{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
3 - 1
 Hayes & Yeading
Duffy 37, 48 pen, 60 pen.
 S.Canham pen 58.
Attendance: 3,180 (48 from Hayes & Yeading)
Date: 26 September 2009


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Mansfield Town comfortably beat lowly Hayes & Yeading at Field Mill thanks to a hat-trick from Rob Duffy - the first hat-trick by a Stags player since Michael Boulding against Shrewsbury in April 2008, shortly before we were relegated. The Stags took the lead after 37 minutes when Hayes keeper Overland spilled a low cross and Duffy swept the loose ball home from close range. Jake Speight earned the Stags a penalty early in the second half which was converted by Duffy. A horrible mix-up between Luke Graham and Marriott gifted Hayes a penalty which Scott Canham converted, but within two minutes Speight won a second penalty which Duffy again converted. Marriott made a couple of superb saves to preserve the two goal cushion and the Stags ran out comfortable winners. Duffy and Speight put in fine performances, as did Marriott, and Stevie Istead played well as a first half substitute for the injured Kyle Nix.

On a lovely sunny afternoon, Mansfield were unchanged from the side that beat leaders Oxford. That meant no sub keeper on the bench again - something of a risk, with Marriott carrying an injury picked up against Oxford.

In the first minute, Nix’s free kick from 30 yards, wide on the right, flashed past the left post when just a touch might have deflected it in. On 4 minutes, a Hayes corner was flicked on and Sean Canham flicked a free header wide. Slack marking by the Stags.

On 6 minutes, the Stags came agonisingly close to an early lead. Nix floated in another free kick, and Duffy got in front of the keeper to flick a header inches past the left post. Hayes came close at the other end when Marwa’s deflected shot was just wide of the right post. On 15 minutes, Duffy’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked. Then more slack defending by Mansfield on 18 minutes when a cross from the left flew inches over George Daly with no defender near.

The Stags had been on the end of some rough challenges and fouls from Hayes, and on 21 minutes, Nix had to go off, to be replaced by Istead. Both Nix and Speight were on the end of some rough treatment. Nix had had a good start in an otherwise lack-lustre display so far by Mansfield.

On 26 minutes, Briscoe’s shot was blocked, and then Duffy scuffed a shot horribly wide in a Marco van Basten-type effort. On 29 minutes, Speight was clattered by left back Green, who had already been booked, and Green was lucky to escape a red card. Green was one of 3 players who had been booked in the opening half hour. In truth though Hayes & Yeading had been more than holding their own and the Stags had been suffering from poor delivery in the final third of the pitch.

On 34 minutes, Marriott did very well to take a driven cross low down.

On 35 minutes, the Stags were very unlucky to have a goal disallowed. Following a great move, Williams floated a lovely cross to Speight who sent a superb, deft, back-header past the keeper into the net. Speight was ruled offside. At the time, I thought he was onside, and video evidence shows he was indeed onside.

But the Stags were ahead on 37 minutes. Briscoe did well to win the ball back after initially losing it, and his low cross was spilled by the keeper, who was stretching, right into the path of Duffy, just 5 yards out, and Duffy swept the loose ball into the empty net.

Half time 1-0

Early in the second half, the Stags had a chance to increase the lead. Speight broke into the box and was clearly brought down. The referee had no hesitation in pointing the spot. Duffy stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way as he slotted the ball into the right side of the net.

The Stags were guilty of sloppy defending on 51 minutes when Daly cut inside and was not closed down, his shot from 20 yards was fortunately straight at Marriott. A fine crossfield pass from Williams, on the right, to Duffy on 53 minutes. Duffy took the ball down brilliantly, but a defender was able to tackle him for a corner. From the corner, the ball was cleared to Silk just outside the box, but Silk fired miles over the bar.

There seemed no danger for the Stags as Toby Little played a ball forward into the Stags box, but there was a terrible mix-up between Graham and Marriott, as Graham chested the ball back past Marriott, allowing Hayes sub Scott Fitzgerald to get to the ball first, but he was brought down by Marriott as he got there. He was nowhere near the net, but it was a clear penalty, a dreadful error and such a needless penalty. Sean Canham stepped up to take it and sent it into the right corner of the net, though Marriott so nearly got his fingertips onto it. The goal had really come out of absolutely nothing.

Porter immediately replaced Briscoe. And his first touch was to put Speight into the box with a little pass on the left. Speight tried to flick the ball up and over his defender, but the ball hit the defender’s arm and the referee immediately awarded the penalty, the third in the space of 12 minutes, and all correct decisions in my opinion. Duffy sent the penalty into the left of the net as the keeper dived the wrong way.

Duffy was replaced, to a standing ovation, by Clare on 64 minutes. On 66 minutes, Williams’ free kick was headed goalwards by Speight but it was an easy save for the keeper, who still did his best to drop it. On 68 minutes, a Stags free kick was headed out to Porter who skewed a left footed shot wide of the left post. On 72 minutes, Istead sent a speculative shot from 24 yards, over the bar.

Hayes had a rare attack on 73 minutes, but it nearly brought them back into the game. Sub Scott Fitzgerald made a great run down the left and put in a superb cross which was headed towards the right of the net by sub Binns and Marriott made a spectacular flying save with his fingertips at full stretch. Absolutely superb from the Stags keeper. Two minutes later, Marriott had to make another great save, coming out to block a close range shot from Binns, as the Stags looked a little shaky at the back.

On 83 minutes, Istead was given the ball by Speight and crashed a shot over from 20 yards. Istead had another chance 3 minutes into stoppage time when he broke into the box but his shot was blocked.

So another three points for the Stags. A comfortable win. The Stags have a huge game at Barrow on Tuesday night as they attempt to win away for the first time in a night match under David Holdsworth. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Rob Duffy

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 8 Two superb saves at 3-1 which were crucial in preserving the comfortable lead. Also nearly saved the penalty.
Silk 6 A little bit slack with marking on occasion.
Garner 6 Not the best game collectively for the Stags defence.
Graham 6 Poor communication with Marriott for the Hayes penalty.
Armstrong 6 Not bad, defended ok, considering he may still be not 100% fit.
Briscoe 6 Not his best game, though his cross led to the first goal.
Somner 6 Worked hard, but gave ball away a few times and didn’t reach the heights of his performance against Oxford.
Nix 7 Started well, but injured after 20 minutes, having been fouled several times.
Williams 7 Some good crossing.
Duffy 8 Hat-trick, and unlucky with an early header that was inches wide.
Speight 8 Lively, and too much for the Hayes back line to handle. Won both penalties, and superb header for a disallowed goal.
Sub Line Up:
Istead (for Nix, 21) 7 Did well in a rare chance to get minutes on the pitch.
Porter (for Briscoe, 59) 6 Set up Speight to earn the second penalty with his first touch. Did ok.
Clare (for Duffy, 64) 6 Did ok.
Subs Not Used: Gardner, Sturrock.
Opposition Line Up:
Overland, Allen-Page, Ruby, Cadmore, Green (El-Abd 83), Mulley, Marc Canham, Marwa (Binns 69), Little, Sean Canham, Daly (Fitzgerald 52). Subs Not Used: Baker, Rochester.
Billy Khatib (Sunderland) 8 Got all the major decisions right in my opinion, including all 3 penalties.

Season 0910 Reports