{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 10/11 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
York City  
2 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Reed 59, 69.
 Naylor 28.
Attendance: 2,261 (128 from Mansfield)
Date: 15 March 2011

by Ben Superstag

Youngster Niall O'Rafferty was thrown into the first team fold to make his debut against York City at Bootham Crescent, a place where the home side had only conceded 8 goals all season prior to the nights match, he was partenered upfront with Sundays goal hero Danny Mitchley as Duncan Russell made 6 changes to the side that gave us our very slender advantage in the FA Trophy tie.

Gary Silk, Kevin Sandwith, Kyle Nix, Tyrone Thompson, Louis Briscoe & Paul Connor were all rested with Paul Stonehouse, Steve Foster, Adam Murray, Stevie Istead, Adam Smith & O'Rafferty selected to start the game in a flat 4-4-2 formation.

From Kick-Off, York looked to press towards the Mansfield goal and after some neat play, won themselves a Free-Kick at the edge of the area after a Foster foul. The resulting Free-Kick was palmed away to the side of Grof's right post and Stags were able to clear. 2 minutes later, Stags won a Free-Kick of their own deep in the York half, however Ashley Cain was unable to deliver a decent cross and the ball sailed high and wide for a goal kick. The early play belonged to the Stags, who were unlucky not to take the lead after Ashley Cain was denied by Ingham in the goal, a sublime through ball from the feet of Danny Mitchley enabled Cain to burst into the box but Ingham was equal to the winger.

Stags continued with the pressure and Ingham was again called into action when he was forced to tip a long-range Dan Spence shot onto the crossbar. We were well on top and the signs were encouraging.
Grof again saved low to his right as York had a rare effort on goal in the first half, it was a decent save but this is where my problem lies with Grof, rather than hold onto the ball, he seems to be in the habit of tipping it away from himself. I noticed this happened several times in the warm up pre-match, hopefully he can remedy this, afterall he has got the best tutor in the lower leagues in Alan Marriott to learn from!

On the half hour, joy for a youngster who has been a rock at the heart of our defence in recent weeks. Adam Murray's free-kick into the box was met by the powerful head of Tom Naylor and York keeper Ingham could only palm the ball into the back of the net. The rest of the half went by largely uneventfully with only a few efforts on goal registered.

HT York 0-1 Stags

A half to forget, because we blew it. York came out for the 2nd half looking hungry and they clearly wanted to keep the run of games unbeaten at home going. Forgive me if the details of the 2nd half are rather sketchy, because I was in the away end behind the goal that Stags were attacking, so my view was obstructed by atleast 50 yards of grass.

We were doing a good job of containing the home side, with Naylor doing brilliantly against the man-mountain Michael Rankine, winning countless headers against the front man. The key moment in the match came in the 55th minute, when Gary Mills replaced Danny Racchi with Jamie Reed who turned the tie on its head.
On 59 minutes, Reed made sure he was noticed by capitalising on a defensive howler from experience centre half Steve Foster. Rankine looped a hopeful ball into the box, which should've been dealt with easily, but a slip from Foster allowed Reed to gather the ball square to the centre spot and smash the ball underneath the diving Grof. Heartbreaking for the defence considering how well they'd played.

York were well on top and were clearly on the crest of a wave after the goal, attack after attack rained in but it was Stags who were to have the next chance in the 65th minute. Adam Murray collected the ball on the edge of the box but he could only find the terrace behind the goal. Just 4 mintutes later, it was that man Reed again, this time on the end of a massive slice of fortune for York. Rankine unleashed a shot just outside of the 18 yard box which took a deflection, looped over the head of Grof, propelled off the face of the bar and fell to the feet of Reed, 5 yards out who slotted home to the right of the goal.

York seemed content with a 1 goal advantage which gave us a route back into the game, Istead broke from midfield and was flying towards the area and rather than let fly, he opted to try and play Paul Connor into the box but he pass was wayward and rolled harmlessly into touch.

Stags continued to force York back into their own half with 5 minutes left on the clock but just couldn't break down the strong back unit of the minster men. A cross into the box from Dan Spence ping-ponged around in the penalty area until Louis Briscoe met the ball with a flying overhead kick, which is probably still in orbit. Adam Smith had a tame shot saved by Ingham before the referee brought the game to a close.

So a game of two halves which we were unfortunate not to get anything from in summary. Had lady luck shined our way we could've been back in the top half of the table, but with key players rested it was a spirited performance, one in which the away fans applauded the team off of the field. If ever you were saving a performance Stags, then please please please show us what you're made of on Saturday. The nation is behind you (because everybody hates Luton!!)

MOTM: Tom Naylor

Report by: by Ben Superstag

Line Up:
Grof 7 - Couldn't do anything about the goals, some decent saves.
Spence 6 - Distribution was poor, showed a good turn of pace in defence.
Foster 6 - Unfortunate with the slip, however it cost us a goal.
Naylor 8 - Is starting to look like an experienced pro, dealt with Rankine superbly and topped it off with a goal.
Stonehouse 6 - Quiet game.
Cain 7 - Lively throughout, needs to work on his end product.
Istead 5 - He's starting to look out of his depth at this level.
Murray 7 - Great cross for the goal, lead the midfield well.
Adam Smith 7 - Showed some neat touches, tried extremely hard to impress.
Mitchley 7 - Some nice touches, brilliant through ball for Cain, decent game.
O'Rafferty 5 - He must've been very nervous, because he didn't do anything of note. Was lucky to stay on the field after a wild two-footed lunge. Hopefully he'll learn from this game.
Sub Line Up:
Connor (for O'Rafferty, 56)
Briscoe (for Cain, 65)
Nix (for Mitchley, 75)
Subs Not Used: Marriott, Sandwith.
Opposition Line Up:
Ingham, Darville, Parslow, Chris Smith, Meredith, Jonathan Smith, Kerr, McDermott (Hatfield 75), Racchi (Reed 56), Rankine, Till (Boucaud 79). Subs Not Used: McGurk, Constantine.
P Bankes

Season 10/11 Reports