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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
Geohaghon 90+2.
 Vardy 81
Attendance: 3132 (104 from Fleetwood)
Date: 13 March 2012


Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Field Mill

Mansfield Town showed remarkable resilience to fight back from a late Jamie Vardy goal to rescue a deserved point with an Exodus Geohaghon thumping header from a Luke O’Neill corner in stoppage time. Fleetwood started the game powerfully but it was the Stags who had the best chance in the first half when Ross Dyer’s header was saved at point-blank range from a Luke O’Neill free kick. In a pulsating game, especially in the second half, either side could have taken the lead, before Vardy showed frightening pace to nip in between the centre backs and get to the ball before Alan Marriott and slip it into the net on 81 minutes. The Stags threw the kitchen sink at Fleetwood after that and got their reward when Geohaghon headed home, to spark the first pitch invasion since the last home game of last season when Louis Briscoe’s late goal beat Gateshead.

The Stags came into this game with 8 wins from the last 10 games. But even that was eclipsed by Fleetwood who had won 9 from the last 10. The Stags had won the last 5 games at home, and had not won 6 at home on the trot since since March 1977. The Stags had also won 5 successive games home and away, and had not won 6 successive games since October 1991. Interestingly both the 1976/77 season and the 1991/92 season were promotion seasons.

The Stags made two changes from the side that won at Tamworth with Adam Murray returning from injury in place of Gary Roberts, who is suspended for two games. And Worthington came in for Briscoe, Worthington slipping in just in front of the back four, in a slightly more defensive formation. New loan signing Danny Andrew came onto the bench for the first time.

Fleetwood started strongly, with superb passing and good ball retention, and the Stags were under the cosh, though the Stags defence was strong as Fleetwood didn’t create chances. On 11 minutes, a great challenge from O’Neill to get the ball away from Vardy when he was put through. A couple of bizarre incidents in the middle of the park as the ref stopped the play for two drop-balls. It seemed like the ref needed to be centre-stage.

On 25 minutes, Vardy did well to get a shot in and Marriott just tipped it round for a corner. Suspicion of a Brodie elbow on Riley on 27 minutes but the ref saw nothing wrong. The Stags were defending stoutly under big pressure and limiting Fleetwood’s goalscoring chances.

The Stags were nearly in front on 32 minutes as O’Neill’s free kick (generously awarded when Meikle went down cheaply) from the left was headed goalwards at the far post and struck the keeper at point blank range. Brodie sent a free kick miles wide on 37 minutes. Then on 45 minutes Brodie did superbly to get a cross in front the left, and McGuire headed just over.

A resilient half from Mansfield, who were especially under the cosh for the opening 20 minutes, and got better after that.

Half time 0-0

On 46 minutes, Mangan set up Cavanagh for a shot which was just wide. On 49 minutes a Fleetwood free kick was headed goalwards low by Brodie and Marriott saved it on the line. On 54 minutes, a Cavanagh free kick skimmed off a Fleetwood head, hit the inside of the post and came back into Marriott’s arms for a very lucky escape. It looked a certain goal.

A great save by Marriott on 59 minutes as he was out quickly to smother a shot from Brodie who was through one-on-one, and Riley did well to mop up.

A chance for the Stags on 62 minutes, as Dyer pulled a lovely ball back into the path of O’Neill who snatched at his shot and fired over the bar. He should have worked the keeper. On 64, a great break by Vardy whose shot was well-saved by Marriott. Back to the other end on 65 minutes and Dyer’s shot was blocked after a good move. This was pulsating stuff.

A good move by the Stags on 71 minutes, and Green’s shot was blocked. Two minutes later, Brodie’s shot was deflected into the side netting, yet the inept officials gave a goalkick, prompting chants from both sets of fans of “you don’t know what you’re doing”.

A chance for Green out of nothing on 75 minutes, but he fired wide of the left post.

Briscoe came on for Meikle on 79 minutes. On 80 minutes, Marriott saved easily from Mangan’s low shot straight at him.

Fleetwood took the lead on 81 minutes. Vardy showed frightening pace to nip in between the centre backs and get to the ball before Alan Marriott and slip it into the net. Possibly Marriott will be disappointed not to have got to the ball quicker.

Rhead replaced Worthington on 82 minutes. Almost immediately, Rhead poked a shot goalwards and the keeper was just able to tip it wide.

As the Stags stepped up the pace, Green’s shot on 87 minutes was blocked for a corner.

The Stags got their reward two minutes into stoppage time when Geohaghon headed home from 6 yards from O’Neill’s right wing corner, to spark a first pitch invasion. The header was so powerful that the keeper never even had a chance to move.

Man of the match: Martin Riley / Luke O’Neill - can’t separate them

Report by: Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 6.5 Pulled off some fine saves. To be hyper-critical, he should have been a fraction quicker to get to the ball on Vardy’s goal, though Vardy was lightning fast.
O'Neill 8.5 Some superb crosses including for the goal and Dyer’s header. Defended well including one terrific challenge to rob Vardy.
Riley 8.5 Defended very well throughout against superb opposition.
Geohaghon 8 Also defended very well, and came up with the magical moment when he equalised.
Sutton 7 Had a good game at left back, up against Vardy.
Worthington 7 Good game, breaking play up in front of the back four.
Murray 7.5 Did well to last the 90 minutes, with a heroic display, and got better as the game wore on.
Howell 6.5 Did well in midfield role but when pushing forward, lacked ideas.
Meikle 6 Lost the ball too often up again good quality players. Not his best game, but still worked so hard, and went off to a great reception.
Dyer 7.5 Unlucky with point blank header that hit keeper. Won lots of headers.
Green 6 Did ok, though was unable to find any space.
Sub Line Up:
Briscoe (for Meikle, 79) -.
Rhead (for Worthington, 82) - Showed some good touches. Had one effort tipped away by the keeper.
Subs Not Used: Redmond, Andrew, Hutchinson.
Opposition Line Up:
Davies, Beeley, McNulty, Pond, Goodall, Cavanagh, Fowler, McGuire, Vardy, Brodie (Till 76), Mangan (Seddon 85). Subs not used: Stephenson, Charnock, Rose.
Ross Joyce 4 Stunningly bad all round. Was comically bad for both sides.

Season 11/12 Reports