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Archived News from July 2012

18th July 2012 10:42

Saturday 14 July 2012
Leamington 0-1 Mansfield Town
Green pen 82

Att: "over 400"

First half line up (4-3-3) : Redmond; Beevers, Sutton, Dempster, Sam Benjamin (trialist); Briscoe, Poku, Roberts; Hutchinson, Meikle, Wright.

Second half (4-1-2-1-2) : Marriott; Todd, Pilkington, Jones, Owens; Hand; Clements, Tolley; Stevenson; Green, Rhead.

out injured: Thompson, Howell, Murray, Dyer, Speight.


post match interview with Paul Cox with Mansfield 103.2 --->

transcribed by Martin Shaw

I'm happy with the result, but I'm happy with the run-out we got too. It was a competitive match. Leamington worked us extremely hard. We got a lot of things out of it but there's a lot of things to work on.

We played two elevens for the 90 minutes, 45 minutes each. We looked a little bit disjointed ... a little bit off the pace ... for the first half. The second half was more our kind of performance. Overall I'm pleased with the run-out that we got, no matter what the score was.

Sam Benjamin (on trial) did well. It's the first time he's been with the lads. He acquitted himself quite well. We need a bit of competition for Andy Owens at left back.

Dempster was excellent first half, never put a put wrong.

Jamie Hand pulled a lot of the strings in the second half through midfield. He brings a strong mentality to the team and to the squad. He's a complete winner. He tackles hard and he wants to win, and some of the passing that came from him was brilliant.

We've done a lot of running, but we need match sharpness now. The more games the better now.

post match interview with Paul Cox with Takeover Radio/Mansfield Matters --->

transcribed by Martin Shaw

First half, the two centre backs Demps and Sutts did really well, Beevs did really well at right back.
You can't take anything away from Meikle up front, who I thought was excellent. When he was with me at Eastwood, he was a centre-forward, and you've seen what kind of problems he causes when he's down the middle. His problem was he didn't have a lot of support today. But that'll come with lads' fitnesses and the lads getting stronger.

Second half, the little triangle of Rhead, Green and Stevenson - some of the intricate ball play that went in and around their box was excellent.
Green's movement was excellent, his work ethic was brilliant.
We played a different sort of shape, and we looked a lot more comfortable and fluid in the second half.


Hand a 'real competitor'
Nottingham Post report by Stevie Roden

PAUL Cox believes the fierce competitive nature of new signing Jamie Hand is something that will only enhance Mansfield Town's chances of winning promotion this season.


The Stags boss has kept the nucleus from last season's squad which finished third in the Blue Square Bet Premier, missing out in the play-off semi-finals to York City.

Midfielder Hand and defender John Dempster officially joined on Saturday, takes Cox's new signings to 11.

Both players impressed in the 1-0 win against Leamington FC at the weekend, as the Stags fielded two different teams in each half, in what was their first pre-season game.

Cox has said he only wants winners in his team and believes 28-year-old Hand, who has joined from Hayes and Yeading, will bring that mentality with him.

"Jamie is is a complete winner," said Cox. "This was our first pre-season game and he wanted to win.

"I love that in people. And the range of his passing, both short and long, was excellent.

"He is a good footballer. He will bring something to us. He is a competitor and he does not suffer fools gladly.

"One or two lads in that second half got a telling off from him and that's what I want.

"You cannot have everything nicey nicey, sometimes you have to fall out with your team-mates.

"And Dempster never put a foot wrong. It looked like he had never been away from us (he spent three months on loan with Mansfield last season).

"We have great competition and what we have to do now is put some pressure on the lads who are in their comfort zone.

"Players who don't want to graft and aren't hungry, will be shipped out. It's as simple as that."


Leamington 0 Mansfield Town 1

Written by Pete Davis
Pre Season Friendly
New Windmill Ground
Saturday 14th July 2012

Manager Paul Holleran was pleased with the friendly workout againstone of the strongest Conference premier sides and only had positivesfor his team, who had to face two different XI's on a sunny Leamingtonafternoon in front of a crowd of over 400.

Leamington largely dominated the first half with the outstanding Alex Taylor providing Mansfield with much to think about. He was aconsistent threat throughout the first half but it was Lewis Powell who hadthe first attempt when a good shot was deleted narrowly over.Mansfield's second string keeper Redmond then had to make a good savewith an outstretched leg from Dean Perrow when he capitalised on apenetrating Taylor run.

Liam Daly was then foiled by Redmond as a foul on the impressive Joe Magunda led to a Morley free kick, which the imposing centre backtamely headed down into the keepers rolling body.

Long range shots from Sam Adkins and Taylor made Redmond save low with hisfeet and the Brakes then thought they had taken the lead whenJamie Hood challenged Redmond high in the air for a deflected cross tonod the ball into the goal, but the defender was adjudged to have wanderedoffside. The assistants flag was a feature of the first half asMansfield rarely broke through a disciplined yellow shirted Brakesback line.

Taylor then underlined his performance just before half time with avicious spinning shot, the keeper spilled but Powell couldn'tcapitalise and gathered the ball safely.

The second half saw a new XI for the Stags and the introduction ofMatt Green who was soon testing Brakes's Vaughan. As much as Taylordominated the eye in the first half, Nathan Vaughan was often the onlyman preventing a landslide in the scoreline, making a flurry of savesas Brakes tired, becoming visibly disjointed with a raft of theirown substitutions. Wells and Gudger were new to Brakes fans whoweren't at the Sutton Coldfield game, and were hoping to make animpression.

The goal was always on the cards for Mansfield during the second halfas Matt Green and Rhead started to break through the Brakes defence atevery opportunity and it took a foul against him in the area from LiamDaly for the opening goal. Green comfortably sent Vaughan away to hisleft from the spot to open the scoring.

Mansfield Manager Paul Cox was highly complimentary about the brakes"I thought you worked us very hard, Leamington are a good team with agood team spirit. I knew coming here Paul (Holleran) would give us afull blown competitive game. The playing surface was excellent, fullcredit to the groundsman."

Cox was honest in the assessment of his own team "In the first half welacked desire and application, little bit off the pace. In the secondhalf we looked more like us."

Leamington: Nathan Vaughan, James Mace, Stephan Morley, Joe Magunda, Jamie Hood, Liam Daly, Alex Taylor (69 Scott Wells), Sam Adkins, Dean Perrow (54 Richard Batchelor), Lewis Powell (46 Jimmy Deabill), Lee Chilton (75 Alex Gudger).

Subs not used: 12, Michael Tuohy, 14 James Husband.

Mansfield Town:1st halfRedmond, Beavers, Sutton, Dempster, Benjamin, Poku, Roberts,Hutchinson, Wright, Meikle, Briscoe.

2nd half:Marriott, Todd, Pilkington, Jones, Hand, Owen, Tolley, Clements,Stevenson, Green, Rhead.


Green fires Stags to first win of pre-season
Sat 14 Jul 2012

Mark Stevenson reports from the New Windmill for mansfieldtown.net

Matt Green picked up from where he left off last season as Mansfield Town began pre-season with a 1-0 victory at Leamington.


Green's 30 goals last season helped Stags to a third-placed finish, and the former Oxford man looked like he had never been away as he slotted home a penalty in the 82nd minute in typically cool fashion.

The hosts, who finished 7th in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier last season, began brightly and spells of slick play against superior opposition should give them much confidence ahead of the new season.

But Stags, who fielded two separate sides over two halves, were simply too strong for their part-time hosts, as a dominant second half display ensured victory.

They started by having to hold firm at the back, and Ritchie Sutton had to be alert to block a goalbound shot from Alex Taylor after good work from Lee Chilton.

A minute later, Lindon Meikle crossed from the left and Ben Hutchinson was only a whisker away from connecting.

The pair combined on 18 minutes, when Meikle slipped it through to Hutchinson to fire wide from 18 yards.

Meikle almost found a way through to goal but his second touch was too heavy and the chance went begging. Gary Roberts then smashed an ambitious 25 yard free kick onto the top of the stand behind the goal.

Leamington thought they had scored from a free kick but the referee spotted a clear foul on goalkeeper Redmond as the ball floated inside the goal area. Moments later, the Stags' shot stopper got well behind a long-range shot to keep the scores level.

Liam Daly, Leamington's towering defender, rose above the Stags' defence to head over following a left-wing cross, as the game grew 37 minutes old.

With the second half only five minutes old, home keeper Nathan Vaughan had to get down low to beat away a Jamie Tolley drive from long range.

Stags, with a new starting 11, commanded the second half as Leamington had to contend with being camped in their own half.

Alan Marriott, replacing Shane Redmond in between the sticks, held a rasping strike from Sam Adkins as the game approached the hour mark.

On 62, Matt Green latched onto a fine throughball from Jamie Hand but dragged his shot wide from an acute angle.

15 minutes later, Chris Clements let fly on the volley but it was aimed straight at the home goalkeeper.

Leamington were finally undone after Stags' dominance paid off on 82 minutes. Another classy pass over the top from hand saw Matt Green fouled in the area - and the sharp shooter made no mistake from the penalty mark as he powered it down the middle.

Mansfield thought they had scored again after Andy Owens' volley found the net, but the goal was ruled out after the assistant referee indicated offside.

With three minutes left, Owens passed low for Rhead in the centre but the frontman's shot was stopped by the home keeper.

in the dying embers of the contest, Luke Jones had a header cleared off the line as Stags looked for a second goal before full time.

First half: Redmond, Beevers, Sutton, Dempster, Sam Benjamin (trialist), Poku, Roberts, Hutchinson, Wright, Meikle, Briscoe

Second half: Marriott, Todd, Pilkington, Jones, Hand, Owens, Tolley, Clements, Stevenson, Green, Rhead


Glint back in Cox's eye as Mansfield Town get pre-season off to winning start
Nottingham Post report by Stevie Roden

ON the final day of last season, manager Paul Cox stood conducting his post-match interviews, tears welling in his eyes, his voice breaking.


Play-off semi-final defeat to York had hit the Mansfield Town boss hard, to fall so close to a Wembley final with a place in League Two at stake.

His first season in charge ended with the Stags third on 89 points – a superb feat. But the play-offs in early May were not to prove fruitful.

So instead of preparing for a season back in the Football League, Cox has had to plan for the club's fifth consecutive campaign in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

But this time the goal is not the play-offs. It is the title and with it, an automatic place back in the elite 92 clubs in England.

As he stood pitchside on Saturday at the New Windmill Ground, the home of Leamington FC, he conducted his post-match interviews with his usual honesty and positivity.

Last season's play-off heartache is now in the past. The future is all that matters and instead of a tear, that glint was back in Cox's eyes.

It was their first game since that play-off defeat and ten of his 11 new signings had been on show – Jake Speight did not take part due to a slight knock – in the 1-0 win at the weekend.

And having put together an experienced, hungry new-look squad, adding to the nucleus from last season, he is confident his team can build on last time out.

He fielded two separate 11s in either half, with Speight, Ross Dyer, John Thompson, Anthony Howell and Adam Murray missing out due to injuries.

The latter two are out for a few weeks, having had operations in the summer but the first three should be involved against Hednesford, Shepshed or Gainsborough Trinity this week, in the three friendlies that are quickly coming up.

After two weeks of tough training, a period winger Louis Briscoe said had been harder than anything he had experienced, the weekend was all about getting a feel for the ball.

But Cox, like the players he wants at the club, has to be a winner. And that is why after a goalless first half, he was unhappy with his men after the opening 45 minutes.

Leamington had often got on top, carved out the openings, looked hungrier and more up for it. And that upset Cox, despite it being the first outing.

However, it was a much-improved performance in the second period by the 11 who came on and, as Leamington clearly tired, the Stags took the game to them and could easily have run out more emphatic winners than by the odd goal, which came courtesy of Matt Green's 82nd minute spot kick.

Afterwards, Cox said: "I was not too happy with the performance in the first half, or our work ethic but I had a word at half time with the 11 that went on and told them that was not what was expected and we needed to raise the tempo.

"We came into a competitive game and the second half I was really pleased with, and with one or two individual performances. Overall, it was a good run out and a good test.

"I thought John Dempster and Ritchie Sutton did really well in the first half and Lee Beevers at right-back and you cannot take anything away from Lindon Meikle up front.

"But we were a bit sloppy and we wanted to make sure we worked really hard and we did not have our foot on the pedal enough in that first half. Second half, we looked a different side, played some good stuff. Throughout the squad we have 45 minutes under each player's belt."

Trialist Sam Benjamin played at left-back in the first half and in the second period, new signing Andy Owens replaced him while fellow new-boys Jamie Tolley, Chris Clements and Jamie Hand all came on in midfield.

Hand particularly impressed with not just his range of passing but his competitive nature, up and at them from the first whistle of the half.

The first-half, from Mansfield's point of view, was a forgettable affair but after the break Tolley soon had a long-range volley palmed away by Nathan Vaughan, while Sam Adkins forced a similar save from Stags stopper Alan Marriott.

Then Hand's diagonal ball split Leamington open, only for last season's 30-goal top scorer Matt Green to pull his shot just wide.

Clements stung the hands of Vaughan with a superb 30-yard volley and Owens had a stunning left-foot volley into the far corner from the edge of the box ruled out for an infringement inside the area.

Hand's superb ball then put Green in on goal and he was denied again by the goalkeeper before Hand turned provider again for Green, who was felled in the penalty area. He made no mistake with his spot kick, drilling down the middle.

So, it was a narrow victory but a first chance for Cox to look at his charges, both new and old.

It is the beginning of another long, hard season. But the message is already clear. Lacklustre will not be tolerated, even if it is the first pre-season friendly.

And this time, come the final game of the season, Cox will be hoping he still has a glint in his eye and maybe even a tear. This time, though, tears of happiness, having led Mansfield back into the Football League.

Stags (first half): Redmond, Beevers, Sutton, Dempster, Benjamin, Briscoe, Poku, Roberts, Hutchinson, Wright, Meikle.

Stags (second half): Marriott, Todd, Pilkington, Jones, Owens, Hand, Clements, Tolley, Stevenson, Rhead, Green


Matt Green gives Mansfield Town a winning start to pre-season at Leamington

MATT GREEN'S 82nd minute penalty was enough to give Mansfield Town their first win of pre-season in a hard-fought match at Leamington on Saturday.


Hosts Leamington made life difficult for the Stags for much of the first half, but their resilience finally cracked during a second period of incessant pressure as Green fired home from 12 yards.

It was Leamington, who finished seventh in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier last season, who got off to the better start and Stags' defender Ritchie Sutton, playing at centre half, had to be on guard to block a goalbound effort from Alex Taylor.

At the other end, Stags came to life largely thanks to Lindon Meikle. The winger set up a chance for Ben Hutchinson, followed up by a solo effort, but neither tested the home keeper.

Leamington thought they had taken the lead during an evenly-matched first half, but the referee spotted a clear foul on goalkeeper Shane Redmond as the ball was floated into the box from a free kick.

Home goalkeeper Liam Vaughan had to get down low to keep out a well-struck effort from midfielder Jamie Tolley, before Stags upped the ante with a fresh starting 11 in the second period.

Stags keeper Alan Marriott had to get behind a rasping strike from Sam Adkins, but after that it was all one-way traffic.

New signing Jamie Hand showed why Paul Cox had brought him to the club with a fine second half display, which started with an assist to Green, who dragged his shot wide from a tight angle.

Chris Clements, another of Stags' new faces, let fly on the volley with 15 minutes to go, but it was aimed straight at the home shotstopper.

Leamington were finally undone after Stags' dominance paid off on 82 minutes.

Another classy pass over the top from Hand saw Green upended in the area and the sharpshooter made no mistake from the penalty mark as he powered it down the middle to get Stags off to a winning pre-season start.

STAGS: First half: Redmond, Beevers, Sutton, Dempster, Sam Benjamin (trialist), Poku, Roberts, Hutchinson, Wright, Meikle, Briscoe. Second half: Marriott, Todd, Pilkington, Jones, Hand, Owens, Tolley, Clements, Stevenson, Green, Rhead


Endless Lessons - Leamington 0-1 Stags
Craig Priest reports.... for Mansfield Matters

Fixture: Leamington FC V Stags
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly (#1)
Venue: The New Windmill Ground, Leamington
Date & Time: Saturday 14th July - 3pm

Match Referee: Guy Stretton

Well after those endless weeks of nothingness the first pre-season friendly is over and done with, the Stags getting off to a winning start curtsey of Matt Green's 80th minute spot kick. Pre-Season is famously used for managers to cast their eye over different players and formations, Paul Cox did exactly that playing two different sides - we'll move onto that shortly but first I must start by issuing a massive apology to you all.

We have pledged to bring commentary online for all pre-season friendly's and yesterday for the majority failed to do so. The reason is our 3G stick which has been so reliable over the past two seasons failed to register and left us with no internet to log on and go live - it's partly our fault and partly one of those things, I should have checked it was working before setting off - rest assured that things will be fixed for Hednesford on Tuesday, details of coverage below. We did manage to bring coverage via phone and some other kit and were hopeful that the studio would be able to provide the USTREAM broadcast however we had no way of knowing if it worked r not, for some it did for some it didn't. Those who were at Leamington would have seen myself and Wayne roaming round everywhere searching for Wi-Fi and a way to get on air, in the end the phone was our only option - again we are sorry you had trouble and can stress it will be fixed for Tuesday night.

Back to the important stuff and being handed a team sheet it was confirmed that there would be two sides playing, new additions John Dempster and Jamie Hand we're named on a team sheet which featured 11 old faces and 11 new faces, one of which a trialist left back, 21 year old Sam Benjamin whose previous clubs include Nottingham Forest and Eastwood. Other members of the squad we're in attendance but not named as substitutes and as again in pre-season the numbers didn't match up to the actual players so once more it was a guessing game for us all!

Line Up [4-4-2] Shane Redmond - Lee Beevers - John Dempster (C) - Ritchie Sutton - Sam Benjamin [Trialist] - Louis Briscoe - Godfrey Poku - Gary Roberts - Nick Wright - Lindon Meikle - Ben Hutchinson.

It was a timid start for both sides at the New Windmill Ground with neither
really taking control of the early exchanges. On four minutes an attempted
switch of play from James Mace was intercepted by Lindon Meikle who was
playing in a more central role with new boy Nick Wright taking up residence
on the left hand side. Meikle did well to run at Mace, who hastily back
tracked, however he did well to find Briscoe who failed to get a clean shot
away. Lee Beevers brushed in to pick up play on the half way line however his
forward pass was too strong and easy for home shot stopper Nathan Vaughn to

Two minutes later it was the hosts turn to come forward, doing so at a canter
as former Chasetown man Dean Perrow picking up the second ball following
Ritchie Sutton's strong clearance. Perrow's surging run forward went
unchallenged until the last when trialist left back Benjamin recovered to
block and divert play away for a throw in.

It was then Ritchie Sutton who impressed again at the back moments later as a
fine Stags flowing move fizzled out, Lindon Meikle was creating havoc against
Mace following Nick Wrights flick however Ben Hutchinson found himself with
little room to work with as the home defence boxed him in well. James Mace
made the clearance up towards Lee Chilton who turned well past Beevers to set
up team mate Alex Taylor with a low pass to the edge of the box, Taylor's
shot deflecting away of Sutton who threw himself in the path of the goal
bound effort.

As the game hit the 18 minutes Stags had their best chance of the first half,
Shane Redmond's goal kick was the original spark as he aimed for Ben
Hutchinson who flicked onto Meikle. The creative wide man held up well and
despite losing his footing squeezed a pass back to Sam Benjamin, the
youngster then sent Meikle on his way down the left channel despite Roberts'
orders to play short inside. The decision to ignore Roberts nearly paid off
as Meikle cut past Mace to deliver a teasing cross towards the back post, the
ball skimming the top of the arriving Hutchinson's head before agonisingly
going out for a goal kick.

Five minutes later the Stags came close again as Redmond's route one ball
found its way into the area for Meikle thanks to a precision pass from Gary
Roberts. Meikle did well up against Brakes skipper Jamie Hood to pick out
strike partner Hutchinson who scrapped his effort narrowly wide of the target
from ten yards.

Despite Mansfield's two chances it was very much the hosts on top as they
played some wonderful one touch football to open up space down the left hand
side, Ritchie Sutton and Shane Redmond we're both alert to keep out numerous
efforts before the Breaks finally broke the deadlock on 27 minutes. A deep
free kick from Stephan Morely wasn't dealt with allowing a Leamington man a
free header at the far post, however as the ball went into the back on the
net the linesman had flagged for a foul on the on rushing Redmond and as such
the goal ruled out.

Moments later Redmond was on his toes once more as he kept out a ferocious
long distance drive from Sam Adkins, the hosts ended the half the stronger
having also seen a header from Liam Daly sail narrowly over the cross bar.

HALF TIME: Leamington 0-0 Stags

Second Half Line Up [4-3-1-2] Alan Marriott - Andy Todd - Luke Jones - George
Pilkington - Andy Owens - Jamie Hand - Chris Clements - Jamie Tolley - Lee
Stevenson - Matt Rhead - Matt Green

A different side for the second half ensured the Stags upped the tempo of the
game as Paul Cox employed a 4-3-1-2 system with Clements and Tolley rotating
between central playing making and central holding roles as Lee Stevenson
took up his familiar role behind the front two.

With three players in the side with full season captain experience the Stags
took control early on and we're unlucky not to be ahead just minutes into the
second half or, from our point of view, the second game of the afternoon!
Jamie Hand provided the assist for Green who took a moment too long on the
edge of the box allowing James Mace to nip in and clear.

Three minutes later it was the triangular work of Stevenson, Rhead and Green
which set Jamie Tolley up, the former Wrexham mans effort was palmed away by
the home keeper into the path of Green who failed to keep his effort down. At
the other end, Alan Marriott was alert to keep out a 40 yard punt from Sam

Both sides we're reduced to long range efforts for a short while however the
Stags impressed by keeping possession well and exploiting the wide areas of
the pitch, predominantly through Andy Owens who was sent on his way down the
left by Hand who was very much the creator of every Stags move.

Hand was involved again just past the hour mark as he received possession
from Todd before cantering forward. Sensing opportunity for a pass he slipped
the ball quick and low through the middle for Green who dropped off his
marker in superb fashion before dragging the final shot agonisingly wide of
the target.

As time ticked on Mansfield looked more and more dangerous and on 77 minutes
Leamington had their goalkeeper to thank as he kept out a thunderous effort
from Chris Clements, who hit a 28 yard belter after Jamie Tolley's corner had
put the hosts under the strain.

The Stags had just three more minutes to wait before taking the lead, Jamie
Hand was the creator with a lofted pass over the top of the Leamington
defence, Matt Green upended inside the box by Jamie Hood. Green dusted
himself off and stepped up to powerfully convert the resulting penalty beyond
Vaughn who guessed incorrectly.

Leamington 0-1 Stags

Two minutes later the Stags surged forwards once more and earned another
corner, Jamie Tolley's right footed in swinger found Luke Jones at the back
stick who headed back across the box before the hosts scrambled clear.
Lurking on the edge of the box was Andy Owens who hit a thunderous left
footed volley into the top right hand corner only to see the beautiful strike
ruled out for offside, a very harsh decision when you consider the pure
technique and accuracy of the strike.

In the final few minutes Luke Jones, Matt Green and the tremendous Matt Rhead
all saw effort scrambled away as the hosts began to crumble at the back,
however as the full time whistle blew the winning margin was only a slight
one, the hosts proving more than a handful throughout the match.

Full Time: Leamington 0-1 Stags

The players that stood out in my opinion in both 'Games' we're Lindon Meikle,
who played as a front man with relative ease and comfort, Ritchie Sutton, who
put himself in front if every goal bound shot, Matt Rhead, who looks very
sharp and like the transformation from part time to full time football has
worked wonders and finally, Jamie Hand who commanded the midfield very well.
Yes there are lots of things to be worked on, and I'm not talking our 3G
dongle! But hey, isn't that what pre-season is for?

Next stop: Hednesford Town - join myself and Wayne Briggs on 106.9FM and on
mm-live from 7pm for full match commentary!

The views expressed in this blog are those of the writer and not those of
Mansfield Matters - To submit a blog email mtfcmatters@gmail.com



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