STAGS GUTTED TO CONCEDE INJURY TIME EQUALISER
Blue Square Bet Premier
York City 2 - 2 Mansfield Town
Blair 76, Fyfield 90+1. Green 15, Verma 71.
Attendance: 4284 (498 from Mansfield)
Date: 1 January 2012
Martin Shaw at Bootham Crescent
Mansfield Town were gutted to concede a goal in stoppage time as York City recovered from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Bootham Crescent. The Stags took the lead with Matt Green's 16th goal of the season in the first half following a lovely move. Aman Verma gave the Stags a two goal cushion on 71 minutes with a fine strike from just inside the box after a super move involving Murray, Dyer, and Green, and the Stags seemed to be in complete control. But York pulled one back on 76 minutes when a cross bounced off Kieron Freeman and Matt Blair was able to bundle the ball in from close range. Then in stoppage time, Martin Riley conceded a needless free kick on the edge of the box, and after it was initially twice cleared to the edge of the box by the Stags, it finally fell for central defender Jamal Fyfield who hooked a shot with the outside of his left boot over Marriott and into the net. Massive frustration for Mansfield who yet again drew a game they deserved to win in my opinion. The Stags are seven points behind the play-offs and need to turn draws into victories from now on if the play-offs are still to be achievable. At least Mansfield are turning in good performances now and the signings of Gary Roberts, who made an impressive debut today in midfield, and Ben Hutchinson up front, give some hope that this can still be achieved.
The Stags went into the game having lost the last eleven games played on New Years Day - an amazing statistic, courtesy of Paul Taylor and Svante Bernhard. So at least this draw broke that sequence, but that's not much of a consolation.
Man of the match: Matt Green / Gary Roberts
Stagsnet report in the Match Centre
York City 2 Mansfield Town 2
By Rob Guest
Jamal Fyfield's late leveller kept York in the play-off positions after a second stalemate with Mansfield in the space of six days.
The Stags looked to be heading for all three points after goals from Matt Green and Aman Verma but late strikes from Matty Blair and Fyfield saved the day for City.
The draw means City have Kidderminster breathing heavily down their necks after making it four leagues games without a victory.
Following the draw at Field Mill on Boxing Day Gary Mills made two changes to his side with Andre Boucaud and Ashley Chambers both earning recalls in place of Fyfield and the suspended Chris Smith. Jamie Reed was once again kept on the pitch as Mills kept faith in Liam Henderson upfront.
After a slow start it looked as if City would be forced into an early change as David McGurk went down injured, but luckily for The Minstermen he was able to retake his place on the pitch. In a dreary opening to the match it wasn't until the ninth minute when York created their opening chance of the game. Matty Blair's lofted ball into the area wasn't properly cleared by the Stags defence and Henderson looked like he'd scored for the second consecutive game but Martin Riley was on hand to produce a superb block.
The visitors were next to threaten, as Luke O'Neill burst through midfield before feeding Matt Green but his effort was well wide of the target. However, one minute later Green would find the back of the net as he got on the end of Kieron Freeman's inch-perfect ball from the left side to silence the home fans.
Henderson and Blair were once again involved in City's next attack as Alan Marriott was called upon to show some smart reflexes. As the ex-Kidderminster man entered the box the ball somehow found its way to the striker who produced a first time effort that Marriott was more than up to.
With the game even in the middle of the park City nearly gifted Mansfield a second goal as Boucaud's misplaced pass was pounced upon by Green but then Lindon Meikle could only fire over the bar from distance.
The game was certainly end-to-end and James Meredith should have done better after winning a loose ball on the edge of the area but he dragged his effort wide of Marriott's left post. On the half hour mark City were forced into a change as McGurk was replaced by Jamal Fyfield after failing to recover from the knock he picked up in the opening minutes of the encounter.
On the cusp of half time City nearly levelled the scores but Blair was inches away from getting on the end of Parslow's powerful header at the far post.
Straight from the restart City threatened Marriott's net as Patrick McLaughlin tried his luck but his effort was straight down the goalkeepers' throat. Marriott was then once again up for the task as he produced a fine one handed save to deny Ashley Chambers with a curling free kick.
Ten minutes after the break City fans got what they wanted as Jamie Reed entered the fray in place of Henderson. The Minstermen were now putting relentless pressure on the visitors with McLaughlin going close following a powerful surge through midfield. Parslow was next to go close but he headed wide after Boucaud's long ball into the box.
With twenty five minutes left Mills introduced Danny Pilkington in place of Chambers in a final throw of the dice. However, it was Mansfield's earlier substitution that had the greater impact as they struck on the counter attack through Aman Verma's powerful strike. Whilst it was a sweetly struck effort from Verma that found the top corner, Green will take a lot of credit after a deft back heel released the substitute to fire home past the helpless Ingham.
Just when Mills' men looked down and out, Blair continued his purple patch in front of goal as he bundled the ball home after a defence splitting ball from the left to breathe life back into his side. Moments later Reed looked set to score after a lucky ricochet in the area but Marriott's leg somehow denied him an equaliser.
As the referee announced four minutes of injury time City did the unthinkable and found the equaliser. Pilkington's free kick from the right wasn't properly cleared and when Parslow headed the ball back into the crowded area Fyfield produced a smart lob to leave Marriott helpless in the Stags goal to earn a share of the spoils once again.
York City – Michael Ingham, Lanre Oyebanjo, Daniel Parslow, David McGurk (Jamal Fyfield 31), James Meredith, Scott Kerr, Andre Boucaud, Patrick McLaughlin, Ashley Chambers (Daniel Pilkington 65), Matty Blair, Liam Henderson (Jamie Reed 55)
Substitutes –Adriano Moke, Jon Challinor
Attendance – 4,284
Stags surrender two-goal lead as they are held at York
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny
THE circumstances were entirely different to 12 months previously, yet Mansfield Town's players and fans were left just as devastated.
Few who travelled to Blundell Park for the 7-2 humbling at the hands of Grimsby at the start of 2011 will forget the humiliation they suffered on the banks of the Humber Estuary that day.
It promised to be so much better in Yorkshire for Mansfield a year on as they came tantalisingly close to erasing such an unwanted memory in style.
Alas, it was not to be as Mansfield surrendered what would have been their first win on the road in seven to be held to their 12th league draw of the campaign.
The Stags led 2-0 going into the final quarter, having defended stoicly and taken their opportunities when they came along.
Yet they and their followers were left with a feeling akin to that of a defeat as the Minstermen secured a point in stoppage time.
Mansfield could have moved to within four points of their hosts in the final play-off spot.
Instead, they remain seven points outside the top five – and will always be in that kind of position while they cannot kill off games such as this.
Manager Paul Cox decided to thrust Gary Roberts straight into the starting line-up for his debut after signing from Port Vale in a 4-3-3 formation, Aman Verma making way.
The only other change saw the suspended John Dempster drop out and Ritchie Sutton, returning from his own ban, replacing him.
The opening exchanges on a rain-soaked pitch were cagey, with little in the way of goalmouth action.
However, a mistake from Mansfield gave Scott Kerr the chance to break into the visitors' box, but he was denied by a last-ditch tackle by Kieron Freeman.
Excellent play from Luke O'Neill to first dispossess Ashley Chambers and then feed Matt Green allowed the latter to slide a low ball across the six-yard box from the right that was just out of the reach of Lindon Meikle.
But the Stags were in front in the 14th minute – and a flowing move produced it.
The ball was played up to Meikle on the left-hand side of the box and he picked out the overlapping Freeman whose early, low cross was swept home at the near post from close range by Green.
His 16th goal of the season was a great way to mark his signing of a new deal on Friday that will see him stay at Field Mill until the summer of 2013.
But City hit back strongly as Matty Blair fed Liam Henderson and his rising drive had to be tipped over the top by Alan Marriott, who made the save despite slipping on the wet turf.
Another opening came Mansfield's way when Green released Meikle into space on the left only for the winger to cut in and curl high and wide of goal when he might have been better advised picking out the unmarked Roberts.
There was a let-off for the Stags in the 26th minute when O'Neill gave the ball away on the edge of his own box, leaving James Meredith clear, but the full-back dragged his shot wide of Marriott's left-hand upright.
Anthony Howell had a decent chance to double Mansfield's lead just before the hour but drilled wide from 18 yards after Ross Dyer, Green and Meikle had battled hard to tee him up.
Soon after, it needed a foot-in from Lanre Oyebanjo to prevent Green pulling the trigger after a mazy run from Meikle.
With Howell walking a tightrope after committing a clumsy foul on the stroke of half-time having already been booked, he was sensibly substituted during the interval, Verma coming on.
Early in the second period, Patrick McLaughlin tried his luck from outside the box, but Alan Marriott was right behind it.
A patient build-up at the other end culminated in a drive on the turn from Green but it never threatened Michael Ingham's goal.
With York in the ascendency, Andre Boucaud lifted a free-kick into the box, but Danny Parslow headed wide when free in a good position.
As the visitors won a free-kick on the right, O'Neill squared for Roberts whose powerful drive cannoned into team-mate Green.
York were frustrated when Jamie Reed's touch let him down after a low centre from fellow replacement Danny Pilkington.
And Mansfield's defensive resilience paid dividends in the 72nd minute when the Stags went 2-0 up, catching York on the counter.
Murray released Dyer down the right, who picked out Green. The striker's sublime backheel allowed Verma to run on and power an unstoppable finish into the top left-hand corner from just inside the area.
But within five minutes York had pulled a goal back to lift the home crowd, Blair bundling home a left-wing centre from close range.
Suddenly, Mansfield were back under the cosh and only a block from Marriott prevented Reed levelling.
But York did grab a share of the spoils as the ball bobbled around the Mansfield box and Fyfield lobbed over a stranded Marriott.
A point was no disaster at high-flying opponents but it could, should, have been so much better
York City 2 Mansfield Town 2
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town let a two-goal lead slip and had to settle for a point in a thrilling New Year's Day clash at York City today.
The Minstermen left it late, but home sub Jamal Fyfield pounced in stoppage time to sentence Stags to their 12th league draw of the season and more spilled points.
Earlier it had all looked so promising with Matt Green celebrating signing a full-time deal with Mansfield Town with his 16th goal of the season to give Stags a 1-0 half-time advantage.
Green struck on 14 minutes to crown a decent first half showing from the visitors,
When Aman Verma doubled the lead on 72 minutes it seemed like Stags would end their long wait for a win and make the perfect start to 2012.
But they quickly shipped a sloppy goal to Matty Blair on 77 minutes, tarnishing what had been a strong defensive display.
And just when it seemed they had still done just enough to hold on, Fyfield applied the late hammer blow for Gary Mills' never-say-die side.
It left Stags with just one win in 13 outings and still seven tantalising points off the play-offs spots.
It also followed a 1-1 draw between the sides last week at Field Mill.
New signing Gary Roberts turned in an energetic display on his debut in Stags' colours. The midfielder's inclusion was one of two changes. He replaced Verma in a 4-3-3 with Ritchie Sutton back from a one-game ban to replace the suspended John Dempster in the heart of defence.
Stags kicked off on a wet afternoon on a sodden pitch.
Green made a good early run down the right but then pulled back a low ball to no one.
City forced a scramble on 10 minutes in the visitors' box which saw Freeman in with a good tackle to stop Kerr getting a shot away on goal.
At the other end Green turned a low ball across the six yard box with no one close enough to capitalise after superb approach work from O'Neill.
However, on 14 minutes Stags grabbed the lead. Meikle set up the move with a run on the left, squaring to the overlapping Freeman whose low ball in was turned home first time by Green at the near post.
Marriott was finally given some work to do on 20 minutes as Blair was halted in the box but, as the ball ran loose and Marriott seemed to slip on the wet surface, it ran to Henderson who fired the ball on target where the keeper still managed to turn it up and over.
McLaughlin tried to send Blair through only to see Marriott alert and off his line quickly to smother.
But Stags were still a menace and Green's crossfield pass picked out Meikle who came inside before lifting a finish well over the York bar.
The usually impeccable O'Neill was a lucky man on 26 minutes as, having intercepted the ball in his own box, he tried to play it out but, instead, gave it straight to Chambers who, with only Marriott to beat, inexplicably rolled the ball wide of the far post.
Three minutes later Green and Meikle were unable to get a shot away after Green had worked his way into the box, but the ball ran to Howell, who lashed a shot wide.
York defender McGurk, who had struggled on from an earlier injury, was finally replaced by Fyfield on 32 minutes.
Another good burst by Meikle saw him get into the box on the left and lay a pass for Green who saw Oyebanjo just nick it of his toe at the vital moment.
Soon after a warning for another late tackle, Howell tried the referee's patience again with a late challenge on Kerr on 45 minutes and this time a yellow card was produced.
Marriott safely gathered a low Blair cross into the six yard box in stoppage time.
Howell caught Henderson fractionally late but, as York players crowded the referee calling for a red card, thankfully all that was given was the free kick.
That was floated into the box, Parslow headed across goal and Blair was a stud's length short of turning home from close range as Stags clung onto a deserved interval lead.
Not surprisingly Howell was withdrawn before he was sent off, Verma taking over from him for the second half.
McLaughlin tested Marriott from 18 yards with a low left-footed effort that the keeper watched all the way onto his arms.
Stags continued to impress with some good probing and Dyer and O'Neill worked the ball to Green 20 yards from goal, the hit man turning sharply to whip an effort over the bar.
O'Neill was yellow-carded on 52 minutes for bringing down Chambers, Marriott clawing away the free-kick and then punching clear from the resulting corner.
Freeman's thunderous tackle on Blair on 63 minutes was fair and well-timed – and he won the ball. But the referee still saw fit to book him.
Boucaud sent the free kick into the box where Parslow headed just wide.
O'Neill pulled a free kick short to Roberts who hit a ferocious shot at goal which, unfortunately struck and knocked over team mate Green en route.
However, Stags did double their lead at last on 72 minutes with a break and goal of the highest quality.
Murray's astute pass out to Dyer in space on the right was the catalyst.
Dyer quickly ate up the yards before swinging a pass inside to Green. He added a deft backheel touch to Verma supporting in space to his left and Verma's finish was unstoppable from 15 yards.
But York were far from dead and buried and five minutes later grabbed themselves a lifeline. A long hopeful cross from the left bounced in the box and Blair just managed to guide it over the line in an untidy far post finish.
Roberts was booked on his debut 11 minutes from time as suddenly the heat was on Mansfield.
York almost levelled on 84 minutes after a wild deflection saw the ball loop straight to Reed in front of goal. It would have been dreadful luck on Stags had it gone in, but Marriott somehow kept it out with an outstretched heel and justice was done.
Stags tried to shore things up on 88 minutes with Worthington on for Green. Then Roberts, clearly feeling the strain of his debut, hobbled off on 90 minutes to be replaced by Stevenson.
Four minutes of time were added on and in the first of those City found a heartbreaking equaliser.
As Stags failed to clear a free kick from the right, the ball bounced up invitingly for sub Fyfield who, with Marriott off his line, was just able to lift it over the keeper's head and into the empty net from 10 yards.
YORK: Ingham, Oyebanjo, Meredith, McGurk (Fyfield 32), Parslow, Kerr, Chambers (Pilkington 66), Henderson (Reed 55), Boucaud, Blair, McLaughlin. Subs not used: Moke, Challinor.
STAGS: Marriott; O'Neill, Sutton, Riley, Freeman; Howell (Verma ht), Murray, Roberts (Stevenson 90); Dyer, Green (Worthington 88), Meikle. Subs not used: Briscoe, Stevenson, Redmond.
REFEREE: Declan Ford of Leicestershire.
ATTENDANCE: 4,284 (498 away).
Andrew Webb reports from Bootham Crescent
Mansfield Town suffered New Year's Day heartbreak as York City came from 2-0 behind to rescue a point in an entertaining affair at Bootham Crescent.
Aman Verma's first goal for the club along with Matt Green's 16th goal of the campaign looked as though it would give the Stags all three points.
But a late goal from Matty Blair, coupled with a stoppage-time header from Jamal Fyfield consigned Paul Cox's side to their 12th draw in the Blue Square Bet Premier this season.
Cox opted to make two changes to the team that drew 1-1 with the Minstermen on Boxing Day.
New signing Gary Roberts was handed his debut in favour of Verma in midfield, whilst Ritchie Sutton returned to the starting line up at the expense of John Dempster who missed the game through suspension.
On a mild winter afternoon at Bootham Crescent, the Stags got the game underway and attacked the end opposite to which the Mansfield supporters were located in the first half.
The first chance of the game arrived on nine minutes. Green was fouled midway inside the York half and from the resulting free-kick Luke O'Neill whipped a dangerous ball into the box that forced Michael Ingham to come off his line and collect.
O'Neill then linked up with Green a few moments later after collecting a loose ball in the middle. Wide out on the right, Green played a low ball across the box and York were forced to clear under pressure as Lindon Meikle lurked dangerously at the back post.
On 14 minutes, the Stags then made their early pressure count as Green netted his 16th goal of the campaign.
Meikle and Kieron Freeman combined on the left flank, with the latter of the two delivering a fine ball towards Green, who was able to blast the ball into the roof of the net from around eight-yards out to give the Stags an early lead.
Shortly afterwards Alan Marriott pulled off a fine save from close range as the Minstermen began to see more of the ball.
Blair's deflected pass reached Liam Henderson on the edge of the six-yard box, but the York striker shot straight against Marriott, who parried the ball over the bar for a corner which came to nothing.
Despite a speculative shot from Meikle sailing high over the bar at the other end, it was the home side that were enjoying the better of the play at this stage.
James Meredith should have done better after a pouncing on a loose ball on the edge of the Stags area on 27 minutes, but despite finding himself in a one-on-one with Marriott he wasted the opportunity to test the keeper and screwed a poor shot well wide of the post.
With half an hour on the clock Anthony Howell received a ball from Green and hit a ferocious shot from around 20 yards out that whistled a few inches the wrong side of Ingham's right-hand post, with the York shot-stopper rooted to the spot.
The game then transcended into a scrappy affair as half-time approached.
David McGurk was replaced by Fyfield before the break, whilst Howell collected a yellow card after a foul on Scott Kerr prior to two minutes of stoppage time that were added by referee Declan Ford.
Verma replaced Howell at the start of a second half which saw Patrick McLaughlin shoot straight at Marriott within 60 seconds of the re-start.
York pressed forward in search of an equaliser and after a couple of corners failed to come to fruition, Sutton was forced to cut-out an inviting through ball from Blair towards Henderson on 55 minutes.
Jamie Reed replaced Henderson in a like-for-like substitution moments later, and York enjoyed a further spell of pressure without creating any clear cut opportunities as the game ticked past the hour mark.
Freeman was then cautioned after a strong challenge on Blair right infront of the York dugout and the Stags continued to be further back into their own half by their opponents.
A desperate Gary Mills then used the final substitution that was available to him as Danny Pilkington replaced Ashley Chambers with 24 minutes still remaining.
However, it was the earlier substitution for the Stags that proved to be more effective at the time as Verma doubled the visitors lead.
A great counter-attacking move saw Verma receive the ball after an exquisite back-heel from Green just outside the box. Verma then let fly with a delightful left-foot shot that nestled in the corner of the goal, incidentally it was his first for the club, to send the 498 Stags fans behind the goal into rapturous celebration.
The Minstermen, however, hit back almost straight away with a goal of their own. A cross from the left flank evaded everyone inside the six-yard box apart from Blair, who was able to stab the ball past Marriott from close range to reduce arrears.
With less than ten minutes remaining, Marriott produced a spectacular save that looked as though it would ensure all three points for the Stags.
A hooked ball across the area found an unmarked Reed in the box. In a one-on-one with Marriott, the odds seemed certain that the York substitute would score, but somehow an out-rushing Marriott managed to deflect Reed's shot away from goal with his foot, before the defence were able to scramble the ball away from danger.
As the game entered the first of four minutes of additional time, just as it looked as though the Stags would claim victory, they were to suffer heartbreak as York snatched a dramatic equaliser.
Martin Riley was unfortunate to concede a free-kick on the edge of the box, which enabled the Minstermen to dangerously swing a ball into the area. After a game of head tennis, the ball reached Fyfield, who was able to direct his header over Marriott and into an empty goal to earn the home side a share of the spoils
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