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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
 AFC Telford United
Green 72.
 Sharp 86.
Attendance: 2481 (110 from Telford)
Date: 20 September 2011


by Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Field Mill

Mansfield Town ended the 5 game winning streak with a 1-1 draw at home to AFC Telford United tonight. The Stags had taken the lead on 72 minutes with another clinical finish from Matt Green but were pegged back on 86 minutes when Antony Howell lost possession in the middle of the park and Telford broke swiftly and Chris Sharp, son of former Everton striker Graeme Sharp, scored with a fine finish giving Alan Marriott no chance. It felt a bit like a defeat at the end of the game, but the Stags did still stretch the unbeaten run to 8 games and have only lost one of the first 10 games of the season. The Stags would have gone top with a victory, but are only a point behind leaders Luton. Telford were one of the best sides the Stags have played this season, and worked very hard for their point and passed the ball neatly as well as being quick on the break. The Stags will look to get back to winning ways on Saturday, at home to Kidderminster who are two points behind us.

Mansfield were unchanged yet again, and have made only one change in the last 8 games, that being an enforced change with Sutton for Riley. On the bench there was one change with Adam Smith replacing Paul Bolland.

There was no goalmouth action in the opening stages, and the Stags were slow to start, which was uncharacteristic based on recent performances. Telford on the other hand look assured and started well.

The first chance of the game was on 11 minutes when Green made space for a shot on the edge of the box which was on target but easy for the keeper. A minute later, Briscoe tried his luck from long range but shot well over. On 15 minutes, Telford’s first chance when Jon Adams fired a free kick over the bar.

On 25 minutes, great play by Meikle from the edge of the Stags penalty area to power forward and play in Dyer down the left hand side. Dyer showed good pace and strength to get into the penalty area, and went down, but it was a fine last-ditch challenge from defender Dan Preston, and not a penalty. On 27 minutes a ball forward from Phil Trainer into the Stags box found Andy Brown unmarked but the ball came off the top of his head and over the bar. On 29 minutes, a great ball from Murray found Briscoe, who went outside his defender and pulled the ball back for Meikle whose shot was blocked.

On 30 minutes Telford nearly took the lead as left back Sean Newton’s shot was deflected and it left Marriott wrong-footed as it whistled just past the left post, with Stags fans holding their breath. At the other end, a lucky escape for Telford keeper Young who came out and tried to clear but scuffed it and the ball was cleared. On 33 minutes, Telford came close again when Valentine played a good ball forward and Richard Davies shot just past the left post. Telford were having a very good spell and a fired cross from the left by Sharp just evaded Newton diving in the middle.

A good Stags move on 40 minutes and Green finally crossed the ball from the right to the left post where Dyer headed wide when he should have hit the target. Dyer was frustrated with himself, knowing he should have scored. It was a bad miss. Two minutes later, Dyer was in the action again as he appeared through on goal, the keeper came out, and the ball came to Green who chipped the ball goalwards but it was headed off the line.

Nil-nil at the break which was a fair reflection as Telford had the better of possession but both teams had chances to score.

Half time 0-0

A chance for Green on 49 minutes as he cut inside onto his left foot on the right and his low shot was saved by the keeper at the right post. Marriott made a fine save from Jon Adams on 50 minutes, palming the ball around the post, after it looked like the Stags should have been awarded a free-kick for handball.

On 57 minutes, Green nearly fed O’Neill in the box but great defending from Telford. On 58 minutes, Ritchie Sutton’s header at the far post from Kendrick’s corner was straight at the keeper. On 59 minutes, great play from Briscoe to wrestle the ball from a defender who was trying to shepherd out for a goalkick. Briscoe nicked the ball off him, and crossed low and hard for Dyer who fired over close range as it came at him quite quickly. More good play from Briscoe a minute later as his cross came out to Meikle who shot over. On 61, Howell put in a great block to stop Phil Trainer. On 62 Dyer headed on to Green who seems to be having his shirt tugged in the box, but no foul was given and Green shot wide. On 64, Green tried to manufacture a position for a shot, but couldn’t and so fed Dyer whose low shot was easily saved.

The Stags were on completely on top. Adam Smith replaced Meikle on 66 minutes.

Briscoe nearly put the Stags in front on 67 minutes with a thunderous volley that was tipped over. From the resulting corner, Futcher’s effort was cleared off the line. On 70 minutes, sub Adam Smith turned one way then the other and his powerful shot from a tight angle was palmed away. From the resulting corner, Futcher’s header was saved by the keeper and a scrambled ball was then cleared off the line.

Telford were completely under the cosh and a goal seemed to be coming. It arrived on 72 minutes as Marriott’s long clearance was headed on by Briscoe or Dyer (to be confirmed) into the path of Green who charged in on goal and slipped a clinical low finish to the keeper’s right and just inside the left post, sparking wild celebrations. Unfortunately the video cameraman was not able to capture the goal properly - a real shame for such a good finish by Green.

On 80 minutes, Marriott did well to punch clear from a Telford free kick.

Telford equalised out of the blue on 86 minutes. Howell lost the ball in the middle of the park, Richard Davies surged forward swiftly and slipped it through for Chris Sharp who buried a low finish just inside the left post giving Alan Marriott no chance.

On 88 minutes, Briscoe tried his luck with a shot which was blocked. But the Stags ran out of time to regain the lead.

Man of the Match: Matt Green

Podcast of StagsPlayer commentary by Martin Shaw, Neil Shaw and Steve Hartshorn:
1st half
2nd half

Report by: Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 7 No chance with the goal. Good handling throughout and made a couple of decent saves. Even had an assist for the Stags goal.
O'Neill 8 Good contribution at both ends, with some fine defending and some good breaks forward. Timed his tackles well.
Sutton 7 Solid in defence.
Futcher 7 Showed good leadership at the back. Nearly scored with a header.
Kendrick 7 Linked well with Meikle. Defended well. Set pieces were mixed in quality.
Briscoe 6 Some good play with one fine shot tipped away, and a great cross from Dyer, but not involved as much as he could have been.
Howell 6 Very rare mistake led to the Telford goal. Competed well, gave away more free kicks than usual.
Murray 7 A couple of mistakes but generally impressive distribution with some fantastic sprayed passes to the wings.
Meikle 7 Tremendous work rate, and was often double marked. Tracked back impressively.
Green 8 Held the ball superbly. Was well marked by the Telford defence who had done their homework, but still took his goal clinically.
Dyer 6.5 Worked hard but missed some good chances. Consistently won flick-ons.
Sub Line Up:
Smith (for Meikle, 66) - Nearly scored with a fine effort from a tight angle.
Subs Not Used: Redmond, Naylor, Worthington, Connor.
Opposition Line Up:
Young, Salmon, Killock, Preston, Newton, Adams (Samuels 81), Davies, Valentine, Trainer, Brown (Proudlock 75), Sharp. Subs not used: Robinson, Rodgers, Whitehead.
Ross Joyce (Middlesborough)) 8 Very good. Played advantage well and probably got the major decisions right

Season 11/12 Reports