STAGS IMPRESS AFTER SLOW START IN FOREST FRIENDLY
Mansfield Town 0 - 1 Nottingham Forest
Majewski 50 seconds
Attendance 3993 (1482 from Forest)
Date: 13 July 2013
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium
On a roasting afternoon at Field Mill, Mansfield Town were quite poor in the opening thirty minutes against a Nottingham Forest side that knocked the ball around very nicely and had gone ahead after just 50 seconds with an uncharacteristic howler from the usually excellent Alan Marriott. But after finally settling down, the Stags played some good football and were the better side in the second half. So in the end, this was a really good workout for Mansfield who deserved a good ovation that they got at the end of the game. There were some very encouraging performances from a number of players, with Sam Clucas and Ryan Tafazolli particularly catching the eye.
Stagsnet player ratings here
Man of the match: Sam Clucas
Stags 0 Forest 1 - Marriott mistake gifts Forest friendly win
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
A rare gaff by keeper Alan Marriott after only 52 seconds saw Championship neighbours Nottingham Forest steal a 1-0 pre-season friendly win at Mansfield Town on a red-hot afternoon at the One Call Stadium.
Marriott failed to keep out Raddy Majewski’s speculative low shot at the start of a half in which Forest dominated possession, though Stags did have an effort ruled out for offside.
However, the Stags were much improved after the break, forcing the pace and making Forest keeper Karl Darlow produce two good saves while also hitting the bar.
Stags skipper and assistant boss Adam Murray said: “That was a good test for us.
“Playing Forest, we knew we wouldn’t have much of the ball, so today was all about working on our shape and fitness.
“The weather played a massive part too, making it twice as hard as it would have been anyway.
“But, once we had bedded in and stopped showing them too much respect, we gave a decent account of ourselves.
“It is early yet and players need to shake off their rustiness and switch their footballing brains back on.”?He added: “Alan Marriott only makes a mistake like that once in a blue moon and it’s better getting it out the way in pre-season.”
Mansfield, and a red-faced Marriott in particular, made the worst possible start as Forest were gifted a lead just 52 seconds into the game on a sweltering afternoon.
Majewski latched onto a Riley header 30 yards from goal, stepped forward and rifled in a low, hopeful shot which Marriott allowed to sneak under his body.
Derbyshire tried his luck on the turn on eight minutes but got right under the ball and ballooned it into the Quarry Lane stand.
However, the Reds almost doubled their lead on 13 minutes as McLaughlin picked out the head of Derbyshire five yards from goal where the striker brought a smart save out of Marriott, partially atoning for his early clanger.
Derbyshire fired straight at Marriott from 25 yards in the Reds’ next goal attempt.
Then Majewski’s superb far post volley from a long Derbyshire cross from the right, took a slight deflection for the first of two Reds’ corners, which the home side defended well.
Rhead’s lay-off on 27 minutes saw Clucas almost sent Stevenson clear, keeper Darlow there first to clear.
But Stags were finally having a little more of the game and thought they had drawn level on 33 minutes.
Meikle had a shot blocked by Cohen, but the ball was laid straight to Stevenson, who slotted home, the celebrations cut short by a raised offside flag.
On 38 minutes Clucas and Rhead chested the ball neatly to each other in turn before Clucas launched a low volley past the far post for Mansfield’s first real goal effort of the contest.
Derbyshire, under pressure from Riley, blazed well over as we entered the final five minutes of the half.
Two minutes later McCombe was inches wide with an acrobatic overhead kick from a half-cleared Jennings free kick as the half ended with just Marriott’s error proving the difference.
Buoyed by four half-time changes, Tafazolli, Howell, Speight and Briscoe on for Riley, McGuire, Meikle and Stevenson, Stags made a superb start to the second half, causing more problems in four minutes than they had all game.
Speight was just wide with a low shot and then Howell headed over in the first minute.
And on 49 minutes Speight’s low shot forced Darlow to parry one-handed - Stags’ first on-target effort.
Marriott then had to get down at his near post to smother a powerful low Blackstock drive.
Cohen was well over for Forest, then Speight was high and wide from an almost impossible angle as the game continued to open up.
McLaughlin was allowed to continue a break down the left, despite seeming to control with his hand, only to drill a low ball across the face of goal.
Darlow had to make another good save to preserve Forest’s lead on 65 minutes. Jennings floated the ball in from the left and Clucas met it with a great header that Darlow had to throw himself to his right to reach.
That forced a corner which was cleared to Briscoe over 20 yards from goal, and he zipped back in a shot that Darlow never saw until it almost hit him in the throat and bounced away.
Clucas dragged two Forest defenders towards the right hand corner before swapping passes with Speight, who cued him up for a curling effort over the far top corner.
The stifling heat of the afternoon was now being overshadowed by a dark cloud and thunder and lightning in the distance.
Tafazolli nodded wide from a Jennings free kick as the home side continued to hunt for an equaliser.
And Briscoe came so close eight minutes from time as he met Dyer’s nod-down with a rising right side-footed finish that cannoned back off the bar.
Gnahore curled harmlessly over for Forest in a rare threat to the home goal.
A long free kick by Black from the left reached Tafazolli in the box, but the defender could not get over the ball, and it skimmed the top of his head and sailed wide.
STAGS: Marriott; Beevers, Riley (Tafazolli ht), McCombe (Dempster 57), Jennings (Black 75); Murray (Clements 71), Stevenson (Speight ht), McGuire (Howell ht); Clucas, Rhead (Dyer 57), Meikle (Arnold ht). Subs not used: Deakin, Sutton, Hutchinson.
FOREST: Darlow, Licaj, Fenton (Wallace 82), Paterson (Gnahore 71), Cohen (Kamaneno 64), Blackstock (Morgan 79), Derbyshire (Devine 69), McLaughlin (Tounkara 79), Greening, Halford, Majewski. Subs not used: Polimos, Evtimov.
REFEREE: Andrew Haines of Tyne & Wea
That Winning Habit
Nottingham Forest’s Charlie McParland believes this afternoon’s win at Mansfield will help The Reds get into the habit of winning ahead of the new season.
Read more at http://www.nottinghamforest.co.uk/news/article/that-winning-habit-912885.aspx#DuZQlVp5HFOTWEmM.99
Forest’s Under 21s coach was tasked with leading the team, which comprised of a mixture of first team and Academy players, on a scorching afternoon at The One Call Stadium, leaving manager Billy Davies and his deputy Ned Kelly free to survey the action from a loftier position in the stands.
A solitary first-minute strike by Radoslaw Majewski was enough to tip the balance in Forest’s favour, and McParland was pleased with what unfolded in front of him.
He said: “It’s always nice to win with a clean sheet - it’s a bonus, and a good habit to get in to.
“It was a very positive day. We were completely on top for the first 25 minutes after getting our early goal. We just took our foot off the gas a little later on but we soon stepped it up again.
“The game opened up in the second half - they attacked us and started putting balls in our box. Mansfield play a direct game - they had about six lads over 6ft. They stick the ball in and you have to fight to win the headers.
“We were unlucky on the break a couple of times, on another day we could have had more goals.”
One of the men assisting McParland was interhim head of Academy Gary Brazil, who was thrilled to have been involved in procedings.
Brazil said: “From the day the manager stepped into the club it was his desire to bring everyone together as one. He is constantly in contact to talk about ways in which we can integrate further.
“He wants Academy players to pick from but the reality is they have to be good enough.
“As Academy staff, it’s our job to give him problems by putting players in front of him which give him a decision to make with his team selections. Some of the boys didn’t do themselves any harm today in that respect.
“It was a great experience for the younger boys - it will help them realise how much of a step up it is from playing at youth level to becoming involved with the first team.”
Red-hot Radi fires Forest to victory over Stags
Read more: http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-19520172-detail/story.html?#ixzz2Z6O8BShJ
by Paul Taylor, Nottingham Post
ON a day when the pitch-side temperature came something close to 100c, this was a clash that was always unlikely to reach boiling point.
But, while the searing conditions played a part in what was a pedestrian encounter peppered with bursts of action, there was still plenty to absorb for the managers of both sides.
?Paul Cox, perhaps, had the most to be pleased about, after seeing his Mansfield Town side edge a second half in which they steadily grew in both confidence and menace, with Forest's Karl Darlow having to make a number of saves to preserve Nottingham Forest's 1-0 winning margin.
The Stags boss, while overtly trying to keep expectation levels down, exudes a quiet confidence about his side's chances as they prepare to make the step up back into League Two.
And it was easy to see why, as three of his seven new signings produced solid performances against the Reds - and another, in Sam Clucas, positively shone amid the blazing sunshine at the One Call Stadium, with his pace, directness and willingness to test the opposition defence.
For Billy Davies, there can be no glossing over the fact that his goal is promotion; that his target this coming season is to steer the Reds into the Premier League.
For him, the afternoon will have been less of an accurate barometer when it comes to his squad's progression, with the dressing room split down the middle to take on two fixtures, with a Forest side also taking on Ilkeston FC.
We don't, unfortunately, know what the mood in the Forest camp is, as the media were refused the opportunity to speak to anybody from among the coaching staff or the players.
But Davies will have left Mansfield feeling some level of encouragement, not only because of promising performances from two of his own new signings, but also because of burgeoning displays from two young players.
Stephen McLaughlin, the 23-year-old who arrived from Derry City last January and had the first few months of his Forest career hampered by injury, had a few lively touches that provided evidence of why the club had been willing to risk £150,000 to bring him to England.
But it was Kieron Fenton, an integral figure of the Forest side that has flourished in the FA Youth Cup over the last few seasons, who supplied the kind of composed, intelligent performance that offered evidence that he may be ready to make the step-up.
For the 2,500 fans who made the short trip north, the biggest source of intrigue will have been Eric Lichaj and Jamie Paterson.
For the majority, this will have been the first chance to see two of the club's newest additions in action.
Lichaj arrived with a reputation for being a solid defender who is also capable of rampaging forward down either flank - and that was exactly what we saw. The American rarely put a foot wrong.
Paterson exuded similar qualities, but also had flair to match, with his pace and quick feet frequently coming to the fore, particularly during a first half in which Forest were largely on top.
He and McLaughlin swapped flanks to good effect, giving the Stags defence plenty to think about every time they were in possession. Matt Derbyshire, so often a forgotten man since his arrival under Steve McClaren, showed flashes of what he is capable of in the first half.
Dropping deep to collect possession or making darting runs into the box, Derbyshire had several moments of intelligent play - even if his final ball or finishing touch still often let him down.
It was Radi Majewski who provided the game's decisive moment within the first 60 seconds of play. Collecting the ball 30 yards from goal, the little Pole took a few quick strides before letting fly with a crisp low shot, fired towards the bottom corner of the net.
Alan Marriott, a hugely experienced keeper, will have been disappointed with what followed as, after positioning his body behind the ball, he somehow allowed it to squirm from his grasp and into the back of the net.
Still, by the final whistle, it was a harsh reflection on Mansfield that such a moment proved to be the defining moment of the match.
Marriott made amends for his mistake with a superb save to push away a close-range header from Derbyshire, while also pushing away a shot from McLaughlin at his near post.
But, come the final whistle, it was Darlow who has been the busier of the two keepers. We wait to discover if Darlow or new signing Dorus de Vries will start the season as first choice. But Darlow certainly put a good case forward, as he fought stubbornly for his clean sheet.
A fine reaction stop to deny Clucas and an acrobatic save to thwart Louis Briscoe were the highlights as Mansfield piled the pressure on. And, when Darlow was finally beaten, by another Briscoe effort, the ball bounced cruelly, from a Mansfield point of view, back off the crossbar.
Mansfield: Marriott, Beevers, Jennings, Riley, McCombe, McGuire, Meikle, Murray, Rhead, Stevenson, Clucas. Subs: Sutton, Dempter, Tafazolli, Howell, Clements, Briscoe, Arnold, Hutchinson, Dyer, Speight. Not used: Deakin.
Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Halford, Fenton (Polimos), Cohen (Kamaneno), Paterson (Gnahore), Greening, Majewski (Morgan), McLaughlin (Wallace), Derbyshire (Devine), Blackstock (Tounkara).
Latest | July 2013