PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY: EASTWOOD 0 STAGS 3
Tuesday 31 July 2012
Eastwood Town 0-3 Mansfield Town
Stevenson 32, Fearon OG 43, Wright 88.
Stags (4-4-1-1): Redmond; Beevers, Pilkington (Capt), Dempster, Sutton; Wright (right midfield), Tolley, Hand, Briscoe (left midfield); Stevenson; Hutchinson.
46: Poku for Hand
46: Thompson for Pilkington
60: Roberts for Stevenson
60: Clements for Tolley
60: Howell for Hutchinson
73: Todd for Beevers
Sub not used: Marriott.
Paul Cox told Craig Priest on Mansfield Matters:
It was a good 90 minutes for the boys.
We got some game time.
We kept another clean sheet and we've scored three goals so we've got to be happy.
Nick Wright's had a good night. He set Stevo's goal up, it was his cross for the OG, and he's driven in the third goal. He's getting fitter and stronger, as the boys are.
Some of the boys not here tonight are ill, but there are no concerns.
Disappointing we couldn't go to Stourbridge but it had to be done.
It will be the young pros and the youth team at Rainworth tomorrow.
Pablo [Mills] is still training with us - nothing has changed. He's not on trial.
Ryan McGorrigan - I'm speaking to his agent tomorrow, so we might have an update, but there's other irons in the fire.
We want to strengthen. We've only got one out and out left back and we're always looking for boys up front that can win you football matches.
Beevs had a good 90 minutes; he looked sharp and hungry.
transcribed by Martin Shaw
Eastwood 0-3 Stags
Andrew Webb reports from Coronation Park for mansfieldtown.net
Mansfield Town extended their unbeaten pre-season run to seven games with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Evo-Stik Premier League side Eastwood Town.
On his return to Coronation Park, Lee Stevenson netted his second goal of pre-season to put the Stags ahead on 33 minutes before Cameron Fearon doubled the advantage with an own goal before the break.
Nick Wright struck a third goal in the closing stages to round off what was another perfect pre-season outing for Paul Cox's dominant side.
On a miserable evening in Nottinghamshire, the hosts enjoyed the better of the early exchanges and created their first chance on three minutes when Fearon fired over from close range after a low ball into the box from Jermaine Hollis.
Mansfield created their first opportunity two minutes later when Stevenson, stationed in the middle of the park, sprayed a delightful ball towards Wright located out on the right. Wright then cut inside, but saw his shot smothered by goalkeeper Ian Deakin, before defender Paul Riley cleared the danger.
George Pilkington headed over the woodwork a minute later, before Grant Ryan tested Redmond's reflexes at the opposite end with a powerful swerving shot which the Stags shot-stopper did well to hold.
On the quarter-hour mark, a routine ball into the area from Jamie Hand was fumbled by Deakin and fell straight in the path of Stevenson. However, the Eastwood keeper made amends as he blocked Stevenson's instinctive snap-shot and did enough to distract Jamie Tolley who fired wide from distance with the rebound.
The Stags continued to enjoy the majority of the possession, though the game soon erupted into a full-blooded affair. Danny Elliott was penalised for a foul on Stevenson on 16 minutes, before Eastwood won a free-kick in a dangerous position after Hand clattered Paolo Piliero on the edge of the box.
Mitch Hanson lacked accuracy from the resulting free-kick as his shot sailed high over the woodwork and Piliero came only marginally closer to opening the scoring a few moments later when his attempted chip was comfortably gathered by Redmond.
Mansfield then came close to opening the scoring on 22 minutes when Louis Briscoe's corner towards the back post caused havoc inside the Eastwood area. Ben Hutchinson's flick picked out Wright on the near post, but Riley flung his body infront of the ball to deny the big striker.
Nevertheless, Wright played a significant role as Mansfield opened the scoring on the half-hour mark. The former Kidderminster Harriers star fooled his marker with some intricate footwork and launched a pinpoint cross into the area from the right flank, which was powerfully headed home by Stevenson.
The Stags almost reaped further rewards in an identical attack on 35 minutes. Briscoe whipped a long cross into the box, though a back-peddling Stevenson only managed to direct his header wide of the post on this occasion.
Moments prior to the half-time, Mansfield once again used the right flank to devastating effect as they enhanced their superiority by doubling their advantage.
Wright launched a speculative ball into a six-yard box occupied by both Stevenson and Hutchinson, but it was the unfortunate Fearon who inadvertently turned the ball into his own goal with an awful attempted clearance.
Godfrey Poku and John Thompson replaced Hand and Pilkington after the break as the Stags continued to dominate proceedings.
Lee Beevers fired over with a speculative strike from distance on 48 minutes, moments before Thompson glanced a free-header wide from close range following a corner from Tolley.
Tolley then came within inches of extending the scoreline further eight minutes later. The former Wrexham midfielder collected the ball after Deon Meikle could only partially clear a cross from Wright, but his thunderous long-range volley landed on the roof of the goal.
Both teams made a flurry of substitutions on the hour mark and it was Stags substitute Gary Roberts that exquisitely linked up with Briscoe five minutes later. An intricate one-two between the pair cut the Badgers defence wide open, but Briscoe was unable to find the target with a low shot from inside the area.
Anthony Howell also came close to adding his name to the score-sheet on 74 minutes. A long-range shot from Briscoe took a wicked deflection off the former Alfreton Town midfielder and fell only inches wide of the post, with Deakin rooted to his line.
Briscoe came no closer only two minutes later when his more cleanly struck effort also sailed off-target.
Having been on the back foot for most of the night, Eastwood enjoyed a rare opportunity on 81 minutes when substitute Markel Bailey cut inside from the left flank and fired a powerful shot wide of the target.
The hosts came much closer a minute later though when Redmond failed to claim a cross after advancing from his line, which resulted in Chris Clements having to clear from a yard out in order to protect the Stags clean-sheet.
However, with only one minute of normal time remaining Wright rounded off a perfect evening for the Stags with a third goal. The striker was allowed to cut inside from the left flank after being left unmarked and let fly with a right-footed shot from 12-yards, which nestled perfectly in the bottom corner.
Mansfield Town: Redmond, Beevers (Todd 74), Dempster, Pilkington (Thompson 46), Sutton, Briscoe, Tolley (Howell 60), Hand (Poku 46), Wright, Stevenson (Howell 60), Hutchinson (Clements 60).
Seventh pre-season win for Mansfield Town, this time at Eastwood
DESPITE illness and injury in the camp, Mansfield Town still made it seven pre-season games unbeaten and five clean sheets with tonight's 3-0 win at Paul Cox's old club Eastwood Town.
Lee Stevenson, also back at his old club, set them on their way with a 33rd minute header before Cameron Fearon put through his own goal a minute from half-time.
We then had to wait until the 89th minute before Nick Wright added the third.
The Northern Premier League Premier Division Badgers caused a few problems in a lively first half, which saw some tasty tackling.
But the second half belonged to Mansfield and, with Wright and a much-improved Louis Briscoe both failing to put away one-on-ones, Wright in the first half and Briscoe in the second, it could have been a bigger winning margin.
Stevenson clearly enjoyed his return to Coronation Park though fellow ex-Badger Ben Hutchinson had a quiet night in which little came off for him.
Boss Cox said: “That was a good 90 minutes for the boys who needed some game time under their belts.
“We kept another clean sheet and scored three goals so we have to be happy.
“Nick Wright will be pleased with his display. He set up the first goal, put in the cross for the own goal and then scored himself a good goal so it was a good night's work for him.
“We didn't want to call off our other game at Stourbridge tonight but we had a few knocks and illness so we told one or two to stay away.
“It's all precautionary and nothing serious, but it's all about the 11th August. I have to do what's best for the club and the players.
“I will have to send the young professional and youth team to Rainworth tomorrow. I don't want to be you have to be selfish. The season starts in just over a week and there are two games before then so we need to wrap one or two in cotton wool.”
The game began in a rain shower and Redmond was caught fractionally late by Ryan as the Badgers man chased a long ball forward down the Coronation Park slope in the opening seconds, but was fine to continue.
Fearon then sidefooted firmly wide from Hollis' low ball in from the right after Eastwood's first corner was defended.
But in the fifth minute Stevenson split the home defence with a great through pass for Wright to race onto, only to be denied by keeper Deakin's save as he failed to lift the ball over him.
Pilkington headed wide from a Tolley corner before an excellent home break ended with Ryan firing straight at Redmond.
Nightingale was just too high from 20 yards, then at the other end Stevenson lofted in a high ball which Hutchinson met on the volley but steered wide.
When Deakin spilled a cross, Stevenson had a shot blocked before Tolley's powerful follow-up was deflected just wide.
Players squared up on 16 minutes after a nasty tackle by Elliott on Stevenson after Ryan had been caught in the face as Dempster challenged.
Then Hand was lucky not to be spoken to for a lunge in which studs were showing three minutes later, Hanson curling the free kick well over.
A loose pass gifted the ball to Piliero who, from 25 yards, saw Redmond forward off his line and tried to lift it over him but didn't get enough height.
Wright had a volley blocked right on the line on 21 minutes after a Briscoe corner was helped on.
Hand was in troubled again for swinging a leg late at Elliott, the referee lecturing him and then having a word with the away bench too.
Hollis forced Redmond to his right to clutch a 25 yard effort.
Stags drew first blood on 33 minutes. Wright let the ball run past him to turn his man superbly wide on the right and hoist in a peach of a cross which Stevenson met with an unstoppable header from six yards.
Soon after Briscoe picked out Stevenson for another header at the far post. But the cross was struck too firmly and Stevenson was unable to get it on target.
Hollis wasn't far wide with a quick snapshot from the edge of the Stags box.
But the home side found themselves two adrift a minute from the break as Wright swung in another dangerous cross from the right which was intercepted by Fearon at the near post who could only watch on as the ball cannoned past his own keeper and into the net.
Poku took over from Hand and Thompson for Pilkington for the second half, and Stags had the first goal attempt as Beevers curled a hopeful effort over the far angle.
Thompson failed to head a Tolley corner on target with his first touch.
Tolley volleyed just wide from 20 yards on 55 minutes before a raft of subs with two changes for Stags and six for Eastwood.
On 63 minutes Briscoe swapped passes with Roberts to stroll into the box one-on-one with the keeper but lifted his deft finish wide.
A rare home danger saw Ryan send a low effort narrowly wide on the turn from the edge of the box.
A miscued Briscoe drive from 25 yards took a massive deflection off the leg of Howell which had the keeper wrong-footed and relieved to see it clear the angle.
Another good Stags attack saw Howell find Briscoe to his left who cut inside and fired a rising shot just over.
With seven minutes to go Redmond came for but failed to gather a home corner which saw Clements have to head off his goal line.
A minute from time Stags put the seal on the night as Wright came in from the left and let fly as a tackle from Smith came in, the ball taking a deflection off Smith's leg and flying inside the far post.
EASTWOOD: Deakin, Fearon, Riley, Elliott, Graham, D. Meikle, Hollis, Hanson, Nightingale, Ryan, Pillero. Subs: Gregory, Troke, Simmons, Shaw, Bailey, Smith, Andrew.
STAGS: Redmond; Beevers (Todd 74), Pilkington (Thompson HT), Dempster, Sutton; Briscoe, Tolley (Roberts 60), Hand (Poku HT), Wright, Stevenson (Howell 60), Hutchinson. (Clements 60).
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Nick Wright
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