BENNING&TAFAZOLLI SCREAMERS AS STAGS WIN AT EXETER
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Exeter City 2 - 3 Mansfield Town
Watkins 64, Ribeiro 79. Tafazolli 11, 81, Benning 56.
Attendance: 3407 (77 from Mansfield)
Date: 19 April 2016
BENNING AND TAFAZOLLI SCREAMERS AS STAGS WIN AT EXETER
Martin Shaw at St James's Park
Mansfield Town won 3-2 at Exeter City this evening, to make it three wins on the trot, after a pulsating second half at St James's Park. The Stags were rock solid in a tight first half where Exeter were denied any effort on target, and led 1-0 at the break after Ryan Tafazolli’s soft shot from just outside the box somehow crept into the corner of the net. The Stags deservedly made it 2-0 after 56 minutes, just after Reggie Lambe had missed a great chance and Colin Daniel had a shot cleared off the line, when Mal Benning fired in a left-footed thunderbolt into the top left corner from 30 yards. It was another astonishing goal to rival his goals earlier in the season against Newport and Dagenham. It should have been 3-0 on 60 minutes when Baxendale set up a good chance for Lambe but he didn’t pull the trigger. Then on 64 minutes, Ollie Watkins danced through an uncharacteristically static defence and fired under Scott Shearer to pull a goal back. A rare error from the defence and Shearer might feel he should have done better, though was unlucky to be beaten by a slight deflection off Benning. The Stags had a glorious chance to seal it on 78 minutes when Matty Blair raced clear of the defence and had a one-on-one with the keeper but blasted straight at the keeper. That miss looked very costly just a minute later when sub Christian Ribeiro fired a stunner of his own into the top right corner of the net from 28 yards to make it 2-2. It was sickening for the Stags to be pulled back, having had so much the better chances in the game. But what character the Stags showed to regain the lead on 81 minutes, when Adam Chapman’s long throw fell to Ryan Tafazolli who blasted a fabulous right-footed shot into the top left corner from 16 yards to send the Stags fans into orbit. The Stags saw out the game with no real chances for Exeter, and Mansfield had a thoroughly deserved victory.
The win was revenge for Mansfield after they were well-beaten by Exeter (2-0) earlier in the season and a personal triumph for Adam Murray after he was outwitted by Exeter boss Paul Tisdale in that earlier game. The Stags are on to 62 points, the best haul since returning to the Football League, a great achievement by the team and management. AFC Wimbledon keep winning so the gap to 7th remains at 6 points, and an incredible 2 points separates 8th place down to 13th place.
The Stags have 10 away wins this season. Fewer than when winning the Conference of course in 2012/13 when the Stags won 13 away games (http://stagsnet.net/vintage/records/records01.html) but only one short of the club’s record in the Football League of 11 away wins, set in the promotion seasons of 1974/75 and 1976/77 (stat pointed out to me by Paul Taylor). Victory in the final away match at Leyton Orient would equal that. The club record for number of away points in a season in the Football League under the 3 points for a win is 34. After last night's win in Exeter we have 33 away points this season, therefore a win at Leyton Orient would amass 36 points to break the record, a draw at Leyton Orient would equal the record. This record was set during the promotion seasons of 1985-86 and 1991-92 (stats also from Paul Taylor).
And another win against a team in the top half of the table. You wait all season for one, then two come along in successive away games.
Some fine performances in the Stags team. The goals from Benning and Tafazolli were of course outstanding. Collins, Tafazolli and Benning defended well (aside from the Exeter first goal), and Chapman had a very good game in front of them with some good clearances and sweeping up. Daniel put in a real shift at right back. But it did show that he is not a natural right back and Holmes and Moore-Taylor got the better of him a few times. Saturday’s opponents Barnet will undoubtedly pick up on that when they watch the match video. For Saturday, Murray has the option of bringing back Pearce following suspension. I would switch Collins to right back and put Pearce alongside Tafazolli. The entire midfield and Green up front worked tirelessly, though Lambe and Blair in particular were guilty of missing chances that could have been costly.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Exeter City 2, Mansfield Town 3
by Agency Sports Reporter, chad.co.uk, Tuesday 19 April 2016
Ryan Tafazolli bagged a brace to help keep Mansfield Town’s late dash for a play-off place alive, as they defeated fellow top-seven hopefuls Exeter City 3-2 at St James’ Park.
Tafazolli gave the visitors a first-half lead, before Mal Benning doubled the advantage with a 40-yard ‘wonder strike’.
Exeter hit back to equalise with goals from Ollie Watkins and substitute Christian Ribiero before Tafazolli hit his sixth goal of the season to leave the Stags six points behind seventh-placed Wimbledon with three to play.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/match-report-exeter-city-2-mansfield-town-3-1-7862730#ixzz46OCJ5H6X
Mansfield were in front on 11 minutes when Exeter failed to clear an in-swinging free-kick from Benning and Tafazolli pounced to side foot home from the edge of the penalty area.
On 55 minutes Colin Daniel had a shot blocked on the line by Bobby Olejnik, but the ball was only cleared as far as Benning who blasted straight into the top corner.
Two minutes later Mansfield keeper Scott Shearer was called into action for the first time when he denied an angled effort from former Derby County winger Lee Holmes.
The hosts managed to pull one back in the 64th minute through a solo effort from Watkins.
Mansfield had the chance for a third in the 78th minute, but Matty Blair was denied by Olejnik with only the big Austrian to beat.
It appeared to have been a costly miss a minute later, when Exeter substitute Ribiero found the target from 30 yards to level matters for the hosts.
However, three minutes later, Tafozolli struck again for Mansfield as he hit the target from 15 yards to complete his brace to put the Stags’ in front again.
In the dying minutes of the game, Mansfield were forced to withstand heavy pressure but held firm to clinch their third successive win.
EXETER CITY: Olejnik, Woodman, Noble, McAllister (Ribeiro 62), Harley, Holmes (Nicholls 62), Moore-Taylor, Watkins, Stockley, Taylor, Brown. Subs not used: Davies, Reid, McCready, Tillson, Pym.
STAGS: Shearer, Daniel, Benning, Collins, Tafazolli, Chapman, Rose (McGuire 70), Thomas (Baxendale HT), Blair, Lambe, Green (Dieseruvwe 84). Subs not used: Jensen, Beardsley, Yussuf, Shires.
REFEREE: Charles Breakspear of Surrey.
ATTENDANCE: 3,407 (77 away).
Exeter City 2 Mansfield Town 3: Match report
Exeter Express and Echo, By Simon Larkins
Exeter City's hopes of making the play-off look all but over as they fell to a 3-2 loss at home to Mansfield Town.
The defeat, coupled with AFC Wimbledon's 2-0 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge, means the Grecians are now five points adrift of the top seven with only three games of the campaign left. Neal Ardley's Dons also have a game in hand on Paul Tisdale's side.
Read more: http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Exeter-City-2-Mansfield-Town-3-Match-report/story-29140448-detail/story.html#ixzz46ODq0YBg
City put in an abject first-half performance and deserved to be a goal down to Ryan Tafazolli'e opener. It got worse in the second-half as Malvind Benning scored a screamer to put the visitors 2-0 up. It was at that point the home side started playing and managed to battle back to equalise thanks to goals from Ollie Watkins and Christian Ribeiro. However, the parity lasted just two minutes, as Taffazolli scored again to break City hearts.
Tisdale made one change to the starting line-up from the team that drew 0-0 with Northampton Town on Saturday. Lee Holmes, who missed that game through injury, started against his hometown team at the expense of Alex Nicholls.
However, Tisdale could have been contemplating more changes at half-time as it was a very poor first half from the Grecians. They created an early chance as Jake Taylor had a near post cross cut out, before Mansfield Town took the lead.
Tafazolli got the goal, but he can't have expected his weakly-struck shot to find the back of the net when he hit it. However, City keeper Bobby Olejnik made a mess of trying to turn the ball around his right-hand post as it squirmed though his grasp and into the corner of the net.
That played right into Mansfield's hands as the early goal meant they didn't have to open up and could just sit back and soak up the home side's pressure and hit them on the counter.
However, there was very little of that pressure before the break as City failed to get grip of the midfield area. Ryan Harley was guilty of giving away possession on a couple of occasions as the visitors looked sharper and quicker to the ball.
Jayden Stockley had City's best chance of an equaliser, but his free-kick from 25 yards ended a foot over the crossbar. He also had optimistic appeals for a penalty turned down when he was held in the area trying to connect with a Craig Woodman cross.
On the whole it was poor from City though as they went long to Stockley too often and when Lee Holmes fired a shot a couple yards over from the edge of the area it brought groans from the home support and summed up their half.
Mansfield manager Adam Murray was the only boss to make a change at the break though, bringing on James Baxendale for Jack Thomas.
City created their first chance of the second half when they found the feet of Stockley for once and he played in Taylor on the right, but his shot flew inches wide of the goal.
Craig Woodman then almost gave Mansfield a second when he played the ball straight to Reggie Lambe in the area but his shot was blocked by Jordan Moore-Taylor.
It was 2-0 from the resultant corner as Taylor had to clear a Colin Daniel shot from off the line. The ball only made its way out to Benning though and he hit a fierce shot from 35-yards into the top corner.
Tisdale turned to his bench on the hour, bringing on Christian Ribeiro and Alex Nicholls for Jamie McAllister and Lee Holmes. Four minutes later City were back in the match as Watkins picked up the ball on the edge of the box and fired a shot past Scott Shearer.
That got the crowd going and Taylor went close to equalising when he volleyed over from the edge of the area and then turned cross from Nicholls just over the upright. However, Green should have wrapped up the points with 12 minutes to go as he was played in goal, but shot straight at Olejnik.
And Mansfield looked to have paid the price for that a minute later as Ribeiro beat Shearer with a right foot shot from 25 yards.
However, the Stags got back in front two minutes later as Tafazolli showed good technique to swivel in the box and fire a right-foot shot past Olejnik. That goal came with eight minutes to go and, even with five minutes of injury time, City couldn't muster another comeback to save their season.
Exeter City (4-2-3-1): Olejnik; McAllister (Ribeiro, 61), Brown, Moore-Taylor, Woodman; Harley, Noble; Taylor, Watkins, Holmes (Nicholls, 61); Stockley. Subs not used: Davies, Reid, McCready, Tillson, Pym.
Mansfield Town (4-4-2): Shearer, Daniel, Benning, Collins, Tafazolli, Chapman, Rose (McGuire, 69), Thomas (Baxendale, 45), Blair, Lambe, Green (Dieseruwve, 83). Subs not used: Jensen, Beardsley, Yussuf, Shires.
Attendance: 3,407 (77 away)
Exeter City 2 Mansfield Town 3: Player ratings and man-of-the-match vote
Exeter Express and Echo, By Simon Larkins
Bobby Olejnik 5/10: Should have saved Mansfield Town's first goal from Ryan Tafazolli. Could do little about the other two strikes, but the first goal proved crucial as it gave the visitors a platform to hit Exeter City on the counter.
Read more: http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Exeter-City-2-Mansfield-Town-3-Player-ratings-man/story-29142057-detail/story.html#ixzz46OCRoXId
Craig Woodman 5/10: Put Exeter City under unnecessary pressure by playing a pass straight to Matt Green in the box second half. That led to the Stags' second goal. Has been good off late at left-back, but wasn't great going forward for City this game.
Jordan Moore-Taylor 7/10: Exeter City best player. Defended well for the most part and got forward down the left well when the home side started to mount a comeback.
Troy Brown 6/10: Showed good strength against Matt Green and was calm in possession. Was lucky to get away without a caution for a hefty challenge on Matty Blair in the first half though.
Jamie McAllister 6/10: Has impressed a right-back recently, but two games in a short space of time looked to have taken its toll on the 37-year-old. Was replaced by Christian Ribeiro second half.
Ryan Harley 5/10: Has come in for some recent criticism from fans for his performances. This display will have done little to quieten those voices of discontent as he gave away the ball too cheaply too often.
David Noble 6/10: The better of the two defensive midfielders for Exeter City as he put in some crunching tackles in the middle of the park. However he, and City, failed to make the most of their possession in the first half.
Lee Holmes 6/10: A wayward shot over the crossbar as the first half came to a close seemed to sum up a lackluster performance from Exeter City in the first half. Holmes, against his hometown team, was not his threatening self.
Ollie Watkins 7/10: A well-taken goal to get Exeter City back in the match, but needed more help from the players around him.
Jake Taylor 6/10: Cleared an effort off the line and had another shot that flashed just wide of the post.
Jayden Stockley 6/10: Was not helped by a lack of support and too many long balls being played up to him in the first half. Went close with a free-kick just before the break.
Subs used: Alex Nicholls 6/10, Christian Ribeiro 7/10
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