KYLE PERRY SENDING OFF SPARKS STAGS COLLAPSE
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town 2 - 3 Stevenage Borough
Perry 1, 16. Perry sent off 45+5. Beardsley 45+8, Odubade 59, Griffin 69.
Attendance: 3251 (108 from Stevenage)
Date: 12 September 2009
Mansfield Town 2 Stevenage Borough 3
Evening Post report
TEN-MAN Mansfield surrendered their unbeaten home record under David Holdsworth as Stevenage staged a stirring comeback.
The Stags looked to be on track for a 16th game without defeat at Field Mill as Kyle Perry took his tally to six for the season to put them 2-0 in front.
But the striker was then sent off, apparently for stamping on Lee Boylan, as half-time approached.
That totally changed the complexion of the game and Stevenage dominated to run out 3-2 victors with strikes from Chris Beardsley, Yemi Odubade and Charlie Griffin.
It was the visitors fourth win in a row as they leapfrogged Mansfield in the Blue Square Premier table.
The Stags got off to the perfect start as they took the lead after just 64 seconds.
Louis Briscoe retrieved the ball after a half-cleared Gary Mills free-kick and lobbed the ball across the six-yard box from the right byline.
Rob Duffy had a shot and a header blocked but the ball dropped kindly for Perry, who poked the ball home from close range.
The Stags should have doubled their lead soon after as Briscoe did brilliantly down the right again only for Perry to head straight at Chris Day from point blank range.
In the 14th minute, Stevenage had penalty appeals waved away after Ryan Williams clashed with Ronnie Henry.
Perry scored his and Mansfield's second two minutes later with an angled drive from ten yards after co-striker Duffy teed him up from Craig Armstrong's long throw.
But Stevenage hit back strongly and Joel Byrom was not too far away with a hooked effort that just cleared the bar from Eddie Ohiambo's right-wing cross.
Borough went even closer when Bostwick's header from a left-wing corner was headed off the line by Louis Briscoe.
The next Stevenage chance fell to Odubade, but his close-range drive was blocked and Alan Marriott collected the loose ball.
The visitors should have pulled a goal back when Mansfield were caught out from a quick free-kick only for Odhiambo to blaze over when it looked easier to score.
The home side finally got forward and almost made it 3-0 when Perry's header was cleared off the line by Michael Bostwick.
Just before the break, Boylan went down as Perry and Williams tried to strip him of the ball.
Beardsley then appeared to kick Rob Duffy and a melee quickly ensued.
After several minutes of confusion, the referee sent off Perry, much to the disgust of the Mansfield players.
And in stoppage time, Stevenage rubbed salt into the wound when Beardsley headed home from Henry's right-wing centre.
Stevenage almost levelled in the 56th minute but Marriott and Briscoe combined to keep out Griffin and Beardsley.
But Borough did restore parity just before the hour mark as Odubade volleyed in from close range after Beardsley had laid the ball off from Bostwick's cross.
The play was now one-way traffic as Griffin headed over the bar from Odubade's pinpoint ball in.
And Stevenage went in front for the first time in the 69th minute when Griffin blasted into the roof of the net after Marriott had saved well from Odhiambo.
Marriott made a fine stop when he tipped over Scott Laird's shot that was heading for the top left-hand corner.
Mansfield's only chance before the end was a header from Luke Jones following a free-kick that dropped well wide.
Mansfield Town 2 Stevenage 3, Saturday 12th September
CHAD report, By Tim Morriss and John Lomas
RECALLED striker Kyle Perry went from hero to villain as the 10-men Stags lost a two-goal lead against Stevenage at Field Mill this afternoon.
Perry struck two early goals but was controversially sent off just before half-time in a stormy match.
That proved the turning point as the visitors - already looking dangerous in front of goal themselves - used their man advantage to hit back with three goals and end manager David Holdsworth's 15-match unbeaten home run since he took over at Field Mill.
The loss of Perry inevitably gave a good Stevenage side a lift against 10 men and three quick goals either side of half-time saw them lead by 69th minute.
Perry was dismissed after a lengthy delay in first half injury time after Boylan required treatment to a facial injury following a challenge - prompting six minutes of extra time in the first period.
It was not immediately clear why the Stags striker had been red carded - with reports that the referee had not seen the infringement, but that the fourth official on the other side of the pitch had seen Perry kick Boylan on the ground.
Stevenage striker Chris Beardsley, a former Stag, was lucky not to have been sent off for a clear kick at Rob Duffy in the resulting melee.
That injustice quickly haunted the Stags when Beardsley pulled a goal back for the visitors with the last touch of the first half - and in the 58th minute Yemi Odubade equalised, touching in a Beardsley knock-back at the start of a one-sided second half.
Eleven minutes later substitute Charlie Griffin poked into the roof of the net to complete Stevenage's revival and leave the Stags with just two points from four matches and two consecutive defeats.
The home side never got to grips with losing Perry and in the second half failed to keep possesion or pose an attacking threat.
Perry, one of four Stags changes, had earlier returned to hammer in from close range after just 64 seconds.
Duffy had twice gone close from a Louis Briscoe cross before Perry blasted in his fifth strike of the season.
Perry should have doubled his tally in the ninth minute, Briscoe crossing from the byeline and the striker seeing his header from just two yards blocked by the keeper.
But he made no mistake in the 16th minute as the Stags continued their explosive start in response to the poor performance in midweek.
This time Duffy knocked back Craig Armstrong's long throw and Perry's low shot found the bottom corner for his sixth goal of the season.
And he again saw a close range header cleared off the line to deny him a hat trick in the 38th minute.
However, in a wide open match full of chances at both ends, the Stags were fortunate to have not conceded a goal by the half hour mark themselves.
Briscoe nodded a Bostwick header off the line and keeper Alan Marriott bravely saved at the feet of Beardsley before Eddie Odhiambo ran unchallenged from a quick free kick before blasting over.
But when tempers boiled over at the end of the half, after Perry's red card, Beardsley's kick at Duffy and then goal, the visitors were right back in the game.
Mansfield boss David Holdsworth had again rung the changes with four alterations from the side beaten 3-1 at Kidderminster in midweek.
Back into the team, without a win in three matches, came striker Perry, midfielder Matt Somner, winger Briscoe and left back Armstrong.
Out of the starting XI went Scott Gardner, Kyle Nix, Jake Speight and Daryl Clare. Clare is carrying a knock, while also absent from the 16 was recent signing Blair Sturrock.
Leicester City loan winger Levi Porter, who came to Field Mill on Friday, was among the substitutes.
Stevenage, with four wins out of five, were a real threat to Holdsworth's 15-match unbeaten run at Field Mill since he took over last Christmas. Borough had been beaten just once this season, against leaders Oxford, and not conceded a goal for 212 minutes.
Stags made a dream start with a goal after only 64 seconds.
Mills' first minute free kick was cleared away to Briscoe on the right who did well to get to the by-line and pull back a high cross.
Duffy had two attempts blocked amid chaos in the six yard box before Perry finally slotted home.
Boylan was too high with Borough's first effort on six minutes as he turned into space on the right hand corner of the penalty box.
Perry should have doubled his tally on nine minutes when Briscoe again did well to beat his man on the right by-line and cross. Perry was only two yards from goal and central but somehow planted his header straight at the keeper when anywhere else would have resulted in a goal.
Garner was booked for a foul on Cole on 11 minutes who needed lengthy treatment.
Henry wanted a penalty kick after Williams lost control in his own box and clumsily caught him but nothing was given.
But Perry did celebrate a second goal on 16 minutes.
Armstrong sent in a long throw from the left and Duffy nodded the ball back to Perry just behind him who dispatched a low right foot volley inside the far post.
Bostwick had a brief sight of the home goal when Beardsley rolled a pass back to him but he blazed well over.
Borough kept the pressure on and Armstrong conceded a corner with a timely tackle on Beardsley and the former Stags striker then headed across goal as Mansfield laboured in clearing the corner.
Perry went on a great run from halfway and made it into the box only to see his eventual shot blocked.
But Stevenage again came close from a right wing corner which saw Roberts and Beardsley go up for the ball with Marriott and two defenders and the ball bounced just wide of the empty net.
On 29 minutes Odhiambo crossed from the right and Byrom swung a leg to connect first time and lift a shot over the top.
Stags were under continual pressure now and a minute later Bostwick headed goalwards from a third Borough corner and Briscoe had to head off the goal line.
Borough sent on sub Odebade and he caused immediate problems.
He jumped with Marriott for a high ball and the home keeper couldn't keep hold, eventually getting down to block his low shot after the Stevenage man had missed the ball first time around.
Then he cut inside and nut-megged Silk before Garner got across to make a sliding block.
It seemed only a matter of time before Stevenage would score and Stags were caught napping from a quickly taken free kick 40 yards from goal which saw Odhiambo scamper into the box unchallenged before thankfully firing over.
However, there was brief respite as the home side forced two corners. And from the second Perry got in a header that beat Day and Bostwick made a goal line clearance.
An action-packed match erupted on 42 minutes as Williams and Perry battled to get the ball off Boylan who stayed down, rolling over in agony.
As play stopped both sides came together angrily and Beardsley cleared flicked a kick at Duffy during the melee
As the dust settled Roberts was lectured before all three officials gathered on the far side of the pitch to confer.
Stags fans and players were then shocked as a red card was flashed at Perry with the clock already showing 49 minutes.
One of the three officials had obviously seen something no one else had but Stags were down to 10 men.
The home fans expressed their fury as Borough quickly forced a corner as we entered six minutes of stoppage time.
Odubade sent a looping header straight at Marriott before we had yet another hold up as Boylan again went down, this time going off to be replaced by Griffin.
Deep into stoppage time Stags suffered another kick in the teeth as Borough pulled a goal back. Henry crossed to the near post where a delighted Beardsley applied a finish just inside the post.
Referee Drysdale was booed and jeered off at the break as Stags faced a long, hard 45 minutes ahead of them.
It was confirmed at the break that Perry had gone for an alleged stamp on Boylan's face as he lay on the ground which is seems was spotted by the fourth official.
Duffy tried a tame 40 yard effort immediately after the break which rolled easily to Day's feet.
Silk blocked a low Odubade effort at the far post as Borough got the ball into the home box for the first time in the half.
Stevenage began to play keep-ball, forcing the 10 men to chase their passes.
On 56 minutes Marriott denied both Griffin and Beardsley as they dived in for a low through ball before recovering to grab the ball as it almost went in off the leg of Briscoe.
But it was 2-2 on 59 minutes. Bostwick crossed long from the right and Beardsley steered it back across goal to give sub Odebede a simply close range finish past a helpless Marriott.
New loan signing Porter replaced Williams for his debut on 64 minutes.
Griffin headed an Odubade cross just over the angle as the home side hung on.
But the visitors were ahead on 69 minutes. Laird slipped Odhiambo in on goal. Marriott did superbly to block his finish but Griffin was on hand was ram the loose ball into the gaping net.
Stags' final roll of the dice on 72 minutes saw the introduction of Speight and Istead for Duffy and Briscoe.
But it took a great save from Marriott on 81 minutes to deny Stevenage a killer fourth as his dipping 30 yard effort had to be tipped away for a corner.
Then Griffin fired over from 20 yards as Borough kept the ball in the home half where the Stags could do them no harm as the clock ticked down.
Istead was booked in the 90th minute for a frustrated hack at Bostwick and Armstrong quickly followed him got kicking the ball at an advertising hoarding.
Deep into stoppage time Odhiambo went on a long run that ended with a poor low finish to Marriott.
But the didn't need any more as the whistle brought an end to Stags' long home unbeaten run.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott, Silk, Garner, Jones, Armstrong; Briscoe (Speight 72mins), Mills, Somner, Williams (Porter 64mins); Duffy (Istead 72mins), Perry. Subs: Sandercombe, Graham.
STEVENAGE: Day, Henry, Roberts, Ashton, Laird; Odhiambo, Byrom, Bostwick, Cole (Odubade 25mins); Beardsley (Albrighton 80mins), Boylan Griffin 45mins). Subs: Bayes, Long.
REFEREE: Mr Darren Drysdale, of Lincolnshire.
ATTENDANCE: 3,251 (108).
BOOKINGS: Stags - Garner (foul, 11mins); Istead (foul, 90mins); Armstrong (UGC, 90mins).
SENDING OFF: Stags - Perry, 45mins, violent conduct.
GOALS: Stags - Perry, 2mins, 16mins. Stevenage - Beardsley, 45mins; Odubade 58mins, Griffin 69mins.
Griffin completes wonderful Boro comeback
Mansfield Town 2 Stevenage Boro 3
Charlie Griffin grabbed his first goal for the club as Boro completed a wonderful comeback against 10-man Mansfield Town to strike a crucial blow over one of their promotion rivals.
Boro got off to the worst possible start when Kyle Perry grabbed a brace in the first 15 minutes but the striker blotted his copybook with a moment of madness just before the break when he stamped on Lee Boylan's face before being shown the red card.
It was the game defining moment as Boro roared back into the contest. Chris Beardsley struck before the break to pull one back before the impressive Yemi Odubade levelled matters from close range.
Griffin's moment arrived in the 69th minute and Boro fans will be hoping it is the first step the former Salisbury man takes to filling the boots of last season's top goalscorer Steve Morison.
Boro got off to a nightmare start going behind in the second minute when they failed to clear a Gary Mills free-kick and there was Perry to rifle home from close range and give the home side a dream start.
Perry certainly looked in the mood in the opening stages with the Boro back line struggling to cope with the Stags' striker and only a wonderful save from Chris Day prevented him from doubling Mansfield's lead in the ninth minute.
But there was nothing Day could do seven minutes later when Perry did strike again with a precise finish. The 23-year-old was leading both Mark Roberts and Jon Ashton a merry dance and his clever finish had left Boro with a mountain to climb.
Michael Bostwick had a half chance soon after to get his side back into the contest but his 20-yard effort flew harmlessly over after being teed up by Boylan.
But it got worse for Boro soon afterwards when Mitchell Cole hobbled off as he failed to shake off the after effects of a heavy challenge from Scott Garner earlier on.
Odubade came on in place of the former Grays man and immediately looked lively.
Boro showed once again that they are made of stern stuff as they desperately sought a way back into the contest but, once again, a lack of cutting edge was undermining their efforts.
Bostwick got on the end of a Joel Byrom corner but saw his effort cleared off the line while Eddie Odhiambo had a golden opportunity when put through, but his left-footed shot flew over.
Perry almost grabbed his hat-trick in the 37th minute but Bostwick cleared off the line then the Mansfield hero was at the centre of controversy when he appeared to stamp on Boylan's face after a collision.
It was clearly a red card offence but, neither the referee nor linesman had appeared to have seen the incident. Fortunately for Boro, the fourth official intervened and, five minutes after the original offence had been committed, Perry was deservedly given his marching orders.
The home fans were disgusted at the decision but there was little they could say to defend Perry, whose assault on Boylan meant the former Cambridge man had to be substituted.
Their mood was darkened further just before the break when Beardsley's fine header reduced the arrears after a good cross from Boylan's replacement, Charlie Griffin. It was nothing less than Boro deserved and set the second half up perfectly.
Mansfield were always going to get 10 men behind the ball in the second half and Boro took up the invitation to get forward at every opportunity.
Mansfield had a major let-off in the 56th minute as they had Alan Marriott to thank for preserving their lead when he saved from Griffin and Beardsley.
But just before the hour-mark Boro levelled matters through Odubade, who tapped home after great work by Beardsley.
Boro didn't rest on their laurels however and piled forward looking for a winner. If manager Graham Westley could have chosen one man to get the goal then it would have been Griffin, who has struggled at The Lamex Stadium since his summer move from Salisbury.
But Griffin finally had a slice of luck when he was presented with an easy chance to get the winner. Laird played Odhiambo in on goal but his effort was well saved by Marriott.
Unfortunately for the Stags, the ball fell for Griffin, who gratefully rammed the ball home.
Laird could have put the seal on a wonderful comeback with a left-footed curler but Marriott did well to parry away.
Mansfield Town: Marriott, Silk, Garner, Jones, Armstrong, Briscoe (Speight 72), Mills, Somner, Williams (Porter 64), Duffy (Istead 72), Perry, Subs not used: Sandercombe, Istead, Graham, Speight, Porter.
Boro: Day, Henry, Ashton, Roberts, Laird, Odhiambo, Byrom, Bostwick, Cole (Odubade 25), Boylan (Griffin 45), Beardsley (Albrighton 80). Subs not used: Bayes, Long.
Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)
Latest | September 2009