YOUNG STAGS BEATEN 3-0 AT SOLIHULL
Solihull Moors 3 - 0 Mansfield Town (mainly youth&trialists)
Stefan Moore 21, 50, Gareth Dean 55
Date: 18 July 2015
Martin Shaw at Damson Parkway
Summary: After a decent first half in which a young Mansfield side did quite well in holding Conference North Solihull Moors to 1-0, the second half turned out to be a bit of a mismatch of men against boys as Solihull went on to register a 3-0 victory. It should have been more than 3-0 in the second half. At one point, the Mansfield youngsters only got in the opposition half twice in about 20 minutes. But hopefully it’s a good learning curve for the Mansfield youngsters. Adam Bishop had a busy afternoon in the Mansfield goal and acquitted himself extremely well preventing a much heavier scoreline. Solihull included several players who have signed from Nuneaton who were riding high in the Conference at one point.
Mansfield Town have two pre-season friendlies today, at Solihull Moors of Conference North and at Barnsley in a testimonial for Bobby Hassell. Adam Murray spelled out in midweek that “the teams will be split and there will be an equal balance of seniors and kids going to both games on Saturday.” Unfortunately for the fans who travelled to Solihull, that proved not to be the case, where there are no senior players at all. Young professionals Danny Fletcher and Chris Spencer were in the team, with the rest of the team made of youth teamers and trialists. Plenty of dismay from the Stags fans that I chatted to before the game. A similar thing happened in the friendly at Carlton though there was an announcement for that game of the change to a young team 24 hours before the game. Adi Yussuf and Krystian Pearce are here, but not playing.
Micky Moore is taking the team, back at the club where he was manager before his first spell at Mansfield.
Stags team: (4-5-1)
Nortei Nortey (trialist, formerly of Chelsea academy), Chris Spencer (captain, at centre half), Alex Forde, Louis Danquah;
Lewis Ferguson, Reece Lucas, Trialist no.4(I’ve been asked not to name), Cameron Gayle, James Caton;
Subs: Arthur Guahoau, Kane Baldwin, Cain Smith, Charlie Shaw.
You would expect a decent Conference North side to be too strong for a Stags youth team, but let’s see..
12 mins First decent chance of the game with a cross from the right by trialist Nortei Nortey and Dan Fletcher rises well but heads over the bar.
14 mins Young Stag James Caton fires wide of the near post from a cross from the right
21 mins 1-0 Stefan Moore, who played in the Premier League for Aston Villa, puts Solihull in front, curling a low shot past Bishop from just inside the box.
26 mins Stefan Moore crosses from the right, Akwasi Asante puts a free header over the bar, losing his marker Nortei Nortey.
34 mins Stags trialist no.4 fires a low shot wide from 25 yards
43 mins A Solihull cross from the left, and Bishop punches, it hits a Solihull player and goes out for a goal-kick.
Half time 1-0 Solihull deservedly 1-0 ahead at the break. No surprise to see Solihull in control once they sussed out their opposition.
No changes at the break.
47 mins Good 1-2 between Solihull’s Asante and Walker, but final ball just overhit and Adam Bishop comes out to claim.
50 mins 2-0 Knights pulls back to Stefan Moore who easily chips over Adam Bishop into the net
52 mins It should be 3-0 but Bishop makes a great save tipping over. From resulting corner, Solihull shot cleared off the line.
53 mins From another corner, Another Solihull header cleared off the line by Danquah.
54 mins Good last ditch block from Chris Spencer to block Asante’s shot.
This is as one-sided as I expected now.
55 mins 3-0 Gareth Dean heads in following a corner.
I notice several of the Mansfield fans have camped themselves behind the goal Mansfield are defending. That’s where all the action is going to be.
60 mins Solihull make 10 changes, every outfield player. No changes so far for Mansfield.
61 mins Solihull have a new team but are still on the attack as sub Callum Gittings has a shot blocked by Danquah and then curls the rebound over the bar.
66 mins Solihull sub Andy Brown heads wide, unchallenged from a corner.
Mansfield have only been in the Solihull half twice I think in this half.
74 mins Adam Bishop saves a curling shot from Callum Gittings
76 mins A powerful shot by Gittings is blocked by Lewis Ferguson
80 mins Mansfield subs: Cain Smith (centre midfield) for Trialist no.4, Kane Baldwin (centre half) for Chris Spencer.
83 mins Mansfield sub: Charlie Shaw for Lewis Ferguson
87 mins Good cross from the right by Rosser and Andy Brown thundered a header against the post.
88 mins Great free kick from Ryan Beswick and a brilliant save from Adam Bishop tipping over one-handed.
From the resulting corner, Andy Brown headed just wide.
89 mins Andy Brown heads wide again from a cross from the right.
Full Time. 3-0. Total mismatch of men against boys in the second half. But hopefully a good learning curve for the Mansfield youngsters. Adam Bishop had a busy afternoon in the Mansfield goal and acquitted himself very well.
I had a chat with Micky Moore afterwards. I relayed a certain amount of dismay from fans that I had spoken to before the game, about the make-up of the team. Micky apologised to me, and thanked me for coming, and by extension apologised to the other fans who had attended, and thanked them too. He said that they had changed their minds after the Worksop game mainly out of respect to Bobby Hassell and wanting to put a strong team out, but with the games against MK Dons and Leicester coming up which will be tough, they didn't want to be playing players for full games at this stage, so felt they needed the full 1st team squad at Barnsley. That's fair enough, but I hope next time there is communication to all the travelling fans about what's happening.
Referee: Simon Barrow
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