IT`S BARKER AGAIN - YOU BEAUTY
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Swansea City
Barker 45+1. Brown sent off. Monk sent off.
match stats (Stags/Swans)
12 Goal Attempts 9
5 On Target 3
7 Off Target 6
0 Hit Woodwork 0
2 Offsides 7
1 Corners 2
14 Fouls 24
Super Stags sink Swans
Mansfield Town 1 Swansea City 0
MAGNIFICENT Mansfield made it two wins inside four days with a fabulous win to prevent old rivals Swansea City going top of the table at Field Mill last night.
Saturday's match winner Richie Barker was again the hero with the winning goal in first half stoppage time and for the third time in two seasons this fiery fixture produced red cards as Stags' Simon Brown followed Swansea's Garry Monk down the tunnel in the second half.
Stags, again with a makeshift back four, again produced a clean sheet as the one goal settled a clash between the division's two meanest defences.
Swansea were unbeaten in five matches but keeper Kevin Pilkington had to pull off just three saves on the night.
Stags made one change, resting Kiwi Shane Smeltz, who made his debut on Saturday, and bringing in Derek Asamoah.
Swansea were without French keeper Willy Gueret, who was injured at the weekend. He was replaced by Brian Murphy while Alan Tate and Roberto Martinez also returned to the side.
Stags conceded a couple of free kicks in the opening minute while Trundle also gave one away for the visitors in an untidy start.
But League Two Player of the Month Trundle caused problems on six minutes when he beat Neil on the left and sent the ball across the face of goal, just beating the incoming Connor.
Seconds later Tate sent a dangerous cross in from the other flank which beat everyone at the far post.
Stags hit back with a corner on eight minutes which Rundle pulled back to Curtis on the edge of the 18 yard box and he drilled an excellent shot narrowly wide of goal.
The visitors thought they'd gone ahead on 12 minutes when Iriekpen rose at the far post to head home Robinson's left wing free kick. But the referee ruled Iriekpen had been pushing and the effort was ruled out.
Trundle forced the first save of the night out of Pilkington on 20 minutes, fizzing in a smart shot on the turn which the keeper got down to and held onto.
Tempers hotted up as Tate chopped down Curtis. Players ran in, but it soon calmed and Tate was eventually shown a yellow card.
Rundle sent a free kick over from wide on the left which John-Baptiste sent wide with a glancing header.
Anderson was well over from 25 yards and Robinson wide from a similar distance in Swansea's next two raids while Britton hooked a shot over from a half-cleared free kick shortly after.
For Stags Rundle sent an 18-yard free kick into the wall and then sliced his follow-up.
On 39 minutes the visitors again came close as Britton pumped a high ball in and Austin's flicked back-header on it passed just wide of the far post.
But Stags squandered a good chance on 42 minutes when Neil found John-Baptiste in space just outside the box. The defender took the ball on but hesitated to shoot and eventually squared to Murray whose finish took a deflection but still found Murphy safely behind it.
Stags would have been happy to go in level with the high-flying Swans.
But in the one minute of time added on, the home grabbed the lead with a scorching finish by Barker.
Rundle provided the ammunition with a low cross from the left pulled back towards Barker 20 yards from goal.
And the big striker met it first time with a powerful side-footed finish with his right boot that rocketed past a helpless Murphy.
Mansfield began the second half promisingly and when Barker headed on John-Baptiste's free kick, Asamoah only just beat the bar with his spectacular bicycle kick.
Trundle pounced on sloppy defending 40 yards from goal to race clear with Buxton in hot pursuit. He got his shot in but Pilkington was equal to it, diving to his left.
A mistake by Monk almost allowed Brown to go clear at the other end, but the defender did superbly well to slide in and rob him in the box when anything but the cleanest of tackles would result in a penalty.
In another Swansea break, Trundle tried to lob Pilkington from 30 yards but was just too high.
The visitors withdrew Connor and Anderson, bringing on Maylett and on-loan debutant Thorpe.
Monk was booked for bringing down Brown on 62 minutes. And when he then fouled Asamoah as he turned him a minute later the referee had little option but to send him off.
Tempers were becoming increasingly frayed and another confrontation by the corner flag on 68 minutes, in which Swansea prevented Stags taking a quick throw, saw players running in and sadly ended with a red card shown to Brown which evened up the sides again.
Brown appeared to push his head towards Robinson and again Mr Taylor was left with no option.
When the game finally restarted, Barker sent a far post header into the side netting.
Larkin replaced Asamoah for the final six minutes.
Swansea's subs combined on 87 minutes with Thorpe heading down for Maylett to blast inches wide from 18 yards as Stags held their breath.
Then Austin picked out Trundle with a cross but his header flew straight at Pilkington as Mansfield clung on in four minutes of stoppage time.
STAGS: Pilkington, Neil, John-Baptiste, Curtis, Buxton, Barker (Smeltz 90), Asamoah (Larkin 84), Jelleyman, Murray, Rundle, Brown. Subs not used: White, McLachlan, McIntosh.
SWANSEA: Murphy, Austin, Tate, Martinez, Britton, Trundle, Monk, Connor (Thorpe 60), Robinson, Anderson (Maylett 60), Iriekpen. Subs not used: Jones, Corbisiero, Pritchard.
REFEREE: Paul Taylor of Herts.
SCORERS: Mansfield - Barker 45.
CAUTIONS: Mansfield - Swansea - Tate 23 (foul on Curtis); Monk 62 (Foul on Brown); Trundle 76 (foul on Neil).
DISMISSALS: Mansfield - Brown 68 (violent conduct). Swansea - Monk 63 (foul on Asamoah, second yellow).
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Jake Buxton.
08 February 2005
Richie Barker struck a glorious 20-yard winner, his second vital goal in four days, to boost Mansfield Town's play-off hopes and deny Swansea City top spot in League Two.
Barker's unstoppable drive into the roof of the net deep into first-half injury time also ended the visitors' five-match unbeaten run.
Swansea had edged the first half, but Mansfield took control in a controversial second half when full-back Gary Monk was red-carded for the third time this season and home winger Simon Brown was also sent off.
Third-placed Swansea had created the first chance when Paul Connor just failed to touch in a Lee Trundle cross.
On a rare home attack Tom Curtis saw his 20-yard drive drift narrowly wide, but it was Swansea who controlled the half.
In the 12th minute Kevin Austin nodded in an Andy Robinson free-kick only for his free header to be ruled out for pushing.
Trundle's low shot on the turn was then held by the diving Kevin Pilkington and Trundle, Robinson and Iriekpen all blasted over when well placed.
As Swansea continued to threaten, Austin's back header brushed the outside of the post.
Three minutes before the break, City keeper Brian Murphy did well to hold Adam Murray's deflected 20-yard shot.
But he had no chance a minute into injury time when Barker's first-time shot flew over his head.
A minute into the second half Derek Asamoah's overhead kick flew over and Mansfield almost paid for that miss when Trundle broke clear in the 55th minute, before Pilkington dived full length to hold his angled drive.
Swansea were again fortunate when Brown raced clear into the area after a mistake by Monk, only for the full-back to make an excellent recovering tackle.
But in the 62nd minute Monk was then sent off after being booked twice in a minute for fouls on Brown.
However, just five minutes later, Brown himself was then red-carded for a headbutt on Robinson as an always niggly game boiled over.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Mansfield 1 Swansea City 0
Report by - Clive & Gareth Hughes
Where can we start?
Well just to give you a flavour. 'Top of the league, you're having a laugh' Might as well end there but need to say a bit more. Admittedly we have players out at the moment, and they are key players. That does not excuse the performance tonight. We were looking to go top, well check the league table as this performance fell well, well short of what is required and what is expected.
But hey we started the brighter of the two teams, and for the first 15mins or so were very comfortable without really being a threat. We did actually score a goal, but disallowed, for what don't know as it was at the far end and many players in the area as the ball went in. Maybe at that point we might have deserved to be in the lead, not for what we had done, but for what Mansfield had not. They had offered very little and looked a poor team.
The referee was abysmal, to start with he seemed to favour us, but as the game progressed the pendulum swung with decisions going in favour of Mansfield. He did not let the game flow and seemed to be going for the world record for the number of whistle blows in 90mins. The boring first half was luckily coming to an end, but the one good move of the game brought Mansfield their goal. Good passing down their left allowed a cross to reach Barker on the edge of the area mid goal. Three defenders seemed to watch as if in slow motion the ball reached him, and with what was the only clean strike on goal saw the ball whistle into the back of the net. Good goal.
Well were a better second half team aren't we? The game continued into mediocrity until suddenly coming to life. Monk made a mistake and a Mansfield player was through on goal only to see Monk recover and put in a brilliant tackle and come away with the ball. Was our luck about to change? Forget it, within minutes Monk had been booked twice and off he went. The second booking could be classed as harsh but do you give an inept referee the chance? It looked all over at this point as Mansfield made use of the extra man. Murphy although was not threatened as possession was not made to count with attempts on goal. Then came another bizarre moment as we think Britton tackled a player near the corner flag.
The player must have reacted as there was a melee which saw their player sent off. The game from this point came to life with an edge to it. Thorpe and Maylett replaced Anderson and Connor as we then looked too get something from the game. Although better it was still not good enough with again any threat on goal. We had about 5mins from the end where we applied some pressure but it was too little too late, and again apart from a Maylett shot that he took an age deciding to shoot ( maybe it was the fans shouting 'shoot' that made his mind up for him) flashing just past the post we never looked like scoring.
Man of the match. Murphy as he did nothing wrong (had very little to do all night).
Maybe this sounds harsh and critical but tonight we saw two poor sides. The difference being Mansfield wanted the win more than us.
Excuses can be used.
As said earlier we had key players out.
The referee stopped the game every few seconds
It was the wrong kind of grass
Reality says we did not play as a team, the will to win was not there. Indiscipline crept in as the game went on. Not in bad tackles etc but in spending more time winging and mouthing off to officials. Maybe deserved but took the focus off trying to win the game.
This might be totally over the top, but we saw nothing tonight to be positive about. Maybe a good sleep will temper our thoughts, but a good sleep will not change the fact that we blew it tonight.
At least one thing made me smile, but not Gareth.
For all the 'Same old English' chant we dish out.
We got it back tonight 'Same old Swansea, always cheating', maybe I was just ready to laugh or cry
Latest | February 2005