DETERMINATION DRAGS STAGS TO VITAL VICTORY
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Tranmere Rovers
Attendance: 3051 (563 from Tranmere)
Date: 14 April 2015
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town beat Tranmere 1-0 on a night of high emotion at the One Call Stadium to take an enormous step towards league survival. Tranmere came into the game 6 points behind the Stags with 4 games to play and desperate for a win. Mansfield knew that a win would take them 9 points clear of Tranmere and at least 8 ahead of Cheltenham whatever result Cheltenham had, with just 3 to play. The only goal of a tense game came just before half time when Reggie Lambe shot left footed across the goalkeeper into the corner of the net from 12 yards. Lambe has scored some critical goals this season and after the game he told me this was the most important goal of his career. Mansfield had started the game on the front foot and Vadaine Oliver had a double-chance in the opening 15 seconds as firstly his low shot was saved and then he put the rebound wide from 2 yards. And on 3 minutes Junior Brown belted a shot just over the bar. They were Mansfield’s only chances of the first half until the all-important goal. In between, Tranmere went close three times: first a free-kick from George Green from 22 yards that was only a whisker wide, and then a shot from Rory Donnelly that was just wide, and finally Sascha Studer saved well from a low shot. The second half became more and more tense with Mansfield creating few chances to increase the lead, while Tranmere had a lot of possession but had few chances to show for it as Mansfield defended resolutely and with absolute determination not to be breached. Sascha Studer in the Mansfield goal made one good save in that second half and also showed good handling when it was needed, while the defending was superb with ball after ball being headed away, and Michael Raynes and Ryan Tafazolli were superb in the air in central defence, as was Jamie McGuire who played just in front of the back four. Special mention to McGuire and Richie Sutton who both told me afterwards that they played with injuries through the pain barrier and who gave absolutely everything out there. Sutton told me he was in agony after the game. Every club needs characters like these whose determination can drag you over the line. Mansfield should have sealed the game on 89 minutes when Lambe got into a good position and curled a cross-shot that just evaded Oliver at the far post. Referee Darren Drysdale who had unusually not taken centre stage in the opening 90 minutes, then added on 8 minutes of stoppage time when in my opinion it should have been 6. During that injury time, a corner for Tranmere saw keeper Fon-Williams come up for it, but when the ball was cleared, Fon-Williams wrestled Oliver to the ground and was booked, but in the aftermath Matthew Hill and Reggie Lambe tustled to get the ball, and Lambe was shown a second yellow card and hence a red. From the video, I can see why Drysdale gave a yellow to both Hill and Lambe. With further stoppages, Drysdale ended up playing 13 minutes of stoppage time but Mansfield held on and the roof came off Field Mill at the final whistle. After 5 successive defeats, this was I think the most significant Stags victory since returning to the Football League and was a great night for all the fans and everyone associated with the club. A huge well done to the players and to Adam Murray and his assistants for dragging us to the brink of being over the line. Technically Mansfield need two more points to be safe, though wins in all their games for the teams beneath us seem highly unlikely, but it would be very nice to finish the season on a good run, starting at Cambridge on Saturday.
Report in the Match Centre
Tuesday, 14th April 2015: Mansfield Town 1, Tranmere Rovers 0
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Reggie Lambe all but secured Mansfield Town’s Football League status with the winning goal as Stags edged an absolute thriller 1-0 to leave visiting Tranmere Rovers on the verge of the drop.
However, Bermudian international winger Lambe wasn’t on the field at the final whistle after being shown a very late second yellow card in a shoving contest as controversial referee Darren Drysdale again put Stags through the ringer with an amazing 14 added minutes of stoppage time.
But Lambe’s goal against the run of play on 44 minutes proved enough, along some heroic defending, to edge Stags to eight points clear of the drop zone with three games left.
It would now take a major disaster to relegate them.
Rovers were founder members of the League and have never been out of it. But they now sit bottom with only three games left.
Backed by an army of 563 fans, they threw everything but the kitchen sink at the home side in an emotional rollercoaster of a game that was almost unbearable to watch at times.
Stags started well and almost netted in the first 20 seconds. But slowly Rovers pushed them back and took control, only to be rocked by Lambe’s strike a minute from the break that won the night.
The back four were simply magnificent and keeper Sasha Studer had his best game in a Stags shirt.
Sadly the night was marred by trouble from some Tranmere fans during the game and outside.
The 3,051 attendance also has to be a disappointment with less then 2,500 home fans in for such a crucial game as Stags ended a five-game winning streak.
Boss Adam Murray made three changes. Lee Beevers and Martin Riley were ruled out with knocks picked up on Saturday while Rakish Bingham was dropped to the bench.
Ritchie Sutton shook off a hip injury picked up in Saturday’s pre-match warm-up to replace Beevers at right back, Michael Raynes came into the centre of defence to replace Riley and Junior Brown, back from a four-game ban, took over from Bingham on the wing in a 4-1-2-3 formation.
Experienced keeper Lenny Pidgeley still has a slight hamstring problem, so Sasha Studer retained his place between the posts, but Pidgeley was on the bench as back-up.
Both sides began the night without a win in five with Rovers, six points behind Mansfield in the bottom two with only four games to play, the more desperate to take all three points on the night.
The visitors included former Stags winger Rob Taylor.
Stags almost broke through within 20 seconds as Brown slipped Oliver through the middle, Fon Williams making a great stop with his legs, then Donacien preventing Oliver making his follow-up count.
It was an electric start and on three minutes a half-clearance from Mansfield’s first corner fell to Brown and he blazed over from 16 yards as he and Thomas both went for the ball.
On nine minutes referee Drysdale awarded a debatable free kick to Tranmere, 20 yards out and central. Green curled a fine shot goalwards and home fans and players held their breath as is ended up in the netting on top of the goal.
With Holmes off for treatment for a cut, Elder hurled in a long throw for Stags, but it was cleared.
That sparked a Rovers break in which they were three on two, Sutton coming up with a crucial saving tackle on Green.
Drysdale angered the home fans again after a Tranmere player dived into a full tackle on Brown and the referee said he won the ball.
Rovers should have opened the scoring on 17 minutes. Myrie-Williams attacked Elder on the right before slipping a pass into the path of Donnelly, whose first time sidefoot from eight yards rolled inches wide of the far post.
A Clements free kick from the right was too high for Oliver at the far post in the home side’s next raid.
Brown raised home nerves when he gave the ball away to spark another Tranmere break, but Stags defended the moment well.
Mansfield had more defending to do soon after when Sutton miscontrolled, and a minute later Donnelly nodded tamely to Studer from beyond the far post.
Tafazolli hooked clear a dangerous Green cross from the right as Tranmere grew in confidence.
A good spell of keep-ball by the visitors then earned them their first corner on 32 minutes which was cleared as far as Stockton, whose low 18 yard shot was well stopped by Studer.
Thomas caught Power late and the free kick was given, Power continuing to roll around until he realised no card was coming out.
Home fans were starting to lose patience, though there was a cheer as Studer confidently caught a long Myrie-Williams cross from the right.
But there was more defending needed seconds later as Sutton thought he’d won the ball in a tackle and Mr Drysdale disagreed, Raynes heading clear the free kick.
Stags defended another corner, then Oliver chose the wrong option as it was cleared and the chance to break was wasted.
How Mansfield needed a spark. And it duly arrived in the shape of the opening goal a minute from the break.
McGuire ran at the box down the centre and found Oliver, who laid it off to Lambe to turn and roll a low finish beyond the despairing fingertips of Fon Williams and inside the right post.
The ground erupted with a mixture of joy and relief and a side that might have been booed off a minute later left the pitch to warm applause.
They had the vital breakthrough, now could they defend it against a hungry Tranmere side for 45 minutes or even add to it?
Within four minutes Brown drove a powerful shot at goal from the right after superbly chesting down Tafazolli’s lofted pass. But the keeper was well positioned.
In reply Donnelly tested Studer from 20 yards, then Raynes got in the way of a Donnelly shot.
The visitors had a real sense of urgency about them and quickly won two corners on the trot.
Power was shown the night’s first yellow card for kicking the ball at goal after the whistle on 54 minutes.
On 54 minutes Thomas was sacrificed from the midfield to allow Stags to get two up front to aim for, Rhead coming on.
Oliver chased a lofted McGuire pass forward and jumped with the keeper. The ball ran loose and Rhead had a shy at the empty net blocked before winning a free kick and big cheers from the stand. However, Clements sent it straight into the Rovers wall.
Desperate Tranmere made a triple change on 62 minutes, Hume, Taylor and Odejayi on for Donnelly, Hill and Stockton in a big roll of the dice by Micky Adams.
Seconds later a clearance reached McGuire 35 yards from goal and he sent a dipping volley over the bar.
Tafazolli took one for the team as he tripped an advancing Hume on 66 minutes to earn a booking.
Tranmere wasted a free kick as Odejayi wrestled Rhead to the ground in the box.
McGuire left the field to big applause on 68 minutes as Ravenhill joined the action to offer fresh legs to the cause.
A minute later Tranmere might have levelled as Odejayi dummied a low right wing cross and Myrie-Williams sent a low shot at Studer.
As Sutton forced Odejayi out for a goalkick on the by-line trouble erupted behind the goal with fencing pushed over and police fighting and stewards fighting with Rovers fans.
Raynes headed another Rovers corner away and Tafazolli got his head to the follow-up cross from Green.
Lambe was booked four minutes from time for arguing with the assistant over a foul he felt he should have been given.
A minute from time Oliver was inches away from turning home Lambe’s curling effort from the left over the line.
A 90th minute Rovers corner was punched away by Studer.
Incredibly the referee somehow found eight minutes to add at the end.
In the 92nd minute Marsden was sent on for Brown to shore things up at the back.
Seconds later Power had a vicious shot deflect just wide for a corner.
Keeper Von Williams came up for it and, when it was cleared, he fouled a Stags player to make sure he got back.
But it sparked a melee in which Lambe got involved and picked up a second yellow and subsequent red on 90+5.
Green and Oliver were also booked in an incredible eventual 14 added minutes.
The noise from the stands was deafening as everyone screamed for the final whistle that brought huge relief and a well deserved ovation on a night to remember.
STAGS: Studer; Sutton, Raynes, Tafazolli, Elder; McGuire (Ravenhill 68), Clements, Thomas (Rhead 54); Lambe, Oliver, Brown (Marsden 90+2). Subs not used: Pidgeley, Hearn, Bingham, Hawkridge.
TRANMERE: Fon Williams, Holmes, Power, Ihiekwe, Green, Donacien, Stockton (Odejayi 62), Taylor (Hill 62), Jennings, Donnelly (Hume 62), Myrie-Williams. Subs not used: Brezovan, Koumas, Laird, Thompson.
REFEREE: Darren Drysdale of Lincolnshire.
ATTENDANCE: 3,051 (563 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Michael Raynes.
Report: Mansfield 1 Tranmere 0
Rovers defeated at One Call Stadium
Reggie Lamb's first half goal saw Rovers fall to a 1-0 defeat at Mansfield Town on Tuesday night.
Read more at http://www.tranmererovers.co.uk/news/article/report-mansfield-v-tranmere-2400536.aspx#2I6wFMirgbHzYbcs.99
Micky Adams made three changes to the side that started at Southend as George Green returned from illness and Jennison Myrie-Williams and Rory Donnelly returned to the starting line up, with Marc Laird, Josh Thompson and Kayode Odejayi dropping out. Matt Hill was named in the squad for the first time since an Achilles injury ruled him out in September, while Jason Koumas also returned from injury to take a place on the substitutes' bench.
The home side should have taken the lead within the first 15 seconds. Janoi Donacien's clearance fell straight to Reggie Lambe whose pass sent Vadine Oliver through on goal. However, Fon Williams saved his first attempt with a dive down to his left and the striker missed the follow up under pressure from Donacien.
Mansfield kept the pressure on and after Michael Ihiekwe conceded a corner, Jack Thomas flashed a 20 yard effort inches over Owain Fon Williams' crossbar.
Rovers created their first opening on nine minutes when Green won possession from Callum Elder on the right wing and cut inside before being brought down 25 yards from goal. The Everton loanee took the free kick himself and curled just past the top right corner.
The visitors broke quickly on the counter attack on 13 minutes and had four men against two Mansfield defenders but Green opted to run with the ball rather than pass and his progress was ended by Ryan Tafazolli.
Adams' side went close to an opener on 17 minutes. Danny Holmes and Cole Stockton combined on the right to find Myrie-Williams and he broke past Elder and picked out Donnelly 12 yards out but his side footed effort rolled inches past the bottom left corner.
Donnelly's downward header from Max Power's cross was comfortably held by Sascha Studer on 27 minutes while Green's left wing cross caused a moment of panic in the home defence soon after.
Studer did well to save Stockton's low drive through a crowded area on 32 minutes as Rovers continued to press forward but the home side took the lead against the run of play two minutes from half time. McGuire found Lambe on the edge of the area and he shifted the ball on to his left foot before sending a low shot across goal and into the bottom right corner.
Donnelly picked up a pass from Power 25 yards from goal on 50 minutes and brought a save out of Studer with a shot on the turn and the striker scuffed an attempt from Stockton's lay off six minutes later.
On 57 minutes Fon Williams raced off his line to challenge Stags substitute Matt Rhead though Rhead managed to win possession back before being fouled by Rob Taylor on the edge of the area. From the resulting free kick Chris Clements' shot hit the defensive wall before being cleared.
A triple substitution saw Kayode Odejayi, Iain Hume and Matt Hill replace Stockton, Donnelly and Hill just past the hour mark.
McGuire volleyed on to the roof of the Tranmere goal on 63 minutes while Myrie-Williams' right foot half volley was saved by Studer at the other end.
Rovers spent long spells camped in the Mansfield half but were unable to create a clear chance on goal. With men thrown forward, the hosts had chances on the counter attack and Oliver was inches away from turning in a Lambe cross on 88 minutes.
A Green corner gave Hume a half chance on 90 minutes but his effort was blocked as the game went into eight minutes of added time.
Power's cross was deflected away from the back post on 93 minutes and moments later Mansfeld were reduced to ten men when Lambe was shown his second yellow card of the game.
A long range effort from Green looped into the arms of Studer after taking a deflection on 99 minutes, the final chance of the game for Rovers.
Mansfield: Studer, Sutton, Tafazolli, McGuire (Ravenhill 68), Lambe, Thomas (Rhead 54), Brown (Marsden 90), Oliver, Elder, Clements, Raynes. Substitutes: Pidgeley, Bingham, Hearn, Hawkridge.
Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Donacien, Ihiekwe, Taylor (Hill 61), Myrie-Williams, Power, Jennings, Green, Donnelly (Hume 61), Stockton (Odejayi 61). Substitutes: Brezovan, Hill, Thompson, Laird, Koumas, Hume, Odejayi.
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Yellow cards: Power (54), Tafazolli (66), Lambe (86), Fon Williams (90), Hill (90), Oliver (90), Green (90)
Red card: Lambe (90)
Mansfield 1 Tranmere 0: Rovers survival hopes take another blow
Defeat leaves Tranmere rock bottom and 94-year stay in the Football League perilously close to and end
report from liverpoolecho.co.uk
Tranmere Rovers’ 94-year stay in the Football League was dealt yet another blow after a Reggie Lambe strike saw relegation rivals Mansfield take a narrow win.
It was Rovers’ sixth game without a win and despite dominating for long periods they now find themselves bottom of League two and two points from safety with just three games left.
Looking to drag hosts Mansfield back into the relegation battle, Micky Adams made three attacking changes with Rory Donnelly, Jennison Myrie-Williams and George Green all coming in.
However, it was the defence Adams was thankful for inside the first minute as the Stags, buoyed by an electric atmosphere, poured forward from the kick-off.
First, keeper Owain Fon Williams stood up well to deny Vadaine Oliver from close range after the striker was put clear of the Rovers’ defence by Junior Brown. Then, as Oliver raced on to the follow-up, Janoi Donacien denied him the chance to roll the ball into an empty net with a superb challenge.
A minute later, as Rovers struggled to clear a corner, Brown fired over from 16 yards when well placed.
At the other end, a mazy run by Green drew a foul just outside the area but the tricky winger’s free-kick curled narrowly wide after nine minutes.
The frenetic pace continued as Rovers carved out a great chance. The increasingly dangerous Myrie-Williams cut in from the right and set up Donnelly, but with just keeper Sascha Studer to beat, he side-footed inches wide from 10 yards.
The visitors took control midway through the first half with quick passing and were denied a deserved breakthrough from a Green corner when Cole Stockton’s low drive was eventually held by Studer.
Their dominance in possession forced a free-kick on the edge of the area and a second corner, but a nervous home defence survived as Studer twice rose to claim dangerous crosses.
Just a minute before half-time though and Rovers’ survival hopes were dealt a blow when Mansfield snatched a fortunate lead.
Jamie McGuire played in Oliver and his lay-off gave Lambe the chance to roll his shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards past Fon Williams’ despairing dive.
Rovers came out early for the second-half, five minutes before the home side, no doubt boosted by a rousing Adams team talk.
Mansfield’s time wasting from a 46th-minute throw angered the 300-plus travelling Rovers fans, but it was the Stags who had the first shot of the second period.
Brown raced past former Mansfield full-back Rob Taylor and tested Fon Williams with a rising 20-yard drive.
In the 50th minute Donnelly tried to level from 20 yards, but his tame shot was comfortably held by the keeper.
The cup tie atmosphere off the pitch continued and Donnelly again had a chance to equalise, but his shot was blocked inside the area by Michael Raynes.
A deft Green free-kick won a corner as Rovers upped up the pressure. The winger’s first attempt was cleared for a second corner and his second, a short one to Max Power, was wasted and led to a booking for Power.
Rovers again began to dominate possession as the nervous home side defended deeper and deeper.
However, it needed a desperate clearance on the edge of his own area by Fon Williams to deny substitute Matt Rhead a second Mansfield goal on a rare breakaway.
The keeper lost possession to a brave Oliver header, but recovered well to block Rhead’s follow-up with the goal gaping.
McGuire’s 25-yard volley landed on the roof of the net as Mansfield looked for a killer second goal, but Rovers remained dominant in possession and always looked dangerous from set pieces.
Myrie-Williams’ 10-yard shot from substitute Kayode Odejayi’s cross was well held by Studer as the Tranmere onslaught continued.
The game was briefly held up as Tranmere fans spilled over the advertising boards and scuffled with police and a red card for goal-scorer Lambe after a scuffle in the Tranmere box added on more time but Mansfield held on for a vital win.
Mansfield Town: (4-3-3): Studer, Sutton, Tafazolli, Raynes, Elder, McGuire (Ravenhill 68), Thomas (Rhead 54), Clements, Lambe, Oliver, Brown (Marsden 90). Subs not used: Pidgeley, Bingham, Hearn, Hawkridge.
Tranmere Rovers (4-4-2): Fon Williams, Holmes, Donacien, Ihiekwe, Taylor (Hill 62), Green, Jennings, Power, Myrie-Williams, Stockton (Odejayi 62), Donnelly (Hume 62). Subs not used: Brezovan, Koumas, Laird, Thompson.
Referee: Darren Drysdale.
star man: George Green.The winger was a livewire throughout the 90 minutes and his tricky runs and quick, short passing unlocked the home defence on numerous occasions.
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