IMPRESSIVE STAGS DESERVEDLY BEAT FLEETWOOD
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Fleetwood Town
Attendance: 2759 (102 from Fleetwood)
Date: 22 February 2014
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town thoroughly deserved the three points against high-flying Fleetwood at the One Call Stadium this afternoon with one of the best performances of the season. It was Mansfield’s first ever victory over Fleetwood, a team who have put 5 past the Stags on 3 occasions, and who won the game 5-4 at Highbury earlier in the season. The only goal of the game came on 31 minutes as Matt Rhead headed home from a Chris Clements corner and enjoyed celebrating by putting a finger to his lips to silence the Fleetwood fans who had been chanting “You fat ba**ard!” Mansfield completely controlled the first half and “out-footballed” one of the best footballing sides in the league. In the second half, Fleetwood came much more into the game. But the Stags should have had a second on 81 minutes as a Clements corner dropped to Rhead 6 yards out but he could only scuff a free shot straight at the keeper. On 83 minutes, a free kick from Evans, from wide on the left just outside the area, was flicked onto the inside of the left post by Jon Parkin and cleared off the line by Ritchie Sutton, who said to me after the game “it was a good job I was there”! That was an understatement from Sutton and it was a crucial clearance. However the moment of the match, and possibly the tackle of the season, came a minute later when a low cross from the left reached Antoni Sarcevic near the penalty spot, who was just about to pull the trigger, as Daniel slid in at full stretch with a last gasp challenge. Magnificent from Daniel, a goal-saving tackle. After that, Fleetwood had no further clear attempts on goal as the Stags were roared home by a delighted crowd. The win puts Mansfield nine points clear of the relegation zone having played a game more. And incredibly, just four points behind 8th place. But there is still much more work to be done to achieve safety, starting with another crucial game against Bury on Tuesday.
Stagsnet report here
Saturday, 22nd February 2014: Mansfield Town 1, Fleetwood Town 0
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Matt Rhead’s 31st minute header earned Mansfield Town three precious points against promotion-chasing Fleetwood Town at One Call Stadium this afternoon.
After months of home misery it was a second successive home win against a side near the top and fully deserved, despite the customary nervous finish.
That included Jon Parkin hitting the home post with six minutes to go.
It was also sweet revenge for Stags after that agonising last gasp 5-4 defeat at Fleetwood in November.
The visitors arrived on an impressive run of five wins and two draws in their last eight games but were made to look second best throughout the first half on a difficult surface.
The Cod Army did improve after the break, but Stags clung on to what they had got with a six-pointer now ahead at home to Bury on Tuesday.
Mansfield made two enforced changes. With defenders James Jennings and Martin Riley injured last weekend, in came Junior Daniel and Ritchie Sutton as straight swaps at left wing back and central defender.
New signing, on-loan Leicester City midfielder Michael Cain was among the Stags substitutes.
The afternoon started with a minute’s silence for late England legend Sir Tom Finney.
The game’s first threat came for Stags on four minutes as Dempster unceremoniously chapped down Marrow almost 30 yards from goal.
The kick was rolled to Sarcevic who sent a low shot into the home wall.
Soon after Parkin’s shot deflected off Daniel’s block for the first corner, which Evans completely overhit as it flew over everyone for a throw on the far side.
But on seven minutes Mansfield fashioned a chance as a neat flick by Stevenson found Clucas to his left and he cued up Daniel for a powerful low shot straight at Maxwell.
Hesitation from Dempster allowed Fleetwood to set up another shooting chance for Parkin, but Tafazolli threw himself in the way of his half-volley.
Clucas tried to make space for a shot in the Fleetwood box on 11 minutes only to see Roberts slide in with a great tackle.
Then a short pass by Clements towards his own goal threatened to let in Marrow until Sutton got in his way to rescue the situation.
On 16 minutes Clements launched a high first time ball to Daniel racing down the left. His first touch was excellent and he then accelerated towards the by-line from where he drilled the ball hard and low across the face of goal with no one able to reach it.
Pond was booked on 27 minutes for a cynical trip on Stevenson 30 yards from goal, Clucas taking the free kick but curling it well over the angle.
Pond made a great tackle to halt Daniel in full flight and then, as play swung the other way, Howell slid in superbly to halt Parkin as the action began to finally hot up and the crowd began to make some noise in response.
And the stadium then exploded on 31 minutes as Rhead put Stags in front.
Clements sent in a corner from the right and Rhead was offered a free header which he guided inside the keeper’s right hand post, Maxwell getting a hand to it but unable to keep it out.
Howell’s mistake almost allowed Mandron to get away in the middle of the park. The situation looked dangerous so Howell elected to take a booking and bring him down.
Clucas needed treatment for a clattering challenge on him that the referee didn’t even award a free kick for but was able to continue.
Clearly wound up by that, Clucas then jumped into a tackle on Hogan which earned the youngster a warning.
Daniel burst into the box on the left to put in a dangerous low ball which Stevenson would have put away had Goodall not put in a goal-saving challenge five yards from the target.
Stevenson stayed down after being caught fractionally late in a 50-50 challenge, which won Stags a corner but not a free kick again.
Clements put the corner over from the right and Sutton helped it towards goal where it seemed to bounce through everyone and almost creep in. Maxwell managed to hook it away with his right hand and Rhead then put the ball onto the roof of the net from a tight angle on the left by-line.
Three added minutes produced no further chances and home keeper Marriott was able to go in with a clean kit as the half ended with the visitors failing to trouble him with a shot of any sorts and Stags with that slender lead.
Fleetwood replaced Goodall with Hughes for the second half.
Howell slid in to win the ball cleanly on the edge of the home box on Mandrow on 57 minutes, but the referee decided otherwise and awarded a free kick. Evans curled the tamest of free kicks at Marriott but it did represent the Cod Army’s first attempt on goal.
Two minutes later Marriott had his first real save to make as Sarcevic tested him with a dipping 20 yard effort that he tipped over the bar.
The visitors were now finally having a good spell of possession and Fleetwood won a corner on the right which saw Marriott crowded out and the ball temporarily loose before the keeper was able to drop on it and smother.
Hughes drew jeers from the home fans for his shot on the run that he skewered well wide.
Fleetwood were now dominating possession with Stags starting to defend too deeply and another corner followed, Sutton heading clear.
However, Mansfield did break well and Westlake was sent scamping down the right. He found Clucas inside him surrounded by black shirts but, with no support, still able to curl a low shot narrowly wide from 20 yards.
A deflection on Mandron’s long range effort won the visitors’ fifth corner, but Mansfield survived.
But a sixth was not long behind and, from that, Hogan headed powerfully on target but straight at Marriott on 75 minutes.
Two minutes later Sutton almost doubled the home lead, but Maxwell parried his near post header from a Clements corner.
Another home corner saw a scramble from which Rhead poked a close range finish at Maxwell.
On 84 minutes Stags survived an almighty scare as Evans rolled a disguised free kick to the near post where Parkin lifted a close range finish against the home post.
Then Daniel produced a brilliant last ditch tackle to prevent Sarcevic shooting from seven yards.
Another half-cleared corner ended with Marriott gathering a low Evans shot at his near post.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott; Sutton, Dempster, Tafazolli; Westlake, Howell, Stevenson (Hutchinson 87), Clements, Daniel; Rhead, Clucas (Palmer 90+3). Subs not used: Dyer, Beevers, Meikle, McGuire, Cain.
FLEETWOOD: Maxwell, Roberts (Taylor 69), Pond, Evans (Allen 87), Parkin, Goodall (Hughes HT), Hogan, Sarcevic, Jordan, Mandron, Marrow. Subs not used: Davies, Murdoch, Cresswell, Cartwright.
REFEREE: Brendan Malone of Wiltshire.
ATTENDANCE: 2,759 (102 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Ryan Tafazolli.
Mansfield 1 Fleetwood 0
by Rob Stocks, firstname.lastname@example.org
Illness and carelessness in equal measure proved costly for Fleetwood as their promotion push ground to a halt at Mansfield.
Town, with three forced changes, including both full backs, couldn’t make the most of a bright start, failing to test Alan Marriott in the Mansfield goal.
And, as the first half progressed Fleetwood gradually became more direct, spurning width in favour of long balls aimed at Jon Parkin, the big striker doing his best to distribute under intense Stags pressure.
That trepidation to play the ball wide might have stemmed from the fact Fleetwood were being skinned down their own flanks, Liam Hogan given a particularly torrid time.
It certainly wasn’t vintage stuff and Mansfield took advantage on the half hour.
A scrambled corner, a static defence, Matt Rhead rising to head into the bottom corner, Chris Maxwell getting a hand but unable to scoop it out.
It could have been worse, Rhead allowed another free header before the half was up, Fleetwood unable to handle Colin Daniel and Lee Stevenson, Sam Clucas a menace in central areas.
Half time was a blessed relief and the introduction of Matty Hughes for the second 45 minutes was something of a tonic for Town who showed more attacking intent but still lacked a killer delivery.
Antoni Sarcevic’s shot was tipped over, Liam Hogan drew a fine save from Marriot, but Fleetwood were still well below their best.
And they were very nearly sunk with 15 minutes remaining.
Another corner, another static defence, Ritchie Sutton this time with the header, Chris Maxwell with a superb reaction save.
Rhead should have put it beyond doubt from another Stags corner two minutes later, his shot confidently held my Maxwell.
Town thought they’d rescued a point when Jon Parkin got a toe on the end of Charlie Taylor’s clever ball, the woodwork denying Fleetwood.
Sarcevic was then denied by a sliding challenge from Daniel as Fleetwood ralled after the introduction of Taylor, the Stags clinging on in the closing stages.
Town had left it too late to turn up the heat, their hopes of staying out of the melting pot that is the playoffs taking a big blow.
Cod Army Report: Mansfield 1 Fleetwood 0
by The Cod Father
Read more: http://www.fleetwood.vitalfootball.co.uk/matchrep.asp?a=541125#ixzz2uAHyejuC
Revenge was something that Mansfield gained on Saturday as they beat Fleetwood 1-0 to avenge an early League 2 defeat in November and damage our automatic promotion hopes in the process.
That League 2 game, a nine goal thriller, was won by a dramatic injury time winner to seal a 5-4 win at Highbury but it was just the solitary goal at the One Call Stadium that was needed to inflict defeat on the Cod Army.
Mansfield had by far the better of the first half, as we failed to create anything of note, and could have been ahead early on but Junior Daniel shot straight at Chris Maxwell, who was able to save with relative ease.
The breakthrough eventually did come though Matt Rhead. Left unchallenged from a Chris Clements corner his header saw Maxwell get a hand to it by the Cod Army goalkeeper couldn't prevent it from going in.
A scrappy first half was ended with Mansfield a goal up.
Half Time: Mansfield 1 Fleetwood 0
Finally Fleetwood got their act together and forced Alan Marriott into a save, but it took almost an hour. Gareth Evans saw his 20 yard free kick saved.
Minutes later and Marriott was forced into another save, this time tipping over a drive from Antoni Sarcevic.
We were almost caught once on the break by Mansfield but the pressure was definitely coming from us and an equaliser seemed certain to come? It just wasn't going to be coming from Liam Hogan, who couldn't beat Marriott with a header.
Then again Maxwell did have to save a couple of times, once again from Rhead.
An equaliser that you felt would come didn't and when Jon Parkin saw his effort hit the post that is when you knew it wasn't going to be.
Full Time: Mansfield 1 Fleetwood 0
Not the reaction that anyone wanted to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy exit, this was meant to act as our momentum to ensure that we gain League 2 promotion instead.
We're still very much in the running for the play offs, at least, and an automatic top three finish is still on but we've got to find some consistency again and stop dropping points against sides we would be expected to get something from really.
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