapist to assist on Saturday, still owe two month's wages to their players and staff, while a host of other invoices remain outstanding.
With the club in apparent fiscal meltdown it is difficult to comprehend how the current ownership will be able to stump up the money to the taxman, but City's new director of football Morrell Maison is remaining upbeat about the club's chances on Wednesday.
He said: “I am confident things will be sorted with the winding up order this week. I am not in control of the situation, I am as confident as I can be without being in control. Assurances have been given and negotiations and discussions are going on.”
Maison did reveal that the club's owners (the Vaughan family) did receive a financial offer for City last week, but they turned it down because the offer didn't meet their valuation.
Saturday's defeat at Mansfield could easily have been heavier, Chester's youthful side were outclassed in practically every department, and better Conference sides than the Stags may well have reached double figures.
The home side were 3-0 up at half-time through two headed goals from centre-half Luke Jones, and an own goal from Ben Jones. Jake Speight wrapped things up with a 15-yard strike 10 minutes from time.
CHESTER: Danby , Rule, Roberts, Kelly, Lea, Wilkinson, Davidson, Meynell, Coulter, Ellams, B.Jones: Subs: Murphy, Walker, Freeman, Maxwell .
REFEREE: Billy Khalib (Sunderland)
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