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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Mansfield Town  
1 - 2
 Hartlepool United
Clare 23
 McSweeney 38, Larkin 70
Attendance: 1798 (34 from Hartlepool)
Date: 1 August 2009

Craig Priest at Field Mill

Pre-season Drains Away

With a week to go before the season starts, the Stags faced up to Hartlepool United in what has now appeared to be our last pre-season friendly. Could we extend our unbeaten run for another week?

The whole stadium fell deadly silent in respect for the late great Sir Bobby Robson, who sadly passed away the previous morning.

Stags made a few changes from the side that comfortably beat Walsall on Tuesday evening.

Hartlepool got the game under way attacking the Quarry Lane end and made a lively start attacking down the right hand side, the young left back Jonathan Ventrella making a good early impression, winning the ball in a series of strong challenges.

The Stags try to get themselves into the game with a good passing move down the right, which ended when Daryl Clare tried a pass to Ryan Williams, who failed to communicate and the ball was swept up well by the visiting defence.

Both sides looked lively and both defences were kept busy, Mansfield sweeping up well and creating a move which resulted in Mansfield's first real chance of the game, Mansfield earned a corner, which was drifted in by Williams, a shaky piece of Hartlepool play gave Stags an opportunity, which they failed to take.

With both sides attacking well it was only a matter of time before long distance shooting was needed, the visitors were first to try there luck, Alan Marriott saved well down to his right hand side.

This seems to lift Hartlepool who attack with long balls down the right, the young left back Ventrella does well to clear up.

Stags kicked themselves into life and earn a corner, Williams takes and Daryl Clare took full advantage of poor defending and tapped home the opening goal after 23 minutes.

The Stags goal takes them up a gear, clearly in search for a second, earning free kicks and corners, all of which came to nothing.

The Stags were caught napping at the back and Hartlepool took advantage of a rare Alan Marriott mistake, failing to collect a routine free kick on 38 minutes, Hartlepool tapped home, 1-1.

The remainder of the half was fairly balanced, Matt Somner giving the ball away in the centre of the park, Ventrella doing well to cover.

Half Time 1-1.

The Stags re-started the game with no changes to the line-up, Hartlepool clear the ball and launch an attack down the left, Scott Gardner unable to remove the danger, Alan Marriott flapped at the cross and the danger was eventually removed by Luke Graham.

The Stags had the perfect chance to re-take the lead, after Kyle Nix's energetic run through the middle resulted in a free-kick on the edge of the box, Daryl Clare stepped up and hit the cross bar, the goal keeper may have got the slightest of finger tips to the ball, which was destined for the net.

This gives Stags a new lease of life, Steven Istead and Ryan Williams starting some quality moves in midfield, striker Jason Bradley turned on the edge of the box and shot just over.

Stags manager David Holdsworth started to ring the changes as Daryl Clare, Jason Bradley & Alan Marriott made way for Jake Speight, Rob Duffy & Tim Sandercombe, respectively.

Minutes later after a Hartlepool attack down the left. Two more changes were made, Matt Somner was replaced by Jon D'Laryea & Scott Gardner was replaced by Gary Silk.

Stags started to pile on the pressure, with Jon D'Laryea starting a good move with the impressive Kyle Nix.

Again the Stags switched off at the back and a mistake by substitute keeper Tim Sandercombe gifted former Stag Colin Larkin the winner, Sandercombe rushed out to clear a harmless ball but terribly misjudged the run of the Hartlepool winger, whose shot was cleared off the line by Luke Jones only as far as Larkin who blasted home from around two yards.

More substitutions and desperate attacks by Mansfield to protect the record were the story of the rest of the game, the impressive Jake Speight almost helped Stags equalise when he closed down the goalkeeper’s clearance, Rob Duffy went for glory left footed and put the ball wide.

Duffy could have levelled late on, another powerful run by Speight earned a corner, after several blocked shots, the ball fell to Duffy who blasted over left footed.

The rain got heavier and the referee eventually ended the Stags home unbeaten record in the pre-season friendlies.

Final Score; Mansfield Town 1-2 Hartlepool

Report by: Craig Priest at Field Mill. You can read Craig's normal blog by going to www.chad.co.uk/blogs

Line Up:
Marriott 6: Made a few rare errors but otherwise did well .
Gardner 6: Slow at times but cleared up well and won headers.
Graham 7: Did a great job winning headers and controlling the back line.
Jones 7: Tried to prevent the Hartlepool winner, did well.
Ventrella 7: Fantastic in a tackle, has potential but left us exposed at times drifting too far central.
Nix 8: Gave Stags the spark when they needed it and linked up well with Williams, Istead and Clare.
Istead (Captain) 8: Outstanding for me, led the side well and was at the heart of many a Stags attack.
Somner 5: Lost the ball in midfield a little too often, otherwise did well.
Williams 6: Pocket rocket living up to his name.
Clare 6: Scored but can do a lot better, there is more to come from Daryl.
Bradley 5: Wasn't in the game enough for me.
Sub Line Up:
Sandercombe (for Marriott, 57) 5: At fault for the winner but otherwise did fine.
Duffy (for Bradley, 57) 5: Was lively but wildly off-target, more to come from Rob.
Speight (for Clare, 57) 7: livened up the game, beating defenders, unfortunate not to score.
Silk (for Gardner, 63)
D'Laryea (for Somner, 63)
Naylor (for Graham, 74)
Turner (for Ventrella (74)
Mills (for Istead, 76)
Opposition Line Up:
Flinders, Haslam, Hartley, Sweeney, Collins (Lamplough 35), Liddle, McSweeney, Jones, Behan (Brown 57), Larkin, Monkhouse. Subs: Boyd, Rowell, Power, Foley, Fredriksen, Cook.
Andy Madley

Season 0910 Reports