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Season 08/09 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 Mayo 22
Attendance: 598 (approx 200 from Mansfield)
Date: 24 January 2009


Martin Shaw at the Dripping Pan

The Stags won their second game managed by David Holdsworth, with a wonderful goal from Paul Mayo on 22 minutes enough to beat Lewes on Saturday afternoon. In truth the Stags should have won by more and were totally dominant for much of the game, but had to withstand some late pressure from the home side and were thankful for Alan Marriott’s fine save on 78 minutes. The Stags have now won 4 league games out of 5 since Billy McEwan left the club. The attendance was the lowest ever for a Stags league or cup game (details (here).

The groundsman had done a fine job to get the pitch playable considering the state I had seen it in on Friday at 9pm. It had a couple of muddy patches, and cut up in the second half making it bobbly but it was ok. Manager Holdsworth brought in Paul Mayo for his debut at left back replacing the transfer-listed Jeannin, and Curtis Woodhouse also for his debut in place of the injured Arnold. Alan Marriott was decked out in a bright sky blue shirt, similar to the Crawley keeper last week - an interesting development following his post match interview last week (here). Lewes were a team of players not well known to Stags fans. As the sides lined up, it was immediately clear that the Stags were much bigger than their opponents.

The Stags started positively and in the first minute Silk’s cross was deflected away from Woodhouse as he swung a boot at it at the far post. On 5 minutes, Woodhouse missed a sitter: fine play between O’Connor and Duffy saw Duffy latch on to O’Connor’s through ball but as Duffy shaped to shoot he was tackled by keeper Banks. The ball fell into the path of Woodhouse who put his shot wide from 16 yards with the keeper completely out of position. A minute later, Woodhouse missed another chance when he shanked wide from 10 yards. Marriott punched well from a rare Lewes attack on 10 minutes and a minute later, poor Mayo defending allowed a Lewes player to cut inside and shoot but his effort was blocked. At the other end on 14 minutes, Silk’s cross was a fraction high for Woodhouse who couldn’t get over the ball and sent his free header over the bar. A minute later, the Stags came even closer as Duffy found O’Connor with a great ball and from a tight angle O’Connor rattled the post. Somner put in a crunching tackle on the edge of his own box to avert danger on 16 minutes.

The Stags took the lead on 22 minutes. The referee awarded Mansfield a slightly soft free kick a yard outside the box, just to the right of centre. Woodhouse and Mayo initially stood over the ball but Woodhouse moved away and Mayo stepped up to curl a beauty around the wall and into the top right corner giving the keeper no chance. It was a cracking way to mark his debut, much as Duffy had done last week.

Woodhouse’s fine cross found Briscoe in the middle on 24 minutes but Briscoe’s first touch saw the ball bounce too high and he was penalised for high kicking as he tried to shoot. The Stags had a great chance to increase their lead on 33 minutes as Woodhouse clipped in a free kick from the right and Duffy flicked a header just wide of the right post. On 41 minutes, a fine Stags move as Silk sent Briscoe away down the right with the outside of his right boot. Briscoe reached the by-line and his cross was too deep but eventually was sent back into the middle to Mayo who wasn’t able to get the ball on to his left foot and sent a right footed shot straight at the keeper.

The first half had quite simply been men against boys as the Stags had totally dominated making Lewes look extremely poor.

Half time 0-1

In the first minute of the second half Moses was dispossessed in a dangerous position but Mansfield were able to clear. On 51 minutes, O’Connor powered down the right and sent a cross come shot past the left post. A minute later, at the other end Marriott did well to punch clear from a long throw. The Stags had a succession of corners all taken by Woodhouse one of which was acrobatically flicked on by Garner but clearer away. There was a rare Lewes break on 56 minutes, as Wheeler’s shot was scuffed through to Marriott.

Ameobi replaced Briscoe on 57 minutes. Two minutes later, a great Silk cross was just cleared ahead of Duffy. Mayo demonstrated his long throw for the first time in a Stags shirt a minute later. It wasn’t exactly Exodus Geohaghon proportions but he was able to reach the edge of the six yard box and this could be a dangerous weapon.

Blackwood replaced O’Connor on 68 minutes and 7 minutes later, put in a great cross for Ameobi who headed wide when he should have scored.

Lewes finally started to get into the game and a key moment came on 78 minutes when a shot from Charles was blocked and it fell to Klein-Davies whose shot from 14 yards was heading into the top right hand corner before Marriott brilliantly saved it. This is why you need a top class keeper. From the resulting corner, Mayo cleared off the line from Wheeler’s header but the referee blew for a goal kick as presumably the ball had already gone behind. On 84 minutes, Woodhouse’s free kick was headed on by Garner but the keeper took it well. Two minutes later, a great tackle by Blackwood on the half way line, he charged forward down the left and his cross was nearly headed into his own net by a defender.

There was a let off for the Stags on 86 minutes as a long throw into the box fell invitingly for Michael Standing who sent a left foot shot just past the left post. Marriott would have had no chance had it been on target. Our hearts were in our mouths on 90 minutes as a Lewes player went down in the box but the referee waved away penalty appeals. It certainly didn’t look like a penalty but there was still relief that it wasn’t given. A minute into stoppage time, Lewes keeper Banks came up for a corner but the commanding Stags defence were able to clear. In the final couple of minutes of stoppage time, Mansfield were able to get the ball down to the opposition corner flags and wind down the clock.

So the Stags ended up hanging on in a game when they should have been out of sight. But no matter, David Holdsworth said how much he likes 1-0 victories and we’ll all be delighted if they continue. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Curtis Woodhouse

Report by: Martin Shaw at the Dripping Pan

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Had little to do, though punched well and made a terrific save late on. Another good performance.
Silk 7 Defended well and got forward positively with some good crosses.
Garner 8 Terrific again. A tower of strength in the air.
Moses 7 Also defended well, though lost one ball in a dangerous position in the first half..
Mayo 8 Fine debut capped with a wonderful goal.
D'Laryea 7 Did well.
Somner 7 Battling in midfield, winning lots of tackles. A performance that will have endeared himself to manager Holdsworth.
Woodhouse 8 Superb all-action display. Got himself into goal-scoring positions (albeit missing them), tackled like a terrier, and took some fine set-pieces
Briscoe 6 Like against Crawley, never really got into the game.
O'Connor 7 Did well, very unlucky with shot against the post.
Duffy 6 Quiet game. Headed his only chance just wide.
Sub Line Up:
Ameobi (for Briscoe, 57) - Did ok. Good pace, though poor header when got a good chance.
Blackwood (for O'Connor, 68) - Won a great tackle and followed it with a fine run. Got stuck in , which will have impressed the manager.
Subs Not Used: Whatsize, Howell, Shaw.
Opposition Line Up:
Banks, Hall (Foreman 88), Barness, Breach, Fisk, Wheeler, Standing, Wilkinson, St Aimie (Cox 77), Charles, Klein-Davies. Subs Not Used: Winterton, Rivers, Liburd.
K Yeo 7 Easy afternoon with little controversy.

Season 08/09 Reports