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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 Green 13
Attendance: 1600 (909 from Mansfield was the original figure given to the press though it had a line through it, but the Tamworth secretary told me afterwards that it was 801)
Date: 10 March 2012


Martin Shaw at The Lamb

Mansfield Town picked up a tremendous 1-0 win at Tamworth thanks to Matt Green’s 23rd goal of the season, as the Stags made it 8 wins in 10 games. The Stags were on top from the start, and took the lead after 13 minutes when Luke O’Neill’s fine corner was headed goalwards by Ross Dyer, and cleared off the line, back to Exodus Geohaghon who also headed it goalwards, and again it was cleared off the line, but it fell to Matt Green who bundled in from a yard. Ross Dyer had two chances to increase the lead when first his header from a Geohaghon long throw was tipped over by keeper Hedge and then his goalbound shot following a corner was blocked when it seemed a certain goal. The Stags were well on top in the first half, but Tamworth fought back in the first 25 minutes of the second half, without creating any chances, as the Stags lost momentum. The Stags regained their grip on the game in the final 15 minutes with several chances going begging, but in the end it didn’t matter as the Stags hung on for 1-0 and Alan Marriott didn’t have a single save to make all game. This was a well-deserved win, albeit with the Stags not at their best in the second half.

Confusion remained over the Stags away following. During the second half, the press were handed a scrap of paper that says 1600, and underneath it 909 with a line through it. After the game, I sought out the Tamworth secretary to clarify. I don’t think it is fair for me to reveal the whole conversation but eventually he told me that it was 801. I was not entirely convinced, nevertheless that was his official figure. Andrew from mansfieldtown.net went with 909, the original figure given, while Stephen from the CHAD went with the 801 after I told him the figure given me by the Tamworth secretary.

Paul Cox made no changes from the side that started at Cambridge, with Geohaghon fit again after hobbling around heroically for the final half hour at Cambridge. Adam Murray returned from injury to the bench, and there was a place on the bench for forgotten man Andy Todd too. Paul Cox explained before the game that he had not included new loan left back Danny Andrew in the squad because it would have been unfair to him having only met the players pre-match. Tamworth made an incredible 7 changes from the side that played at Field Mill two weeks ago. Star player JP Marna was not in the squad, nor former Stag Iyseden Christie who was injured. Kyle Nix, an unused sub two weeks ago, started here.

On a warm bright afternoon, the Stags were kicking away from the hoards of travelling fans in the first half. On 3 minutes, a Stags corner came out to Gary Roberts, who fired well wide. Luke O’Neill wasted a free kick from 19 yards on 11 minutes when he fired two yards over.

But the Stags were in front on 13 minutes. Luke O’Neill’s fine corner was headed goalwards by Ross Dyer, and cleared off the line, back to Exodus Geohaghon who also headed it goalwards, and again it was cleared off the line, but it fell to Matt Green who bundled in from a yard. It was difficult to see exactly what happened initially but I was able to check the video of Stags video cameraman Mike Fiddes at half time to confirm what happened. Mike was doing some filming of players primarily to use as overlay for interviews on the club website.

A rare chance for Tamworth on 17 minutes as Kyle Nix’s free kick was just over the head of an unmarked St. Aimie. On 20 minutes, Ross Dyer‘s header from a Geohaghon long throw was tipped over by keeper Hedge. From the resulting corner, Dyer’s goalbound shot was blocked when it seemed a certain goal. Hard to blame Dyer here as he did get the effort on target. On 22 minutes, a Tamworth corner was headed over by big centre half Francis.

On 24 minutes, Briscoe cut inside and fired wide of the left post. Almost an incredible second goal for Mansfield on 29 minutes as Marriott’s long free kick was headed down by Dyer and a Tamworth defender’s backpass wrong footed keeper Hedge but the keeper was just able to get to it. On 32 minutes, Meikle teed up Sutton and Sutton’s sidefooted shot was blocked. A stroke of luck for Marriott on 41 minutes when he miscued a clearance up in the air to the edge of the box, from a backpass, but got away with it. St. Aimie had a shot blocked by Briscoe on 42 minutes. Two minutes into stoppage time, O’Neill’s corner from the right eventually came to Meikle on the left and his chipped cross was headed wide by Riley.

Half time 0-1

Briscoe and Meikle swapped sides in the second half (Briscoe moving to the left), as they did for the second half at Cambridge.

A very scrappy start to the second half. Tamworth enjoyed more of the possession but without creating anything at all. Indeed I didn’t write down any notes until 63 minutes when Meikle went on a good run, and the ball was deflected to Briscoe who fired well wide.

The Stags had no grip on midfield, which they did have in the first half.

On 71 minutes, substitute Barrow broke down the left and his cross-shot ricocheted off the alert Riley for a corner. From the resulting corner, Francis rose powerfully above the Stags defence but headed over.

Rhead replaced Briscoe on 73 minutes.

On 74 minutes, it should have been 2-0. Rhead’s flick-on was picked up by Meikle, who burst into the box, rounded keeper Hedge, but was too slow to get a shot in, and eventually from a tight angle, he pulled the ball back to Dyer whose shot was blocked. On 77 minutes, Meikle nearly scored a fluke goal like he did at Bath, but his cross sailed just over.

On 78 minutes, Roberts won a free kick 30 yards out. No-one else was taking this, and as he did at Cambridge, he fired in a piledriver. It was venomous, but unfortunately straight at Hedge. A yard either side and it would probably have been in. Roberts followed that up with two terrific crossfield passes, and Roberts and Howell were now back in control of the game.

Hutchinson replaced Green on 87 minutes.

A rare half-chance for the Lambs on 88 minutes as a cross from the left was flicked just wide by Francis, now playing as a striker. Roberts set up Meikle on 90 minutes, but Meikle’s effort was weak. Two minutes into stoppage time, it should have been 2-0 again, as Hutchinson broke down the right and crossed back for Meikle in the centre, but Meikle dallied and his shot was blocked. But it didn’t matter as the Stags comfortably held on for another vital three points.

Man of the match: Exodus Geohaghon

Report by: Martin Shaw at The Lamb

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Didn’t have a single save to make all game. Assured on the few crosses he had to deal with. Got lucky with one miscued clearance.
O'Neill 7 Defended well. Blew hot and cold with set pieces, but one corner led to the goal and another to a glorious chance for Dyer.
Riley 8 Very good game. Won everything, apart from one mistake in the second half that he got away with.
Geohaghon 9 Immense. Won everything all afternoon.
Sutton 7 Defended solidly, and made no mistakes.
Briscoe 7 Good first half, running at Tamworth like the “beast” that Holdsworth signed. Faded a bit after the break.
Howell 7 Worked hard and generally commanded the midfield apart from 25 minutes at the start of the second half.
Roberts 7 Finished the game superbly with two supreme passes that I will include in the highlights when I get the DVD. As at Cambridge, one piledriver of a free kick. Some good tackling at the back too.
Meikle 7 Frustrating end product but tormented the home defence all afternoon.
Dyer 8 Won all his headers and had a very good game. Glorious chance in the first half when his goalbound shot was blocked.
Green 7 Clinical finish picking up the scraps after headers from Dyer and Geohaghon had been cleared off the line.
Sub Line Up:
Rhead (for Briscoe, 73) - Won a couple of headers.
Hutchinson (for Green, 87) - Set up a chance for Meikle.
Subs Not Used: Redmond, Todd, Murray.
Opposition Line Up:
Hedge, Tait, Francis, Reece (Barrow 61 mins), Habergham, Thomas, Nix (McDonald 84 mins), Green. McKoy, Taylor, St. Aimie (Pattersson 55 mins). Subs not used: Courtney, Isaac.
S.Martin 7 Not really noticed so must have had a reasonable game.

Season 11/12 Reports