{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 10/11 Stagsnet Match Report
FA Trophy Round 2
Mansfield Town  
4 - 2
 Newport County
Connor 12, 22, Parker 38, Briscoe 84.
 Silk OG 58, Matthews 80.
Attendance: 1137 (121 from Newport)
Date: 15 January 2011

Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill


Mansfield Town progressed to Round 3 of the FA Trophy and one step nearer to Wembley with a 4-2 win over Conference high flyers Newport County at Field Mill. The Stags led 3-0 at the break and were clinical in front of goal converting three of the four chances created with two goals from Connor and one from Parker. Newport clawed their way back into the game with a lucky deflection off Gary Silk and then a goal from a corner from Robbie Matthews on 80 minutes to set the nerves jangling, but Louis Briscoe scored another cracker with a superb low strike to seal the tie on 84 minutes. Stags fans will be eagerly awaiting the cup draw on Monday morning. The Stags league and cup games have now produced over 100 goals this season.

The game was played in a strong wind. The Stags were forced into several changes from the Fleetwood debacle. Neil Collett came in as keeper in place of Pilkington who was not given permission to play by Luton. Stonehouse came in at left back, with Sandwith moving to central defence, as Naylor and Day were injured. Thompson replaced Nix in central midfield, Briscoe came in for Williams on the left, and Connor replaced the suspended Duffy up front. The Stags had registered goalkeeping coach Chris Adamson, but he was ill and thus there was no keeper on the bench. There were no fit defenders for the bench either. Newport had an injury crisis of their own, plus they were in some turmoil with boss Dean Holdsworth having deserted for them for that massive club Aldershot Town this week.

Newport started the stronger, and on 6 minutes Connor had to head off the line from a corner. Newport had claims for a penalty on 8 minutes when Foley appeared to be pulled back in the box, but the referee waved away appeals.

The Stags had barely been in Newport’s half but took the lead on 12 minutes with a lovely goal. Murray did well to win the ball on the halfway line and fed a great ball to Parker who ran in on goal on the left. Parker’s shot was deflected onto the right post by the keeper, but it rebounded out to Connor who tapped it into the empty net inside the six yard box.

Newport continued to dominate possession and on 15 minutes Collett had to punch clear from a free kick.

The Stags had a chance to double the lead on 17 minutes. Briscoe played a ball out to the right for Cain, who put in a great cross for Connor, but uncharacteristically Connor completely missed his header in front of goal. A minute later, Murray tried a shot from the edge of the box, which Connor tried to deflect goalwards but could only deflect wide, though the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.

It was 2-0 on 22 minutes. Briscoe got the ball out to Parker on the right. Parker put in a fine low cross-shot which Connor turned into the net from 3 yards like a true predator.

Parker was having a fine game, in contrast to being disgraced when sent off at Newport earlier in the season, and it seemed that the Newport players were trying to rile him, but he was reacting in the best way possible.

On 25 minutes, a Newport free kick from the left was well saved by Collett low at his right post.

A double chance for Newport on 35 minutes. Rose sent in a curling shot from the edge of the box which was deflected over. And from the resulting corner, Foley somehow lofted a shot over the bar from 3 yards when it seemed easier to score.

The Stags made it 3-0 on 38 minutes. Collett’s long goal kick was well headed on by Connor into the path of Parker who was clean through 1-on-1 with the keeper and Parker buried his low shot with the outside of his right boot into the bottom left corner.

Half time 3-0

The Stags hadn’t had much of the ball in the first half, but when we did have it going forward, we used it brilliantly. And the players showed battling qualities, being tigerish in the tackle with Murray, Stonehouse and Parker particularly impressive.

It should have been 4-0 on 46 minutes. Connor played a lovely ball forward to Parker who was again clean through on the left, but this time he tried to chip the keeper and missed by a long way

On 50 minutes, a Newport corner from the right saw a free header for Todd who headed over. Collett was in no-mans land.

A cracking move for the Stags on 53 minutes as Connor played Cain in on the right wing and Cain’s cross was deflected behind for a corner.

Newport pulled a goal back on 58 minutes. Morgan sent in a shot from the edge of the box that was going wide but hit Silk’s head and deflected into the top left corner. It was very bad luck for the Stags.

On 60 minutes, Collett made a mess of a free kick, dropping it and was rescued by his defence who cleared. On 62 minutes, Sandwith headed a cross away to the edge of the box, where Foley was off balance and shot well over.

The Stags were on the attack on 65 minutes as Parker crossed from the left, it came to Briscoe, the ball bounced up and hit a hand. There were shouts for penalty but it was Briscoe’s hand that it hit and the free kick was awarded the other way. A minute later, Morgan cut inside from the left and his low shot was well held by Collett. On 73 minutes, Collett dropped another cross though this was more difficult than the earlier one. Then Foster headed away like a trojan warrier.

It was back to 3-2 on 80 minutes. A corner found its way to the left byeline and was driven across the goal and was headed in by Robbie Matthews from about a yard.

It was nervy now.

On 82 minutes, the Stags were within a whisker of re-establishing the two goal lead. Cain made a great run down the right and his cross was perfect for Connor at the far post who sent a thumping header downwards but keeper Glyn Thompson somehow cleared it with his legs. It would have been a great goal.

But on 84 minutes, Briscoe brought the house down with a brilliant fourth goal. Briscoe, on the left, dribbled the ball square across the front of the box, looking for an opportunity to shoot, and suddenly he pulled the trigger and buried the ball into the bottom right corner. There were great celebrations underneath the scoreboard.

Nix immediately replaced Connor .

Two minutes into stoppage time, a Newport free kick was met by Todd who headed it down and as it bounced up towards the roof of the net, Collett tipped it over with his best save of the match. Medley replaced then Parker who left the pitch to a standing ovation. In the 4th minute of stoppage time, Rose’s free kick from the edge of the box was inches past the right post, as Collett never moved.

The final whistle was greeted by a great ovation from the home fans, appreciative of a hugely improved performance. With so few BSP sides remaining in the last 16, the Stags now have a real chance of reaching Wembley. Please just let us avoid Luton (until the final).

Man of the Match: Adam Murray

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Line Up:
Collett 6 Dropped a couple of crosses and did not inspire confidence. But did pull off a couple of good saves including a great reflex save tipping over the bar. No chance with the two goals.
Silk 7 Good game, some good challenges.
Foster 7 Solid.
Sandwith 7 Won lots of headers and looked much more comfortable than at left back. Did not give the ball away at all, and was not beaten by attackers, which had been a criticism in recent games.
Stonehouse 7.5 Fine game at left back, some crunching challenges, and must keep his place.
Cain 7 Some great runs and cracking crosses. Looks in good form.
Murray 8 Very good marshalling the midfield. Excellent tackle and pass to set up the first goal typified his performance.
Thompson 6 Did ok. Did get caught a few times.
Briscoe 7 Outstanding goal clinched the game. Got stuck with some good tackles.
Connor 8 Two goals and so unlucky not to complete hat-trick with thumping that the keeper somehow kept out.
Parker 8 Very lively, his best game in a Stags shirt. Goal finish for his goal and unlucky with his shot tipped onto the post for the first goal. Did well throughout.
Sub Line Up:
Nix (for Connor, 85) -
Medley (for Parker, 90+3) -
Subs Not Used: Williams, Smith, Mitchley.
Opposition Line Up:
Glyn Thompson; Bignot, Fowler, Todd, McDonald (Hughes, 46); Rose, Odhiambo (Rogers, 46), Morgan (Knights, 79), Foley; Reid, Matthews.
Subs not used: Garner, Leary.
Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire) 7 Handled the game well.

Season 10/11 Reports