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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Luton Town  
4 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Pilkington 38, 65, Perry 80 og, Craddock pen 90+4.
 Garner 18.
Attendance: 7,295 (542 from Mansfield)
Date: 11 August 2009

Martin Shaw at Kenilworth Road

Mansfield Town were beaten 4-1 at Luton Town on Tuesday night. It was a tremendous advert for the Blue Square Premier and the Stags didn’t play badly at all but came up against a side that looked much better than any team we saw last season in this division.

The Stags were good value for drawing at half time, after Scott Garner had given them the lead, and Garner could have completed a first half hat-trick with two headers that went close. Luton took the lead on 65 minutes, but the Stags were still very much in the game until 10 minutes from time when a crazy own goal by Kyle Perry gifted Luton a two goal cushion, and then Perry gave away a soft penalty in stoppage time to round off a bad evening for the big striker.

The Stags made one change with Gary Mills out with a hamstring injury, so Somner started.

On 7 minutes a poor clearance from Garner feel to Gallen who shot wide. Then on 10 minutes, a low corner from Nix was met by Briscoe on the edge of the box, and his volley was blocked. A brilliant tackle in his own half by Gardner on 14 minutes, who fed Briscoe and he stormed on a run upfield before squaring a ball. Burgess was playing well for Luton on the left, and his cross on 16 minutes was headed wide by Gallen.

The Stags took the lead on 18 minutes. Gardner’s free kick was flicked on into the path of Garner, who was completely unmarked on the edge of the six yard box. Garner coolly slotted the ball home right footed.

Marriott did well to punch to the edge of his box on 19 minutes, and Newton struck a shot that was blocked, with Keane firing over the rebound. Calls for a Luton penalty were waved away on 20 minutes, then Jarvis hit a volley just wide on 22 minutes. Briscoe had a fine shot with the outside of his right boot on 24 minutes, which was just wide of the left post. Then on 26, a great free kick from 60 yards out by Gardner was headed on by Duffy, but keeper Tyler just claimed it.

Pilkington was wide for Luton, who were getting in lots of shots from distance but nothing to worry Marriott.

On 32 minutes, Armstrong’s throw was headed back to Williams who fired just over from about 18 yards out, wide of the left. Then Keane fired over for Luton at the other end.

But it was 1-1 on 38 minutes. Marriott misjudged a cross and was bailed out as Gardner conceded a corner. But Marriott, suffering a momentary lack of confidence, stayed rooted to his line as the corner came across the edge of the six yard box, the ball was flicked on and Pilkington smashed it in at the far post.

On 41 minutes, a great free kick from Williams, 25 yards out wide on the left, was met by Garner who headed just wide of the right post. Then in stoppage time, Nix sent in a free kick from 35 yards out, and Garner flicked a header just wide of the right post.

A good first half performance from the Stags, in a great game, against a powerful Luton side.

Half time 1-1

Stevie Istead made his debut, replacing Williams for the Stags at the start of the second half in a tactical switch. Briscoe moved to the left of midfield. Marriott did well to save at the feet of Craddock, and then on 47 minutes Perry was brought down a couple of inches outside the box. Nix sent a tame free kick into the wall. On 59, Armstrong made a great tackle to concede a corner. On 64 minutes, Burgess’s low shot was deflected and Marriott saved at his near post.

But on 65 minutes, Luton were in front. A corner found its way to Pilkington who fired home left footed from 12 yards.

Speight replaced Somner as the Stags went to 3 up front. On 72 minutes, Briscoe appealed for a penalty but it was never going to be awarded. Then Perry blasted an awful effort wide as three team mates screamed for a cross. Craddock fired just over on 77, and then Clare was on for Briscoe on 79 as the Stags went four up front. Istead did well to get a cross in on 79.

But on 80 minutes, Perry’s bad night got worse as he inexplicably stooped to head a cross from the left, into the right of the net.

Luton were down to 10 men on 82 as Reynolds, already booked, brought down Duffy. Duffy was lucky to escape a yellow as he retaliated. Luton had a goal disallowed for offside on 82 as Hall finished but the offside flag was up.

On 86 minutes, Gardner was shown a straight red for a reckless two footed challenge.

Then to cap off Perry’s bad night, he brought down sub Gnakpa in the box. It didn’t look a penalty to me. Anyway Craddock placed a perfect penalty into the top right corner to make it 4-1.

Man of the match: Scott Garner

Report by: Martin Shaw at Kenilworth Road

Line Up:
Marriott 6 Will be disappointed with the first goal as his mistake led to a corner which he then didn’t come to claim. One poor clearance, but otherwise did well with good handling.
Gardner 6 Some good defending, in a hard evening against Burgess and Murray, and blotted his copybook with reckless challenge to earn straight red card.
Jones 7 Captain for the evening. Defended well.
Garner 8 Excellent going forward - could have had a first half hat-trick. Defended solidly under pressure.
Armstrong 6 Not as good as on Saturday.
Briscoe 7 Some good tackling back, one outstanding run, and a good shot that was blocked. But would have liked to have seen him in the game more.
Somner 7 Powerful first half, some strong tackling.
Nix 7 Some good skills.
Williams 7 Decent first half. Surprisingly substituted.
Perry 4 Disappointing night. Poor first half, improved at the start of the second nearly earning a penalty, but then gave away an own goal and a penalty to end a personal nightmare. Looked out of place on the left towards the end.
Duffy 5 Link play with Perry never really worked all night.
Sub Line Up:
Istead (for Williams, 46) 6 Didn’t really get into the game.
Speight (for Somner, 69) - Did ok with some tricky running.
Clare (for Briscoe, 79) -
Subs Not Used: Sandercombe, Graham.
Opposition Line Up:
Tyler, Reynolds, Keane, Pilkington, Murray (Howells 88), Newton (Gnakpa 90), Burgess, Hall, Jarvis, Craddock, Gallen (Basham 75). Subs Not Used: Gore, Beavan.
K Johnson (Bristol) 7 Really good first half under tremendous pressure from home crowd, but lost control a bit in the second.

Season 0910 Reports