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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
2 - 0
Howell 13, Marriott 61
Attendance: 3665 (184 from Wrexham)
Date: 20 April 2012


by Martin Shaw

Mansfield Town's remarkable run of good form continued with another thoroughly convincing victory, this time against second placed Wrexham, on Friday night, in front of the TV cameras at the One Call Stadium. The Stags have now won 15 out of the last 19 games. Incredibly this is the third time that the Stags have won five games on the trot this season. The game will be remembered for Stags goalkeeper Alan Marriott scoring with a kick from his hands from his own penalty area. The ball bounced on the edge of the D of the Wrexham penalty area and bounced over hapless Wrexham keeper. Earlier Anthony Howell scored in the first half with a header from an Exodus Geohaghon long throw. The Stags were dominant throughout, always first to the loose ball, and finished with as comfortable a 2-0 win as you will ever see. Marriott had only two saves to make in the entire game, and both were fairly straightforward. Good performances throughout the side for the Stags, who rested Matt Green and Gary Roberts. Marriott’s goal had him trending on twitter, which meant that at that time he was one of the top 10 things talked about on twitter in the UK.

Heavy rain over the previous 48 hours put the game in doubt, but it went ahead in what Paul Cox described as poor conditions. Huge credit to groundsman Mike Mez Merriman for getting the pitch playable. Lee Stevenson was given his first start in four months in place of the rested Matt Green, whilst Adam Murray replaced the rested Gary Roberts.

Inside the first 30 seconds, Paul Creighton took out Lee Stevenson with his studs at hip height. An extraordinary foul that the inept referee decided didn’t even warrant a yellow card.

The Stags were ahead on 13 minutes. Geohaghon’s long throw from the right, only a couple of yards from the corner flag, was flicked in by Howell from close range.

On 14 minutes, Dyer got into a good position on the left, but he sent a disappointing left foot finish into the side netting. He should have hit the target. On 16 minutes, a great run from Speight and he cut in from the left and fired over.

On 29 minutes, Briscoe miscued a shot well wide from the edge of the box following a corner. On 35 minutes, Meikle fed Sutton on his left, but Sutton sent a weak effort goalwards and it was easily saved.

The Stags were winning all the second balls and in complete control.

A fantastic run from Meikle on 37 minutes and he curled a shot inches wide of the right post. On 41 minutes, Dyer’s cross-shot form the right was parried away by the keeper and Murray was sharpest to the ball but knocked the rebound over the bar.

Another terrific run from Meikle on 43 minutes, and eventually his shot was blocked.

Moments later, O’Neill’s chip forward was well-controlled by Dyer who got into the box and went down under a challenge from Creighton. The referee booked Dyer for diving, but whilst it probably wasn’t a penalty, he probably slipped in the terrible conditions. Another fine run from Meikle moments later, his cross was knocked back by Dyer and Stevenson ballooned a shot over the bar. Then moments after that Geohaghon’s long throw was headed just over by Dyer, with the keeper nowhere.

A dominant first half from the Stags, oozing confidence and winning everything all over the pitch

Half time 1-0

Real determination shown by O’Neill on 47 minutes as he made a run from the half way line, lost the ball, won it back and finally crossed into the side netting. Terrific effort. A rare Wrexham chance on 50 minutes as Marriott saved a shot in his midriff.

A great move on 53 minutes as Dyer headed down Marriott’s long ball, Briscoe did really well to play in Meikle on the left, and he played a good overlapping ball to Stevenson whose shot was blocked. Great stuff. Moments later Stevenson got in a shot from the edge of the box that was saved low down.

The Stags were swarming all over Wrexham, sharper to the ball and winning everything.

On 61 minutes it was 2-0. Jay Harris fired in a low shot for Wrexham that Marriott held well, low down. Marriott’s kick from his hands was huge, bouncing on the edge of the D of the Wrexham box and bouncing over hapless Wrexham keeper Mayebi into the centre of the net. Stags players rushed back to celebrate with the delighted and stunned Marriott.

On 69 minutes Riley had a free header from an O’Neill corner but couldn’t direct it goalwards, it dropped to Howell who couldn’t squeeze it in.

On 74 minutes, Stevenson nicked a nice ball through for Briscoe to chase, but keeper Mayebi did well to just get there first.

Rhead replaced Briscoe on 81 minutes. Moments later, Meikle’s cross from the left reached Stevenson, who was flagged offside, though he showed a great first touch and tucked it into the net with aplomb.

Andrew replaced Howell on 87 minutes.

On 89 minutes, Murray battled well on the byeline, and eventually crossed for Rhead, who stabbed wide, left footed from 6 yards when he should have scored.

Another great win for Mansfield, and a great night in front of the TV cameras.

Man of the match: Lindon Meikle

Report by: Martin Shaw

Line Up:
Marriott 8 Held onto the ball well in slippy conditions, though had little to do. Unbelievable to score with a massive kick.
O'Neill 8 Defended very well. Set pieces of mixed quality.
Riley 9 Excellent at the back, never missed a thing and showed great composure.
Geohaghon 8 Defended very well, and created another goal from a throw-in.
Sutton 8 Did very well, never giving Wrexham a sniff.
Murray 8 Very good game, controlled the midfield.
Stevenson 7 Came on stronger as the game went on. Was looking very good in the second half.
Howell 8 Very good game in the middle. Capped it with a carbon copy of his goal against Barrow.
Briscoe 6 Didn't make the most of some good positions.
Dyer 7 Did well.
Meikle 9 Wrexham defence didn't know what to do with him.
Sub Line Up:
Rhead (for Briscoe, 81 mins)
Andrew (for Howell, 87 mins)
Subs not used: Redmond, Hutchinson, Roberts.
Opposition Line Up:
Mayebi; Stephen Wright, Creighton, Knight-Percival, Ashton; Harris (Leslie 68), Clarke, Keates; Ogleby, Danny Wright (Cieslewicz 68), Speight (Morrell 76). Subs not used: Maxwell, Westwood.
Richard Clark (Northumberland) 5 Some strange decisions

Season 11/12 Reports