EARLY HUTCHINSON GOAL WINS IT FOR STAGS
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Southport
Hutchinson 2 minutes
Attendance: 1918 (83 from Southport)
Date: 10 November 2012
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium
A goal after 92 seconds by Ben Hutchinson was enough to earn the points for Mansfield Town in an entertaining and hard fought game against Southport. Mansfield were fortunate when Southport were denied a penalty as Shaun Whalley went over Lee Beevers' outstretched leg on 11 minutes but the referee booked Whalley for simulation. Review of the match DVD showed it should have been a penalty. The Stags created chances for Nick Wright, Lindon Meikle and Jake Speight but were indebted to some dogged defending at the other end, with John Dempster in fine form including some crucial blocks. Mansfield now head for an FA Cup replay on Tuesday at Beaconsfield SYCOB's ground against Slough Town, before heading back to Field Mill to take on Luton in a game which has been moved again, this time to Sunday lunchtime, much to the annoyance of Paul Cox. The Stags have the joint best home record in the division again, alongside Newport.
Man of the match: John Dempster
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Mansfield Town 1-0 Southport, 10th November
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
BEN Hutchinson's early goal proved enough to secure all three points for Mansfield Town against Southport at the One Call Stadium this afternoon.
Hutchinson's second minute strike eased any nerves Stags may have had playing at home after a couple of poor results, though decent performances.
Indeed, in that first half Stags played with confidence and flair and Nick Wright could have had a hat-trick by the interval.
With no second goal arriving, nerves occasionally jangled after the break. However, Stags held on for only their third win in 10 games.
The Stags were unchanged on the day. That meant fit-again Jake Speight and Adam Murray along with last season's top scorer, Matt Green, had to be content with a place on the bench.
Stags made the perfect start to the afternoon with a goal after just 93 seconds.
Meikle began the move after winning a superb tackle on Whalley deep in the Stags' half. Wright and Briscoe swapped passes and Wright got the right by-line before drilling a powerful low ball across the box which flew toward Hutchinson who had time to control before smashing the ball into the net from just six yards out.
Wright then tested McMillan with a low finish on seven minutes after another series of swift one-touch passing, also involving Briscoe and Hutchinson as the home side made one of their brightest starts for a while.
Southport tried to get back into the contest and Whalley had a shot blocked by Clements while Tames blazed a low ball across the six yard box from the right but was unable to find a team mate.
The Sandgrounders were furious on 12 minutes when Whalley went down in the box under Dempster's challenge and the referee booked Whalley with the player screaming for a penalty.
Meikle again did well to win the ball during some Southport pressure and then break quickly down the middle. He finally released Wright to his left who cut inside only to let himself down with an horrendously sliced finish.
Geohaghon was booked for blocking Whalley on 21 minutes, though it looked like the Southport man had played for it, and Moogan was too high with the 25 yard free kick.
An ambitious Hutchinson was wide with an quick shot from 20 yards as he tried to catch McMillan off guard.
The visitors were almost level on 28 minutes as Tames sent a glancing header wide at the far post from Whalley's free kick with Tames complaining he had been impeded.
But it was the home side playing some highly attractive stuff and when Clements curled a good ball across the box, Howell looked to be coming in at the far post at just the right time to finish before Wright intervened with a flicked header wide.
Stags then broke quickly again when a Southport free kick was cleared and this time Wright showed electric pace down the centre to get into a shooting position before sidefooting a finish too near the keeper to beat him.
Briscoe overhit his next cross, which Meikle rescued beyond the other post, and the ball eventually fell to Beevers who was well off target with his finish from the edge of the box.
Had Tames' first touch been better from Moogan's through ball been better two minutes into the second half, Southport might have been quickly level.
But Wright came even closer a minute later for Mansfield as Clements floated the most inviting of crosses from the right and Wright's glancing header from six yards somehow passed wide from just six yards.
Sutton did well to swap passes with Briscoe to break into the box but then sent a tame low ball straight to the keeper.
Howell rose well to head a Clements free kick straight at the keeper as Stags continued to search for that killer second.
Another Tames break into the home box looked menacing. But his first touch was heavy and Geohaghon was able to concede a corner.
Clements was added to the book for a 53rd minute foul on Moogan which almost led to an equaliser. Moogan floated in the free kick and Grand found himself all alone for a free header from seven yards which he somehow planted wide.
Already booked, Clements might have been sent off on 62 minutes when he caught Parry Late 20 yards from goal, the referee thankfully keeping his cards in his pocket and Moogan too high with the free kick.
Soon after he was given a final warning for another foul as the youngster walked a tightrope.
Good control from Briscoe saw him lay off a quick pass to Meikle who, spotting the keeper off his line, tried a quick lob but lifted the ball over the angle.
Sensibly, Murray went on for Clements with 19 minutes to go.
Stags' defence had to block two quickfire shots, the visitors complaining the second hit Dempster's hand.
A great flick and turn by Hutchinson saw him draw warm applause as he won a corner which Murray over-hit.
Hutchinson flicked a header over from a Briscoe free kick as the clock ticked down with the home side holding onto a slender lead.
Murray was cautioned for his challenge on Lever six minutes from the end.
Howell was then just unable to finish a superb move involving a great exchange of passes between Meikle and Hutchinson on the left.
Speight did well to control a clearance on the halfway line, turn well and beat three men before lifting a finish over from 20 yards.
With the fourth official's electronic board not working, it was announced over the tannoy that four minutes had been added on.
Dempster conceded a free kick near the home side's left corner flag in the second of those which Hutchinson headed clear.
With the last kick, Geohaghon headed clear a Whalley free kick with the home fans holding their collective breath.
It was a nervous finish but Stags held on comfortably against a side that failed to find a shot on target all afternoon.
STAGS: Redmond; Sutton, Dempster, Geohaghon, Beevers; Briscoe, Howell, Clements (Murray 71), Meikle; Hutchinson; Wright (Speight 66). Subs not used: Thompson, Green, Rhead.
SOUTHPORT: McMillan; Lynch, Parry, Smith, Grand, Lever; Whalley, Benjamin (Almond 65), Moogan (Chalmers 88), Ledsham (Stephenson 79); Tames. Subs not used: Hibbert, Willis.
REFEREE: Declan Ford of Lincoln.
ATTENDANCE: 1,918 (83 away).
New start for Ben Hutchinson and Mansfield Town after Southport victory .Monday, November 12, 2012 Nottingham Post
Follow.JUST a few days earlier, his former club Celtic were enjoying one of the greatest nights in their European history as they beat Barcelona.
Parkhead was bouncing as 55,000 fans went crazy as their side produced a heroic performance to see off such decorated players as Lionel Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and David Villa.
.It is hard to believe four years earlier, Ben Hutchinson was playing in the Champions League with the Hoops, playing his part as the crowd went wild during a 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
On Saturday, he was not on the pitch against Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Ryan Giggs.
Instead it was Southport and in front of less than 2,000 fans.
It was a far cry from the world's biggest club football competition.
But for Hutchinson, he hopes his early close-range strike that won the game 1-0 is just the beginning of a new start for both him and Mansfield Town.
In terms of important goals, it is right up there and the fact when he left the One Call Stadium that evening he was still beaming told exactly how much it meant to him.
His crazy career has seen him go from local clubs Eastwood and then Arnold as a teenager to the Premier League with Middlesbrough, where he scored against Manchester City and into Europe with Celtic, then back down to non-league by the age of 24.
But he is far from washed up. And the same goes for Paul Cox's Stags.
On a personal level, Hutchinson has had to wait for his chance this season but by the time it came, he was craving action, desperate to get back on the pitch. He was hungry to prove himself, the past behind him and an opportunity to prove his talent again, to rebuild his career.
But while he has his own personal mission, the Stags have an even bigger one of their own in which Hutchinson is desperate to play his part.
After reaching third and missing out in the play-offs, they have stuttered badly this season despite investing in a big squad.
Cox took the big decision to trim the squad during the last fortnight, axe certain players and bring a togetherness to the side. And after a draw and much-improved performance against Nuneaton in midweek, he spoke about moving forward.
Saturday at home was always going to be the big test in front of their frustrated fans as they went into the game in 14th. But Hutchinson's second-minute strike settled the nerves and the Stags could have been a few goals ahead by the break.
In the second half, there were a few nervy scenarios but moments like captain John Dempster's double block on the edge of the box, to deny Chris Almond and then Steven Tames, as he threw himself into challenges, epitomised a new-found desire in the team.
It was a 1-0 victory, a sixth in nine home matches during a spell where they have only lost once, on the opening day to Newport. It is a fantastic record on their own patch, it is just the away form with one win on the road in the league that is killing them.
At least Cox is now able to find some consistency to his selection with no changes to the starting 11 at the weekend, just top scorer Jake Speight returning from injury to the bench in place of Colin Daniel.
And after two minutes, the Stags were in front. It all started with Lindon Meikle making a superb tackle on Shaun Whalley deep in his own half. The winger got to his feet, fed Nick Wright and he moved the ball out to the right flank for Louis Briscoe. It was the winger's turn to feed Wright down the side of the penalty area and when he crossed into the six-yard box, it fell invitingly to Hutchinson who fired home with his second touch.
It was a flowing move and set the tone in a match where the Stags mixed up their play, putting together some excellent phases of passing football.
Wright combined with Briscoe soon after before the striker saw his shot from the edge of the box saved by Tony McMillan. And on 18 minutes, Meikle broke at pace from his own half, with the Stags three-on-one, before finding Wright to his left. The striker, who opened his Stags account in the draw at Nuneaton a few days earlier, cut in from the side of the box but totally made a hash of his shot, slicing miles wide.
On 32 minutes, Clements fired in a superb cross from the right, Wright rose to head but put it wide of the far stick as Anthony Howell dived in to try to divert it beyond McMillan. And there was another opportunity for Wright before half-time as he broke clear, cut in from the left and lined up his shot only to put it too close to the goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
In the second half there was a scare as Alan Moogan floated in a free kick and former Stag Simon Grand shook off Exodus Geohaghon. But, in front of the defender, he headed the wrong side of the post from seven yards out.
Dempster got in his two vital blocks as Mansfield ensured Southport did not get one meaningful shot on target throughout 90 minutes.
And late on, Meikle combined with Hutchinson, who slipped him down the left of the box in a quick move but after he laid the ball into the path of the onrushing Howell, the midfielder could not get it out of his feet to get his shot away.
They failed to build on the lead but have now conceded just once in their last three matches, as a new-found resolve seems to have been discovered by the Stags.
It was not Champions League but for Hutchinson and Mansfield, it felt like a new start.
A beginning that, if built on correctly, can unlock countless opportunities in the future for both the forward and the club
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