ALFRETON 1 - 3 STAGS
Saturday, 7th August 2010
Alfreton Town 1 - 3 Mansfield Town
Anthony Wilson 75 seconds. Adam Smith 26, Keigan Parker pen 46, Paul Connor 75.
Silk, Foster, C.Smith, Sandwith;
A.Smith, Thompson, Mills, Istead, Cain;
Briscoe (for Silk, 46)
Stonehouse (for Sandwith, 46)
Parker (for Medley, 46)
Connor (for Mills, 46)
Nix (for A.Smith, 62)
Gregory (for Parker, 85)
Somner (for Istead, 85)
Alfreton 1-3 Stags
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 07 Aug 2010
A tactical change by David Holdsworth masterminded Stags' final pre-season victory away to Alfreton Town.
An amendment of formation from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2 at half time changed the face of the game.
Mansfield can take many positives from their latest success, but perhaps none more so than participation of Alan Marriott, following news in mid-week that he may be out for up to six months, pending further medical advice.
Trialist Luke Medley started up front for the Stags, while Alfreton named three ex-Mansfield players in their line up: Paddy Gamble, Nathan Arnold and Anton Brown.
And it was the hosts who opened the scoring after just 75 seconds following a corner. Stags made two blocks in the area, but could do nothing about the third when Anthony Wilson blasted home.
Stags' first effort on goal came on eight minutes when Steven Istead blasted a 25-yeard-piledriver narrowly over.
Alfreton almost added a second on 19 minutes. Kevin Sandwith turned the ball behind following a deadly left wing cross that would have otherwise been converted from inside the area. Then, Liam Hearn was inches away from connecting from the resulting flag kick.
Stags were level on 26 minutes via a brilliant Adam Smith strike. Picking the ball up 25 yards from goal, he struck beautifully along the floor, clipping the post before the ball went over the line.
Again, Alfreton were guilty of failing to convert from close range. Liam Hearn put the ball across the face of goal, but no one was on the end of it and the chance went begging. Hearn was the culprit moments later, as the ball flew by him from the right wing.
David Holdsworth shuffled the pack at half time and made four substitutions.
Paul Stonehouse, Louis Briscoe, Paul Connor and Keigan Parker came on for Gary Silk, Kevin Sandwith, Gary Mills and trialist Luke Medley. Ashley Cain was moved to right-back while Paul Connor partnered Keigan Parker in attack as Stags adopted a 4-4-2 formation, from their 4-5-1 in first half.
It was the Scottish striker who won a spot kick just 30 seconds into the second half after he was brought down inside the area. The same man stepped up to strike down the middle and put Mansfield ahead for the first time in the game.
Adam Smith was replaced by Kyle Nix on the stroke of the hour.
Alfreton almost drew level after the unmarked Paul Clayton headed against the post from a corner on 68 minutes as Stags were let off the hook,
Moments later, Mansfield had Alan Marriott to thank after he scurried to his near post to beat out an Ian Ross free-kick.
Mansfield netted the best goal of the contest on 75 minutes to secure victory. After neat build up play, Steven Istead spread the ball out to Paul Stonehouse on the left wing, and his beautifully flighted cross was met by the head of Paul Connor inside the area.
Stags, buoyed on by their third goal, were searching to add to their tally, but were denied when paddy Gamble parried aside a Kyle Nix shot.
In a fiery pre-season encounter between these two local rivals, towering Alfreton defender Aden Flint was given a strong talking to by the referee after an awful challenge from behind on Keigan Parker near the touchline.
By now, Stags were well on top. Paul Connor, always a threat in the air, sent a looping header over the bar after Keigan Parker's accurate ring wing cross.
Lee Gregory saw the last five minutes of the action, replacing Keigan Parker. A minute later, Matt Somner came on for Steven Istead.
Kyle Nix almost added his name to the scoresheet in the dying moments, but struck against the post from an acute angle.
Then Matt Somner, of all people, tried his luck from distance.
At the other end, Alfreton's Chris Hall let fly from 20 yeards, only to be denied by the fingertips of Marriott, who made a fine flying save.
LINE UP: Marriott, Silk (Briscoe 45), Sandwith (Stonehouse 45), C. Smith, Foster, Thompson, Mills (Connor 45), Cain, A. Smith (Nix 62), Istead (Somner 86), Medley (Parker 45, Gregory 85)
Pre-season: Alfreton Town 1 Mansfield Town 3
CHAD.co.uk, 07 August 2010, By Stephen Thirkill
MANSFIELD Town ended their impressive pre-season campaign with a classy 3-1 win at neighbours Alfreton Town on Saturday.
Despite falling behind after just 75 seconds to an Anthony Wilson goal, the Field Mill outfit showed their superior class with goals from Adam Smith, Paul Connor and Keigan Parker wrapping up the solid win.
It was the perfect final workout for DavADVERTISEMENTid Holdsworth's men who were made to work hard, especially in the first half, against promotion-chasing Alfreton.
But after a low-key performance in the first half, the visitors found their rhythm in the second half and took a firm grip of the game when Parker slotted home from the penalty spot just seconds after the re-start.
From that point on the result never looked in doubt as energetic Stags kept a dogged grip in the midfield area, whilst showing a good attacking edge.
Hopes will now be high that the new-look Stags will be able to keep their impressive form going as they begin their Blue Square Bet promotion campaign on Saturday at home to Forest Green Rovers.
David Holdsworth's men, who were embarrassed 3-0 at the Impact Arena 12 months ago, went into the game looking to build on their impressive 4-2 win at Buxton and gave a start to trialist striker Luke Medley.
Alfreton, who had already claimed the pre-season scalps of Luton Town and Rotherham United, gave starts to former Stags players Paddy Gamble and Nathan Arnold.
But Stags got off to the worst possible starts when Antony Wilson fired home from close range with only 75 seconds gone after Mansfield had twice failed to scramble clear the first corner of the game.
Stevie Istead, who spent a spell on loan at Alfreton last season, then fired over from distance on eight minutes as the visitors looked for a route back into the game.
Promotion-chasing Alfreton put further pressure on the Stags rearguard after 19 minutes when Kevin Sandwith was forced to nod over a dangerous Liam Hearn centre.
And, from the resulting corner, Chris Shaw's whipped in cross eluded everyone at the far post as Stags once again looked vulnerable from set-pieces.
But, out of the blue, Stags levelled on 25 minutes when new-boy Adam Smith cooly picked up the ball 25 yards out before he turned and drilled an inch perfect shot past the despairing dive of Paddy Gamble into the bottom right corner.
Stags then began to grow into the game with the striking duo of Smith and Medley and the forward runs of Steven Istead causing some bother for the Reds rearguard.
Alfreton, pre-season favourites to win this year's Blue Square Bet North title, once again showed their threat from wide areas on 39 minutes when Law and the lively Hearn combined well down the right hand side.
Hearn then fired over a teasing low cross along the six yard box which would have given a simple tap in had any Reds player taken a gamble to get into the box.
But the game changed when Stags gave Alfreton a taste of their own medicine seconds into the second half when substitute Keigan Parker was felled in the box after a neat flick on by Connor.
The experienced Parker then dusted himself down and chipped a cheeky penalty straight down the middle to fire Stags ahead on 46 minutes.
The substitions certainly appeared to give Stags added steel in the middle of the park and extra threat in forward areas as they looked every bit the team from the higher division.
But Alfreton should have levelled on 68 minutes when the normally reliable Paul Clayton angled a glancing header against the far post from just three yards after Stags had failed to clear yet another dangerous Law corner.
Marriott was then at his best a minute later when he scrambled well across his goal to gather a curling Ian Ross free kick as the Reds came back into the contest.
But any hopes of a comeback were finished with 20 minutes to go when Stonehouse broke down the left side before picking out Paul Connor with a peach of a cross, who powerfully nodded home.
And it could have been 4-1 moments later when Kyle Nix drilled a shot straight at the legs of Paddy Gamble after stealing into the box.
Parker was then denied minutes later by a last ditch block as Stags began to turn on the style and exploit the growing gaps in the Reds backline.
The lively striker found further space on 79 minutes as he pulled out wide on the right before picking out striker partner Paul Connor, who failed to add to his day's tally as he headed over.
Alfreton tried valiantly to narrow the gap and hot-shot striker Paul Clayton once again came close with a header on 84 minutes.
Nix, who nearly moved to Dutch outfit Sparta Rotterdam during the summer, again came close to capping a fine performance on 85 minutes when his fierce shot clipped the post before rebounding to safety.
Mansfield will no doubt have key goalkeeper Alan Marriott to thank in the upcoming season, and he was at his best yet again on the stroke of full time when he superbly tipped a fizzing Chris Hall shot over the bar.
ALFRETON: Gamble, Law, Shaw, Flint, Stride, McFadden (Ross 53 mins) , Arnold (J. Hall 55 mins), Brown, Wilson, Hearn (Wilson 78 mins), Moult. Subs not used: Howell, Wilson, Clayton, C. Hall, Turner.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott, Silk (Connor 45 mins), Sandwith (Stonehouse 45 mins), C. Smith, Foster, Thompson, Mills (Briscoe 45 mins), Cain, A. Smith (Nix 60 mins), Medley (Parker 45 mins, subbed by Lee Gregory 81 mins), Istead (Somner 82 mins). Subs not used: Naylor, Williams, Collett.
REFEREE: S. Cook.
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Steven Istead.
Evening Post Match report: Alfreton Town 1 Mansfield Town 3
MANSFIELD Town rounded off their senior pre-season programme by coming from a goal down to record victory at Alfreton Town this afternoon.
The Reds are fancied to do well in the Blue Square Bet North this season and underlined their credentials by opening the scoring after 75 seconds.
But the visitors fought back strongly to level before the break and then score twice without reply after the interval.
It was Anthony Wilson who put Alfreton ahead early on when he blasted home after Mansfield defenders had twice blocked shots.
But the Stags were level in the 26th minute when Adam Smith collected a pass 25 yards from goal, beat his marker and found the net off Paddy Gamble's right-hand post.
Nicky Law's side had their chances to go back in front in the remainder of the half as they used their wingers to good effect, but Mansfield held on to go in level at the break.
When the game restarted, Stags manager David Holdsworth changed his formation from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 and also made four changes in personnel.
And it had a near-instant impact as one of those substitutes, Keigan Parker, won a penalty just 30 seconds in and picked himself up to convert it himself.
Mansfield began to grow in confidence and Paul Connor made it 3-1 in the 75th minute with his fifth goal of a productive pre-season.
Steven Istead released Paul Stonehouse down the left and he put in a pinpoint cross that the big striker guided past Gamble with his head.
Mansfield might have added to their tally in the closing stages as they bossed proceedings but they could nevertheless be happy with another fine work-out ahead of their season opener at home to Forest Green a week today.
Mansfield: Marriott, Silk (Briscoe 46), Sandwith (Stonehouse 46), C. Smith, Foster, Thompson, Mills (Connor 46), Istead (Somner 86), Cain, Medley (Parker 46; Gregory 85) A. Smith (Nix 62).
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