SPIRITED 10-MAN STAGS DRAW WITH LEADERS NORTHAMPTN
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 2 - 2 Northampton Town
Green 11, 16. McGuire sent off 45+4. Holmes pen 64, Marquis 69.
Attendance: 4367 (1667 from Northampton)
Date: 28 March 2016
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town and runaway leaders Northampton Town drew a fabulous game 2-2 at Field Mill this afternoon. Northampton came into the game on an incredible run, unbeaten in 16 games, including 13 wins. The Stags went 2-0 ahead inside 16 minutes through Matt Green headers from excellent free-kicks from Mal Benning and Chris Clements respectively, to give Green his 13th and 14th goals of the season. It was a deserved reward for the Stags who tore into Northampton from the first minute when the tremendous Jack Thomas had a shot from 20 yards blocked. The Stags could have been further in front on 37 minutes when Mani Dieseruvwe pulled the ball back to Clements who fired just over the angle of bar and post. The Stags were so much on top that Northampton’s first effort on goal didn’t come until 44 minutes, a tame effort by Danny Rose floated over the bar. But disaster struck on 45+4 minutes when Jamie McGuire, who had been excellent in the opening 45 minutes, appeared to be fouled by John Marquis on the halfway line, yet the referee saw it as a foul by McGuire and issued him a second yellow card and a red card. On review of the video, it still looks like a foul by Marquis to me more than a foul by McGuire. A terrible decision by the referee in my opinion, and one which completely changed the course of the game. With 11 against 11, Mansfield had been right on top for 45 minutes and there looked only one winner in this game, but with the Stags down to 10 men it would inevitably be a backs-to-the-wall job for the second half. The Stags were extremely fortunate on 58 minutes when a fine shot from Ricky Holmes struck the underside of the bar with Shearer beaten and bounced down onto the line and out again. I did not think it crossed the line. But another critical decision turned the game on 64 minutes as Northampton were awarded a controversial penalty. The incident started with a foul throw by the Cobblers on the Bishop Street side, not given as a foul throw by the inept officials, and within a few seconds James Collins threw himself to the floor in the area under no sort of challenge from Krystian Pearce. It looked like a clear dive from the West Stand. And of course James Collins shouldn’t have even been playing in this game if the FA had shown any sort of consistency over his much-publicised urine-throwing incident at Cheltenham races while banning Mansfield’s Adi Yussuf for 5 games for urinating in a place where he was told he could urinate by a steward and two Plymouth players, behind a stand at Home Park. Holmes sent Shearer the wrong way from the penalty spot as Shearer was unable to repeat his penalty-saving heroics from recent home games. The momentum was all with Cobblers and they equalised on 69 minutes when Shearer came for a corner from the right, didn’t get there and Marquis fired in from close range after a scramble in the 6 yard box. Probably Shearer should have done better. Northampton should have been in front on 80 minutes when Sam Hoskins, only just on as substitute, fired over from 12 yards. The Stags remained under pressure but showed wonderful spirit to stay in the game and earn the draw, which was the least they deserved. The home crowd gave the home players a rousing reception at full time, recognising the wonderful spirit shown by the players in the face of adversity and a man down for the second 45 minutes, not to mention the excellent first half showing. Some great performances from the Stags players: Green with his two well taken headed goals, Jack Thomas with an all action display from the first minute to the last, the entire defence which played very well, and special mention for Mal Benning for a tremendous return to form with an excellent free kick for the first goal and really good defending throughout. Great entertainment and a game played in a tremendous atmosphere in front of the biggest crowd of the season at Field Mill, mainly thanks to a 1700 following from Northampton who were completely becalmed in the first half, but vociferously behind their side roaring them on once they had a one-man advantage. The Stags move on to Hartlepool next week looking to continue the cracking form from the first half here and show the same spirit from the second half.
Special mention to groundsman Mez Merriman and his team for getting the game on despite torrential overnight rain. It looks like we’ll go through the season with no game called off at home due to bad weather, a tremendous achievement.
REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Mansfield Town 2, Northampton Town 2
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 28 March 2016
Mansfield Town’s 10 men clung bravely onto a gutsy and unlikely 2-2 draw with runaway leaders Northampton Town in a thriller at One Call Stadium today.
Mansfield started the game well, grabbed two goals in five electric minutes to lead 2-0 through Matt Green and dominated a first half in which the high-flying visitors failed to muster a shot until the 44th minute.
Stags then had to make a reshuffle after losing centre half Ryan Tafazolli to injury as early as the 23rd minute.
However, it was McGuire’s red card in first half stoppage time that changed the complexion of the afternoon.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/match-report-mansfield-town-2-northampton-town-2-1-7821002#ixzz44IFdLC1W
It seemed a harsh decision as, although possibly a foul, it didn’t look to be a bookable offence.
But, as he had already been cautioned, referee Darren Handley sent him off.
The visitors made few friends with their over-reactions to tackles, diving and play-acting and Handley was again in the spotlight on 64 minutes when he awarded the Cobblers a soft penalty which Ricky Holmes buried.
The pink shirts of Northampton then inevitably began to swarm forwards and on 69 minutes John Marquis levelled the game from close range after Scott Shearer had come for, but failed to grab, a right wing corner by Danny Rose.
The visitors arrived on a fantastic run of 16 League games unbeaten, winning 13 of them.
Stags began the day five without a win in five games and their play-off hopes all but gone, eight points short with eight games to go.
The home side showed two changes as they faced runaway leaders Northampton Town at One Call Stadium this afternoon.
Right back Dan Alfei and midfielder Mitch Rose were dropped to the bench.
In came Jamie McGuire to play defensive midfielder, Lee Collins moving to right back against his old club, with teenager Jack Thomas making a rare start on the right of midfield.
The afternoon started with a minute’s silence for the victims of the Brussels terror attacks.
Mansfield began on the front foot and in the second minute Green’s knock-down from a high ball to the right of the box saw Thomas have a shot charged down.
On eight minutes Stags came even closer as Clements whipped a free kick only just over the crossbar from wide on the left.
The home side were rewarded for their bright start with a fine opening goal on 11 minutes.
Benning’s trusty left foot curled in a superb free kick from wide on the right and Green stole in to power home a header from five yards.
Within five minutes it was 2-0 - and it was Green on target again.
This time Clements launched in a long free kick from the left and Green met it was a deft header that beat Smith all ends up to leave the visitors stunned.
Tafazolli had already been down for treatment and after a late tackle on Marquis on 20 minutes, he was booked and went down again, this time being replaced by Alfei on 23 minutes.
A minute later McGuire flattened Richards in a midfield challenge. Marquis raced in with a violent shove on McGuire but only the Stags man was booked.
Cobblers keeper Smith was lucky on 35 minutes when he fumbled a Benning cross and no one was on hand to punish him.
A minute later Dieseruvwe drew a defender on the right of the box and then rolled a perfect pass to Clements on the edge of the box only to see his finish pass inches over the right angle.
The visitors were clearly rattled and on 41 minutes Buchanan was booked for leaving a foot in on Blair as he tried to get the ball into the box.
It took until a minute from the break for the visitors to muster a goal attempt as Rose lifted a shot over from just outside the box.
But Stags’ task of holding onto their 2-0 advantage was made much harder when they had McGuire sent off in the fourth of five added minutes.
He and Marquis both went into a challenge which the referee let play continue from. However, when it came to nothing, he brought back the play for a free kick and showed McGuire a second yellow plus red.
Within seconds Shearer had to tip over the Cobblers’ first on-target effort from a Diamond header.
There were angry scenes at the whistle as the Mansfield staff had to be kept away from the officials by stewards.
The referee was booed back onto the field for the second half with cries of ‘cheat’ from the stands.
The visitors made a double change with Holmes and D’Ath on for Richards and Taylor and within 11 seconds Holmes lashed the ball low on target, Shearer down to save.
Thomas went into the notebook for his foul on Holmes on 51 minutes.
On 55 minutes Blair made way for Chapman and soon after Green lashed wide from an almost impossible angle on the right.
On 58 minutes Stags had a let-off as Holmes let fly from almost 30 yards and saw the ball hit the bar and bounce straight down, but the officials adjudged it hadn’t crossed the line.
On 62 minutes Rose took over from Dieseruvwe as Mansfield tried to shore up the rearguard.
However, the visitors were gifted a way back into the contest on 64 minutes as James Collins fell easily under the challenge of Lee Collins in the box.
Up stepped Holmes to end Shearer’s run of saving spot kicks and the deficit was halved.
Soon after on 69 minutes the visitors were level.
Shearer came for a Rose corner from the right but was crowded out and Marquis was on hand to ram the loose ball high into the net.
Hoskins came on for the visitors and had an immediate chance on a breakaway but shot too high.
On a rare Stags raid Thomas got into the box only to curl the ball tamely at Smith.
At last the visitors’ theatricals were punished when Hoskins was booked for a dive five minutes from time.
A thrilling end to end finish failed to find a winner as Stags dug deep into reserves of strength they didn’t know they had.
Stags were cheered off but the referee went off to a chorus off booing.
STAGS: Shearer; Collins, Tafazolli (Alfei 23), Pearce, L. Collins; McGuire; Thomas, Clements, Blair (Chapman 55); Dieseruvwe (M. Rose 62), Green. Subs not used: Jensen, Beardsley, Daniel, Baxendale.
NORTHAMPTON: Smith, Moloney, Taylor (D’Ath HT), Diamond, Richards (Holmes HT), Buchanan, McDonald, J. Collins, O’Toole, D. Rose, Marquis (Hoskins 79). Subs not used: Clarke, Byrom, Lelan, Prosser.
REFEREE: Darren Handley of Lancashire.
ATTENDANCE: 4,367 (1,667).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Green.
Cobblers battle back to preserve unbeaten run
by James Heneghan, northamptonchron.co.uk
Cobblers came from 2-0 down for the second successive away game as they extended their unbeaten run to 17 games with an incident-packed 2-2 draw at 10-man Mansfield Town on Easter Monday.
The first-half unfolded in almost identical fashion to Northampton’s win at Stevenage nine days ago as the home side took an early 2-0 lead through two headers by the same man from two set-pieces.
Matt Green was the scorer of both to put Mansfield in control but while the sluggish visitors barely created a chance of note throughout the first-half, they were boosted on the stroke of half-time when Jamie McGuire saw red for a second bookable offence.
Read more: http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/cobblers-battle-back-to-preserve-unbeaten-run-1-7299748#ixzz44JoZNg8H
That inspired a second-half fightback from Town who halved the deficit through Ricky Holmes’ penalty on the hour mark before John Marquis equalised within five minutes.
Now on level terms and with the extra man, Northampton dominated the remaining 20 minutes and threw men forward, but Mansfield defended doggedly to restrict the league leaders to few sights of goal and earn themselves a share of the spoils.
This was another off-colour performance from the Cobblers who were fortunate not to be more than 2-0 down at half-time but their battling qualities cannot be denied as they managed to grind out another valuable point in their quest for promotion and the Sky Bet League Two title.
With Oxford United and Bristol Rovers also failing to win, Northampton can now mathematically win promotion on Saturday against Notts County if results go their way.
Chris Wilder welcomed back skipper Marc Richards for the trip to Mansfield while Danny Rose and Jason Taylor came into midfield and Rod McDonald replaced Luke Prosser in defence.
The Cobblers boss opted for an experimental 4-3-3 with Richards joined by Marquis and James Collins up front, however Mansfield made most of the early running with Chris Clements almost catching Adam Smith out with an ambitious 35-yard free-kick.
The home side equipped themselves to the blustery conditions far better than Northampton in the opening stages and they made their early pressure count with an 11th-minute opener.
Mansfield won a free-kick on the right and Mal Benning’s wicked delivery caught the wind and evaded everyone, leaving an unmarked Green to nod beyond a stranded Smith.
That could have acted as a wake-up call for the sluggish visitors but instead Mansfield grew in confidence and continued their strong start before doubling their lead six minutes later.
It came in almost identical fashion to the first, except this time from the other side, and again it was Green to profit as the striker guided another free-kick into the far corner.
The shell-shocked visitors attempted to regroup and get a foothold in the game but Stags keeper Scott Shearer remained a virtual spectator as Northampton struggled to build up a head of steam.
At the other end, Smith had a slice of fortune when spilling the ball under pressure, only for it to fall to one of his team-mates, before Clements almost made it 3-0 as he bent one a fraction wide from Emmanuel Dieseruvwe’s cross.
Mansfield saw little of the ball but their tenacious, aggressive approach prevented the visitors from creating a single chance of note prior to first-half injury time.
But the Cobblers were given new hope in the final minute of the five added on when a poor challenge on Marquis from the already-booked McGuire resulted in a second yellow card.
Shearer was called into action for the first time from the subsequent free-kick, tipping over Richards’ header, as the visitors took heart from McGuire’s dismissal.
Wilder reverted back to 4-4-2 for the second half, introducing Holmes and Lawson D’Ath, and the former had an immediate impact when spinning and shooting straight at Shearer 12 seconds after the restart.
Signs of a Northampton comeback were few and far between, although Holmes was agonisingly close to scoring another screamer when his 30-yard thunderbolt clattered the under side of the bar, onto the line and away.
Holmes would not be denied five minutes later, though, when Northampton were given another helping hand by some overzealous Mansfield tackling.
This time Collins was bundled to the ground in the penalty area and referee Darren Handley pointed to the spot, with Holmes coolly sending Shearer the wrong way from 12 yards.
That was all the encouragement Northampton needed with the table-toppers suddenly on the hunt for an equaliser, and they didn’t have wait long to get it.
Within five minutes of Holmes’ penalty, Marquis pulled Cobblers level when prodding home from close range after Shearer had made a mess of collecting Danny Rose’s corner.
Almost immediately Holmes came close to giving Town the lead when cutting inside and curling an effort towards the far corner but Shearer got across well to palm clear.
With the momentum all with Town, they should have been ahead 10 minutes from time when a wonderful interchange of passes from Collins ans Holmes teed up substitute Sam Hoskins who, with the goal gaping, ballooned horribly over.
That was to be the final real chance of the game as Mansfield dug deep to withstand further Cobblers pressure and hold the table-toppers to a draw.
Mansfield: Shearer, Collins (c), Tafazolli (Alfei 23), Pearce, Benning, McGuire, Thomas, Clements, Blair (Chapman 55), Dieseruvwe (Rose 62), Green
Subs not used: Jensen, Beardsley, Daniel, Baxendale
Cobblers: Smith, Moloney, Diamond, McDonald, Buchanan, Taylor (D’Ath 45), O’Toole, Rose, Marquis (Hoskins 79), Collins, Richards (c) (Holmes 45)
Subs not used: Clarke, Lelan, Prosser, Byrom
Referee: Darren Handley
Cobblers fans: 1,667
MANSFIELD TOWN 2 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2
ntfc.co.uk, 28th March 2016
by Elliot Stonhill
Mansfield Town 2 Northampton Town 2 - the match report
SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Monday March 28th, 3.00pm
One Call Stadium
MANSFIELD TOWN 2
Matt Green 11, 16
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2
Ricky Holmes 64 pen
John Marquis 69
Attendance: 4,367 (1,667 Cobblers fans)
Mansfield: Scott Shearer, Mal Benning, Krystian Pearce, Lee Collins, Chris Clements, Matt Green, Ryan Tafazolli (sub Daniel Alfei 22), Mani Dieseruvwe (sub Mitchell Rose 62), Matty Blair (sub Adam Chapman 55), Jack Thomas, Jamie McGuire
Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Chris Beardsley, Colin Daniel, James Baxendale
Cobblers: Adam Smith, Brendan Moloney, Zander Diamond, Rod McDonald, David Buchanan, John-Joe O’Toole, Danny Rose, Jason Taylor (sub Lawson D'Ath 46), Marc Richards (sub Ricky Holmes 46), John Marquis (sub Sam Hoskins 79), James Collins
Subs not used: Ryan Clarke, Luke Prosser, Joel Byrom, Josh Lelan
Referee: Darren Handley
Mansfield: Ryan Tafazolli (20), Jamie McGuire (22), Jack Thomas (50)
Cobblers: David Buchanan (41, 3rd of the season), Sam Hoskins (84, 1st), Brendan Moloney (90, 4th)
15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
Mansfield: Jamie McGuire (45)
Sendings off: 2 cautions in one game; 1 match suspension but cautions do not count towards above totals. Other sendings off; 1 or 3 match suspension. Extra match ban for additional sendings off.
Chris Wilder made a number of changes for Easter Monday’s trip to Mansfield with Marc Richards, Jason Taylor, Danny Rose and Rod McDonald all coming into the side. Lee Collins, released by the Cobblers in the summer, started at left-back for the Stags.
Read more at http://www.ntfc.co.uk/news/article/mansfield-town-v-northampton-town-2447301.aspx#M7qFJMuWa0b82kre.99
Mansfield took the lead on 11 minutes, a Chris Clements free-kick headed in by Matt Green.
And it wasn’t long before Matt Green doubled his tally for the afternoon, once again heading home from a free-kick to make it 2-0.
Former Cobblers loanee Daniel Alfie came on for the Stags midway through the first half after Ryan Tafazolli was forced off with an injury, Lee Collins switching to centre-back.
Chris Clements fired a shot just over the bar as Mansfield continued to threaten but in first half stoppage time the home side were reduced to ten men, Jamie McGuire shown a second yellow card for a foul on John Marquis. The half then ended with Scott Shearer pulling off a good save to keep out a Zander Diamond header.
Ricky Holmes and Lawson D’Ath came on for the second half, replacing Marc Richards and Jason Taylor.
Shearer saved from Holmes as the Cobblers started the second half on top before Matt Green, going for his hat-trick, curled an effort just wide.
Holmes went agonisingly close to pulling a goal back when his shot on the turn clattered the crossbar, with some appeals that the ball had crossed the line as it bounced down.
With just over an hour played a foul on James Collins saw referee Darren Handley point to the spot. Ricky Holmes stepped up to score from 12-yards.
John Marquis equalised on 68 minutes, poking home a Danny Rose corner. By now the Cobblers were in full flow and but for a good save from Shearer to deny Holmes would have been in front.
Sam Hoskins, having just come on for Marquis, had a chance to score with his first touch but couldn’t keep his shot down. Four minutes of time was added on at the end of a pulsating half of football but the game was to finish all-square.
MANSFIELD MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 4
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 4
CORNERS: (1) 2
FOULS: (8) 12
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 3
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 7
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 4
CORNERS: (3) 6
FOULS: (10) 16
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 2
The above stats are recorded by club staff. The stats shown elsewhere on this page are recorded by Opta
Latest | March 2016