STAGS DEFEAT AT HARTLEPOOL IS SELF-INFLICTED
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Hartlepool United 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
Paynter pen 24, pen 85. Daniel 76
Attendance: 3893 (314 from Mansfield)
Date: 2 April 2016
STAGS DEFEAT AT HARTLEPOOL IS PARTIALLY SELF-INFLICTED
Martin Shaw at Victoria Park
Mansfield Town lost 2-1 at Hartlepool United this afternoon, conceding two penalties and playing three-quarters of the game with 10 men. The Stags played some good football, created plenty of good chances but only had themselves to blame for giving themselves a mountain to climb by going down to ten men. Mansfield started the game brightly and were right on top in the opening 20 minutes. Green came close to putting the Stags in front on 8 minutes. But against the run of play, the game changed dramatically on 24 minutes. Billy Paynter played a superb defence-splitting pass forward for Nicky Featherstone to run onto. Featherstone got into the area but delayed and delayed taking his shot. Krystian Pearce, pursuing him from behind, had no chance of making a successful tackle and very unwisely brought Featherstone down when he was 7 yards from goal as he was about to shoot. It was a clear penalty and a clear red card for Pearce. Last week I thought Pearce was unlucky to concede the penalty when James Collins dived; this week it was just stupid play and meant that the Stags would play three-quarters of the game with ten men. Paynter took the penalty, firing low to the left, Scott Shearer did well to get a hand on it but couldn’t keep it out. Former Stag Nathan Thomas showed great disrespect to the Stags fans by celebrating extravagantly and deliberately right in front of them. It was poor from a player treated well by the fans. He was booked along with Lee Collins who objected to the celebration. Hartlepool got on top, buoyed by the goal, and nearly made it 2-0 two minutes later as Nathan Thomas played a ball in from the left, Paynter turned and his shot was deflected onto the post by Tafazolli. Nathan Thomas had a good spell down the left. The Stags regrouped and switched to three at the back. Mansfield gradually got back on top, despite the man down, and started creating chances again. Hartlepool keeper Trevor Carsen made two great saves, on 63 and 65 minutes, to deny a header from Matt Green and then an even better one from a Tafazolli bullet downward header. The Stags kept knocking on the door and finally got the equaliser that they richly deserved as Colin Daniel smashed into the roof of the net at the far post following an Adam Chapman long throw which was flicked on by Collins to Green whose shot was blocked into the path of Daniel. The Stags looked the more likely winners but another penalty changed the game again on 85 minutes. Carl Magnay skipped past Mal Benning, just inside the box on the right, Benning hung out a leg, and Magnay deliberately went over the leg to win a penalty. I initially thought it was not quite inside the area, but video evidence suggests it was just inside. We have in the past had players who have won penalties in this way (Louis Briscoe springs to mind) so I’m not going to start complaining about it. Benning should not have dangled his leg out to allow Magnay to fall over it, and has to shoulder the responsibility and be cleverer than this. It was gutting for the Stags, who had fought their way back so well. Paynter smashed the penalty down the middle as Shearer dived to his left. The Stags nearly got another deserved equaliser on 89 minutes as Chris Beardsley’s shot from 8 yards was again well saved by Carson. So Mansfield fell to defeat despite a good performance, but this was partially self-inflicted with Pearce getting himself sent-off and Benning dangling out a leg to concede a penalty. Once again the Stags played with great spirit and there were plenty of good performances, but it’s another defeat, and that’s 5 defeats from the last 7 games. Gutting.
The Stags remain 13th, 8 points behind the play-offs. Six games to go, starting at Carlisle next weekend. Last season at Carlisle, we went bottom of the Football League with defeat and Matty Blair was booed by the home fans as he was carried off with an injury that kept him out for 9 months. It would be nice to exorcise the memory of that day.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Hartlepool United 2, Mansfield Town 1
chad.co.uk, by Agency, Sports Reporter, Saturday 02 April 2016
Mansfield Town’s winless streak stretched to an unlucky seven with a fiery 2-1 defeat at Hartlepool United.
Two Billy Paynter penalties proved the difference but the Stags, down to 10 men for over an hour after Krystian Pearce’s red card, fought ferociously in a game full of effort and honesty.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/match-report-hartlepool-united-2-mansfield-town-1-1-7830472#ixzz44i6iII9e
The first-half was all about former Stags winger Nathan Thomas, now at Pools, who caused problems galore for his former club - and angered the travelling fans in the process.
The Stags can be proud of their efforts at Victoria Park - Colin Daniel levelling at one point in the second half - but they left disappointed.
After a slow start to the game it was on 21 minutes it caught fire.
Nicky Featherstone broke from deep, Scott Shearer came out to block but centre-half Pearce made up the ground, only to wipe out the midfielder.
Referee Graeme Salisbury red-carded Pearce and awarded a clear penalty.
Billy Paynter sent it low into the corner and, despite Shearer getting a hand to it, he couldn’t keep it out.
Thomas infuriated the 314 travelling Stags fans by celebrating in front of them, and skipper Lee Collins angrily grabbed his former team-mate. Both players were booked.
The left winger has been flourishing at Pools since his January switch and caused havoc throughout while at the other end Collins hacked a shot over the bar.
The Stags played with intent in the second-half, feeling an injustice at trailing and trying to prove a point to Thomas.
Pools’ keeper Carson made two fine saves in a minute to keep out a leveller.
First he went one-handed to deny Green from close range, before he somehow got down low at his far post to claw out a goalbound Ryan Tafazolli header.
And the deserved leveller came on 75 minutes, when a long Chapman throw in ended with Daniel flashing a fine volley high into the net.
But Pools edged ahead controversially 10 minutes later as left-back Mal Benning tripped Carl Magnay in the area - the Stags felt it was outside the box - and Paynter slammed home his second spot kick for the victory.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED (4-4-2): Carson; Magnay, Jackson, Bates, Carroll; Gray (Woods 81), Featherstone, Hawkins; Thomas (Jones 69) Paynter, James (Bingham 83). Subs not used: Bartlett, Walker, Oates, Richards.
MANSFIELD TOWN (4-3-1- 2): Shearer; Collins, Pearce, Tafazolli, Benning; Chapman, Clements (Daniel 39), J Thomas; Blair; Green, Dieseruvwe (Alfei 29 (Beardsley 86)). Subs not used: Jensen, Rose, Lambe, Baxendale.
REFEREE: Graham Salisbury of Preston.
ATTENDANCE: 3,893 (314 away).
Hartlepool United 2 Mansfield Town 1: Match report, Paynter pen double wins it for Pools
by Roy Kelly, hartlepoolmail.co.uk
Billy Paynter struck a penalty double on his 500th career appearance to extend Hartlepool United's unbeaten run to seven games.
Pools looked like having to share the spoils with a game 10-man Mansfield but when Mal Benning tripped Carl Magnay, referee Graham Salisbury pointed to the spot for the second time.
Read more: http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/sport/football/hartlepool-utd/hartlepool-united-2-mansfield-town-1-match-report-paynter-pen-double-wins-it-for-pools-1-7830453#ixzz44i6cMuxd
Paynter drove his 86th-minute penalty past Scott Shearer to give Pools victory.
The skipper had put Pools in front mid-way through the first half after Krystian Pearce brought down Nicky Featherstone and was sent off.
Pools almost made a dream start when James combined with Magnay down the right, the full-back swinging in a cross which Paynter headed over.
But Mansfield had the lion's share of the early stages and should have ended Pools' clean-sheet run in the eighth minute when Matt Green headed millimetres wide of Trevor Carson's right post.
Pools were unlucky not to take a 20th minute lead when Paynter was just off target with a header from a Thomas cross.
But Pools did take the lead ion the 24th minute and it was that-man PAYNTER.
Nicky Featherstone should have scored when put clean through by Paynter, only for the midfielder to be tripped by Krystian Pearce.
The defender was red-carded by referee Graham Salisbury and while keeper Scott Shearer guessed right by diving to his right, he could not keep out the spot-kick.
Thomas celebrated too wildly and after some pushing and shoving between several players was booked by Mr Salisbury.
The winger though was in great form on the left and after a cross came into the box, Paynter turned smartly only to see his shot hit the goalie's left stick.
Mansfield could not be discounted after drawing 2-2 with Northampton with 10 men and Lee Collins shot over the home bar.
Pools looked unusually flat in the early part of the second half with the Stags having most of the play.
Featherstone did see a 20-yard shot deflected for a corner which Gray put over and Magnay got his head to, but Shearer collected with ease.
An away goal was looking likely given the possession the Stags were enjoying.
It needed great saves by Carson low to his right and then left in the space of three minutes kept Mansfield out.
Hignett brought on Rob Jones after 69 minutes for Thomas, with Pools going 3-5-2.
Despite the change, Town were still on top and Carson saved a Chapman free-kick on 74 minutes.
Mansfield pulled level in the 76th minute and deservedly so.
Carson saved again from Green but DANIEL hammered the rebound high into net.
But the drama continued when Pools re-took the lead in the 85th minute thanks to another PAYNTER penalty.
Sub Woods did superbly to keep the ball in, allowing Magnay to attack, with the full-back tripped on the edge of the box by Benning.
Paynter stepped up and drove the spot-kick powerfully past Shearer.
Pools, with Woods in imperious form, played out time to extend the unbeaten run to seven games.
Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Gray (Woods 81), Hawkins, Thomas (Jones 69), Paynter, James (Bingham 83)
Subs: Bartlett, Richards, R Jones, Bingham, Oates, Woods, Walker
Goals: Paynter Pen 24, Pen 85
Booked: Thomas 24
Mansfield: Shearer, Collins, Pearce, Tafazolli, Benning, Chapmam, Thomas, Blair, Clements (Daniel 38), Green, Dieseruvwe (Alfei 29, Beardsley 86)
Subs: Jensen, Rose, Beardsley, Daniel, Lambe, Alfei, Baxendale
Goal: Daniel 76
Sent-off: Pearce 23
Booked: Blair 54, Benning 84
Referee: Graham Salisbury
LOMAS ON STAGS: Pearce madness helps Mansfield top the wrong league
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 04 April 2016
A season of such rich promise for Mansfield Town is suddenly heading towards a miserable end - and a lack of discipline continues to dog Adam Murray’s men.
A game in which they had more than enough about them to win at Hartlepool United last Saturday ended in defeat thanks chiefly to two more penalties conceded plus a third red card of the season for Krystian Pearce.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/lomas-on-stags-pearce-madness-helps-mansfield-top-the-wrong-league-1-7833050#ixzz44tCBvPdV
That cemented Stags firmly at the top of the League Two bad boys in the FA Fair Play League.
Stags have now had seven red cards and 86 cautions this season, a poor record ‘bettered’ only by Peterborough United in League One with seven reds and 102 yellows.
The red cards tally is joint top in all five divisions with Charlton, Bolton, Chesterfield, Peterborough and Yeovil.
Stags have also now conceded 12 spot kicks this season. That combined with the red cards tells its own story and it is something boss Adam Murray simply has to change.
Pearce may have been unlucky with his last red card against Dagenham & Redbridge, though must learn that if he touches a striker with a hand in the box these days they will go down like a sack of spuds.
But at Hartlepool his man had got goalside of him and was about to pull the trigger.
To bring him down meant, not only did Pools have a penalty kick, but Pearce’s side would be short-handed for the rest of the game. He would have been much better off letting the player get a shot away, hoping Scott Shearer got a hand to it, and keeping 11 men on the pitch.
Mal Benning’s spot kick was also a silly one, drawn into lifting out a leg inches inside the box, despite protests it was outside. It wasn’t.
Despite all the good things they have produced, this new-look Stags side have let themselves down massively on the discipline.
Murray is adamant much of it is down to the naivety of a young side. However, Pearce is now 26 and should know better.
It is true this side is less physical and aggressive than Paul Cox’s teams and often easier on the eye.
But silly challenges continue to prove so costly, and while the standard of officiating in the division this season has at times been disappointing, no referees have a vendetta against the club, whatever the conspiracy theorists believe.
Almost all of Murray’s signings last summer have proved to be highly promising footballers.
But if they are to blossom and play a part in next season, they have to learn and learn fast on picking up cards and conceding penalties.
Although I will always love football, there is much I despise about the modern game - particularly the money-soaked Premier League - and the cheating that goes on with diving and feigning injuries drive me to despair.
Yes, there has always been an element of it in the professional game, but nothing like the theatrics we have to put up with as consumers nowadays - a trait that has leaked downwards like poison effluent from the Premier League and stemmed largely from the explosion of overseas players.
If some young fans now were to look back at full games from the 1960s and 70s they would be gob-smacked how little of the obvious cheating went on and how bone-crunching proper tackles were.
I can’t be a hypocrite so I won’t advocate Stags should be cheating much more themselves. But they do need to be aware of how an opponent is likely to react to physical contact of any kind and try to keep themselves out of trouble.
It’s called being street-wise and, despite their footballing promise, Murray’s side is currently anything but.
With the play-off dream now in tatters, Murray has targeted 60 points and a finish higher than the 11th of two season ago, which was all anyone dared dream of pre-season.
But, currently on 53 points and without a win in seven games, it is still going to take a massive effort to achieve seven or eight points out the last six games to do that.
And, with Stags’ poor record of not having yet beaten a side in the top half of the table all season, it would take something very special for them to put one over on former boss Keith Curle at play-off hopefuls Carlisle this weekend.
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