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Season 19/20 Stagsnet Match Report
Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town  
2 - 1
 Nottingham Forest U23
Stewart OG 33, Maynard 84.
 
 Cummings 10.
Attendance: 3202 (1039 from Nottingham Forest)
 
Date: 23 July 2019

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town beat a Nottingham Forest U23 side 2-1 last night in the penultimate pre-season friendly ahead of the big kick-off at Newport in 11 days. Forest had been due to send their first XI but a change of manager led to a change in approach, not to mention a reduction in the expected crowd, as Forest fielded a side of experienced players who are mostly out of favour and available for transfer, mixed with youngsters, several of whom looked highly promising. The Forest side included Jordan Smith in goal, who played on loan at Mansfield last season. Also experienced striker Daryl Murphy, Liam Bridcutt formerly of Brighton and Leeds, Zach Clough formerly of Bolton, Jason Cummings who was on loan at Peterborough last season under Steve Evans, and Gboly Ariyibi, all of whom would be on high wages as alluded to after the game by John Dempster. Tyler Walker did not feature for Forest. Mansfield gave 90 minutes to Nicky Maynard and Danny Rose up front after they didn’t feature on Saturday. Jacob Mellis returned from illness to play 90 minutes. Aidan Stone played in goal.

There was bad news as Hayden White had to go off injured after 54 minutes, with a slight tweak in his hamstring and we await news over the coming couple of days of how serious that is, hopefully not so.

The opening 30 minutes was disappointing stuff from the Stags as Forest were in control and Mansfield made unforced errors. Forest took the lead after 10 minutes, though it came immediately after Mansfield might have been awarded a penalty. Nicky Maynard seemed to be tripped just inside the area at one end, the referee waved play on, Forest went straight to the other end and scored as Cummings headed in at the far post after Murphy had a shot blocked, it came back to him, and his cross-shot reached Cummings. The lively Ariyibi gave White a torrid time down the Forest left while Bridcutt controlled the middle of the park.

The Stags levelled in fortunate circumstances after 33 minutes as Mal Benning’s cross was turned into his own net by young centre half Ethan Stewart. The goal gave the Stags confidence and they finished the half well with Jacob Mellis having a shot from 30 yards tipped over the bar by Jordan Smith, and a clever corner kick routine from Mellis straight to Benning who sent a spectacular volley just over the bar from outside the area.

The second half saw the Stags build on how they finished the first half, as Forest brought on more youngsters. Several good moves from the Stags, with Jacob Mellis involved in many of them. Mellis fired straight at Smith after being teed up by Maynard, Benning also tested the keeper after a fine run, Mellis volleyed over the bar. Then great play from Danny Rose who pulled back to Mellis and his close range shot was blocked. Mellis then had another goalbound shot blocked. The Stags won the game after 84 minutes with a wonderful goal. Maynard set Hamilton away down the right, Hamilton made a great run from the halfway line to the byline, cutting inside and pulling back to Maynard who slotted into the net from 12 yards. After 89 minutes, Hamilton made another brilliant run, terrorising the defence though the ball ended up in the side netting.

So overall, not a bad workout for the Stags, with some good football in the final 60 minutes after a disappointing opening half an hour. The biggest positive was the link play between Hamilton and Maynard for the goal. Maynard had a quiet evening, but he showed his quality with the finish. Hamilton showed again what an important player he is and it remains vital that the Stags hang on to him in the transfer window. Both Maynard and Hamilton are names that must already be written on the team sheet for the first league game. Mellis also impressed against Forest U23 and is surely a certainty for the opening game. I will draft out what my side would be for the first league game, after the Glasgow Rangers game on Saturday.

This was the team against Forest U23:

(3-5-2):
Aidan Stone (new young keeper, to be understudy to Logan, until Olejnik fit);
Matt Preston, Krystian Pearce, Ryan Sweeney;
Hayden White, Jacob Mellis (deepest midfielder), Alex MacDonald, Neal Bishop, Mal Benning;
Nicky Maynard (new signing from Bury), Danny Rose.

Sub:
CJ Hamilton (for White, 54 mins)

Subs not used:
Conrad Logan, James Clarke (young right back signed from Burnley), Lewis Gibbens, Omari Sterling-James, Alistair Smith, Otis Khan, Andy Cook (new signing from Walsall), Trialist.

The trialist was not the same as any of the three trialists who have featured in previous pre-season games and who have all left now (their names are now added to previous match reports for completeness and future reference). However this trialist did not actually come on.


LATER UPDATE ON TRIALIST:
The trialist was Miles Storey. He did not come on and the club did not follow up on him. He had just finished a trial at Carlisle United.


Not involved: Bobby Olejnik (injured, hopefully back October), Willem Tomlinson (sustained minor knee ligament damage against Blackburn and will be out for three more weeks), Jordan Graham (injured), Craig Davies (injured), Dion Donohue (new signing from Portsmouth, not quite fit, but not far away), Jamie Chisholm (from last season’s youth team), Noah Stokes (picked up a bad knee injury at Bradford PA), Jason Law (was ill prior to Alfreton game), Tyrese Sinclair (from last season’s youth team), Tom Fielding, Jimmy Knowles (from last season’s youth team, just signed pro deal).


It was a hot evening in Mansfield, after a scorching day.

After 2 minutes, White gave the ball away, Ariyibi got into the box and his shot was blocked. White gave the ball away again after 6 minutes, and Ariyibi found Murphy who teed up Bridcutt who fired over the bar from 20 yards.

Forest took the lead after 10 minutes, though it came immediately after Mansfield might have been awarded a penalty. Nicky Maynard seemed to be tripped just inside the area at one end by Spooner, the referee waved play on, Forest went straight to the other end and scored as Cummings headed in at the far post after Murphy had a shot blocked well by keeper Stone, it came back to him, and his cross-shot reached Cummings.

Forest were playing some good football.

After 18 minutes, good play from the experienced Murphy to tee up Cummings who fired only just high and wide from 25 yards.

Neal Bishop has had an indifferent pre-season, and summed it up after 22 minutes overrunning the ball. However Bishop is a class player and come the real stuff, he will no doubt be back in good form.

Young Forest right back Jayden Richardson was looking good, while on the other side, left back Danny Preston also looked good and put in one dangerous cross.

The Stags were not showing much going forward but on 23 minutes great play from Maynard to get to the edge of the area, but he was unable to lay off to the overlapping White.

After 28 minutes, Ariyibi whipped in a brilliant cross from the left, having got past White again, but Murphy missed it in the middle.

The Stags looked totally out of sorts.

After 32 minutes, Mellis sent a free kick from 30 yards wide. Otis Khan had sent in quality free kicks in the last two friendlies, against the woodwork, but he was on the bench here.

The Stags levelled in fortunate circumstances after 33 minutes as Mal Benning’s cross was turned into his own net by young centre half Ethan Stewart.

The goal gave the Stags confidence and they finished the half well. After 35 minutes, a great move from the Stags ended with Mellis having a shot from 30 yards tipped over the bar by Jordan Smith. The shot was probably just going over anyway.

The resulting corner taken by Mellis from the right, straight to Benning, who sent a spectacular volley just over the bar from outside the area.

After 43 minutes, Preston wasn’t sharp enough as he gave the ball away. There was a little too much of that.

Half time 1-1

The second half saw the Stags build on how they finished the first half, as Forest brought on more youngsters.

After 51 minutes, Mellis fired straight at Smith from 28 yards after being cleverly teed up by Maynard. A loose clearance from Bishop a minute later though, and Forest sub Alex Mighten fired wide.

There was bad news as Hayden White had to go off injured after 54 minutes, with a slight tweak in his hamstring and we await news over the coming couple of days of how serious that is, hopefully not so.

CJ Hamilton replaced him at right wing back, where he played plenty of times last season, but this was the first time in pre-season under John Dempster.

Two minutes later, MacDonald tried his luck with a shot from 25 yards but it screwed off the outside of his right boot and swerved well away from goal.

After 60 minutes, Benning won the ball and went on a mazy run, into the area, and sent in a decent shot which Jordan Smith had to dive to save.

A shot from Forest sub Louis Walsh drifted wide after 70 minutes.

A good move from the Stags on 71 minutes, the finally came out to Mellis who volleyed over the bar.

Two minutes later, great defending by Hamilton as he tracked back to avert danger following a Stags corner, as Virgil Gomis threatened to break clear for a 1-on-1 with Stone.

Then on 76 minutes great play from Danny Rose who pulled back to Mellis and his close range shot was blocked.

A minute later, Gomis played forward to Will Swan but Stone was out quickly to block his shot, and the rebound off Swan was out for a goal-kick. Fine keeping from Stone.

Another minute after that, as the game went from end to end, Hamilton played inside to Maynard who went down in the area but it wasn’t a foul. Good defending by Pearce at the other end a minute later on Mighten.

Rose was wiped out by Bridcutt after 80 minutes, and the referee was left with no choice but to give a rare pre-season yellow card. Rose had shown good pace. The resulting free kick from Benning from the left, came out to Mellis whose goalbound shot was blocked.

After 83 minutes, great skill from Mighten twisting and turning on the edge of the area, before seeing his driven shot deflected wide.

The Stags won the game after 84 minutes with a wonderful goal. Maynard set Hamilton away down the right, Hamilton made a great run from the halfway line to the byline, cutting inside and pulling back to Maynard who slotted into the net from 12 yards. It was a goal to whet the appetite for the season ahead.

After 89 minutes, Hamilton made another brilliant run, terrorising the defence though the ball ended up in the side netting.

So, just one pre-season friendly left. The game should have been against Conference side Stockport County at the One Call Stadium, however the game had to be called off on police advice. And yet, in its place, the Stags are now playing a Glasgow Rangers U23 side. Utterly inexplicable, and a howler from Nottinghamshire Police. There will no doubt be some talented youngsters in the Rangers side, though it does not provide an opposition that will in any way mirror what could be expected at Newport, which to some extent Stockport would have done, a point acknowledged by John Dempster last night. However, it is what it is and the Stags will have to make the best of it.


Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill



Line Up:
(3-5-2):
Aidan Stone (new young keeper, to be understudy to Logan, until Olejnik fit);
Matt Preston, Krystian Pearce, Ryan Sweeney;
Hayden White, Jacob Mellis (deepest midfielder), Alex MacDonald, Neal Bishop, Mal Benning;
Nicky Maynard (new signing from Bury), Danny Rose.

Sub Line Up:
CJ Hamilton (for White, 54 mins)

Subs not used:
Conrad Logan, James Clarke (young right back signed from Burnley), Lewis Gibbens, Omari Sterling-James, Alistair Smith, Otis Khan, Andy Cook (new signing from Walsall), Trialist.
Opposition Line Up:
Jordan Smith; Richardson (Mighten 46), Spooner, Stewart (Walsh 65), Preston (Gallacher 65); Bridcutt, Clough (Taylor 46), Edser (Gomis 46), Cummings (Fornah 46), Ariyibi (Swan 46); Murphy (Barnes 46). Sub not used: Wright.
Referee:
David Coote


Season 19/20 Reports