UNLUCKY STAGS BEATEN AT NEW LEADERS
Blue Square Premier
Stevenage Borough 3 - 1 Mansfield Town
Odubade 52, 68, Drury 73. Odubade missed pen 88. Shaw 39. Jones sent off 87.
Attendance: 1753 (138 from Mansfield)
Date: 9 February 2010
Martin Shaw at Broadhall Way
Mansfield Town put in a fine display at Stevenage Borough on Tuesday night, but still came away on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. The Stags were very good value for a 1-0 lead at half-time thanks to John Shaw's excellent left footed strike, after the same player had struck the bar with a similar great left-footed effort, and also Gary Mills had struck the post with a low bobbling free-kick. But Stevenage equalised through a lucky deflected shot, and then added two fine strikes to make it 3-1. Stevenage were bizarrely awarded a late penalty and Luke Jones sent off for what looked like nothing, but Marriott saved the penalty, and then Stags sub Blair Sturrock incredibly hit the inside of the left post, the ball spun along the goalline and out for a goalkick past the right post. It just wasn't Mansfield's night.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Stevenage 3 Stags 1 - Tuesday, 9th February 2010
CHAD.co.uk, 09 February 2010, By John Lomas
A POWERFUL second half fightback from Stevenage saw them take all three points and go clear at the top of the BSP table after a much-changed Stags side had led at the break in this thrilling play-off showdown.
Mansfield also had Luke Jones sent off near the end while Alan Marriott produced a penalty save to deny Man of the Match Yemi Odubade a hat-trick.
Jon Shaw had marked his full Mansfield debut with the only goal of an exciting and physical first half as Stags regained their pride after Saturday's Gateshead misery.
But for the second successive game a deflected goal rocked Mansfield as Odubade levelled before adding a second ahead of a cracker from sub Andy that finally saw off the gutsy visitors.
Then came the late drama with the red card and penalty save as the home side finished strongly.
Mansfield boss David Holdsworth could not complain about the effort shown this time, underlined by the five yellow and one red cards handed out to the committed Stags.
But this third successive defeat leaves the Field Mill outfit with much work to do to stay in this season's play-off reckoning.
Stags are now sixth in the table following the defeat and Luton and Rushden and Diamonds win.
Furious boss David Holdsworth made six changes, bringing in new signing, defender Andy Nicholas at left back, along with midfielder Gary Mills, Kyle Nix, who had been out injured since October, and recalls for Jon Challinor, Kyle Perry and a full debut for striker Jon Shaw.
Stevenage, unbeaten at home all season, made a powerful start and Sills sent a header just wide, while Beardsley also wasn't too far wide after turning 20 yards out.
But Stags almost grabbed a 17th minute lead when Shaw sent a dipping left foot shot crashing against the Borough crossbar.
Tempers boiled over on 25 minutes as several players squared up on the halfway line after Ashton shoved Perry after the two had gone in for a challenge, which resulted in three bookings being dished out.
Stags once again struck the home woodwork as a left wing Mills free kick hit the near post from the tightest of angles.
But it wasn't long before the sides flared up again. Nix and Beardsley went in strongly resulting in Nix, following a flare up between the two after the challenge, being booked.
Shaw then snatched the lead for the visitors with a wonderful moment of opportunism on 39 minutes.
The ball broke towards him just inside the box and he whipped an instinctive left foot shot across Day and inside the far post.
Mansfield went in ahead after a gutsy and powerful 45 minutes knowing they were in for kinder words from their boss than they heard at the interval and final whistle on Saturday.
But the lead didn't last long though as a a huge slice of luck had Stevenage level on 53 minutes.
Nicholas was lectured after a foul on the right which saw a free kick whipped over and cleared out to Odubade, whose low shot lacked real power but took two deflections on its way past a stranded Marriott.
The lively Odubade then doubled his and Stevenage's tally on 69 minutes.
A neat move down the right saw a low finish by Beardsley which flew past Marriott and was cleared off the line by Duffy. However, it then rolled towards Odubade who made no mistake with a crisp finish followed by a long run to the dug-outs and wild celebrations.
Stags' hopes began to fade on 74 minutes when Drury, on the pitch for just one minute, crashed the best finish of the night over Marriott to put some real daylight between the sides for the first time.
Williams replaced Challinor in the hope of a spark down the wing and then Sturrock came on for Duffy.
Perry was so close from 25 yards with a curling shot that just wouldn't come in quickly enough as it went past the keeper.
But the home side, with the luxury of the two goal lead, were playing some good football and Odubade blasted a half-chance well over from outside the box as he went in search of the match ball.
It got much worse three minutes from time as Jones was red-carded for a professional foul on Odebade.
Odebade was given the chance of a hat-trick but scuffed a poor penalty down the centre which Marriott smothered at the second attempt to confirm the 3-1 defeat.
STEVENAGE: Day, Laird, Ashton, Long, Odubade, Byrom, Roberts, Sills (Drury 73 mins), Beardsley (Boylan 90 mins), Cole, (Bridges 81 mins), Bostwick. Subs not used: Bays, Albrighton.
MANSFIELD: Marriott, Silk, Foster, Jones, Nicholas, Mills, Challinor (Williams 72 mins), Nix, Duffy (Sturrock 78 mins), Perry, Shaw (Briscoe 82 mins). Subs not used: Collett, Brough.
REFEREE: Ian Smedley of Elverston.
ATTENDANCE: 1773 (138 away)
GOALS: Shaw 39 mins, Odubade 53 and 69 mins, Drury 74 mins.
BOOKINGS: Stevenage 2, Mansfield 5.
SENT OFF: Luke Jones (Mansfield), professional foul, 87 mins.
Boro go top after second half comeback
Stevenage Borough 3 Mansfield Town 1
YEMI Odubade's brace took Stevenage Borough back to the top of the Blue Square Premier on Tuesday evening after rivals Oxford United were beaten by two injury time goals at Luton Town.
There will be few, if any, more satisfying 45 minutes for fans of any team in the Blue Square Premier this season than those lived by the Boro faithful on Tuesday evening.
At one point their team looked dead and buried - in addition to leading at the break Mansfield had also hit the post and the bar - yet come 90 minutes they were three points clear of Oxford who were stung at Kenilworth Road.
Boro began the match having made four changes from their defeat against Tamworth on Saturday with Ronnie Henry and Darren Murphy suspended, Charlie Griffin out with a slight knock and David Bridges on the bench.
Back came Mark Roberts in the centre of the defence alongside Michael Bostwick with Jon Ashton out right and Joel Byrom started in midfield with Mitchell Cole coming in to give Boro another man up and down the left wing.
Up front there was a start for Tim Sills alongside Chris Beardsley and Yemi Odubade.
Boro started well in the opening 15 minutes with Sills heading just wide from inside the six-yard box after Ashton had hooked a corner over his shoulder to the far post, and Beardsley shot over and wide from 20 yards after finding space on the edge of the area.
Mansfield used the lack of muscle in the Boro midfield - not something that can be said often of Graham Westley's men - to bully and power their way back into the game and Shaw it was who had their first real chance when out of nothing he hit a superb dipping shot over a crowded penalty area onto the top of the bar.
There was then a melee on the touchline near the Boro box which involved most players on the pitch and as a result four players - Chris Beardsley, Jon Ashton, Kyle Perry and Rob Duffy - were cautioned.
Kyle Nix was lucky to remain on the pitch five minutes later when at first he fouled Beardsley and then as the Boro striker got up he pushed him to the floor. A yellow card was all the midfielder got.
Things quietened down with neither side making chances until Gary Mills hit a poor free kick from near the Boro corner flag and it trickled along the ground before hitting the post and going out of play.
The next shot at goal was a little more special. Shaw it was who picked the ball up to the left of the Boro D on 38 minutes, turned and curled a little beauty into the far corner. There was nothing Day could do.
Boro came out like they meant business in the second half, and boy didn't they.
Odubade hit two goals in 15 minutes - the first a deflected strike from 12 yards and the second a turn and shot inside the box - and Andy Drury scored a superb curling shot as he slipped 20 yards out but managed to hit his shot past Alan Marriott in the Mansfield goal.
What makes Drury's effort more astonishing is that he had been on the pitch for just 47 seconds.
Kyle Perry curled a shot wide for Mansfield before Odubade broke free of the defence to chase a long ball.
The striker put the ball past the onrushing Marriott and Luke Jones, but Jones then pulled Odubade back as he hit his effort wide and the Mansfield defender was rightly given his marching orders.
Boro were awarded a penalty but Odubade was denied his hat-trick by Marriott's low save.
Mansfield had one more opportunity but Blair Sturrock's shot hit the post before bouncing across the face of goal and spinning out behind the side of the second post. The sequence left everyone stunned.
So too did the news from Luton that the Hatters had scored twice in injury time to beat Oxford United and the chanting of 'we are top of the league' resonated around the Lamex Stadium as the home fans left the ground in good cheer.
Boro (4-3-3): Day 6, Laird 7, Ashton 6, Roberts 7, Bostwick 6, Byrom 6, Long 7, Cole 7 (Bridges, 80), Beardsley 6 (Boylan, 90), Odubade 8, Sills 6 (Drury, 72).
Unused Subs: Bayes, Albrighton.
Mansfield Town (4-3-3): Marriott 6, Silk 6, Foster 6, Jones 5, Nicholas 6, Challinor 6 (Williams, 72), Mills 6, Nix 6, Shaw (Briscoe, 82) 6, Duffy (Sturrock, 77) 7, Perry 7. Subs: Collett, Brough.
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