10-MAN STAGS GRIND OUT DRAW IN AWAY LEG
Blue Square Bet Premier, Play-off semi final 1st leg
York City 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Geohaghon OG 42. Dyer 26
Att: 6057 (1352 from Mansfield)
Date: 2 May 2012
Martin Shaw at Bootham Crescent
Mansfield Town put in a battling performance in the 1st leg of the play-off semi-final at York on Wednesday night to earn a good 1-1 draw and take it back to the One Call Stadium all square. In an even contest, the Stags took the lead through a Ross Dyer header from an Exodus Geohaghon bullet throw on 26 minutes. But the Stags had been rocked by an earlier injury to Martin Riley, and looked a little shaky defensively culminating in a calamitous own goal when Geohaghon deflected a cross past Marriott on 42 minutes. The Stags sorted themselves out defensively and were solid in the second half, but a critical moment in the tie came on 74 minutes when Mansfield's 30 goal striker Matt Green was sent off for a second yellow card. The yellow card was given for handball but the Premier Sports live TV pictures confirmed that Green did not touch it with his hand, and showed that the referee had made a howler of gigantic proportions which will keep Green out of the second leg on Monday. Paul Cox said after the game that he had spoken to the referee who said he will look at the Green incident and if it wasn't handball then he'll rescind the yellow card, but my understanding of the rules is that is not possible. After the sending-off, the Stags dug in and prevented York gaining a further advantage. Riley has tweaked his hamstring and is therefore probably out of Monday's game which is a big blow. However, a good result for Mansfield and one that we would certainly have settled for before the game. The tie is evenly poised. York will feel that they have every chance of stopping Mansfield scoring without Matt Green. Mansfield will look for goals from elsewhere including set pieces, and have enough quality in the squad to overcome the loss. As Ross Dyer said after the game, the Stags will look to get to Wembley for Matt Green so he can play in the final. What a massive day Monday is going to be. Come on Mansfield!
Man of the match: Luke O'Neill
Stagsnet player ratings on the Match Centre
By Ian Woodcock, BBC Sport at Bootham Crescent
Mansfield survived the sending-off of striker Matt Green to hold York in the first leg of their Blue Square Bet Premier play-off semi-final.
The Stags took the lead when Ross Dyer flicked home Exodus Geohaghon's long throw at the near post.
But the centre-back then turned a right-wing cross from former Mansfield player Jon Challinor into his own net.
Green was shown a second yellow card for handball, while Chris Smith and Ashley Chambers went close for York.
Use accessible player and disable flyout menusThe Stags came into the game on the back of six successive wins, but it was the hosts who started the brighter and Matty Blair thought he had given them the lead from close range, only to be flagged for offside.
This stirred Mansfield and they took the lead when Dyer got in front of everyone to glance in Geohaghon's powerful throw.
The Minstermen looked rattled and almost went further behind when Dyer's header across goal nearly reached the on-rushing Gary Roberts.
Geohaghon put through his own net from Challinor's inswinging centre after a communication breakdown between him and goalkeeper Alan Marriott.
The lively Jason Walker then came close to putting York in front before the break when he dragged his shot from 16 yards just wide.
Use accessible player and disable flyout menusThe pace of the game dropped in the second half and both teams started picking up bookings before Green, cautioned in the first half for a foul on keeper Mike Ingham, was sent off for a silly handball when through on goal.
York looked to make the most of their numerical advantage but Smith and Chambers both fluffed their lines from close in.
Substitute Adriano Moke fired straight at Marriott from 20 yards in the final minute as the Stags held out to take a draw into the second leg at Field Mill on Monday.
However they will have to do without their 29-goal top scorer following his one-match automatic suspension for his red card.
York City 1-1 Mansfield Town, Play-Off semi-final first leg, Wednesday 2nd May
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town will be without 30-goal talisman Matt Green for Monday's crucial BSBP play-of semi-final second leg at One Call Stadium on Monday afternoon after he was sent off in tonight's tense 1-1 first leg draw at Bootham Crescent.
Green was booked a second time for deliberate handball 16 minutes from the end to leave Stags hanging on against a City side that just couldn't come up with a knockout punch.
Stags were given probably their most searching examination since Christmas in the first 20 minutes as City came out all guns blazing at them.
But Ross Dyer made the breakthrough for Mansfield on 26 minutes as he headed home a long Exodus Geohaghon throw to send almost 1,400 Stags into wild celebrations behind that goal.
But York had the edge over the 45 minutes and were back in the game three minutes from the break when Geohaghon turned a low cross from ex-Stag Jon Challinor into his own net.
The first half had been a 100mph affair with both sides creating chances.
But there were fewer openings in a less frantic second half in which Green's dismissal was the main talking point.
The game is now perfectly balanced for Monday's 2pm kick-off in which Stags boss Paul Cox must now work out who will fill Green's massive boots for the club's biggest game of the season.
Stags matched up York City with a 4-3-3 formation.
Anthony Howell was given the nod in midfield alongside Adam Murray and Gary Roberts with Ross Dyer and Lindon Meikle flanking Green up front.
Geohaghon and Ritchie Sutton returned to the back four as two of eight changes from the largely second string side that won 3-0 at Kidderminster on Saturday.
York included ex-Stags Chris Smith and Jon Challinor.
City began full of fire and it took a great tackle from Riley to concede a corner and stop Chambers getting in on goal from Walker's reverse pass.
From the corner, Stags let the ball bounce in the box and Doig lifted a quick finish over.
The Minstermen were clearly fired up and another corner soon followed which Stags hacked clear.
It took Mansfield six minutes to get out of their half as Geohaghon's first long throws were easily repelled from both flanks inside a minute.
There was a hold-up for treatment to Riley on 18 minutes and eventually he had to go off with a hamstring strain, replaced by left back Andrew with Sutton going to centre half.
On 20 minutes from a half-cleared Geohaghon throw, Roberts chipped the ball temptingly into the box and Howell flicked a header just over.
York had the ball in the net on 22 minutes as Marriott came for but didn't grab a long free kick, Smith andf Howell challenging and the ball running loose to Blair who saw an offside flag raised as he turned it over the line.
McLaughlin twisted and turned on the edge of the box before seeing his firm shot deflect for City's third corner.
Stags won a corner 30 yards from goal in a good, central position which was O'Neill territory. But he curled it well over to the jeers of the home fans.
However, Stags made the crucial breakthrough on 26 minutes.
It stemmed from another superb cannonball throw from Geohaghon to the near post where Dyer rose to plant a firm header past a helpless Ingham.
Two minutes later Roberts was lucky to only get a warning for a studs-showing tackle on Challinor which could have merited a card of either colour from some officials.
Blair crashed into Sutton in the box and went down looking for a penalty. But the referee was having none of it.
Smith then clattered Green late in full flight to see the first yellow card of the contest.
Soon after Dyer headed a long free kick towards goal where the keeper beat Roberts to the ball.
On 33 minutes Marriott had his first real save to make as he beat away a powerful 16 yard shot from Chambers.
Marriott stretched high to then turn away a Blair cross from the right with Walker kicking fresh air as it landed in front of him.
Blair found McLaughlin inside him on a raid down the right, but the long, hopeful shot was always well over the bar.
Home fans were furious on 40 minutes when they felt Roberts had got away with a foul before sending a through ball over the top for Green to chase.
Ingham left his box and got there first as Green challenged. The whistle went and a foul was given as the keeper stayed down hurt which seemed harsh as Green had to go for a challenge. Even worse, out came the yellow card.
But the evening turned even sourer on 42 minutes as Stags gifted York an equaliser.
Challinor whipped in a superb low cross from wide on the right and no one dealt with it as it skidded across the box where Geohaghon stretched out a leg and inadvertently diverted it into his own net.
Suddenly Stags were creaking and on 44 minutes Chambers played in Walker down the middle but, with just Marriott to beat, he slotted his finish wide of the far post.
In stoppage time the usually deadly Green mis-kicked a half chance from a Geohaghon throw and Roberts crashed the follow-up well over.
And right on the whistle Meikle had a shot blocked and then saw Ingham turn his follow-up over the end a tense and thoroughly entertaining 45 minutes.
Mansfied cleared City's first second half corner as far as Blair who launched the ball straight at Marriott.
Green's sights were well off once again as Dyer worked his way into the box from the right and passed, only to see Green finish sail over the David Longhurst Stand and out of the ground.
Then Ingham got his body behind Howell's 20 yard snapshot from the left of the box and the ball blounced to safety.
Fyfield was booked for a foul on Dyer, which left the forward needing treatment on 52 minutes.
Stags applied more pressure with Geohaghon seeing a low cross and then a shot finally cleared for the visitors' first corner of the night.
A Blair break down the left ended with Andrew taking his legs late and getting booked for his troubles.
Sutton slid in well to stop Walker racing clear on a low through ball as the sides battled gamely but largely cancelled each other out.
Fyfield's silly trip on O'Neill brought him his final warning with Stags fans and players calling the referee to produce a second yellow and dismiss him.
The Minstermen forced two more corners which were cleared. Then Meredith joined the bookings list for leaving in a leg on Howell, soon joined by Roberts for bringing down Meredith as he chased a superb flick by Walker.
Mansfield suffered a real body blow on 74 minutes as goal ace Green was sent-off
Already booked, Green tried to race onto a through ball but the referee deemed he had used his hand as he tried to get the ball wide of Ingham and off he went.
In a rare moment of threat from either side, Fyfield put in a cross from the left that bounced through everyone in the box for a goalkick.
Paul Cox made a change with 11 minutes to go as he switched wingers with Briscoe on for Meikle.
York forced two more successive corners, the second after a blatant block by Walker on Marriott from which Smith put a free header over the bar and Marriot was then booked for dissent.
A free kick from the right of the box was cleared as far as Challinor 20 yards out who fired a low shot narrowly wide as City tried to press home their man advantage.
Then Blair was too high from 20 yards from another partially cleared corner.
Two minutes from time Marriott started to come for a Challinor cross but hesitated as Chambers stole in to head narrowly over with.
Challinor burst into the box on the right and went down under challenge from Andrew, the referee again unimpressed as Stags players crowded Challinor angrily.
As York waited to take a stoppage time corner, Rhead came on for Dyer for the last two of the four minutes added on.
With almost the last kick, Moke sent a low shot straight at Marriott from 25 yards as it ended honours even.
YORK: Ingham, Meredith, Smith, Parslow, Walker, Chambers, Fyfield, Blair, Challinor, Doig, McLaughlin (Moke 82). Subs not used: Musselwhite, Reed, Potts, Brown.
STAGS: Marriott; O'Neill, Geohaghon, Riley (Andrew 18), Sutton; Howell, Murray, Roberts; Dyer (Rhead 90+2), Green, Meikle (Briscoe 74). Subs not used: Stevenson, Redmond.
REFEREE: Richard Clark of Northumberland.
ATTENDANCE: 6,057 (1,352 away).
GOALS: York – Geohaghon 42 OG, Stags – Dyer 26.
CAUTIONS: York – Smith 31, Fyfield 52, Meredith 69. Stags – Green 41, Andrew 55, Robers 70, Marriot 81.
DISMISSAL: Greem 74.
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Adam Murray
Match report: York City 1 Mansfield Town 1
Nottingham Post report by Stevie Roden
THE play-offs are a time to embrace not fear.
But what manager Paul Cox had also instilled into his Mansfield Town players is that the semi-final could not be won in the first leg at York City, but it could be lost if they failed to stick to the game-plan.
It was always going to be about 180 minutes of football in the battle for a place in the final at Wembley and last night, at the end of a frantic, fiercely-fought game, the Stags are all square. It is all to play for.
But it came at a cost, as top scorer Matt Green saw red 16 minutes from time for a needless second booking and he will now miss the return leg, while key defender Martin Riley went off injured early on.
Despite that injury blow, the Stags punished York in the 26th minute, Ross Dyer converting a trademark bullet-like Exodus Geohaghon throw-in.
A Geohaghon own goal just before the break was definitely not in the game-plan but in the second half, the Stags withstood everything thrown at them, even more so late on when Green was dismissed.
Those battling quality came to the fore to earn a superb 1-1 draw but not exactly as Cox wanted it, with Green and possibly Riley out of Monday's game.
Cox made eight changes to the side that finished the season with a 3-0 win at Kidderminster, bringing back all the players he had rested.
And it was a strong 4-5-1 cum 4-3-3 formation, with Matt Green up top and Lindon Meikle and Ross Dyer switching flanks either side of midfield trio Anthony Howell, Adam Murray and Gary Roberts.
York's Chris Doig put over the bar from an early corner before Mansfield were dealt a blow in the 18th minute when Riley went off injured.
It saw Danny Andrew on at left-back, with Ritchie Sutton switching back into the centre of defence, his natural position.
Howell headed just over the bar from Roberts' pinpoint cross before York's Matty Blair had the ball in the net from a free kick on 22 minutes, but the offside flag had gone up long before he fired home.
York's Patrick McLaughlin was then given too much room to twist and turn his way in from the right of the box before he shot, only for Geohaghon's outstretched leg to deflect it beyond the far post for a corner.
At the opposite end, Roberts was chopped down by Ashley Chambers, 25-yards out in a central position but Luke O'Neill fluffed his lines with the free-kick, putting it high over the crossbar.
The breakthrough came from Geohaghon's throw-in from the right of the box. He fired it in low to the front post and Dyer stooped to direct a superb header into the far corner, with Ingham rooted to the spot.
Roberts was lucky to escape without a card when he fouled Challinor on the sideline, before Smith went straight through the back of 30-goal Stags striker Green but escaped with a yellow card.
York looked to get back on top and Chambers turned his marker too easily and unleashed a fierce shot but Marriott palmed it away.
Five minutes before the break, Roberts hooked a ball over the top, Green beat the offside shout but was just beaten to the ball by Ingham, who bravely burst out of his area to clear. The Stags striker saw yellow after catching the goalkeeper when he went for the ball.
Three minutes from half-time York got the equaliser. Challinor swung in an awkward ball into the box. Geohaghon stretched out a leg and the Stags defender inadvertently turned it beyond Marriott.
The Stags could have been behind a minute later, Chambers and Jason Walker combining superbly to put Walker in behind the defence but luckily for the visitors, he pulled his shot just wide of the far post.
Blair drove straight at Marriott early in the second period before Murray and Dyer combined well, leading to Howell being teed up in the box but the midfielder made a mess of his shot.
Seconds later he drove a shot at Ingham before a scramble in the York box ended with Geohaghon seeing his shot turned behind from close-range.
York broke down the left flank, the move eventually ending when Andrew earned a booking for a foul.
In the 74th minute, the Stags were reduced to ten men when Green handled the ball as he ran at goalkeeper Ingham. That earned him his second booking and off he went.
York pushed on and Smith sent a free header over the bar from a corner in the 81st minute. Then after a controversial York free-kick from the byline was cleared to the edge of the box, Challinor drilled in a dangerous effort but it was just wide of the post.
It was tense finale and two minutes from time, Chambers rose in the box to meet Challinor's cross but with Marriott stranded, the ball rose just over the bar before Challinor went down under a challenge by Andrew but no penalty was given.
York: Ingham, Meredith, C Smith, Doig, Parslow, Walker, Chambers, Fyfield, Blair, Challinor, McLaughlin (Moke, 82). Subs: Musselwhite, Reed, Potts, Brown.
Mansfield: Marriott, O'Neill, Sutton, Geohaghon, Riley (Andrew, 18), Murray, Roberts, Howell, Meikle (Briscoe,79), Dyer (Rhead, 90+2), Green. Subs: Stevenson, Redmond.
Referee: Richard Clark (Northumberland).
Attendance: 6,057 (1,352 visitors).
York City 1 Mansfield Town 1: York will look to gain from dismissed Green's absence
yorkshirepost.co.uk By Nick Westby at Bootham Crescent
It would not be York City if things came easy.
Playing against a side reduced to 10 men – Mansfield's 30-goal top scorer Matt Green was sent off for two cautionable offences – does not mean the floodgates will burst open, no matter how unseasonable the recent nationwide deluge has been.
Regularly in the second half of the season, York have made heavy weather of promising situations.
The first leg of the FA Trophy semi-final against Luton is a case in point with York only managing a 1-0 win against effectively nine men.
Last night they battled against the obdurate 10 of Mansfield, who remained capable of snatching a win to take back to Field Mill on Monday on the counter-attack.
The dismissal of Green 16 minutes from time turned a fiery encounter into an exercise in attack versus defence, but Gary Mills's side – neat as they were – could not seize the initiative.
Green will be banned for Monday's return, much to the delight no doubt of the Minstermen faithful, though Mills felt afterwards his side shackled Mansfield's major threat admirably.
Green was the man two years ago who scored the opening goal for Oxford against York City in the play-off final at Wembley.
Mansfield carry plenty more threats to concern Mills over the coming days, notably Exodus Geohaghon, who in a show-stealing performance set up the opener for Ross Dyer and then scored in his own net to restore parity for York.
This was the third draw between the teams in as many meetings this season and with away goals not counting in the Blue Square Premier play-offs, it is effectively a one-off game on May Day.
Not that this was a redundant tie, the 6,057 gate being York's highest for three years and ensuring a handsome financial return for the club in what is a crucial month.
York have already booked one date at Wembley on Saturday week when they will contest the FA Trophy final for the second time in four seasons.
Five days later, on March 17, they get a verdict from York City Council on whether they have the green light for a long-sought-after new stadium at Monks Cross.
Such a facility will be vital for the growth of the club and it is hoped a run of victories in this most pivotal of periods will help sway the council to give the proposal a seal of approval.
The Minstermen started with purpose, Matty Blair popping up on either wing to pose questions to the Mansfield defence.
Central defender Chris Doig sliced a shot over from Patrick McLaughlin's second-minute corner but the hosts' early zest was gradually neutralised by the Stags' 4-2-3-1 formation.
The long throws of former Rotherham United defender Geohaghon presented early concern.
York goalkeeper Michael Ingham caused hearts to stop when he appeared to collect a long ball outside of the box while under pressure but fortunately for the home faithful, referee Richard Clark was in lenient mood.
Mansfield threatened when Anthony Howell narrowly flicked a header from Gary Roberts's clipped centre over the bar.
Then McLaughlin danced in from the right for York and saw his goalbound shot deflected wide.
A goal was coming and duly arrived on 24 minutes, the source unsurprisingly a long throw from Geohaghon.
This time it was arrowed in from the right wing at a lower trajectory, striker Dyer darting in front of Blair to glance into the far corner from 10 yards.
Chris Smith summed up the frustration for York when he needlessly scythed Green down in midfield. That he only received a yellow card was fortunate.
York needed a cool head and James Chambers showed the way with a driving shot that Mansfield goalkeeper Alan Marriott did well to punch clear.
Mills's men were rewarded for their patience with an equaliser three minutes before the break. Jon Challinor sent a tantalising cross in from the angle of the penalty area on the right wing, right into the corridor of uncertainty between defender and goalkeeper. Walker was closing in on it and his presence did enough to disconcert Geohaghon who diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper.
Moments later, Walker fired a volley wide as York looked to cash in on their growing confidence.
The game remained open in the second half with Blair fizzing a long-range effort at Marriott before Howell had a shot saved by Ingham at the other end.
Geohaghon – who gave scant regard to his duties as a defender by popping up all over the pitch – then saw a cross cut out and a shot blocked as York defended desperately.
Green's dismissal was harsh, but given his history against York and his record this season, the home crowd were only too glad to see the back of him.
York, though, could not take advantage, Smith heading over from six yards from one of a host of corners and set-pieces they forced.
Chambers then glanced a header wide as York threw everything forward but to no avail.
York City: Ingham; Challinor, Smith, Doig, Fyfield; McLaughlin (Moke 82), Meredith, Parslow; Blair, Chambers, Walker. Unused substitutes: Musselwhite, Reed, Potts, Brown.
Mansfield Town: Marriott, O'Neill, Sutton, Riley (Andrew 18), Geohaghon; Meikle (Briscoe 79), Murray, Howell, Roberts; Green, Dyer (Rhead 90). Unused substitutes: Stevenson, Redmond.
Referee: R Clark (Northumberland).
Latest | May 2012