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Season 10/11 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
3 - 2
Murray 75, 89, Briscoe 90+4.
 Mulligan 19, 40
Attendance: 1749 (87 from Gateshead)
Date: 25 April 2011

by Jake Allsop at Field Mill

Mansfield made 4 changes to the side that lost to AFC Wimbledon on Good Friday. Alan Marriott returned in goal in place of Neil Collett. The defence remained unchanged and Louis Briscoe came back in after being rested for winger Ashley Cain. Istead came in for Luke Medley and Niall O’Rafferty came in for the injured Paul Connor.

The game started slowly and the opening goal came on the 20th minute mark, ex Stag Paul Heckingbottom launched a long throw into the box towards the near post and Alan Marriott let the ball slip through his hands before Gateshead striker Gary Mulligan easily headed the ball into the goal to put the Heed 1-0 up.

The second Gateshead goal came from a corner conceded by Stevie Foster. The corner came from the left hand side and floated to the far post where Gary Mulligan was on hand to score his second header of the game, terrible defending again. Do we actually practise attacking and defending set pieces in training?

Just before half time Niall O’Rafferty was taken off for Ashley Cain, who came on into the midfield and Louis Briscoe went upfront as the lone striker with Adam Murray just behind him. There was still time for one Stags chance in the first half, a free kick from 30 yards taken by player of the season Louis Briscoe, which was fired hard and low but straight into the goalkeepers hands.

And for the umpteenth Mansfield went in to the half time break 2-0 goals down and with everything to do in the second half.

Half time – Mansfield 0-2 Gateshead

The second half took 25 minutes to get going, with the Stags bringing assistant manager Paul Hall on for winger Adam Smith with 20 minutes of the game to go. 5 minutes later and the Stags were back into the game, Briscoe played a perfect ball in behind the Gateshead centre halves for Adam Murray to go one on one with the goalkeeper and he waited before slotting the ball low to the keeper's left.

2 minutes from time Murray played the ball to substitute Paul Hall who headed the ball back down beautifully to Adam Murray who cut inside onto his left foot and calmly fired the ball into the top corner of the goal to bring the Stags level.

Gateshead had a chance to steal the 3 points in stoppage time but Craig Nelthorpe’s powerful left footed strike was pushed away by Alan Marriott.

Then on 94 minutes Murray played a delightful pass into the Gateshead box for Louis Briscoe to go round the Gateshead keeper and roll the ball into the back of the net for his 19th goal of the season before the end of season pitch invasion rushed on to celebrate with the players.

So another terrific comeback by Mansfield, this result can only be a good thing and build some confidence for next Saturday at Bath. Hopefully we pick up another 3 points and put in a good performance before the eagerly anticipated visit to Wembley for the first time in 24 years.

Full Time – Mansfield 3-2 Gateshead

Man of the match – Adam Murray

Report by: Jake Allsop at Field Mill

Line Up:
Alan Marriott 6 – Admitted to making 2 mistakes for both Gateshead goals, good to see him back in the side though with some good saves.
Gary Silk 6 – Defended ok
Mark Preece 6 – Did ok
Steve Foster 6– Did well
Dan Spence 7 - Got forward well, one great ball into the box and defended well. Need to get him signed up for next season ASAP!
Louis Briscoe 7 - Quiet until he popped up with the winner.
Steven Istead 6 - Worked hard in the midfield.
Tyrone Thompson 6 – One terrible shot went high and wide, did ok in midfield though, some strong tackles.
Adam Smith 6 – Looked lively in the first half, subbed off in the second half.
Adam Murray 9 – Quality performance from the skipper, scored 2 goals and created the 3rd.
Niall O’Rafferty 4 – Terrible, rightly substituted before the break.
Sub Line Up:
Ashley Cain (For Niall O’Rafferty, 42 mins) – 5
Paul Hall (For Adam Smith, 70 mins) 7 – Some nice passes, every touch cheered by the fans and was involved with Murray’s second goal.
Subs not used: Collett, Naylor, Nix.
Opposition Line Up:
Farman, Baxter, Curtis (Jones 54), Clark, Heckingbottom, Brittain, Turnbull, Ferrell, Nelthorpe, Fisher (Gillies 85), Mulligan (Offiong 83). Subs Not Used: Deasy, Rundle.
Richard Wigglesworth (South Yorkshire)

Season 10/11 Reports