STAGS COME FROM 2-0 DOWN TO EARN POINT
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 2 - 2 Wycombe Wanderers
Stevenson 55, Palmer 86. Lewis 9, Scowen 48.
Attendance: 2789 (258 from Wycombe)
Date: 25 January 2014
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town recovered from 2-0 down at home at Wycombe to salvage a point, but in truth with better finishing and without a brilliant performance from the Wycombe goalkeeper Matt Ingham, the Stags would have won the game. The two teams produced a cracking game of football that was much better than you could have expected in the conditions on a soggy and muddy pitch. After the Stags had started positively, Wycombe scored out of the blue from 25 yards, in the same way that Scunthorpe had done two weeks earlier. It remained 1-0 at half time as the Stags were denied by three good saves, from a Westlake shot, a Rhead close-range volley and a Dyer shot, while Tafazolli sent an unmarked header over the bar. The Stags were unfortunate to be behind at the break. It got worse on 48 minutes when Scowen volleyed in a fine goal from 12 yards as a result of some slack defending. The Stags brought on Sam Clucas, in his first game since returning from injury, and he helped turn the game around with an all-action performance. Mansfield pulled one back on 55 minutes as Stevenson shot under the keeper from 2 yards following a corner. Mansfield continued to try to play good football and were finally level on 86 minutes as a right-footed shot from Jennings was tipped brilliantly by the keeper onto the underside of the bar, bounced down and Ollie Palmer was in the right place to slot into the empty net. Clements came close to winning it when his 30 yard shot took a slight deflection, seeming to wrong-foot the goalkeeper who still managed to re-adjust and tip it round the post. But the Stags couldn’t force the victory and whilst Wycombe keeper Ingham made a string of brilliant saves, Marriott didn’t have a single save to make, aside from the two goals conceded. Overall quite a decent performance from Mansfield and some optimism to be gained, but Wycombe themselves had not been on a good run since October and this was a real opportunity for Mansfield to pick up 3 points for the first time at home in over 4 months. The Stags are now 9 home league games without a win, just two short of the club record of 11, set in 1959.
Mansfield were unchanged from the side that drew at Portsmouth. Sam Clucas however was fit enough to return to the bench. Wycombe included striker Reece Styche, signed from Forest Green Rovers this week.
Stagsnet report here
Saturday, 25th January 2014: Mansfield Town 2, Wycombe Wanderers 2
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Mansfield Town went an 11th home game on the trot without a win today, but were clapped from the pitch after coming from 2-0 down to earn a battling and deserved 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers Wycombe Wanderers.
The home side had the better chances over the 90 minutes in a game played on a bog of a pitch in torrential rain.
But visiting keeper Matt Ingram was man of the match with a string of saves.
Stuart Lewis had put Wycombe ahead on nine minutes with a shot from outside the box that caught out Alan Marriott.
Ingram made save after save and the game looked lost when Josh Scowen doubled the lead three minutes after the break.
But Stags’ fightback began seven minutes later with another goal from Lee Stevenson.
And Ollie Palmer came on as a late sub to grab the deserved equaliser four minutes from time.
Wycombe were left clinging on at the end of a game that will give Mansfield a real boost, despite the result.
Mansfield went with an unchanged side, but there was a surprise place on the bench for Stags winger Sam Clucas, who had only just come back into training after injury this week.
Wycombe had won just one in the last 13 League games and gave debuts to new signings Reece Styche and Jordan Mustoe with another newcomer, Anthony Jeffrey, on the bench.
Before the game a massive thunderstorm passed over the ground. That left puddles in the South Stand goalmouth and in the touchline in front of the West Stand which had groundsman Michael Merriman working hard with his water hog to try to soak them up in time for kick-off.
But as early as the third minute a Sutton backpass caused worry as it began to slow on the wet surface and Marriott had to be quick to get there first and clear.
On five minutes Stags threatened for the first time as Dyer’s pass across the box square to Westlake saw him force a save from Ingram and Rhead’s follow-up blocked before it could reach goal.
Instead the visitors scored with their first attempt on goal on nine minutes.
A quickly-taken free kick inside the Stags half saw a ball played in to Lewis in space over 25 yards from goal and he looked up and planted a finish inside the right hand post with Marriott rooted to the spot.
It was just what Mansfield didn’t want against a side lacking in confidence in the early stages
Wanderers then quickly cleared Stags’ first corner of the day.
On 13 minutes Ingram made a fine save to keep his side ahead.
Howell jinked past a defender to get into the box and find Stevenson. He lifted the ball to the right hand post where Rhead’s volley was brilliantly parried by the keeper.
Another home corner was easily cleared and Wycombe briefly threatened two on two on the break.
Dyer’s flick saw Stevenson send a volley straight at the keeper, but Arnold was closer at the other end with a low 25 yard effort that skidded inches wide on the wet surface.
Stevenson won the home side a third corner on the right on 22 minutes. Jennings took that and curled it right across the face of goal, the ball deflecting out for another corner.
This time Jennings sent it in from the left, Dempster headed on and Tafazolli powered a header over at the far post.
The visitors then won a couple of corners of their own.
The first was headed clear by Tafazolli and Dempster, the second seeing Styche head straight at Marriott.
Jennings then curled in another decent corner from the right which Ingram claimed superbly, almost on his line.
Stumbles on the wet surface by Dyer and then Howell put Stags under more pressure, Marriott eventually able to kick clear.
The home fans, wanting to see more football played on the ground, cheered ironically when Marriott rolled the ball out to Tafazolli instead of launching it downfield and then cheered a string of passes before shouting a big ‘hoof’ as Sutton went long.
It was hardly encouraging to their side.
Dyer almost levelled out of the blue on 33 minutes but his dipping 25 yard effort was turned over by Ingram.
Jennings needed treatment after taking a blow to the head while challenging Ingram for a superb Stevenson cross, but was able to continue.
In first half stoppage time, Wycombe had a couple of corners from the right which Mansfield survived.
They were unlucky to go in a goal down, having had the best chances.
Dempster headed Clements’ free kick just over from a Dyer flick on the restart, but an offside flag was up anyway.
Instead the Chairboys stormed into a 2-0 lead on 48 minutes.
Arnold crossed from the right by-line and, from 12 yards out, Scowen buried a vicious rising right foot volley that gave Marriott no chance.
Within three minutes Cox withdrew Dyer and pitched Clucas into the action.
Soon after Dempster missed the target from a right wing corner with a header under pressure.
Stevenson saw a 20 yard shot deflect wide for a corner on 55 minutes, and from that Stags pulled a goal back.
The ball broke for Howell, whose low shot was blocked. But it rolled into the path of Stevenson five yards from goal and he made no mistake, slotting under Ingram.
Clucas did well to get a header onto a Jennings cross that hung in the wind, but couldn’t keep it down as it sailed over the bar.
Soon after Clucas sent a tame shot at Ingram, gathered low at his near post. But the winger was clearly out to make an impression.
Then a Rhead flick-on header bounced straight through to Ingram who had to make sure it didn’t bounce past him.
On 61 minutes Dempster was booked for a late tackle on Arnold as the visitors tried to break on the Stags.
From that came a let-off. Arnold sent a teasing ball into the box and, with no defenders near him, McClure lifted a finish over from close range from where he should have scored.
Stags won a free kick on the left by-line. The angle was almost impossible and Clements curled it across goal and wide of the far post.
Clements was too high with his dipping 30 yard free kick as we entered the last 15 minutes.
Then Jeffrey was too high over the far angle at the other end.
With 10 minutes to go, Stags threw on striker Palmer for defender Dempster.
And with four minutes left Palmer was the hero with the equaliser.
Clements tried his luck with a 20 yard effort that Ingram did superbly well to reach and tip onto the bar. But he was left on on the floor as Palmer followed up to find the empty net from close range.
The home fans were now in full cry behind their side and in the last minute Clements had a long range effort deflect and force another great save out of Ingram.
On 90+2 Stevenson was booked for his foul on Scowen as Wanderers held on and almost nicked it themselves when Jeffrey broke and forced Marriott to save at his near post.
STAGS: Marriott; Sutton, Dempster (Palmer 80), Tafazolli; Westlake, Clements, Stevenson, Howell, Jennings; Rhead, Dyer (Clucas 51). Subs not used: Riley, Beevers, Meikle, McGuire, Daniel.
WYCOMBE: Ingram; McCoy, Johnson, Doherty, Mustoe; Arnold, Scowen, Lewis, Wood; Styche (Jeffrey 70), McClure (Hause 83). Subs not used: Stewart, Horlock, Kuffour, Kewley-Graham, Kretzschmar.?REFEREE: Tim Robinson of West Sussex.
ATTENDANCE: 2,789 (258 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Chris Clements.
Mansfield Town 2 Wycombe Wanderers 2: Match report
Nottingham Post report by ??
MANSFIELD Town staged a gritty fightback to recover from going two goals down and secure a 2-2 draw with Wycombe Wanderers.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Mansfield-Town-2-Wycombe-Wanderers-2-Match-report/story-20500683-detail/story.html#ixzz2rWkfmOnD
Stuart Lewis put the Chairboys ahead inside the first ten minutes at the One Call stadium and Josh Scowen furthered that advantage after the break.
It looked like being a mammoth challenge for the Stags as the home support began to make their frustrations heard.
But Lee Stevenson handed them a lifeline with just over 50 minutes gone and Ollie Palmer snatched an equaliser just four minutes from time.
It made it 11 games without victory for Mansfield on their own patch but given the circumstances, many were breathing a sigh of relief at the end.
Going in search of a first home win since September, manager Paul Cox stuck with the same starting XI which had returned with a point from Portsmouth a week earlier.
But there was a change on the bench as top scorer Sam Clucas was named among the substitutes. The winger, who was reportedly the subject of a bid by a Championship club earlier in the week, continued his comeback after five weeks out with ankle ligament damage.
Clucas’ goal threat had been a big miss for the Stags, and they suffered from a lack of cutting edge again against one of their relegation rivals.
Mansfield made a bright start, putting their visitors under pressure from kick-off, but just couldn’t make the most of their chances.
Darryl Westlake went close inside five minutes with an effort from outside the area which Wycombe goalkeeper Matt Ingram could only parry. The ball fell to Matt Rhead a few yards out, but the Stags striker couldn’t apply the finishing touch.
It was a positive opening from Cox’s side. However, just as they looked to be getting to grips with the game and getting on top of their opponents, somewhat harshly, they found themselves a goal behind.
Out of nowhere, with nine minutes on the clock, Lewis fired home from distance after linking up with debutant Jordan Mustoe, with Alan Marriott left rooted to the spot.
Mansfield responded well and refused to let heads drop as Rhead worked Ingram from a few yards out, having been played in by Lee Stevenson.
Clear-cut chances though, were few and far between for the hosts, with most danger coming from corners as James Jennings caused problems with a few whipped-in flag-kicks.
Stevenson tried his luck with a volley from Chris Clements’ ball in as the home side edged possession - making the most of it though, was a different matter.
With the One Call crowd beginning to get restless, Wycombe enjoyed a decent spell of their own. But for the most part, Marriott went untested, with Nick Arnold flashing a drive wide and a couple of corners being cleared by the hosts.
As half-time neared, the Stags again went close to finding an equaliser.
Ryan Tafazolli should have done better with a header from a few yards out after Clements had nodded on a corner, but the defender’s effort from point-blank range missed the target.
Ross Dyer had better luck with a fierce strike from range which required tipping over by Ingram.
The Stags came out for the second half showing purpose and intent but it proved to be a similar story to the first period.
Within four minutes of the restart they were further behind and facing an uphill battle when Scowen superbly volleyed home from a few yards out following Arnold’s ball in.
Needing to change something, manager Cox opted to bring on Clucas from the substitutes’ bench, and shortly after his team at least had something to cling to.
On 55 minutes, a corner from Clements pinged around the box, eventually finding Anthony Howell, whose shot hit Stevenson. The midfielder quickly spun and slotted home from a few yards out to halve the deficit.
No sooner had the Stags got back in it, Wycombe went desperately close to extending their lead when Matt McClure missed a great chance - his clipped effort going over the bar from Arnold’s free-kick.
Mansfield continued to launch balls forward in an attempt to find an equaliser but the final pass was lacking and they couldn’t work enough decent openings to threaten their visitors.
That was until four minutes from time when Palmer grabbed what could prove a crucial equaliser.
Jennings' venomous strike was tipped on to the bar by Ingram and the ball fell invitingly for substitute Palmer to tap it home.
Back on level terms, Mansfield had the momentum. And they tried to capitalise as they went in search of a winner.
Clements went closest with a superb strike from outside the area, which was palmed behind with a fine save from Ingram.
Wanderers were under pressure in the final few minutes but they managed to hang on to earn a share of the spoils.
MANSFIELD: Marriott; Sutton, Dempster (Palmer 80), Tafazolli, Westlake, Howell, Clements, Stevenson, Jennings, Rhead, Dyer (Clucas 51). Subs not used: Riley, Beevers, Meikle, McGuire, Daniel.
WYCOMBE: Ingram; McCoy, Johhnson, Doherty, Mustoe, Arnold, Lewis, Scowen, Wood, McClure (Hause 83), Styche (Jeffrey 70). Subs not used: Horlock, Stewart, Kuffour, Kewley-Graham, Kretzschmar.
ATTENDANCE: 2,789 (258 away).
Fighting spirit will be key for Mansfield Town after draw with Wycombe Wanderers
Nottingham Post considered report by ??
IT WAS, Paul Cox said, "the most one-sided game I've never won". It was almost the most one-sided game he had ever lost.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Fighting-spirit-key-Mansfield-Town-draw-Wycombe/story-20504622-detail/story.html#ixzz2rac0Aomp
At 2-0 down five minutes into the second half, Mansfield Town not only faced an uphill challenge, they were staring down the barrel of a gun.
As much as Cox tried to play down the significance of meetings with Wycombe Wanderers and Bury, he wasn't convincing anyone.
The fans knew it, the players knew it and, you suspect, Cox himself probably knew it too. Defeat in the first of those clashes would have made the Stags' bid to stay in League Two very difficult indeed.
Of course, Cox is right. Successive home matches against two of their relegation rivals will not be the be-all and end-all of their season.
But do not underestimate the effect those results can have.
If they had lost to the Chairboys, the pressure - at an already tense One Call Stadium - would have been on tomorrow night.
The fact though, that they showed great desire and remained combative to the last, hauling themselves back to 2-2 and getting the crowd behind them, gives Cox's men a significant springboard to face the Shakers.
Mansfield cannot keep relying on picking up points on their travels. It is too risky, particularly when they still have some tough places to go.
Saturday's stalemate made it 11 games without a win on their own territory. A dismal run, but one they are hopeful of ending.
"It was a good performance. It wasn't the result we wanted but we deserved the win as we played on the front foot and created the majority of the chances," said the manager post-match. "I've said to the boys, if we can play like that for the remainder of the season we can upset the applecart.
"There's a lot of positivity in the dressing room. It's the first time I have seen that with the boys for a long time.
"There's a little spring in their step and sparkle in their eye.
"We need to win our home games to be successful and we want to get back to doing that."
There was a spark early on against Wycombe, and not just as a result of the electric storm prior to kick-off.
A sodden pitch made life difficult for both teams, but the hosts looked to get under their opponents' skin quickly, and it almost paid off.
They bossed the opening exchanges and very nearly went ahead when Darryl Westlake let fly from outside the area, forcing Matt Ingram into action.
The Chairboys goalkeeper parried, and though the ball fell for Matt Rhead, he couldn't find the finish.
No such problem for Stuart Lewis at the other end of the field with nine minutes on the clock.
His strike from 30 yards really was like a bolt of lightning, coming out of nowhere and leaving a flat-footed Alan Marriott cemented to the spot as it flew into the net.
To their credit, the Stags did not crumble. They plugged away right up until the half-time whistle, only with little joy.
In part, that was because that final touch, a little bit of composure and quality, was lacking. But mostly it was down to a fine display by Ingram, who batted away anything Mansfield threw at him.
A close-range effort from Rhead was turned away, Lee Stevenson's volley was dealt with and a strike from Ross Dyer was tipped over.
Only Ryan Tafazolli failed to test him in the first period, and he really should have done better.
A corner was headed on by Chris Clements and though the defender met the ball, he couldn't get it on target from a few yards out.
The Stags steeled themselves again after the interval; once more, going about their task with intent and purpose.
But once again, the visitors caught them out.
Play had been underway for less than five minutes when Josh Scowen brilliantly volleyed in Nick Arnold's cross from inside the box.
Cox needed to do something, and he looked to his bench. It proved to be the right call.
Sam Clucas came on and immediately looked lively, offering some much-needed width and causing Wycombe problems.
Within four minutes of his arrival the hosts had pulled a goal back. Then, when Ollie Palmer entered the fray ten minutes from time, the fightback was complete.
The Stags' first goal came after a powerful effort from Stevenson was deflected behind for a corner.
Clements' ball in found Westlake, then Anthony Howell, whose shot was blocked into the path of Stevenson, and the midfielder coolly slotted past Ingram.
Wanderers had their moments as they tried to maintain a grip on the game. But, roared on by a hopeful home crowd, Mansfield sensed an opportunity.
Given Ingram's form, it threatened, as Cox said, to be one of those days.
However, although the keeper tipped a venomous effort from James Jennings on to the bar, the ball crashed back off the woodwork and dropped invitingly for substitute Palmer to knock home.
It was no less than his side deserved, and they nearly made it an unforgettable afternoon when Clements tried his luck in the dying minutes.
This time, as he had been for much of the game, Ingram was equal to it.
It was still a parting shot to those who perhaps question whether the Stags have enough about them to stay up. As statements go, this one said they are prepared to fight.
Latest | February 2014