STAGS 1 - 0 SHEFFIELD UNITED
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Sheffield United
Att 1,797 (826 from Sheffield United)
10 July 2010
Mansfield first half line up:
Gary Silk, Steve Foster, Tom Naylor, Kevin Sandwith;
Adam Smith, Stevie Istead, Kyle Nix, Paul Stonehouse;
Lee Gregory, Rob Duffy.
Mansfield second half line up:
Michael Abnett, Chris Smith, Liam Francis, Ben Turner;
Louis Briscoe, Gary Mills, Matt Somner, Ryan Williams;
Rory Boulding, Michael Boulding.
John Leonard (for Mills, 72)
Conor Higginson (for Ryan Williams, 72)
Niall O'Rafferty (for Rory Boulding, 72)
Ashley Cain (for Briscoe, 81)
During the second half there were outings for some of Stags' younger players as well as trialists Michael Abnett (ex-Palace right back), Liam Francis (former Coventry centre half), Jon Lennard (former Hull central midfielder)and Ashley Cain (ex-Coventry winger).
Simonsen, Murillo, Williams, Berios, Morgan, Chappell, Montgomery, Walton (James 30), Yeates, Evans, Bogdanovic.
Aksalu, Vandelannoite, Edjenguele, Berios (James 65), Taylor, Lowton, Ertl, Britton, Reid, Foster, Cresswell.
Unused subs: Roe, Brown.
Stagsnet player assessments, by Darren Shaw:
Very impressive performance today with lots of promise. Sheffield United looked very ordinary with Monty (Nick Montgomery) being their best player. We looked better in the first half when we fielded a stronger team and so did the Blades. Started off passing the ball well but started to play more long balls as the half progressed. Lost our rhythm a bit in the second half and had to hang on at times. I think Forest will be a much harder test if they field their first team players.
Alan Marriott - two good saves in the first half
Gary Silk - a few solid tackles from the dependable Silky
Tom Naylor - a very confident and promising performance against experienced Championship attackers, Ched Evans and Daniel Bogdanovic.. Looked comfortable on the ball. Gave the ball away once but won it back superbly.
Steve Foster - looked fit and solid at the back. Made a great block.
Kevin Sandwith - promising debut but played a few too many long balls. Likes to get forward which meant that Sheff Utd (Yates?) got behind him a few times. It was a shame Kyle Nix did not let him take the free kick as it would have been good to see if he can drive a ball at goal.
Adam Smith - lively debut. Made a few good runs.
Steven Istead - our best player in the first half. Very combative and won plenty of tackles. Also had a shot at goal.
Kyle Nix - gave the ball away too many times which was quite surprising for him.
Paul Stonehouse - solid game. Looked to pass the ball. Had a shot at goal. However, he looked more of a left back to me than an attacking midfield player.
Rob Duffy - won most high balls as usual and looked to ly the ball off. Could form a good partnership with Lee Gregory.
Lee Gregory - promising debut. Looked to play on the shoulder of the last defender and was looking for Duffy to flick the ball on. Should have scored when clean through on goal. DH's surprise choice as captain as referred to in the interview with Stevo in the programme.
Neil Collett - looked smaller than Alan Marriott as a keeper but made made two great saves. Nice chant of "England's No 2" from the West Stand.
Michael Abnett (No 37) - looked a bit nervous early on but did OK. Gave the ball away a couple of times.
Chris Smith - impressive performance. Looked solid and likes to talk and organise the defence. I thought he was our best player in the second half.
Liam Francis (No 18) - started off a little nervously but did well. Has plenty of pace. However, do we need another centre half if we have Foster, Smith, Naylor and Preece?
Ben Turner (No 23) - played well. Promising.
Louis Briscoe - has lots of hair now. Looked lively and took his goal well. Has loads of potential and can cause problems for most defenders when he runs at them. Will he be more consistent this year?
Matt Somner - worked hard but seemed to struggle to get into the game.
Gary Mills - only on the pitch for 30 minutes. Will he have a better second season with the Stags?
Ryan Williams - excellent through ball for Louis Briscoe's goal. The fact that the Sheffield United website described it as a hopeful forward ball demonstrates that they do not see much good football at Bramall Lane.
Michael Boulding - sign him up! Still has plenty of pace and looked dangerous. Combined well with Ashley Cain in the second half.
Rory Boulding - don't sign him or tell Michael that he will have to pay him out of his wages. Tried too hard and was desperate to impress. Gave the referee a bit of lip.
Second Half Subs
Conor Higginson (No 24) - Looked at home playing against "the mesters" and had a good shot.
John Lennard (No 8)(Same number as Michael Boulding) - did not have much chance to put his stamp on the game
Niall O'Rafferty (No 26?) - ditto
Ashley Cain (No 6) - looked lively and had plenty of pace. Combined well with Michael Boulding. However, we already have Adam Smith, Louis Briscoe and Ryan Williams who can play on the right and so we do need another player for this position?
Stags start pre-season with victory over Championship side
Posted on: Sat 10 Jul 2010
Mansfield Town's pre-season fixture schedule started in strong fashion, with an encouraging display against Championship outfit Sheffield United, which ended in a 1-0 victory.
To add to fine performance, all players involved appeared to have emerged from the game unscathed.
Louis Briscoe's cool finish in the second half separated the two sides, and it was no less than the Stags deserved.
Kevin Sandwith, Steve Foster, Adam Smith and Paul Stonehouse were the new faces on show in the first half.
Meanwhile, Lee Gregory, who had spent last season on loan with captained the side against his hometown club, and could have put his name on the scoresheet in the first half.
Paul Stonehouse, a summer signing from Forest Green Rovers, fired the first shot of the match, cutting in the from the left inside the opening two minutes.
Stags started brightly and Kevin Sandwith was next to pull trigger from outside the area following a Kyle Nix free kick on the right.
Then Adam Smith burst infield before shooting over before Stags forced the first corner of the match, following a Steven Istead right wing cross.
United's first serious test on goal came on 20 minutes when Ched Evans received a cross-field pass from Daniel Bogdanovic. Evans, bearing down on goal forced Marriott to parry.
Stags' Kyle Nix drifted a free kick over the wall from 18 yards just two minutes later as Stags remained the more positive of the two sides heading forward.
Marriott was called into action on 25 minutes, getting down well to a strong strike from United trialist Jordan Chappell.
With 15 minutes of the first half to play, Steve Foster made a vital intervention on Jordan Chappell just as he was set to open fire inside the area.
With seven minutes to go, Steven Istead, one of Stags' strongest players in the first half, struck low on the right after a good run, forcing Simmonson to push wide.
Istead turned provider with two minutes remaining, sending a delicious through ball to the unmarked Lee Gregory. And the young forward's effort was thwarted as he tried to take it round Simmonson after a one-on-one with the United keeper.
Stags broke the deadlock just five minutes into the second half with a cool finish from Louis Briscoe. Ryan Williams fed the winger from the left and Briscoe finished with aplomb from inside the area, sending it through the legs of the goalkeeper.
The second period saw the introduction of the Boulding brothers up front as David Holdsworth brought on 11 fresh faces in the second half. Fellow trialists Ashley Cain, John Leonard, Danny Mitchley, Michael Abnett and Liam Francis were also given a run out during a second half which saw few chances.
Conor Higginson replaced Ryan Williams on the left wing with 18 minutes left.
Three minutes later, Neill Collett performed acrobatics in the Stags goal, having to tip over a Richard Cresswell shot He performed heroics less than a minute later, tipping over a header from short range.
Ex youth team midfielder Niall O'Rafferty, now out of contract, saw the last ten minutes of the game.
Then Higginson almost scored what would have been a beautiful goal as Stags hit United on the counter. Mickey Boulding sent the youngster through the middle and Higginson, bringing the ball down well, was denied by the United goalkeeper who pushed the ball around his upright for a corner. The Sheffield shot stopper was called upon seconds later having to save a Michael Boulding header from the resulting flag kick.
United then struck the upright at the other end after a left wing cross, as the visitors searched for an equaliser. But a leveller for the visitors never came as Stags ran out deserved victors.
Att: 1,797 (826 away)
First half line up: Marriott, Silk, Sandwith, Foster, Naylor, A. Smith, P. Stonheouse, Nix, Istead, Gregory, Duffy
Second half line up: Collett, Abnett, C. Smith, Francis, Turner, Briscoe, Mills, Somner, Williams, R. Boulding, M. Boulding
Briscoe blunts the Blades
Stags 1 Sheffield United 0
CHAD.co.uk, 10 July 2010
LOUIS Briscoe gave Mansfield Town a superb start to their pre-season fixtures with the only goal of an absorbing contest against Championship neighbours Sheffield United in the sweltering sunshine at Field Mill this afternoon.
Stags changed all 11 players at the break and Briscoe had only been on the field for seven minutes when he poked home the only goal.
But both home keepers Alan Marriott and Neil Collett made two good stops in each half to keep the Blades at bay whADVERTISEMENT ile the visitors also struck the post in the final minute.
After a hectic summer with 13 senior first team players leaving and, so far, six new faces in, the game kicked off with four of Stags' new signings in the line-up in Steve Foster, Adam Smith, Paul Stonehouse and Kevin Sandwith.
Youngster Lee Gregory was made captain for the day against his old club which was a nice touch to start what could be his big breakthrough season and almost scored with the best chance of the opening 45 minutes.
But one of the day's biggest cheers was that for ex-Stags hero Michael Boulding who, along with brother Rory, is back training at Field Mill and a possible target for a contract.
Mansfield began well in the boiling sunshine and Smith's persistence saw him win the ball 30 yards out and set up Stonehouse for a rising shot well wide of the near angle to the left of the North Stand goal, behind which was an excellent following from Sheffield.
Stonehouse then did well to switch feet for a 20 yard shot that struck Duffy on the back.
Sandwith scuffed a half-cleared free kick wide from 20 yards as Stags maintained their pressure. Then Smith prodded over from Duffy's pull back.
It took the visitors 20 minutes to test Marriott as he threw himself to his right to turn aside a fierce half volley from 20 yards from Evans.
Mansfield won a free kick on the edge of the box soon after which everyone thought Sandwith would take, but Nix stole in to curl it over the wall and straight at the keeper.
Marriott was in action again after Chappell was offered too much room on the right and hit a powerful shot towards the keeper's near post which he parried for a corner.
Sandwith got his body in the way of a Walton drive in the box from United's fourth corner.
On 33 minutes Chappell caught Stags' rearguard napping as they looked for offside, but the Blades man wanted too long to control and finish in the box and Foster produced a superb block in the end.
Yeates shot straight at Marriot in their next raid and soon after curled another easy effort at the keeper.
But in between those attempts United keeper Simonsen had to make a good near post block after the tenacious Istead won the ball to the right of goal before getting in a powerful goalbound shot.
Gregory had the game's best chance two minutes from the break after Berios failed to cut out Istead's forward ball and the youngster was in on goal.
However, as he tried to round Simonsen the keeper stuck out a leg and produced a crucial tackle to halt him and keep the scores level at the break.
Stags replaced their entire 11 at the break while United changed 10 with the biggest cheer for Michael Boulding.
And within seven minutes new-look Mansfield were in front.
Williams' through ball sent Briscoe between the new Blades centre half pairing and he poked the ball through the legs of the helpless Aksalu.
Michael Boulding then forced two corners for the home side as they pushed home their advantage.
For United Reid was just to high with a far post cross with two team mates waiting, then James shot straight at Collett.
Collett produced two excellent close range saves on 76 and 77 minutes to deny Blades an equaliser, reaching up to tip over first from Creswell and then Foster, underlining the strength Stags have in that department this season.
Boulding got the crowd excited as he raced into the box on the right but it ended disappointingly as he scuffed a finish at the keeper.
Three minutes from time more good work from Michael Boulding saw him chip a great pass into the path of Higginson whose first touch was excellent but his finish blocked for a corner which saw Boulding head into the arms of Aksula.
Britton almost sneaked an equaliser in the final minute as his left wing cross bounced through everyone and struck the far post.
But Stags rode that moment of luck to take the applause for an excellent victory in what was an excellent work-out for both sides.
During the second half there were outings for some of Stags' younger players as well as trialists Michael Abnett (ex-Palace right back), Liam Francis (former Coventry centre half), Jon Lennard (former Hull central midfielder)and Ashley Cain (ex-Coventry winger) with Francis particulaly catching the eye.
MANSFIELD: Marriott (Collett ht); Silk (Abnett ht), Foster (C. Smith ht), Naylor (Francis ht), Sandwith (Turner ht); A. Smith (Briscoe ht, Cains 81), Nix (Mills ht, Leonard 73), Istead (Somner ht), Stonehouse (Williams ht, Higginson 73); Gregory (M. Boulding ht), Duffy (R. Boulding, O'Rafferty 73).
BLADES: Simonsen (Aksula ht), Murillo (Vandelannoite ht), Williams (Edjenguele ht), Berios (James 71), Morgan (Taylor ht), Chappell (Lowton ht), Montgomery (Ertl ht), Walton (James 30, Britton ht)), Yeates Reid ht), Evans (Foster ht), Bogdanovic (Cresswell ht).
REFEREE: Russell Booth.
ATENDANCE: 1,797 (826 away).
New Stags fit in well
Evening Post report
IT'S a sign of the times, that the majority of 2009-10 squad photos lining the entrance stairwell to Field Mill's Kevin Bird Suite and directors' lounge are already out of date.
No less than senior 13 players have been released since the end of last season, with six signings so far made to replace them.
There will be more additions to come – and such a raft of new blood is no different to most clubs in the modern game.
Yet the early indications are, on the evidence of Saturday's first pre-season friendly at least, the changes made are for the better.
The new faces all had reason to be pleased with the way they acquitted themselves against a strong Sheffield United outfit.
Their performances, as much as the result, gave supporters, as well as manager David Holdsworth, significant cause for optimism ahead of the August 14 kick-off.
Left-back Kevin Sandwith showed signs of his ability to cross and distribute accurately, even if winger Jordan Chappell made it hard for him at times.
Central defender Steve Foster demonstrated his command in the air and positional awareness to deny Chappell with a perfectly-timed recovery tackle.
Wide on the left, Paul Stonehouse was as combative and hard-working as he had been last season against the Stags for Forest Green.
On the other flank, Adam Smith gave notice of his speed, determination and eye for a cross.
And coming on as a substitute – as Mansfield fielded an entirely new team for the second period – central defender Chris Smith ensured there was no way through for the Blades once Mansfield had gone in front.
The only one of the six to miss out was latest signing Mark Preece, drafted in from Forest Green on Friday but deemed not fit enough to play yet.
Where Mansfield are depleted following the sale of Jake Speight and departure of Kyle Perry is up front.
But Holdsworth may have already found some answers – particularly in the shape of former favourite Michael Boulding. Having served the club with distinction twice – scoring 43 goals in those spells – all eyes were on him to see if he still has what it takes at 34.
And the trialist's answer appeared to be emphatically yes as his trademark intelligent runs almost saw him net twice in the closing stages.
The home fans certainly liked what they saw, chanting 'sign him up.'
More of a surprise package could be Lee Gregory, who spent most of last season out on loan. He missed a golden chance at the end of the first half from Steven Istead's pass.
Even so, he linked up well with Rob Duffy and did enough to suggest the senior football he now has under his belt has helped him.
Another youngster to impress was teenager Tom Naylor, proving he has it within him to compete with the likes of Foster, Preece and Chris Smith for a central defensive berth. Other trialists to feature were Boulding's brother Rory, former Coventry duo Ashley Cain and Liam Francis, ex-Palace man Michael Abnett and John Leonard, from Hull. Former youth teamer Niall O'Rafferty also figured.
For all the new blood, though, it was two well-known performers who conjured the only goal of the game. Ryan Williams played an astute pass behind the defence for Louis Briscoe to roll under the advancing Mikhel Aksalu seven minutes into the second half.
The visitors certainly had their moments. In the first 45, Alan Marriott saved well from Ched Evans and Chappell, while after the restart Neil Collett kept out Richard Cresswell and Nathan Foster.
Leon Britton also hit the post in the dying seconds. But it was to be Mansfield's day and Holdsworth was buoyed by victory over his former club.
Mansfield: Marriott (Collett 46), Silk (Abnett 46), S. Foster (Francis 46), Naylor (C. Smith 46), Sandwith (Turner 46), A. Smith (Briscoe 46; O'Rafferty 81), Istead (Somner 46), Nix (Mills 46), Stonehouse (R. Williams 46; Higginson 74), Gregory (M. Boulding 46), Duffy (R. Boulding 46; Leonard 74).
Sheffield United: Simonsen (Aksalu 46), Murillo (Vandelannoite 46), T. Williams (Edjenguele 46), Berios (James 71), Morgan (Taylor 46), Chappell (Lowton 46), Montgomery (Ertl 46), Walton (James 30; Britton 46), Yeates (Reid 46), Evans (N. Foster 46), Bogdanovic (Creswell 46).
Referee: Russell Booth (Sutton-in-Ashfield).
Attendance: 1,797 (826 visitors).
Mansfield 1-0 Blades - match report
Saturday 10th July, kick-off 3.00pm
The Blades lost their opening pre-season friendly of the campaign but Kevin Blackwell got the chance to see his new signings and a number of triallists in action.
All five summer captures - Steve Simonsen, Simon Walton, Daniel Bogdanovic, Johnny Ertl and Leon Britton - were in action, although Walton was stretchered off in the first half.
As well as new signings Blackwell also included a number of triallists, all defenders. They were Athletic Bilbao's Ander Murillo, Greek Theo Berios, former Swansea and Peterborough full-back Tom Williams, Frenchman William Edjenguele and Belgian Jason Vandelannoite.
Murillo was positioned at right back, Williams at left and Berios alongside Morgan in the starting line-up whilst youngster Chappell, a product of the Academy, also started.
With the new faces taking time to bed in, United made a slow start and the first three chances all went to the home side but Stonehouse, Sandwith and Smith all failed to find the target.
United's first effort was the result of the front two - Bogdanovic and Evans - linking up but the latter's half-volley, on 20 minutes, was pushed away by Mansfield goalkeeper, Marriott.
The home side's Nix, a former Blade, curled a free-kick over the United wall but into the arms of Simonsen and the visitors began to get a foothold. Chappell had a shot saved by Marriott and Walton, just before limping off, had an effort blocked from a Yeates corner.
Chappell failed to convert when a Yeates pass put him in the clear, whilst on 37 minutes Simonsen was forced into his first save, keeping out from Istead after a pass by substitute James had been intercepted.
Just before the break, Mansfield had a better chance to open the scoring, this time Berios failed to cut out an Istead pass and Simonsen was forced to save with his feet to deny Gregory.
Wholesale changes ensued at half-time with only Berios remaining from the first half team. Vandelannoite and Edjenguele took up full-back positions with Taylor as a makeshift central defender.
It was one of Mansfield's substitutes, however, that made the first impression, opening the scoring on 50 minutes. From a hopeful forward pass, BRISCOE squeezed between Edjenguele and Taylor and slotted the ball between the legs of Aksalu.
The second half was disjointed with the Stags also making a glut of changes. Homegrown James re-appeared for the second half, replaced Berios, and tested the palms of substitute Mansfield goalkeeper Collett, whilst Cresswell was finding little joy in the penalty area, although he did head over a Reid corner and watched as Collett tipped over another effort.
Mansfield survived Michael Boulding's handball in the penalty area and Collett made another save, this time denying Foster, as United exerted pressure late on. Foster also fired wide in the final five minutes.
The home side were also a threat in the final moments and, on the break, Aksalu denied Higginson and then Boulding.
The final chance fell to United when Britton's cross evaded a number of heads and then bounced against the far post before the home side gratefully cleared.
Mansfield: Marriott, Silk, Sandwith, Foster, Duffy, Nix, Smith, Naylor, Stonehouse, Istead, Gregory. Subs: Collett, Mills, Smith, Briscoe, Somner, Williams, Higginson, Turner, O'Rafferty, M. Boulding, R. Boulding, Cain, Leonard, Mitchley, Abnett, Francis.
first half: Simonsen, Murillo, Williams, Berios, Morgan, Chappell, Montgomery, Walton (James 30), Yeates, Evans, Bogdanovic.
second half: Aksalu, Vandelannoite, Edjenguele, Berios (James 65), Taylor, Lowton, Ertl, Britton, Reid, Foster, Cresswell.
Unused: Roe, Brown.
Attendance 1,797 (826 away fans)
David Holdsworth post match interview --->
Holdsworth impressed by former Stags striker Boulding's trial performance
MANSFIELD Town boss David Holdsworth admits trialist Michael Boulding is very much on his radar as he bids to bring in two more strikers.
The Stags currently have only Rob Duffy and young Lee Gregory as recognised frontmen.
But Boulding – playing alongside brother and fellow former Stag Rory – put in an impressive substitute's performance in the 1-0 win against Sheffield United on Saturday.
Boulding, 34, – who has had two successful previous spells at Field Mill – will continue to train at Field Mill this week.
But the former Bradford man has other options, meaning it is no guarantee he will sign.
"A striker is top of my priority list, in fact two strikers," said Holdsworth.
"I hope Michael has enjoyed that, but he does have other options.
"If we are going to get into a contract situation with him, then we have to find out if we can compete."
Holdsworth insisted it was not a case of having to sign both Boulding brothers as a package.
He added: "You don't just go where your brother goes – I certainly didn't. That's just the way it has developed but they both played well."
Holdsworth enjoyed the victory over his former club and said: "It gave me the chance to look at boys given the opportunity to train with us over the past two weeks"
Holdsworth hoping on Boulding brothers
CHAD.co.uk, 10 July 2010
DAVID Holdsworth is hopeful the return of the Boulding brothers could solve his striker shortage, though knows he could yet miss out on their signatures.
The pair left three seasons ago after relegation from the League but both played in the second half of the 1-0 friendly win over Sheffield United today.
The Stags boss said: "Bringing in two strikers is my priority though I thought Lee Gregory acqADVERTISEMENT uitted himself well and formed a good partnership with Rob Duffy today.
"But both the Boulding brothers played very well and, yes, they could be the answer to the situation though it will be down to a lot of things.
"I know Michael has other options though he has come in to train with us for a couple of weeks and I will see if we can develop it.
"He was given a very warm welcome back today and I am sure he enjoyed it.
"I was also impressed with Rory. It's not a case of where one brother goes the other does. That was never the case with me and my brother though they have been together here and Bradford. But they both did well today and got a few bruises."
He added: "We are only two weeks into training so this early I thought our fitness levels were excellent on an absorbing day.
"It was a pre-season match so it wasn't critical to win it or even get a performance. But it is in your blood to want to win every game so I was delighted with the result.
"I would like to thank Sheffield United for coming here and giving us respect by bringing an excellent squad. And I would also like to thank so many fans for turning up. The Blades always get a tremendous away support and we are grateful to them.
"Both myself and Kevin Blackwell put out strong first half sides and after the break I was able to give opportunities to boys I have watching for a number of months and also boys who have just come in for training and wanting an opportunity.
"It also seems we have come out of it without any injury niggles which is very important pre-season."
Latest | July 2010