STAGS SCRAPE DRAW IN FRONT OF LOWEST CROWD EVER
Blue Square Premier
Hayes & Yeading United 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Binns 42. Silk 90
Attendance: 427 (approx 200 from Mansfield) (Lowest crowd to watch a Mansfield game in our history)
Date: 27 February 2010
Martin Shaw at Church Road
podcast Radio Nottm audio commentary: first half, second half.
Mansfield Town went in to their first ever match at Hayes and Yeading with the news that they will lose 6 points gained against Chester this season, fresh in their ears from Friday. So instead of being two points behind the play-offs, we were suddenly effectively seven points behind the play-offs once the Football Conference update the table. On the back of this, the game had become a must-win game. But sadly the players put in a poor performance and after a terrible first half error by Gary Silk had gifted Hayes a lead just before half-time, it was Silk who rescued a point scrambling home from close range in the last minute after the Hayes keeper had fumbled Rob Duffy's header. The game was played in front of just 427 spectators - comfortably the lowest to watch a Mansfield Town game in our history since we joined the Football League in 1931, surpassing the 598 at Lewes last season.
Stagsnet report in the Match Centre
Man of the Match: Rob Duffy
Hayes & Yeading United 1 Mansfield Town 1
A goal in the final minutes of each half saw the spoils shared at Church Road as United hosted Mansfield Town for the first time.
On a heavy pitch after recent rainfall it was Hayes & Yeading who created the first opening when an Adam Green clearing header was picked up by James Mulley in his own half before embarking on a one on one run against Stags defender Luke Foster. The United man was well held up by the Stags skipper but still managed to find Esmond James on the right of the area, his attempted shot being well intercepted by the boot of Andy Nicholas.
The eighth minute of the game was to prove pivotal for United's keeper Clark Masters who did well to dive and gather at the feet of an incoming Kyle Perry who in trying to get to a Jon Shaw centre clattered into the United stopper and despite continuing after treatment Clark had to be replaced on 20 minutes by Simon Overland.
With Masters still trying to recover it was good to see the ball being held high up the field by United. Dale Binns made it to the bye-line on the left before picking out James in the area, his shot striking the outstretched leg of Kyle Nix before flying over. The resultant corner saw a partly cleared ball fall to Binns whose volley bobbled around before finding it's way to Matt Ruby who could get enough force on his shot and keeper Alan Marriott was able to save at the foot of his post.
Masters goal was threatened just before he was replaced when a long Marriott punt was helped on by Perry to Nix but the Stags midfielder sliced his effort wide from the edge of the area.
With Overland now in the United goal we move forwards to the final nine minutes of the half before the next chance worthy of comment. Binns with space on the left chipped the ball in towards the penalty spot, a scramble on the floor saw the ball run to Ram Marwa who was denied from 8 yards as his drive was blocked away by Foster.
While dealing comfortably with the Stags forays towards the United goal, the home side continued to push back the Stags defence, on the counter-attack. Ed Harris headed clear for United and James picked up the ball before commencing a mazy run that saw him turn Jon Challinor inside out before switching the ball to his preferred right and hitting a shot that Marriott did well to grab diving to his left.
The breakthrough for United was just five minutes away though. Stags defender Scott Garner was a little too casual in possession, Steve Basham took the ball off his toes and played a neat interchange with Binns which saw the wide man advance into the box and fire across Marriott into the far corner of the Stags goal.
Stoppage time almost brought an equaliser for Mansfield, Challinor, Gary Silk and Shaw combined down the right flank and as the latter's cross was met at the near post by Harris, the ball seemed to spin off his shin and fly just wide of Overland's upright.
It was all change at the start of the second half, assistant referee Carl Brook took over the whistle from the referee Ian Cooper who was feeling unwell and Stags boss David Holdsworth made two changes by throwing Ryan Williams and Blair Sturrock into the fray in place of Perry and Nix.
Chances in the second half were to be very few and far between. The half was just a few minutes old when United appeared to have a real let off as the ball struck Green's arm in the area but this seemed to go un-noticed by the officials, much to the defender's relief.
The next opening came with an hour played when Marriott was required to keep out and Adam Green free-kick which he did with little concern. Minutes later at the other end, Nicholas tried his luck from a wide left position, hitting a rasping drive that just cleared Overland's crossbar before Challinor met a Willaims free-kick only to be denied by a superb Overland save as he clawed away his point blank header.
Fifteen minutes of play that really lacked any creativity followed and we moved into the final six minutes before either goal was threatened again. One of several long throws from Nicholas finally found it's target as Duffy flicked the ball on the Sturrock who could not get a good connection and Overland dived down to save at the foot of his post.
The 90th minute arrived and an error by Overland saw the Stags finally brake the resolute United defence. Williams, who had been a thorn in the side since his introduction, chipped the ball into the six yard box where Overland, who was surrounded by bodies, appeared to get both hands to the ball before letting it slip through his fingers and onto the toe of Silk who forced home an equaliser for Mansfield.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Esmond James.
Hayes & Yeading 1 Mansfield Town 1 - Saturday 27th February 2010
CHAD.co.uk, 27 February 2010, By Stephen Thirkill
MANSFIELD Town kept their play-off hopes alive after rescuing an unlikely point at the death away at Hayes and Yeading on Saturday.
A solitary first half strike by Dale Binns from the corner of the box just before half-time looked like it would be enough to wrap up the points for the West London side.
But with time ticking away the ever dependable Gary Silk capped a solid individual performance by poking home a loose ball from close range on 90 minutes after Simon Overland made a hash of a simple Rob Duffy header.
In truth Stags can count themselves somewhat fortunate after they turned in a below-par performance before once again playing their get out of jail card.
Only the Field Mill players know whether the deduction of six points ahead of the game following Chester City's expulsion from the league had any impact.
But what was apparent is Stags lacked a sense of urgency and energy in the first half as their attacking game, so impressive at Tamworth in their last outing, failed to fire on all cylinders.
Boss David Holdsworth made two changes at half time, bringing on Williams and Sturrock, to provide fresh attacking initiative.
Despite that Stags registered very few shots on goal, with only a Jon Challinor header threatening to level the game before Silk struck at the death.
But the damage was limited with results elsewhere, which saw play-off rivals Luton, Rushden, Kettering and York City all dropping points.
David Holdsworth's men must now pick themselves up and put in a dramatically improved display for the massive play-off clash at home to Luton Town on Tuesday night.
Stags boss David Holdsworth had kept the same starting eleven that convincingly beat Tamworth for the trip to Hayes and Yeading.
Mansfield, who had not played for two weeks following the postponement of the Rushden and Diamonds and York City home games, started with Perry, Duffy and Shaw up front in a 4-3-3 line-up.
There was one change on the bench with Burgess coming in to replace Briscoe.
In their last outing Stags turned in an impressive attacking display to defeat Tamworth 4-2.
But since that victory the club's play-off hopes have been dashed with the loss of six points following the expulsion of Chester City from the Blue Square Premier.
Stags started the game well and Kyle Perry came close to breaking through on goal in the eighth minute when he entered a 50/50 race with shot-stopper Clark Masters for the ball.
But the alert goalkeeper rushed off his line to bravely gather at Perry's feet around the penalty spot.
At the other end Esmond James fired a warning shot when his powerful shot from the edge of the box was deflected over by the outstretched leg of Kyle Nix.
And from the resulting corner defender Matt Ruby nearly rifled home through a crowded goal area after Garner made a hash of his clearance.
The home side were then forced to make a change after 20 minutes when sub goalkeeper Simon Overland replaced Masters in goal, after he failed to recover from his bruising collision with Kyle Perry.
Midfielders Mills, and then Nix on 28 minutes, both flashed half-chances well wide as below-par Stags failed to get a firm grip on proceedings during a dull opening half hour.
Stags survived a scare on 36 minutes when Ram Marwa's goal-bound shot was blocked on the line following a big goalmouth scramble.
Moments later Marriott was at full-stretch as he dived low to his left to keep out a James effort from distance.
Stags were then made to pay dearly on 42 minutes as a poor pass by Mills put Gary Silk under pressure.
Basham then robbed Silk, before playing in Binns on the left corner of the box.
Binns then made no mistake as he took the ball in his stride before coolly placing the ball low into the bottom left corner to put Hayes ahead.
Stags went in at the break with the fury of the visiting fans ringing out knowing they would be facing the wrath of boss David Holdsworth after their lacklustre efforts.
Mansfield re-jigged at half-time, with Williams and Sturrock replacing Nix and the ineffective Perry, as they looked to find some much-needed cutting edge.
There was also a change in officials as referee Ian Cooper made way for assistant referee C. Brook.
Stags began to come back into the game on the hour mark with the introduction of Williams providing a new threat and a new outlet out on the left flak.
Nicholas then fired a speculative shot over the bar from the left corner of the box to register Stags' first attempt on Overland's goal on 62 minutes.
Mills then won a free-kick after in a dangerous position after he was hacked down by Marwa. But Wiliams flashed the free-kick straight into the defensive wall
Stags were nearly back in the game on 68 minutes when Jon Challinor leapt well to power a header from point-blank range.
But sub goalkeeper Overland pulled off a superb reflex save to tip over for a corner to the disbelief of the Stags faithful.
Andy Burgess took to the field on 72 minutes as struggling Stags made their final change.
Stags saw two penalty claims waved away followings shouts for handball and a push on Jon Shaw.
With the game becoming stretched full-back Adam Green broke down the left and delivered a dangerous whipped in cross, which the retreating Nicholas was forced to nod behind for a corner on 81 minutes.
But on the stroke of full-time Stags saved themselves when the ever-dependable Gary Silk poked home from close range after Overland fluffed a weak Jon Shaw header
HAYES: Masters (Overland 20 mins, Green, Cadmore, Ruby, Marwa, Mulley, Binns, Cochrane, James (Stolcers 77 mins), Harris, Basham. Subs not used: Canham, Little, Watkins.
MANSFIELD: Marriott, Silk, Garner, Foster, Nicholas, Nix (Williams 45 mins), Challinor (Burgess 72 mins), Mills, Perry (Sturrock 45 mins), Duffy, Shaw. Sub not used: Collett, Brough.
REFEREE: Ian Cooper of Kent (replaced by C. Brook 45 mins)
BOOKINGS: Esmond James (foul on Williams 53 mins), Challinor (foul 67 mins), Duffy (dissent 72 mins), Cochrane (dissent on 77 mins), Silk (foul 88 mins), Binns (foul on Silk 91 mins).
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Gary Silk.
Hayes & Yeading 1 Mansfield Town 1
Evening Post report
GARY Silk bagged his first goal of the season in second half stoppage time to rescue a point for Mansfield Town at Hayes and Yeading this afternoon.
The Stags looked down and out as the game moved into the dying stages following Dale Binns' strike three minutes before the break.
But, with Mansfield fans fearing a tenth defeat of the season on the road, Silk popped up to slide in a leveler from point-blank range.
That could prove a vital point at the end of the season for the Stags, who still harbour hopes of reaching the play-offs.
But it was a poor game in West London and for long periods the Stags lacked the invention and conviction they had showed in beating Tamworth 4-2 last time out.
Mansfield started the stronger and in the sixth minute, Clark Masters dived bravely at the feet of Kyle Perry after Rob Duffy put in a precise low cross from the right.
Hayes first threatened when a left-wing cross found its way through to Esmond James, whose shot was well blocked by the retreating Kyle Nix.
From the resulting corner, Scott Garner miss-kicked, presenting Matt Ruby with a good chance close in, but he fired straight at Alan Marriott.
Soon after, Nix broke onto Duffy's flick but was off-balance as he dragged his left-footed shot well wide.
Just after the midway point of the half, Gary Mills tried his luck with a snapshot, but it was always well off target.
Both sides struggled to pass the ball with any authority in the first half hour as openings were few and far between.
There was a moment of consternation for Marriott when he failed to hold a cross through a crowd of players, but Ram Marwa's resulting effort was blocked.
James' jinking run saw him open up space to shoot on the edge of the box, but his curler was well held by Marriott down by the foot of his left-hand post.
But Hayes and Yeading made no mistake in their next meaningful attack.
A poor pass from Mills put Silk under pressure, who was robbed of the ball by Binns.
The winger played a neat one-two with Basham before advancing into the area to plant an angled drive just inside the right-hand post.
As Mansfield tried to hit back, they put together a decent move that saw a United player clear Jon Shaw's cross ahead of the lurking Duffy.
The Stags made two changes at the interval with Ryan Williams and Blair Sturrock replacing the two Kyle's, Nix and Perry.
But there was no immediate improvement as Mansfield still struggled to fashion opportunities.
United's replacement keeper Simon Overland – on for the injured Masters – was relieved when the referee blew for a foul after he had completely missed Andy Nicholas' long throw.
At the other end, Adam Green went for goal from a free-kick, but fired into the hands of Marriott.
After a sustained period of attacking, Nicholas tried his luck first time but his rising drive was always clearing the bar.
Midway through the second period, Mills won a free-kick on the edge of the Hayes and Yeading box, only for Williams to curl straight into the defensive wall.
Moments later, the Stags might have leveled but Challinor's close-range header from Williams' centre was pushed away by Overland.
Mansfield made their final change in the 72nd minute when Andy Burgess came on for Challinor.
The visitors were almost caught on the break by Hayes and Yeading, and Nicholas had to head away from inside his own six-yard box from Green's left-wing centre.
Time was almost up when Mansfield found the salvation of an equalising goal.
Williams crossed for Duffy whose header was fumbled by Overland as Silk pounced to bundle the ball home.
Stags rescue a point at Hayes and Yeading
Evening Post considered report
DAVID Holdsworth and his Mansfield Town team have certainly had better weekends – but it could certainly have turned out far worse too.
Hopes of reaching the Blue Square Premier play-offs took a sizeable blow on Friday, without even kicking a ball, when Chester City were kicked out of the division.
As a result, the Stags will soon be deducted six points from two victories when the Blues' record is expunged. Through absolutely no fault of their own, it will move them further away from the top five and can hardly have done much for morale, whatever the noises being made about keeping chins up.
Then, at Church Road on Saturday, came a second, equally frustrating setback, as Mansfield were held to an uninspiring draw.
Having beaten Tamworth last time out two weeks previously – and played so well in notching that 4-2 success – confidence was high of back-to-back wins.
So although facing a much-improved Hayes and Yeading side was never going to be an easy task, the resulting point was hardly what the doctored ordered.
For all that, though, there were reasons for the Stags to be encouraged, even if they were far from pleased.
For a start, they were grateful just to grab a share of the spoils, so late was their equaliser in coming.
The match was deep into stoppage time before they struck through the most unlikely of sources – right-back Gary Silk.
And there was further good news when Mansfield got back into the dressing room when they discovered none of their rivals had extended their advantage over them. In fact some had lost ground, albeit only one point.
As manager Holdsworth pointed out post-match, no-one in the Blue Square Premier is infallible. Teams are closely matched and it is why there remains a belief in the Mansfield camp they can still vie for promotion.
But, the truth is, they are going to have to play a heck of a lot better than this if they are going to be genuine contenders.
Silk's strike clearly brought some relief, yet there was no disguising that the Stags were generally poor, certainly in comparison to their display at the New Lamb and in other excellent away showings such as at Crawley and Gateshead.
On the day, Mansfield simply lacked the kind of invention in the final third they needed to sweep a well-organised Hayes team aside.
It is that inconsistency in performance that must drive Holdsworth up the wall. He must wonder why Mansfield are so chalk and cheese from one game to the next, as do, no doubt, their fans.
Having said that, the home side were hardly at the top of their game either, which made for a truly scrappy encounter. Aside from picking the ball out of the net after Hayes and Yeading's goal, which emanated from a Mansfield mistake, Alan Marriott was virtually redundant between the Mansfield sticks.
Fielding an unchanged side in a 4-3-3 set-up, the visitors started in the ascendency and Clark Masters had to be brave to dive at the feet of Kyle Perry when he looked poised to turn home Rob Duffy's low cross from the right.
It was an incident that saw Masters eventually have to depart and be replaced by Simon Overland.
However, as the half wore on, Mansfield surrendered the initiative as Matt Ruby should have scored from close range, while Esmond James and Ram Marwa both had on-target shots blocked.
When the home goal arrived it was, ironically, down to an error from Mansfield's 'Mr Dependable', Silk.
He was caught dwelling on the ball three minutes from half-time and the nippy Dale Binns played a neat one two with Steve Basham before firing an angled drive into the right-hand corner from just inside the box.
Holdsworth's response was to throw on Williams and Blair Sturrock for Perry and Kyle Nix straight after the restart.
That did not bring an instant change of fortunes but, credit to Mansfield, they stuck at it.
Hayes were given a warning when Williams centred for Jon Challinor, whose close range header was instinctively pushed away by Overland.
But the hosts were not so fortunate in added on time as Overland spilled Duffy's header following another left-wing Williams cross and Silk followed up from close range to atone for his earlier transgression.
When Stags look back at the end of April, they may consider this draw as vital, but it could also turn out to be two important points dropped.
Much, of course, depends on their Field Mill form, with nine of their 13 remaining games in north Nottinghamshire.
First up come Luton, but the clashes with York and Rushden will be just as crucial – and Holdsworth's players don't need telling.
They say a promotion push is based on making your home ground a fortress, near-impenetrable.
Now is the time Mansfield have to prove it.
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