{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Chester City  
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 Duffy (later credited to Perry) 2 mins
Attendance: 1734 (522 from Mansfield)
Date: 29 August 2009


Martin Shaw at the Deva Stadium

Super Mansfield Town won a tight game at the Deva Stadium with an early goal from Rob Duffy (LATER CREDITED TO PERRY). It was the Stags fourth successive victory, the first time we have won four on the trot since September - October 2003, when a 2-1 win with 9 men at Cambridge sparked that 4 game run. The Stags had to dig deep at times, and could have won more comfortably but for a Speight goal ruled out, and a penalty shout turned down, both in the first half, while Chester slammed a shot against the post also in the first period. The Stags deserved their success despite some late scares as Chester brought on the lively Greg Blundell as substitute, a player with a pedigree of scoring against the Stags.

Mansfield made one change from the side that beat Ebbsfleet with Jake Speight making his first start, in place of Ryan Williams. Chester’s side looked quite strong including the outstanding Greg Blundell, who always seems to score against the Stags, on the bench, back for his second spell at the Deva Stadium.

As the teams lined up, it was immediately obvious that the Stags had a height advantage. And in the very first minute, this was demonstrated as Perry won a header from Nix’s corner but it was over the bar.

But in the second minute, the Stags were ahead. Armstrong took a free kick from the half way line, with all the big guns including Garner and Jones on the edge of the box. The ball was flicked on and reached Duffy on the right hand side of the box. Duffy had time to compose himself and side-foot a shot through a crowd of players into the back of the net from about 8 yards. Kyle Perry tried to claim the ball came off him but quite clearly it was Duffy’s goal.

The Stags were defending a minute later and Perry won a header on the edge of his own 6 yard box, out to the edge of the box where a Chester player was about to shoot until Nix nicked it off his toe. Nix embarked on an incredible run from the edge of his own box to the edge of the Chester box where he fed Armstrong on his left, but Armstrong’s cross was terrible and went behind for a goal kick.

The Stags had a real let off amidst controversy on 7 minutes. Chester striker Alessandro looked 3 yards offside as he received the ball on the edge of the box but amazingly, the linesman waved play on, as Alessandro blasted a shot against the right hand post.

The Stags had a goal disallowed on 13 minutes. A great ball in from Armstrong, and Perry seemed to win it fairly knocking it down to Speight. But the referee immediately blew for a foul, before Speight powered his shot into the back of the net. The Stags fans cheered but the whistle had clearly gone already. It looked harsh on the Stags as Perry seemed to have won the ball fairly and after the game, manager Holdsworth thought the Stags had been hard done by.

A great block by Gary Silk on 19 minutes from a shot on the edge of the box, and a minute later Ashton’s free kick was straight at Marriott from 23 yards. The Stags had an escape on 21 minutes when a scramble somehow led to the ball ending up in Marriott’s midriff when it had “goal” written all over it. Jake Speight had a good run as he powered through the defence on 28 minutes but the ball was put behind for a corner. The corner was well taken by Nix from the right and met by Briscoe who flicked his header wide. On 31 minutes, a long throw by Armstrong on the left and Perry back-headed the ball probably trying to reach another Stags player at the far post, but in fact it looked goalbound and Chester keeper Danby had to stretch to make a good save.

The Stags had calls for a penalty on 33 minutes as the ball bounced up and seemed to hit a Chester hand. The referee waved play on and Kyle Perry ran over to the linesman to complain bitterly. I thought it would have been harsh to award a penalty, but after the game, manager Holdsworth said he thought it should have been given. On 34 minutes, Marriott did well to punch away a dangerous free kick to the edge of the box. With Marriott now down on the ground, the ball was played back goalwards and Luke Jones did well to head away. On 39 minutes, Speight turned well in the box but his shot was weak and easily saved.

The Stags had the last chance of the half, a minute into stoppage time, as Garner manoeuvred himself into a shooting position just outside the box. His right foot shot with the outside of his boot was powerful but half blocked which took the sting out of it and gave Danby an easy save.

Half time 0 - 1

A strange half in which the Stags led 1-0, had a goal harshly disallowed, and had a penalty shout turned down, yet Chester had been on top for a spell and Mansfield had not looked comfortable at the back for around 20 minutes or so.

On 52 minutes, good play by Speight to feed Duffy who had a great first touch but his second was terrible as he fired wildly over. A minute later, a good flick on by Duffy from a throw-in and Perry swung a boot at it in front of goal and completely missed it. Moments later, Armstrong had a great shot from 25 yards which was well saved. On 59 minutes, Speight had a shot from a tight angle but it was wide.

Clare immediately replaced Briscoe, with Speight moving to the right. On 65 minutes, Speight had another chance this time from 22 yards out but he scuffed his shot well wide. Blundell was on for the home side midway through the half to a buzz of anticipation from the home fans, and the home side immediately looked more dangerous.

On 73 minutes, Silk was caught in possession in his own half. The ball was played out to Blundell wide on the left and his chip was over Marriott and wide of the right post. The Stags had a free kick on 77 minutes from the halfway line. Garner took it, Perry headed it on and keeper Danby claimed it in front of Clare.

Istead then replaced Speight as the Stags went 4-3-3. On 80 minutes, Clare played a high ball forward, Perry got on the end of it and his chip over the keeper landed on the roof of the net. On 83 minutes, Perry did brilliantly to get in a cross from wide on the left but Duffy could only get in a weak header. A minute later, Clare had a chance as a free kick was flicked on to him but he completely mistimed his volley. On 86 minutes, a great take by Marriott from a cross on the left. Three minutes of stoppage time was added on and the Stags wound down the clock expertly mostly near Chester’s corner flag. But in the third minute of stoppage time, Chester did get in a cross from the right which was again well taken by Marriott.

As the final whistle went, the excellent Stags following of 522 celebrated with the players on yet another deserved victory. So on to Field Mill on Monday and the visit of Kettering who have won all three of their away games. It promises to be a cracking encounter hopefully in front of the first crowd of over 4,000 since we dropped into the Conference.

Man of the match: Rob Duffy

Report by: Martin Shaw at the Deva Stadium

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Excellent handling. All the saves he had to make were comfortable.
Silk 7 One bad mistake when caught in possession, but otherwise solid, and one terrific block. Good display.
Garner 7 Good game. Never beaten in the air.
Jones 7 One great header away from a goalbound shot. Did well.
Armstrong 7 Defended well. One fine shot, and some good distribution, apart from one awful cross behind for a goal kick.
Briscoe 6 A bit quiet.
Nix 7 Some good runs, and good corners.
Somner 7 Some tough tackling.
Speight 6 Things didn't quite go for him today. Good shot for a disallowed goal, but must have already heard the whistle.
Perry 7 Won some good headers, and some good play down the left with one brilliant cross.
Duffy 7 Took his goal well (LATER CREDITED TO PERRY), and battled on like a warrier playing with a headband for most of the game after a cut on his eye.
Sub Line Up:
Clare (for Briscoe, 59) 6 Back at his old club where he scored 48 goals in 62 games to fire Chester to promotion. Things didn't quite run for him today.
Istead (for Speight, 77) -
Subs Not Used: Sandercombe, Graham, Williams.
Opposition Line Up:
Danby, Roberts, Lea, Lynch, Ryan, Wilkinson, Kay (Blundell 66), Vaughan, Ashton, Chadwick, Alessandra. Subs Not Used: Meynell, Murphy, Owen, Ellams.
Jermaine Simpson (Carnforth) 5 A bit fussy with too many bookings. Didn't do the Stags any favours with a disallowed goal, waving away a penalty appeal and missing an offside when Chester hit the post.

Season 0910 Reports