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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
3 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Walker 7, 50, Kamara 68.
 Nix 12
Attendance: 1040 (112 from Mansfield)
Date: 29 September 2009

Midweek away misery continues

Craig Priest at Field Mill

Mansfield Town made the long trip to Barrow on Tuesday, hoping to put behind them the demons of Luton & Kidderminster, and build on the fantastic wins over Oxford and Hayes & Yeading, in the past week.

Stags went into the game unchanging the starting 11 but tinkering with the bench, handing loanee goalkeeper Ed Eley and back from suspension striker Kyle Perry, places on the bench replacing Levi Porter & Daryl Clare. Two former Stags players were in the Barrow line up, defender Gareth Jelleyman & midfielder Neil Wainwright.

Stags got the game underway, wearing the Home Shirts with Away Shorts & Socks. Stags were out of the blocks quickest, attacking down the left hand side with Williams and Nix combining well, it was Williams who set up the first chance of the game, cutting past the full back before lofting in a left footed cross, which ended up on the top netting following a huge gust of wind.

The windy and rainy conditions didn’t seem to suit stags, Nix, Somner and Briscoe amongst the names to fall victim to “wet ball syndrome”, mis-controlling the ball, allowing the fiery Barrow midfielders to sweep in and take the ball on the half way line. The weather combined with some slow defending from Luke Graham, gifted Barrow their first chance on goal after 6 minutes, fortunately for Stags, keeper Alan Marriott cleared the ball down the other end to safety.

Minutes later, stags suffered from “wet ball syndrome” once more, former Stag Wainwright took advantage of Somner's poor control to play in the Barrow forward, captain Scott Garner half cleared but Wainwright again played in Barrow forward Walker, who left Graham for dead and slotted the ball home on 9 minutes.

Barrow 1-0 Stags

After a roar of passion and anger from skipper Garner, Stags seemed fired up and restarted the game, Somner, Silk & Briscoe combined well down the right hand side, Briscoe’s cross met the head of Saturday’s hat-trick hero Rob Duffy, who headed just over.

Hoofed clearances from the Barrow back line almost gave Garner & Graham problems, mistiming the jumps and almost slipping, Craig Armstrong & Alan Marriott provided the “Insurance Policy” and covered well.

Marriott claimed the ball following yet another Barrow long ball, and quickly got play moving with Armstrong, who played a cracking ball down the left wing, Williams brought it under control and quickly played in live-wire Speight, whose attempted cross fell at the feet of Kyle Nix, who was fouled right on the edge of the “D”- a great passion and the right moment for some “Mansfield Magic”. The referee had sorted the wall out, and blew the whistle for the kick to be taken, Nix & Williams both standing over the ball. There was no doubt in my mind that Nix would have a go- it certainly favored a left footer. Nix curled the ball brilliantly into the keeper’s top right hand corner, leaving him with no chance- rooted to the spot. Nix had grabbed his first Mansfield goal, in front of the traveling fans, on 11 minutes.

Barrow 1-1 Stags.

Nix’s inspirational finish gave Stags the spark to up there game. Unfortunately they couldn’t find the best method of play against a rough Barrow side. First Stags tried to use the wet surface to their advantage, playing fast football from right to left, Nix once more being the eye opener- playing fast directional football to Speight, Briscoe & Williams.

Again Nix played in Speight who was caught offside, not for the first time during the evening either. Barrow’s keeper hoofed the ball downfield, Wainwright and goal scorer Walker combined to stretch Stags and earn there first corner on 18 minutes. Gary Silk removed the initial danger before Wainwright swung the ball back into the box, a Barrow forward got on the end of it, but the shot sailed wide, much to the relief of the Stags defence, who where caught napping once more.

Again Stags where given a scare, Alan Marriott fell victim of “wet ball syndrome”, coming to claim a corner from the right, which he dropped into the path of Walker, who couldn’t react quick enough- Marriott clung onto the loose ball and allowed Stags to get upfield.

Marriott’s clearance was towards the head of Duffy, who has been playing injured for the past two games, he took a knock and was ordered off the field for treatment. Play resumed with Barrow on the attack once more, Luke Graham was shown a yellow card for hand ball.

Stags defended the free-kick with 10 men and as the ball drifted out for a Stags throw, Stags introduced Kyle Perry for the injured Duffy. Perry was keen to make an impact having scored 2 goals against Stevenage before he was shown a red card. He held the ball up well before playing the ball to the feet of Somner who lofted in a brilliant ball towards Speight, who against was caught offside.

The game remained balanced for the remainder of the half, Stags defended well forcing Barrow to long range shooting, which was never in danger of finding the net. Stags had chances of there own through Nix, Williams & Briscoe. Unfortunately Barrow blocked the efforts and hoofed clear.

Half Time 1-1

Barrow started the second half and wasted no time in trying edge in front, it took just 30 seconds for Jon Shaw to cut through the Stags defence, his shot trickled just wide, much to the relief of the travelling faithful behind the goal.

Stags needed a little wake up call; Barrow attacked time and time again, Alan Marriott pulling off some fine saves to keep the scored level. Barrow again where reduced to long range efforts, most of them harmless until the 50th minute, Walker unmarked 50 yards from goal caught the ball beautifully and Alan Marriott was left stranded and helpless- a thunderbolt of a finish which has Championship quality- there’s simply nothing you can do to stop that happening.

Barrow 2-1 Stags

Stags re-started the game and instantly went in search of a second equaliser, the opportunity came on 52 minutes, a free kick just a few yards outside the box, Kyle Nix tried his luck a second time, but this free kick had distance & power, but lacked accuracy- landing about 5 yards wide.

Stags where still in search of the equaliser, but no matter what they tried, they couldn’t beat the home keeper, who was on top of his game to keep Stags at bay. On 65 minutes, Gary Silk tried to get the Stags moving down the right, playing in Jake Speight who was caught offside once again. This break in play gave Stags a chance to make a second change, Blair Sturrock on for Louis Briscoe, who was far from happy at being subbed, kicking a water bottle in frustration.

On 67 minutes, Sturrock had the chance to equalise following a Williams cross, unfortunately he headed just wide from 12 yards.

A minute later, Barrow had all but killed the game off, they added a third. Barrow pumped ball after ball into the area, Scott Garner heading away strongly, but a punch out from Marriott allowed Barrow to put the ball in the back of the net, Malvin Kamara was unmarked following a Luke Graham slip.

Barrow 3-1 Stags

Stags now desperately trying to push forward and find a way back into the game, Armstrong & Williams combined well to earn Stags a corner. It was floated in and found its way to the unmarked Blair Sturrock, who slipped but managed to pull the ball back for Silk, who fired his shot just over the bar.

Again Stags attacked with Sturrock & Speight down the right, Speight crosses aimed for Perry ended up being easily held by the goalkeeper. Barrow used this to their advantage, Stags short at the back, the keeper looked long down field and Barrow could have had a 4th, Alan Marriott rescuing the Stags with a fine stop.

With 5 minutes of stoppage time, Stags withdrew Luke Graham from the game and introduced Stevie Istead, the idea being to go 3-5-2 in search of a goal. The plan however faltered as Barrow won a corner, and decided to play keep ball in the corner, Kyle Perry & Istead tried to clear but it was too little too late, as the referee ended the game, A horrible defeat on a wet and windy evening. A long way from home.

I was watching the game from the commentary box, co-commentating on Mansfield 103.2 so I was unable to get a few more notes, so apologies for the briefness of the report.

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 7; Despite conceding 3 goals, one a beauty, he had a fairly decent game.
Silk 6; Caught out at times, but did well on the attack combining with Briscoe / Speight/ Sturrock.
Garner 8; Man of the match for me, swept up well, covered for Silk & Graham. Unlucky not to bury a few headers from set pieces. Doing a great job as captain.
Graham 5; Sloppy, got booked for something silly and basic. Second to most balls and marking was slow.
Armstrong 6; Worked well with Williams on the left, still looked injured and lacked pace closing down, but otherwise he was one of the better performers.
Briscoe 6; Quiet Game, Lost his temper when subbed.
Nix 7; Top draw free kicks, unlucky not to have a second, worked well to try and get Stags back in the game.
Somner 6; Quiet, did ok when called upon.
Williams 7; Did well, just lacked the final spark.
Duffy 5; Fine until subbed for injury- I’m surprised he started.
Speight 6; Good game, should have scored. Caught offside too often though.
Sub Line Up:
Perry (for Duffy, 27) 6; Played well, troubled centre backs.
Sturrock (for Briscoe, 57) 6; Unlucky to have a goal ruled out, gave Stags that added edge.
Istead (for Graham, 86) -
Subs not used: Eley, Gardner.
Opposition Line Up:
Tomlinson, Spender, Pearson, Jones, Jelleyman, Kamara (Rutherford 84), Hulbert, Bond, Wainwright (Logan 87), Walker (Rogan 76), Shaw. Subs Not Used: Deasy, Dugdale.
P Davison

Season 0910 Reports