STAGS HIT EIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1965
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 8 - 1 Barrow
Stevenson 8, 68, Green pen 23, 32, pen 52, Daniel 30, Murray 43, Howell 70. Danny L Rowe pen 17
Attendance: 2226 (82 from Barrow)
Date: 9 February 2013
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium
Mansfield Town annihilated Barrow for the second season running. Last season the Stags inflicted Barrow with the worst defeat in their history: a 7-0 mauling. Unbelievably the Stags bettered that result with an 8-1 victory, and thus entered the Barrow record books again with their worst defeat in their history. Meanwhile for Mansfield it was the first eight goal haul since the 8-1 win over QPR in 1965, and is only bettered in the list of biggest victories in the club's history in league games by the 9-2 win against Rotherham in 1932.
Mansfield picked up where they left off against Dartford last week. The Stags were outstanding in the second half against Dartford last week, and they bettered it this time by producing two outstanding halves of football. The Stags were so good that during commentary with the score at 4-1, I commented that I thought the Stags could get ten in this game. In the end it was only eight. The Stags midfield and forward line were irresistible, with Howell, Murray, Briscoe, Daniel, Stevenson and Green all worthy of a rating of at least 8. Stevenson was my man of the match, and the fans text vote man of the match, and really does look the player who signed for the Stags having scored 90 goals in 3 seasons.
Owner John Radford gave Stags manager Paul Cox his Aston Martin as a result of the 5-1 scoreline at half-time. After the game, the car was parked outside reception with new number plate MT51COX. A remarkable gesture. The look on Cox's face after the post-match interviews as he saw the car, showed that he couldn't quite believe what had happened.
Stagsnet report in the Match Centre
Mansfield Town 8 Barrow 1 - 9th February 2013
CHAD report by By Andrew Webb
Magnificent Mansfield Town equalled their joint-biggest home win in their 116-year history, with an emphatic victory over woeful Barrow at One Call Stadium.
From the outset, the scintilating Stags produced a breathtaking display of aggressive, attack-minded football, and showed no mercy whatsoever to their counterparts.
Matt Green bagged a hat-trick, which included two penalties, whilst mercurial midfielder Lee Stevenson netted a brace and scooped the 'Man of the Match' award.
Skipper Adam Murray also netted for the third game in succession, Anthony Howell headed his fourth goal of the campaign, and the impressive Junior Daniel was also on the scoresheet.
With unadulterated venom flowing through their veins, Mansfield came close to a first-minute opener when John Dempster's powerful header was superbly palmed over by Shaun Pearson.
Striker Green then came within inches of finding the net, as he headed wide from point-blank range following Junior Daniel's excellent left-sided cross.
Barrow, who could have climbed out of the relegation zone with three points, had little answer to Mansfield's dominance and eventually fell behind on eight minutes.
Green's intelligent flick in the centre found Stevenson in empty space, and the midfielder took a touch before unleashing a sumptuous 30-yard thunderbolt that flew into the corner.
Nevertheless, after surviving a tidal wave of possession from their dominant counterparts, Barrow managed to draw level completely against the run of play on 17 minutes.
Dempster's needless tug on Danny L. Rowe inside the area was spotted by referee Rob Whitton, which allowed the Bluebirds striker to tuck his low effort underneath Alan Marriott.
And buoyed by their undeserved equaliser, the Bluebirds soon squandered two gilt-edge chances in quick succession.
Marriott used his legs to block Adam Boyes' effort after the strike was left unmarked, before Danny M. Rowe whistled into the side-netting from the rebound.
Magnificent Mansfield then ruthlessly punished Barrow to devastating effect as they bagged an incredible four goals prior to the half-time interval.
Matt Flynn brought Luke Jones to the floor inside the area and from the resulting spot-kick Green nonchalantly fired into the bottom right-hand corner; the opposite direction to which Shaun Pearson dived.
Skipper Murray was then instrumental as Mansfield's third goal arrived on the half-hour mark.
His expert turn in the centre, and subsequent ball over the top, found an accelerating Daniel, who managed to hold off his mark and steer a right-footed drive into the bottom corner.
With the One Call Stadium crowd in full voice, Paul Cox's side dramatically struck again just two minutes later in a delightful counter-attacking move of free-flowing football.
Stevenson collected possession on the left flank when play was waved on following Flynn's wreckless foul on Daniel, and played a delightful inside-pass to an unmarked Green.
The Stags talisman retained his composure as he breathed down on goal, and lofted an exquisite ball over the advancing Bluebirds custodian to register his second goal of the afternoon.
Winger Louis Briscoe had his vicious left-footed strike palmed over as Mansfield were utterly relentless in their dominance, before Murray's effort from the resulting set-piece was blocked on the line by Tom Eckersley.
Stevenson and Briscoe both spurned close-range chances to extend the advantage even further, but only two minutes prior to the interval another goal was forthcoming.
Under Green's challenge at the near-post, the luckless Shaun Pearson failed to keep a firm grip of James Jennings' right-sided corner, which left Murray with the easiest of finishes.
Magnificent Mansfield continued their ruthless goal pursuit after the interval, and it needed just six minutes for the fabulous Green to complete his hat-trick.
Barrow skipper Mike Pearson was judged to have fouled Jones, and as a result, Green's slammed a thunderous spot-kick into the top right-hand corner, which gave the keeper no chance.
On an afternoon that was already destined to go down in Stags folklore, the tremendous Daniel scuffed a low effort goalwards on the hour-mark after a quiet period of play.
Nevertheless, merciless Mansfield continued to torturously torment Barrow with their swashbuckling football, and soon added more despair for the already-suffering Bluebirds.
Substitute Matt Rhead, who had replaced hat-trick hero Green only moments earlier, squeezed a delightful ball through to Stevenson and the midfielder made no mistake with his left-footed finish.
Just when it seemed Barrow's misery could be enhanced no further, midfielder Anthony Howell capitalised on a defensive mix-up and cushioned a beautiful header over a static Shaun Pearson.
Having already equalled their club record winning margin for a league encounter, the hosts attacked with vigor and venom but could not add any more goals to their tally.
Briscoe whistled a cleanly-struck effort over the woodwork, whilst Rhead came within inches of a ninth goal, as his point-blank header from a Jennings' corner was saved by a full-stretch keeper.
Attendance: 2,226 (82 away supporters).
Lightning can strike twice as Mansfield Town hit goal trail again
Nottingham Post report by Stevie Roden
IT WAS a day that started with Paul Cox warning his Mansfield Town players to forget about thumping victories – they come round once in a blue moon.
Yet it ended with him roaring his way out of the One Call Stadium in a new Aston Martin – a gift from the Stags chairman John Radford – after his side plundered eight goals past Barrow.
Talk about a strange afternoon.
The fact is Cox has always talked about finishing well, coming around the bend well placed to motor through the gears and take the flag first.
Last season, the Stags did that to fire themselves up to third in the Blue Square Bet Premier only to miss out in the play-offs.
This time round, they can now smell the top-five again. But tomorrow night, they could be in there. And top spot is far from out of sight.
Saturday's emphatic 8-1 win has simply stoked the fire when it comes to the promotion talk that has so often been way off the agenda, given the early season struggles.
In the last campaign, the Stags recorded their biggest-ever win under Cox, thumping Barrow 7-0 on home turf as they went on that amazing run. Fast forward to this season and nine days ago, the Stags had beaten Dartford 5-0 at home to finally raise expectations.
But despite Barrow being in the bottom four, they had seen off promotion hopefuls Luton and Newport in their previous two matches.
Could there be a repeat of last year? Cox had warned his men to forget it. It did not matter if it was ugly – they just had to grind out a win even if it was not to the taste of the home crowd.
Yet his players had other ideas as, from the off, they took the game to their shell-shocked visitors and the Stags were at their clinical best in front of goal.
At the forefront was Lee Stevenson. The midfielder has had to wait 18 months for his chance since following Cox from Eastwood.
But in four consecutive starts, he has now scored five times and is growing more and more dangerous by the minute while last season's Matt Green is oozing confidence and his hat-trick, including two penalties, showed just how confident he is as he took his season tally to 14.
It was Stevenson who got the ball rolling, his stunning 22-yard rifled effort rising into the top corner. It was the perfect start but a foolish tug of the shirt by John Dempster on Danny L Rowe's shirt gifted the visitors a penalty and Rowe duly obliged from the spot.
However, despite the scare, Stags were rightly awarded a penalty of their own when Luke Jones was shoved to the floor by Matt Flynn and Green sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Skipper Murray then turned provider for Colin Daniel, whose strength came to the fore to see off his marker before firing in off the post from the edge of the box.
Two minutes later, it was 4-1. Daniel was chopped down in his own half by Flynn but the referee played a great advantage and Stevenson broke down the left, played in Green who burst into the box before chipping over Pearson.
Louis Briscoe, the man who bagged a hat-trick in this fixture last season, was denied by a one-handed save from Pearson, before Murray made it 5-1 just before the break – smashing in from a corner after the ball dropped invitingly.
Within seven minutes of the restart, there was another penalty and another goal for the hosts as Mike Pearson was adjudged to have pulled Jones to the ground in the box and Green stepped up to complete his hat-trick.
Substitute Matt Rhead then threaded a pin-point ball through to release Stevenson beyond the back four and he slammed home his second of the game.
And, two minutes later, it was eight as a ball back into the box saw Anthony Howell leap, spot the goalkeeper off his line, and looped a header into the back of the net.
Coming around the bend, Mansfield are now on a run of seven wins in nine league games and with matches every Saturday and Tuesday into April, there is no better time to be the form team hitting the fast lane.
But it is more than form. The mentality suddenly seems not only confident, but ruthless.
And the trip to Newport, who sit in fifth in that final play-off place, has extra incentive tomorrow night. Stags need to close the three-point gap and victory will do that and see them leapfrog their Welsh opponents on goal difference.
Not only that, Stags are just three points off third with three games in hand and 11 points off leaders Grimsby with three games to play catch up, not to mention a meeting with them next month on home turf.
Thanks to the chairman's generosity, Cox is now driving a supercar many can only dream of owning.
But it is not the only thing hitting top gear. His side are too.
Tomorrow, he swaps his new swanky motor for the team bus to south Wales.
Yet, if they head back to north Nottinghamshire on that coach in the play-off places late tomorrow night, you get the impression there would be nowhere else he would rather be.
Not even his flash Aston Martin
Read more: http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-18115989-detail/story.html#ixzz2Ka3tplOd
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Barrow AFC suffer more humiliation at Mansfield
North West Evening Mail
BARROW AFC plunged further into the relegation mire by capitulating to an 8-1 defeat at promotion contenders Mansfield Town.
The Bluebirds endured a torrid first-half with their attempt to avenge the 7-0 hammering they suffered in last season's corresponding fixture quickly biting the dust - as Stags attacker Matt Green went on to bag a hat-trick.
Mansfield dominated the early action with Lee Stevenson handing them an eighth-minute lead by arrowing a stunning 25-yard strike into the top corner. The visitors gradually fought their way into the contest, however, with Danny L Rowe being tripped in the box before levelling from the penalty spot on 17 minutes.
But the Stags roared back as Green restored their lead from the penalty spot following Matt Flynn's foul on Luke Jones in the 23rd minute.
And Mansfield then ran riot as Colin Daniel produced a clinical finish to make it 3-1 and Green's cute effort extended their lead on 32 minutes. Adam Murray capped off a half to forget for Barrow two minutes before the break as he lashed home to net Mansfield's fifth.
Green secured his treble with a 52nd-minute penalty, before Stevenson claimed his second goal from near the edge of the Barrow box. It was 8-1, on 71 minutes, when Anthony Howell capitalised on some weak defending by converting with a close-range header to seal the visitor's misery.
Barrow boss Dave Bayliss handed a full debut to Tom Eckersley while fellow new defender Sam Hibbert starrted his Bluebirds career on the bench.
While 21-year-old Eckersley arrived on a month's loan from League Two side Accrington yesterday, Hibbert has joined the club on non-contract terms.
Centre-back Danny O'Donnell was still missing as he continues his recovery from a dislocated shoulder,while goalscoring midfielder Richie Baker served the first game of a two-match suspension.
Number one stopper Danny Hurst was nursing his own shoulder complaint, allowing his deputy Shaun Pearson to make only his third appearance of the campaign.
Attacking duo Danny L Rowe and Lee McEvilly returned to the squad after being cup-tied for the midweek FA Trophy defeat at Gainsborough Trinity.
Barrow AFC: Shaun Pearson, Matt Flynn, Tom Eckersley, Mike Pearson, Gavin Skelton, Paul Rutherford, Alex-Ray Harvey, James Owen, Danny Rowe (Sean McConville 73), Danny L Rowe, Adam Boyes (Lee McEvilly 74).
Substitutes: Garry Hunter, Sam Hibbert.
Mansfield Town: Andy Marriott, John Dempster, Luke Jones, Matt Green (Matt Rhead 60), Louis Briscoe, Anthony Howell, Lee Beevers, Adam Murray (Chris Clements71), Lee Stevenson, James Jennings, Colin Daniel (Nick Wright 65).
Substitutes: Ritchie Sutton, Lindon Meikle.
Referee: Robert Whitton.
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