STAGS PEGGED BACK BY LATE TELFORD EQUALISER
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 AFC Telford United
Green 72. Sharp 86.
Attendance: 2481 (110 from Telford)
Date: 20 September 2011
by Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Field Mill
Mansfield Town ended the 5 game winning streak with a 1-1 draw at home to AFC Telford United tonight. The Stags had taken the lead on 72 minutes with another clinical finish from Matt Green but were pegged back on 86 minutes when Antony Howell lost possession in the middle of the park and Telford broke swiftly and Chris Sharp, son of former Everton striker Graeme Sharp, scored with a fine finish giving Alan Marriott no chance. It felt a bit like a defeat at the end of the game, but the Stags did still stretch the unbeaten run to 8 games and have only lost one of the first 10 games of the season. The Stags would have gone top with a victory, but are only a point behind leaders Luton. Telford were one of the best sides the Stags have played this season, and worked very hard for their point and passed the ball neatly as well as being quick on the break. The Stags will look to get back to winning ways on Saturday, at home to Kidderminster who are two points behind us.
Man of the Match: Matt Green
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Podcast of StagsPlayer commentary by Martin Shaw, Neil Shaw and Steve Hartshorn:
Mansfield Town blow chance to go top after late AFC Telford goal
MANSFIELD Town conceded a late equaliser to miss out on the chance of going top of the league against an impressive AFC Telford at Field Mill last night.
The Bucks, promoted last season, deserve credit for coming to the Mill to give it a real go against an in-form Stags side who had just won five on the bounce and the visitors had the edge in a frustrating first half for Stags in which the home side also had good chances.
But Mansfield, with Adam Murray in superb form in the middle of the park took a second half grip and were relieved when Matt Green's seventh goal of the season finally fired them ahead on 72 minutes.
With other results as they were, Stags were top of the table for 14 minutes. However, Telford were not finished and Chris Sharp capitalised on a breakdown in home passing four minutes from the end to steal a point.
It felt like a loss at the final whistle, but Stags at least made it an eighth game unbeaten and stayed in the top five with another home game ahead with Kidderminster on Saturday.
See Wednesday's Chad for full details
Mansfield Town 1 AFC Telford 1
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny
IF ever there was a game to prove to Mansfield Town that nothing comes easily in football, then this was it.
Going into the game on the back of five wins in a row, the Stags were expected in many circles to sweep aside part-time AFC Telford United with ease.
That feeling was augmented on the terraces by the team's last home game, which had seen them tear apart Newport County and win 5-0.
The reality, though, was that Mansfield were far from their best and came up against a resilient Telford side who were well-drilled, organised and resolute.
For a time it appeared the Stags had done enough to grind out a sixth win on the bounce, which would have taken them top of the Blue Square Bet Premier, with a seventh of the season for the in-form Matt Green.
Yet, for the fourth game this campaign, Paul Cox's men frustratingly surrendered a lead to draw 1-1, a result which instead leaves them in fifth place, a point off top spot.
Still, despite the disappointment, it should be remembered that the Stags extended their unbeaten run to eight matches and remain unbeaten on their own patch.
But they will, no doubt, be hoping to raise their game ahead of two tough matches to come to round off the month against Kidderminster and Wrexham.
The Stags went with an unchanged starting line-up for the fifth game in succession, meaning there was again no place for in-demand defender Tom Naylor, who was restricted to a place on the bench.
But there is no guarantee he will still be at the club come the weekend. While Fulham have said 'no' after his trial at Craven Cottage, Mansfield are bracing themselves for another bid from a Championship club, according to Cox.
Telford won the game's first corner that was taken by Sean Newton and had to be fisted away from under his bar by goalkeeper Alan Marriott.
The first attack of the game from Mansfield saw Lindon Meikle release Matt Green down the left, but his cross on the run was too far in front of strike partner Ross Dyer.
Green was sent on his bike by Louis Briscoe in the tenth minute, only to be crowded out by two defenders as he looked to work a shooting opportunity.
Green then cut in from the left to work in a shot that was easily fielded by Ryan Young before Briscoe hit a rising drive from distance way over the top.
A foul by Luke O'Neill on Chris Sharp gave Telford a free-kick on the edge of the box but Newton wasted the chance, curling his effort too high.
Midway through the half, Mansfield finally had a sight of goal when Dyer took Meikle's pass in his stride and swept past Dan Preston.
But the central defender stuck to his task and foiled the striker with a last-minute tackle, the refereeing ignoring shouts from the crowd for a penalty.
At the other end, a high hopeful ball in from the left was won in the air by Jon Adams, but his header was over the top.
The hosts put together a good move that culminated in a low cross from Briscoe finding Meikle, whose attempted finish was well blocked.
Marriott was then breathing a sigh of relief on the half hour when Newton's shot took a huge deflection but flew just wide of the left-hand post.
AFC keeper Young was lucky to get away with a mis-kick with Green in attendance while Telford's Richard Davies was not too far wide with a shot from 20 yards.
As Mansfield continued to look flat and the visitors up for the challenge, Ryan Valentine got in behind the home defence, only to see an offside flag as he lifted his finish over.
With half-time approaching, a fortunate ricochet set Meikle free into the left-hand side of the box. He tried to tee up Green who delayed his shot and eventually crossed for Dyer whose header was inches wide of the right-hand post.
Another chance came and went when Dyer laid off to Green whose cross-cum-shot was cleared off the line by Will Salmon.
Soon after half-time, Green warmed the palms of Young when he worked in a diagonal shot while, as Telford broke at pace, Marriott did well to push Adams' 12-yard drive around the left-hand upright.
As the Stags looked to have found a bit more of a rhythm, Phil Trainer timed his tackle brilliantly to deny O'Neill from Green's lay-off while Sutton headed at Young from Joe Kendrick's corner.
Briscoe's determination then enabled his to blaze across the six-yard box for Dyer, who could not keep down his attempted finish.
Meikle then fashioned space to let fly but his drive never threatened Young's goal.
Dyer fluffed his lines as he scuffed a shot through to Young after Green's trickery in the box had brought about the opening.
With 66 minutes on the watch, Mansfield threw on Adam Smith in place in place of Meikle in a bid to spice things up.
And within seconds, Briscoe's dipping volley forced a terrific stop out of Young, who flipped the ball over his own bar.
The United keeper saved well again after a twisting run and shot by Adam Smith and, from the resulting corner, Futcher headed straight at Young, who spilled the ball but Newton spared his blushes with Green close by.
But the upping of the tempo paid off for the Stags in the 72nd minute with the long-awaited breakthrough – and again it was Green to make it.
A long ball forward was flicked on by Dyer and Green streaked away to advance into the area and stroke a right-footed, angled 15-yard drive beyond the advancing Young and into the left-hand corner.
But it was not to be decisive as Telford refused to throw in the towel and leveled matters with four minutes left.
As Howell gave the ball away in midfield, the ball was fed through by Davies for Chris Sharp, who drilled past Marriott with a sweet left-foot strike from 15 yards.
It was a sour end to the night for Mansfield and almost felt like a defeat.
But the trick will be to put that behind them quickly when Kidderminster come calling at the weekend
Stags v Telford match stats
Mansfield: Marriott, O'Neill, Sutton, Futcher, Kendrick, Briscoe, Howell, Murray, Meikle (Smith 66), Green, Dyer. Subs not used: Redmond, Naylor, Worthington, Connor.
AFC Telford United: Young, Salmon, Killock, Preston, Newton, Adams (Samuels 81), Davies, Valentine, Trainer, Brown (Proudlock 75), Sharp. Subs not used: Robinson, Rodgers, Whitehead.
Referee: Ross Joyce (Middlesbrough).
Attendance: 2,481 (110 visitors).
Mansfield 1: Green (72).
Telford 1: Sharp (86)
Shots on target: Mansfield 9 AFC Telford 2.
Shots off target: Mansfield 5 AFC Telford 3.
Fouls: Mansfield 7 AFC Telford 7.
Corners: Mansfield 5 AFC Telford 5.
Offsides: Mansfield 1 AFC Telford 2.
Bookings: Mansfield 2 (Futcher, 20, foul; O'Neill, 80, foul)
AFC Telford 0.
Sendings off: Mansfield AFC 0 Telford 0.
Mansfield's man of the match: Adam Murray. On a night when Mansfield were frustrated for much of the night, the skipper kept his side pushing on forward with a superb range of passing, hardly giving the ball away all night
Match Report: Mansfield Town 1-1 Bucks
Match Report by Steve Humbles
A valiant performance from AFC Telford United against Mansfield Town saw the Bucks secure a deserved point at Field Mill this evening. The Bucks more than held their own for much of the game and had chances to take the lead, only to concede just eighteen minutes from time following a spell of intense Mansfield pressure. However Telford were not to be denied a deserved point and Chris Sharp notched a second goal in two games to level the scores just four minutes from time.
Boss Andy Sinton made three changes for the trip to face Paul Cox's Stags, with Dan Preston, Richard Davies and Ryan Valentine all called into the starting line-up at the expense of Stuart Whitehead, Dwayne Samuels and Nathan Rooney. Greg Mills missed out with a suspension after accumulating five yellow cards.
Telford started brightly against a Mansfield side coming into the game on the back of five straight victories, although it was the hosts who threatened first on 12 minutes when Matt Green cut in from the left and forced a comfortable save from Ryan Young. Telford had a half-chance though when Luke O'Neill hauled down Chris Sharp on the edge of the area on 15 minutes and Sean Newton fired well over from the free-kick, whilst Will Salmon's dangerous cross nearly created another opening on 20 minutes only to drift agonisingly wide of the far-post.
In-form Mansfield had scored fourteen goals in their previous five matches and they showed their threat on 26 minutes when former Hednesford man Ross Dyer surged forward from midfield, only to be denied by a perfectly-timed challenge from Dan Preston. As both sides traded blows, Andy Brown then headed over from Phil Trainer's hanging centre before Lindon Meikle – who regularly impressed against Telford during his Eastwood days – saw his goal-bound shot blocked after Louis Briscoe had burst down the right.
Telford had made a very composed and assured start though, and the Bucks nearly took the lead in freak fashion on the half-hour mark when Sean Newton's long-range shot was deflected inches wide with goalkeeper Alan Marriott beaten. Richard Davies also fired just wide of the diving Marriott's right-hand post on 32 minutes after bursting through from midfield, whilst Sharp's driven cross from the left then narrowly evaded Newton in the centre as Telford continued to impress against their much-fancied opponents.
Mansfield upped the ante in the closing stages of the half, though, and the Stags missed the best chance of the half just five minutes before the break when Green's cross from the right found Dyer in space at the far-post and the midfielder somehow nodded wide. Indeed, the lively Dyer came close again just moments later. His floated effort looked to be heading into the net with Young beaten and out of position, but Will Salmon showed good anticipation by tracking back to head off the line and ensure that Telford didn't face what would have been a thoroughly undeserved deficit at the interval.
Mansfield threatened first in the second-half when Green cut in to force a save from Young and Telford came desperately close moments later when Jon Adams found some space in the area to produce a shot which was deflected just wide for a corner. However, the Stags then began to assert themselves and the Bucks were pushed increasingly onto the back-foot. Ritchie Sutton's header was saved by Young on 58 minutes and Dyer then lashed over from Briscoe's cross after Valentine had been caught trying to shepherd the ball out of play on the by-line.
For the first time in the game the Stags were on top and another Dyer strike was comfortably saved by Young after some trickery in the box from former Alfreton man Anthony Howell before Briscoe's dipping volley from 35 yards was superbly tipped over by Young on 68 minutes. Young was increasingly coming under sustained pressure and Saturday's man-of-the-match was again proving a valiant last line of defence, pushing away substitute Adam Smith's strike at the near-post before repelling Ben Futcher's header on 70 minutes from a left-wing corner.
Mansfield's pressure finally paid off on 72 minutes, Green breaking through to fire past a helpless Young and break Telford's dogged resistance. Sinton, however, responded by throwing on Adam Proudlock and Dwayne Samuels in a bid to inspire a trademark fight-back and it worked as the Bucks gained a deserved leveller on 86 minutes. Davies made a surging run from midfield and produced a delightful pass to Sharp who drilled a superb left-foot strike past Marriott, much to the delight of the 110 away supporters behind the goal.
1. Alan Marriott, 3. Joe Kendrick, 7. Louis Briscoe, 10. Matt Green, 11. Adam Murray (c), 15. Ross Dyer, 16. Luke O'Neill, 17. Ritchie Sutton, 21. Anthony Howell, 24. Lindon Meikle, 26. Ben Futcher.
Substitutes: 23. Shane Redmond (GK), 2. Tom Naylor, 4. Jon Worthington, 9. Paul Connor, 19. Adam Smith (for Meikle, 66 minutes).
1. Ryan Young, 2. Will Salmon, 3. Sean Newton, 6. Shane Killock (c), 8. Phil Trainer, 10. Andy Brown, 11. Jon Adams, 16. Dan Preston, 20. Richard Davies, 23. Ryan Valentine, 25. Chris Sharp.
Substitutes: 4. Carl Rodgers, 5. Stuart Whitehead, 12. Dwayne Samuels (for Adams, 81 minutes), 31. Adam Proudlock (for Brown, 75 minutes), 32. Ryan Robinson (GK).
Referee: Mr Ross Joyce (Middlesborough)
Attendance: 2,481 (including 110 away supporters)
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