SOLID STAGS CRUISE TO WIN AT TAMWORTH
Blue Square Bet Premier
Tamworth 0 - 2 Mansfield Town
Cain 65, Briscoe 68
Attendance: 1162 (378 from Mansfield)
Date: 5 March 2011
Martin Shaw at The Lamb
Mansfield Town gained real momentum going into the FA Trophy replay next Tuesday with a solid and thoroughly deserved win at Tamworth on Saturday. The Stags had much the better of the first half but were unable to convert chances. The first 20 minutes of the second half was as dull as anything seen this season, but the Stags burst to life with 2 goals in three minutes midway through the half as Ashley Cain scored his first ever goal tapping home from Louis Moult's outstanding cross, and then Louis Briscoe scored a fine solo goal.
Man of the match: Gary Silk
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre.
Tamworth 0 Mansfield Town 2 , Saturday 5th March
CHAD report by John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town returned to winning ways in the league with two second half goals in four minutes earning them a deserved 2-0 success at Tamworth on Saturday afternoon, reeports John Lomas.
Ashley Cain, his first career goal, and Louis Briscoe, his 10th of the season, were the marksmen on a wet afternoon at The Lamb as the Stags prepared for Tuesday's big FA Trophy quarter final replay with a good performance.
It was a first BSBP win in five games and a first clean sheet in nine for Mansfield as they rarely looked in any trouble against an unambitious Lambs side who got what they deserved on the day.
Tamworth went with one striker at home and failed to seriously trouble the visiting defence until they were behind and added a second striker and an aerial barrage.
It was a largely scrappy and ill-tempered game that will be remembered only for the two quality goals, the second a fine solo effort from Briscoe.
Stags made one change with Spence coming in for only his second start for the club at left back in place of Stonehouse.
The Lambs included former Stags striker Perry in their starting line-up with ex-Stags pair MacKenzie and Bradley on their bench.
Stags won an early free kick on the right which Cain put into a good area but no one was able to get a finish on.
Briscoe then comfortably headed away the home side's first corner at the near post.
The next chance in a scrappy game saw Smith's tackle in the Tamworth box saw the ball break invitingly for Briscoe but he delayed his finish a split second too long and allowed Sheridan to dispossess him.
Daniel Bradley offered a threat down the left when Naylor sold himself into an unsuccessful challenge, allowing the Tamworth man to cut inside and rifle a dipping shot over the top.
A loose pass from a home defender gifted the ball on 21 minutes to Moult who quickly put Connor away on goal, keeper Mitchell doing well to spread himself and block.
There was a hold-up on 29 minutes when both sides began a shoving match after Naylor pushed Sheridan in the back and he swung round, got the wrong man, and shoved Murray. But no cards were shown.
Cain wasted another corner, failing to clear the first man, then Briscoe did well to get to the right by-line and drilled the ball low into the box, again no one there to capitalise.
Stags came close on 39 minutes when Briscoe got a glancing head onto a Cain corner and the ball was hooked over at the far post from close range by Moult who, with back to goal, couldn't quite find the target.
Tait saw his 11th yellow card of the season for his challenge on Spence on 41 minutes but could have seen a red one. Tait had been on a good run down the centre into the box but, when Spence made the tackle, the Tamworth man followed through and left Spence in agony.
Spence dusted himself down to go on an exciting run down the left and, just as it seemed he may have won a penalty, the loose ball spun towards Briscoe who sliced a shot over the bar.
Stags finally had the ball in the back of the net on 45 minutes only to be thwarted by an offside flag
Moult threaded a lovely ball through to Connor in front of goal and he produced an instant lay-off for Briscoe to sweep home a low finish.
So a largely disappointing half ended scoreless with Stags enjoying the better of things down The Lamb's sloping pitch and all of the game's few openings without a final product.
Mansfield won a fourth corner in the opening minutes of the second half but once again Cain failed to beat the first man.
As the drizzle continued to fall, Silk was booked for leaving a foot in on Thomas in what was becoming an increasingly niggly match.
A great through ball from Briscoe almost put Moult in, but the ball bounced too high for him to be able to get it under control and the moment was quickly gone.
However, Stags were knocking the ball around well at this stage and were rewarded with the opening goal on 65 minutes.
It was created by a superb left wing cross from Moult who dipped the ball towards the middle of the six yard box where Cain nipped in to sweep the ball first time past Mitchell.
Mansfield were gifted a break when the referee got in the way of Smith and the ball broke for Cain who tore downfield before setting up Moult for a curling effort just wide of the far post.
Moult again looked dangerous as Mitchell raced out his box to beat him to a through ball.
The Lambs finally offered Perry some support as they brought on a second striker in Jason Bradley.
But seconds later Mansfield had a 2-0 lead in the 69th minute.
It was a splendid solo effort by Briscoe as he picked the ball up on the right of midfield, worked his way across to the left hand side of the box and sidefooted a calm, accurate low left-footed finish out of the keeper's reach and inside the post.
Tamworth forced two corners either side of a ferocious scramble as the home side began to pile on the pressure.
Smith's foul on Murray saw the yellow card brought out for a third time.
The Stags wall did its job from a centrally placed free kick as Barrow's initial kick was blocked and Courtney flashed the follow-up well wide.
Grof, largely unemployed all afternoon, then had to make a fine save from Daniel Bradley's powerful cross-cum-shot from the left that threatened to dip in under the bar.
Mitchley was given the last nine minutes in place of Moult and almost immediately almost got Connor away, the ball catching under the striker's feet and Connor unable to take it on.
A Daniel Bradley cross almost dropped in at the far post seconds after Grof failed to take a cross from the left as Tamworth pushed gamely forward with the minutes ticking down.
Grof fisted away a well-struck 20 yard free kick from Smith with three minutes to go, Daniel Bradley well over from 25 yards a minute later as Stags held on to well-deserved clean sheet.
TAMWORTH: Mitchell, Tait, Courtney, Wylde, Smith, Perry, Thomas, Sheridan (Kamara 75), D. Bradley, Barrow, Wilkinson (J. Bradley 69). Subs not used: Mitchell, MacKenzie, Christie.
STAGS: Grof; Silk, Sandwith, Naylor, Spence; Cain, Murray, Thompson, Briscoe; Connor, Moult (Mitchley 81). Subs not used: Marriott, Foster, Nix, Smith.
REFEREE: Mr K. A. Woolmer of Northants.
ATTENDANCE: 1,162 (378 away).
CAUTIONS: Tamworth – Tait 41, Smith 75. Stags – Silk 54
Tamworth 0-2 Mansfield Town
Evening Post report by Matt Halfpenny
SECOND half goals from Ashley Cain and Louis Briscoe plus a first clean sheet in eight games carried Mansfield Town to their first win in five league matches at Tamworth this afternoon.
A tight first half saw few chances at either end with the game largely contested in midfield.
But the Stags stepped up a gear in the second half and deservedly took the points against a Lambs side who showed little adventure and played just one up front until the closing stages.
Cain's strike was his first of the season and Briscoe's his ninth in what was a welcome success ahead of Mansfield's important FA Trophy quarter-final replay against Chasetown on Tuesday night.
Mansfield won an early free-kick on the right-hand side and, from Cain's delivery, Kevin Sandwith flicked on for Paul Connor, who was crowded out at the back post.
Briscoe then picked out Louis Moult in the penalty area but the teenager failed to control when in a good position.
As Moult pressured Jay Smith, the ball broke for Briscoe on the edge of the box, who wasted a good shooting opportunity by taking a touch, allowing Jake Sheridan to track back and make a tackle.
The play was very scrappy early on and it was not until the 19th minute that the first shot on goal came as Daniel Bradley cut in from the left to fire over.
Mansfield went close to the opening goal soon after when Tamworth gave away possession in their own half.
Moult played the ball through for Paul Connor, whose poke on the slide was blocked by the onrushing Liam Mitchell.
As the game moved past the half hour mark, Michael Wylde headed wide from a left-wing free-kick.
After switching wings, Briscoe fired in a hard and low centre from the right, but no Mansfield player could get on the end of it.
Another chance went begging as Cain's corner was flicked on by Briscoe for Moult whose shot on the turn from close range flew off target.
Richard Tait was fortunate to escape with a booking as he went in horribly late on Dan Spence after over-running the ball.
A move of multiple Mansfield passes culminated in Spence laying off for Briscoe, who miscued his shot well wide.
With the break imminent, Moult and Connor combined to tee up Briscoe, who netted but had his celebrations cut short by an offside flag.
Mansfield came out of the blocks quickly and, after a sustained spell of pressure, Adam Murray's attempted shot was well blocked by the Tamworth rearguard.
After a period of inactivity, a defence-splitting pass from Briscoe looked to have put Moult clear but the ball bounced up high off the turf and the young striker was unable to get his shot away.
The Stags were looking the more likely to score and they did just that in the 65th minute.
In a game that had been lacking quality, Moult played over a superb cross from the left and Cain could barely miss as he volleyed home from the edge of the six-yard box.
An inadvertent touch from the referee allowed Cain to break quickly and pick out Moult, whose curling finish flew wide of the right-hand post.
But a second goal was not long in coming and what a strike it was, too.
Briscoe picked up the ball 40 yards from goal and ran at an angle across the face of the penalty area before applying a slick, left-footed finish form 16 yards that he threaded just inside the right-hand upright.
Tamworth won a dangerous free-kick right on the edge of the Mansfield box but Scott Barrow fired into the defensive wall and Duane Courtney was off target from the follow-up.
As the Lambs enjoyed their best spell of the game, David Grof had to push away a cross-cum-shot from Daniel Bradley.
Perry was then not too far away from an inswinging free-kick put over from the left.
At the other end, Connor could not get the ball out of his feet just when it looked as if he would be in on goal from substitute Danny Mitchley's through ball.
Grof failed to take a cross under pressure from Perry and was relieved to see Daniel Bradley make the most of it.
With time running out, another central free-kick for Tamworth was struck powerfully by Jay Smith but punched away from danger by Grof
Touch of class from Stags puts Lambs to the slaughter
Evening Post considered report by Matt Halfpenny
ENDEAVOUR, organisation and team spirit will get you so far, but there is no substitute for a sprinkling of quality.
In many respects, there was little to choose between Mansfield Town and weekend opponents Tamworth at the Lamb.
In a contest where tempers often frayed, the Stags could claim to have enjoyed the better of the first hour, yet there had still been only fleeting signs of the deadlock being broken at either end.
On such occasions when the game is in the balance, an error here or a piece of brilliance there invariably makes all the difference.
So while unadventurous, one-up-front Tamworth could only plug away and hope something would drop kindly for them, Mansfield's extra touch of class, in the shape of their Louis double act, went out and made things happen.
First Louis Moult put over the kind of cross all defenders have nightmares about and all attackers cherish.
From out on the left flank, he found the space to whip in a devilish delivery with his right foot that swung in between keeper and defenders and had 'finish me' written all over it.
Ashley Cain, in recording his first goal for the Stags, duly obliged with an assured volley from the edge of the six-yard box that sped into the corner.
Next it was the turn of Louis the Second, Briscoe, to stamp his own authority on proceedings with his latest gem of a strike.
Fresh from his 30-yard blockbuster in midweek against Chasetown, the increasingly influential winger picked up the ball and ran diagonally across the pitch, while heading towards the edge of the box.
When he reached that position he produced the kind of superb, clinical strike that underlines his increasing maturity.
The old Briscoe would have stuck his head down and thrashed for goal, meaning his success rate was not particularly good.
But these days the former Port Vale man has a great deal more composure and simply stroked a measured low shot out of Liam Mitchell's reach and just inside the post for his tenth of the campaign.
Yet those pivotal moments were only made possible because Mansfield had already put in the essential spadework – and continued to do so when Tamworth threw players forward at the death in a bid to salvage a point.
Unlike their previous visit to Staffordshire earlier in the week, when they looked brittle and uncertain, the Stags were rock-solid at the back.
In fact, it could be argued it was the back four's best display of the season, so few were the sights of goal that Tamworth fashioned.
Gary Silk was voracious in the tackle and a little unfortunate to be booked; Tom Naylor kept a firm hold on former Stags striker Kyle Perry; Kevin Sandwith was a paragon of steadiness.
But perhaps most impressively, Dan Spence came in for the dropped Paul Stonehouse and on his league debut (the former Reading man played at Alfreton in the FA Trophy) looked as if he had been playing all season, despite being a natural right footer.
That was backed up by some diligent work from midfielders Tyrone Thompson and Adam Murray, who rarely gave Des Lyttle's men time to settle on the ball.
Briscoe and Cain tucked in intelligently when required and it was not uncommon to see Moult and Paul Connor tracking back to break up potential Tamworth attacks either.
The only slight chink in Mansfield's armour was the form of keeper David Grof, who still looks uncomfortable under the high ball.
But the fact was the visitors never looked likely to relinquish their grip on the game once in front to secure a welcome first clean-sheet in eight matches and first league win in five.
In doing so, it avenged the Stags' first home defeat of the season to the Reds back in September when Ben Wilkinson had netted the only goal.
And it also enabled Mansfield to claim a place back in the top half of the table – albeit only just – by moving up two places, having previously dropped down when weather postponements and cup commitments have intervened.
The tone was set early on as it took a full 19 minutes for Tamworth's Daniel Bradley to register the first shot on either goal.
Yet Mansfield could consider themselves happier at the break after going close through Connor, who was blocked by Mitchell, and Briscoe, whose 'goal' from a well-constructed move was wiped out by an offside flag.
After the restart, Mansfield increasingly applied the pressure until the nearlys and not quites were finally converted into a two-goal cushion.
The closest Tamworth came was when Grof palmed away a cross-cum-shot from Bradley and then dealt with a free-kick from Jay Smith in similar style.
All in all, it was an entirely satisfactory day at the office for manager Duncan Russell after the frustration in recent weeks.
It wasn't quite Lambs to the slaughter, but such a performance ahead of the all-important Chasetown FA Trophy replay tomorrow night was certainly encouraging
Match facts: Tamworth v Mansfield Town
Tamworth: L. Mitchell, Tait, Courtney, Wylde, Barrow, Sheridan (Kamara 75), Smith, D. Bradley, Wilkinson (J. Bradley 69), Thomas, Perry. Subs not used: A. Mitchell MacKenzie, Christie.
Mansfield: Grof, Silk, Naylor, Snadwith, Spence, Cain, Thompson, Murray, Briscoe, Connor, Moult (Mitchley 81). Subs not used: Marriott, Foster, Nix, Smith.
Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northants).
Attendance: 1,162 (378 visitors).
Goals: Mansfield: Cain (65), Briscoe (69).
Shots on target: Tamworth 2 Mansfield 3
Shots off target: Tamworth 5 Mansfield 2.
Fouls: Tamworth 9 Mansfield 17.
Corners: Tamworth 5 Mansfield 5.
Offsides: Tamworth 1 Mansfield 1.
Bookings: Tamworth 2 (Tait, 41, foul; Smith, 75, foul) Mansfield 1 (Silk, 54, foul).
Sendings off: Tamworth 0 Mansfield 0.
Mansfield's man of the match: Gary Silk. The right back set the tone for Mansfield's solid defensive display and clean sheet with some crunching early tackles and went on to keep the normally lively Danny Thomas quiet throughout
Lambs fall to Stags
FT: Tamworth 0 2 Mansfield Town
05 March 2011
After Tuesday night's 3-1 win over Kettering Town, Tamworth embarked on two tough games in 4 days with The Stags visiting The Lamb on a drizzly afternoon ahead of the midweek trip to face The Hatters.
Des Lyttle made no changes to the squad looking for a repeat performance and three more points to try and widen the 12 point gap from the bottom four, and a win would also see his side leapfrog Mansfield, 2 points and 2 places ahead in the table.
A note about the referee for those who are reading this in conjunction with the matchday programme - following a hold up on the M6 Andy Woolmer was called in to take the place of the scheduled Mr. Graham.
The Lambs kicked off the match towards the Meadow Street End, with Perry, celebrating his 25th birthday the loan man up front.
Mansfield won an early freekick on the right which Cann which was cleared and play switched to the other end but the visiting defence were too strong and denied a through ball from Bradley.
With the Shed in fine voice early on Tamworth won a corner on the left on 6 but the ball back in was taken at height by Grof.
Sheridan and Tait combined to stop Briscoe mopping up the loose ball and advancing into the area on 12 and on 14 Perry took the brunt of a challenge on the left wing which left him holding his ankle and requiring treatment. Play resumed with a drop ball on the half way line and Perry returned to the action.
A weighted pass over the half way line from Smith released Bradley down the left and he cut back before striking for goal from 25 yards, but the effort rose over the bar.
After a chat by the dugouts, the fourth official left pitchside on 21 handing Degsy Bond the board and then Mitchell pulled off a brave bloke to deny Connor who pounced on a poor back pass and advanced into the box.
The fourth official returned shortly after seemingly none the worse for his short sojourn but swapped the board for flag with the linesman on his side of the field.
there was a 16 man set to in the Mansfield half of the field when Thompson went to ground with Bradley and Murray shaking hands after a stiff talking to from the ref.
Non-malicious tackles were now the order of the day making for an good game to watch, however, a foul on Thomas did bring a freekick on the left on 33 and the same player set the ball up but not before Perry and a couple of Mansfield defenders were told to calm down. Thomas whipped the dead ball into the box, but Grof collected Wylde's tame header with ease.
Town won a corner on 35 but nothing came of it and won another on the right on 38 which Moult turned on with his back to goal at the far post, only to lift it high over the target.
After battling extremely hard for the ball out of midfield and advancing to the edge of the area, Tait was very lucky to escape a straight red card for a two footed tackle Spence while at the other end Spence went down in the Tamworth box a minute later, but there was no question that he had not been touched prior to hitting the turf.
A foul by Wylde on the left side of defence handed Cann a freekick which came to nothing, and then Courtney and Connor exchanged words by the clubhouse corner and from the freekick Briscoe was adjudged to have been offside when he rattled the ball past Mitchell into the net.
Two minutes added time was shown at the end of the half, as Wilkinson found himself on the end of a hefty challenge on the half way line but Spence and Connor worked together the clear the danger.
HT: Tamworth 0 0 Mansfield Town
Referee Woolmer returned for the second half with a new yellow shirt, after clashing with the dark blue of the visiting team, who restarted the game.
Mansfield went on the offensive and the ball pinged around the Lambs box in the early exchanges and they won a corner on the right on 50 which was hoofed clear.
Wylde went down under a tough challenge on 52 giving Mitchell the freekick in front of the Shed as the rain got heavier and on 54 Silk took out Thomas from behind causing another bout of handbags and a booking for the Mansfield man.
The deep freekick was nodded behind for a Tamworth corner and Grof collected at his near post before Mansfield moved up the field down the right with a succession of throw-ins and finally a corner, eventually cleared by Tait.
The game continued to be a battle all over the park with neither side gaining much of an advantage although Mansfield enjoyed a spellof pressure past the hour and reaped the rewards when Moult crossed from the left for Cain to volley home from close range. (0-1, 65 mins)
A flowing move out of defence gave Moult the chance to double the lead but he curled his shot wide of the right hand post and Mitchell had to sprint out to deny the same player a minute later.
Jason Bradley replaced Wilkinson on 69 but when played resumed Briscoe finished from the edge of the area, cutting the ball into the far corner with a fine low strike to put The Stags in control (0-2, 69 mins)
A deep corner was nodded back into the danger area by Daniel Bradley but Wylde was unable to turn his shot goalward and as the play went up the field Smith was booked for a tackle in the Mansfield half.
Perry was brought down by Sandwith on 79 on the edge of the D and Smith and Barrow stepped up to try and get their side back into the game but the ball hit the wall and Courtney's follow up was a mile off target.
Daniel Bradley struck a rising ball towards goal from the left wing and Grof made his first save of the game, pushing it over the bar for a corner which allowed Tamworth to keep possession and when Thomas sent in a dead ball from the left Perry was just inches away from connecting at the far post.
Grof flapped at a high ball into the area on 84 and Daniel Bradley dinked the ball back into the box but it dropped the wrong side of the bar.
Smith was clattered to the floor by Cain 25 yards out on 86 and picked himself up to take the kick causing Grof to punch powerfully away and out for a corner on the right which was too high for Jason Bradley at the far post.
Daniel Bradley tried his luck with a long range effort on 88 which curled high and wide of the mark and three minutes added time was shown.
And so, Mansfield took the three points back to Nottinghamshire and The Lambs home Saturday hoodoo continued.
Mitchell L, Tait , Courtney, Wylde, Smith (capt), Perry, Thomas, Sheridan (Kamara 75), Bradley D, Barrow, Wilkinson (Bradley J 69)
Subs: Mitchell A, MacKenzie, Christie
Yellow Cards: Tait 41, Smith 75
Mansfield Town Team:
Grof, Silk, Sandwith, Briscoe, Thompson, Naylor, Spence, Connor, Cain, Murray (capt.), Moult (Mitchley 81)
Subs: Marriott, Foster, Nix, Smith
Yellow Cards: Silk 54
Man of the Match: Chosen By Zero One Design: Duane Courtney
Referee: K.A. Woolmer (Northants)
Latest | March 2011