DUFFY THE CRAWLEY SLAYER
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Crawley Town
Attendance: 2414 (85 from Crawley)
StagsWorld's Martin Shaw and Nigel Pinnick describe the winning goal, here
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill
The Stags won their first game managed by David Holdsworth with a wonderfully gritty and resolute rearguard action. A superbly taken goal from newcomer Rob Duffy separated the sides at half time. The Stags had to withstand heavy pressure from Crawley in the second half but their route one football created only one good chance when Pittman struck the bar on 80 minutes and the Stags held out to take the points and send the fans home happy. Alan Marriott in the Stags goal was superb with a thoroughly assured display on his debut including one blinding save from point blank range. Your reporters have not been so excited about a new Stags goalkeeper since the days of Ian Bowling.
Video highlights of the game will be available on StagsWorld freeview on Sunday morning.
Stagsnet match report in the Match Centre
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn :
Dream Start For Holdsworth As Duffy Opens With a Stunner
Mansfield Town 1 Crawley Town 0
New Stags Manager, David Holdsworth got off to a dream start with a hard fought 1-0 victory against promotion chasing, Crawley Town. The winning goal coming on 28 minutes and in spectacular style from striker, Rob Duffy.
The afternoon started with a fitting minutes applause out of respect for former Manager, Ian Greaves who recently passed away and the 'Silver Fox' would have been proud of the gritty display that his former club showed to record a valuable and impressive win.
Holdsworth's first starting eleven contained four of his new signings in goalkeeper, Alan Marriott, central defender, Scott Garner, right midfielder, Louis Briscoe and centre forward, Rob Duffy, whilst the bench also contained two other new fresh faces in Dan Whatsize and Tomi Ameobi.
The visitors who had not lost on their travels since the 30th October and were obviously eager to maintain their promotion assault but found Holdsworth's new look Mansfield hard to break down.
It was Stags who got off to the brighter start when a left wing cross from Nathan Arnold fell right for O'Connor but the Stags striker was closed down quickly in the area and his attempt flew high over the crossbar not troubling Raynor in the Crawley goal.
Arnold was chief tormentor again on 11 minutes but when the home crowd were baying for him to pull the trigger as he entered the area, he dithered and the visitors defence cleared.
Crawley had a sight on goal just two minutes later but Micky Malcolm's free kick from just outside the area was claimed with ease by Marriott.
The visitors were causing the main problems as an attacking force but Marriott was commanding his area with an assurance that was obviously giving the whole side a shot of confidence.
A long throw in from Chalmers was seized upon by Malcolm who then found Adam Quinn, who was a pre-season Stags target but his effort was blocked brilliantly from close range by Marriott as Crawley upped the stakes.
Five minutes later and Stags took a spectacular lead. Nathan Arnold who was constantly moving from left to right, popped up on the left and delivered a perfect cross to Rob Duffy. The new Stags striker controlled the ball on his chest before swivelling and hitting an unstoppable volley into the top right hand corner of Reynors net. Field Mill erupted in joy as many of the Crawley players dropped to their knees in disappointment.
On 31 minutes, another set-piece almost caused Mansfield problems but Weatherstone's free kick dropped inches over the Stags crossbar.
The visitors were keeping Marriott busy, this time the Stags keeper saved from the head of Fletcher.
Five minutes before the half time break Nathan Arnold found himself in space in the area but unfortunately his effort hit the side netting.
The 2nd half was just seven minutes old when Holdsworth decided to shake up the pack when he introduced James Kay for Alex Jeannin.
A few moments later and Stags could have gone 2-0 ahead. Stags were awarded a free kick around 25 yards from goal and Nathan Arnold let fly with a shot so powerful that it knocked Raynor over as the Crawley keeper pushed the ball away from danger.
That was to be Arnold's last action of the game as he was replaced by on loan Tomi Ameobi.
Crawley were trying in vain to get back in the game but Stags were defending well, albeit at times a little desperate but despite ball after ball being pumped towards the Stags area Crawley rarely caused big concern to Marriott.
On 73 minutes Holdsworth made his 3rd change of the game when he replaced goalscoring hero, Duffy with Mark Stallard.
With 10 minutes to go, Crawley shook the Mansfield woodwork when Pittman tried to finish from close range, the loose ball fell to Fletcher but his effort was always rising the moment it left his foot.
The last chance of the game came when Louis Briscoe danced his way into the Crawley area but after doing all the hard work he smashed his effort into the side netting.
There were groans when the 4th official held up the board to state that there would be four minutes of added on time but Mansfield held possession in a professional manner to see out the game and record a valuable three points.
This weekend Mansfield make the journey down South to take on Lewes who have lost nine of their 13 home games in the BSP thus far this season and sit just one place off the foot of the table. It is to be hoped that the Holdsworth revolution continues.
Observer Man of the Match – Alan Marriott – Commanding performance from the former Lincoln City custodian who seemed to spread confidence throughout the team.
FULL-TIME: Mansfield Town 1 Crawley Town 0
CRAWLEY Town suffered their first in 10 matches when a 28th minute goal by Mansfield's Robert Duffy sealed the points for the home side.
Full-time: Mansfield Town 1 Crawley Town 0
Oddly, no substitutions were made by Crawley during a poor second half which only saw them create a couple of chances to score.
90mins - 4 minutes of added time indicated.
83mins - Briscoe breaks thADVERTISEMENTrough into the area on the left flank but shoots into the side-netting.
80mins - Crawley's Pittman hits the crossbar, the ball rolls out and falls to Fletcher, who gets no power behind his shot and it rolls tamely to the keeper.
73mins - SUBSTITUTION (Mansfield) Mark Stallard replaces Robert Duffy.
63mins - Sam Rents lifts a shot over the bar as Reds try to get back on to level terms in the chill wind of Field Mill.
57mins - SUBSTITUTION (Mansfield) Tomi Ameobi replaces Nathan Arnold.
57mins - Arnold forces a good save by keeper Rayner frfom a free-kick.
52mins - SUBSTITUTION (Mansfield) James Kay replaces Alex Jeannin.
Half-time: Mansfield Town 1 Crawley Town 0
Crawley are losing by a singble goal scored in the 28th minute by Robert Duffy with a stylish volleyed goal on his debut.
Reds have had a few chances to get on level terms, without dominating in cold and breezy conditions.
45mins - One minute of added time
40mins - Mansfield's Arnold shot into the side-netting from a narrow angle on the left.
33mins - Reds keep the pressure on with another chance. Bulman's long cross finding Fletcher, whose on-target header was saved by Marriott.
31mins - Crawley go close at the other end when Simon Weatherstone strokes a dipping free-kick from 25 yards jus inches over the crossbar.
28mins - GOAL (Mansfield) 1-0 Robert DUFFY scored a well-taken opening goal when he controlled a cross from the left by Nathan Arnold and then volleyed into the net from 12 yards.
22mins - Crawley mount a dangerous move from an impressive long throw into the area by Chalmers. The ball goes wide to Malcolm of the left before being worked back to Adam Quinn in front of the post, whose shot is blocked at point blank range by keeper Marriott.
14mins - Lewis Chalmers goes wide with a shot which he should have got on target.
13mins - Mikey Malcolm curls a shot at goal from a free-kick just outside the area which is comfortably saved.
5mins - Mansfield create the first chance on goal with an effort by Aaron O'Connor from a few yards out which he failed to control from 12 yards out and lifted well over the crossbar, following a ross in from the left.
A minute's applause was held in memory of former Mansfield manager Ian Greaves who recently died.
STEVE Evans fielded an unchanged starting XI from the side which trounced Cambridge Utd 5-0 on Wednesday night.
Midfielder Lewis Chalmers made his league debut since joining Crawley on loan from Aldershot.
Mansfield manager David Holdsworth, brother of Dean, is taking in first game in charge.
He included four new signings who made their debut: goalkeeper Alan Marriott, winger Louis Briscoe, defender Scott Garner and striker Robert Duffy.
REDS (4-4-2): Rayner, Rents, Weatherstone, Wright, Bulman, Fletcher, Pittman, Wilson, Quinn, Chalmers, Malcolm. Subs: Mills, Stevens, Pinault, Carter, Nayee
STAGS: Marriott, Silk, Laryea, Moses, Arnold, Somner, Briscoe, Garner, Jeannin, O'Connor, Duffy. Subs: Wahtsize, Kay, Stallard, Burrell, Ameobi
REF: Jake Collin
Latest | January 2009