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Season 10/11 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
0 - 2
 Mansfield Town
 Cain 65, Briscoe 68
Attendance: 1162 (378 from Mansfield)
Date: 5 March 2011


Martin Shaw at The Lamb Ground

Mansfield Town gained real momentum going into the FA Trophy replay next Tuesday with a solid and thoroughly deserved win at Tamworth on Saturday. The Stags had much the better of the first half but were unable to convert chances. The first 20 minutes of the second half was as dull as anything seen this season, but the Stags burst to life with 2 goals in three minutes midway through the half as Ashley Cain scored his first ever goal tapping home from Louis Moult's outstanding cross, and then Louis Briscoe scored a fine solo goal. Tamworth finally showed some ambition after going two behind and brought on former Stags striker Jason Bradley to join Kyle Perry up front and caused the Stags a few problems

Mansfield made one change from the side that drew at Chasetown as Dan Spence came in for Paul Stonehouse at left back. Stonehouse had gone off with a swelling the size of a golf ball on the side of his head on Tuesday, though was fit for today and did not seem best pleased to miss out. Another player to miss out was Adam Smith following the newspaper article in midweek and he had to settle for a place on the bench. Tamworth included former Stags striker Kyle Perry as a lone striker while Neil MacKenzie and Jason Bradley were on the bench.

The Stags started well, harrying Tamworth all the time and not allowing them to get into the game. On 11 minutes, Briscoe had a clear sight of goal on the edge of the box but dallied too long. On 18 minutes, Tamworth midfielder Daniel Bradley sold Naylor a dummy on the left touchline and cut inside but fired well over from distance. A good chance for Mansfield on 21 minutes as Moult had the ball and Connor was in space in front of him but Moult’s ball was over-hit and Connor had to overstretch to poke the ball goalwards forcing the keeper to spread himself and make a good save. Two minutes later, Moult had a candidate for the worst shot of the season when his effort from level with the penalty area on the left hand side went more or less along the edge of the penalty area and out for a throw on the far side.

A fine run from Cain on 32 minutes and the ball eventually found Briscoe but he was crowded out before he could shoot. On 34 minutes, Briscoe had a left footed shot from the left which was deflected for a corner and a minute later, his powerful cross from the right was across the 6 yard box and missed everybody. On 39 minutes, Murray took a quick free kick to Cain whose cross came off a defender and behind for a corner. The resulting corner by Cain was headed down by Briscoe and Moult fired over from a difficult position with his back to goal.

There was a really nasty challenge from Richard Tate on Spence after 40 minutes which earned the Tamworth player a yellow card. For a few minutes following that, Spence was booed by a small section of home fans for having the audacity to nearly have his leg broken. On 42 minutes, Spence broke into the box and went down but it was no penalty and the ball fell to Briscoe who shanked a shot wide of the right post.

The Stags had the ball in the net on 45 minutes as Moult found Connor in the box but Connor was offside as he laid the ball off to Briscoe who fired low into the net.

Half time 0-0

At half time, the Stags had dominated enough to be well in front but couldn’t find the killer touch. Tamworth fans bemoaned to us that their manager seemed more bothered about not losing with a negative formation.

On 47 minutes, a great move for the Stags as Briscoe did well on the left, the ball was eventually played out to the right and back into the middle for Murray whose attempted shot was blocked. A great run down the left by Connor on 52 minutes and a fine cross into Briscoe who tried to tee up Moult but lost the ball.

A rare Tamworth chance on 55 minutes as a Tamworth corner came off Briscoe’s head into the grateful arms of Grof. Super play by Briscoe on 63 minutes with a ball over the top to Moult but the ball just bounced up awkwardly for Moult and he couldn’t get a shot away.

It was 1-0 to the Stags on 65 minutes as Moult put in a perfect cross from the left near the corner flag which sailed over Connor and Cain met it first time to slide into the net from 4 yards. It was Cain’s first ever goal. (Audio: Cain makes it 1-0).

The Stags had a stroke of luck on 67 minutes as a Tamworth attack broke down when the ball hit the hapless ref, Cain picked it up, made a great run of 60 yards and laid off to Moult who curled a shot just wide of the right post.

It was 2-0 on 68 minutes. Briscoe got the ball 30 yards from goal and made a diagonal run to the left before placing an accurate shot with his left foot across the goalkeeper and just inside the right post. A great solo goal by Briscoe. (Audio: Louis Briscoe makes it 2-0).

Tamworth brought on former Stags battering ram Jason Bradley to join Kyle Perry up front and for the first time in the game started to cause the Stags defence a few problems. There was a scramble in the Stags box on 73 minutes as the ball bounced around but eventually went out for a corner. On 80 minutes, Grof had to tip over a cross which was heading for the top corner of the net.

Mitchley replaced Moult on 81 minutes. On 83 minutes, a Tamworth free kick from the left was headed wide by Perry. Moments later Mitchley played a great ball through for Conner but Connor couldn’t control it as it hit the back of his legs.

Grof got lucky on 84 minutes as he flapped at a high cross. (Audio: David Grof gives Stags fans the jellywobbles).

On 87 minutes, Jay Smith shot towards the roof of the net and Grof did well to claw it over the bar.

So a comfortable win for the Stags with a very solid display. And this should create some important momentum going into the crucial cup replay against Chasetown on Tuesday night. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Gary Silk

Report by: Martin Shaw at The Lamb

Line Up:
Grof 6 One good save and one good catch, but a couple of flaps gave fans the jelly wobbles.
Silk 8 Very good game.
Naylor 7 Handled Kyle Perry well.
Sandwith 6.5 Did well.
Spence 7 Good solid game. Shouldn't have been dropped after good performance at Alfreton.
Cain 5.5 Able to celebrate his first ever goal when he was in the right place at the right time. One good corner, but generally crossing let him down.
Murray 7 Distribution didn't reach heights of the Barrow game, but got stuck in effectively.
Thompson 7 Good battling display as he and Murray nullified the threat of Jay Smith. One outstanding block.
Briscoe 7 Super goal and most things going forward involved him.
Connor 6 One good cross from the left, but not quite his day today.
Moult 6.5 Superb cross for Cain's goal.
Sub Line Up:
Mitchley (for Moult, 81) - One great ball to set Cain away, but also a couple of poor balls.
Subs Not Used: Marriott, Foster, Nix, Smith.
Opposition Line Up:
Liam Mitchell, Tait, Courtney, Wylde, Barrow, Sheridan (Kamara 75), Daniel Bradley, Smith, Wilkinson (Jason Bradley 68), Thomas, Perry. Subs Not Used: Aaron Mitchell, MacKenzie, Christie.
Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire) 5 Very poor game. Got many decisions wrong.

Season 10/11 Reports