STAGS BEATEN BY 10 MAN CAMBRIDGE IN BIZARRE ENDING
Blue Square Premier
Cambridge United 3 - 2 Mansfield Town
Coulson 25, Phillips 50, Crow pen 90+1. Speight 26, Nix 56. Shaw missed pen 90+5
Attendance: 2823 (225 from Mansfield)
Date: 5 April 2010
Martin Shaw at the Abbey Stadium
The Stags were beaten 3-2 at Cambridge on Easter Monday afternoon in a game that ended bizarrely. Cambridge took the lead with an unmarked header in the first half, but the Stags equalised within a minute with a Speight lob over the keeper after a Cambridge defensive mix-up. Cambridge re-took the lead early in the second half after a good run by Danny Crow, but Kyle Nix equalised for the Stags five minutes later with a cross that went straight in. Cambridge were down to 10 min after 57 minutes when defender Partridge picked up a second yellow card. The Stags created several chances with their man advantage, but couldn't capitalise and on 89 minutes a penalty was harshly awarded against Challinor in the box and Danny Crow converted even though Marriott did well to get to hand to it. Amazingly the Stags were awarded a controversial penalty of their own well into stoppage time as Saah clashed with Kyle Perry off the ball, (and off video camera). Jon Shaw stepped up and scuffed his penalty wide of the left post to send a dejected Stags to another defeat.
Man of the match: Alan Marriott
EASTER HOODOO CONTINUES
Sadly, the Easter hoodoo continues. This is in fact the sixth time from 1999-2000 onwards we have failed to gain a single point in Easter fixtures. The seasons: 1999-2000, 2001-02, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2009-10.
But in the seasons of three Easter fixtures (up to 1978-79), we never lost three Easter fixtures, but twice won all three (mentioned after the Wrexham home game. Often we won two and lost one, i.e. in 1964-65 (lost the wrong one), 1965-66 and 1966-67. On the other hand, just one point in three Easter games during our first championship season in 1974-75.
In 1991-92, we played just one game around Easter. But that was on a Tuesday immediately after the hols. On Tuesday April 21, 1992, we beat Halifax 3-2 at home in Division Four.
In 1995-96, we did not concede against TWO promoted sides. On April 6, 1996, we beat Bury away 2-0, two days later we held Preston to a goal-less draw. A couple of months earlier, these two sides did put eleven goals past us to one in consecutive games.
Even in 1946-47, we won two out of three Easter games.
But the Stags Easter fixtures yielding most goals were played in the 1930's. In 1933-34, we lost 5-1 at home to Barnsley on Good Friday March 30, the following day we thrashed Carlisle 6-0 at Field Mill but on Easter Monday April 2, 1934, we were routed 6-1 at Barnsley who later went on to win Division 3 North.
The Stags' biggest Easter victory was achieved in the Ted Harston campaign. During Easter 1937, Ted Harston was in top form. Proved by netting twice when mauling Chester 5-0 at home on March 26. The following day, Port Vale were thrashed 7-1 at Field Mill, with Harston netting five. But on March 29, the Stags lost 5-1 at Chester. Who scored? Harston. So the Stags' Easter 1933-34 and 1936-37 league games respectively yielded 19 goals.
Finally, the Stags' first-ever football league hat-trick was achieved in an Easter fixture. In our first-ever FL campaign, Luton were victims to a Harry Johnson hat-trick during the 5-2 Field Mill victory on March 28, 1932 in Division 3 South.
Details checked and compiled by Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag
Stags pay a heavy penalty at the death
Evening Post report
LIGHTNING never strikes twice in the same place, does it?
Last year Mansfield looked to have earned a deserved point at the Abbey Stadium and could have even won it.
And 2010, saw exactly the same story unfold at Cambridge once again – although this time they only had themselves to blame for failing to take a share of the spoils.
With the home side reduced to ten men and the game locked at 2-2, the Stags were looking to secure all three points in the closing stages and had a couple of opportunities to do so.
So it was a sickener for boss David Holdsworth and the visiting fans when Mansfield conceded a last-gasp penalty scored by Danny Crow.
Even then, the Stags should have struck back as another controversial spot kick was awarded in their favour six minutes into stoppage time.
But substitute Jon Shaw could not convert it as he struck his shot wide of the left-hand post in an amazing end to an incident packed game.
With Jake Speight in for Louis Briscoe the only Mansfield change, it was Cambridge who almost went in front inside three minutes. Simon Russell made his way to the left byline and crossed for Scott Neilson, whose header was clutched by the diving Alan Marriott at the foot of his right-hand post with Lee Phillips lurking.
The visitors should have been in front soon after when Challinor crossed from the right for Speight to flick on for Kyle Perry, at the far post but he somehow failed to connect with the goal at his mercy.
As Mansfield conceded a free-kick on their right, Jai Reason delivered it to the far post where Josh Coulson rose high but steered his on-target header too close to Marriott.
In the 19th minute, keeper Simon Brown had to make sure when Blair Sturrock's improvised lob might have dropped over him, tipping the ball over for a corner which came to nothing.
But the visitors were soon back on the attack as first Marriott saved well from an angled, drilled Neilson shot and then he palmed away a dangerous left-wing corner aimed for the head of Brian Saah.
It was Cambridge who drew first blood in the 25th minute after some slack marking from the visiting defence.
Coulson was allowed a free header from the edge of the six-yard box from Reason's right-wing free kick and he planted his header inside the left-hand post.
But within a minute the Stags were level after a mistake by Rory McAuley saw Speight pounce and he measured his lob superbly from just inside the box to beat the advancing Brown.
Mansfield were dealt a blow in the 31st minute when Michael Brough had to leave the field with a suspected dislocated shoulder after colliding with Marriott.
The resulting reshuffle saw Nicholas move across to the middle of the defence, Andy Burgess drop in at left back and Kyle Nix come on to play in the midfield three.
In the four minutes of time added on at the end of the first half, Burgess was unable to cut out a deep left-wing centre and Crow was unlucky to see his deft chip from a tight angle bounce off the top of the bar and over.
Cambridge rightly had two penalty appeals waved away in quick succession soon after the restart before Sturrock should have done better when heading straight at Brown from Nix's left wing centre.
Russell was also left frustrated when he blazed over the top from a Phillips pass, but United were back in front in the 50th minute.
A slick counter saw Crow burst into space down the left and his attempted shot for the far corner was diverted in by the head of Phillips from close range.
Two minutes later, Sturrock was substituted, with Louis Briscoe coming on, and it was the replacement who won the corner which led to a Mansfield equaliser.
As the ball was cleared to Nix just outside the left-hand corner of the box, the midfielder lifted it back into the box. Perry went to head, but missed, leaving the ball to drop into the right-hand corner.
Mansfield's hopes of victory were further boosted in the 57th minute when Dave Partridge was sent off after dragging down Speight to pick up a second yellow card.
Speight was inches from turning home his second when Briscoe drilled across the face of the six-yard box.
By the time Speight left the field in the 77th minute, for Jon Shaw, Mansfield still had plenty of time to net a winner.
But Cambridge did not give in either and, when Challinor was adjudged to have fouled Phillips in the box, much to the midfielder's angst, Crow tucked home from 12 yards, despite Marriott getting a touch.
There was more drama to come as Saah was cautioned for an off-the-ball clash with Perry to see another penalty awarded, this time for the Stags.
Shaw, though, could not keep his nerve – leaving the visitors to wonder just how they had ended up losing.
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