STAGS STUNNED IN FIRST HOME DEFEAT SINCE JANUARY
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 4 Hartlepool United
Clucas pen 75. Monkhouse 7, Compton 44, 49, Poole 78.
Attendance: 3457 (273 from Hartlepool)
Date: 5 October 2013
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town were beaten 4-1 at home by Hartlepool United this afternoon. It was the Stags first home defeat since Kidderminster on January 12th and the first time we’ve conceded 4 at home since the 4-3 defeat by Newport in the first game of last season. It was a shock to the system after the tremendous run that had seen the Stags rise to third in the table with an 8 game unbeaten run culminating in a win at top of the table Chesterfield. There are similarities to draw with that defeat against Kidderminster in that both games came after the euphoria of a high profile game the week before: in January it was a stunning performance against Liverpool, and this time it was the win at Chesterfield. Optimists will hope that the Stags can embark on a run of similar proportions to that following the Kidderminster game where the Stags won 20 games out of 23. Back to today’s game and the Stags have to concede that Hartlepool played well and deserved their victory, with some classy goals, all four of which were shots from outside the area. But Mansfield were never at their game today, failing to close Hartlepool down, giving them more space than they have done to any other team this season. The Stags conceded two goals in the first half, and then two more in the second, and that is the first time that the defence has been breached in the second half of any game so far this season. There were no positives to draw from the performances of the players and we even have difficulty finding a man of the match. If anybody needed reminding, there are no poor teams in this league.
Stagsnet report here
Man of the match: Sam Clucas
Saturday, 5th October 2013: Mansfield Town 1, Hartlepool United 4
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Fortress Mansfield Town came crumbling to the ground this afternoon as Hartlepool United brought Stags’ eight-game unbeaten run to a shock end.
The Stags had only lost one league game at home in 2013 and were expected to see off a struggling Hartlepool side that, despite drawing their last three away games, had only won once all season.
But the ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ that manager Paul Cox had spoken of all week after that fine derby win at Chesterfield last weekend, came brutally true as they were given an unexpected runaround by the North-easterners.
Stags began the game well enough and twice came close in the first seven minutes.
But once Andy Monkhouse beat Alan Marriott from distance seconds later, the home side looked clueless how to respond.
The first half was a dire affair and reached a low point when Marriott, so good recently, was late getting down to man of the match Jack Compton’s low shot just before the break as they went 2-0 down.
Cox, who had made a change in line-up and formation as early as the 34th minute, sent his players back out on the pitch early with two more changes and a flea in their collective ears.
But the game was all over within five minutes as Compton completed a brace.
Sam Clucas did pull one back from the penalty spot on 75 minutes. But four minutes later James Poole reinstated the visitors’ three-goal advantage as Mansfield crashed to their worst home defeat in any competition in 2013.
Howell wiped out Compton with a lunging tackle after just 36 seconds which saw the game begin with an early yellow card.
McGuire was well over from 20 yards with the game’s first shot on four minutes.
Two minutes later Tafazolli twice came close to an opener.
Dempster laid a Jennings cross back towards the near post where Tafazolli headed the ball against the post and then was unable to direct the rebound on target, both from five yards out.
Andrew sent a powerful header inches wide a minute later from McGuire’s cross.
Stags just seemed to be getting into their stride. But they were instead shocked by a goal from the visitors on seven minutes.
There seemed little danger when a long clearance upfield eventually came to Monkhouse 25 yards from goal.
But he let fly with a superb, unstoppable shot that gave Marriott no chance.
McGuire again tried his luck from outside the box on 12 minutes, going closer this time but the ball dipping too late.
Again Mansfield went forward and Hutchinson picked out Jennings with a hanging far post cross that he rose well to meet but headed wide of the post.
There was controversy on 20 minutes as James looked to be clipped in the box by an outstretched Howell leg.
But, as everyone was resigned to a Hartlepool penalty, the referee booked James for a dive.
Stags had a penalty appeal of their own soon after as Clucas fired the ball against Austin’s hand, but it did look like ball to hand.
Marriott was called in into action on 22 minutes to turn away a 20-yard blast from Compton.
On 24 minutes manager Paul Cox decided to shake things up and match the visitors’ 4-4-2, Tafazolli sacrificed from the back three and Meikle sent on down the left.
Jennings looked to be harshly booked for a handball a minute later, but Meikle shepherded a well-worked free kick out for a goalkick.
Marriott punched away the visitors’ second corner as Hartlepool continued to impress with a spring in their step.
A clattering tackle on Hutchinson by Baldwin won Mansfield a corner which keeper Flinders claimed well before Dempster could get his head on it.
On 40 minutes Mansfield were relieved to see Compton’s volley deflect up and over the bar as the home side laboured for possession and a spark to ignite their afternoon.
Instead, a minute from the break and Compton made full capital of the time and space afforded him to cut in from the right and get away a powerful low shot towards to the near post where Marriott was late getting down as the ball skidded under him into the net.
Clucas couldn’t turn a long Meikle cross from the left on target soon after as Mansfield went in with plenty of hard work to do in the second half.
Cox went for broke at half-time and sent on Rhead and Palmer as a new strike force, replacing Hutchinson and Andrew, Clucas moving to the wing.
He also sent the players out early after what would have been a vociferous interval team talk.
Within two minutes, they almost broke through as Rhead headed the ball on for Clucas to stretch and stab a shot just wide of the far post.
Instead things went from bad to worse on 50 minutes.
Howell conceded a free kick 20 yards from goal just to the right of centre.
That set up the chance for Compton to curl a superb left footed kick over the wall and away from Marriott, the keeper just getting a hand on it but unable to keep it out.
Burgess kicked the ball away after the visitors conceded a free kick to see the game’s fourth booking on 53 minutes.
Monkhouse sliced a 20-yard attempt wide with his right foot on 55 minutes as the visitors continued to enjoy their afternoon.
A tame Jennings free kick struck the wall to bounce out for a corner which Burgess headed clear.
It took until the 67th minute before Mansfield produced an on-target shot, Flinders always behind McGuire’s 20-yard half-volley as the visitors tried to clear a right wing corner.
Compton cut in from the right to shoot from a similar distance a minute later, Marriott down to his knees to gather.
Baldwin was booked for taking out Howell from behind on 70 minutes, but Jennings free kick was easy for the keeper.
McGuire was inches over from 25 yards three minutes later.
But on 75 minutes Clucas gave the home side a glimmer of hope from the penalty spot.
Rhead’s overhead effort struck Collins on the hand. It seemed harsh, but there referee pointed straight to the post and Clucas lashed home his fifth goal in six games hard and low past Flinders.
That hope of a fightback was soon extinguished as Poole fired home a fourth on 79 minutes.
Compton squared the ball to him from the right along the edge of the box and Poole met it with a firm low finish that beat Marriott.
Sub Richards warmed Marriott’s hands with two minutes to go while Clucas was over on the turn a minute later as a miserable afternoon finally came to end and Stags were left to lick their wounds.
A home Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie with Chesterfield on Tuesday may be just the perfect fixture for Cox’s men to bounce back in.
STAGS: Marriott; Dempster, Tafazolli (Meikle 24), Sutton; Beevers, Howell, Hutchinson (Rhead HT), McGuire, Jennings; Clucas, Andrew (Palmer HT). Subs not used: Murtagh, Stevenson, Speight, Daniel.
HARTELPOOL UNITED: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Baldwin, Walton, Poole, Monkhouse (Richards 80), Compton (Franks 80), Duckworth, James, Burgess. Subs not used: Rafferty, Sweeney, Holden, Rodney, Walker.
REFEREE: Graham Horwood of Bedfordshire.
ATTENDANCE: 3,457 (273 away).
CHAD MANSFIELD MAN OF THE MATCH: Lindon Meikle
Mansfield Town brought back down to earth with a bang after poor showing
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny
"DON'T talk to me about that," one supporter grumbled as he bumped into an acquaintance on the stairs en route to the exit. "That's the worst I've seen us play in a long time."
His assessment was spot on. Mansfield Town fans have been spoilt in recent weeks and months - and this was a reminder that there's as much thin as thick when staying loyal to your team.
Just like visitors Hartlepool's opening goal, it was a setback that came out of nowhere and few saw coming. The Stags had not lost in the league on home turf since being beaten 2-0 by Kidderminster in January and few were expecting that run to end.
The hosts were riding high in third place in the table and eight games unbeaten, while their opposition had been finding life tough following relegation in May.
Yet the form book went out of the window in what was a stark reminder for Mansfield that there are no games in League Two that can be taken for granted.
Last season, Paul Cox's side were good enough to get the job done against some of the Football Conference's lesser lights even when several players were well below their best.
One step higher, that is simply not going to happen - as Hartlepool demonstrated in running out handsome and deserving winners by ruthlessly shooting down the Stags.
The players were given plenty of pats on the back for their hard-earned derby victory at Chesterfield in their previous outing, including those from their own manager.
This time, though, they had to face up to some stern criticism - and a dressing room dressing down - after a flat performance that smacked of a hangover from the big game at the Proact Stadium.
There was certainly no lack of effort from the Mansfield players; it wasn't that those in amber and blue weren't trying.
It was just that the performance was flat. There was a distinct drop in the intensity and also a lack of creativity and spark.
Opposing teams have found Mansfield to be terrier-like in their closing down of the ball and very determined, which has made them defensively thrifty.
But on this occasion, they gave Pools far too much time and space, which resulted in them conceding as many times as in the whole of their undefeated run, which began back in August.
Subconsciously, the Stags stopped doing the things that have made them so hard to beat, leaving them exposed. Hartlepool did not need a second invitation to take full advantage.
Ironically, Mansfield had actually started pretty well. Had Ryan Tafazolli netted rather than hit the left-hand post with a close range header after six minutes, then events may have unfolded differently.
As it was, a wonder strike from Andy Monkhouse - scorer of the only goal of the game the last time Hartlepool were in town back in 2006-07 - instead set the tone as the visitors grew in confidence as time ticked on.
His 25-yard rocket flew unerringly into the right-hand corner giving Alan Marriott no chance and soon prompted a reshuffle to the side. Midway through the first period, Lindon Meikle replaced Tafazolli and the Stags switched from 5-3-2 to 4-4-2.
The Stags looked fortunate not to concede a penalty when Anthony Howell mistimed his challenge on Luke James in the box. The referee instead booked the striker for diving, but it was only to be a temporary reprieve.
A second goal was coming and arrived a minute from the interval when Jack Compton cut in from the right flank and took aim with a shot that beat Marriott down by the foot of his left-hand post.
For the Stags' keeper it was back down to earth after his excellent showings against the Spireites and Northampton, and there was more disappointment to come as he failed to keep out a free-kick from Compton, despite getting a good hand on it.
That third goal kiboshed hopes of a potential comeback that had seen Cox go for broke by bringing on strikers Matt Rhead and Ollie Palmer at half-time.
From then on, it seemed just a question of how many the visitors would score, with Compton running the show and the hosts failing to string their passes together time and again.
A generous penalty award, as Rhead's overhead kick struck Sam Collins on the arm, allowed Sam Clucas to drill home a penalty and reduce the deficit, but the three-goal lead was quickly restored as Compton teed up James Poole, whose low finish flew in off the right-hand post.
That fluent counter attack displayed everything that Mansfield had lacked on a day to forget.
On this evidence at least, they are missing the guile of the injured Chris Clements; someone who can put their foot on the ball and dictate things.
Mansfield's last 'After the Lord Mayor's Show' display - the defeat to Kidderminster which followed their FA Cup tie with Liverpool - prompted some reaction. A reaction that was to carry them to the Conference title.
Something similar this time would be just as welcome. After all, home fans do not want to hear their visiting counterparts chanting "easy, easy," again anytime soon - especially as Chesterfield are the next visitors to the One Call Stadium tomorrow night.
Mansfield Town 1 Hartlepool Utd 4: Stunning success is straight outta Compton
by Roy Kelly
HARTLEPOOL United ended their wait for an away win in stunning fashion at Mansfield Town.
The Stags started the day third top and Pools third bottom but it was impossible to notice the difference
Andy Monkhouse’s seventh-minute pile driver put them ahead and Jack Compton’s two left-foot beauties either side of half-time gave Pools maximum points and the Stags suffered their first home defeat since January.
Mansfield pulled one back from a harsh 75th minute penalty by Sam Clucas.
But Pools finished on a high with James Poole getting the fourth left-foot goal of the afternoon10 minutes from time.
Pools almost conceded a fifth minute goal for the second week running.
Mansfield swung in a free-kick which John Demeter headed back across goal for Ryan Tafazoli whose header came back off Scott Flanders right hand post and the defender put the rebound over.
Pools took the lead in the seventh minute with an ANDY MONKHOUSE screamer
Monkhouse flicked on Flinders goalkick and then got the ball back off Michael Duckworth before advancing and unleashing a rocket from 25 yards which flew past Alan Marriott.
Pools were denied a stonewalled penalty for the second successive Saturday on 20 minutes.
Luke James was brought down in the box but referee Graham Harwood instead of pointing to the spot booked the teenager for diving.
It upset Pools greatly but it did not put them off their football.
Marriott pulled off a great 22nd minute save to deny Jack Compton.
Such was the excellence of the away display, Stags boss Paul Cox made a tactical change midway through the half, withdrawing defender Tafazoli and going 4-4-2 with London Merkel coming on in midfield.
Compton played Monkhose on 33 minutes, the scorer going down under Marriott’s challenge.
There were no penalty appeals this time ... Or yellow cards.
But Pools went two up a minute before half-time when COMPTON cut in from the right and beat Marriott with a left foot stunner from 15 yards.
It was no more than Pools deserved
HT: Mansfield 0 Pools 2
Pools made a dream start to the second half with their third goal.
Poole was tripped four yards outside the home box and COMPTON found Marriott’s left corner with a brilliant 49th minute free-kick.
Monkhouse then went wide with a right foot shot but Pools stayed on top.
The Stags finally had a shot on target on 67 minutes but Flinders saved Jamie McGuire’s shot at the second attempt.
Pools should have made it four on 70 minutes but Walton could not make a clean connection.
Mansfield were awarded the softest of penalties on 75 minutes, referee Harwood penalizing Collins for handball. CLUCAS scored from the spot straight up the middle.
But Pools sealed a deserved win when POOLE scored from 20 yards 10 minutes from time.
Compton was the provider, Poole controlling cleverly before finding the left corner of Marriott’s goal.
Deserved Victory For Pools At Mansfield
Read more at http://www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk/news/article/051013-mansfield-report-1097114.aspx?#slb9iI7E6Z8Vx7AD.99
Colin Cooper's men picked up their first away victory of the season in style at Mansfield Town this afternoon.
Andy Monkhouse set the ball rolling for Pools on seven minutes and from then on, the result rarely looked in doubt as Colin Cooper’s men put in a determined display to take all three points.
Jack Compton hit each side of the break to add to Monkhouse’s opener and James Poole grabbed a late goal to seal a well-deserved 4-1 victory for Pools.
It was Mansfield Town who were quickest out of the blocks, with Lee Beevers hitting the woodwork with a close-range header after just five minutes.
That early let-off served only to push Pools on and, with less than ten minutes played, Cooper’s men were 1-0 up.
And the goal came in some style as Andy Monkhouse picked up possession around 30 yards out on goal and unleashed a fierce strike that left keeper Alan Marriott with no chance as it hit the back of the net.
Pools showed real positivity throughout this first half; dealing well with the physical approach from the hosts with some solid defending while showing creativity on the break.
And there was controversy on 19 minutes when Luke James went past his man to break into the box and, with just the keeper to beat the young striker looked to be tripped. The official decided that James had taken a dive instead of shooting on goal and showed the Pools’ man a yellow card.
Pools were looking confident and in control by now, working the hosts hard and frustrating the home crowd.
Andy Monkhouse had a chance to double his lead when the lively Jack Compton stole possession on the by-line to cross back into the box for Monkhouse but he sent his strike wide of goal under pressure from the defender.
Jack Compton sent an effort high over the bar from close range in what proved to be a warning for Mansfield Town as the next time he picked up possession, he made no such mistake.
The left winger let rip with a great strike from distance which sailed through the area and into the back of the net to double Pools’ tally for the day and his own for the season so far.
Pools finished the half deservedly on top and well worthy of the two-goal lead the Pools fans in attendance will have been hoping for more of the same after the break.
Mansfield started the second half as they had the first, with a shot on goal. This time though, Sam Clucas had the strike on goal - the hosts’ best of the game - but despite sending Scott Flinders to full-stretch, the effort went wide of target.
And again, Pools responded to the Mansfield effort with a goal; James Poole was fouled just outside of the box, Jack Compton stepped up to take it and lifted a lovely effort over the wall and past Marriott to make it 3-0.
Mansfield Town made a couple of changes at half time; adding more weight to their attack and, while they did enjoy more possession in the final third for a spell, Pools looked composed at the back, with the experienced Sam Collins providing a calming influence.
The referee did award a penalty this afternoon and it went Mansfield Town’s way; the ball struck Sam Collins in the air and, despite the big defender claiming it hit his head, the referee awarded a spot kick for hand ball. Sam Clucas took the penalty and made no mistake and he smashed it home to make it 3-1.
Pools though were not content with that and set about restoring the three-goal advantage. Great work by double goal-scorer Jack Compton set up James Poole on the edge of the area and the former Manchester City man sent a powerful strike past Marriott to make it 4-1 on 78 minutes.
Cooper’s men were fully deserving of the points, and their advantage this afternoon as they came out winners over a side who had been unbeaten in eight going into today’s game.
Full Time: Mansfield Town 1 Pools 4
Att: 3457 (273 Pools)
Booked: Mansfield: Howell (1), Jennings (25): Pools: James (19), Burgess (52), Baldwin (67)
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Collins, Burgess, Austin, Compton (Franks 79), Baldwin, Walton, Monkhouse (Richards 79), Poole, James
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Franks, Sweeney, Richards, Holden, Rodney, Walker
Mansfield Town: Marriott, Sutton, Dempster, Clucas, Tafazolli (Meikle 24), Howell, Jennings, Beevers, Hutchinson (Rhead 46), McGuire, Andrew (Palmer 46)
Subs Not Used: Murtagh, Stevenson, Speight, Daniel
Latest | October 2013