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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
2 - 4
 Mansfield Town
Wylde 19, Murdock 49.
 Duffy 16, Shaw 21, Nicholas 41, Sturrock 87.
Attendance: 1389 (646 from Mansfield)
Date: 13 February 2010


Martin Shaw at The Lamb

Mansfield Town put in a scintillating attacking performance away at Tamworth today to score FOUR times against a side that has only conceded THREE goals in their previous TWELVE games. The Stags were terrific going forward with fine goals from strikers Duffy, Shaw and Sturrock, and another fine finish from new left back Andy Nicholas. At the back, the Stags were not quite as clever and really poor defending and goalkeeping gifted Tamworth their first goal, but leading 3-2, the Stags were grateful to a magnificenet Marriott save and a free header that came crashing back off the bar. This was a crucial win and with the smart money saying that Chester will be gone later this week, the Stags will need something like 11 wins from the last 14 games to make it into the play-offs.

Stags made only one change from the side that lost at Stevenage, with Garner returning in place of the suspended Luke Jones. Stags had decided not to appeal Jones' red card at Stevenage after Holdsworth had discussed with the ref and ref's assessor, who both agreed it was a soft sending off, but that technically Jones had an arm on Odubade and therefore the decision could not be rescinded. Tamworth included former Stags Michael Blackwood, Tom Shaw and Iyseden Christie in the starting 11, and Neil Mackenzie and Gavin Hurren on the bench.

The Stags were backed by a noisy following, amounting to half of the crowd, in just about the closest thing to a local derby this season.

After one minute, Nix mis-hit his cross-shot, but it still nearly fell for Jon Shaw as the keeper just got there first.

On 5 minutes, Andy Nicholas fired a clearance into the main stand, and the ball crashed into Mark Stevenson's laptop. Remarkably it was still working afterwards. David Jackson and I were fearing a Robbie Savage moment. A minute later, neat play finished with Duffy trying to slip a ball foreward for Challinor but it didn't quite work. On 10 minutes, Nix was fouled right on the edge of the Tamworth box. He got up to take the free kick, but it was straight into the wall, and Nicholas's chip back into the box struck a Tamworth defender. Stags claimed a penalty but the ref waved away appeals.

It was 1-0 to Mansfield on 16 minutes. Challinor's long throw found its way to Rob Duffy just inside the box just to the left of centre. The ball fell awkwardly to Duffy but his body shape was excellent as he wrapped his boot around it and fired a low finish into the left corner of the net. A great goal.

But the Stags were stunned on 19 minutes. Tom Shaw crossed from the right and it was curling away from Marriott but the Stags keeper should still surely have come for it in the six yard box. Instead he stayed on his line and defender Wylde headed home unchallenged. Where on earth were Foster and Garner?

A minute later, Christie charged down a clearance from Foster and would have been through on goal for a one-on-one, but the ref decided he had used his hands.

On 21 minutes, the Stags restored their lead. Duffy headed the ball perfectly into the path of Jon Shaw, who smashed home a right foot volley from around 14 yards.

On 22 minutes, Christie laid a ball off to Tom Shaw, who fired a volley straight at Marriott. Marriott displayed a lack on confidence when he failed to come for another ball into his six yard box on 24 minutes. This was reminiscent of the York game, where he did a similar thing after the first goal conceded there when he stayed on his line.

The Stags nearly doubled the lead on 33 minutes in bizarre fashion.
Wylde played a backpass to his keeper, but the keeper was out of position, and had to back-track quickly and just got the ball off the line to prevent an own goal. The keeper was in the action again on 37 minutes when he came 10 yards outside his box to head a clearance away.

Perry headed a Mills corner over on 39 minutes. A great tackle by Foster on 41 minutes, and then the Stags got the ball straight to the other end to extend the lead. Challinor's long throw was flicked on by Duffy into the path of left back Andy Nicholas who hammered a superb left footed shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net from just inside the box. It was a similar goal to the first goal.

Marriott made a good save on 43 minutes diving to his left to save from Pritchard's shot. This was good for Marriott to restore his confidence.

A great first half for Mansfield, who thoroughly deserved the two goal lead.

Half time 1-3

On 47 minutes, Marriott had to save low down, by his right post from Christie's low shot on the turn.

But on 49 minutes, it was 3-2. Christie flicked the ball to sub Murdock who jinked into the area and fired past Marriott into the bottom left corner of the net. More bad defending.

On 50 minutes, Marriott had to tip around the post a shot from Tom

Sturrock replaced Perry on 55 minutes.

On 57 minutes, Sturrock did well to turn and get in a good cross from the right, and Tamworth defender Smith chested the ball back to his keeper.

Brough then replaced Nix on 61 minutes.

It was nearly a brilliant fourth goal for the Stags on 71 minutes. A fine run by Mills, who squared for Challinor, who delightfully cushioned the pass on his chest, barged his way past defender Michael Briscoe, got into the box, and rolled a left footed shot across the keeper and inches wide of the right post. It was agonisingly close and so unluckly for Challinor as he deserved a goal for his high-octane display.

On 75 minutes, Challinor's ball through for Brough, who headed it down to Jon Shaw. Shaw's shot was on target but blocked by the keeper.

On 82, Christie turned in the box, and his shot was saved by Marriott. A minute later and hearts were in mouths as Marriott pulled off a wonder save to preserve the lead. Sub Neil MacKenzie floated a free kick from the left into the box and Wylde met it with a fine header that was heading for the top left corner of the net, before Marriott pushed it at full stretch away for a corner. Moments later and hearts were in mouths again as MacKenzie's corner found Wylde again and he rose above the Stags defence to send a header against the bar. A lucky moment for the Stags and more suspect defending in their own box.

But there was joy for Mansfield on 87 as they sealed the win. A brilliant run from Challinor from his own half. As he moved forward he released the ball to Sturrock. At that moment he was clattered by a defender. The referee was about to blow for a foul but seeing that Sturrock had the ball he played advantge. Sturrock cut inside his defender, and planted a beautful left foot shot across the keeper from the edge of the box and inside the left post. Another great goal.

That sealed the game and had the Stags fans literally bouncing up and down with joy behind the goal. No more scares as the Stags comfortably held on. A great away day for Mansfield.

Man of the Match: Jon Challinor

Report by: Martin Shaw at The Lamb

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Fantastic save that was crucial at 3-2. Should have come for the cross through for the first goal.
Silk 7 Some solid challenges. Good game.
Garner 6 Defending against headers in the six yard box wasn't great.
Foster 7 Two great challenges, though defending against headers in the six yard box wasn't great
Nicholas 7 Fine goal and defended well.
Challinor 9 Outstanding all-action display. So unlucky not to score, and superbly set up Sturrock for the 4th.
Mills 7 Good game.
Nix 7 Did well in midfield.
Perry 6 Did ok and won some good headers, but not playing as he was in early season.
Duffy 8 Great body shape for the first goal. Won lots of headers.
Shaw 7 Fine finish for the 2nd goal. Contributed well.
Sub Line Up:
Sturrock (for Perry, 55) 7 Great finish for the 4th goal.
Brough (for Nix, 61) 7 Some calm assurance in midfield.
Briscoe (for Challinor, 90) -
Subs Not Used: Collett, Williams.
Opposition Line Up:
Alcock, Briscoe, Chris Smith, Wylde, Blackwood, Lake-Gaskin, Shaw (MacKenzie 77), Jay Smith (Murdock 46), Pritchard, Sheridan (Tait 70), Christie. Subs Not Used: Fankem, Hurren.
Jake Collin (Merseyside) 7 Great use of advantage for the 4th goal. Did well.

Season 0910 Reports