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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
2 - 1
 Lincoln City
Dyer 47, Roberts 58.
 McCammon 90+3
Attendance: 4830 (627 from Lincoln)
Date: 3 March 2012


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Mansfield Town celebrated the news of the purchase of Field Mill by chairman John Radford from Keith Haslam, by beating Lincoln City for a fifth consecutive home victory. In front nearly 5000 fans, there were celebrations before the game as the directors introduced John Radford to the crowd. The first half was a little flat with few clearcut opportunities apart from Matt Green with a missed header from an O’Neill free kick. But the Stags were in front two minutes into the second half with a close range finish by Ross Dyer from a clever ball forward by Luke O’Neill. A low strike from Gary Roberts from 25 yards made it 2-0 on 58 minutes, and the Stags looked very comfortable until Lincoln scored a consolation through a deflected Tyrone Thompson shot three minutes into stoppage time. It was an unhappy return to Field Mill for Lincoln manager David Holdsworth, whose side looked very poor and could yet be relegation candidates.

The five consecutive home wins equals the run of 5 home wins at the start of our first season in the Blue Square Premier, under Billy McEwan in Aug-Sep 2008. The crowd of 4,830 was the biggest at Field Mill since the Gateshead pay-what-you-like game in February 2010.

Mansfield made three changes from the side that beat Tamworth with Martin Riley coming in at the back in place if Paul Edwards, who has returned to Fleetwood. Sutton moved to left back for his first game in that position for Mansfield. Antony Howell came in Adam Murray, who told me during first half commentary that he hoped to be available for the Tamworth game, but that the Cambridge game might come too soon for him. Finally Adam Smith came in for Lindon Meikle. Smith limped off during the first half, and told me after the game that he was ok, with nothing broken, and would be 50/50 to be fit for Tuesday. Lincoln included former Stags strikers Jefferson Louis and Richard Paquette, as well as midfielder Tyrone Thompson.

In a carnival atmosphere, the Stags had an early chance when a Luke O’Neill free kick was headed wide by Matt Green when it seemed easier to score. Adam Murray told me during commentary that Green should have scored. On 7 minutes a chance for Sutton from just outside the box, and he curled his shot over the bar and wide of the right post. A penalty claim for Lincoln on 9 minutes as the ball may have struck a Stags hand but nothing was given.

A terrible clearance from Riley on 19 minutes presented Jefferson Louis with a good chance but Louis fired straight at Marriott.

Adam Smith had to come off on 23 minutes. He had been clattered just outside the box earlier and seemed to fall awkwardly. He tried to carry and after pulling up twice more, he finally came off, to be replaced by Meikle. Smith told me after the game that he was ok, with nothing broken, and would be 50/50 to be fit for Tuesday.

On 26 minutes, Matt Green put the ball in the net with a clinical finish, but had already been flagged offside. On 31 minutes Briscoe fired straight at keeper Anyon from the edge of the box. Then a good run from Meikle on 34 minutes, and again he fired straight at the keeper. On 38 minutes, Marriott took a free kick from the halfway line which Dyer headed on and Green fired straight at the keeper from close range. On 44 minutes, Meikle shot wide of the right post. On 45+2, a great tackle from Roberts inside his own box.

Not the best first half, with Mansfield having marginally the better of it.

Half time 0-0

Two minutes into the second half, the Stags got the all-important first goal. Geohaghon took a short throw to O’Neill rather launch a missile into the box, and O’Neill curled a lovely ball into the path of Dyer inside the six yard box and slotted under the keeper.

Lincoln had a chance to equalise on 49 minutes when Pacquette was through one-on-one against Marriott and fired so wide it went out for a throw-in. It typified the woeful quality of Pacquette and Louis.

The Stags made it 2-0 on 58 minutes. Meikle did well on the left and pulled the ball back for Roberts, 25 yards from goal, who shot low and it eluded the keeper just inside the left post. Roberts celebrated by sliding towards the West Stand, revealing his belly button which was fingered by Louis Briscoe in one of the more bizarre goal celebrations.

A terrific run from Meikle on 69 minutes from inside his own half, and he fired over the bar from the edge of the box. A half chance for Green on 74 minutes but he had a poor first touch. Then on 80 minutes, Briscoe shot straight at the keeper from 30 yards. A minute later, a rare Lincoln attack saw Jamie Taylor’s cross well-claimed by Marriott under pressure.

On 82 minutes, Dyer beautifully controlled a ball to his feet, and his shot was tipped wide by the keeper, though the officials absurdly awarded a goal kick. A great move for the Stags on 83 minutes ended with Green’s shot well-saved.

Seconds later, the sponsors’ man of the match was announced as John Radford, who received another standing ovation. Whilst the applause was continuing, Lincoln headed a free kick inches past the right post.

Worthington replaced Roberts on 84 minutes, and suddenly the Stags found themselves on the back foot after being in no trouble at all. Lincoln poured forward, and on 89 minutes substitute Mark McCammon sent an overhead kick over the bar from 5 yards.

Three minutes into four minutes of time added on, Lincoln scored an undeserved consolation, as Tyrone Thompson’s shot got a wicked deflection past Marriott. It made the scoreline look closer than the game was. The goal was later credited to Mark McCammon who the shot deflected off.

There was only a minute left and the Stags comfortably held onto the ball by the corner flag with no alarms to signal another home win, and importantly not messing it up in front of the big crowd. A perfect end to a perfect week for the club and its fans.

On behalf of Stagsnet, an enormous thank you to John Radford. Thank you so much John. In John Radford, we trust!

And so on to Cambridge, which will be a really tough test. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: John Radford!

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Had little to do, but claimed a couple of crosses very well, and dealt very well with some awkward backpasses. No chance with the deflected goal.
O'Neill 7 A mixture of fine passes such as that for the goal, and some poor ones. Was played on the right to allow him to get forward a lot, which he did. Defended well.
Riley 7 Defended well and looked solid, apart from one terrible clearance straight to Louis who fired at Marriott.
Geohaghon 7 Did what he to do pretty well. Tired late on, and one misjudgement when trying to run the ball out of play.
Sutton 7 Adapted well to the left back position and looked solid. One dangerous ball to Marriott was inexplicable when he had had plenty of time to clear it, but he got away with it.
Briscoe 6.5 Quiet first half, but lively in patches in the second half.
Howell 6.5 Quiet start to the game. Did pretty well after that.
Roberts 7 Not his best game, but one or two lovely passes not read by the Stags players, and scored crucial goal from distance.
Smith - Went off injured midway through first half after being clattered just outside the box.
Dyer 7 Scored from close range. Had a good game especially when he got the ball to his feet.
Green 6.5 Fed on scraps, too often getting the ball with his to goal. Did miss a good chance early on.
Sub Line Up:
Meikle (for Smith, 23) 7 Covered a lot of ground tracking back, and caused the Lincoln defence a lot of problems. Tigerish and at it all the time.
Worthington (for Roberts, 84) - A rare appearance that coincided with the Stags losing their shape late on in the game.
Subs Not Used: Redmond, Hutchinson, Rhead.
Opposition Line Up:
Anyon, Robson, Williams, Gowling, Nutter, Bore (McCammon 79), Power, Thompson, Russell (Almond 61), Pacquette (Taylor 61), Louis. Subs not used: Draper, Watson.
Richard Clark (Nothumberland) 6 Few contentious decisions even though Lincoln manager David Holdsworth was not happy with him.

Season 11/12 Reports