STAGS HIT SIX MORE AND 13 IN TWO GAMES
Blue Square Bet Premier
Alfreton Town 3 - 6 Mansfield Town
Moult 6, Jarman 21, Brown 45+3. Howell 16, 42, Riley 31, Green 33, 90+4, Geohaghon 89.
Att: 3354 (1956 from Mansfield)
Date: 20 March 2012
Martin Shaw at The Impact Arena
Mansfield Town picked up three more valuable points in the quest for the play-offs in a truly extraordinary game at Alfreton on Tuesday night. The first half was total madness as the Stags went 1-0 down, then 2-1 down, before storming into a 4-2 lead, and finally being pegged back to 4-3. Both teams attacked with devastating effect but both defences were awful. The highlight of the first half for Mansfield was a fabulous goal from Anthony Howell from 20 yards into the top corner, his second goal of the game. The second half was a complete contrast as almost nothing happened for thirty minutes with bother defences now on top. Alfreton had few chances to equalise as Geohaghon and Riley were now dominant at the back but it was still nervy until Geohaghon bundled in a fifth goal on 89 minutes with his knee from a corner, and then Green scored a sixth with a clinical finish in stoppage time. A great night for the travelling army of 1,956 Stags fans - the Stags biggest league away following since the days of playing at Notts County. This was Mansfield's first ever league game at Alfreton, and it became Mansfield's shortest ever journey for a league game away. It was one the fans enjoyed. The 13 goals from the last two league games is the Stags highest aggregate from consecutive league games. Mansfield probably still need 3 wins from the remaining 7 games to ensure a play-off place, and with 3 of those games against Fleetwood, Wrexham and Kidderminster, it still won't be easy but this tremendous run of form has given us a great chance.
Man of the match: Anthony Howell
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Alfreton Town 3 Mansfield Town 6, Tuesday 20th March
chad.co.uk report by Stephen Thirkill
SO often boss Paul Cox has praised Mansfield Town's loyal fans this season for helping his side close in on their play-off dreams.
And the Field Mill faithful once again played their part in record numbers as nearly two thousand Stags fans made the short trip down the A38 to watch Mansfield tighten their grip on the play-offs with a highly entertaining 6-3 win against plucky Alfreton.
From the first whistle to the gripping end the highly-anticipated local derby delivered high drama as seven goals were shared in one of the most entertaining 45 minutes of football of the season.
Alfreton came out all guns blazing as they looked to slay their famous neighbours and took the lead through Moult.
Shell-shocked Mansfield got into their stride and levelled the game after former Alfreton man Anthony Howell drilled home after Stewart had saved shots from Green and Meikle.
Jarman then drilled through the legs of Marriott to put Alfreton 2-1 up, before gritty Mansfield rolled up their sleeves to take a firm grip on the memorable contest with goals from Riley (31 minutes), Green (33 minutes) and a long-range thunderbolt from Howell just before the break putting Stags 4-2 up.
Alfreton gave themselves hope in first-half stoppage time after Marriott failed to hold a Jarman free-kick allowing Brown to prod home from close range.
But Stags tightened up defensively in the second-half before Geoghagon wrapped up victory in front of a 48 year record high crowd at Alfreton a minute from time.
Mansfield capped a stunning game deep into injury-time. Matt Green broke the offside trap from a defence-splitting Adam Murray pass to cooly poke home past Stewart.
Full report in Wednesday's Chad - plus all the latest from Field Mill
Report: Alfreton 3 Mansfield 6
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny
"THAT'S Entertainment," sang the Jam's Paul Weller over the Impact Arena's PA system at half-time last night. He was not wrong.
Local derbies are often tense, tight affairs with little in the way of goalmouth action – but not this one!
From first whistle to last, you could not take your eyes off the action for one second, so compelling and action-packed was it.
It was only fitting that a best Alfreton crowd in 48 years of 3,354 – nigh on 2,000 of them having travelled the short distance down the A38 – witnessed an incredible game where the attacking was excellent but defending left plenty to be desired.
Few who attended will ever forget it, whichever persuasion they were in terms of the team they were supporting.
From a Mansfield point of view, though, they found a way to dig out yet another victory – their seventh in eight games – to maintain third place in the Blue Square Bet Premier table by moving onto 71 points from 39 matches.
The play-offs now should, realistically, be a formality with games against Ebbsfleet, Kettering, Stockport and Hayes and Yeading to come.
As well as nine goals, only two in the second, the game also produced an unlikely hero in Anthony Howell, the former Alfreton player turned Stag.
Having netted his first goal of the season in the 7-0 demolition of Barrow at the weekend, he bagged two more that were to prove absolutely crucial in the final outcome.
Mansfield named an unchanged starting line-up, with influential midfielder Gary Roberts confined to the bench.
The Stags missed a golden chance to go in front in the fifth minute as they caught the home side on the break.
Louis Briscoe and Matt Green put Lindon Meikle into space on the left and his far post cross was reached by Ross Dyer at the far post.
He diverted the ball back to Briscoe who seemed to have the simple task of smashing home, only to somehow shoot wide of the right-hand upright.
But Mansfield were behind just seconds later after a mistake by visiting keeper Alan Marriott.
Luke O'Neill allowed Nathan Jarman space to whip over a cross from the left and as the Stags number one came but failed to claim, the ball bounced through to Jake Moult who steered a header over the line from close range.
But Marriott atoned in spectacular fashion moments later when he pushed away a goalbound volley from Moult from the edge of the box with a full-length dive to his left.
That proved important as Mansfield were back on level terms in the 17th minute. Geohaghon initially did well to break up play on the halfway line and find O'Neill galloping into space down the right.
His low centre was flicked goalwards by Green, only for Jon Stewart to make a smart save. Meikle's follow-up attempt was blocked, but Howell was on hand to stab home.
At the other end, Nathan Arnold broke dangerously and ran across the face of the Mansfield box, but dragged his left-foot shot wide.
However, Jarman had a great deal more success when he powered Alfreton back in front in the 21st minute.
While most stopped as the referee waved away claims for a penalty as Anthony Wilson went down under a challenge from Martin Riley, the hosts' winger struck a 12-yard shot that flew straight between Marriott's legs.
Mansfield responded with a drive from Green that Stewart did well to turn around his right-hand post.
The visitors were almost caught on the counter as the opportunities continued to come thick and fast but O'Neill did enough to put off Paul Clayton from Arnold's early cross.
With the half hour mark approaching, Stewart did well again to palm away a Riley header from Geohaghon's long throw.
It was no surprise, given the action that had come before, when Mansfield levelled again as Riley bagged his first goal for Mansfield. Yet again, Geohaghon's throw caused panic and Riley sneaked in to head home from two yards.
Then, with a second strike in three minutes, Mansfield suddenly turned the game on its head.
O'Neill's corner was perfectly on the head of Geohagon and his nod back was headed in by Green for his 25th of the season – a carbon copy of his effort against Barrow.
But Alfreton showed they were far from finished and almost made it 3-3 straight away as Connor Franklin's cross was headed onto the bar by Wilson with Marriott beaten.
Remarkably, there was another two twists to a crazy first half as Howell netted his second with an absolute belter. Green picked up the ball on the right and cut in before feeding the central midfielder who slipped the ball out of his feet and unleashed a 22-yard thunderbolt that ripped into the top right-hand corner, giving Stewart no hope.
The goals kept on coming as Alfreton reduced the deficit in first-half stoppage time when Jarman's thunderbolt free-kick could only be parried by Marriott and Anton Brown reacted the quickest to poke home from close range.
There was a rash of changes with 20 minutes left as Matt Rhead replaced Meikle while Alfreton's Jarman and Clayton were swapped for Jamie Mullan and Adam Cunnington.
Not surprisingly, the intensity dropped a little after the break, but Green still wasted a chance to race clear after Meikle's astute pass.
But it was all over with two minutes to go as O'Neill's near post corner was not claimed by Stewart and Geohaghon scrambled in from almost on the line before, in stoppage time, Green raced clear to smash in a sixth.
As the whistle blew the Stags hordes cheered – and everyone present finally had a chance to catch their breath.
Alfreton: Stewart, Law, Streete (Young 46), Kempson, Franklin, Jarman (Mullan 70), Brown, Moult, Arnold, Wilson, Clayton (Cunnington 70). Subs not used: Franks, Deverdics.
Mansfield: Marriott, O'Neill, Riley, Geohaghon, Sutton, Briscoe, Howell, Murray, Meikle (Rhead 70), Green, Dyer. Subs not used: Redmond, Hutchinson, Andrew, Roberts.
Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire).
Attendance: 3,354 (1,956 visitors).
Man of the match: Anthony Howell
Kenny Burns: Mansfield Town dish up a recipe that could prove a winning formula
Monday, March 26, 2012 Nottingham Post
WHAT did I tell you? Whatever happened, I said not to miss the game down at the Impact Arena last week.
Alfreton versus Mansfield Town in the Blue Square Bet Premier and it was a cracker, a nine-goal thriller.
In the end the Stags proved too strong, winning 6-3 to further cement their place among the play-off places.
And I tell you what, they look good value for making the top five and potentially triumphing at Wembley. I would not bet against them.
Alfreton are doing well, they were on a good run but came up just short against Mansfield last week.
But I believe they will secure their status and push on next season.
And last Tuesday night, with 3,354 fans inside the ground, it was a great atmosphere and a fantastic advert for Conference football.
Paul Cox has got his Stags side set up very well.
They are strong, determined and have a couple of men who can play in the middle and possess flair out on the wings. They can mix it up.
As for Exodus Geohaghon, the big lad at the back, what a throw-in he has. Blimey!
It is as good as a corner any day of the week and caused all sorts of problems for Alfreton.
That is going to be a big weapon between now and the end of the season.
It is like a bullet, delivered precisely and at speed and is an important ace to have up your sleeve.
Stags have just half-a-dozen games remaining and if they reach the play-offs, you have to fancy them as they are the form team at present.
Cox took over last summer and has gradually pieced his jigsaw together to come up with a winning formula. A team that can really mix it up.
It was a crazy night last week with the games involving Forest, Notts County and Stags conjuring up an astonishing 26 goals.
As for Mansfield, it was about the three points, grabbing them and moving closer towards sealing that play-off berth.
What about Wembley in May for a shot at reaching League Two?
From what I witnessed at first-hand, the Stags have every chance of making it
Reds on wrong end of nine-goal spectacular
THERE was a massive crowd of 3,354 at the Impact Arena last night to witness an absolute cracker between neighbours Alfreton Town and Mansfield Town.
But the result was not what the Reds' faithful wanted to see, as Paul Cox's in-form Stags consolidated their Blue Square Bet Premier play-off place in style.
There was a late change for the Reds when defender Seamus Conneely fell ill during the warm-up and Theo Streete regained his starting place in the side after being knocked out at Lincoln City 10 days ago – although he had to be replaced at half-time by Greg Young.
There was an electrifying start to the game, with Alfreton taking a sixth-minute lead when Jake Moult turned in Nathan Jarman's left-flank cross from just inside the six- yard box.
Mansfield should have taken the lead seconds earlier but Louis Briscoe missed an absolute sitter from Ross Dyer's back post heel as the Stags broke swiftly from a blocked Anthony Wilson shot.
In the eighth minute, a rasping drive from Moult was superbly turned aside by visiting keeper Alan Marriott after Jarman had seen his shot blocked.
Mansfield were level by the 17th minute when former Red Anthony Howell swept the ball in from close range after Alfreton keeper Jon Stewart parried Matt Green's shot and Linden Meikle's follow-up had been blocked.
The Reds were not prepared to settle for second best and, as penalty appeals were being turned aside after Wilson had been sandwiched between two defenders, Jarman latched on to the loose ball and thumped it through the keeper's legs from 10 yards.
Two goals in quick time, both close-range headers, in the 31st and 33rd minutes, put Mansfield 3-2 ahead, with Briscoe converting a massive throw from Exodus Geohaghon before Green's powerful header beat Stewart from a right-wing corner.
Wilson's 35th minute header came back off the bar as Alfreton responded but the Stags went further ahead two minutes before half-time, when Howell lashed the ball in spectacularly from 20 yards.
Back came Alfreton to pull the score back to 3-4 in the third minute of first-half added time, when Anton Brown followed up after Marriott failed to hold Jarman's drilled free kick.
The second half, by contrast, was rather tame, with both Paul Clayton and Moult firing wide from 20 yards.
The fifth Mansfield goal came two minutes from time, when Geohaghon scrambled the ball in at the back post from a right-wing corner, then, in the fifth minute of added time, Matt Rhead sent Green through for the final goal with a slick finish.
ALFRETON TOWN: Stewart, Law, Streete (Young 46),Kempson, Franklin, Jarman (Mullan 71),Brown, Moult, Arnold, Clayton (Cunnington 71), Wilson. Other subs: Franks, Deverdics. MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott, O'Neill, Riley, Geohaghon, Sutton, Briscoe, Howell, Murray, Meikle (Rhead 70), Green, Dyer. Other subs: Redmond, Hutchinson, Andrew, Roberts.
REFEREE: D Bond (Lancashire).
ALFRETON TOWN 3, MANSFIELD TOWN 6
ALFRETON Town's four-match unbeaten Blue Square Bet Premier Division run came to an end in an action-packed local derby on Tuesday night as visitors Mansfield Town extended their own unbeaten run to eight games with a 6-3 victory.
In front of a massive crowd of 3,354 (including 1,956 from Mansfield) the Reds got off to a flier with Jake Moult heading home a Nathan Jarman cross at the far post after just six minutes but the lead lasted only until the 17th minute when former Red Anthony Howell crashed the ball into the roof of the net from close in after both Matt Green and Lindon Meikle shots had been blocked.
In a pulsating first half, Alfreton went 2-1 up on 21 minutes when Jarman blasted home from ten yards through the legs of visiting keeper Alan Marriott but within ten minutes Louis Briscoe had tucked home the equaliser from close range.
Mansfield went 3-2 two minutes later when Green applied the final touch to a powerful downward header from Exodus Geohaghan back across goal.
Anthony Wilson hit the visiting bar before Howell made it 4-2 with his second of the game, a strike fit to win any game, a rocket of a shot from just outside the penalty area arrowing straight into the top corner on 43 minutes.
Within a minute Anton Brown had given Alfreton hope for the second half when he bundled the ball over the line from a yard out after Marriott had failed to hold a fiercely-struck free kick from Jarman.
The second half could not live up to the first and with defences on top, chances became fewer.
A gusty defensive display fromReds man-of-the-match Darran Kempson in particular deserved better than to concede two more goals in the dying embers. Geohaghon diverted a corner with his knee from almost on the line on 89 minutes before Green added his second of the game in the fourth minute of stoppage time when he was sent through the middle to rifle the ball past the advancing Jon Stewart.
Alfreton are at home again on Saturday when Cambridge United visit the Impact Arena. Kick-off is 3pm
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