PARKER PEN CHALKS UP THREE POINTS
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Cambridge United
Parker (pen) 62. Jennings sent off 61
Attendance: 2257 (307 from Cambridge)
Date: 28 August 2010
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre.
Mansfield Town 1 Cambridge United 0 - Saturday, 28th August 2010
CHAD report, By John Lomas
KEIGAN Parker's first goal for Mansfield Town earned them three valuable points in a tale of two penalties against Cambridge United at Field Mill this afternoon.
Parker was denied a blatant penalty four minutes from the break when his heels were clipped by Josh Caulson as he tried to finish, referee Darren Bond playing on.
But when James Jennings handled above the head of Paul Connor on 62 minutes as he trADVERTISEMENT ied to get a head onto a Kevin Sandwith cross, this time Mr Bond pointed to the spot and red-carded Jennings.
Parker, who had a penalty saved at Fleetwood last week and was dropped in midweek, this time found the net to settle a tight game against a side expected to be up among this season's frontrunners.
But they remain without a win while Stags have won three and drawn one of their five games to date asnd now enjoying a first cleansheet of the campaign too.
In a game of few chances, visiting keeper Simon Brown had to turn headers from Paul Connor and Louis Briscoe onto the post in the first half and also save well from Luke Medley in stoppage time at the end.
But Brian Saah missed a golden chance to steal a point near the end when he poked wide after evading the offside trap from a long free kick.
Stags striker Parker was restored to the attack at the expense of Luke Medley. Left back Paul Stonehouse again mised out with a thigh strain.
The winless visitors had former Stags striker Daryl Clare on their bench.
Stags forced a fifth minute corner on the right which almost saw a training ground routine provide an early opener.
Mills pulled back low for the incoming Briscoe who passed the ball into the danger zone in front of goal, but United were able to clear.
Then Sandwith was too high with a curling left footed free kick from 30 yards.
A good move down the left saw Parker switch wings with a great ball for Briscoer who cut inside two opponents before rifling over the bar.
United suffered an early injury blow when Ives had to come on for defender Roberts as early as the 11th minute.
Connor almost found a way through a minute later as he met Chris Smith's far post cross with a downward header that keeper Brown turned onto the foot of the post and out for a corner.
A minute later, with time and space, Thompson saw his 25 yard blast fly well over.
Marriott had his first save to make on 15 minutes as he parried a fierce Willmott free kick from almost 30 yards which almost flew down his throat.
Mansfield failed to capitalise on two successive corners and, from the second, United broke and Sandwith did well to get his body in the way of Willmott's low drive.
On 23 minutes Adam Smith, under pressure, put in a superb far post cross from the left which was inches too high for Mills who ended up crashing into the stanchion at the back of the net and needed treatment.
After a scappy spell, Parker was too high with a rising 20 yard shot with 12 minutes to go to the break, as was Sandwith soon after when an Adam Smith cross was half-cleared to him on the edge of the box.
On 41 minutes Parker thought he should have had a penalty as he wriggled goalside of Caulson and, as he drew his foot back to finish, appeared to be clipped from behind. But the referee was unimpressed and played on.
Two minutes later, from another home corner, Briscoe got in a far post header which Brown turned onto the post and out for another corner.
But the officials further infuriated the home fans by giving a goalkick.
For the second successive home game, the half-time whistle saw Stags boss Holdsworth give the referee his opinion as they left the pitch.
Stags began the second half on the attack and a low Sandwith cross passed through everyone to reach Briscoe who miscued his attempted finish.
Adam Smith warmed Brown's hands with a viciously swerving shot from 20 yards. And on 56 minutes he did well to get past two United players and whip in a cross which Connor might have done better with, glancing a header wide.
Russell was a couple of feet wide with a hopeful low effort from 25 yards for the visitors.
But the game erupted with a red card and a successful penalty kick for Mansfield on the hour.
Parker's backheel sent Sandwith to the by-line on the left and his cross was prevented from reaching the head of Connor by the hand of Jennings.
The defender was dismissed and, after lots of delaying tactics and inexplicable arguing, Parker out the ball to the right of Brown, who went the wrong way, to break the deadlock.
Nix came on for Briscoe a minute later, Adam Smith switching flanks.
With 15 minutes left, Cambridge sent on ex-Stags Clare to a chorus of boos from the home supporters.
Holdsworth responded by replacing Parker with the pace of Medley up front.
United had failed to trouble Marriott all game but should have been level on 80 minutes. Carden's long free kick went over everyone and, with Stags looking for an offside flag, Saah, a little surprised, to be free, stuck out a leg and poked the ball wide of the far post with only the keeper to beat.
There were huge cheers when Clare sent a 30 yard free kick high into the South Stand in the final minute of normal time.
Stags still had work to do with four minutes of stoppage time added, but Medley almost made it 2-0 with a burst into space down the centre and a poked finish that Brown did well to block one-handed as he went the other way.
STAGS: Marriott; Silk, Foster C. Smith, Sandwith; Briscoe (Nix 64), Mills, Thompson, A. Smith (Duffy 84); Parker (Medley 73), Connor. Subs not used: Collett, Naylor.
CAMBRIDGE: Brown; Roberts (Ives 11), Caulson, Saah, Jennings; Platt (Coakley 63), Miller, Carden, Russell; Wright, Willmott (Clare 75). Subs not used: Naisbitt, Gray.
REFEREE: Darren Bond of Lancashire.
ATTENDANCE: 2,257 (307).
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Cambridge Utd - FULL TIME
Evening Post report
KEIGAN Parker notched his first competitive goal for Mansfield Town to give them a narrow, hard-earned 1-0 win against 10-man Cambridge at Field Mill this afternoon.
The Scot has endured a frustrating start to his career with the Stags in front of goal and lost his place in midweek to Luke Medley for the game with Kettering.
But Parker was restored to the starting line-up against the Us and rewarded manager David Holdsworth with what proved to be the match-winning goal with the coolest of penalty kicks.
The result means Mansfield are now three games unbeaten going into their Bank Holiday Monday clash at Altrincham on Monday. It was also their first clean sheet of the campaign.
Mansfield won an early corner and worked it well as Gary Mills played a low ball into Louis Briscoe who hit a shot goalwards but had it hacked away from the six-yard box by a Cambridge defender.
The Stags won a free-kick 25 yards from goal only for Kevin Sandwith to curl well over the crossbar.
Briscoe was enjoying a lively open and he took Keigan Parker's crossfield ball in his stride before cutting infield and shooting over the top from just outside the box with his left foot.
A nifty piece of skill from Chris Smith allowed him to whip in a dangerous far post cross from the right where Paul Connor rose highest.
His header was heading for the left-hand corner before Simon Brown got across to tip the ball onto the outside of the post.
From the resulting corner, the ball was half-cleared to Tyrone Thompson whose shot was always rising over the top.
United first threatened when Robbie Willmott hammered in a free-kick that Alan Marriott, diving to his right pushed away and Thompson was first there to clear.
A dangerous left-wing centre from Adam Smith was attacked by Gary Mills and, after just failing to get there, ended up injuring himself on the goal stanchion. The midfielder was able to continue after treatment.
Just after the half hour mark, early substitute Sam Ives crossed from the right for Willmott, whose header was well off target.
With half-time approaching, Mansfield probed the Cambridge defence for a weakness before the ball broke for Sandwith and he blasted high into the Quarry Lane Stand.
The hosts felt they should have had a penalty four minutes from the break when Josh Coulson appeared to tug at Keigan Parker after the striker had got the wrong side of him, but the referee was unmoved.
The Stags went close again when Briscoe's header clipped the right-hand post following a deep left-wing corner by Mills.
Mansfield got out of the blocks quickly in the second half but Briscoe miscued his attempted first time shot from an inviting low cross from Sandwith.
Adam Smith then tried his luck from distance and though the ball moved in the air, Brown kept his eye on it to gather.
The Stags winger was in the midst of the action again soon after when his left-wing cross found Connor who, on the stretch, could not keep his header down.
Mansfield had a golden chance to take the lead on the hour from the penalty spot – and the visitors were also reduced to ten men.
Parker backheeled to the overlapping Sandwith, whose deft left-wing cross was pushed away from the head of Connor by James Jennings' hand.
The referee duly pointed to the spot and showed the Cambridge defender a red card.
It took two minutes for the Cambridge protests to subside, but Parker kept calm with the kick, sending it down the middle as keeper Brown dived to his right.
There was a let-off for Mansfield when Paul Carden's long, hopeful free-kick found its way through to Brian Saah, who, unmarked, volleyed wide from eight yards out.
The Stags could have wrapped up the points with a second in stoppage time, but substitute Luke Medley's shot was well parried by Brown.
But Mansfield held on comfortably enough with Cambridge failing to call Marriott into action.
Evening Post considered Match report: Mansfield Town 1 Cambridge United 0
IT brought amusement for readers of Sunday newspaper sports sections, a glowing endorsement from his manager and sheer relief for the player himself.
In fact, the only people not to get a kick out of reading the words 'Parker (pen)' when picking out Mansfield Town's weekend result and goalscorer were visitors Cambridge United.
For striker Keigan Parker it has been a frustrating start to his time at Field Mill.
The Scotsman has played pretty well for the Stags since arriving from Oldham in the summer with his ability to spot and deliver a killer pass, his high work-rate and his willingness to shoot on sight.
The one thing missing, that the Livingston-born player knows only too well he will ultimately be judged on, is goals.
Three starts from the beginning of the season failed to produce a breakthrough and he was subsequently dropped for the Stags' 1-1 draw with Kettering.
But he was restored to the starting line-up for this one and the expense of Luke Medley and was rewarded for his persistence in trying to get off the mark with a first competitive goal.
Yes, it was a penalty, rather than a strike from open play, to get him up and running.
Yet that in itself – as boss David Holdsworth rightly pointed out – took plenty of guts after he had missed from 12 yards against Fleetwood in the second game of the campaign.
The spot kick was a deserved reward for Parker's endeavours against the Us that saw him play a key role in earning the chance in the first place.
His backheel for Kevin Sandwith down the left flank was sublime and left the Cambridge defence exposed.
The full-back's cross looked bound for the head of Paul Connor six yards out until it was handled by James Jennings.
United manager Martin Ling said defender Jennings told him he was pushed and that was why he touched the ball with his hand.
But the referee felt otherwise and not only pointed to the spot but also sent off the offending player.
As ever in such situations, there were protests aplenty from the Cambridge players, delaying the taking of the kick for some two minutes.
It mattered not to Parker who kept his cool to dink the ball straight down the middle as keeper Simon Brown dived to his right, sparking a jig of delight from the striker along the touchline in front of the Ian Greaves Stand.
If Cambridge felt hard done by, they were fortunate Parker had not had an earlier opportunity to net.
He cleverly got goalside of Josh Coulson as the ball was chipped into the right-hand side of the box and was about to pull the trigger from a very good goalscoring position.
But he never got that far as he was bundled over by the Cambridge defender and despite most in the stadium, including Ling, feeling it was a penalty, the officials waved play on.
Aside from the penalty incidents, defences were very much on top, though Mansfield did have the clearer sights of goal.
Paul Connor had a first-half header tipped onto the post from Chris Smith's excellent far post centre and Louis Briscoe clipped the other upright from a left-wing corner.
Briscoe also might have done better from a well-worked short corner when he was teed up by Gary Mills.
Mansfield were perhaps less threatening in the second period, but substitute Medley – on for Parker – should have doubled the advantage as he raced into the box late on, only to have his attempted finish pushed away by Brown.
Encouragingly, at the other end, goalkeeper Alan Marriott had precious little to keep him occupied.
He made one save from a Robbie Willmott free-kick in the first half and was happy to see Brian Saah volley wide from a good position in the second.
But otherwise the defence in front of him, in collecting their first clean sheet of the season, were dominant and confident.
If the back four were disappointed to concede three minutes from time in the midweek match with Kettering, they were visibly determined not to do the same again.
And if they can continue to be as frugal for the rest of their home games this season, it will make Mansfield a difficult side to beat on their own patch – and give them a solid base to launch a play-off push.
Having played five games in 15 days since the campaign kicked off in mid-August, there is no let-up for the Stags, with another game today.
Ten points on the board already, though, to stand fourth in the Blue Square Bet Premier table, means they will be relishing the opportunity to build on such a bright start at win-less Altrincham.
Parker can't wait either. Now he's started scoring, he won't want to stop.
Mansfield Town 1 Cambridge United 0
by Aaron Mason, cambridge-news.co.uk
KEIGAN Parker's penalty ensured 10-man Cambridge United remain in search of that elusive first win of the season.
Parker slotted home from the spot on 62 minutes after James Jennings was dismissed for deliberately handling Kevin Sandwith's left-wing cross inside the box.
United suffered an early blow with Kevin Roberts going off injured after just 11 minutes and Mansfield went close soon after with Simon Brown poking former U's loanee Paul Connor's close-range header on to the post following Louis Briscoe's cross from the right.
Robbie Willmott had a free kick well parried away by Alan Marriott soon after, but United were fortunate to survive a penalty appeal just before half time after Josh Coulson appeared to push Parker in the area.
An unmarked Brian Saah volleyed wide from six yards 15 minutes from time following Paul Carden's free kick from halfway.
Cambridge United travel to Field Mill this afternoon for a tough looking fixture against Mansfield Town, cambridgeunited.com reporter Sam Line provides LIVE updates below16
FULL TIME MANSFIELD TOWN 1-0 CAMBRIDGE UNITED.
16:52 And there goes the final whistle, and its defeat for United, and deservedly so, the wait for the first win will have to carry on until Monday now.
16:49 Great save from Brown as Medley hits one from Twelve yards, it's a corner to Mansfield which leads to nothing.
16:45 A free kick to be taken by Clare, 25 yards out, and its high wide and not very handsome. Four minutes of added time to be played, come on you U's!!.
16:44 Ling has thrown Saah upfront now in a final attempt to get a point.
16:43 Desperate defending from United as Medley causes all sorts of problems in the area, only one side look like scoring here, and its not Cambridge!.
16:42 Final change for the hosts as former Cambridge front man Rob Duffy replaces Adam Smith.
16:40 CRC UPDATE: CRC 2-0 DEBENHAM (Patrick).
16:37 A free kick for Cambridge is taken inside the center circle by Carden and his long hoof finds Saah unmarked, but his half volley goes just wide, thats a bit better.
16:36 It's all very pretty as United string ten or eleven passes together but its all sideways, need to be a lot more direct to have any hope of equalising.
16:30 A break in play here as Coulson receives treatment following a fall after a clearence, nothing to serious though. And it allows the home side to make a change as goal scorer Parker is replaced by Medley.
16:27 And here comes Clare, in the place of Willmott, can he grab his first goal in the colours of United and rescue a point for ten man Cambridge?.
16:25 Willmott delivers a corner following good work by Saah, the cross comes in but the referee has spotted something and its a free kick to Mansfield.
16:22 A change for both sides as Nix replaces Briscoe for the hosts and its Coakley on for Platt for the U's.
16:19 GOAL Mansfield 1-0 Cambridge No mistake from the spot kick as Keigan Parker send Brown the wrong way, an uphill battle now.
16:17 A cross out wide from Mansfield is deemed to be a handled by Jennings who is subsiquently sent off, and its a penalty.
16:16 A rare shot from Cambridge there as Russell hits it low and wide to the right of the goal.
16:13 Smith beats Ives wide on the left and delivers a good cross onto the head of Connor but his effort is well wide....Cambridge fans now singing for Clare, who is out warming up.
16:08 A foul on Miller just inside the Mansfield half earns United a free kick, Willmott takes, and its over hit and straight into the keepers arms. That was a waste.
16:07 A thunderous shot from distance by Smith which swerves all over the place, but thankfuly Brown is equal to it.
16:03 Were back underway here at Field Mill as Cambridge kick off for the second half.
15:56 CRC UPDATE: CRC 1-0 DEBENHAM (Berry, Pen).
Cambridge will be thankful to go in at nil nil as Mansfield have been the strongest side in the first half by some way, in fairness to the U's they defended reasonably well and if they can just hold the ball up a little better and get more of the forward men involved then a win here is definatily realistic, I would expect Mr Clare to be introduced sooner rather than later.
15:46 Half Time. Mansfield 0-0 Cambridge.
15:44 Nice link up on the left between Willmott and Platt but no end product, which is the story of the half here for the U's.....The Fourth official signals One minute of added time.
15:42 Big penalty shouts from the home fans as Jennings challenges Parker in the box, the ref looks at his assistant, but to the rage of the locals, waves play on.
15:38 The game has thankfuly settled down a bit but Mansfield are looking the most dangerous by a long way, Cambridge are struggling to retain possession on the occassions they are getting forward and are not causing the home side any cause for concern.
15:34 A half hearted clearence from Coulson drops to Connor 20 yards out and he hits it high over the bar, his team mates not looking overly impressed as he definatily had better options available to him.
15:31 Probably not the strongest part of his game, but credit there to Platt as he does very well to prevent a cross and finally ends up winning a free kick deep in the United half.
15:27 Better stuff from Cambridge here as Willmott battles hard on the left and earns a corner, which he takes and finds the head of Saah, but the big mans header goes well wide to the right of Marriott's goal.
15:22 Mansfield are looking very dangerous down both wings in the opening 20 minutes and following good work from Adam Smith they earn another corner, which this time is headed away by Miller....Cambridge are not really looking an attacking threat thus far.
15:16 Cambridge come under some intense pressure as Mansfield earn two consecutive corners but both are well defended and United clear their lines.
15:14 A free kick for Cambridge 25 yards out is hit hard into the wall by Willmott and it spins off for our first corner, its taken short and when the cross does arrive its defended well by the hosts and cleared away from danger.
15:13 A close effort there from Mansfield as Connor rises highest at the back post and headers against the post and its cleared for a corner which is punched clear by Brown.
15:12 I dont know why its always me who has the technical problems but bare with me as I try to persuade this dongle to work!....an early sub here for Cambridge as Ives replaces Roberts, must be an injury but nothing I saw, Russell drops to right back with Ives now wide right.
15:05 After a fairly even opening five minutes, Mansfield win the first corner of the game following a blocked cross by Jennings, and its cleared away by the visitors.
15.00 Kick off, Its Mansfield who get us underway and Cambridge will attack their own fans in the first half.
14:55 Here come the sides, United decked out in the third choice strip of all White, and after the customary handshakes run towards the Cambridge faithful away to my left, will they be rewarded today with our first win of the season?
14:40 So the team sheets are in and Daryl Clare has to do with a place on the bench against his former side as Ling goes with Willmott and Wright up top again in what im presuming will be a 4-4-2 formation, and interestingly, no place in the sixteen for David Partridge. Wayne Gray is also on the bench after Adam Marriott fails a late fitness test following the knock he took at Tamworth.
14:35 Team News: Mansfield Alan Marriott(gk), Gary Silk, Kevin Sandwith, Gary Mills, Steve Foster(C), Chris Smith, Louis Briscoe, Tyrone Thompson, Adam Smith, Keigan Parker, Paul Connor. Subs: Neil Collett, Kyle Nix, Tom Naylor, Rob Duffy, Luke Medley.
Cambridge Simon Brown(gk), Kevin Roberts, James Jennings, Josh Coulson, Brian Saah, Simon Russell, Adam Miller, Danny Wright, Robbie Willmott, Conal Platt, Paul Carden(C). Subs: Danny Naisbitt, Daryl Clare, Wayne Gray, Sam Ives, Darryl Coakley.
14:00 Good Afternnon all and welcome to Field Mill, follow all of the action here, as it happens, team news to follow as soon as I receive it, and score updates from CRC's clash with Debenham LC at the Abbey.
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