DIABOLICAL STAGS LET EVERYONE DOWN
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town 0 - 2 Gateshead
Wake 5, 48
Attendance: 7261 (74 from Gateshead)
Date: 6 February 2010
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill
Mansfield Town produced a diabolical display in front of the biggest Field Mill crowd for years to lose 2-0 at home to lowly Gateshead. The Stags owners had come up with the innovative idea to let fans in to the game for whatever they wanted to pay and it produced an astonishing crowd of 7,261 with the gates closed and some fans having to be turned away. The performance by the players was a huge slap in the face for the owners who were banking on decent entertainment which would woo back a proportion of the fans to future home games. The Stags started badly allowing debutante Brian Wake to run at them unchallenged and gave him a free shot which took a lucky deflection to beat Alan Marriott after 5 minutes. It was Gateshead who were on top for the rest of the half as Mansfield players failed to turn up, and Wake missed two more chances and Winn a further one as Marriott pulled off two fine saves to keep it at 1-0 at half time. It was the worst half of football the Stags had produced at Field Mill for ages. Three minutes into the second half, more calamitous defending allowed Wake through to make it 2-0 with a good finish. The Stags had one or two decent passages of play but were unable to make the breakthrough as the visiting keeper made some great saves though not until the closing minutes when it was already too late. So a horrendous defeat and in the circumstances, one of the most disappointing for a long time.
Footnote: The crowd of 7,261 was the biggest at Field Mill since 7,682 watched the Stags beat Notts County 3-1 on 16 Oct 2004.
Man of the match: Alan Marriott
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Horror show at Field Mill
AS the fans flocked into Field Mill, there was a sense of the good old days being back in Mansfield.
Kick off delayed for 20 minutes due to crowd congestion, wasn't this meant to be non-league football?
But following a successful offer of generosity by the club's owners, they had attracted the swelling crowd they wanted. With supporters being told they could pay what they wanted to enter, everyone was after a look.
In his programme notes, manager David Holdsworth spelt it out. "Hopefully we will look back on this day and say 'that was the start of something special'".
That was what everybody wanted. People were back at Field Mill to see what all the fuss was about. It was a chance to watch for a penny and witness a team looking to return to the Football League.
Instead, they were subjected to a horror show and by the end, many of the 7,261 fans that turned out had long gone. With 15 minutes remaining and Mansfield 2-0 down, they were flooding out the ground, no doubt after a quick alcoholic beverage to erase what they had just seen.
Had they known what was about to happen, it would not have been delayed by 20 minutes. Instead, they would have kicked off early in order to get the nightmare over and done with.
With Gateshead without a win in the league in seven matches and missing their star man, former Stag Daryl Clare, the odds were stacked against them. Struggling in the bottom three, this game was seen as the perfect one to get the fans flocking in. It could be almost like an exhibition.
Instead, the only way this will be seen as the start of something special is if it gives Mansfield the kick up the backside, which puts them into top gear, helping them eradicate any such disastrous and lacklustre performances in the future.
Holdsworth also reminded fans in his programme notes about how they had lost just once in 14 months at home in the league. A remarkable record now blotted.
The writing was on the wall as soon as Gateshead's Brian Wake saw his deflected strike nestle into the corner of the net after just five minutes.
Without that decisive touch, it would no doubt have gone straight into Alan Marriott's arms. Instead it was taken cruelly away, giving him no chance.
Instead of a positive reaction, the Stags lacked ideas and guile and were lucky not to be completely out of the game at the break.
Holdsworth called the opening 45 minutes inept and appalling. He was being kind. After the opener, Wake also missed a glorious chance from three yards out. It came on the half hour mark, when James Sinclair's throw was flicked on by James Curtis. It fell to Wake, unmarked at the back post, but he got the ball stuck under his feet and it rolled to Marriott.
A few minutes later Marriott rescued the Stags with a superb save. Wake headed the ball into the path of Graeme Armstrong and from inside the box he thundered a shot which the Mansfield goalkeeper managed to keep out.
Just before half time Peter Winn fed Wake inside the box, cutting the defence open but Marriott saved with his legs.
Mansfield's half was summed up by their only effort on goal, a half-hearted strike on the turn from Jake Speight.
At the break, Holdsworth looked to change matters with a double substitution, with Jon Challinor and Kyle Perry replacing Oli Hotchkiss and Louis Briscoe. But three minutes in, Gateshead scored again.
Stags skipper Luke Foster was at fault as he left a long punt forward from the visiting goalkeeper.
And Wake obliged as he picked up the ball, cut inside onto his right foot before showing great composure as he drilled the ball beyond Marriott.
With part-time Gateshead tiring, Mansfield finally got in on the act in the final ten minutes and the visiting goalkeeper produced some inspired saves. The fact is many of the fans that turned up would have missed that late surge, so upset were they with the earlier performance.
Paul Farman pulled off a great double save as he dived at the feet of Speight to save before palming Gary Silk's effort from the rebound onto the bar.
And in the fourth minute of injury time Farman pulled off a point-blank save from Jon Shaw's header before denying Jones with a one-handed save.
That late rally and Farman's heroics could not mask over the fact that the Stags let those excited fans down, especially in the first half.
Holdsworth was man enough to admit his side's failings and his post-match lock-in would have contained a few choice words following the 2-0 defeat.
It will be interesting to see the reaction tomorrow night at title-chasing Stevenage. Unless there is a dramatic improvement, it could be a very difficult night.
The hope is that the generosity and foresight of the Stags owners in attracting a bumper crowd does not go to waste.
But, for many inside Field Mill on Saturday, there was not much on show to attract them back.
Now they have to turn that negative into a positive and not let such a performance happen again.
Only if that happened could Saturday's game prove to be the start of something special.
Full time: Mansfield Town 0 Vs Gateshead 2
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Evening Post report
A BRIAN Wake brace condemned Mansfield Town to only a second home league defeat in 14 months at Field Mill today.
Struggling Gateshead punished a dire Stags side as Wake scored early in both halves to earn his side a 2-0 win.
The kick off was delayed by 20 minutes due to crowd congestion with fans flocking to take up the Mansfield offer to pay what they liked to enter.
But after just five minutes the Stags were behind as Wake's 20-yard effort was deflected beyond Alan Marriott into the corner of the net.
A poor Mansfield failed to conjure up a single chance until Jake Speight's shot on the turn at the end of the half.
But the Stags had goalkeeper Marriott to thank for still being in the game after he twice saved well and Wake also missed a glorious chance before Mansfield were booed off at half time.
Mansfield made a double substitution at the break with Jon Challinor and Kyle Perry replacing Hotchkiss and Briscoe.
But three minutes in, Gateshead scored again. Stags skipper Luke Foster was at fault as he left a long punt forward from the visiting goalkeeper.
And Wake obliged as he picked up the ball, cut inside onto his right foot before showing great composure as he drilled the ball beyond Marriott.
Mansfield upped their own tempo as they looked to punish a tiring Gateshead side to get back in the game but they could not carve out any clear chances, a rising Ryan Williams effort over the bar the closest they got before the game entered the final 15 minutes.
The hosts piled on the pressure and good work by Speight saw him find Williams but after he floated in the ball across the face of goal, Speight failed to finish the move he started as he headed well wide.
Paul Farman then pulled off a great double save as he dived at the feet of Speight to save before palming Gary Silk's effort from the rebound onto the bar.
In the 89th minute Stags substitute Tom Shaw dived in at the near post to meet Williams' low cross but diverted the ball over the bar.
Stags: Marriott, Silk, C Armstrong, Foster, L Jones, Briscoe (Perry, 46), Somner, Hotchkiss (Challinor, 46), R Williams, Speight, Duffy (Shaw, 68). Subs: Collett, Brough.
Gateshead: Farman, Robinson, Gate, Curtis, C Jones, G Armstrong (Francis, 69), Sinclair (McDermott, 67), Wake, D Williams, Winn, Ferrell. Subs: Provett, Baxter, Baines.
Referee: Andy Hendley
Attendance: 7,261 (74 visitors)
Wake the hero in Gateshead success
Mansfield Town 0
A GOAL in the first five minutes of each half from transfer window signing Brian Wake saw lowly Gateshead pull off a shock win at fourth-top Mansfield Town, writes JEFF BOWRON.
The former Carlisle forward, signed from Morton, stunned a large 7,261 Field Mill crowd which had taken advantage of an innovative 'pay what you want' experiment – forcing a delayed kick-off.
It was the Tynesiders' first league win of the year and one which delighted assistant manager Jeff Wrightson.
He said: “It was an awesome display from back to front.
“The Mansfield fans turned out in vast numbers no doubt expecting us to roll over.
“Yet we created some great chances in the first half, when we should have been out of sight, and then a second goal straight after the break knocked the stuffing out of Mansfield.
“They only caused us problems late in the game when Paul Farman made two brilliant saves, but we defended very well as a team.
“It was a great result and one which we can build on at home to Barrow in the FA Trophy on Tuesday and then the trip to Hayes and Yeading.”
The impressive win at Mansfield was achieved without leading scorer Daryl Clare and the raft of recent signings during January has already had a productive affect.
The win in Nottinghamshire followed a creditable FA Trophy draw at Barrow, and there is genuine competition for places in all areas.
Wake, making his first start after two appearances off the bench, got Gateshead off to a flyer when he ran at the home defence, cut inside and then fired into the bottom corner from outside the box.
The 27 year old Teessider had other chances, shooting against Alan Marriott's legs and then failing to turn in James Curtis' headed flick-on following a long throw.
Graeme Armstrong shot straight at Marriot from six yards as Mansfield rarely threatened, and Mark Robinson's ball over the top saw Wake produce another clinical finish to make it two after the break.
Solid in all departments, the Stags were kept at arms length until a late bombardment saw Gateshead's young goalkeeper Farman perform heroics with fine saves from Kyle Perry, Jake Speight and Jon Shaw.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott, Armstrong, Foster, Jones, Silk, Williams, Somner, Hotchkiss (Challinor 46), Briscoe (Perry 46), Duffy (Shaw 68), Speight. Subs (not used): Collett, Brough.
GATESHEAD: Farman, Robinson, Curtis, Jones, Williams, Sinclair (McDermott 67), Winn, Gate, Wake, Armstrong (Francis 68), Ferrell. Subs (not used): Provett, Baxter, Bains.
Booked: Ferrell. Goals: Wake 5, 48.
Ref: Andy Hendley (West Midlands). Att: 7,261
Stags 0 Gateshead 2, Saturday, 6th February
CHAD.co.uk, 06 February 2010, By John Lomas
Mansfield Town flopped on the big stage today as Gateshead ruined the party with a 2-0 victory before a packed 7,261 Field Mill crowd.
The town heartily embraced the club's idea to allow fans to pay whatever they liked to get into this game, the kick-off delayed by 20 minutes to fit everyone in.
But it was the lowly visitors who looked far more comfortable in the big atmosphere, though they were lifted by a deflected goal by Brian Wake after only five minutes.
Wake could have had a first half hat-trick as the Head created all the best chances.
And when he did double his tally three minutes after the break there was no way back for Mansfield, despite some stern pressure.
And a brilliant double save from keeper Paul Farman on 84 minutes was the final straw for the rapidly-emptying stadium in the gathering fog.
It was Gateshead's first win in their seven BSP games since Mansfield came from behind to win on Tyneside before Christmas.
The Mansfield Town side showed two changes. Michael Brough and Jon Challinor were the two to miss out following the midweek 2-1 defeat at Wrexham.
In came Louis Briscoe and Ollie Hotchkiss while new signing Jon Shaw was alomng the subs after recoving from injury.
Neither Daryl Clare nor Paul Heckingbottom were permitted to play against Stags under the the terms of their moves north.
Kick-off was delayed by 20 minutes to allow the club to admit the huge queues of supporters, taking advantage of the offer.
And, even though it had been stated beforehand that the North Stand would remain away supporters only, by 3.05pm, home fans were being led into there with very few spare seats elsewhere in the ground.
The central part of the North Stand initally remained empty for segregation purposes but eventually the weight of fans meant they began to move into there as well.
The game began in a superb atmosphere and, after Somner had conceded a free kick amid the first flying tackles, Jones headed Williams' kick wide for the visitors.
Williams raised the noise level when he ran at the Gateshead defence for the first time and crossed to the far post but Briscoe was caught in two minds and neither shot nor laid the ball off and the moment was gone.
But the visitors struck a stunning blow on five minutes with a fortunate opening goal.
Wake was 25 yards from goal and let fly with a shot that took a wicked deflection off a defender which looped the ball wide of Marriott's fingertips and inside the far post.
Stags replied with a corner and a Williams free kick, which were both cleared.
Gateshead almost caught Mansfield napping with a quickly-taken corner, but Duffy was there to kick it clear from seven yards out.
Another Ryan Williams free kick was easily cleared as gathering fog began to descend on Field Mill.
Hotchkiss sent Briscoe into space down the left but he chipped the ball tamely to the keeper with two team mates available but not found.
Keeper Farman then safely grabbed Williams' second corner as we reached the mid-point of the half.
Wake really should have doubled his and Gateshead's tally on 31 minutes as Curtis headed on a long Sinclair throw from the right and the ball went through everyone to Wake who failed to connect properly with Marriott at his mercy and the ball ran off his foot to the grateful keeper.
Two minutes later Wake's lay-off gave Armstrong a shooting chance 12 yards out which he struck sweetly and forced a good save from Marriott.
Ferrell was booked on 36 minutes for bringing down Speight.
Then Hotchkiss needed treatment after going half-heartedly into a tackle. And soon after Duffy was hurt from a kick to the back of his ankle by Williams which the referee missed.
Marriott came to Mansfield's rescue again on 42 minutes as Winn slipped a cutting pass into the box from the left which gave Wake another sight of goal and this time he was denied by the keeper's outstretched leg.
It took until the second minute of stoppage time before Farman was called into a save, a routine one as Speight spun well to hook the ball on target from Duffy's flick.
Deeper into stoppage time, Jones stayed with Somner in the box and got in a good block on his eventual shot as the inevitable boos rang out as the whistle went.
Boss Holdsworth shuffled his pack for the second half with Perry bon for Briscoe, Speight moving wide right, and Hotchkiss replaced in central midfield by Challinor.
But they were rocked by a second goal from Wake three minutes later.
A long kick from the keeper flew towards Foster who allowed it to bounce and Wake stole in to hold off two defenders before smashing an unstoppable finish past Marriott.
The defence were left arguing but Foster appeared to be at fault though may have thought he'd heard a call. It mattered not though as Stags now faced a huge task.
Winn ran at Silk soon after and nutmegged the defender before slicing wide as Silk stayed alongside him.
A great reverse pass from Perry sent fellow sub Challinot towards the by-line, but no one was there to put a finishing touch to his powerful low cross in front of goal and it went through for a corner which Duffy nodded wide.
Challinor hurled in two good long throw, the second of which was cleared as far as Williams whose rising drive cleared the bar.
Challinor was then cautioned for a late nibble at the ankles of Winn as the home frustration increased and Armstrong headed well over from the free kick.
The referee got in the way as Challinor tried to shoot from 25 yards, but it took a deflection which looped onto the roof of the net for the first of two corners. Jones got a head to both of them but couldn't get the ball on target.
Two more corners followed as Stags enjoyed their best spell of the game without success.
At the other end the impressive Wake fired low into the sidenetting.
New signing Shaw made his home debut for the last 22 minutes in place of Duffy.
On 80 minutes Speight almost carved out a goal. He drew three defenders with a god run before finding Williams to his left. Speight continued his run and got his head onto Williams' cross but didn't get enough purchase on it and the ball sailed harmlessly wide.
On 84 minutes Stags knew their luck was out as Farman beat away a Speight drive and then tipped Silk's follow-up onto his crossbar and the ball was eventually hacked clear.
A minute from time Shaw poked over from a low Williams cross at the near post.
Farman made two more miraculous saves in stoppage time, stopping Shaw's point-blank range header after Perry had flicked on a Challinor throw, and seconds later tipping over a goalbound Jones header from Stags' seven corner of the half.
STAGS: Marriott; Silk, Foster, Jones, Armstrong; Briscoe, Hotchkiss, Somner, Williams; Speight, Duffy. Subs: Collett, Shaw, Perry, Challinor, Brough.
GATESHEAD: Farman, Robinson, Gate, Curtis, Jones, Armstrong, Sinclair, Wake, Williams, Winn, Ferrell. Subs: Provett, Baxter, Francis, McDermott, Baines.
REFEREE: Andy Hendley of Halesowen.
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