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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
4 - 0
 Chester City
Jones 23, 34, OG Ben Jones 36, Speight 80
Attendance: 2882 (55 from Chester)
Date: 23 January 2010

MANSFIELD Town sailed past crisis club Chester City with a 4-0 win which should have been at least double that at Field Mill this afternoon.

Link to report from Always Amber website here.

Stags made five changes as boss David Holdsworth kept his promise of shaking the team up after last weeks early capitulation at AFC Wimbledon. New boy Luke Foster came in to make his debut and was superb in his first 90 minutes in a Stags shirt. He was joined by Luke Jones and Craig Armstrong who replaced Paul Heckingbottom, Michael Brough and Scott Garner in defence. Ryan Williams returned to the left wing wearing the captains armband and Jake Speight replaced Kyle Perry up front, much to the displeasure of the big striker. Chester could only manage four substitutes as much of their squad was made up of youngsters. This could be their last ever game if they are wound up in court on Wednesday.

Stags were 3-0 up after 36 minutes courtesy of two Luke Jones headers and another Jones goal, this time Chester City’s Ben Jones who put the ball past his own keeper. In all fairness it should have been at least six before half time. Briscoe had a couple of attempts that went close and Hotchkiss curled a shot round the post. Williams looked dangerous every time he got the ball and put in some tantalizing crosses for Duffy and Briscoe who headed over. Stags should’ve had a penalty when a shot by Jones was blocked by a Chester players hands and Danby in the City goal had to be alert to tip a deflected shot over the upright.

Although this was one way traffic the atmosphere inside Field Mill was non-existant. The 55 Chester fans sat stoney-faced while their team battled to stay alive on the pitch. The 2,827 Stags fans only made any kind of noise when the ball hit the net. Manager David Holdsworth asked for the fans to create an atmosphere before the game, stating he knew his team would have to give them something to cheer. Well his team kept up their side of the bargain, but sadly this was more like a pre-season friendly than one of the most important games both sides will ever play in.

The first cheer came after 23 minutes when a perfectly placed corner from Williams saw the onrushing Jones power in his first goal for the club with his head.

Ten minutes later the same combination, albeit from the Bishop Street side of the ground, had the fans on their feet again as another powerful header from Jones nestled in the net from a superb Williams corner.

Within two minutes the game was over. Yet another pinpoint corner from Williams was met by new boy Foster which Danby in the City goal parried. Speight picked up the loose ball and was about to shoot until City’s Jones stuck out his leg and prodded the ball into his own net.

Chester managed the odd foray into the Stags half but never really troubled the back four which looked solid all game. Speight and Williams were causing major problems for City as they poured forward with pace. Danby made several fine saves to keep the score respectable. Speight tried an audacious overhead kick which Danby caught before Duffy forced the keeper to push a shot round the post as he turned and shot from 18 yards. From this corner Jones almost sealed his hat-tick but his header was headed off the line. The Stags left the field at half time to a standing ovation.

Half time 3-0

The mood at half time was very quiet, despite the game more or less being sewn up. Stags came back out a good three or four minutes before Chester and the officials. David Holdsworth was cheered as he made his way across the boggy pitch to his dugout.

Speight continued to haunt the City defence, this time pulling the ball back for Briscoe to score but his attempt was blocked. On another day Briscoe could have had a hat trick himself.

Duffy had his best game in a Stags shirt for months and won 90% of his headers, including one where he tried to get on the end of a Silk cross. His attempted diving header saw Roberts kick the ball clear almost taking Duffy's head with it.

After 74 minutes Duffy & Briscoe went off to be replaced by Perry and Sturrock.

Some lovely passing by Speight, Silk, Briscoe & Sturrock down the right saw the ball end up at the feet of Somner on the edge of the box. With the crowd shouting “shoot” he did and the ball whistled over the top right hand corner of Danbys goal into the Quarry Lane end.

Sturrock & Perry were making an immediate impact and Perry’s shot hit a defender and ended up at Speight’s feet and he made no mistake from 12 yards to make it 4-0. Two minutes from time Speight scored again which would have seen him deservedly bag a hat trick as he headed in Sturrocks cross, but the linesmans flag denied him his glory. I was level with this and I don’t think he was offside when the ball was played.

The referee put Chester out of their misery after two minutes of injury time. It was noticeable that several Stags players applauded the 56 Chester fans which was a nice touch. Also coming off the pitch David Holdsworth made several gestures towards the Chester players whilst applauding them and rubbing a few of them on their heads. This made me extremely proud to be a Stags fan and it was a clear message from all at Field Mill that Chester took our best wishes with them for their biggest fight of their history next week.

Man of the match: Ryan Williams

Report by: Stagsnet staff reporter

Line Up:
Marriott 6 Nothing to do but stayed alert well.
Silk 7 Got booked but looked good going forward
Jones 9 Two goals & could easily have had a hat trick, linked up well with the new boy and kept a clean sheet. Can’t ask for more than that.
Foster 8 Solid debut, did everything well and nearly got on the scoresheet.
Armstrong 7 Looks a lot more solid than Heckingbottom & did well today.
Briscoe 6 Should really have scored today. Needs to look up more when running as he ran into lots of blind alleys today & can be frustrating.
Somner 7 Did all the dirty work well to enable Hotchkiss to look for an easy pass.
Hotchkiss 7 Passed well and was busy as always.
Williams 9 Superb corners that strikers crave to get on the end of. Had we scored 7 goals today I would bet that all of them would have come from his corners. Also worked tirelessly and ran the Chester defence ragged. A brilliant captains display. If I had to pick a MOTM he would just shade it.
Duffy 8 Worked hard, had his best game in a Stags shirt for ages. Won nearly all of his headers, kept his mouth shut and his head down and was very brave trying that diving header which nearly took his head off.
Speight 9 Two goals & should have had a hat trick had it not been for the linesman. Also ran the Chester defence ragged like Williams did. Showed he was more than just an impact player today and must start more often.
Sub Line Up:
Perry (for Briscoe, 74) 6 Didn’t do that much and stormed off at full time ignoring the fans and his team mates. Don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.
Sturrock (for Duffy, 74) 7 Always looked for the easy, simple option/pass.
Challinor (for Hotchkiss, 85) 6 Don’t know if he touched the ball.
Subs not used: Sandercombe, Brough.
Opposition Line Up:
Danby; Roberts, Kelly, Rule, Lea; Wilkinson, Ellams, Davidson, Meynell; Jones, Coulter. Subs: Murphy, Walker, Freeman, Maxwell.
Billy Khatib (Sunderland) 7 Didn’t do too bad really.

Season 0910 Reports