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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
0 - 0
Attendance: 2,954 (93 from Tamworth)
Date: 13 March 2010

Martin Shaw at Field Mill


On a windy afternoon at Field Mill, Mansfield Town completely failed to fire, and frustrated their fans as they drew a blank against Tamworth. Visiting keeper Alcock didn't have a testing save to make all game and the closest the Stags came was Kyle Nix's 87th minute shot which was goalbound before being deflected wide. At the other end, the Stags generally defended well, though former Stag Iyseden Christie hit the post and Rodman made an incredible miss when he allowed Mills to make a heroic goalline clearance. So the Stags dropped two points, and by my reckoning, we will need 8 wins from the final 10 games of the season, as a minimum, to make the play-offs. A win over York on Tuesday is essential.

The match marked the attendance of several legends from the Freight Rover Trophy winning side at Wembley in 1987, and the renaming of the West Stand to the Ian Greaves stand.

The Stags made just one change from the side that beat Salisbury with Kyle Nix replacing the injured Challinor. Tamworth included just one of their five former Stags players: Iyseden Christie, with Tom Shaw and Neil MacKenzie on the bench, and Michael Blackwood and Gavin Hurren missing.

It was a sunny but very windy afternoon at Field Mill, and the wind had quite an effect on the game with neither keeper at the Quarry Lane end barely able to reach the halfway line.

The Stags had the wind behind them in the first half, but failed miserably to make any decent use of it. In a poor start to the game, there was no action in the first 17 minutes. Then Louise Briscoe cut inside on the right and his shot, which was going wide, was headed over his own bar by a defender. On 21 minutes, Williams' cross from the left was weakly headed at keeper Alcock by Duffy.

On 32 minutes, Tamworth came so close to opening the scoring. Pritchard slid a ball forward to Christie, whose good little run saw him into a shooting position on the right. From the edge of the box, he fired goalwards and Marriott just managed to touch it onto the right post and out for a corner. From the corner, Christie cut along the line and the ball eventually fell for Michael Briscoe who fired over the bar from just inside the box. Another close shave for Mansfield.

On 34 minutes, a half chance for the Stags as Duffy couldn't get any power on a header which went across the face of goal, just out of reach of Kyle Nix who couldn't get anything on it. The merest touch would probably have seen the ball in the net.

The Stags had a remarkable escape on 36 minutes. The Stags cleared the ball to the halfway line, where Jon Shaw inexplicably returned the ball backwards. Christie eventually picked it up and played the ball across the penalty area, and with Marriott completely out of position, it allowed Rodman a shot at a virtually empty net from about 8 yards, with just Mills on the line. Mills produced a heroic goalline clearance to prevent a certain goal and then clattered into the post. Surprisingly he was not congratulated by teammates for saving a certain goal.

On 41 minutes, Louis Briscoe finally came to life, with a great run down the right and a decent cross which Michael Briscoe headed over his own bar.

So stalemate at the break, and after a terrible opening half hour, the game had burst into life with Tamworth creating three really good chances and the Stags somehow surviving, while at the other end the Stags had failed to work the Tamworth keeper.

Half time 0-0

The Stags came close on 47 minutes. Williams' corner from the right, was headed back across goal by Brough, and Foster headed just past the left post. Two minutes later, Williams took a short corner to Mills whose powerful shot was on target, but Christie deflected it wide. From the resulting corner, Briscoe's cross was onto the top of the net.

Burgess replaced Williams on 56 minutes. Briscoe switched to the left, with Burgess on the right.

On 60 minutes, Burgess's free kick from the right was glanced just wide by Brough.

Kyle Perry then replaced Jon Shaw. On 68 minutes, Perry had a great chance when he seemed through in a one-on-one with the keeper on the left, but he was too slow allowing a Tamworth defender to get back and take the ball off his toe.

Sturrock replaced Duffy on 70 minutes. On 72 minutes, Burgess's free kick from the goalline on the right was flicked by a defender just out of reach of Brough inside the six yard box. A minute later, Tait pushed Perry in the face and it should have seen a red card, but Tait escaped with a yellow. Shortly afterwards, Burgess was booked for dissent. A farce that he received the same punishment as Tait. Brough was then lucky that Foster got him out of jail after he dallied on the ball as Tamworth attacked.

On 87 minutes, a Burgess corner found its way to Nix whose shot was goalbound, but deflected wide by Des Lyttle. It was so close. Seconds later, Nix had another effort following a corner, this time his shot was straight at the keeper from 19 yards.

In stoppage time, the Stags were awarded yet another corner, but left several defenders back. It was inexplicable with three points an absolute necessity.

At the end of the game, some Stags fans booed the team off in frustration. The Stags are now unbeaten in five. But this one felt very much like a loss; certainly a loss of two points.

Man of the Match: Michael Brough

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 6 Quiet afternoon. One good save to tip Christie's shot onto the post.
Silk 6 Defended ok.
Brough 7 Very solid in defence.
Foster 7 Good pairing with Brough at the back.
Nicholas 6 OK at the back. Disappointing going forward.
Briscoe 5 So disappointing after his recent displays. Had one great run in the first half, but offered little else.
Mills 6 Set-plays were poor, but did ok in open play.
Nix 5 Totally anonymous in the first half. A bit better in the second, and did at least have a decent shot on 87 minutes.
Williams 5 Poor game.
Duffy 5 Not at his best.
Shaw 5 Ineffective.
Sub Line Up:
Burgess (for Williams, 56) 7 Livened things up for the Stags and added a touch a quality. Some good set-plays.
Perry (for Shaw, 60) 5 Missed a great chance in a one-on-one when he allowed the defender to get back.
Sturrock (for Duffy, 70) - Couldn't really get into the game.
Subs Not Used: Collett, Somner.
Opposition Line Up:
Alcock, Lyttle, Wylde, Michael Briscoe (Mitchell 65), Tait, Sheridan, Jay Smith, Pritchard, Rodman, Murdock (Lake-Gaskin 68), Christie. Subs Not Used: Fankem, MacKenzie, Shaw.
Mark Heywood (Cheshire) 5 Surely should have sent Tait off for an assault on Kyle Perry.

Season 0910 Reports