FIRST MINUTE SENDING-OFF PROVES TOO MUCH FOR STAGS
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 2 Portsmouth
Thomas 67. Sutton sent off 1. Tubbs pen 2, Wallace 55.
Attendance: 4222 (1091 from Portsmouth)
Date: 25 April 2015
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
A penalty for Portsmouth after 41 seconds, coupled with a red card for Ritchie Sutton, who had only minutes earlier collected Player of the Season awards, set the scene on a difficult afternoon for Mansfield at Field Mill this afternoon. Matt Tubbs scored from the spot. The Stags therefore played the remaining 90+5 minutes with ten men but acquitted themselves well and in the end were unfortunate in my opinion to fall to a 2-1 defeat. The Stags had the better of the chances in the remainder of the first half as Rakish Bingham stabbed goalwards from close range and was denied by goalkeeper Jones, Jack Thomas fired just wide from the edge of the box and Bingham fired just wide twice. At the other end, Lenny Pidgeley pulled off a great save from a Craig Westcarr shot while Jed Wallace chipped just over the bar. At the start of the second half, a double chance for the Stags as Junior Brown’s low shot was saved by keeper Jones, and Matt Rhead’s follow-up was blocked. But on 55 minutes a fortunate goal for Portsmouth as Jed Wallace’s shot from 30 yards took an outrageous bounce to go in over the diving Lenny Pidgeley’s outstretched arm. With a regular bounce, Pidgeley would surely have saved it. The Stags were back in the game on 67 minutes with a lovely goal from the superb Jack Thomas who curled into the far corner of the net from 20 yards. But the Stags couldn’t find an equaliser and with gaps at the back through pushing forward with ten men, Portsmouth could have increased their lead. So defeat for Mansfield in the final home game of the season, but a very hard-working performance with a man down that deserved a point in my opinion. Jack Thomas was once again outstanding; the only thing he had been missing in previous performances was a goal and he got that today. Joe Fitzpatrick also played very well on his first start, out of position at centre half after Ritchie Sutton had been sent off. This was Portsmouth’s first league victory over Mansfield at the sixth attempt. The two teams will meet against next season. The Stags will also be playing Barnet, promoted from the Conference today, and Hartlepool who pulled off the great escape at the expense of Cheltenham and Tranmere who are relegated. One more game this season, away to Accrington and another chance for Mansfield’s youngsters to shine.
Saturday, 25th April 2015: Mansfield Town 1, Portsmouth 2
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
An eventful last day of the season saw Mansfield Town just fail to recover from the blow of having Ritchie Sutton sent off after only 50 seconds in today’s 2-1 defeat by Portsmouth.
On a day when the stars of the past, the 1974/75 title-winning side took a 40th anniversary bow at half-time, Stags fans got to see a glimpse of future stars as a young side containing five players aged 21 and under battled hard for the cause.
Once again Jack Thomas was the star turn for Stags. He picked up four Players of the Season trophies pre-match, including the Chad Readers’ trophy, then earned another man of the match award and bagged a superb first ever senior goal.
With Sutton gone, 17-year-old midfielder Joe Fitzpatrick faced the daunting task of going to centre half, but came out of it with much credit.
Sutton’s dismissal also saw a penalty awarded which Matt Tubbs dispatched with two minutes gone.
Lenny Pidgeley will have been upset to then get beaten by a wicked bounce from Jed Wallace’s 30-yard shot on 55 minutes.
But Stags were not finished and Thomas picked out the far top corner with a superb curling finish on 67 minutes.
However, it wasn’t enough to prevent Pompey, roared on by over 1,000 fans, to achieve their first ever League win over the Stags.
Murray shook things up with six changes with Fitzpatrick, keeper Pidgeley, full-backs Callum Elder and Liam Marsden, and strike pair Rakish Bingham and Matt Rhead coming in.
Out from the side that lost 3-2 at Cambridge last weekend went Sasha Studer, Ricky Ravenhill, Lee Beevers, Vadaine Oliver, Michael Raynes and Terry Hawkridge.
Young defender Corbin Shires was also included among the substitutes but didn’t manage to get on the field.
Prior to the game there was an emotional farewell to Doug Carroll, retiring after 13 years as club mascot Sammy the Stag.
There was also a minute’s silence to mark the 30th anniversary of the Bradford City fire disaster.
The game could not have got off to a worse start for Mansfield as they were behind and down to 10 men within two minutes.
Just 50 seconds had elapsed when Sutton was red-carded after a foul on Wallace.
Clements gave the ball away in the middle of the pitch and Pompey broke well with Tubbs feeding a square pass to Wallace who, as he tried to pull the trigger, was upended by Sutton.
The referee pointed straight to the spot and pulled out a red card to Sutton who, having just been given three Player of the Year awards, had seen his afternoon turn sour very quickly.
Tubbs sent Pidgeley the wrong way from the spot, tucking the ball inside the left post and immediately Mansfield had a mountain to climb.
Fitzpatrick was pulled back into the centre of defence to plug the gap.
As Rhead caused problems jumping for a high ball forward on 10 minutes, Thomas was following in and sent a volley wide of the left post.
Tubbs just failed to take a through ball in his stride on 16 minutes, had he done so it was 2-0.
Brown was booked for hacking down Wallace on 17 minutes.
But the Stags came close to levelling on 20 minutes as Bingham sent a powerful dipping shot over from the edge of the box after a flick-on from the head of Rhead.
On 24 minutes Elder’s misplaced pass sent Westcarr speeding through, Pidgeley beating away his finish at his near post.
After a foul by Thomas, Wallace crashed a 25 yard free-kick into the home wall on the half-hour mark.
Four minutes later a string of near Pompey passes ended with Wallace lifting a dipping finish inches over the bar.
On 36 minutes Bingham again came close. Rhead flicked on a long Marsden throw and Bingham stretched in front of goal to get the touch only to see Jones block.
Soon after Bingham wasn’t far wide with another decent attempt.
Wallace was warned for a dive as he jumped over Fitzpatrick’s sliding tackle, but the cards stayed in the referee’s pocket.
Dunne was well over as the visitors worked the ball around the edge of the box from a short corner. Then Thomas blocked a Close effort from a free kick as the visitors went in comfortably in control with home fans inevitably booing the referee.
Lambe replaced Bingham for the second half.
And Mansfield were almost level within two minutes as Brown zipped in a low shot that Jones parried and Butler got in the way of Rhead’s follow-up.
On 53 minutes Dunne’s first time finish was just too high from Tubbs’ square pass.
But the visitors’ lead was doubled on 55 minutes out of the blue. Wallace tried his luck from 30 yards and the ball took a wicked bounce in front of Pidgeley as he dived and flew high into the net.
On 62 minutes there were cheers from the home fans as Hearn came on to replace Marsden, Stags going 3-4-2.
Elder slid in to stop Westcarr getting on the end of a low Tubbs cross in front of goal. Brown headed the corner away to just outside the box where Butler’s dipping half-volley was superbly turned over by Pidgeley.
Thomas then marked his day to remember with his first senior goal to bring Mansfield back into the contest on 67 minutes.
And what a goal it was. Brown drew defenders on the left before rolling a pass to Thomas 20 yards out. He looked up and curled a perfect finish beyond Jones and into the top right hand corner.
Elder produced another fabulous tackle to deny Wallace a shot at gaol in the six yard box, then Westcarr curled a decent effort just wide on the turn.
On 73 minutes, Webster’s tackle on Thomas saw the ball zip back past the Pompey goal and only inches wide.
Portsmouth continued to press and Wallace sidestepped Thomas before shooting over.
The visitors won two more corners in succession, Close well wide from distance as the second was cleared.
As several decisions went against Mansfield in the closing stages, including a clear handball, the home fans yelled their frustration at the referee.
Stags were caught pushing up in the last minute and Chaplin seemed a certain scorer until Thomas produced an immense tackle.
Seconds later Pidgeley had to beat away a vicious Hollands shot as Portsmouth saw out the game for a first away win in seven trips.
But Stags were given hearty applause for their efforts and the young players left a feeling of hope for the future.
STAGS: Pidgeley, Marsden (Hearn 62), Sutton, Tafazolli, Elder, Thomas, Clements (McGuire 75), Fitzpatrick, Brown, Bingham (Lambe HT), Rhead. Subs not used: Studer, Shires, Oliver, Heslop.
PORTSMOUTH: Jones, Webster, Devera, Wallace, Ertl, Tubbs (McCallam 89), Westcarr (Chaplin 81), Dunne, Hollands, Close (Shorey 85), Butler. Subs not used: Poker, Fogden, Atangana, May.
REFEREE: Graham Horwood of Luton.
ATTENDANCE: 4,222 (1,091 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Jack Thomas.
Mansfield Town 1 Portsmouth 2: Match report: Stags end home campaign in defeat
By Sarah Clapson, Nottingham Post
Mansfield Town ended their home campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Portsmouth at the One Call Stadium.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Mansfield-Town-1-Portsmouth-2-Match-report/story-26389170-detail/story.html#ixzz3YLur2Aov
The Stags, whose League Two survival was confirmed last week, faced an uphill task from the start when Ritchie Sutton was sent off and Matt Tubbs converted a penalty inside the first two minutes.
They battled well and went close to digging out an equaliser, only for Jed Wallace to increase the visitors' advantage in the second half.
Jack Thomas gave the home side a lifeline with his first goal for the club with 20 minutes to go but they were unable to force an equaliser.
Boss Adam Murray made six changes for the penultimate game of the campaign.
There was a full debut for 17-year-old Joe Fitzpatrick in midfield, while Liam Marsden made only his second appearance of 2015.
Lenny Pidgeley was fit enough to take the place of Sascha Studer in goal, Callum Elder returned from concussion and Rakish Bingham and Matt Rhead were paired up front.
Those to miss out were Michael Raynes, Lee Beevers, Ricky Ravenhill, Terry Hawkridge and Vadaine Oliver.
There was also a place in the matchday squad for the first time for teenager Corbin Shires.
Stags' game plan went right out the window in the first few seconds, however, as they were reduced to ten men.
With less than a minute on the clock Sutton was shown a straight red card for his first challenge - a heavy one on Wallace, who had been played in by Tubbs; Chris Clements having given the ball away.
Referee Graham Horwood had no hesitation in giving the defender, the last man back, his marching orders and pointing to the spot.
Tubbs sent Pidgeley the wrong way and coolly slotted the ball home to put the visitors in front.
It meant a reshuffle as Fitzpatrick dropped into central defence to cope with Sutton's absence and Bingham moved out to the right wing.
Mansfield still had their chances before the break, though, largely through Rhead's dominance in the air and Bingham's initiative.
The former knocked the ball down into Thomas' path on the ten-minute mark, only for the midfielder to blast well wide.
And from a Pidgeley goal-kick ten minutes later, Bingham was the man to benefit from Rhead's hardwork, sending a first-time effort over the bar from the right side of the area.
Portsmouth applied plenty of pressure but didn't have too many opportunities to show for it.
Their best one came from a Stags mistake as a slip by Elder, following a Mansfield throw-in, allowed Craig Westcarr to race clean through with 24 minutes gone. Pidgeley however, saved well at his near post.
Wallace wasn't too far away shortly after, with a clipped effort from the edge of the area which was inches over the bar.
Still, Murray's side didn't give up and Bingham was unlucky when he tried to poke the ball home following Rhead's flick from Marsden's throw; goalkeeper Paul Jones though, was equal to it.
Bingham then arrowed an effort wide from long range immediately after, giving the hosts hope as they went into the interval just a goal down.
And they looked to continue that momentum after the interval as Junior Brown forced Jones to parry a low shot, with Rhead unable to bury the follow-up.
Within ten minutes of the re-start though, Portsmouth were 2-0 up.
James Dunne sidefooted over from Wallace's cross, before the latter tried his luck from range in the 55th minute. His shot took an unfortunate bobble, bouncing up and over the diving Pidgeley on its way into the net.
The on-loan Newport County stopper was called into action again past the hour, but managed to pull off a brilliant save to tip Dan Butler's fierce long-range strike over the bar.
Just when it looked like Mansfield might be out of the contest, Thomas dragged them right back into it with a fine strike.
After bagging four of the end of season awards before kick-off, the youngster lived up to his billing with a fabulous curling shot from 25 yards out on the left hand side.
Thomas almost grabbed another in fortuitous circumstances soon after as Adam Webster's tackle on him outside the area saw the ball spring back goalwards, just wide of the upright.
Westcarr and Wallace did their best to restore Pompey's two-goal advantage and the visitors had the upper hand in the closing stages.
Two incredible tackles from Thomas though, and a fine save from Pidgeley to thwart Danny Hollands from close range kept Pompey at bay.
The only down side was Mansfield came away with nothing to show for their efforts.
MANSFIELD: Pidgeley, Marsden (Hearn 62), Sutton, Tafazolli, Elder, Fitzpatrick, Clements (McGuire 75), Thomas, Brown, Rhead, Bingham (Lambe 46). Subs not used: Studer, Heslop, Oliver, Shires.
PORTSMOUTH: Jones, Devera, Ertl, Webster, Butler, Dunne, Close (Shorey 85), Wallace, Hollands, Tubbs (McCallam 88), Westcarr (Chaplin 81). Subs not used: Poke, Fogden, Atangana, May.
ATTENDANCE: 4,222 (1,091 away).
MANSFIELD 1 POMPEY 2
http://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk, by Neil Weld at One Call Stadium
Tubbs and Wallace on target against 10-man Stags
Pompey secured a third away league victory of the season in their final match on the road at Mansfield.
Read more at http://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk/news/article/mansfield-2422413.aspx#CrF7PrYKp1WeOB8m.99
Their task was made a lot easier when Ritchie Sutton conceded a penalty and was sent off in the opening seconds.
Matt Tubbs converted the spot-kick and Jed Wallace then doubled the advantage with a long-range effort after the interval.
A fine effort from Jack Thomas gave the 10-man hosts some hope, but the Blues held on to secure all three points.
Gary Waddock made three changes from the side beaten by Bury the previous week.
Johnny Ertl was handed a first start in more than three months in defence, while there were returns for Dan Butler at left-back and the fit-again James Dunne in a diamond midfield.
Before kick-off there was an impeccably observed minute's silence to mark the 30th anniversary of the Bradford fire disaster.
Pompey have conceded early on plenty of occasions this season, but it was them celebrating a goal after just 102 seconds.
Wallace played a neat one-two with Tubbs and burst into the area, only to be dragged to the ground by Stags skipper Sutton.
Referee Graham Horwood immediately pointed to the spot and compounded the hosts’ misery by pulling out a red card.
It was TUBBS who stepped up to take the penalty and sent Lenny Pidgeley the wrong way to take his tally for the season to 23 goals.
The rest of the half failed to live up to that frantic opening, however, and both sides were guilty of some sloppy passing.
But the Blues, perhaps unsurprisingly, dominated possession and most of the play was taking place in the hosts’ half.
A slip by Callum Elder did send Craig Westcarr one-on-one with Pidgelely on 25 minutes, though, and the Mansfield keeper made a fine stop to prevent his side from falling further behind.
The busy Wallace then tried an audacious chip from the edge of the box that drifted narrowly over the crossbar.
There were not too many scares at the other end of the pitch, although the Stags did go close to levelling on 36 minutes.
A long throw from Liam Marsden was flicked on by Matt Rhead, but Paul Jones somehow managed to deny Rakish Bingham from point-blank range.
Bingham then flashed a shot wide from long-range during a spell of Mansfield pressure, but the visitors did not otherwise look like relinquishing their lead.
Half Time: Mansfield 0 Pompey 1
The hosts had not offered much before the break, but came roaring from the traps after it and almost grabbed an immediate equaliser.
Jones made another fine save to keep out Junior Brown’s drive and Rhead’s follow-up was blocked by some last-ditch defending.
Pompey were soon on the attack themselves, however, and Dunne fired narrowly over after Wallace and Tubbs had combined well to tee him up.
And they doubled their advantage on 55 minutes when WALLACE tried his luck from long-range, with the ball bouncing over Pidgeley’s dive and nestling into the net.
They almost forged further ahead soon after, but Pidgeley was equal to Butler’s stunning 30-yard volley and tipped the ball over.
However, the Stags suddenly found themselves back in the game on 67 minutes when Thomas curled an exquisite effort past Jones’ grasp.
Pompey went straight up the other end to have a chance of their own, but Westcarr seemed caught in two minds about whether to shoot or find Tubbs and ended up drilling the ball wide of the post.
He did better to pick out Wallace moments later, only for Callum Elder to make a key challenge and the striker then sent a shot narrowly wide as the Blues looked to give themselves a cushion.
Mansfield pushed more men forward as they looked to grab a share of the spoils, but the Blues held on for the victory.
They even had chances to grab a third late on, but Thomas did well to dispossess substitute Conor Chaplin before Pidgeley saved from Danny Hollands.
Mansfield (4-1-4-1): Pidgeley; Marsden (Hearn 62), Tafazolli, Sutton (c), Elder; Fitzpatrick; Bingham (Lambe 46), Clements (McGuire 75), Thomas, Brown; Rhead
Goals: Thomas 67
Sent off: Sutton
Subs not used: Studer, Shires, Heslop, Oliver
Pompey (4-diamond-2): Jones; Devera, Ertl (c), Webster, Butler; Dunne, Close (Shorey 85), Wallace, Hollands; Tubbs (McCallum 88), Westcarr (Chaplin 81)
Goals: Tubbs 2 (pen), Wallace 55
Subs not used: Poke, May, Fogden, Atangana
Referee: Graham Horwood
Attendance: 4,222 (1,091 Pompey fans)
Latest | April 2015