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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
2 - 3
 Stevenage Borough
Perry 1, 16. Perry sent off 45+5.
 Beardsley 45+8, Odubade 59, Griffin 69.
Attendance: 3251 (108 from Stevenage)
Date: 12 September 2009

“It Only Takes A Minute”

Craig Priest at Field Mill

A lovely day weather-wise at Field Mill, a back drop for beautiful football maybe? As Stags returned home, hoping to put the midweek 3-1 away defeat to Kidderminster Harriers behind them, the Field Mill faithful where in fine voice once more and as the players prepared for kick off, they looked more than ready.

With all the photos out of the way, the Stags got the game under way- attacking the North Stand goal. After 20 seconds, Stags had a free kick, Gary Mills floated the ball in only for it to be headed away by the Stevenage defence, Louis Briscoe danced his way down the right hand side, before crossing the ball, Rob Duffy headed goal wards, the ball was cleared by only to the unmarked Kyle Perry, who smashed home and gave Stags an early lead. Stags 1-0 Stevenage.

Stevenage restarted the game, trying to play a ball down the right flank, returning left back Craig Armstrong won the header with ease. Stevenage started to enjoy a few minutes with the ball, playing long directional balls which keeper Alan Marriott and centre backs Luke Jones & Scott Garner, all dealt with comfortably.

Stevenage got there first shot away after 6 minutes, Briscoe lost out near the half way line and Stevenage shot from around 20 yards, the shot was well over, much to the delight of the crowd.

After a spell of Stevenage long ball pressure, Stags almost added a second on 9 minutes, Stevenage keeper saved well from Perry's forceful header following some great work by Briscoe down the right wing.

Play was temporally held up for a while, Scott Garner's foul near the edge of the area resulting in a Stevenage free-kick and the Stevenage player needing some treatment, much to the crowd’s annoyance. Stags cleared the danger.

Shortly after, Gary Silk played in Briscoe on the right, who switched play to the left with Ryan Williams, who kept his feet and earned Stags a throw in. Craig Armstrong launched the ball deep into the box, Kyle Perry was again on hand to poke the ball home; Stags 2-0 Stevenage.

Stevenage re-started the game once more and both sides enjoyed spells of pressure. The visitors earned a corner after Craig Armstrong covered well following a rare Luke Jones mistake almost aloud the visitors in- the corner came to nothing.

After half an hour, Briscoe showed he can defend as well as attack. A corner from the far side was lofted in, a free header for Stevenage following what looked like a blatant foul on Luke Jones- the ball was destined for the goal, until Briscoe headed clear.

Stags survived a scare minutes later, the referee gifted Stevenage a free kick, which they took quickly, only to beat the back four and fire over.

Stags and Perry could have had a third goal on 38 minutes, Kyle Perry had his header cleared off the line following a Gary Mills corner.

Minutes later, the game changed- for the worse. Stevenage’s Lee Boylan went to the ground for an unknown reason. After a five minute delay and a few scuffles, the referee returned from his chat with the fourth official only to brandish Kyle Perry a straight red card- much to everybody's confusion. How the fourth official could see what happened from the other side of the pitch is beyond me- unfortunately that's football. Perry receives a warm round of applause as he left the pitch, the referee had totally lost his mind and more vitally, control of the game.

Stevenage’s resulting free kick was headed away for a corner, the lads seemed determined to hold on.

Six minutes where added, and in the seventh, former Mansfield Town forward, Chris Beardsley tapped home a goal. Don't ask about the timing issue, it was one of those days.

Half Time, Mansfield 2-1 Stevenage.

Stevenage got the second half under way, determined to make the numerical advantage count. They nearly did on 55 minutes, Louis Briscoe scrambled the ball off the line, Marriott rose the highest and claimed the loose ball.

With Stags struggling to conjure up an attacking move, it was only a matter of time before all the brave defending caved in. On 60 minutes Stevenage smashed home an equaliser after good work down the left from Beardsley, a shame really because until that point Silk and Briscoe where doing a great job to keep Stags in the game.

Four minutes later, Holdsworth introduced loan signing Levi Porter to the game, wearing the number 25 shirt, he replaced tricky winger Ryan Williams.

Long balls and weak passing could not gift Stags the spark they so desperately lacked, Stevenage dealt with everything stags threw at them. Stevenage used the numerical advantage to counter attack, down the right hand side, some good positional play from Silk, Mills and Jones allowed Stags to get men back behind the ball- keeping the scores level.

Negativity drifted over Field Mill, long balls to Duffy's head, kind of pointless with no striker along side him, most fans knew it would be a matter of time before Stevenage scored again and ultimately ended our super home record.

In the 69th minute, Stevenage had pulled it back and edged in front, Matt Somner's defending and Alan Marriott goal keeping efforts, could not keep out the close range rebounded shot from Griffin.

The gaffer made a double sub on 71 minutes, withdrawing Duffy & Briscoe and throwing on Speight & Istead.

They both ran their socks off but were unable to create the Stags a way back into the game, Stevenage dealt with everything and often countered looking for a fourth, they would have had one had it not been for the brilliance of Marriott, who was forced to make several saves.

That was just about it, Stags had no real chances and in front of 3,251 people (108 from Stevenage) the “Referee” ended the game and Stags' unbeaten record.

Alan Marriott was given the sponsors Man of the match. I agree, apart from Armstrong who I thought was good at left back, we've missed him the past few games. I'm sure some will disagree so I’ll go with Marriott.

We had to lose sometimes, heads up folks.


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

Line Up:
Sub Line Up:
Porter (for Williams, 64)
Istead (for Briscoe, 72)
Speight (for Duffy, 74)
Subs Not Used: Sandercombe, Graham.
Opposition Line Up:
Day, Henry, Roberts, Ashton, Laird, Odhiambo, Bostwick, Byrom, Cole (Odubade 25), Beardsley (Albrighton 80), Boylan (Griffin 45). Subs Not Used: Bayes, Long.
Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)

Season 0910 Reports