SUPER STAGS HELD AFTER MISSING TOO MANY CHANCES
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Gateshead
Dyer 9. Shaw 68
Attendance: 1513 (34 from Gateshead)
Date: 29 November 2011
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
Mansfield Town produced their best performance for 2 months at Field Mill last night but missed a host of glorious chances and were held 1-1 by Gateshead. Gateshead came in to the game unbeaten in 6 matches. The Stags had only won 1 of the last 8 league and cup games. The Stags were rampant in the first half which was terrific to watch. After Matt Green had missed the sitter of the season having gone around the keeper, Ross Dyer put the Stags in front on 9 minutes with a great finish after good work by Murray and Verma. Mansfield missed plenty of other chances in a one-sided first half with Freeman, Green again, Dyer and Lee Stevenson all going close. The Stags continued to dominate in the second half but after more golden chances went begging including from John Dempster and Meikle, Gateshead equalised with their first serious chance of the game as Jon Shaw headed home from a Sam Rents cross. It was a sickener for Mansfield and Gateshead then looked just as likely winners as Mansfield. Ross Dyer missed a glorious chance to win it on 80 minutes when he blazed over following superb work by Green, but at the other end Alan Marriott made a great double save on 86 minutes to preserve a point. Massive frustration not to pick up the 3 points, but a hugely encouraging display and the Stags need to build on this with a win against Braintree on Saturday.
Mansfield made 3 changes from the side that drew at Bath as Dempster, Murray and Stevenson came in for O'Neill, Bolland and Howell. The Stags lined up in what in my opinion was a 4-2-3-1 formation with Murray and Verma sitting behind Dyer, Stevenson and Meikle, who pushed forward behind Green. At the back, Sutton moved to right back, with Dempster and Thompson (both making their home debuts) in the centre of defence.
Man of the Match: Ross Dyer
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Mansfield Town 1 Gateshead 1, Tuesday 29th November
chad.co.uk report by Stephen Thirkill
MANSFIELD Town threw away more valuable points and lost further ground on the play-off pack when they were pegged back to a 1-1 draw against Gateshead.
It was certainly not what the impressive Stags deserved after a rampant first half performance had put the north east visitors under the sternest of tests.
But, in what is becoming an all too familiar story, Mansfield blew a number of glorious chances to put the game out of sight and wrap up all three points after Ross Dyer's early strike.
Mansfield, trying out a new 4-5-1 formation, had looked impressive throughout and created countless opportunities to rack up the goals.
But top scorer Matt Green blew two superb chances in the first 10 minutes. Dyer and Stevenson also wasted fantastic opportunities in either half.
And they all proved to be costly misses as Mansfield switched off at the back to allow former Stag Jon Shaw the time and space to nod home a second half equaliser.
The Stags had named three changes to their starting line-up, goalscoring midfielder Stevenson included at the expense of Bolland, on loan defender Dempster given a full debut at the expense of O'Neill and captain Murray replacing Howell.
The visitors had the first sight at goal in the opening minute when former Stag Shaw tested Marriott with a weak shot from distance.
But it was Stags who really should have taken the lead a minute later when top scorer Green latched on to a slack back-pass before rounding the goalkeeper just inside the box.
But with the goal at his mercy, and just one defender trying to protect the exposed goal-line, Green dragged his shot wide.
Four minutes later, in an almost carbon copy attack, Green picked off another short backpass by Clark and rounded Alnwick.
But just as he was about to let fly Alnwick recovered his position well to force Green wide and smother the ball at his feet.
Mansfield, who were using their new 4-5-1 formation to good effect, finally made their early pressure count on nine minutes when striker Dyer showed Green how it should be done.
Excellent build-up play between Murray and Verma saw Dyer unmarked just inside the box. And he made no mistake with a rasping right foot effort into the bottom corner.
Former Stags midfielder Nix fired a warning shot on 14 minutes when he burst into the box only to see his effort well blocked by Verma.
It was a rare foray into the Stags danger zone for the north east side, who were being harried at every opportunity and given little time on the ball by the Mansfield rearguard.
It was almost two on 15 minutes when a rampaging Kieron Freeman nearly fired in an unlikely second with a miss-hit cross, which had to be acrobatically tipped over the bar by an alert Alnwick.
Stevenson, making just his second Mansfield Town star, showed his threat with a bursting run through midfield. He then dinked the ball over the defence into the empty space, but Dyer was unable to loft the ball over Alnwick and into the goal and only found the roof of the net.
Dempster blew a fantastic chance to double the Stags lead on 65 minutes when he diverted a Dyer snapshot over the bar when unmarked six yards out.
The wasteful finishing came back to haunt Stags on 67 minutes when they failed to close the ball down, allowing ex-Stag Shaw to nod home a Moore cross from six yards.
Blowing good chances seemed to be a Stags speciality with Dyer the latest man to amazingly fail to score. Man-of-the-match Green laid the ball on a plate to Dyer after a bursting run to the byline. But Dyer failed to add to his earlier goal as he skied the ball into the Quarry Lane crowd.
Marriott had to be at his very best to keep Mansfield in the contest when he thwarted former team-mate Kyle Nix from close range with just four minutes left as both sides were left to settle for a share of the spoils.
STAGS: Marriott, Thompson, Stevenson (Briscoe 74mins), Green, Murray, Dyer, Sutton, Meikle, Freeman, Dempster, Verma (Bolland 39mins). Subs not used: Redmond, O'Neill, Rodney.
GATESHEAD: Alnwick, Rents, Gate, Curtis, Clark, Turnbull, Shaw, Marwood, Nix, Moore (Fisher 66mins), Henderson (Carruthers 83mins). Subs not used: Deasy, Brittain, Gillies.
REFEREE: Rob Merchant.
ATTENDANCE: 1,513 (34).
SCORELINE: Stags - Dyer, 9mins. Gateshead - Shaw, 67mins
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Green
Nottingham Post Match report by Matt Halfpenny
Stags v Gateshead
IT seems Mansfield Town are fast becoming the draw specialists of the Blue Square Bet Premier – with largely themselves to blame.
Of their last six games, four have ended in stalemate, including all of their last three.
And while that means they are proving hard to beat, they are also losing ground on the division's pacesetters, because it's victories that are so crucial.
You don't need to be the Brain of Britain to work out that three hard-earned draws is only as good as one win amid two defeats.
So it is little wonder that the Mansfield supporters are becoming increasingly frustrated as their team's run stretched to just one success in seven league matches.
And it was another game Paul Cox's men should have won, with their best performance for some time, particularly in the first half, blotted by some awful finishing and the concession of another sloppy goal. It is such a familiar story.
Gateshead were the first side to beat the Stags back in August as they cantered to a 3-0 triumph in the north-east.
And they again showed their resilience to take home a share of the spoils and threatened to pull off a double late on.
On a chilly evening, Lee Stevenson was handed only his second start for the Stags – ironically the other in the 3-0 August defeat at the International Stadium – as one of three changes to the side that drew at Bath City 1-1 on Saturday.
Skipper Adam Murray was brought back in after serving a suspension and Aman Verma made up a three-man midfield as part of a 4-3-3 formation.
John Dempster was given a full debut in the centre of defence with Ritchie Sutton moving across to right back.
Luke O'Neill, Paul Bolland and Anthony Howell were the players to drop out.
The crowd were asked to give a minute's applause before kick-off following the death of Wales manager Gary Speed on Sunday.
Gateshead got in the first effort on goal within 40 seconds but Alan Marriott, making his 100th league appearance for the club, kept his eye on former Stag Jon Shaw's deflected strike.
But Mansfield should have been in front when Matt Green intercepted a short back pass that held up in the wind and rounded Jak Alnwick, only to somehow fire wide of the right-hand post as he attempted to beat the defender on the line.
Green had another chance to score when Ben Clark this time failed to pick out Alnwick, but the Gateshead keeper recovered and smother the danger.
But the home side were in front in the ninth minute with a goal that was superbly worked.
Murray spotted a run of Verma through the inside-right channel and picked him out with a pinpoint pass.
The former Kettering man had the presence of mind to lay the ball off first time and Ross Dyer arrived to smash an angled right-foot finish into the left-hand corner from 15 yards.
Kyle Nix threatened soon after for Gateshead but Verma got back smartly to make an important block.
Mansfield went close to a second when Kieron Freeman almost repeated Lindon Meikle's fluke from Bath as his cross looked to be sailing in, but Alnwick got back to flip the ball over.
It was clear the hosts were up for the battle and only a last ditch foot-in denying Stevenson a crack at goal after Green, Murray and Dyer had carved Gateshead open.
Green then blazed over after Stevenson's run had teed him up before Dyer lobbed wide as he got to a deflected pass just ahead of Alnwick.
Mansfield suffered a setback in the 39th minute when Verma was forced off with a knee injury to be replaced by Paul Bolland.
Two minutes from the break, Chris Moore's corner found the head of Clark, who headed into the arms of Marriott.
Early in the second period, Green switched feet intelligently, but Alnwick got down well to claim his low drive.
Dempster should have doubled the home lead when he spooned over from six yards after Dyer's miscued volley.
The Stags were made to pay for that miss when Gateshead levelled out of nothing, Shaw heading home a routine left-wing centre from Moore.
Boosted by their success, Gateshead went in search of a winner and Shaw was twice denied superbly by blocks from Dempster.
But Dyer missed a glorious chance with ten minutes left when he lifted over from ten yards after Green had put the ball on a plate for him.
In the closing stages, Marriott came to the Stags' rescue with a brilliant stop from substitute Nathan Fisher.
Only Forest Green have now drawn as many as Mansfield's nine matches in league competition in 2011-12 so far.
That record has to change quickly if the Stags' season is to not descend into another of disappointing mid-table mediocrity.
Mansfield: Marriott, Sutton, Dempster, Thompson, Freeman, Murray, Verma (Bolland 39), Stevenson (Briscoe 73), Dyer, Green, Meikle. Subs not used: Redmond, O'Neill, Rodney.
Gateshead: Alnwick, Henderson (Carruthers 84), Curtis, Clark, Rents, Gate, Turnbull, Nix, Marwood, Shaw, Moore (Fisher 66). Subs not used: Deasy, Brittain, Gillies.
Referee: Rob Marchant.
Attendance: 1,513 (34 visitors).
Goals: Mansfield: Dyer (9). Gateshead: Shaw (67).
mansfieldtown.net report by Mark Stevenson
Mansfield Town were left to rue missed chances as they recorded their third successive draw in an entertaining encounter at Field Mill.
Ex-Stag Jon Shaw cancelled out Ross Dyer's excellent first half goal, but Mansfield had numerous opportunities to add to their tally but were ;left to wonder what might have been.
Paul Cox's men enjoyed total domination in a first half of bright attacking football, but Gateshead stormed back in a much even second period and found the leveller which they sought.
Mansfield were unfortunate not to gain all three points but will look to sharpen their shooting boots ahead of another home match this Saturday against Braintree.
Stags squandered a golden opportunity as early as two minutes. A Gateshead back-pass held up in the swirling wind before Matt Green intervened but placed the ball just wide of the post when he should have scored.
On five minutes, Green intercepted another sloppy back pass, this time from Ben Clark. This chance, however, was more difficult and Jak Alnwick, the visiting goalkeeper, did well to get down low to claim the ball after Green tried to round him on the right side of the area.
But Mansfield didn't wait long to find their just rewards when they found the breakthrough with nine minutes gone in a move started by skipper Adam Murray who picked out Verma on the right flank. Verma laid it off to Ross Dyer on the edge of the area who struck first time with a beautiful shot into the bottom corner to complete a sensational goal.
On 13 minutes, Kyle Nix, on his return to Field Mill, did well to muscle his way into the box but his effort was blocked by the back tracking Verma.
Kieron Freeman almost got lucky at the other end when his dipping cross had to be tipped over by Jak Alnwick.
Stags continued to direct proceedings and a slick move involving Green, Murray and Lee Stevenson earned another corner.
On 29, Stevenson, returning to the line up for only the second time, slipped through Matt Green who scooped his shot over the target after pressure from the visiting defence.
Ten minutes later, Stags were forced to make a change when Verma had to be replaced by Paul Bolland after picking up a knock to his knee.
Only a minute later, Green did well to pull it back to the onrushing Stevenson, but he fired over from 18 yards.
Gateshead's best chance of the half fell just two minutes from the break. The unmarked Ben Clark should have scored when he headed straight at Marriott following a corner.
Stags picked up from where they left off in the first half when on 53 minutes Matt Green showed great footwork on the edge of the box before rifling a shot at the goalkeeper.
Mansfield had a goal ruled out just before hour. Dyer crossed into the centre and the ball was bundled over the line by Lindon Meikle, but was adjudged offside.
Lindon Meikle then scurried into the box before forcing a save from Alnwick.
Stags had another chance to extend their lead on 65 minutes. Kerion Freeman's left sided free kick found Dyer in the area who set up John Dempster only for the defender to direct his scuffed shot over from close range.
Moments later, Meikle sent a glancing shot inches wide of the upright after a neat move along the edge of the box.
But Gateshead levelled against the run of play with 68 minutes gone. Likely scorer Jon Shaw, back at Field Mill after a spell in the season before last, popped up at the back post to connect with a left wing cross, leaving Marriott with no chance.
Gateshead, buoyed by their leveller, came close to a second when Nathan Fisher sent a thunderbolt shot just over the bar.
At the other end, Green almost restored Stags advantage. After sending the visiting defence into a merry dance, his low effort from outside the area grazed Alnwick's left hand post.
Louis Briscoe was introduced to the match with 17 minutes to play, replacing Lee Stevenson.
Dempster performed heroics for Mansfield in defence only a minute later when he threw himself into the way of two shots from Jon Shaw as Stags had to endure a nervy period.
Ross Dyer should have put Stags back in front on 79 minutes. Matt Green supplied on the left and Dyer blasted over from 12 yards with the goal at his mercy,.
With only five minutes remaining, Alan Marriott, who had little to do all evening, came to the rescue on his 100th league appearance for the club by denying Jon Shaw and James Marwood from close range.
Attendance: 1,513 (34 away)
Mansfield Town 1 Gateshead 1
GATESHEAD will go into Saturday's important FA Cup 2nd round tie at home to Tamworth on the back of an unbeaten run of seven games.
The Tynesiders came from behind to earn a fourth consecutive league draw as Jon Shaw returned to Field Mill to put one over his former club.
Shaw pounced midway through the second half to score his 20th goal in 23 games after Ross Dyer had fired the Stags into an early lead. Heed boss Ian Bogie sprang a surprise by making four changes from last weekend.
Gateshead should have been behind in the second minute when Matt Green pounced on a poor back pass to round Jak Alnwick on the edge of the box.
The Stags striker, however fired wide with the goal at his mercy, but it proved to be only a stay of execution.
After James Marwood, making his first start of the season, shot wide and Kris Gate had a shot saved by Alan Marriott Dyer made the breakthrough.
Town captain Adam Murray found Aman Verma who advanced into the box to find Dyer who found the bottom corner. It was just the start Mansfield were looking for and Gateshead, while having more of the ball, couldn't claw the deficit back in the rest of the half.
Summer signing Kyle Nix, making only his second start, instigated a short corner that saw fellow schemer Phil Turnbull fire wide from outside the box.
Lee Stevenson had a shot blocked by Heed skipper Ben Clark while Green spurned another chance before Nix had two efforts that were both off target.
Shaw set up Marwood after the break but the winger's shot was saved by Marriott and after Lindon Meikle rightly had an effort ruled out Gateshead levelled in the 68th minute. The recalled Sam Rents' cross found the predatory Shaw who made no mistake from close in, sub Nathan Fisher then inches over from the edge of the box.
The Heed went close to grabbing the lead in an improved second half display, Shaw almost in with head and boot.
The Stags were living dangerously as Gateshead now looked the likelier side to go on and win the game.
Neither side however, could fashion a winner as Gateshead's impressive away form continued.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott, Thompson, Sutton, Freeman, Dempster, Stevenson (Briscoe 73), Murray, Verma (Bolland 39), Green, Dyer, Meikle Subs (not used): Redmond, O'Neill, Rodney
Goals: Dyer (10)
GATESHEAD: Alnwick, Henderson (Carruthers 83), Rents, Gate, Curtis, Clark, Moore (Fisher 66), Turnbull, Shaw, Nix, Marwood. Subs (not used): Deasy (gk), Gillies, Brittain
Goals: Shaw (68)
Referee: Rob Merchant (Staffordshire) Attendance: 1,513
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