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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Forest Green Rovers  
1 - 4
 Mansfield Town
Ameobi 17.
 Jones 63, 86, Duffy 66, Speight 75.
Attendance: 817 (153 from Mansfield)
Date: 30 January 2010


Martin Shaw at the New Lawn

Mansfield Town produced a fabulous second half recovery to turn a one goal deficit at half time into a 4-1 victory at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. The Stags were generally poor until the 56th minute, when an astonishing ten minute spell saw Mansfield create seven glorious chances including two goals. Two further goals rounded off a thumping victory. It was the second four goal victory in successive games, and central defender Luke Jones scored a brace in both games, all four goals from Ryan Williams crosses.

Sunshine across most of the pitch had melted the heavy overnight frost, and enabled the game to go ahead. Manager Holdsworth made two changes from the side that beat Chester 4-0: Brough came in to partner Somner in central midfield, and Challinor came in to an attacking midfield role just behind Duffy. Speight moved to the right. Luke Foster was the new captain - the sixth captain of the season, after Mills, Williams, Silk, Garner and Jones.

The Stags started as brightly as the sunshine. Challinor’s shot was blocked after two minutes, then on 5 minutes Speight couldn’t quite keep the ball in play as he crossed hard and low and Duffy tapped home into an empty net but the flag was already up. On 10 minutes, Williams’s low corner found Duffy who blasted a first time shot well wide. Then Challinor played a ball forward for Duffy but keeper Wilkinson raced out and just got there first. On 12 minutes, Brough’s shot from 22 yards was well saved low down to his left by Wilkinson.

It was an encouraging start but that was as good as it got in the opening half for Mansfield.

On 17 minutes, Duffy found himself at right back and brought pacy left back Stonehouse down with a bad tackle. Conal Platt took the resulting free kick from the left and floated it to the edge of the six yard box where former Stags loanee Tomi Ameobi rose above Foster and Jones and headed past Marriott and into the net. It was sloppy defending by Mansfield, and Foster and Jones held a long inquest. Scott Garner had moments earlier sat himself down right in front of us: a penny for his thoughts at that moment, after he had been singled out by manager Holdsworth for similar dreadful defending at AFC Wimbledon two weeks earlier.

A clumsy foul by Challinor on 21 minutes and Conal Platt’s free kick from 22 yards in a central position was well held by Marriott. A minute later, Powell was allowed too much room in the Mansfield area and his shot was blocked.

The Stags proceeded to give away more clumsy fouls, perhaps through frustration and looked a disjointed outfit, lacking any shape.

Towards the end of the half, a long throw from Challinor was back-headed wide by Brough. This was to be a precursor to the second half where the Stags corners, free-kicks and long throws caused mayhem in the FGR box, though we couldn’t have guessed it at the time.

Half time 1-0

On 46 minutes, Challinor’s long throw was headed just wide by Duffy. There followed a passage of play that was as bad as I’ve seen, with both sides giving the ball away with amazing regularity. It was interspersed with a Williams volley well wide on 51 minutes.

But the Stags started to get up a head of steam, and Somner’s shot was well over on 56 minutes after Challinor’s long throw had not been cleared. A minute later, another Challinor long throw, and Brough stole in to glance a header wide - a close thing. Then a minute after that, Somner sent a 30 yard shot just over. A goal really looked as though it was coming now. On 62 minutes, a corner from the right by Williams was powerfully headed towards the bottom left corner of the net by Jones, but the keeper got down well and parried it against the post and out for a corner.

From the resulting corner from the left, Williams’s cross was headed powerfully into the roof of the net by Jones.

Just a minute later on 64 minutes, Foster headed just wide from a Williams free kick.

Forest Green couldn’t withstand this sort of pressure and on 66 minutes, the Stags scored again. Yet another Challinor long throw, was headed on by Foster, and Duffy flicked it in from close range at the far post. It was anything but a clean connection by Duffy but he was so close in that it didn’t matter.

It was an extraordinary purple patch for the Stags and ten minutes of total mayhem in the Forest Green box with 7 glorious chances!

On 75 minutes the Stags made it 3-1. Fine interplay between Duffy and Williams down the left, and Williams’ cross was parried by the keeper into the path of Speight who blasted home from close range.

Perry immediately replaced Duffy.

On 79 minutes, Marriott, who had been a total spectator during the mayhem at the other end, had to make an important save, coming out quickly to smother a shot from sub Reece Styche. Super stuff by the Stags stopper. From the resulting corner, Marriott saved again from Styche’s header.

The forgotten man of Field Mill, Steven Istead, replaced Challinor on 82 minutes.

On 83 minutes, a deflected Williams free kick nearly feel into the path of Speight, but not quite.

But the Williams/Jones combination reaped another goal on 86 minutes - the fourth in two games. Williams’ free kick found Jones who looped a header over the keeper and just under the bar. Great stuff from Jones and Williams. Terrible goalkeeping.

Briscoe replaced Williams on 87 minutes and Briscoe himself cut inside on 90+1 minutes before firing straight at the keeper.

So a breathtaking turnaround by Mansfield inspired by Williams, Jones, Challinor, Duffy and Speight. Fantastic stuff.

Man of the match: Luke Jones

Report by: Martin Shaw at the New Lawn

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Quiet game, but when called upon he made a great save at 3-1.
Silk 6 OK
Jones 9 First half defending wasn't great but pivotal in second half turnaround with two headed goals and another header which was saved onto the post.
Foster 6 Poor defending with Jones for the FGR goal.
Armstrong 6 Some terrible distribution.
Speight 7 Some lively attacking though came up against a pacy fullback.
Somner 7 Got stuck in, and had a couple of shots at goal early in the second half as the Stags started to get up a head of steam.
Brough 6 Had a couple of chances in the first half.
Challinor 7 Very poor first half, but excellent throw-ins in second half created danger.
Williams 9 Excellent delivery from set pieces.
Duffy 7 His 13th goal of the season.
Sub Line Up:
Perry (for Duffy, 77) -
Istead (for Challinor, 82) - The forgotten man back in the action.
Briscoe (for Williams, 88) -
Subs Not Used: Collett, Hotchkiss.
Opposition Line Up:
Wilkinson, Hodgkiss, O'Cearuill, Thorne, Stonehouse, Powell (Styche 68), Rocastle, Smith (Brown 77), Platt (Berry 88), Ameobi, Rankin. Subs Not Used: Burton, Preece.
Rob Lewis (Shropshire) 7 Uneventful game, though could have played the advantage rule a couple of times.

Season 0910 Reports