STAGS BIGGEST AWAY LEAGUE WIN SINCE 1929
Histon 0 - 5 Mansfield Town
Att: 662 (approx 150 from Mansfield)
Garner 38, Briscoe 56, Sturrock 63, Burgess 69, Speight 75.
Martin Shaw at the Glassworld Stadium
Mansfield Town produced their best performance of the season to romp to a 5-0 win at Histon on Saturday afternoon. It was the Stags biggest away league win since 8-3 at Worksop on 02Sept1929.
Stagsnet report in the Match Centre
Video highlights here.
podcast of Radio Nottm commentary: 1st half, 2nd half.
Histon 0 Stags 5, Saturday, 20th March
CHAD.co.uk, 20 March 2010, By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town had the perfect answer for their critics with their biggest win since dropping out the Football League at bewildered Histon this afternoon
Stags' hopes of making the play-offs had been rocked by just one win from four successive home games in which they struggled to play much flowing football.
But today they were simply outstanding as they put together some of their best football of the season and could have won by a greater margin.
It was Histon's biggest defeat of the season and, only ahead 1-0 at the break, despite their dominance, Mansfield then finished off their hosts with a purple patch of four goals in 18 second half minutes.
The Stutes simply had no answer to the guile and craft of the immaculate Blair Sturrock, the trickery of Andy Burgess, the passing of Gary Mills, the pace and power of Louis Briscoe and the hold-up play of Kyle Perry.
Every single Stags player enjoyed a fine game and, away from the pressures of life at Field Mill, they turned on the style, Burgess registering his first goal for the club and Scott Garner and Jake Speight marking their return to the side with goals as well.
It was Stags' biggest away win since an 8-3 success at Worksop on 2nd September 1929!
Stags made two changes with top scorer Rob Duffy left out and skipper Luke Foster starting a two-game ban.
Scott Garner partnered Michael Brough in the centre of defence while Kyle Perry replaced Duffy up front.
Right back Gary Silk took over the captaincy for the day.
After a spell of sunshine, the game kicked off in drizzle.
Smith sent in two long throws to the near post in the early stages with Stags defenders doing enough on the second occasion to crowd out Tann and make sure his goal attempt was a tame poke to Marriott.
On four minutes Histon worked the ball down the left and then inside to Southam who wasn't too far over the Mansfield bar with a powerful 20 yard effort.
Two minutes later a reverse pass from Perry sawe Challinor running on and he looped a shot over the top from the edge of the box, the ball seeming to take a bobble as he struck it.
Garner went even closer with a header from Silk's long free kick from the right, but the ball wouldn't dip in time with keeper Knights beaten.
At the other end Tann was wide of the far post with a firm header from Gwillim's free kick.
Histon almost gifted Mansfield an 11th minute lead when a poor Knight's clearance struck a Histon player and rebounded goalwards to put a surprised Perry in on goal in a one-on-one.
Unfortunately for Stags it was left of centre and as Perry got into the box he lashed a low finish across Knights but wide of the far post.
Nicholas did well to race across and provide cover to stop Pugh getting in any sort of goal effort after Garner had given the ball away for the visitors.
Stags enjoyed a great spell of good passing football, some of the best they have played for a few games, and twice came close as Burgess put in a great ball in front of goal with no one capitalising and then Mills zipping a good effort narrowly over the bar.
But Histon almost stung them with a breakaway down the left on 31 minutes with Sheringham cutting inside Brough to give him sight of goal, but his low shot was going wide before Garner slid across to block anyway and concede the corner.
A great throw from Marriott sent Briscoe down the left and he did well to get there and hold off Bygrave before the defender got back to tackle him and give away a throw from which Burgess lashed over.
On 37 minutes a great ball from Burgess through the centre put Challinor into space. He spotted Sturrock unmarked to his right who would have only had Knights to beat but his final pass was intercepted.
However, the Stags were rewarded for an excellent half with a goal from Garner on 38 minutes.
Nicholas threw long from the left to Perry who flicked on to Briscoe and he knocked it down towards Garner for the young defender to crash a net-bursting finish under the crossbar from 12 yards.
Sturrock's pass and Perry's first time flick put Briscoe in on goal a minute from the break but couldn't get hold of his finish and scuffed a finish straight to a relieved Knights.
But Mansfield went in ahead and well pleased with an excellent half of football,
Histon were almost level on the restart as Pugh turned neatly to fire straight into Marriott's midriff.
Garner went off to change his shirt following a cut and when he came back on he got an on-target header at Knights from Perry's flick across the box.
Oyebanjo provided one of Histon's best moments so far on 54 minutes as he easily got past Burgess on the right 10 yards into the visitors' half and was allowed to proceed before striking a powerful grasscutter from 25 yards which Marriott did well to hold onto.
Stags hit back with two corners with Sturrock pulling the strings.
And from the second corner it was 2-0. Burgess put the ball in from the right, Perry saw his low shot parried by Knights and Briscoe did superbly well to tuck away the loose ball from the tightest of angles beyond the left post.
A Gwillim free kick from the right bounced through everyone in the six yard box and into touch to rattle Mansfield nerves.
However, Sturrock was rewarded for a superb display with goal number three on 64 minutes.
Bygrave tried to get the ball back to his keeper, but Sturrock pursued it. Knights got there first but sent his clearance against the incoming Sturrock and the ball broke beyond the keeper for Sturrock to run it gleefully into the empty net to the celebrations of the Stags fans on the terrace behind.
Sparkes was booked for a late tackle on Silk as the home side showed their frustration.
A minute later the influential Mills was withdrawn to give Somner a run in midfield.
Burgess also crowned a great afternoon's work with a goal of his own to make it 4-0 on 69 minutes.
This time Briscoe turned the full back inside out to drill across the face of goal from the right with no one there to net. Burgess recovered the ball wide on the left, popped it between the legs of Knight-Percival and stroked a confident low finish in from a tight angle.
Histon made a double change at this point while Stags introduced Speight for goalscorer Briscoe.
And within three minutes of coming on, he had made it 5-0 on 75 minutes.
Burgess swung a long cross over to the far post from the left, Perry headed back across goal and Speight, although not making the best of connections on his finish, got enough on the ball to see it bounce inside the far post.
Tann and Sturrock required treatment for a clash of heads but were both all right to continue.
After two fouls, Somner was lucky not to be yellow-carded for a third, a late trip on York.
Perry almost carved out a sixth on 84 minutes as he won the all 25 yards out and slotted a through ball for Sturrock who, with only the keeper to beat, saw him make a fine save, diving to his right.
Speight almost netted a minute later with a shot that dipped onto the roof of the net from 18 yards with Histon desperate to hear the final whistle.
Brough blocked Stewart's shot from distance as the home side tried for a consolation goal from a quickly-taken free kick.
Perry left the field to warm applause for a fine display a minute from time to make way for Shaw to get a brief taste of the action.
HISTON: Knights, Tann, Gwillim, Bygrave, Sheringham, Southam, Sparkes, Knight-Percival, Oyebanjo (Stewart 70), Pugh (Tidswell 70), Smith. Subs not used: Key, York, Okay.
STAGS: Marriott, Silk, Brough, Garner, Nicholas, Challinor, Mills (Somner 67), Sturrock, Briscoe (Speight 72), Perry (Shaw 89), Burgess. Subs not used: Collett, Nix.
REFEREE: Stephen Ross of Boston.
GOALS: Stags – Garner 38mins, Briscoe 57mins, Sturrock 64mins, Burgess 69mins, Speight 75mins.
CAUTION: Histon – Sparkes 66mins (foul).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Blair Sturrock.
Full time: Histon 0 Vs Mansfield Town 5
Evening Post report
FIVE-STAR Mansfield ripped Histon to shreds at the Glass World Stadium this afternoon to record their biggest win since they were relegated into the Blue Square Premier.
Having struggled in losing 1-0 to York City at home in midweek, the Stags were totally rejuvenated, putting in their best performance of the season.
The Stags took a deserved first half lead from Scott Garner, recalled into the centre of the defence for the suspended Luke Foster.
But it was in the second half that Mansfield, who played some superb free-flowing football throughout, really cut loose with four goals in 18 minutes.
Louis Briscoe, Blair Sturrock, Andy Burgess and Jake Speight all joined in the fun to leave the travelling fans in dreamland.
It was in stark contrast to last season's trip to the Glass World Stadium when the Stags were thumped 3-0 by the Stutes.
Histon started brightly and Adam Tann managed to poke in a shot on goal that Alan Marriott dealt with easily.
The Stutes' early momentum continued and Glen Southam flashed a well-struck 25-yard drive just over the bar.
As the visitors responded, Kyle Perry laid off neatly to Jon Challinor, bursting from midfield, but he drilled wide of the right-hand post from outside the box.
From a long-free kick just inside their own half taken by Gary Silk, Garner got in a looping header for the Stags that only just cleared the bar.
At the other end, another free-kick, this time taken by Gareth Gwillim was headed powerfully by Tann but well off target.
Mansfield had a golden opportunity to go in front in the 11th minute after an error by the Histon defence.
David Knight's goal kick rebounded off the heel of one of his own men and put Perry away through the inside left channel.
But the striker took the ball a touch too wide, making the angle difficult, and dragged his low shot wide of the right-hand post as Knights advanced.
Andy Nicholas had to come across on the cover as Andy Pugh threatened to burst through the middle after a misplaced pass by Garner.
Sturrock was left holding his head in his hands just before the midway point of the half when he should have received the ball in acres of space from Briscoe, who failed to spot the Scot's intelligent run.
A flowing counter attack from the Stags culminated in Perry laying off to Mills who thumped a shot just wide of goal with Knights at full stretch.
But the hosts reminded Mansfield of their counter attacking when Charlie Sheringham drifted inside Michael Brough onto his left foot only for his low shot to be blocked by the sliding Garner.
Next to try his luck for the Stags was Andy Burgess, who took a Nicholas throw but volleyed over the left angle from distance.
Tann might have done better when he was first to a right-wing Gwillim corner but he miscued.
The Stags were close to a breakthrough when Burgess' measured pass released Challinor and Lanre Oyebanjo had to be at full stretch to cut out the former Cambridge man's attempt to pick out Sturrock, who would have been clear.
But Mansfield took a deserved lead in the 38th minute thanks to a superb finish by Garner.
He hammered into the roof of the net from close to the penalty spot after Kyle Perry had flicked on Andy Nicholas' long throw and Briscoe had held it up.
The Stags were growing in confidence all the time and they cut Histon open again just before the break.
Sturrock and Perry combined to put Briscoe in one-on-one, but he got the ball stuck under his feet and Knights saved his finish easily.
Histon looked to get straight back on level terms after the restart and Marriott had to be alert to get behind Andy Pugh's shot on the turn.
A quick response from Mansfield saw Burgess' corner headed back across goal by Perry for Garner who nodded into the arms of Knights.
In the 54th minute, Oyebanjo slipped past Burgess and was left unchallenged to fire in a shot from 20 yards that Marriott did well to smother.
After a good spell of pressure, Mansfield claimed a deserved 2-0 lead in the 57th minute and, again it was from a set piece.
As Burgess delivered a corner into the box and the ball dropped for Perry, his snapshot was well saved by Knights, but Briscoe was well placed to slot home the rebound from close range.
Histon were close to pulling one back when Gwillim played in an inviting free-kick only for it to elude three of his team-mates in the six-yard box.
Mansfield were three goals to the good out of nothing following a calamitous error by the Histon defence. Adam Bygrave's back pass to Knights was in the air and the keeper's chested control let the ball get away from him. Sturrock pounced to block a rushed attempted clearance and ran on to tap into an empty net to the delight of the visiting fans behind the goal.
Five minutes later it was 4-0 to Mansfield after a brilliant piece of individual skill by Burgess helped him to his first goal in amber. After Briscoe had fired across the six-yard box with no Stags player able to claim a touch, Burgess picked up the ball on the left touchline, nutmegged Nathan Knight-Percival and curled nonchalantly into the far corner from the tightest of angles.
Speight joined the action in the 72nd minute and within three minutes he had got his name on the scoresheet to make it five.
Burgess played in another telling cross from the left, Perry unselfishly headed across the face of goal and Speight acrobatically tucked the ball home from just inside the six-yard box.
It should have been six in the 84th minute when Perry won possession and put Sturrock away, whose shot was pushed away by Knights diving to his left.
Soon after, Speight curled inches over the top after cutting onto his left foot from the edge of the area.
Mansfield threatened more goals in the closing stages but were more than satisfied with the five they had – and a clean sheet too.
HISTON: Knights, Oyebanjo, Bygrave, Tann, Gwillim, Smith, Southam, Knight-Percival, Sparkes, Sheringham, Pugh. Subs: Tidswell, Key, Stewart, York, Okay.
MANSFIELD: Marriott, Silk, Brough, Garner, Nicholas, Challinor, Mills, Burgess, Briscoe, Perry, Sturrock. Subs: Collett, Somner, Nix, Speight, Shaw.
Referee: Stephen Ross (Boston).
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