BRISCOE INSPIRES STAGS TO ENTERTAINING WIN
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town 4 - 2 Salisbury City
Challinor 30, Shaw 37, Perry 75, Duffy 90+5. Connolly 38, Adelsbury 90+2.
Attendance: 2842 (38 from Salisbury)
Date: 6 March 2010
Martin Shaw and Neil Shaw at Field Mill
Mansfield Town beat Salisbury 4-2 in a highly entertaining game at Field Mill this afternoon. The Stags went two ahead in the first half with goals from Jon Challinor and Jon Shaw, the latter a header from a superb cross by the rampant Louis Briscoe. But Salisbury pulled a bizarre goal back before half time. After Marriott made a fabulous save from former Stag Darrell Clarke, Stags sub Kyle Perry restored the two goal advantage after a great run by Gary Mills on 75 minutes. Salisbury made it 3-2 in stoppage time with a deflected goal, before Rob Duffy made it 4-2 after more good work by Briscoe. Possibly the most entertaining game of the season at Field Mill which makes it all the more bizarre that one fan chose to throw his season ticket at manager David Holdsworth at half time leading to the Stags manager refusing to come out for a post match interview.
Stags 4 Salisbury City 2, Saturday, 6th March 2010
chad.co.uk, 06 March 2010, By John Lomas
Mansfield Town were made to work hard for their impressive 4-2 win over never-say-die BSP form side Salisbury City at Field Mill this afternoon.
The visitors refused to allow their six-match unbeaten BSP run to end without a fight and twice pulled back to within a goal of the home side.
It was hard going for the first half hour as Stags laboured against a lively City performance.
And, incredibly, one Stags fan was so annoyed by his side's display that her threw his season ticket into the face of boss David Holdsworth as he headed for the dressing room at half-time!
But Jon Challinor grabbed a deflected breakthrough goal on the half hour and Jon Shaw headed a second soon after.
However, City were back in the game two minutes later through a Reece Connolly tap-in and refused to lie down until Perry finally put the game to bed with 15 minutes to go as he finished a superb breakaway goal.
Stags were much-improved after the break with Gary Mils running the midfield and Louis Briscoe rampant down the right and it looked all over when Kyle Perry made it 3-1 on 75 minutes.
But Ben Adelbury had Stags sweating again when he scored in stoppage time only for Rob Duffy's 15th goal of the season even deeper into added time to finally kill them off and make it four games unbeaten for Mansfield.
Michael Brough took over from the injured Luke Jones at centre half as expected in the only change for the home side.
The visitors, unbeaten in six BSP games, included former Stags midfielder Darrell Clarke in midfield.
The afternoon began on a sad note with a minute's applause for former Stags player and assistant manager Keith Alexander, who died earlier this week.
Duffy then almost gave Stags a much-needed early lead but glanced his second minute header wide from Briscoe's fine right wing cross.
A short Brough backheader almost put Marriott in trouble until Nicholas slid in to make sure it reached the keeper.
Connolly had a shot blocked on the edge of the box and then Marriott caught a long Bush throw from the right as City kept the ball in the Stags half.
Tubbs wasn't too far wide with a low free kick from 25 yards as the visitors continued to make a lively start.
It took 13 minutes for Mansfield to create any real danger as first Shaw flashed a shot across the face of goal from a tight angle on the left and the ball eventually went through to Briscoe who almost drilled in at the near post until Bittner turned the ball out for a corner.
Bittner did well to grab the ball off the head of Shaw at the second attempt from a high forward ball.
Adelsbury had Marriott worried for a split-second with a speculative 30 yard effort that wasn't too far wide.
Stags had still not found their stride and there were groans when Mills sliced a 25 yard effort hopelessly wide of target.
But Challinor finally got the show on the road on the half-hour.
Briscoe and Silk exchanged passes on the right of the box and the ball finally broke invitingly off a defender towards Challinor who drilled a low shot from 16 yards that took a deflection and somehow squirmed under the dive of Bittner and over the line.
It was just the tonic the home side needed after a frustrating first 30 minutes.
However, a minute later it was almost 2-0.
A huge Marriott clearance bounced perfectly for Duffy, who had got goalside of the defenders, and his low finish was palmed aside by the outstretched right arm of the diving Bittner.
There was a big shout for hands by Bull just inside the City box but nothing was given.
But it was 2-0 on 37 minutes with Shaw the goalscorer and Briscoe the architect.
Williams began the move as he cut in from the left on the halfway line and put the ball into Briscoe's path on the right.
The winger accelerated superbly and then cut into the box before crossing accurately onto Shaw's head who could hardly miss from six yards out.
But just as everything looked wine and roses for Mansfield, City pulled a scruffy goal back within two minutes.
Stags tried to clear a free kick but the ball struck a City player and span back towards the top corner where Marriott did well to claw the ball onto the post but was helpless on the turf as it dropped for Connolly to turn the loose ball over the line from just a yard out.
Marriott needed two bites of the cherry to hold onto a dangerous low left wing cross zipped in by Bush as we entered one minute's stoppage time with Stags narrowly ahead at the break.
Goalscorer Challinor, who was a doubt before the game with a knee injury, did not reappear for the second half, replaced by Nix.
Tubs almost shocked Stags in the first attack as he got on the end of a long throw at the far post but headed over from close range.
Stags' response was a header straight at Bittner from Duffy from a far post cross by Mills.
Tubbs did really well to stretch out a leg at the far post between Nicholas and Brough to manage an unlikely shot on target from Bush's long cross only to find Marriott perfectly placed.
Briscoe thrilled the home crowd with a typical powerful burst down the right from well into his own half that saw him shrug off an attempted foul by Clarke as he tore past everyone to the by-line before crossing to the far post with no one able to reach it.
Duffy got a backheader onto a long Nicholas throw that dropped wide of the far post as Mansfield continued to look for the comfort of a third goal.
Briscoe again wowed the crowd with a smart turn past two defenders on the right and then a curling effort that was inches wide of the far post.
Foster needed treatment for a head injury but was able to continue.
As the game continued the home fans were entertained by the sight of a pheasant landing on the pitch and racing around to great cheers from the West Stand, doubtless hoping it might get a trial from David Holdsworth!
Adelsbury was booked on 65 minutes for cynically tripping Mills on the halfway line as the Stags man led a counter attack.
Before the game restarted, Perry replaced Shaw up front for the home side.
Brough was too high and wide with a header from a Williams corner.
But on 70 minutes a deflected pass that fell for Clarke saw the ex-Stags star force a great one-handed save from Marriott with his measured low finish.
More Briscoe magic saw him again reach the by-line and pull the ball back for Nix who saw Adelsbury block his finish and Briscoe only able to find the sidenetting with his follow-up from an almost impossible angle.
But the much-needed third goal came on 75 minutes from a swift and deadly counter-attack.
City's attack broke down and Mills robbed Adelsbury just inside the half which saw Stags breaking two on one.
Mills did superbly as he drew the last defender and then squared the ball to leave Perry the simplest of finishes under Bittner just nine minutes after coming on.
From the kick-off Tubbs tried a cheeky effort from over 50 yards which was at least on target but no real test for Marriott.
Perry then almost put Sturrock in on goal with a superb pass only to see Sturrock stumble on the edge of the box and the ball run through to the keeper.
We entered four minutes of stoppage time and still City refused to conceded defeat.
And when Silk made a great block on their next attack the ball ran towards Adelsbury who drilled a shot that somehow flew sraight down the centre into the net past an unsighted Marriott.
A minute later Martin headed straight at Marriott as home fans' nerves began to suffer.
Briscoe then almost made it safe as he burst down the centre to go clear only to see Bittner make a great save low to his left.
But it was finally all over as went into a sixth added minute as the irrepressible Briscoe again reached the by-line and pulled the ball back intelligently for Duffy to smash it home inside the near post.
There was only time to kick off before the whistle went to big cheers of joy and relief.
STAGS: Marriott; Silk, Foster, Brough, Nicholas; Briscoe, Mills, Challinor (Nix ht), Williams (Sturrock 74); Duffy, Shaw (Perry 66). Subs not used: Collett, Somner.
SALISBURY: Bittner; Turley, Cox (Flood 61), Bull, Martin, Bush (Ruddick 76); Anderson, Clarke, Adelsbury; Connolly (Gray 82), Tubbs. Subs not used: Pryce, Clohessy.
REFEREE: Billy Khatib of Sunderland.
ATTENDANCE: 2,842 (38 away).
Full time: Mansfield Town 4 Vs Salisbury City 2
Evening Post report
MANSFIELD Town boosted their Blue Square Premier play-off hopes – and stretched their unbeaten run to four matches – with a hard-fought victory over Salisbury City at Field Mill this afternoon.
After an innocuous first 30 minutes, the Stags took control with two goals in eight minutes from Jon Challinor and Jon Shaw.
Salisbury hit back quickly through Reece Connolly's close range finish to set up a tense second half.
Mansfield looked to have made the game safe when Kyle Perry made it 3-1 – and the hosts should have put the game beyond sight.
City kept going and Ben Adelsbury late strike set up a tense finish, but Rob Duffy netted his 15th goal of the season in the dying seconds to seal three priceless points.
The Stags should have been in front inside 90 seconds when Rob Duffy somehow headed wide of the left-hand post from close range following a superb Louis Briscoe cross from the right.
Andy Nicholas was alert to prevent Matt Tubbs from getting in after Michael Brough's attempted header back to Alan Marriott came up short.
Tubbs tried his luck from a 25-yard free-kick soon after but Marriott was always confident of the ball going wide, which it did.
The hosts went close twice in a matter of seconds as first Jon Shaw flashed across the face of goal and then Louis Briscoe forced James Bittner to push the Ball around his near post.
After a long period of inactivity, which frustrated many of the Mansfield fans, the home side went in front on the half hour.
Good work from Louis Briscoe and Gary Silk in the right-hand side of the box saw the ball eventually break for Challinor, whose shot from 16 yards took a deflection to deceive Bittner and find the net.
It was almost 2-0 moments later as Marriott's long kick found Rob Duffy and his low shot produced an excellent save from Bittner, diving to his right.
But David Holdsworth's men were two goals to the good in the 37th minute thanks to a flowing move.
Ryan Williams switched play to the right flank where Louis Briscoe beat his marker for pace and crossed from the right byline for Shaw to head home the simplest of chances from close range.
But Salisbury were handed a lifeline just two minutes later. A free-kick was cleared onto a City player, which diverted the ball back towards goal.
Marriott was alert to turn the ball onto the left-hand post, but Connolly followed up to tap home the rebound.
Just one minute of stoppage time was added and saw Salisbury on the attack, but Mansfield stood firm until the break.
Before the second period began, the Stags brought on Kyle Nix for Challinor.
But it was Salisbury who started the better and Tubbs headed a good chance over the top after the hosts had failed to clear a left-wing throw.
Mansfield responded with a slick attack that saw Duffy head into the arms of Bittner from Nix's deft cross.
Salisbury were looking dangerous on the counter and Marriott had to be down quickly to keep out Tubbs' volley from a tight angle from a long Chris Bush pass.
Briscoe was at his buccaneering best when he ran half the length of the field, surging past two challenges, before crossing just beyond Duffy at the back post.
Duffy was not too far away when his back header dropped just wide of the right-hand post from Nicholas' long throw.
Briscoe was the next to try his luck just before the hour mark but his shot did not bend enough to find the left-hand corner.
Midway through the half, Perry was introduced for the half working Shaw and as the Stags won a corner, Luke Foster headed just wide.
City were almost level in the 70th minute but former Stag Darrell Clarke was denied by a fine, diving stop from Marriott.
Another break away down the right from Briscoe saw him pull the ball back for Nix, whose goalbound shot was blocked by a visiting defender. Briscoe fired against the outside of the post from the follow up but was ruled offside.
But the Stags did re-establish their two-goal lead thanks to an excellent piece of work by Mills.
He robbed Ben Adelsbury, ran with the ball, committed the last defender and then slid the perfect square pass for Perry, who slid beyond the advancing Bittner with ease.
Salisbury threw caution to the wind and pulled a goal back as the game moved into stoppage time when Adelsbury's drive from the edge of the box deflected past a wrong-footed Marriott.
But Duffy eased the nerves of the Stags fans with the last significant kick of the match, powering home from close range after more smart work from Briscoe.
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