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Season 10/11 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
0 - 1
 Wilkinson 29
Attendance: 2516 (160 from Tamworth)
Date: 4 September 2010


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Mansfield Town were beaten 1-0 at home by Tamworth on Saturday, and lost top spot in the table. Tamworth came with a plan to thwart the Stags and it worked perfectly, testament to excellent tactical skills of their manager Gary Mills. Tamworth defended resolutely and the Stags created precious few chances during the game. Tamworth had the best player on the park in midfielder Jay Smith, and their goal came when his cross-field pass found from Danny Thomas who made an excellent break down the left and fed Ben Wilkinson to score. Wilkinson's father Howard Wilkinson was in the stand to watch the goal. The Stags best chance came when Kyle Perry committed a foul right on the edge of the box, it initially looked as though the referee had awarded a penalty and several Tamworth players had their heads in their hands, but eventually a free kick was awarded, which Keigan Parker chipped onto the bar. Parker also rounded the keeper in the first half and his shot was cleared off the line by a defender. The Stags started to run out of ideas in the second half, resorting to hoofing the ball from the back into the Tamworth box too frequently, and the closest they came was a Briscoe shot cleared off the line.

The Stags were unchanged from the side that won 4-0 at Altrincham. Tamworth included Kyle Perry, fresh from joining the Lambs from the Stags in the summer.

On a pleasant late summer afternoon, the Stags were hoping to attract a bigger than usual crowd on "Non-League Day", but despite being top of the league, only a meagre 2516 turned out, with 160 from the West Midlands.

On 11 minutes, Gary Mills corner was past the far post, Adam Smith pulled it back, but Steve Foster's shot was the shot of a centre half - over the bar and over the Quarry Lane Stand. On 19 minutes, Kyle Perry shot over from 20 yards for the Lambs. A good passage of play followed for the Stags, resulting in Connor's left foot shot blocked and Mills firing over the bar from distance. On 22 minutes, a free kick forward from Sandwith and Parker flicked a header goalwards, but it was saved low down. Jake Sheridan was wide for Tamworth on 25 minutes.

Tamworth were ahead on 29 minutes. A Stags set piece into the Tamworth box broke down and Jay Smith played a terrific crossfield pass to Danny Thomas. Thomas got past Briscoe and to the byeline where he pulled the ball back to Wilkinson, who took one touch and fired into the bottom left corner of the net. It was a fine goal on the counter-attack.

A good move between Briscoe and Parker on 35 minutes, Parker went past the keeper but was too tight on the touchline. There was half a chance to go down for a penalty, but the attack came to nothing.

The game exploded on 39 minutes as from Sandwith's ball forward from inside his own half, Perry needlessly fouled Chris Smith right on the edge of the box. The ref immediately blew up for a foul and pointed towards the penalty spot. Two Tamworth players put their heads in the hands, and I thought a penalty had been awarded. The ref booked Perry but then gave a free kick on the edge of the area. From the video, it probably was a fraction outside the box, but the referee's signals were very poor. Parker took the free kick and chipped it onto the bar. Very unlucky for the Stags.

A minute before the free kick, Perry appeared to be holding Foster in the box, but the ref saw nothing wrong, Foster didn't appeal and it didn't show up on the video.

In the first minute of stoppage time, a great ball with the outside of his right boot from Thompson from just inside his own half. Parker ran on to it and got their just before the keeper, taking it round him to the left, and he shot at goal left-footed from a tight angle, but two defenders got back to clear. Again a bit unlucky for Parker.

Half time 0-1

The Stags were unfortunate to be behind. An interesting tussle during the half between Perry and Foster with Perry following Foster everywhere when the Stags attacked from set pieces. It seemed unlikely that Perry would see out the 90 minutes, given the number of times the ref had spoken to him.

On 54 minutes, Mills corner was over everyone again. Connor picked up, played it back to Adam Smith, who turned inside then out and his shot was blocked. Eventually Mills played it across to Briscoe and his shot from 7 yards was blocked on the line by Kyle Perry. The Stags had plentiful corners and were on top but unable to find the net.

On 56 minutes a Tamworth cross in from the right was cleared over his own bar by Chris Smith. Shortly afterwards, Chris Smith blatantly kicked Perry when Perry was on the ground. Fortunately the ref was unsighted. Jake Sheridan shot just over for Tamworth on 62 minutes. The Stags were pushing forward heavily and leaving spaces at the back.

Medley replaced Briscoe, and Nix replaced Thompson on 66 minutes. Medley moved to the left side of midfield.

Medley was in the action on 69 minutes with a turn and shot but it was easy for the keeper. Straight to the other end and a good run by Thomas but his shot was at Marriott.

Silk broke into the box from the right on 74 minutes and just when you wanted him to be tripped, he stayed on his feet and found Parker whose shot was blocked. Adam Smith had a shot blocked on 76 minutes, then Sheridan shot wide for Tamworth on 79 minutes.

Duffy replaced Parker on 80 minutes, a surprising decision given Parker had seemed the player most likely to unlock Tamworth. Perry had chances to seal it for Tamworth on 83 and 84 minutes, first heading wide unmarked from a free kick and then firing wide in a 1-on-1.

The Stags nearly got a lucky break on 89 minutes when the Tamworth keeper cleared and it hit Duffy but it didn't rebound goalwards. The Stag nearly rescued a point in the fourth minute of stoppage time, as a header from Chris Smith was headed off the line. And so Tamworth hung on. A fine win for them and the Stags have failed to score against Tamworth in three attempts at Field Mill now.

The Stags now have tough games against Southport and Newport away before welcoming York to Field Mill. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the Match: Keigan Parker

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Good handling. No chance with the goal.
Silk 6 Defended ok.
Foster 6 Tough game handling Perry in the first half.
Chris Smith 6 Lucky not to be sent off when ref didn't spot him kick Perry. Also took some rough treatment. Didn't pick up Perry late on allowing a free header.
Sandwith 6 Did ok.
Briscoe 6 Shot cleared off the line, but didn't create enough. Allowed Thomas to get past him to set up the goal.
Mills 6 Set pieces weren't good enough.
Thompson 6 Not at his best after a good run of form. Just one great pass for Parker to run on to.
Adam Smith 6 A couple of good runs down the left, but didn't stretch Tamworth enough.
Parker 7 The only Stags player to show the guile to open up Tamworth.
Connor 6 Not given good enough service, but never had a sniff of goal.
Sub Line Up:
Medley (for Briscoe, 66) -
Nix (for Thompson, 66) -
Duffy (for Parker, 80) -
Subs Not Used: Collett, Naylor.
Opposition Line Up:
Atkins, Tait, Wylde, Marshall, Barrow, Rodman, Wilkinson, Smith, Bradley (Sheridan 9), Thomas, Perry. Subs Not Used: Mitchell, MacKenzie, Lake-Gaskin, Lyttle.
Scott Duncan (Tyne & Wear)

Season 10/11 Reports