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Season 10/11 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
0 - 4
 Mansfield Town
 Connor 11, Adam Smith 18, Parker 81, 90+3 pen
Attendance: 1261 (351 from Mansfield)
Date: 30 August 2010


Martin Shaw at Moss Lane

Magnificent Mansfield surged to the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier with a tremendous 4-0 win at Altrincham on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon. Fine goals from Paul Connor and Adam Smith in the opening 18 minutes effectively sealed the contest. The Stags could have been further ahead at the break after Kiegan Parker missed an absolute sitter and other chances went begging. Altrincham briefly threatened a comeback early in the second half but the Stags sealed it with a Parker tap-in after a good cross from sub Luke Medley, and then Parker scored another penalty in stoppage time after he showed brilliant trickery in the box to earn the spot-kick.

The Stags were unchanged from the side that beat Cambridge 48 hours earlier. Altrincham came into the game with just one point from 5 games and with confidence at a low ebb.

The Stags started brightly and after 6 minutes Connor clipped a ball forward to Parker who chipped a shot a yard wide, but Parker had already been flagged offside. On 9 minutes, a half-chance for Altrincham as Crowell's cross from the left was booted over the bar and out of the ground.

The Stags were ahead on 11 minutes. Silk and Mills combined from the centre circle to set Adam Smith away down the left. He got to the byeline and put in a great left-footed cross, which Connor met with a precision header from around the penalty spot and it went in off the left post. It was a magnificent header - had it not got in off the post, the keeper would surely have got to it.

On 14 minutes, a great run by Briscoe down the right, and his powerful cross was held by the keeper.

It was already clear that Altrincham lacked quality, and the Stags added a second goal on 18 minutes. Adam Smith got the ball on the left about 27 yards out. He cut inside, and, unchallened, fired a powerful low piledriver from about 24 yards just inside the left post. It was a great shot, though possibly the keeper should have done better with it.

A minute later, Briscoe put in a great ball from the right and Connor got in front of his marker to send a header a foot over the bar.

On 21 minutes, a rare chance for Altrincham as Crowell's header from the left hand side was headed off the line by Mills. On 23 minutes, Briscoe won the ball in his own half, made a good run, played a one-two with Connor, but then sent a weak shot well wide. On 28 minutes, an Altrincham free kick was headed well wide by Holsgrove. Then on 29 minutes, an Altrincham corner was spectacularly volleyed wide from the edge of the box by Crowell.

On 32 minutes, Connor sent in a powerful shot from the right which the keeper could only parry away. The ball came back to Connor who crossed from the right but Adam Smith couldn't quite get to it in the six yard box, and then it came out to Briscoe who turned and was just about to cross back in when the referee stopped play due to a head injury for a home defender. When play restarted the Stags had to play it out for a goalkick - it was hardly fair that the Stags had been in a dangerous position when play was stopped, yet play effectively restarted with a goalkick.

On 36 minutes, excellent play down the left by Sandwith who crossed on to the head of Parker who couldn't miss from 4 yards, completely unmarked in the centre of the goal, but somehow he put it high and wide. A real sitter missed. But where was the Altrincham defence which had been a complete shambles in the first half.

Half time 0-2

A superb first half for Mansfield, totally dominant - excellent going forward and in little trouble at the back.

Altrincham nearly pulled a goal back in the opening minute of the second half. It was poor defending from the Stags as a cross was slid in from the left and Reeves fired wide of the left post. On 48 minutes, Crowell's shot from 25 yards was held by Marriott above his head. A minute later, Joseph headed just wide from a corner. Alty had clearly had a flea in their ear at half time from grumpy Heathcote, but the Stags were half asleep. Adam Smith went on a great run on 51 minutes and with a stepover made space for a shot but it was terrible and well wide.

There was a worrying moment on 55 minutes as Marriott was out of his area to clear but he didn't reach the halfway line and an Altrincham player attempted a 50 yard shot into the empty net but failed to get any sort of power on it. On 57 minutes, Mills' free kick was headed well over by Chris Smith.

The Stags needed to change it as Altrincham were looking for a way back. Medley and Nix replaced Briscoe and Adam Smith on 63 minutes. On 67 minutes, Mills found Chris Smith with another free kick and Smith sent a looping header well over. On 69 minutes, Connor got down the right and tried to cross for an unmarked Nix in the middle but couldn't reach him. The ball came back to Connor, whose left footed shot was straight at the keeper from a tight angle. Moments later, Nix tried a shot from the halfway line but the keeper caught it after having to backpeddle. The substitutions had done the trick and the Stags were now back in command, and on 75 minutes, Medley made a good run down the left and went down in the box. My brother was better positioned than me, behind the goal, and assured me it was a cast-iron penalty.

Duffy replaced Connor on 76 minutes. Marriott had to make a brilliant save on 77 minutes, tipping over a terrific shot from McCarthy from the edge of the box. On 78 minutes, another fine Medley run and cross to Duffy, but Duffy scuffed his shot horribly.

But it was 3-0 on 81 minutes. Another good run by Medley, down the left and he crossed low across goal for Parker to tap into the empty net at the far post on the right. Parker couldn't miss a second sitter. It had similarities to the third goal at Kidderminster.

It was a question of how many the Stags could score now. On 85 minutes, a Mills corner was headed over by Chris Smith - his third header over the bar from Mills crosses. On 89 minutes, Silk tried a Kenny Dalgliesh-type effort, curling a left foot shot wide from the right side.

But the Stags were to deservedly make it four in stoppage time. Parker cheekily backheeled the ball through the legs of Danylyk on the byeline inside the box on the right, and then headed towards goal along the byeline. Danylyk brought Parker down for a clear penalty. There then followed an ugly disagreement between Parker and Duffy as to who should take the penalty, similar to Clare and Perry squabling against Barrow at Field Mill last season. Parker took the kick and confidently scored, sending the keeper the wrong way as he fired it down the left of the goal.

So a superb win for Mansfield to take us top. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the Match: Adam Smith

Report by: Martin Shaw at Moss Lane

Line Up:
Marriott 8 Excellent handling throughout and one terrific save in the second half.
Silk 8 Another fine game, defended well and good going forward.
Foster 7 Nearly caught out once, but otherwise defended well.
Chris Smith 8 Very good defending. Also had several headers at goal but couldn't get any on target.
Sandwith 7 Looks a classy defender. Great cross for the sitter that Parker missed.
Briscoe 8 Some fine runs in the first half.
Thompson 8 Dominated the midfield with Mills.
Mills 7 Dominant performance, though his distribution let him down on occasion.
Adam Smith 8 Great cross for Connor's goal, then a cracking goal himself.
Parker 7 Two goals and great trickery to earn the penalty for the second goal.
Connor 8 Led the line superbly. Brilliant header for the first goal.
Sub Line Up:
Medley (for Briscoe, 63) 8 Some great runs terrorised the Alty defence who couldn't handle him.
Nix (for Adam Smith, 63) 6 Did ok.
Duffy (for Connor, 76) -
Subs Not Used: Collett, Naylor.
Opposition Line Up:
Coburn, Smith, Joseph, Williams, Densmore, Crowell, Holmes (Danylyk 70), Brown, Clee (Twiss 57), Holsgrove (McCarthy 32), Reeves. Subs Not Used: Coates, Welch.
Peter Wright (Merseyside) 7 Decent game.

Season 10/11 Reports