STAGS IMPRESS AND ARNOLD GOAL BEATS CHESTER
Chester FC 0 - 1 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 802 (approx 20 from Mansfield)
Date: 16 July 2013
Martin Shaw at the Deva Stadium (now known as Exacta Stadium)
Mansfield Town put in a dominant performance at Conference new boys Chester FC tonight to come away with a 1-0 win and it would have been more clearcut if Mansfield had put away their chances. The Stags were well on top throughout the game, with several encouraging performances, including from trialists Nathan Arnold and Amari Morgan-Smith, going forward, plus forgotten man George Pilkington at the back. Keiran Murtagh was my man of the match in the centre of the park, alongside Chris Clements. Chester barely had a look-in all game. The only goal of the game came when Murtagh made an excellent surging run down the right to the byline and pulled the ball back for Nathan Arnold who fired into the bottom left corner of the net from 18 yards, for a fine goal. Sadly the game was not filmed, so we won’t be able to bring you footage of the goal on StagsPlayer.
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Man of the match: Keiran Murtagh
Nathan Arnold is Mansfield’s matchwinner in friendly at Chester
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Mansfield Town finally chalked up their first pre-season friendly win with a 1-0 success in the battle of the champions at Chester FC tonight.
Conference North title-winners Chester are going for a record-breaking fourth successive promotion this year, but tonight were shot down by Nathan Arnold’s 75th minutes strike.
Manager Paul Cox played it safe and missed the game with the birth of his daughter imminent.
The Mansfield line-up included four trialists - Arnold and Jordan Robertson, who had already figured in pre-season, as well as former Notts County defender Julian Kelly and former Macclesfield striker Amari Morgan-Smith.
Arnold was the pick of the four with another impressive display, and the winning goal, while Morgan-Smith did enough to warrant further consideration after a sterling first half before fading.
However, little went right for Kelly in an error-strewn showing while Robertson was largely anonymous after a decent showing as sub last week at Worksop.
Centre half Ryan Tafazolli was named on the original team sheet, but it was George Pilkington who ran out to begin the game with Tafazolli feeling unwell, Pilkington giving a reliable 90 minutes.
Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes due to the Stags being held up by an accident en route on the M62.
Arnold burst superbly into the home box in the first minute on the left, his finish too high.
On nine minutes Arnold did get a low shot on target, albeit straight to Danby.
Morgan-Smith had begun the game very brightly, but there was concern when he stayed down after a 50-050 challenge on 12 minutes. However, he was able to continue after treatment.
Deakin raced out his box to head away, but clattered into Titchiner at the same time to concede a free kick on the left. But Mahon’s free kick curled through everyone for a goalkick.
Home striker Seddon limped out of the action on 23 minutes, replaced by Mills in the night’s first change.
On 28 minutes Morgan-Smith’s excellent volley deflected for a corner from Meikle’s right wing cross.
Four minutes later Linwood’s slip gifted the ball to Morgan-Smith who fed Arnold into space one-one with the keeper.
Arnold managed to beat Danby to the ball and draw him out to the left of his goal, but by the time he had improved the angle for a shot, the keeper was well positioned to get in the way.
Pilkington guided a header wide from a Clements corner, then Morgan-Smith only just missed an overhead effort, while Meikle looped a header at Danby as the Stags continued to dominate.
Nevertheless, had Linwood managed to get over a free headed chance from a right wing cross, he might have opened the scoring on 42 minutes, the ball dropping wide of the left post.
Murtagh produced the first effort of the second half after a powerful run forward from midway in the Chester half before making Danby save low to his right at full stretch.
Meikle spotted Black running into acres of space on the far side of the box and chipped the perfect ball into his path, the full back sadly blazing his finish over the bar and out the ground!
Horan’s high looping far post cross was headed wide by Mills soon after.
On 61 minutes Hutchinson took over from the disappointing Robertson for the visitors.
Clements was wide with a low 20-yard snapshot
The deadlock was finally broken with 15 minutes to play.
Murtagh created the chance with a strong run down the right, despite the constant attentions of the aggressive Marc Williams, which ended with a low cross pulled back from the by-line. That skidded towards Arnold on the edge of the box who dispatched it first time with a low, crisp, right-footed finish inside the far post and out of the reach of Danby’s fingertips.
Brees failed to get a header on target three minutes from time.
But it would have been an injustice as Mansfield had done more than enough to win the game.
Stags now prepare for the visit of Peterborough United tomorrow night with Cox having decisions to make on his trialists with Arnold the most likely to win a deal.
CHESTER: Danby (Fearon 80), Kay, McIntyre, Horan, Linwood (Spittle 71), Jarrett (A. Williams 63), M. Williams, Harrison (Heath 71), Titchiner (Brees 59), Seddon (Mills 23), Mahon (Linfield 59).
STAGS: Deakin, Kelly (Marsden 81), Black, Clements, Tafazolli, Sutton, Meikle, Murtagh, Robertson (Hutchinson 61), Morgan-Smith (Thomas 87), Arnold. Subs not used: Poku, Spencer, Gregory.
REFEREE: Rob Jones of Wirral.
Chester FC 0 Mansfield Town 1
16th July 2013
Blues lose at home to Mansfield
Read more at http://www.chesterfc.com/news/article/mansfield-report-160713-919934.aspx?#7RpT38ot8vdxYtkf.99
Chester FC lost their first home pre-season game of the season, going down one-nil to reigning Football Conference Premier Champions Mansfield Town. A 75th minute strike from trialist Nathan Arnold was enough to separate the two sides in a game of few chances.
Despite a fifteen minute delay as the visitors got caught in traffic it was The Stags that made the brighter start with Nathan Arnold showing an excellent burst of pace before shooting wide.
Both sides struggled to create clear cut chances in the opening twenty minutes, with Chester looking to find Alex Titchiner in the channels and Morgan-Smith looking lively for the visitors.
The Blues were dealt a blow in the twenty third minute as new striker Gareth Seddon was forced off with holding the back of his left leg, and Ben Mills coming on.
Amari Morgan-Smith saw his volley deflected over the bar by Paul Linwood after Lindon Meikle had picked him out.
Centre back Paul Linwood's pass was intercepted by Amari Morgan-Smith, who set Nathan Arnold through and he rounded Danby before being forced wide and eventually the Chester 'keeper was able to get back and make the save.
Linwood was in the action again as he rose to meet Jason Jarrett's cross from a tight position but couldn't get the required connection and his header went tamely wide before the break.
Early in the second half Keiran Murtagh got a left footed shot away which forced Danby into a good save.
Chester replied straight away with a chance of their own, George Horan's cross was met by Ben Mills but his header lacked power and direction.
As the game progressed and substitutions were made the battle for midfield became more exagerated.
In the 75th minute Mansfield broke the deadlock as Keiran Murtagh pulling his cross back to trialist Nathan Arnold who shot low into the corner, leaving John Danby rooted to his spot from there the game faded out, with Chester hustling hard but unable to create any real chances of note, condemning the Blues to their first defeat of pre-season.
Chester Team: Danby (Fearon 80), Kay, McIntyre, Horan (c), Linwood (Heath 72), Jarrett (A Williams 63), M Williams, Harrison (Spittle 72), Titchiner (Brees 59), Seddon (Mills 23), Mahon (Linfield 59)
Mansfield Team: Deakin, Kelly (Marsden 82), Black, Clements, Pilkington, Sutton, Meikle, Murtagh, Robertson (Hutchinson 61), Morgan-Smith (Thomas 83), Arnold
Subs: Poku, Tafzolli, Spencer, Gregory
Goal Scorers: Mansfield: Arnold (75)
Referee: Rob Jones
Assistant Referee: Peter Gibbons, Dan Hitchell
Match Report by Chris Graham
Chester FC 0 Mansfield Town 1: Late strike earns Football League new boys deserved friendly win
Jul 16 2013 by Paul Wheelock, Chester Chronicle
A FINE Nathan Arnold finish 15 minutes from time condemned Chester to defeat in their first home friendly.
Neil Young said before the game that he fully expected a much sterner examination than the one provided by lower-league Heswall in Friday’s 3-0 victory at Gayton Park.
That’s exactly what his new-look team got.
Mansfield’s starting line-up may only have contained three first-team regulars from last season’s Conference Premier title-winning campaign.
But the Football League new boys still had too much for the Conference North champions.
That the Stags were the sharper side should come as no surprise given they are further into pre-season, their League Two programme getting under way on August 3.
But they also worked extremely hard off the ball and kept possession better, especially in a first half in which Amari Morgan-Smith went close with a volley and John Danby saved from Arnold after Paul Linwood gave the ball away.
The Blues - featuring seven summer recruitments, one of whom - Gareth Seddon - hobbled off early on after a bright start - did show moments of promise.
Their touch, however, too often let them down and they failed to trouble Ian Deakin.
That attacking threat will come.
But what already appears to be forming is a solid defence.
Until Arnold’s 75th-minute winner, Mansfield had managed to open up the hosts only once when new left-back Paul Black fired over after being picked out by the excellent Lindon Meikle’s clever pass.
Arnold made no mistake, however, after Keiran Murtagh wriggled free down the right and drove the ball back across the box and into the trialist's path.
Chester: Danby (Fearon 80), Kay, Horan, Linwood (Spittle 71), McIntyre, Harrison (Heath 71), Jarrett (A Williams 63), Mahon (Brees 59), M Williams, Titchiner (Lindfield 59), Seddon (Mills 24).
Neil Young post-match
Gaffer reflects on pre-season defeat at The Exacta
Boss Neil Young admitted it may have been a ‘reality check’, but that he was pleased with the workout after the Blues lost at home to Football League new boys, Mansfield Town.
Speaking to ChesterFC.com, he said, “One thing Mansfield won this league by last season is hard work.”
“It was a good work out for us, but we’re part time, only been back three weeks and the first time the lads saw a ball was Friday night. We had a few lads out of position and brought back a few lads who hadn’t played, so in terms of a work out it’s been great for us tonight.”
“I thought the last 15/20 minutes we tired a bit, hence the changes, but all-in-all a perfect workout for pre-season.”
One disappointment for the Blues boss was the lack of opportunities created by his side in the run out against last season’s Conference champions. He said, “I don’t think we created any (chances), we just got balls whipped in the box.”
“We’ve just said that in the dressing room about getting the ball forward and being a bit braver on the football, but I just thought when we had opportunities to put the ball in the box and make something. Chances are usually very limited in the Conference, and I thought chances were limited for both sides tonight.”
“I thought we did well though, but I think we need to be braver on the football, but that will all come as we start clicking and as we get closer to the season starting.”
Pre-season however is all about the team coming together, and less about the results, something that Young knows all too well. He said, “They’ve got to understand what I want and what I’m expecting of them and what’s best for the football club.”
“We need to get a set way of playing - and it might not always be pretty - but tonight was about trying to pass the football.”
“One thing we’ve worked on is that we’re going to pass the football, treat it like a training session - pass it, then get after it, chase it and work hard to get the thing back.”
The squad featured triallists Alex Brees and John Spittle, and Young is ready to run the rule of the pair again over the weekend. “We’ve got a game on Friday a Cefn Druids, a development squad game, which five or six of that lads here tonight will be playing in, giving me a good chance to look at them.”
“I don’t think it’s fair to judge them, coming off the bench in a game of this magnitude with lads they haven’t played with before. So I’ll have a look at them on Friday before another very difficult game on Saturday.”
The Blues lost striker Gareth Seddon after 23 minutes with injury, and Young confirmed the knock afterwards; “We think he’s got a tight hamstring so we took no risks, and thought we’d bring him off and take it from there.”
Two players yet to feature for Chester are left back Lee Pugh - who has been on holiday, and striker Jamie Reed, but two players Young hopes to include very soon.
“I think Lee gets back in on Sunday, but he wouldn’t be involved on Saturday anyway. He’s got to go away and work hard now to get to the level of fitness that everybody else is at, but we’re very happy with the effort and the work.”
“Jamie’s had a bit of a stop start time, he hurt his calf last week, and has had food poisoning but hopefully he’ll be back for Saturday.”
The Blues boss - who hopes to complete a deal for a ‘Football League centre half’ today - isn’t worried about his sides pre-season results though, based on his previous three years with the club; “We worry about August 10th, we’re not worried about July 16th. Pre-season results while I’ve been here have never been good, so why change the habit!”
Read more at http://www.chesterfc.com/news/article/neil-young-post-mansfield-923870.aspx?#RK31hXBh6xbcoCzP.99
Latest | July 2013