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Archived News from July 2010

26th July 2010 20:03

24 July 2010

Mansfield Town 1 – 1 Tranmere Rovers
Nix 85. Thomas-Moore 26.
Att 812 (63 from Tranmere)

Marriott (Collett 46);
Silk (Leonard 90), Naylor (Preece 46), Foster (Chris Smith 46), Stonehouse (Sandwith 54);
Briscoe (Williams 61), Mills (Nix 54), Munn (Thompson 69), Adam Smith (Cain 54);
Mitchley (O'Rafferty 61), Gregory (Parker 69).


Full Stagsnet report by Darren Shaw :

The Stags looked to continue their good pre-season form against Division 1 side, Tranmere Rovers, who were making their first visit to Field Mill since being thrashed 6-1 by the Stags in Division 1 in 2002. It was a tight game with both defences being on top and having the better of the match. Mansfield unluckily fell behind in the first half to a deflected goal from Ian Thomas-Moore. However, the Stags dominated the second half and, with the help of the substitutions, wore Tranmere down for Kyle Nix to eventually score a well worked equaliser with five minutes to go. They could then have gone on to win the game with new signing, Keigan Parker, missing a good chance with a minute to go.

The Stags lined up with Alan Marriott in goal. Gary Silk and Paul Stonehouse started at full back with Tom Naylor and Steve Foster at centre half. Gary Mills and Bradley Munn were playing in midfield with Louis Briscoe on the right and Adam Smith on the left. Triallist, Danny Mitchley, was given a chance to impress up front alongside Lee Gregory. The two new signings, Keigan Parker from Oldham Athletic and Tyrone Thompson from Torquay United, were both on the bench. Tranmere put out a strong team with eight first teamers and three triallists, Matt Hollyoak, Nick Wood and Bakary Bojang. Ten of Tranmere's team had started in their 2-0 victory over Forest on Wednesday night.

The Stags attacked the North Stand end and good passing between Danny Mitchley and Gary Mills allowed Mills to pass to Louis Briscoe on the right who put in a very dangerous cross which Tranmere scrambled clear. Tranmere then started to come forward and Alan Marriott, diving to his left, made an excellent save from Joss Labadie. A poor back pass by Paul Stonehouse then put Alan Marriott under pressure. Marriott's clearance was blocked and Joss Labadie headed wide of an open goal. Tom Naylor demonstrated what a good prospect he is by bringing another Tranmere attack to a halt with a great tackle. The Stags had their first shot on goal after around 16 minutes when Tom Naylor played a long ball from defence, from right to left. A Tranmere defender headed Naylor's ball back to Danny Mitchley who blasted the ball just over the bar with his left foot. Adam Smith won a free kick on the left but the free kick was headed wide by Lee Gregory. The Stags unluckily fell behind in the 27th minute when Ian Thomas-Moore's shot from the edge of the area was deflected past Alan Marriott when Marriott seemed to have the shot well covered. Mansfield won a free kick after the ball was thrown out by Alan Marriott to Gary Mills. There was some good passing between Mills, Gregory and Stonehouse before Danny Mitchley was fouled outside the area. Louis Briscoe's curling free kick was on target but it was well held by the Tranmere keeper. Adam Smith was then fouled on the left. Gary Mills's free kick was headed on by Steve Foster but then cleared by the Tranmere defence. Louis Briscoe won a corner on the right but Gary Mills's cross was headed over by Adam Smith. Louis Briscoe then put in another dangerous cross after Steve Foster had headed clear to Danny Mitchley who had laid the ball off to Briscoe. The Stags were working hard but were struggling to create chances against a Tranmere defence that was well organised by Jamaican International, Ian Goodison,

David Holdsworth made some changes to the defence at half time with Neil Collett replacing Alan Marriott in goal and Mark Preece and Chris Smith replacing Tom Naylor and Steve Foster at centre half. Eight minutes later, further changes were made when Paul Stonehouse, Gary Mills and Louis Briscoe were replaced by Kevin Sandwith, Kyle Nix and Ashley Cain. Tranmere nearly increased their lead at the start of the second half when Bojang hit the bar with a free header from a corner. Mansfield's first chance of the second half came after 55 minutes when the Tranmere keeper failed to clear Gary Silk's cross to the far post. Danny Mitchley was following up behind and did get his head to the ball but it went wide. A minute later, Kyle Nix shot wide of the goal from the edge of the area. Adam Smith and Danny Mitchley were then replaced by Ryan Williams and Niall O'Rafferty. The introduction of Nix and Williams meant that the Stags started to pass the ball a lot better and started to look more dangerous going forward. This produced a free kick when Gary Silk was fouled on the right. Kyle Nix curled in a cross with his left foot which was headed wide by Chris Smith who looked cross with himself for not scoring. With 23 minutes to go, there was a cheer from the Stags fans as we got our first look at new signings Tyrone Thompson and Keigan Parker. They replaced Bradley Munn and Lee Gregory. Neil Collett came out of his goal quickly to make a vital clearance from Ian Thomas-Moore. The Stags finally equalised with around five minutes to go. Gary Silk won the ball on the right and passed the ball inside to Ryan Williams who knocked it inside again to Tyrone Thompson. Thompson played a lovely ball to Ashley Cain on the left who ran forward and played the ball back across to Kyle Nix on the edge of the area who smashed it into the back of the net with the aid of a deflection. The Stags then charged forward for the remaining part of the match with Ryan Williams playing a major role and were unlucky not to score again. Firstly, Ryan Williams escaped on the left and crossed to Keigan Parker who pulled the ball back to create space for a shot. Unfortunately, he could not get much power on the shot and it was deflected wide. Kyle Nix then curled in a dangerous cross before Gary Silk was replaced by John Leonard. It was then Kevin Sandwith's turn to surge forward after he had intercepted a Tranmere clearance. He played the ball down the left to Ashley Cain who was fouled on the edge of the area. Kevin Sandwith took the free kick and his cross beat everybody at the far post. Parker chased after the ball, kept it in and laid it back to Ryan Williams whose cross was scrambled away for a corner. Ryan Williams took the corner and Chris Smith laid the ball back to John Leonard on the edge of the area who smacked it at goal but his shot was tipped over the bar by the Tranmere keeper. The corner was cleared to Ryan Williams whose curling shot was cleared for another corner but the Stags could not find the winner and the referee called a halt to an entertaining finale to the game.

Alan Marriott – Made an excellent save in the first half and had no chance with the goal as he was beaten by a deflection.

Gary Silk – Defended well throughout the game. Nobody got past him. Got forward well in the second half. My Man of the Match.
Tom Naylor – Looked the part once again. Brought one Tranmere attack to a halt with a superb tackle. We are going to enjoy watching him this season.
Steve Foster – Won everything in the air. Gives me confidence that our defence will be stronger this season.
Paul Stonehouse – Looks very good at left back and probably has the edge over Kevin Sandwith at the moment.

Louis Briscoe – Made a few surges forward and put in one dangerous cross but is not at his best yet which may not be a bad thing. He peaked too early last season!
Gary Mills – Not as good as against Forest but worked hard to try and get the Stags going.
Bradley Munn – Worked hard but does not look quite ready for the first team.
Adam Smith – Looked lively and was fouled by the Tranmere defenders on at least three occasions. He will win plenty of free kicks when he attacks the opposition.

Danny Mitchley – Had one good shot from the edge of the area but did not have any real chances to score.
Lee Gregory – The same applies to Lee Gregory. Well marked by the Tranmere defence.


Chris Smith – Looked good once again in the defence and nearly scored with a header.
Mark Preece – Solid game in defence. I would have liked to have seen him bring the ball forward out of defence a little more when there was space in front of him.
Kevin Sandwith – Did not put a foot wrong. His best game to date.
Kyle Nix – Played well when he game on and took his goal well. Could be a big player for the Stags this season if he stays free of injuries.
Ashley Cain – Another lively appearance off the bench. Could sometimes do better with his final ball but that applies to most wide players!
Ryan Williams – Made a big difference once again when he came on. Popped up everywhere to keep the ball moving. Combined well with Nix and Thompson in midfield.
Niall O'Rafferty – Did not have much chance to shine but could be a useful player to bring off the bench when defenders are getting tired.
Keigan Parker – Has plenty of confidence and looked dangerous. Should have scored.
Tyrone Thompson – Wanted the ball and was involved in the equaliser. Looks promising.
John Leonard – Only came on with about three minutes to go. Nearly scored with a shot from the edge of the area. I would like to see more of him.


Stagsnet mini-report and player ratings by Neil Shaw at Field Mill

Marriott - Did well.

Silk - Very good, especially second half linking up with Cain
Naylor - Very impressive; crunching challenges. Joint man of the match.
Foster - Impressive.
Stonehouse - Looked alright; very one-footed.

Briscoe - Looked reasonable. This needs to be his season.
Mills - Alright; one particularly good pass.
Munn - Excellent. Tremendous work-rate, bags of energy, harrying. Looks ready for first team on today's evidence. Joint man of the match.
Adam Smith - Confident. Looks a proper footballer. Quality.

Mitchley - One good shot, but otherwise didn't look like scoring.
Gregory - Anonymous.

Collett - Did well, like Marriott.

Leonard - Very late sub at right back. Good shot in last minute.
Chris Smith - Looks quality.
Preece - Tough tackling.
Sandwith - Looked good.

Cain - Promising. Confident.
Nix - Played well. Deserved his goal.
Thompson - Saw a lot of the ball.
Williams - Good and sensible distribution.

O'Rafferty - A bit clumsy. Poor first touch. Raw. Not ready for the first team on this half hour of evidence.
Parker - One shot on the turn and nearly scored. Not involved much apart from that.

Minute by minute:

15 A great tackle by Tom Naylor, following an earlier fine tackle. Naylor is making an impressive start to the game.
17 Good shot from trialist Danny Mitchley, just over the bar from 20 yards.
26 0-1 A soft goal as a deflection from Ian Thomas-Moore's shot gifts Tranmere the lead.
30 Two bad fouls by Tranmere's Labadie in two minutes. Both of them sliding two-footed with studs in the air. Should have been sent off.
35 The Stags best bit of play so far: a long ball from Mills to Gregory, then to Adam Smith who is fouled. Briscoe's free kick is held under his own bar by the Tranmere keeper.

Half time 0-1

47 Terrible Stags marking from a corner, and a free header for Tranmere's Labadie hits the bar.
67 Chris Smith header is wide from a Nix free kick, following good link up play between Silk and Cain.
85 1-1 Nix equalises with a shot from the edge of the box.
88 Good play from Williams and Keigan Parker shot just wide.
90 Great shot from trialist John Leonard, just on as a sub, tipped over the bar by the Tranmere keeper.

Full time 1-1

The Stags played some very nice football, on the floor, especially in the second half. It was impressive considering the quality of the opposition from the Championship. The Stags could have had three or four goals in the last 30 minutes. Youngsters Tom Naylor and Bradley Munn were tremendous.

On this showing, the Stags have four really good centre-halves, and bags of cover at full back and in midfield and on the wing. However the balance of the squad looks slightly wrong with not enough strikers and too many midfielders/wide-men. There seems not enough cover for Duffy and Parker. I can see the Stags playing nice football, not conceding many goals, but not scoring enough goals.

By Neil Shaw


Nix steals draw for Stags
CHAD.co.uk, 24 July 2010, By John Lomas

KYLE Nix's deflected 85th minute effort stole a deserved draw for Stags at home to League One Tranmere Rovers in the latest pre-season friendly this afternoon.


It was the perfect way to mark his return to the fold after Nix's trial at Sparta Rotterdam failed to win him a contract this week.

Ironically his strike evened out a deflected effort for the visitors by Ian Thomas-Moore.

True, the Stags didn't provide a real test for visiting Faroe Islands international keeper Gunnar Nielsen until Nix's goal.

But they bossed the second half possession and again showed the home fans some neat moves to give hope for the new campaign.

And sub John Leonard almost grabbed a late winner but was denied by Neilsen.

Thomas-Moore had scored the opening goal on 27 minutes after Alan Marriott had earlier saved well from the abrasive Joss Labadie while Bakery Bojang should have buried a free header just after the break but hit the bar.

However, after that the visitors spent much of the second half penned in their own half defending their advantage until Nix struck to ensure the day ended all square.

Stags gave a first start to promising youth team midfielder Bradley Munn as well as central defender Tom Naylor, striker Lee Gregory and on-trial ex-Blackpool striker Danny Mitchley.

New signings Tyrone Thompson and Keigan Parker were on the bench as was midfielder Kyle Nix, back in the fold after his trial at Sparta Rotterdam failed to end in a contract.

Both teams failed to capitalise on flicked-on early corners while Nielsen had to punch away a dangerous cross from Briscoe from the right.

But on six minutes Marriott did well to block a 10 yard shot from Labadie, who had looked a certain scorer as the ball rolled towards him.
When the corner came over Welsh sidefooted a volley wide.

Stonehouse put Marriott in trouble with a short backpass, the keeper doing well to challenge Thomas-Moore and the ball flying back towards Bojang who headed over the gaping goal.

A neat Rovers passing movement was then halted by a solid tackle by Naylor on Gornell which raised a cheer from the stands.

Mitchley wasn't too far over for the home side with a dipping shot from 20 yards.

Rovers finally broke the deadlock on 27 minutes from a free kick that Stags were angry was given.

Referee Mr West allowed play to go on for some time before pulling it back for an earlier challenge.

The ball was floated across towards Thomas-Moore whose 20 yard shot took a wicked deflection, wrong-footing Marriott and giving him no chance.

Labadie was lucky when the referee allowed play to go on after his two-footed tackle on Mills and then escape even a lecture when, seconds later, he went in strongly on Silk to finally concede a foul.

Briscoe had Nielsen stretching to hold his 25 yard curling free kick just under the angle on 36 minutes. Then Adam Smith headed over from a right wing corner.

Bojang really should have doubled Rovers' advantage on 48 minutes when left completely unmarked from a corner, his header striking the crossbar.

Mitchley then head over at the far post when Neilsen stretched by failed to cut out a cross, then sub Nix fired just wide
Chris Smith came even with a glancing header wide at the far post from a Nix right wing free kick as the substitutions continued to flow for the home side.

But Stags were deservedly level on 85 minutes as Cain's half-blocked cross rolled invitingly to Nix 20 yards out and his shot took a deflection that sent it flying into the net.

Soon after sub Parker almost won it with a neat bit of skill as he sidestepped two defenders before poking a goalbound finish that deflected just wide for a corner.

Neilsen then saved superbly from a dipping Leonard drive in stoppage time as Stags finished with a flourish to earn warm applause.

STAGS: Marriott (Collett ht), Silk (Leonard 90), Naylor (Preece ht), Foster (C. Smith ht), Stonehouse (Sandwith 54), Mills (Nix 54), Munn (Thompson 69), Briscoe (Williams 61), A. Smith (Cain 54), Mitchley (O'Rafferty 61), Gregory (Parker 69).

TRANMERE: Nielsen, Mollyoak, Cresswell, McLaren, Goodison, Wood, Gornell, Labadie, Thomas-Moore, Welsh, Bojang (Jennings 79). Subs not used: Benson, Collister Fraughan, Bakayogo, Mackreth.

ATTENDANCE: 812 (63 away).



Mansfield Town 1-1 Tranmere Rovers
Evening Post report
KYLE Nix's late strike earned Mansfield Town a deserved draw against Tranmere Rovers at Field Mill this afternoon.


The midfielder – who has just returned from a trial at Sparta Rotterdam, where he has failed to earn a contract – had the home fans on their feet when he blasted home to cap an excellent second-half Stags performance.

The hosts had fallen behind to Ian Thomas-Moore's first-half strike.

But they battled on to first level and then threaten to clinch what would have been an eye-catching victory.

TRIALIST Danny Mitchley will lea the Mansfield Town attack in this afternoon's home friendly with Tranmere Rovers.

The former Blackpool player – who spent part of last season on loan at Wrexham – was partnered in attack by Lee Gregory.

Youth team player Bradley Munn was given the chance to impress in central midfield, along with Gary Mills.

Tom Naylor came into the middle of the back four to partner Steve Foster.

New signings, striker Keigan Parker and midfielder Tyrone Thompson, were on the bench.

Tranmere looked certain to take the lead in the sixth minute when the ball broke in the box for Joss Labadie, but his powerful shot was blocked by Alan Marriott.

After a promising Mansfield move, Lee Gregory volleyed well wide from a Gary Mills cross.

At the other end, a short back pass from Paul Stonehouse saw Marriott and Thomas-Moore reach the ball at the same time and, as it rebounded out to Bakary Bojang, he headed off target.

Danny Mitchley tried his luck from 20 yards following a half-cleared ball forward but his effort was always rising over the bar.

Rovers took the lead in the 27th minute in fortuitous circumstances.

Not only were the Stags aggrieved when a free-kick was awarded against them, but when the ball was delivered into the danger zone, Thomas-Moore's eventual shot from just outside the box took a wicked deflection to completely wrong-foot Marriott and find the net.

Mansfield were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box in the 36th minute, but Gunnar Nielsen was always well behind Louis Briscoe's curled shot.

Adam Smith was disappointed soon after when he was first to Gary Mills' right-wing corner, only to head over the top.

The visitors should have extended their lead soon after the restart when Labadie was left totally unmarked from Paul McLaren's corner but headed against the bar.

Mansfield were not too far away twice in quick succession as Mitchley headed wide from Gary Silk's cross with Nielsen in no-man's land before Nix drilled past the left-hand upright.

As the Stags made a raft of changes that eventually saw all 11 starting players replaced, Chris Smith was even closer when he glanced Nix's right-wing free-kick just past the left-hand post.

But Mansfield were rewarded for their graft when they drew level with five minutes to go as Nix smashed past Neilsen from 18 yards with the aid of a deflection.

And the Stags almost secured victory moments later when new boy Keigan Parker turned brilliantly from Ryan Williams' cross only to see his low finish deflect just wide of the right-hand post.

And, in the dying seconds Neilsen had to be at his best to turn over a powerful long-range effort from John Leonard.


Match report: Mansfield Town 1 Tranmere Rovers 1
Evening Post considered report

THE crowd may have been disappointing, but at least the game itself delivered.


Unlike in midweek against Forest, when more than 2,000 Mansfield fans turned out, this fixture did not capture the imagination.

Some may have felt they had better things to do in the middle of a mid-summer weekend; others may have been saving their pennies.

But the loyalists, numbering less than 1,000, who did turn out, were rewarded with a crisp, competitive match in which the Stags again underlined their promise in the build-up to the new season.

There is no doubting it's going to be tough for the Stags considering the log-jam of clubs desperate to re-establish their Football League status.

Nevertheless, David Holdsworth and his players are pushing hard to put together a winning formula.

At this stage, there is still plenty of experimentation going on. Trialist Danny Mitchley started up front, for instance, as did youth player Bradley Munn, while a completely different team finished the game to the one which had started it.

There will also be at least one more new face, maybe more, before the season kicks off on August 14.

Yet the shape and balance of the team is starting to emerge, ensuring they could stand toe-to-toe with a Tranmere side featuring eight first-teamers and three trialists.

Mansfield were trailing at half-time to the Birkenhead outfit, but stuck to their guns and bossed the second half.

It was much-deserved when they managed an equaliser five minutes from time – and in the closing stages they could have nicked it.

Still, the result was not important. The fact Mansfield have not been overawed or outplayed by three Championship sides and a League One club in pre-season is.

The Stags worked hard to keep the ball on the deck in the first half, but it merely seemed to confirm what everyone already knows.

With Rob Duffy not certain to start the season, the club need reinforcements up front in the shape of a recognised striker.

Mitchley and Lee Gregory did their best, but both are still young professionals making their way in the game and with much to learn.

It meant the Stags lacked a little punch in front of goal and did not test Gunnar Nielsen too often.

Louis Briscoe's curling free-kick, that the Tranmere keeper easily gathered, and Adam Smith's header from a Gary Mills corner that flew off target were as close as they came.

At the other end, Alan Marriott made an excellent save to deny Joss Labadie, but he could do nothing to prevent Rovers' 27th minute opener.

An Ian Thomas-Moore shot from the edge of the box looked to be heading into his midriff until a wicked deflection totally deceived the former Lincoln keeper to find the net.

The Stags fought back well after the interval and got closer and closer before drawing level.

Kyle Nix – back from an unsuccessful trial in Holland with Sparta Rotterdam – and Chris Smith both went close.

But Nix was not to be denied on his 'homecoming' as he smashed a deflected effort past Neilsen from the edge of the box.

In the closing stages, it was all Mansfield as Tranmere hung on.

Keigan Parker joined the action along with fellow new signing Tyrone Thompson and the Scottish striker was oh so close with a shot that deflected wide after a neat turn had earned him space to let fly.

And in the dying moments, John Leonard tired his luck from distance and Nielsen was required to tip the ball over the bar.

It all meant the home fans went home with smiles on their faces and reason to be optimistic.

The hope is they will still feel that way when the campaign gets underway for real.

Mansfield: Marriott (Collett 46), Silk (Leonard 88), Naylor (Preece 46), Foster (C. Smith 46), Stonehouse (Sandwith 54), Mills (Nix 54), Munn (Thompson 69), Briscoe (Cain 54), A. Smith (Williams 61), Mitchley (O'Rafferty 61), Gregory (Parker 69).

Tranmere: Nielsen, Mollyoak, Cresswell, McLaren, Goodison, Wood, Gornell, Labadie, Thomas-Moore, Welsh, Bojang (Jennings 79). Subs not used: Benson, Collister, Fraughan, Bakayogo, Mackreth.

Attendance: 812 (63 visitors).


No trouble at Field Mill as Rovers reveal resilience
Jul 26 2010 by Nick Hilton, Liverpool Daily Post

MANSFIELD TOWN staged a 100th anniversary party on Saturday in which just about every player on the books at Field Mill was invited to take part. Manager David Holdsworth crammed 22 names onto his team sheet and used every one of them, making 11 second-half substitutions.


The wholesale refreshment of the home side presented Tranmere with the most daunting physical challenge of the pre-season programme so far. The response of manager Les Parry was to make no significant changes of his own. He preferred to test the strength and resilience of the starting XI until the 79th minute withdrawal of triallist Bakary Bojang.

The pattern of the contest was predictable. Tranmere, marginally the more effective of the two teams in the opening half, were comfortable at first in protecting the lead earned by skipper Ian Thomas-Moore's 27th minute goal. But they were pressed deeper into defence the longer the second half wore on, eventually conceding an 85th minute equaliser to substitute Kyle Nix during a heavy spell of home pressure.

Parry was content to assess the team shape and pattern of play, not to mention a trio of triallists, and to identify areas of the team performance that can be worked on over the last fortnight of preparations for the League One campaign.

Tranmere's creative football was less impressive than it was against Championship side Nottingham Forest the previous Wednesday. The passes did not flow, the movement was not quite so sharp. Set plays delivered Rovers' best scoring opportunities – and the goal.

Bojang, the triallist from Denmark looking to make a big impression in his third outing, found few opportunities to create an impact. The Conference side were well organised in defence throughout.

The two defensive triallists in Parry's line-up were busier. Matt Hollyoak, a full-back who has been playing his football in the USA for the last two years, will be given another run in the friendly at Chester tomorrow.

Wood, who did well against Forest, impressed once again alongside centre-back Ian Goodison and may have done enough to earn the offer of a contract.

Tranmere's last visit to Field Mill, a League One fixture back in 2002, resulted in a 6-1 defeat. But the Stags have fallen two divisions since then. Now they boast a ground, smartly developed on three sides, that is among the most impressive in the Conference. The problem is attracting enough spectators into it. Even the staging of a pop concert by the group Westlife at Field Mill in a few weeks' time is not generating the ticket sales that were hoped for.

A crowd of 812, swelled by just 63 travelling supporters from Tranmere, were less than captivated by the entertainment on offer.

Mansfield could make nothing more out of an enthusiastic opening burst than a sharp cross from the right by Louis Briscoe that forced goalkeeper Gunnar Nielson into an acrobatic punch in the fourth minute.

Tranmere carved out the first clear cut chance three minutes later when striker Terry Gornell set up Joss Labadie just inside the box and the midfielder's shot was so fierce that goalkeeper Alan Marriott did know much about it as the ball struck his body and deflected to safety.

Marriott's luck was out in the 27th minute however when Paul McLaren's free kick from wide on the right was won in the air by Woods, turned inside by Goodison and driven goalwards by Thomas-Moore. The goalkeeper may have been behind a shot but it took a deflection and flew into the net beyond his reach.

Nielson's six-foot-four inches of height help the Faroe Islander make a catch from Briscoe's 37th minute free kick look easy.

Bojang's best chance to stamp his name on the game arrived three minutes after the interval when he lost his marker from McLaren's right-wing corner and directed a header against the underside of the crossbar.

The near miss marked the end of Tranmere's attacking threat. Mansfield tightened their territorial grip on the contest over the final 40 minutes as they introduced replacement players in batches. Nix and fellow substitute O'Rafferty narrowly missed the target on 55 and 65 minutes.

The pressure was becoming relentless by the time makes Nix latched onto a sliced cross from Ryan Williams and drove a fierce shot into the net from 18 yards.

Mansfield's new signing Keigan Parker missed a chance to win the game two minutes later after more good work by Williams, a diminutive winger who was once on Tranmere's books. But Parker shot wide of the target from close range.

Nielson tipped over a rising 30 yard shot by Tyrone Thompson in injury time to ensure the final result reflected the overall balance of play.


Stags 1-1 Tranmere
Posted on: Sat 24 Jul 2010
Returning midfielder Kyle Nix rescued a deserved draw for Mansfield Town after they had fallen behind to a first half strike from Ian Thomas-Moore.


The 24 year old, who returned to the Stags' ranks after a trial with Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam, smashed home a long-range drive to level the game in the closing minutes.

It caps the end of Mansfield's three home friendlies - all of which have produced encouraging displays.

Stags started the brighter of the two sides when Louis Briscoe crossed from the right in the opening three minutes forcing Tranmere goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen to dramatically punch clear at his near post.

Then on the other flank, Adam Smith used his skill to get past Matt Mollyoak, but his cross failed to find anyone in the area.

Alan Marriott used his legs to deny Joss Labadie from short range with five minutes gone.

It was Adam Smith, continuing his fine pre-season form, who gained a Stags' corner two minutes later.

Alan Marriott had to come to the rescue on ten minutes after a short back pass from Paul Stonehouse, but the Stags number one did just enough to force the 50/50 tackle with Rovers' frontman Ian Thomas-Moore away from goal

Trialist Danny Mitchley fired at goal from 20 yards after Adam Smith chested the ball down. The move started with a long ball from the impressive Tom Naylor.

Tranmere opened the scoring following a dubious free-kick on 26 minutes. As the ball fell to Rovers' star striker Thomas-Moore inside the area, he struck goalwards and the ball flew past Alan Marriott after a wicked deflection.

Rovers' goalie Gunnar Nielsen was called upon to make a stop with ten minutes of the first half remaining, keeping out a Louis Briscoe free kick from 20 yards.

Three changes were made to the Stags' line up at the break - Neil Collett, Mark Preece, Chris Smith entered the field. Alan Marriott and central defensive pairing Tom Naylor and Steve Foster took their place on the bench.

Joss Labadie was allowed a free header from ten yards following a right wing cross just two minutes into the second period. His effort rattled against the bar and Stags managed to scramble the ball away to safety.

On 53, Gary Mills, Paul Stonehouse and Louis Briscoe were replaced by Kyle Nix, Kevin Sandwith, and trialist Ashley Cain.

Two minutes later, Kyle Nix opened fire after good work from Cain on the right.

With 30 minutes remaining, club captain Ryan Williams and young striker Niall O'Rafferty came on for Adam Smith and Danny Mitchley.

Shortly after, Chris Smith managed to get a head on a Kyle Nix inswinging free-kick, but his effort was off target.

Mid-week signings Keigan Parker and Tyrone Thompson saw the last 23 minutes of the match, on for Bradley Munn and Lee Gregory.

On 86 minutes, Kyle Nix rescued a draw with the aid of a deflection after a powerful strike from 25 yards.

Moments later, Ryan Williams assisted Keigan Parker from the left, and the Scotsman's shot trickled past the post as Stags looked for the deciding goal.

Trialist John Leonard, the only remaining substitute, replaced Gary Silk at right back in the dying moments. It was he who pulled the trigger to let fly with a blistering 25 yard drive which stung the fingertips of Nielsen in the final seconds, but in the end Stags had to settle for a draw.

Line up: Marriott, Silk, Naylor, Foster, Stonehouse, Mills, Munn, Briscoe, A. Smith, D. Mitchley, Gregory

Used subs: Collett (GK), Sandwith, C. Smith, Preece, Cain, Nix, ORafferty, Williams, J. Leonard, Thompson, Parker

Attendance: 812 (63 away)


Friendly: Mansfield 1 Tranmere 1
Posted on: Sat 24 Jul 2010
A goal from Ian Thomas-Moore earned Rovers a draw from their latest pre-season friendly against Mansfield Town.


The Tranmere captain netted with a deflected shot - his third goal of pre-season - after half an hour following good work from trialist Nick Wood and Ian Goodison.

Rovers dominated for much of the match and saw Joss Labadie head against the bar early in the second half, but a host of substitutes from the home side in the second half gave them fresh legs and Kyle Nix was on hand to equalise with five minutes remaining.

Article continues

Tranmere: Nielsen, Hollyoak*, Wood*, Goodison, Cresswell, Labadie, McLaren, Welsh, Thomas-Moore, Gornell, Bojang* (Jennings 79). Substitutes not used: Collister, Benson, Fraughan, Bakayogo, Mackreth.

* denotes trialist



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