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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
2 - 1
Smith 76, Green 87.
 Marna 54
Attendance: 2221 (134 from Tamworth)
Date: 25 February 2012


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Mansfield Town put in a below par performance at home to Tamworth this afternoon and trailed 1-0 after 75 minutes but two late goals, both from the long throw of new signing Exodus Geohaghon, handed Mansfield a precious victory and kept them in sight of the play-offs. The Stags were hard done by as the inept referee disallowed two goals, which the match DVD shows were perfectly good goals. One was from another Geohaghon long throw and the other from a corner. But in the end, they didn’t matter as Adam Smith’s deflected shot, and Matt Green’s close range finish, earned the points.

The Stags made three changes from the side that started against Darlington. New loan signing Exodus Geohaghon replaced Dempster, who had returned to Crawley, Briscoe came in for for Hutchinson, and Meikle replaced Smith. Tamworth included former Stags striker Iyseden Christie. Kyle Nix, who had played for Gateshead against the Stags earlier in the season, was on the Tamworth bench.

The Stags started brightly, with plenty of early corners which came to nothing. On 7 minutes, the ball bounced around in the Stags box and J-P Marna fired over the bar. A double chance for Meikle on 9 minutes as his first effort was blocked, and then he followed up with a shot that was well saved by the keeper.

The first moment of controversy came on 11 minutes. A long throw from Exodus Geohaghon from the right was met by Ritchie Sutton who stole in between two defenders and poked the ball into the net on the volley. Video evidence showed there was absolutely nothing wrong with the goal, as the Tamworth defence stood looking at each other, but astonishingly the referee ruled the goal out for high kicking. When the ref watches the incident back, he will be embarrassed to see that it was not high kicking. A real shame for Sutton, who has not scored a goal for Mansfield.

A glorious opportunity for the Stags on 16 minutes as Green rounded the keeper but elected not to shoot, and instead squared the ball, possibly trying to find Meikle, but actually found Dyer, who fired wide of the left post.

On 25 minutes, a double chance for Tamworth, following a corner, as Marriott made a superb save to deny left back Barrow diving to his right, and the rebound shot from Marna was cleared off the line by Briscoe, though video evidence suggested that it smashed into Briscoe’s arm and Briscoe may have got away with it, albeit Briscoe’s arm was tight to his body and not outstretched.

The Stags were all over the place with Tamworth right on top. On 27 minutes, Marriott had to pull off another diving save, this time diving to his left to clutch an acrobatic effort from Courtney. On 39 minutes, McDonald was through one-on-one but fired hopelessly wide.

Half time 0-0

The Stags had started the game well in the opening 15 minutes, but Tamworth had been the better side for the next 30 minutes and could have been ahead at the break.

The Stags needed to start the second half well, and did so with Briscoe having two chances within the opening 5 minutes. Firstly on 47, O’Neill’s free kick dropped to Briscoe who scuffed wide from a great position on the left. Then on 50, O’Neill’s cross was knocked to Briscoe whose shot was deflected over.

A dangerous Marriott goal kick nearly put Dyer straight through on goal on 52 minutes but he couldn’t quite get on the end of it. Then on 53 minutes, Roberts tried a cheeky attempt from the halfway line which the keeper held under his own bar. Only players of true quality can attempt this.

But on 54 minutes, the Stags were behind. A ball forward from the centre circle into the penalty area looked like one that Marriott could have come for, but he decided not to go for it, and it reached J-P Marna on the right, who buried a fantastic finish into the left corner of the net.

On 58 minutes, Edwards got the ball in from the left and Briscoe teed up Roberts who fired two yards over from the edge of the box.

On 59 minutes, Paul Cox decided he needed more aerial power up front to make the most of the corners and long throws, and brought on Matt Rhead for Dyer, while Smith replaced Meikle.

Rhead was straight into the action, heading on another Geohaghon exocet for Briscoe whose shot was so high it hit the roof of the Quarry Lane stand.

Tamworth could have extended the lead on 67 minutes. Christie was away down the left and his square ball found Thomas whose shot was superbly blocked by Marriott.

A possible penalty for the Stags on 72 as the ball may have hit a Tamworth hand, but in fairness there were no appeals from the Stags.

The Stags had another goal disallowed on 74 minutes and this was another outrageous decision from the appalling referee. O’Neill’s corner from the left went straight in, but the referee decided that there was an infringement by Geohaghon on the keeper. The match DVD shows there was no foul at all.

However the Stags were finally level on 76 minutes. An enormous Geohaghon throw eventually reached Smith on the edge of the box. Smith took a couple of touches and shot towards goal, the ball appeared to take a deflection or two of the defenders, leaving the keeper wrong footed as it crept over the line. A fortunate goal but one which was so crucial to get the Stags back in it.

Tamworth should have been down to ten men on 77 minutes. A bad challenge by left back Barrow on Roberts was a clear yellow card. The two players squared up, and the referee decided that each player should be booked. But if the squaring-up deserved a yellow, then Barrow should have had another yellow for the foul.

A scramble in the Stags box on 78 minutes but Mansfield escaped. Straight to the other end and from O’Neill’s free kick Green’s cross was headed away. Then on 82 another Green cross was cleared off the line by left back Barrow.

Tamworth should have been in front on 85 minutes with an incredible miss. Patterson rounded Marriott and looked a certain scorer but somehow Edwards blocked the close range shot. Good defending.

On 87 minutes, the Stags lifted the lid off Field Mill as Matt Green notched his 22nd goal of the season to win the game. Another Geohaghon massive throw was headed on by Rhead, to Roberts, who played the ball back into Green with a great pass and Green fired passed the keeper from 3 yards.

Murray went down injured on 89 minutes and was replaced by Howell, and the referee found 5 minutes of stoppage, though played less than that and Tamworth didn’t create any more chances as Mansfield ran out winners.

Not a good performance, but the exocet missiles from Geohaghon proved deadly, earning two goals, and there should have been a third wrongly chalked out by an incompetent referee, as the Stags squeeked home. The Stags next battle is to have a ten year lease or own the ground by March 1st, which would enable us to take part in the play-offs if we can reach the top 5. Next up on the pitch is the visit of David Holdsworth’s Lincoln. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Exodus Geohaghon

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 8 Two fine saves in the first half, and another in the second half, kept us in the game.
O'Neill 6.5 Some good set pieces, got better as the game wore on.
Sutton 6 Unlucky to have his first Stags goal ruled out. Did ok.
Geohaghon 8 Defended powerfully, and his exocet long throws caused all the problems and won the game.
Edwards 6.5 Did fine.
Briscoe 5 Didn’t really get in the game. Never really had a go at the defence.
Murray 6 Did ok.
Roberts 7 One or two fantastic balls, and set up the winner from Geoghaghon’s throw.
Meikle 5 A couple of early chances, but wasn’t really in the game after that.
Dyer 6 Disappointingly didn’t win as many headers as usual.
Green 6.5 In the right place at the right time for the winner, which is what you want from a goalscorer. 22 for the season now.
Sub Line Up:
Rhead (for Dyer, 59) 6.5 Headed on long throw for the second goal, and gave Geoghaghon a target from long throws.
Smith (for Meikle, 59) 6.5 Fortunate deflected goal. Hopefully the goal will bring him renewed confidence.
Howell (for Murray, 89) -
Subs Not Used: Redmond, Riley.
Opposition Line Up:
Hedge, Tait, Courtney, P. Green, Barrow, Isaac, McKoy, Marna (Reece 71), McDonald (Thomas 56), Patterson (St Aimie 90+1), Christie. Subs not used: Francis, Nix.
Peter Bankes (Merseyside) 4 Extraordinarily inept performance. Wrongly disallowed two Stags goals, and clearly should have sent off left back Barrow. Appalling throughout.

Season 11/12 Reports