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Archived News from March 2010

STAGS BEATEN BY YORK
22nd March 2010 23:43


Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town 0 - 1 York City
Foster sent off 82. Pitt 61. Brodie pen saved 63.

Attendance: 2638 (290 from York)

Date: 16 March 2010

Defeat for Stags in the crucial game against York tonight. Stags now will probably need 8 wins from the final 9 games to make the play-offs.

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Report: Stags 0 York 1
Evening Post

JUST 24 hours after one Holdsworth brother was celebrating promotion, the other felt the despair of having the opportunity to match that achievement effectively wiped out.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/football/Report-Stags-0-York-1/article-1918206-detail/article.html?

Dean had the delight of leading his Newport County side to promotion to the Blue Square Premier next season on Monday night, thanks to a 2-0 victory over Havant and Waterlooville.
But sibling David tasted the game at the other end of the spectrum last night at Field Mill as Mansfield's defeat to rivals York means hopes of claiming a place in the play-offs looks a distant dream.
The Minstermen had not won for seven games prior to their trip to North Nottinghamshire and were one of the teams the Stags were hoping to catch.
But, as has been the case before, Mansfield have been unable to find the quality to make a move up the table when it has most mattered.
What was perhaps most frustrating for the home faithful was that a side including several players known for their flair, people like recalled Andy Burgess and Blair Sturrock, and ability to play the ball on the floor.
Yet, too often, the Stags, especially in the first half, insisted on booting it long, which instantly nullified the potency and inventiveness of the hosts' attacks.
Things did improve in the second period, but it could also be levelled at the team, given the situation the team was in relative to the play-offs, that they were not positive enough.
Of course, it is important Mansfield don't lose games during the run-in.
But it is equally vital they string a run of victories together and they rarely showed the urgency required to take three points.
Evidence of that was the Stags' shot count which stood at just four, with just two strikes on target that were both easily saved.
Neither side went into the game full of confidence and while Mansfield were five unbeaten, they had failed to produce their best in Saturday's 0-0 home draw with Tamworth.
A sign Holdsworth was unhappy with that performance against the Lambs came with a switch to 4-3-3 and three changes in personnel.
Out went Ryan Williams, Kyle Nix and the injured Jon Shaw, who had picked up a kick on the back of his knee.
In came Burgess for his first start since the Stags lost at AFC Wimbledon in January, Sturrock, who last figured from the start at Ebbsfleet in November, and Jon Challinor, back after a knee problem.
After a slow opening, York got in the first shot on target as neat skill from Michael Gash opened up an opportunity for him on the edge of the box but he shot straight at Alan Marriott.
The Blue Square Premier's top scorer, Richard Brodie, didn't need a second invitation to shoot soon after but his drive was well blocked by the retreating Challinor.
Mansfield won the game's first corner in the 17th minute but keeper Michael Ingham came off his line to collect Andy Burgess' delivery with ease.
The Minstermen responded from a free-kick that saw Gash tee up Brodie, whose volley was always flying well over.
Marriott made sure with a Brodie snapshot, but in doing so carried the ball out for a corner before confidently claimed the resulting ball in.
Just before the half hour, brilliant play from Louis Briscoe, in tandem with Blair Sturrock, saw him reach the right byline but no Stags player was on hand to turn the ball in as he fired across the six-yard box.
York continued to have the better of the openings and Ben Purkiss might have done better when he shot into the side-netting after cutting into the area and nutmegging Andy Nicholas.
Next to try his luck for the visitors was Neil Barrett, who fired wide of the right-hand post from 20 yards after picking up a first-time Brodie lay-off.
In the lead up to half-time, though, there was nothing to suggest either side would make the breakthrough.
Mansfield did start the second half with more of a spark and Sturrock and Gary Silk combined to play in Challinor whose right-footed drive from a tight angle was pushed away by Ingham.
Soon after, Gary Mills' delivery from a left-wing free-kick was poor and straight into Ingham's waiting hands.
York were inches from going ahead in the 61st minute when Gash headed just wide of the right-hand post from Paul Harsley's right-wing free-kick.
But the Minstermen were in front just seconds later through a fantastic strike from Courtney Pitt.
He cut in from the left past Gary Silk to unleash a thunderbolt of a strike from the edge of the box which flew past Marriott.
York had the opportunity to double their lead almost immediately as Pitt went down in the box amid three Mansfield players and the referee awarded a penalty.
Brodie stepped up in an attempt to convert from the spot, as he had done in York's 3-0 win over the Stags on Boxing Day.
But although he struck his kick well for the left corner, Marriott guessed the correct way and superbly pushed the ball around the post for a corner.
That gave Mansfield, and certainly the fans new home, optimism further boosted by the introduction of Jake Speight and Kyle Perry for Rob Duffy and Sturrock.
Speight was quickly involved as he picked out Challinor, whose shot was on target but easily dealt with by Ingham.
Sangare was relieved to escape a second yellow card when he appeared to catch Perry with an elbow, instead lecturing both players.
Mansfield were reduced to ten men eight minutes from the end of normal time as he brought down Michael Rankine on the right wing and was shown a second yellow card.
That made it difficult for them to put on any late pressure in search of an equaliser, Speight's lob wide being the closest they came.
There were less boos come the final whistle than after Mansfield's draw with Tamworth.
But perhaps that was recognition from the home fans that this Stags side does not look to have quite what it takes to finish in the top five.

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Tuesday, 16th March, 2010, Stags 0 York City 1
CHAD.co.uk, 16 March 2010, By John Lomas
COURTNEY Pitt delivered a hammer blow to Mansfield Town's play-off hopes with a superb winning goal for rivals York City at Field Mill last night.

http://www.chad.co.uk/stags/Tuesday-16th-March-2010-Stags.6157721.jp

To make matters worse Stags had captain Luke Foster sent off for a second yellow card offence eight minutes from time.

Stags keeper Alan Marriott had at least kept his side in the hunt with a brilliant penalty save to deny York hot shot Richard BrADVERTISEMENTodie on 64 minutes.

But Pitt's 61st minute 20-yard blast settled York's first win in eight matches to reignite their fading ambitions.

Coupled with Saturday's disappointing 0-0 home draw with Tamworth, the two results leave the Stags with much work to do this week with a tough trip to Histon on Saturday and a home clash with Altrincham ahead next Tuesday and wins ever more essential with only nine games to go.

After a patchy first half, at least the Stags stepped up to the plate with some better football in the second half.

But their five match unbeaten run was halted by Pitt's shot which was a goal worthy of winning any match.

The Mansfield side saw three changes.

Out went Ryan Williams, Kyle Nix and the injured Jon Shaw.
Boss David Holdsworth gave starts to Andy Burgess, his first in two months, Blair Sturrock, his first since 28th November, and Jon Challinor, who was back from injury.

A welcome sight for the Stags was the return from a lengthy injury lay-off for livewire Jake Speight who was given a place on the bench.

Stags lined up 4-3-3 with Sturrock and Briscoe either side of Duffy up front.

Pitt refused to get out of the way of an early Stags free kick which Mills hit straight at him in frustration. The referee ordered a retake and the ball was lofted into the box where former Stag Graham headed firmly clear.

In the fourth minute Gash showed good battling qualities as he burst through two tackles and stayed upright to get in a firm, low 16 yard shot straight to Marriott.

Pitt then put a dangerous ball into the box from the left and Barrett tried a cheeky backheel which failed to find a team mate at the near post.

Briscoe almost slotted the overlapping Silk through on goal only to see Meredith make an important interception as both sides went at each other in an exciting opening.

Brodie showed his talents with a menacing run down the centre with Challinor getting the block on his final shot.

York fans were furious with a Nicholas long throw that they felt was a foul throw for him overstepping the line. Duffy got on the end of it with a header that deflected over for a corner with keeper Ingham coming out confidently to collect Burgess' outswinging flag kick.

At the other end Gash chested down a long clearance for Brodie who could not keep his finish down as it bounced awkwardly for him and the ball ended up in the Quarry Lane stand.

Pitt got in the way of a shot from team mate Barrett on the edge of the Stags box, then Marriott caught a 20 yard half volley from Brodie to his left, taking over the line as he did so for City's first corner on 28 minutes which he then plucked from the air as it came in from the right.

Great interplay from Briscoe and Sturrock down the right saw Briscoe get to the by-lone but his low cross was nowhere near the waiting Duffy and Burgess.

But York continued to look the more dangerous side and when Purkiss slipped the ball between the legs of Nicholas on the right he fired harmlessly into the sidenetting with options to his left.

Brodie then laid off a low pass from Purkiss into the path of Barrett who struck a low first time shot wide of the near post.

The first half ended scoreless with York having the best efforts and the home side blighted by too many overhit long forward balls and keeper Ingham without a save to make.

Within three minutes of the restart Stags had tested Ingham and raised the temperature and noise level in the stands.

A neat inside pass from Sturrock sent Silk racing into the box where he slipped a pass to Challinor whose near post blast was turned round for a corner.

Sangare was booked on 56 minutes for a block on Sturrock as he turned him near the left corner flag, but Ingham grabbed Mills' free kick at the second time of asking.

The best chance of the game arrived on 61 minutes as Harsley floated in a right wing cross and Gash got up to steer a header just wide of the far post with Marriott scrambling.

But within that same minute, the visitors did grab the lead with a thunderbolt of a finish by Pitt.

Given space just outside the home box he let fly with a blast that beat Marriott all ends up.

There was more drama three minutes later as York won a spot kick. Pitt ran at three defenders in the box and went down under the softest of challenges and the well-placed referee pointed immediately to the spot.

Brodie drove it hard and low to Marriott's right but the keeper went down full-length and produced a fantastic block.

Mansfield immediately changed the forward line with Speight and Perry thrown on for Duffy and Sturrock on 65 minutes.

Within three minutes of the restart Stags had tested Ingham and raised the temperature and noise level in the stands.

A neat inside pass from Sturrock sent Silk racing into the box where he slipped a pass to Challinor whose near post blast was turned round for a corner.

Sangare was booked on 56 minutes for a block on Sturrock as he turned him near the left corner flag, but Ingham grabbed Mills' free kick at the second time of asking.

The best chance of the game arrived on 61 minutes as Harsley floated in a right wing cross and Gash got up to steer a header just wide of the far post with Marriott scrambling.

But within that same minute, the visitors did grab the lead with a thunderbolt of a finish by Pitt.

Given space just outside the home box he let fly with a blast that beat Marriott all ends up.

There was more drama three minutes later as York won a spot kick. Pitt ran at three defenders in the box and went down under the softest of challenges and the well-placed referee pointed immediately to the spot.

It was hard to tell who was deemed to have made the chalenge or if it was actually in the box but skipper Foster was yellow-carded.

Brodie drove it hard and low to Marriott's right but the keeper went down full-length and produced a fantastic block.

Mansfield immediately changed the forward line with Speight and Perry thrown on for Duffy and Sturrock on 65 minutes.

Challinor whipped a low shot at Ingham from Speight's lay-off.

On 74 minutes Sangare, already booked, went up with Perry and clearly has his arm up in the Stags' striker's face as they tussled for the ball. But, after consulting with the linesman, he decided to speak to the two players and leave it at that.

The home fans were further incensed on 76 minutes when Gash was booked for the tamest of shoves.

Aware Sangare was walking a tightrope York wisely withdrew him and sent on McGurk to replace him at the back.

Stags suffered a major blow eight minutes from time when skipper Foster was shown a second yellow card for a late tackle on Rankine as he went past him on the right and suddenly Mansfield were down to 10 men.

Rankine flicked a right wing cross first time over the bar soon after as the clock began to run out on Mansfield.

Nicholas also saw yellow for a foul on Brodie as Stags struggled to find a way back into the contest.

Speight almost carved out an equaliser two minutes from time but flicked the ball wide as he got into the box, though appeared to have two defenders fouling him all the way.

As Mansfield pushed on, York broke in stoppage time with Smith sending a stinging shot at Marriott.

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Mansfield 0, York City 1
http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/sport/yorkcityfc/matchreports/5065291.Mansfield_0__York_City_1/?
By Dave Flett »

COURTNEY Pitt's spectacular first goal for York City secured the Bootham Crescent club's first victory in eight games.

The former Cambridge winger's unstoppable, 61st-minute strike earned the Minstermen a deserved three points although Richard Brodie, without a goal in nine games, squandered an opportunity to make victory more comfortable when his penalty was saved.

Ex-City loanee Luke Foster was also sent off in the closing stages for Mansfield, whose play-off aspirations now look remote.

Manager Martin Foyle made two changes to the side that started Saturday's 0-0 draw against Altrincham.

On-loan Chesterfield midfielder Paul Harsley was handed his full debut and Neil Barrett was recalled after a hamstring injury with Levi Mackin suspended and Adam Smith dropping to the bench.

The Minstermen began the match in confident fashion, looking comfortable in possession and pushing Pitt forward as a third striker at every opportunity.

On four minutes, Michael Gash forced the first save of the night, creating space in the penalty area with a neat sidestep before firing a 15-yard effort at Alan Marriott.

Mansfield's first-half threat was limited to dead-ball deliveries with Rob Duffy heading over from an Andy Nicholas long throw on 17 minutes.

Shortly afterwards, Gash chested down a James Meredith free-kick into Brodie's firing range but the England 'C' international lifted his right-footed, edge-of-the box attempt over the bar.

Brodie went closer on 28 minutes when his dipping 20-yard shot was scrambled around his right-hand post by Marriott.

Right-back Ben Purkiss then fired into the side-netting after nutmegging Nicholas and Barrett dragged an edge-of-the-box effort wide following Brodie's lay-off.

Despite the home fans' reputation for fickle reactions, the odd boo at half-time after their side's poor opening 45 minutes was drowned out by applause and the Stags' players also received a rapturous reception before the restart.

Mansfield responded well with Jon Challinor forcing a near-post parry from Ingham early in the second period.

But City weathered the pressure with Gash heading narrowly wide from a Harsley cross on the hour.

A minute later, the visitors broke the deadlock courtesy of a terrific strike by Pitt.

Harsley was again the architect, driving purposefully through the middle of the park before finding Pitt.

The former Chelsea trainee then cut inside full-back Gary Silk before unleashing a powerful right-footed drive into the roof of a bewildered Marriott's net.

Within two minutes, the Minstermen had an excellent opportunity to double their lead when Meredith found Pitt and he teased a foul out of Challinor.

Brodie stepped up to take the penalty but, with manager Martin Foyle looking away as is his custom, the City leading marksman's effort was pushed around his right-hand post by Marriott.

Sangare, repeatedly penalised for conceding free-kicks throughout the game and yellow-carded in the first half, received a long lecture from referee Stephen Martin after a clumsy challenge on Kyle Perry and Foyle swiftly replaced the French centre-back with David McGurk on 76 minutes.

Mansfield were then reduced to ten men when Foster was harshly adjudged to have prevented a goalscoring opportunity after tripping Michael Rankine despite the City substitute heading away from goal and looking to have kicked the ball out of play on the right flank.

The visitors survived an 87th-minute scare when Jake Speight stabbed wide with only Ingham to beat but Smith forced an injury-time save from Marriott before Stafford official Martin blew the final whistle.

Match facts
Mansfield 0, York City 1 (Pitt 61)

York City: Michael Ingham 7, Ben Purkiss 8, Djoumin Sangare 6, Luke Graham 8, James Meredith 7, Paul Harsley 7, Jamie Clarke 8, Neil Barrett 7, Courtney Pitt 8, Richard Brodie 6, Michael Gash 7.
Substitutions: David McGurk for Gash (77min), Michael Rankine for Sangare 77, Adam Smith for Pitt (90). Not used: Daniel Parslow, Richard Pacquette.
Key: 10 – Faultless; 9 – Outstanding; 8 – Excellent; 7 – Good; 6 – Average; 5 – Below par; 4 – Poor; 3 – Dud; 2 – Hopeless; 1 – Retire.

City's star man: Pitt – moment of magic won the game and trickery also earned a penalty.

Mansfield: Alan Marriott, Gary Silk, Luke Foster, Michael Brough, Andy Nicholas, Louis Briscoe, Jon Challinor, Gary Mills, Andy Burgess, Rob Duffy (Kyle Perry 65), Blair Sturrock (Jake Speight, 65). Subs (not used): Neil Collett, Matt Somner, Kyle Nix.
Booked: Sangare 56, Gash 76, Nicholas 85, Perry 90 Sent off: Foster 82.

Shots on target: Mansfield 2, City 5.
Shots off target: Mansfield 2, City 5.
Corners: Mansfield 2, City 3.
Fouls conceded: Mansfield 16, City 20.
Offsides: Mansfield 0, City 0.

Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire).

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