STAGS CONCEDE 4 AGAIN IN NIGHTMARE START
Blue Square Bet Premier
Gateshead 4 - 1 Mansfield Town
Hatch 11, Fisher 56, 86, Bush 70. Jones 18
Attendance: 801 (151 from Mansfield)
Date: 14 August 2012
Martin Shaw at the International Stadium
Mansfield Town's nightmare start to the season continued, with a 4-1 defeat at Gateshead this evening. The Stags were terrible in defence again, as they were on Saturday against Newport. In addition, keeper Alan Marriott made two howlers to gift goals to the home side, and the Stags were spineless in midfield, with the exception of Roberts. Manager Paul Cox had kept the same side from Saturday, apart from the enforced change of Dyer replaced by Daniel. Cox wanted the players who were so poor on Saturday, to put things right, but it backfired spectacularly. After the game Paul Cox was an angry man, and after the post match interviews, he had some harsh words about some of his players off air to me and two other people who were there along with Adam Murray. It would not be right for me to quote Paul Cox off air, but suffice to say he wasn't too happy with some aspects of the defence and midfield. He asked what I thought. I said I thought we were missing Adam Murray. I asked when Jamie Hand was back from suspension and Cox said after the Kidderminster game. Cox suggested that we missed the commitment of someone like Hand tonight. Cox wanted it to be known that he apologised to the fans, and he vowed to put it right.
The Stags were a goal down on 11 minutes when Liam Hatch netted. The Stags had had two warnings moments before the goal. Cox then made a very early tactical change bringing on Speight for Tolley to go 4-4-2. The Stags were soon level when Jones did well to head in Owens's free kick. The Stags played well after this and were unlucky on 37 minutes when Green was fouled in the box and the referee awarded the Stags a penalty. But he changed his mind as the linesman was flagging for offside. George Pilkington was hauled off at the break, but things went from bad to worse, as the normally reliable Alan Marriott made howlers on 56 and 70 minutes to gift goals to Gateshead. Then Lee Beevers was sent off for a stupid challenge for a second yellow. As the Stags pushed players forward, they were left woefully exposed at the back and Gateshead added a 4th on 86 minutes.
The Stags are now desperate for a good result at Kidderminster on Saturday to kick start the season. I expect to see Sutton, Dempster and Thompson making up three of the back four, possibly with Luke Jones or Colin Daniel. Hopefully that will be a defence to start keeping clean sheets.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Gateshead 4-1 Mansfield Town, Tuesday 14th August
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
TWO mistakes by keeper Alan Marriott proved decisive as Stags remain pointless after the first two games with a disappointing 4-1 defeat at Gateshead last night, reports John Lomas.
Paul Cox's men failed to show why they are among the favourites for promotion as they failed to get in gear all night.
More dreadful early defending allowed Gateshead to take a 10th minutes lead, though Luke Jones did nod home an 18th minute equaliser.
But the second half was one to forget, particularly for Marriott who dived over Nathan Fisher's 56th minute shot from outside the box and then flapped at a 45 yard free kick from Chris Bush that bounced into the net.
To put the seal on a bad night in the North-East, Lee Beevers was sent off for a second bookable offence six minutes from time before the man he brought down, James Marwood, set up Fisher for his second four minutes from the end.
Stags gave a debut to new signing Colin Daniel, replacing the injured Ross Dyer in the three-man attack.
Gateshead included Stags' summer trialist Ryan McGorrigan on the bench.
Meikle made a fine early burst down the right for the visitors but, having gone past a second man, he over-ran the ball into touch.
For Gateshead, Curtis flicked a header well wide when Bush's long throw was cleared back out to him to try again with a cross.
But Saturday's defensive frailties quickly returned to haunt Mansfield. On nine minutes Marriott made a great save to deny Hatch's close range header from Clark's looped ball.
That conceded a corner from which Cummins saw his free header saved well by Marriott and Magnay saw his follow-up deflect up and over for another flag kick.
Stags' defence was under intense pressure and from that next corner they conceded, again far too easily, in the 10th minute.
This time Gillies picked out Hatch who simply thundered a six yard header past Marriott at the same time as Curtis had gone down and the home players were appealing for a penalty.
Cox, sensing things were not working again, quickly sent on Speight for Tolley on 17 minutes and went 4-4-2. And within a minute the Stags were level.
Owens sent in a long free kick from his own half which saw Jones rise to loop a header inside the near post.
Magnay got his head onto another long throw by Bush, but it was an easy take for Marriott.
A mistake by Boyle saw him fail to cut out a Beevers throw and the ball ran for Green who, not expecting it to reach him, scuffed a poor finish wide from 15 yards.
Bush varied his throw routine and sent it out of the box to the lurking Gillies whose 20 yard shot flew over the visitors' angle.
Good work from Hatch saw him set up Cummins for a shot that Jones threw himself in the way of. The ball ran to Gillies who saw his effort deflect wide for a corner, from which Magnay didn't get any direction onto his header from Gillies' ball in.
A good run from Gillies from the left saw him come inside and find Boyle in space to his left, but he sidefooted a first time shot straight to Marriott.
There were a few niggles creping in and Beevers was booked for his challenge on Hatch on 35 minutes.
Mansfield thought they had won a penalty on 37 minutes when Curtis appeared to haul down Green. But those hopes were dashed by an offside flag that was already raised.
A minute later Hatch and Fisher headed on and, despite two defenders, Cummins was able to stretch out a leg and lift the ball just over the bar.
A decent cross in from Daniel on the left flew towards Howell who was unable to get anything on it as it skimmed his head for a goalkick.
Mansfield finished the half strongly with corners from each side, but the half ended all square with Paul Cox likely to have much to say about that early defending during the half-time break.
Stags returned with Thompson in the centre of defence in place of the presumably injured Pilkington.
Mansfield almost snatched an early lead as a long Owens throw was headed on by both Jones and Howells for Speight's head to finally nod it wide.
Two more Owens bombs were hurled in and twice the Heed cleared their lines.
But the home side regained the lead out of nothing on 56 minutes.
Meikle gave up possession 40 yards from goal where Fisher turned superbly and ran at the defenders before firing low on target from 20 yards.
It seemed a routine save for Marriott, but the usually reliable stopper allowed the ball to squirm under his dive and find the net.
Bush caught everyone by surprise by thundering a free kick over the bar from over 40 yards.
Both sides made changes with Reid on for Owens for the Stags on 67 minutes.
Gateshead quickly forced a corner after Bush's shot deflected wide off Thompson, Magnay then getting under his header from the corner.
Thompson was booked for a foul on 70 minutes. And from that kick another Marriott howler saw Gateshead extend their lead.
Bush sent the kick in from 45 yards and, with players jostling, the ball bounced through to the keeper who flapped at it as it bounced past him into the net.
Beevers chopped down Marwood as he tried to play a one-two to get in on goal and the inevitable second yellow card and red one were produced.
Four minutes from time Marwood set up Fisher from the left for a sidefooted finish to rub in their superiority with goal number four.
Mansfield almost pulled one back as Green's close range finish was smothered by Bartlett, conceding the first of two corners.
Marriott denied Fisher hat-trick in stoppage time as he got behind his low shot from the right.
GATESHEAD: Bartlett, Magnay, Boyle, Curtis, Clark, Gillies, Turnbull, Hatch, Cummins, Fisher, Bush. Subs: Marwood, Wilson, Nixon, McGlen, McGorrigan.
STAGS: Marriott; Beevers, Jones, Pilkington, Owens; Roberts, Howell, Tolley; Meikle, Green, Daniel. Subs: Thompson, Speight, Wright, Clements, Rhead.
REFEREE: Darren Handley of Bolton.
Gateshead 4-1 Stags
mansfieldtown.net report by Andrew Webb
Mansfield Town were comfortably beaten by a ruthless Gateshead side in their second Blue Square Bet Premier match of the new campaign.
The Stags, who were second best throughout the night, were level at the interval after Luke Jones had cancelled out Liam Hatch's early opener.
But a poor second half performance, in which Nathan Fisher grabbed two goals and Chris Bush scored from a freak free-kick, condemned Paul Cox's side to a heavy defeat.
Right-back Lee Beevers was also sent-off for a poor challenge on Josh Gillies in what proved to be a thoroughly miserable night all-round.
The Stags boss made only one change to his starting line-up following Saturday's home defeat to Newport County, with the injured Ross Dyer being replaced by debutant Junior Daniel in midfield.
The hosts enjoyed plenty of early possession on a glorious summer evening at the International Stadium and created the first opportunity after only three minutes when Paddy Boyle headed wide of Alan Marriott's woodwork following left-back Bush's cross into the area.
Hatch almost opened the scoring soon afterwards. The experienced striker peeled away from George Pilkington inside the box to reach a chipped ball into the area from the left flank, but his header from six yards out was superbly tipped round the post by Marriott.
From the resulting corner, Micky Cummins capitalised on some poor defending and directed a free header straight at the Stags shot-stopper before Carl Magnay's follow-up attempt caught a deflection and sailed high over the woodwork at the expense of another corner.
However, this time, with only 10 minutes on the clock, Gateshead's pressure was to be rewarded as Hatch caught the defence sleeping and stooped low to head past Marriott from the edge of the six-yard box and send the majority of the crowd into celebration.
Jake Speight replaced Jamie Tolley in a tactical substitution after only 15 minutes of the game, which soon proved to be an inspired one as the Stags found themselves back on level terms three minutes later.
Pilkington delivered a long free-kick into the box from midway inside the Gateshead half and fellow central-defensive partner Jones rose highest to cushion his header past the despairing Adam Bartlett and level the scoreline.
Recent signing Daniel and substitute Speight enjoyed further opportunities, before the hosts turned the screw and created a series of good opportunities after the half-hour mark.
Magnay and Cummins combined on the right flank, before a shot from playmaker Gillies cannoned off the body of Pilkington and almost crept past a wrong-footed Marriott at his near post.
Gillies picked out Magnay from the resulting corner, who could only direct his header wide of the woodwork, much to the relief of a static Stags defence who were caught napping moments later.
This time, Gillies found Boyle in acres of space on the left-hand side as he quickly switched play from right to left, but despite having time and space in abundance to do more, Boyle ultimately fired a tame low shot straight at Marriott after advancing into the area.
Beevers was then cautioned for a challenge on Hatch, moments before Matt Green thought he had won a penalty after he was fouled in the area by centre-back James Curtis.
Despite referee Darren Handley initially pointing to the spot, after consultation with his assistant who had also raised his flag, it was decided that Green had strayed into an offside position prior to being fouled and Gateshead were instead awarded a free-kick.
Cummins soon volleyed over from distance at the opposite end on 39 minutes, but it was the Stags who created the last opportunity of the half when Anthony Howell headed over following a superb left-wing cross into the area from Daniel.
John Thompson replaced fellow centre-back Pilkington at half-time, and the Stags wasted only three minutes before enjoying the first chance of the second period.
A long throw from Andy Owens found Howell lurking dangerously inside the six-yard box, but the midfielder could only flick a header towards Speight who was denied by Bartlett.
Nevertheless, Gateshead soon began to dominate proceedings and regained the lead on 57 minutes.
Fisher carved out a shooting angle for himself on the edge of the box after cutting inside from the left and eventually hit a powerful low shot which squirmed under the body of Marriott and into an empty net.
With the Stags now on the back foot, Magnay tried his luck with an ambitious and somewhat speculative 30-yard pile-driver on the hour-mark, which thankfully flew over Marriott's woodwork and landed on the athletics track located behind the goal.
Striker Matt Rhead replaced Owens as Paul Cox used the final substitution available to him midway through the second-half, but on 71 minutes Mansfield's misery was further increased when the hosts grabbed a somewhat bizarre third goal.
The Stags defence were unable to deal with a routine set-piece into the area as a speculative right-wing free-kick by Bush evaded everyone and found the net after it bounced in the six-yard box infront of a despairing Marriott who could only get fingertips on the ball.
Matters soon went from bad to worse as right-back Beevers received his second yellow card on 83 minutes after a strong challenge on the impressive Gillies.
Gateshead completed the rout four minutes from time when substitute James Marwood exploited the empty space down the left flank which was left following Beevers dismissal, by drilling a low cross into the middle for Fisher to ruthlessly fire home from an acute angle.
Report: Gateshead 4 Mansfield Town 1
Nottingham Post report by freelancer
MANSFIELD Town headed north knowing only too well what this fixture brought a year ago.
Then, after a disappointing opening day stalemate with Bath, they travelled up the A1 on the Tuesday and were thumped 3-0 as Paul Cox's reign got off to a poor start.
It would all come together in the end, finishing third only to lose out in the play-off semi-finals to York.
But after being stunned by a 4-3 home defeat to Newport in the new season's opener at the weekend, there would have been a sense of trepidation ahead of last night's game at the International Stadium.
And in the end, it proved another painful trip to the north-east as the Stags were made to pay for conceding more soft goals, shipping four goals just like in their opener.
Cox made just one change to the starting line-up, with the injured Ross Dyer replaced by new signing Colin Daniel, who joined from Macclesfield on the eve of the new campaign.
He resisted the temptation to start with Jake Speight, who came off the bench to score twice against Newport.
And he also put his faith in the defence that he had blasted following their poor showing in that game.
But the supporters would have been forgiven for fearing the worse as the game got off to a dreadful start when the Stags came undone again from a set-piece on 11 minutes.
Alan Marriott had produced a good stop to deny Liam Hatch and after the first corner was deflected wide, the second saw Stags go behind as Hatch tapped home.
Cox was quick to respond, sacrificing experienced midfielder Jamie Tolley 17 minutes in, bringing Speight on and going 4-4-2, with the former Wrexham man joining Matt Green up front.
And less than a minute later, Luke Jones pulled Stags level as he met a free kick into the box from George Pilkington and planted the ball into the net with a solid header.
At the interval, John Thompson came on at the back for skipper Pilkington.
Early in the half Anthony Howell got a neat flick onto Matt Green but the striker put his header just wide of the post.
But 11 minutes into the second half, Nathan Fisher fired beyond Alan Marriott to put the hosts back in front again.
And a set-piece then became their undoing again as they went 3-1 down, a free kick from Chris Bush too easily finding its way into the net although it appeared to take a touch on the way through.
Lee Beevers then saw red for a second booking before Fisher added a fourth late on as the nightmare start to the new season continued. They now look to get their season going at the third time of asking at Kidderminster on Saturday.
Gateshead: Bartlett, Magney (Wilson, 73), Curtis, Clark, Bush, Boyle (Marwood, 67), Gillies, Turnbull, Cummins, Hatch (McGorrigan, 85), Fisher. Subs: Nixon, McGlen.
Stags: Marriott, Beevers, Jones, Pilkington (Thompson, 46), Owens (Rhead, 67), Howell, Roberts, Tolley (Speight, 17), Meikle, Green, Daniel. Subs: Clements, Wright.
Last night's Blue Square Bet Premier results: Telford 1 Forest Green 2, Alfreton 3 Southport 3, Cambridge 2 Lincoln City 1, Ebbsfleet 0 Braintree 1, Grimsby 1 Stockport 2, Hyde 0 Barrow 0, Kidderminster 0 Luton 2, Macclesfield 2 Wrexham 0, Newport 4 Nuneaton 0, Tamworth 2 Hereford 2, Woking 1 Dartford 0
Gateshead 4-1 Mansfield Town
by Jeff Bowron
The International Stadium must be on the list of Mansfield manager Paul Cox's least favourite grounds.
Hammered 4-0 in a UniBond premier division play-off semi-final while manager of Eastwood Town Cox's Stags were beaten 3-0 at Gateshead last season.
Fast forward 12 months and Cox's promotion tipped side are beaten by a three goal margin on Tyneside again.
For Heed counterpart Ian Bogie four points from the opening two games against title favourites Luton and second favourites Mansfield was just the start he was looking for.
It could easily have been a perfect six and another fancied side, Forest Green Rovers, are next up at the International Stadium on Saturday.
"I am absolutely elated," said Bogie "the performance was top drawer from start to finish and 4-1 was kind to Mansfield.
"We had a lot of good opportunities in the first half to take the game away from Mansfield but the lads stuck to the task and the game plan.
"Man for man the lads were a real credit to themselves and the club and the supporters have witnessed something special tonight."
Ben Clark's ball into the box after a Chris Bush long throw had been half cleared saw Liam Hatch's close ranger header saved.
The Stags goal was then peppered in an incredible two minute spell.
Hatch had a great chance with a close range header but Alan Marriott in the Town goal managed to claw the ball away for a corner.
Josh Gillies' flag kick saw Micky Cummins' bullet header hit Marriot, Carl Magnay's follow up deflected wide.
Another precision corner from Gillies this time saw the Stags defence breached as Hatch headed powerfully home.
Mansfield were level eight minutes later when Andy Owens delivered a high free kick from half way into the box.
Luke Jones managed to get between two defenders to help the ball on with his head, the effort nestling in the bottom corner.
Paddy Boyle's miscued clearance then fell for Matt Green 14 yards out but the striker screwed his shot wide.
Gillies' shot from 25 yards was wide of the far post, the midfielder's next effort blocked by George Pilkington.
Magnay headed wide from Gillies' corner and then good work from Gillies set up Boyle on the left side of the box.
The on loan Dunfermline Athletic player, however, could only steer his shot straight at Marriott.
Gateshead had a touch of fortune on 36 minutes when
James Curtis clattered into Green inside the penalty area.
Referee Darren Handley awarded a penalty only for a linesman's flag for offside to save the day.
Back came Gateshead, Hatch's dink into the box headed on by Nathan Fisher for Cummins to volley just over the bar.
A trio of headers inside the box saw Stags sub Jake Speight head just wide three minutes into the second half.
By the hour Gateshead were back in front, Fisher nicking the ball off Lindon Meikle.
The pacy striker weaved his way towards the box to hit a 22-yard shot that went underneath Marriott.
An audacious 40-yard free kick from Bush, who was everywhere, cleared the bar and then the big man had another shot deflected for a corner.
Jones' header from Pilkington's long free kick was held by Adam Bartlett in a rare threat on the home goal.
The game was then made safe on 71 minutes.
Bush arced a free kick from out wide on the right into the box and it found the far corner as Hatch took Marriott's eye off the ball.
It was another soft goal to concede by the Stags keeper though the delivery from Bush was excellent.
A miserable night for the visitors was complete seven minutes from time when Lee Beevers was sent off for a second yellow.
Gateshead were now in full control and when lively sub James Marwood laid the ball into the path of Fisher a side-foot finish found the far corner.
A great night for The Heed who made light of the loss of key trio Jamie Chandler, Yemi Odubade and James Brown.
Gateshead: Bartlett, Magnay (Wilson 74), Bush, Boyle (Marwood 67), Curtis, Clark, Gillies, Turnbull, Hatch (McGorrigan 84), Fisher, Cummins
Subs (not used): Nixon (gk), McGlen
Goals: Hatch (10), Fisher (56, 83), Bush (71)
Mansfield Town: Marriott, Owens (Rhead 67), Beevers, Jones, Pilkington (Thompson 46), Meikle, Green, Howell, Roberts, Tolley (Speight 17), Daniel
Subs (not used): Wright, Clements
Goal: Jones (18)
Referee: Darren Handley (Bolton)
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