FRIENDLY: HEDNESFORD 2 MANSFIELD 3
26 July 2011
Hednesford 2 Mansfield 3
Quinn 66, 86. Green 51, Briscoe pen 64, Naylor 71.
Stags boss Cox fury after win at Hednesford
DESPITE a hard-earned 3-2 pre-season friendly victory at Hednesford Town last night, the new-look Stags side experienced the wrath of new boss Paul Cox for the first time with a post-match lock-in and tongue-lashing.
Although pleased to notch three goals for the first time, Cox was livid with the two conceded and accused some of his players of 'hiding' in a physical encounter on a long-grassed pitch.
“I got just what I wanted out of that,” said Cox. “I knew exactly what it would be like. The whole game was a massive trial - the pitch, the opposition, the environment we came into. I got lots out of it.
“There were a few harsh words said afterwards. I don't usually do that when we've won a football match. But some of the players need to improve things by a country mile. One or two need to wake up and smell the coffee to be honest.
“It's all very well stroking the ball around at home on a flat pitch against the likes of Notts County and Doncaster. But when you come to places like Hednesford in midweek there is nowhere at all to hide.
“It was a physical game and I could tell a few of them didn't fancy it. That's no good to me. I need players who want to be successful and are consistent in every game.
“If they just want to turn up for a game of football then they won't be at the club for long. Yes, we won the match. But for a long time I was disappointed how we did it.”
Cox started with a 3-4-1-2 formation, switching to 4-4-2 after the interval.
He said: “The first formation was one I needed to look at, especially with the amount of bodies we have missing. But systems don't win matches, footballers do and I was disappointed in some of them tonight.
“Standards need to improve if they are going to force their way into the reckoning for the first game of the season.”
Martin Riley impressed at the back, despite illness, as did Adam Murray, Matt Green and Louis Briscoe.
But there was one victim of this physical clash as Paul Bolland limped off with an ankle injury in the first half which will be examined today.
“Hopefully it won't be too bad,” said Cox. “He will probably be out for 10 to 14 days so won't be fully fit for the first game.
“But he is a very fit lad, there is not an ounce of fat on him, and if he can play some part of the Chasetown game then he could be involved in the first game still.”
Hednesford Town 2 Mansfield Town 3, Tuesday 26th July - Friendly
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 26 July 2011
STAGS made it two pre-season wins on the trot with a hard-earned 3-2 win at Evo-Stik Premier League Hednesford Town on Tuesday, reports John Lomas.
After a goalless first 45 minutes, livewire Matt Green and a Louis Briscoe penalty put Mansfield in command only to see sub Danny Quinn quickly pull one back.
Tom Naylor restored the visitors' two-goal lead, but the gutsy Pitmen were not finished and Quinn's second goal on 86 minutes left Stags holding on at the end of a very worthwhile run-out.
The first half hour was not the best on a strength-sapping pitch covered in long grass, which hampered passing.
But Mansfield were just starting to tick in the final 10 minutes before the break and, with the introduction of the lively Louis Briscoe for the second half, largely dominated the action and deserved the win.
Ever the perfectionist, though, boss Paul Cox would be more concerned by the ease in which Hednesford scored their goals.
Stags, missing John Thompson (hip injury), Lindon Meikle (ankle), and Paul Connor (illness), and Jon Worthington (pregnant wife being induced) played a 3-4-1-2 formation with Green and Dyer up front, Stevenson in the hole behind, them and a central defensive trio of Naylor, Riley and Sutton.
Naylor and Riley did well to get back and shut out Robinson inside the box as he briefly broke clear in the opening seconds.
Bolland had Stags' first goal attempt on eight minutes when the ball rolled to him after Dyer's run had been halted, the ball flying wide from 20 yards.
But sloppy defending almost cost the visitors a minute later. Robinson ghosted in unnoticed at the far post to get a head onto a Clements free kick as it bounced up and Marriott was grateful to see Naylor clear off the goal line behind him as the ball beat him.
Home keeper Jones and Sutton challenged for Murray's first corner for Stags, only to see the ball curl harmlessly out for a goalkick.
It had been a scrappy first 15 minutes with neither side settling.
But on 19 minutes Dyer turned onto Bell's left wing cross at the near post and, riding a challenge, forced the keeper into a stop with a shot from a tight angle.
Mansfield went even closer on 25 minutes as, when a tackle on Green on the edge of the box saw the ball run loose, Stevenson whipped in a low snapshot which thumped loudly against a post.
Soon after Stevenson again had sight of goal from the same distance but got his attempted curler all wrong as the ball sailed well over the angle.
Sutton's daisycutter from 30 yards forced Jones into a save but was never likely to beat him.
Home skipper Campion was booked on 31 minutes, probably for dissent, soon after a lecture for a foul.
Bolland needed treatment after a heavy tackle in midfield and eventually limped off shaking his head, to be replaced by Howell on 37 minutes.
On 39 minutes Green might have done better as he made space in the box from a Dyer flick but then failed to connect with his finish firmly and sent a poor shot trickling towards Jones.
On 42 minutes Todd sent over a low cross from the right, away from Jones, but, with three Stags players racing in, the ball seemed to strike Dyer and was blocked by a defender in front of goal.
Stags began the second half switching to a 4-4-2 formation, Briscoe on for Stevenson, playing wide left, and O'Neil replacing Sutton to play as an orthodox right back.
The Pitmen started the half well and Naylor had to block a Wellecomme effort with Stags making hard work of clearing the resulting corner.
However, the home side then giftwrapped a goal for the Stags on 51 minutes.
Defender Gomes and keeper Jones collided when both going for Briscoe's hopeful punt forward and could only watch on agonisingly as Green rolled the loose ball into the empty net.
Hednesford hit back with a right wing corner, taken short to Osborne whose cross was met by a firm header from Bailey which wasn't far over.
Then ex-Stags Robinson burst powerfully between Naylor and Riley before just beating the advancing Marriott to the ball but also lifting his finish over the top.
Stags' most incisive move of the night saw Todd's accurate nod-on from Naylor's forward bal send O'Neill overlapping down the right, his low cross turned on target by Dyer but saved by Jones.
Briscoe doubled Stags' lead from the spot on 64 minutes.
Green burst into the box, Briscoe took over from him, accelerating well and invited the trip from Bailey's mis-timed challenge before confidently stroking home the spot kick under the dive of Jones.
The Pitmen immediately threw two more subs on and, within two minutes one of them, Quinn, had pulled a goal back as he headed home from close range from fellow sub Melbourne's right wing cross.
O'Neill might have restored Mansfield's two-goal cushion soon after but, after cutting in from the right, dragged a poor finish at Jones with time and space to do better.
Dunkley almost sliced a cross into his own net as Mansfield stepped up the pressure, forcing a corner.
Briscoe had a far post shot blocked on the line to force a second corner. And when Jones failed to claim that under pressure, Naylor found himself with a simple close range stab on 71 minutes.
Dyer's sprint into the box was held up, but the striker did well to still pull the ball back deep to Howell whose low shot was clutched by Jones.
Murray's trip on Danks as he raced past him saw referee Mr Gratton even up the yellow card count on 77 minutes.
Marriott had been a spectator for a while but was alert to grab a fierce on-target Campion blast at his near post.
Then Quinn failed to get decent purchase on his shot when the ball ran invitingly loose a minute later.
After Stags laboured to halt a home attack, Naylor was lectured by the referee for swearing too loudly at his team mates!
Seconds later Quinn's far post header passed just over the angle as we entered the last seven minutes.
However, with four minutes left, a magnificent header on by Robinson saw Quinn sneak clear of the Stags' defensive line and beat Marriott with a good finish from 15 yards to double his tally and set up a close finish.
Wood had a looping 15 yards header saved as Hednesford tried to clear their lines from a Smith corner, then Clements was well over from 30 yards for the Pitmen.
Clements almost levelled it with the last kickoff the game as he sent a stinging 18 yard shot on target which Marriott stood up to, palming it down as the whistle sounded almost immediately.
HEDNESFORD: Jones, Gomes, Campion, Dunkley, Thorne (Bailey 52), Denny, Moyo (Melbourne 59), Clements, Robinson, Wellecomme (Danks 64), Osborne (Quinn 64). Sub not used: Nicholls, Grice, Durrell.
STAGS: Marriott, Naylor, Bell, Murray, Riley (Wood 75), Sutton (O'Neill h/t), Todd (Smith 71), Stevenson (Briscoe h/t), Dyer, Green (Mitchley 71), Bolland (Howell 37). Sub not used: Redmond.
REFEREE: Danny Gratton of Staffordshire
Hednesford 2 Mansfield Town 3
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny
FIRST came the much-needed clean sheet for Mansfield Town on Saturday – and last night came some welcome goals.
Going into last night's clash at Hednesford, the Stags had only netted three times in their first four pre-season friendlies.
But the team finally found their goal touch against the Evo-Stik Premier side.
It took Mansfield until the second half to open their account as Matt Green notched his first in amber and blue before the impressive Louis Briscoe struck from the spot and Tom Naylor also netted.
Less encouraging for boss Paul Cox, though, was the number of opportunities afforded the Pitmen at the other end.
They got on the scoresheet twice and might have done so on several other occasions with better finishing, giving the Mansfield management plenty to think about ahead of Saturday's clash at Boston.
On a spongy Keys Park pitch, Mansfield employed a 3-4-1-2 formation at the start.
Naylor, Martin Riley and Ritchie Sutton were the three central defenders, with player-coach Andy Todd and Matt Bell occupying the flanks, either side of skipper Adam Murray and Paul Bolland.
Ross Dyer – against his old club – and Green started as the front two with Lee Stevenson playing just behind.
That was in the absence of John Thompson (hip), Lindon Meikle (ankle), Paul Connor (ill), Jon Worthington (pregnant wife was being induced) and Briscoe (rested on the bench).
The Pitmen almost went in front when Marvin Robinson's goalbound header was nodded off the line by Naylor.
The Stags were desperately unlucky not open the scoring at the midway point of the half when Green's pace allowed him to tee up Stevenson on the edge of the box, only for his sweet strike to cannon back off the left-hand upright.
Bolland limped off in the 37th minute after a heavy challenge in midfield and was replaced by Anthony Howell.
As the teams emerged for the second half, Briscoe and Luke O'Neill came on for Sutton and Stevenson as Mansfield reverted back to 4-4-2.
The Stags went in front in the 52nd minute. Goalkeeper Zak Jones and defender Decio Gomes collided in trying to cut out Briscoe's through-ball, leaving Green to tap home.
A superb move saw Jones deny Dyer's first-time effort after Naylor's crossfield pass, Todd's flick on and O'Neill's low centre had created the opening.
It was 2-0 to Mansfield in the 64th minute when Briscoe stepped up to drill home a penalty after he had been tripped by Ben Bailey.
But within seconds, the Pitmen pulled a goal back through Danny Quinn, just seconds after arriving as a substitute.
He headed home from inside the six-yard box after fellow replacement Alex Melbourne had crossed from the right.
Back came Mansfield to restore their two-goal lead in the 71st minute. Bell's left-wing corner was not properly cleared and Naylor stabbed home from close range.
Yet the game was still not safe as Quinn hit the target again after latching onto Robinson's flick on, leaving Mansfield to see out a nervy last four minutes.
Mansfield goalkeeper Neil Collett has joined Nuneaton on a month-long loan.
Mansfield: Marriott, Naylor, Riley (Wood 75), Sutton (O'Neill 46), Todd (Smith 71), Murray, Bolland (Howell 37), Bell, Stevenson (Briscoe 46), Green (Mitchley 71), Dyer. Subs not used: Redmond
Hednesford Town 2 – 3 Mansfield Town
By Scott Smith, hednesfordfc.co.uk
Despite putting up a strong performance against Blue Square Bet Premier side Mansfield Town, Hednesford Town came up just short in a five goal thriller at Keys Park on Tuesday evening.
The first half was a tight affair with both sides having chances to take the lead, although Mansfield's Lee Stevenson came the closest when he hit the post in the 24th minute while former Pitman striker Ross Dyer miss-kicked in front of goal right on halftime.
The visitors did take the lead in the 51st minute though when following a mix-up in the Hednesford defence Matthew Green was able to roll the ball home into an empty net.
In the 63rd minute it was 2-0 when former Hednesford man Louis Briscoe scored from the penalty spot after being felled in the area.
Within three minutes Hednesford were back in it though as Alex Melbourne's cross was powerfully headed home by Danny Quinn.
Mansfield restored their two goal advantage in the 71st minute though when Tom Naylor slotted home from inside the six-yard box after the ball had been spilled by Zak Jones.
With four minutes remaining the Pitmen reduced the arrears once again when after being put through Quinn finished smartly into the corner of the net to make the scoreline 3-2 in Mansfield's favour.
Hednesford Town: Jones, Gomes, Campion, Dunkley, Thorne (Bailey 52), Denny, Moyo (Melbourne 59), Clements, Robinson, Wellecomme (Quinn 64), Osborne (Danks 64)
Subs not used: Grice, Nicholls, Durrell
Mansfield Town: Marriott, Naylor, Bell, Murray, Reilly, Sutton, Todd, Stevenson, Dyer, Green, Bolland
Substitutes: Briscoe, Smith, Howells, O'Neill, Wood, Mitchley, Redmond
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