DEFENSIVE MISTAKES COST STAGS DEAR
Blue Square Bet Premier
Fleetwood Town 3 - 0 Mansfield Town
Curtis 6, Vieira 19, 35. Parker missed pen 56.
Attendance: 1,849 (approx 250 from Mansfield)
Date: 17 August 2010
Martin Shaw at Highbury
Two defensive mistakes in the opening 19 minutes saw Mansfield Town head towards a heavy defeat at newly promoted Fleetwood on Tuesday night. Firstly Wayne Curtis was left completely unmarked to head home on 6 minutes, and then Steve Foster scuffed an attempted clearance allowing Magno Viera to round Alam Marriott and score. Magno Viera scored a magnificent third goal on 35 minutes with a sublime chip over Marriott, after great play by Curtis, to make it 3-0 to Fleetwood. The Stags wasted a chance to get back into it on 56 minutes when Keigan Parker's feeble penalty was easily saved by the Fleetwood keeper and there was no way back after that. Viera, who was superb for the home side, was a player that the Stags tried to buy in the summer but could not afford his wages, whereas big spending Fleetwood were able to do so.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Evening Post Match report: Fleetwood 3 Mansfield Town 0
IT'S famous for being the end of the line for the Blackpool tram. Last night, it was also the end of the line for Mansfield Town's bright start to the season.
A trip to Fleetwood on the back of Saturday's encouraging 3-1 home win over Forest Green Rover seemed, on the face of it, an opportunity for the Stags to open the season with consecutive wins inside four days.
They would have fancied their chances even more when they were greeted on arrival at Highbury by a lush green, well-cut flat playing surface, sunny skies and not a breath of wind.
But those hopes quickly evaporated as they were given something of a hiding by the Blue Square Bet Premier new boys – and a lesson in the art of finishing.
Although the visitors played some decent football going forward at times, they were clinically punished for some errant defending.
And didn't you just know it would be Magno Vieira, a target of Stags boss David Holdsworth in the summer, who would be the chief architect in the home side's triumph.
The former Ebbsfleet striker opened his account for the Cod Army in their 1-1 draw at Rushden and Diamonds on the opening day.
But he was even more devastating in his first outing in front of his own fans with two impressive pieces of opportunism.
By contrast, it was not the Stags' night in front of goal and even when they won a penalty early in the second period, Keigan Parker saw his spot kick saved by home keeper Danny Hurst.
It all means, just like last season when they beat Crawley 4-0 and then crashed 4-1 at Luton, Mansfield will have to go back to the drawing board for their third game of the campaign at Kidderminster this weekend.
Things could well have been different had unchanged Mansfield taken the lead in the first 30 seconds, as they threatened to do.
Gary Silk played the ball to Louis Briscoe whose far post cross was headed towards the right-hand corner by Adam Smith, only to be cleared off the line by Fleetwood's Paul Linwood.
The hosts took the lead from their first serious foray forward in the sixth minute.
A right-wing corner was only half-cleared by Tyrone Thompson and as Ian Craney whipped the ball back into an inviting area, Curtis powered home a header at the near post.
As the visitors looked to hit back quickly, a flowing move culminated in Briscoe crossing superbly for Gary Mills who failed to get enough on his header after breaking from midfield.
The Cod Army were celebrating again in the 19th minute after a mistake by Mansfield skipper Steve Foster.
He was favourite to reach a hopeful ball over the top but failed to make clean contact with his siding clearance.
The ball rolled out of the reach of Alan Marriott and allowed the chasing Vieira to roll unchallenged into an empty goal.
Again, Mansfield did not lie down and Parker might have pulled one back when he latched onto Connor's flick only to fluff his 12-yard shot straight at Hurst.
It was almost 3-0 to the home side on the half hour mark as Curtis crashed in a fizzing shot that flew just wide of the right-hand post with Marriott at full stretch.
Fleetwood did treble their advantage, however, when Vieira, brilliantly, found the net for a second time.
He was again first to a ball over the top, but Foster appeared to have done enough to hold up the striker.
However, the former Ebbsfleet man switched feet before curling into the top corner from just outside the box. It was the last real action of the first period.
As the second half began, Mansfield switched to a 4-3-3 formation with Briscoe and Parker playing either side of Connor and Steven Istead coming on for Adam Smith.
It certainly had some effect in the early stages as Mills had a drive deflected just wide of the right-hand upright.
The visitors were then awarded a 55th minute spot kick when Nathan Pond tugged back Parker as he tried to pull the ball back from the right byline.
The Scot picked himself up to take the responsibility himself, but, just as at Rushden at the weekend when he kept out Craig Farrell's kick, Hurst guessed right diving to make a save to stop any comeback in its tracks.
Stags boss David Holdsworth threw on Luke Medley for Connor in a bid to shake things up as time ran out, and he forced a decent save from Hurst. By then, though, the damage had already been done.
Prior to the game starting, Mansfield's fans taunted their Fleetwood counterparts by chanting 'You're just a small town in Blackpool.'
By the end of it, the Cod Army were gleefully replying with 'You're just a small town in Eastwood' – and the disappointed Stags faithful had little stomach to argue.
Fleetwood Town 3v 0 Mansfield Town, Tuesday 17th August, 2010
CHAD.co.uk, 17 August 2010, By John Lomas
On an historic night for Fleetwood Town, the Cod Army had Mansfield Town firmly on the hook inside the first 39 minutes with a three-goal lead as they sailed to a comfortable win at Highbury last night.
The newly-promoted side, expected to do well in this first season at Conference level, were flattered by the margin at the break with Stags edging the first half possession. And overall Stags had as many shots on goal as the home side.
But two defensive lapses and moment of genius had the home side out of sight at their tiny ground on the Lancashire coast.
Inevitably two of the goals, including the moment of genius, came from Stags' summer transfer target, Brazilian Magno Vieira, who showed Mansfield what might have been.
It might also have been a very different night had Adam Smith not seen his header cleared off the line by Paul Linwood within 30 seconds of the game kicking-off.
Stags did have a chance to pull a goal back 10 minutes after the break but the otherwise impressive and hard-working Keigan Parker saw home keeper Danny Hurst pull off his second penalty save in four days.
Even that early, you then knew it was going to be Fleetwood's night.
It was a bitter result to swallow after the euphoria of Saturday's opening day home win.
But Stags will play worse than this away from home this season and win. They just need to sort things out at the back as going forward they often looked menacing, both win the 4-4-2 formation they began with and the 4-3-3 they adopted after half-time.
Things won't get any easier for Mansfield with a trip to Kidderminster Harriers, not one of their happy hunting grounds, on Saturday before Kettering Town visit on Tuesday night.
Both sides received a rapturous welcome as the Cod Army ran out for their first game at this level of the football pyramid at the tiny Highbury stadium, the visiting Stags fans making plenty of noise.
And Adam Smith should have put Stags ahead inside the first 30 seconds as a superb cross whipped in from Briscoe from the right found him at the far post.
He tried to head it back across the keeper but lanky defender Linwood was there to clear off the line.
Mansfield were then relieved to see an offside flag as Curtis broke away on goal in reply.
However the home side made the early breakthrough in the sixth minute from a right wing corner.
Craney's initial kick was headed out by Thompson. But he second attempt at getting the ball over found the head of Curtis who guided home a pinpoint header.
Briscoe put over another good cross which Mills could not get over and flew out for a throw off the top of his head from 10 yards out.
Soon after Mills wasted a free kick from a promising position well over everyone's heads for a goalkick.
On 19 minutes a mistake from Stags skipper Foster cost his side a second goal.
Favourite to reach and clear a low ball in from the right Foster scuffed his clearance as he stretched under pressure from Vieira and, with Marriott by now out of his goal, the Brazilian was able to take possession if the loose ball and slot into an almost unguarded net.
Stags had enjoyed most of the possession and attacking play up until this point but, with two shots at goal, Fleetwood found themselves unepectedly two to the good.
A frustrated Chris Smith was booked on 24 minutes for his late tackle on Vieira.
Silk was fortunate not to follow him for leaving a foot in on a challenge on Barry which left the Fleetwood man hobbling.
Another chance went begging as a Briscoe cross was headed back into the centre by Adam Smith, Connor flicking on but Parker only able to poke a tame effort straight to keeper Hurst.
For Fleetwood, Curtis whistled a powerful shot just wide of Marriott's left upright on 31 minutes.
And the home side were three up with a superb counter-attack on 34 minutes.
Mansfield were looking dangerous with Adam Smith in full flight down the right. But the burly Curtis chased him back and won the ball tenaciously before looking up and finding Vieira in space to the left of the box with a lofted pass.
The little Brazilian then showed his immense quality by curling a superb finish inside the top right hand corner with Marriott helpless.
It was the sort of goal that would grace any game at any level of football and again showed he could play at a higher level than this.
But it had the home side firmly in command at the back, Fleetwood surviving testing crosses into the danger zone by Briscoe and Adam Smith in stoppage time.
Holdsworth changed things round at the break with the impressive Adam Smith withdrawn in favour of Istead with Briscoe pushed across to the left of a three-man attack, Parker to the right and Connor in the middle.
Barry was well over from 25 yards with a right footed effort in the first goal attempt of the second half.
Mills almost pulled one back out of the blue on 52 minutes when he tried one with the outside of his right boot from over 25 yards that Hurst turned round for the visitors' first corner.
Soon after a great cross by Parker from the right struck Briscoe's leg at the far post to roll out harmlessly for a goalkick.
It was a gutsy start to the half by the visitors and on 54 minutes they won themselves a penalty kick and a lifeline as Parker skipped past Pond on the right by-line before being hauled back as he crossed.
The referee pointed to the spot and Parker took responsibility. But it wasn't the best of kicks and Hurst was able to get down and block low to his right.
Fleetwood won their first corner of the half on the right which saw Linwood allowed a free header that he powered just wide of the target.
Needing another spark, Medley replaced Connor on 65 minutes.
Fleetwood also made a couple of changes and Seddon was only just over the far angle soon after coming on near the end with the result already beyond doubt.
Three minutes from time Medley surprised Hurst with a stinging shot from a tight angle on the right that the keeper managed to parry.
In time added on more great work by Parker on the right saw Medley shoot on the turn, but Hurst was again there to protect the Cod Army's watertight net.
FLEETWOOD: Hurst, Beeley, Grand, Linwood, McNulty, Craney, Miles, Barry, Pond, Vieira, Curtis. Subs: McGuire Seddon, Davies, Thorpe, Beesley.
STAGS: Marriott; Silk, Foster, C. Smith, Stonehouse; Briscoe, Thompson, Mills, A. Smith; Parker, Connor. Subs: Collett, Istead, Medley, Naylor, Sandwith.