STAGS COME FROM BEHIND AGAIN TO WIN
Blue Square Bet Premier
Cambridge United 1 - 2 Mansfield Town
Jennings 6. Dyer 10, Briscoe 57.
Att: 1738 (official figure 165 from Mansfield, but looked more like 300 to us)
Date: 6 March 2012
Martin Shaw at the Abbey Stadium
Mansfield Town came back from conceding an early goal to register a tremendous 2-1 win at Cambridge last night, the 7th win in 9 games. The first half was even, with Cambridge taking the lead when Luke O'Neill needlessly pulled a Cambridge shirt and James Jennings fired home the free kick off the left post. O'Neill atoned with a great free kick from the halfway line which was superbly headed over the keeper from 10 yards by Ross Dyer, for his second goal in consecutive games. The Stags dominated the second half, as Cambridge failed to create a chance of note and Mansfield deservedly won it when Louis Briscoe thundered a left foot shot into the roof of the net, straight through the hands of the keeper who was beaten by the power. Plenty of notable performances from Mansfield, but special note goes to Exodus Geohaghon who soldiered on for the last 30 minutes through injury, Martin Riley alongside him at the back, and Dyer and Briscoe who were lively throughout. The Stags were positive throughout - no one-man-upfront, but instead the Stags poured forward at every opportunity and it was great to see Briscoe and O'Neill running at the home defence on a regular basis. Another great win, and it would be terrific to see the Stags fans outnumber Tamworth on Saturday. Come on Mansfield.
Man of the match: Exodus Geohaghon
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Cambridge United 1-2 Mansfield Town, Tuesday 6th March
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill
STAGS moved into the Blue Square Premier play-off places after a confident 2-1 win away at Cambridge United on Tuesdaynight, reports Stephen Thirkill.
Mansfield once again came from behind in impressive fashion after United captain James Jennings had curled a beautiful free-kick past Alan Marriott on six minutes to put the home side ahead.
But Paul Cox's men refused to be beaten and levelled the contest just four minutes later when Ross Dyer lobbed a header over Naisbitt from O'Neill's free-kick from the halfway line.
Flying winger Louis Briscoe then wrapped up maximum points when he rifled home into the roof of the net from eight yards after excellent build-up play between Green and Meikle.
It was nothing more than Stags, who moved into the play-off places for the first time since 27th Septemer's 2-1 win at Wrexham, deserved after a controlled and confident performance in which they rarely looked like conceding.
The victory, Stag' fourth consecutive win, further reinforces Mansfield Town's play-off credentials as they continue to build belief and momentum at the right time of the season.
Full report and all the latest Stags news in Wednesday's Chad
Match report: Cambridge United 1 Mansfield Town 2
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny
AND so the juggernaut that is Mansfield Town continues to gather Blue Square Bet Premier momentum.
A fourth win in a row and seventh in nine games, at Cambridge United last night, was not only richly deserved, but also propelled the Stags into the play-off spots.
With now just one defeat in 11 games since Christmas, no wonder their faithful followers are starting to get excited.
Manager Paul Cox has a long and proud history of getting his teams to peak at just the right time in the season going back to his days at Eastwood Town.
And, on recent evidence, he seems to be constructing a similar scenario now he is at the Field Mill helm.
Ross Dyer and Louis Briscoe were the goal heroes for the Stags, who have now moved onto 61 points, level with fourth-placed York but with a superior goal difference.
But it could have been more had Mansfield made better use of some good openings.
The fact is, the side seem to be clicking into gear; they look like a well-oiled machine where everyone knows what is expected of them.
And when you come to tricky places such as the Abbey Stadium – where Cambridge had previously lost only three times in league action this season – that is half the battle.
Cox made just one change to the side that had beaten Lincoln City 2-1 on Saturday.
Adam Smith, who had hobbled off against the Imps, was replaced on the left flank of a 4-4-2 formation by Lindon Meikle, while Gary Roberts and Exodus Geohaghon shook off injuries to play.
Mansfield made a nightmare start as they went behind after just six minutes.
United were awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the box and James Jennings measured his shot to perfection, curling his effort around the wall and finding the net off the left-hand post.
Buoyed by their early success, the U's thrust forward again and Marriott had to claim Ryan Jackson's shot at the second attempt.
However, the Stags were quickly back on level terms – within four minutes to be precise – from a set piece of their own.
Luke O'Neill launched a free-kick from close to the half-way line near to the right touchline diagonally into the box and Dyer rose highest to loop a header from ten yards over the stranded Danny Naisbitt for his second goal in as many games and eighth of the campaign.
Cambridge came roaring back and Jackson swept past Ritchie Sutton on the right, only for his cross to be cut out by a well-positioned Martin Riley.
Back came Mansfield with a raid down their right from Briscoe that saw him centre for Dyer who got their first but ballooned over under pressure from Blaine Hudson.
With 18 minutes on the watch, Kevin Roberts swung over a dangerous right-wing centre that Mustafa Tiryaki reached first but could only steer straight at Marriott.
Former Stag Tom Shaw then tried his luck from distance but his drive flew well past the right-hand upright.
With the half hour mark approaching, Matt Green and Anthony Howell combined to tee up Briscoe, whose shot was parried away by Naisbitt.
That was just minutes after the right winger tried to slip the ball through to Green after running from inside his own half when he might have been better advised shooting.
As half-time approached Dyer again won an O'Neill free-kick in the air, but Naisbitt got there just ahead of Green.
In the penultimate minute of the first 45, Luke Berry flicked on Roberts' cross for Pugh whose overhead kick flew over the top.
As the second period got under way, Pugh beat Geohaghon to a flick-on but blasted too high. But Mansfield were starting to boss possession and territory and they got their reward in the 57th minute by going in front.
Dyer slipped a neat pass square to Briscoe on the left-hand side of the box and he weaved his way into the area before thumping an angled shot past Naisbitt from 12 yards.
As Mansfield tried to push home their advantage they might have had a penalty, but the referee did not spot an apparent trip by Hudson on Green as the Stags striker fought for the ball in the box.
The Stags were obviously keen not to sit on their lead and O'Neill was the next to try his luck with a snapshot that ultimately failed to test Naisbitt.
O'Neill then turned provider to feed Green but his shot from a tight angle was never threatening the goal.
Only a smart save from Naisbitt kept out Roberts from a thundering 30-yard free-kick as Mansfield continued to hold the upper hand.
But it did not matter. Mansfield were professional until the end and the result never looked in doubt.
Mansfield: Marriott, O'Neill, Riley, Geohaghon, Sutton, Briscoe, Howell, Roberts, Meikle (Rhead 83), Green (Hutchinson 90), Dyer. Subs not used: Worthington, Stevenson, Redmond.
Cambridge: Naisbitt, Roberts, McAuley, Hudson, Jennings, Jackson, Berry, Shaw, Eades (Adam Marriott 86), Tiryaki (Hughes 86), Pugh. Subs not used: Jarvis, Brighton.
Referee: Justin Amey (Dorset).
Attendance: 1,738 (165 visitors)
United are stunned by the Stags as poor run goes on
Aaron Mason, cambridge-news.co.uk
Cambridge United 1 Mansfield Town 2 - Blue Square Bet Premier
Jack Eades in action against MansfieldTalk of the play-offs can surely be laid to rest for another year now after Cambridge United suffered their third straight home league defeat.
And just as United's campaign is petering out in extremely disappointing fashion, a major concern must be keeping the punters coming through the turnstiles.
The lowest league crowd at the R Costings Abbey this term – 1,738 – watched United suffer their fourth home loss in five last night, and they will have seen little to entice them back in a hurry.
An injury and illness-hit United were only able to name four substitutes on the bench with Michael Wylde, Jordan Patrick and Jonathon Thorpe all added to the casualty list.
Among those were teenage left-back James Brighton, included in the squad for the first time this season. The only plus point for George was a belated full debut for £15,000 signing Andy Pugh, who had been restricted to three substitute appearances due to lack of fitness, being cup-tied and a bout of sickness.
United certainly needed him and big strike partner Mustafa Tiryaki to quickly find an understanding against a Mansfield side surging for the play-offs on the back of just one defeat in their last 10 matches.
It was James Jennings who gave the hosts the early advantage though, with an excellent free kick around the wall and beyond the dive of Stags keeper Alan Marriott after just six minutes.
Marriott had to be alert to block Ryan Jackson's effort soon after as United looked to consolidate their lead.
But they were in front for just four minutes as an innocuous Luke O'Neill free kick from just inside the visitors' own half was headed in by an unmarked Ross Dyer.
The game settled down after the early goal rush, but United still had a couple of half-chances midway through the first half.
Tiryaki just got a head to Kevin Roberts' ball from deep on the right, while Tom Shaw steered a tame low drive wide from Luke Berry's arrow-like through pass.
United played some neat stuff at times, but Mansfield looked effective on the break, with O'Neill providing their biggest threat down the right.
Danny Naisbitt made a comfortable save from Louis Briscoe's effort from the right side of the area after good work by Anthony Howell and Matt Green.
Roberts also came across to make a crucial tackle on Green from a rapid counter-attack after United gave away possession too cheaply in their own half.
But United had the better of the chances just before the break with Pugh's attempted overhead kick going just over from Berry's flick-on, while Shaw nodded wide from a free kick on the stroke of half time.
An earlier injury to Ryan Jackson saw him replaced by Brighton for the second half. Pugh fired just wide soon after the restart, but at least he was there on the fringes of the six-yard box ready for the flick from Naisbitt's long ball upfield.
Mansfield continued to look positive though, with United forced to get back quickly to defend against their fast-breaking opponents. Rory McAuley twice made vital interventions to cut out dangerous balls.
But with the pressure being exerted by the Stags it seemed only a matter of time before they got their reward.
So it was that Briscoe rifled home from the left side of the area on 57 minutes after being fed by Dyer.
And moments later United were perhaps fortunate to avoid giving away a penalty when Blaine Hudson appeared to clip Green as they tangled in the box.
The ball kept coming back as Gary Roberts and Anthony Howell pulled the strings in midfield for Mansfield, while United's attacking threat largely dried up with Pugh and Tiryaki having little to work off.
It was in stark contrast to Green at the other end, who had numerous attempts blocked as the visitors aimed to make certain of the three points. And Naisbitt did well to push behind a rocket of a free kick by Roberts five minutes from time to keep United in with a shout.
Liam Hughes and Adam Marriott were introduced late on, but they could not help nick a draw
CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1-2 MANSFIELD TOWN
Cambridge United fell to another defeat losing to Mansfield Town at The R Costings Abbey Stadium. The result sees United continue their wretched run.
United made one change to their line up with , Andy Pugh selected to partner Mustafa Tiryaki up front. Rossi Jarvis dropped to the bench. Due to a growing injury list only four subs were named by Jez George.
After a quiet start to the game Cambridge took an early lead in the sixth minute when James Jennings whipped in a lovely free kick from the edge of the box after loan signing Mustafa Tiryaki had his shirt pulled by Riley.
Two minutes later Jennings put in another shot on goal but the keeper palmed away, this was a warning that spurred Mansfield into life. The Stags broke and earned a throw near the corner but could not make the most of it as they lost it from the throw and the ball rolled out for a goal kick.
Within two minutes Mansfield were back level when Ross Dyer headed in. A long free kick was pumped forward direct to Dyer who put a looping header back into the opposite corner leaving Naisbitt rooted to the spot. It was an awful goal to give away and no doubt manager Jez George would be enquiring as to how Dyer mananged to score in that way.
Cambridge hit back with Jackson rampaging forward earning a corner when his cross was blocked trickled behind. The corner came in but was cleared by the Stags' defence. James Jennings was back in action again when he found Shaw with a neat pass and the midfielder tried his luck from outside the box but his shot trickled wide which was frustrating considering Pugh was in good position.
Mansfield began to pile the pressure on and United were finding it had to get out of their half. The next time The U's got on the attack the it lead to a corner after good combination work by Kevin Roberts and Ryan Jackson. Despite shouts for handball nothing materialised for Cambridge and Mansfield broke clear with with Green getting a shot on goal despite other players in better positions.
The rest of the half passed without incidence.
The second half began with more issues when winger Ryan Jackson had to be substituted de to injury. James Brighton was the replacement come on for his debut.
Mansfield were quickly into their stride when Meikle broke away and fed Green who shot on goal but the ball was deflected behind for a corner. The Stags couldn't make anything of the set piece.
As the early part of the half progressed there were chances for both sides but neither team could score.
That changed on the hour when Mansfield took a deserved lead. Again Cambridge failed to clear their lines and Dyer who had the ball centrally passed out wide to Louis Briscoe who smashed in a powerful shot pass the helpless Danny Naisbitt.
From there on in the game petered out and Cambridge could not rally and fell to another defeat. Things are now looking bleak for the Ambermen with injuries starting to bite. It seems now that the manager Jez George will be considering his position as first team manager.
Latest | March 2012