STAGS TOP AFTER THUMPING WIN AT ALTY
Blue Square Bet Premier
Altrincham 0 - 4 Mansfield Town
Connor 11, Adam Smith 18, Parker 81, pen 90+3
Attendance: 1261 (351 from Mansfield)
Date: 30 August 2010
Martin Shaw at Moss Lane
podcast of Radio Nottm commentary
Magnificent Mansfield surged to the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier with a tremendous 4-0 win at Altrincham on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon. Fine goals from Paul Connor and Adam Smith in the opening 18 minutes effectively sealed the contest. The Stags could have been further ahead at the break after Kiegan Parker missed an absolute sitter and other chances went begging. Altrincham briefly threatened a comeback early in the second half but the Stags sealed it with a Parker tap-in after a good cross from sub Luke Medley, and then Parker scored another penalty in stoppage time after he showed brilliant trickery in the box to earn the spot-kick.
Stagsnet report now in the Match Centre
Man of the Match: Adam Smith
Evening Post Match report: Altrincham 0 Mansfield Town 4
EVEN if the August Bank Holiday weather left a lot to be desired, this was still a day when the sun shone brightly on Mansfield Town.
For much of the afternoon, grey clouds hung over Moss Lane rather than the clear blue skies that many would have been longing for.
But there was nothing sombre about the Stags' performance, nor the mood of their fans as the visitors cantered to an impressive and comprehensive victory.
Not only did it help Mansfield to their first back-to-back wins for the first time in 11 months with a second consecutive clean sheet, it also continued their healthy start to the 2010-11 campaign.
Four wins and a draw from six games, after another summer rebuilding programme, will delight manager David Holdsworth and the clubs' long-suffering support in equal measure.
Although Altrincham came into this clash winless and bottom of the table, that could partly be explained by their tough early-season fixtures that have included Luton, Darlington, York and Crawley.
But they were ruthlessly put to the sword by a Mansfield side visibly growing in confidence and who have now moved to the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier table.
Once again, Mansfield named an unchanged starting line-up, having beaten Cambridge United 1-0 at Field Mill on Saturday.
A cross from Ryan Brown caused early problems in the Mansfield rearguard until Steve Foster took charge to head away for a corner.
In the tenth minute, Damian Reeves whipped in a deep centre from the right that Brown took on the volley but could not direct on target.
But it was Mansfield who drew first blood moments later as Paul Connor collected his fourth goal.
Adam Smith found space down the left to send over a cross and the big striker adjusted his body to direct a looping header up and over Stuart Coburn and into the left-hand corner from close to the penalty spot.
The hosts tried to hit back quickly but Shaun Densmore's drive, following a short corner, was off target.
Mansfield were two goals to the good in the 18th minute as Smith opened his account for the season.
He cut in from the left touchline to try his luck from fully 30 yards and was delighted to see a powerful, low shot creep under Coburn and into the left-hand corner.
It could and maybe should have been 3-0 as the Stags went for the jugular only for Connor to head just over from six yards following an inviting Louis Briscoe centre.
But Altrincham were far from finished and Gary Mills had to clear a goalbound header from Rob Williams off the line.
Connor went close to his second and Mansfield's third just after the half hour when he turned his marker in the box and forced a smart save out of Coburn with a stinging drive.
Keigan Parker missed a glorious chance to make it three as half-time approached when he had a free header five yards from goal from a pinpoint Kevin Sandwith cross but glanced over the top.
The home side might have pulled a goal back within 40 seconds of the restart as Brown's low cross caught out the Stags defence and Reeves shot just wide from 12 yards.
Next to go close was Marc Joseph who nodded past the far upright from Nicky Clee's left-wing corner.
Mansfield made a double change in the 64th minute, with Kyle Nix and Luke Medley replacing Smith and Briscoe.
As the game became increasingly open, Connor broke away down the right but his low cross, intended for Nix, was intercepted and his follow-up shot was saved by Coburn.
Alty almost pulled a goal back with 12 minutes to go, only for Alan Marriott to touch over James McCarthy's rising blast.
But it was 3-0 to the Stags when Medley raced away down the left and crossed low for Parker to tap into an empty net from close range.
And the Scot was celebrating again when he was brought down inside the box by Anthony Danylyk and picked himself up to send Coburn the wrong way from the spot.
Despite their obvious delight, Mansfield should proceed with caution. They have begun their previous two seasons by setting a strong pace, only to fall away later on.
This time they hope it will be different.
Altrincham v Stags match stats
Altrincham: Coburn, Densmore, Joseph, J. Smith, Williams, Brown, Crowell, Holmes (Danylyk 70), Clee (Twiss 57), Reeves, Holsgrove (McCarthy 32). Subs not used: Coates, Welch.
Mansfield: Marriott, Silk, C. Smith, Foster, Sandwith, Briscoe (Medley 64), Mills, Thompson, A. Smith (Nix 64), Parker, Connor (Duffy 76). Subs not used: Naylor, Collett.
Referee: Peter Wright (Merseyside).
Attendance: 1,261 (approx 400 visitors).
Goals: Mansfield: Connor (11), A. Smith (18), Parker (81, 90+4 pen).
Shots on target: Altrincham 4 Mansfield 7.
Shots off target: Altrincham 10 Mansfield 8.
Fouls: Altrincham 8 Mansfield 13.
Corners: Altrincham 6 Mansfield 8.
Offsides: Altrincham 1 Mansfield 8.
Altrincham 2 (Crowell, 18, foul on A. Smith; Danlyk, 90+3) Mansfield 2 (Silk, 4, foul); Foster, 27, foul).
Sendings off: Altrincham 0 Mansfield 0.
Mansfield's man of the match: Chris Smith. The central defender was a rock along with Steve Foster at the heart of the back four and seems to be getting stronger and stronger with every game after a self-confessed shaky start
Altrincham 0 Mansfield Town 4 - Monday, 30th August 2010
CHAD.co.uk, 30 August 2010, By John Lomas
ALMOST a year after the 'Battle of Moss Lane, Mansfield Town today made light work of a struggling Altrincham side now chained to the foot of the BSBP as the in-form Stags went top of the table and won back to back games for the first time in 11 months.
Last season, despite having two players sent off, Altrincham pushed Stags all the way for the visitors' 2-1 success in a real bruiser of a game.
But, after netting twice in seven minutes early in the first half through Paul Connor and Adam Smith, Stags were in complete control, fending off a brief home revival after the break before Keigan Parker struck a brae in the last nine minutes to crown a great afternoon for over 400 cheering Stags fans who made up a third of the crowd.
But, with Connor and Parker both missing close range headers before that, unchanged Mansfield should have been out of sight long before the points were sealed.
Steve Foster and Chris Smith were simply immense in the heart of a Mansfield defence that soaked up anything Alty could throw at them.
The home side have picked up just one point from five very difficult opening games while Stags, with just one defeat, are fourth, two points off the top.
Holsgrove won the home side a corner inside two minutes and then failed to direct his header on target at the far post when it was sent long.
Mansfield earned a corner of their own two minutes later which was wasted as Mills pulled it back low and the home side broke through Holsgrove who was tripped by Silk to earn a fourth minute caution.
Parker was caught narrowly offside as he tried to lob keeper Coburn from a lovely floated pass by Connor.
Another Alty break down the left saw Foster forced to head a teasing Brown cross over the bar for a corner which Marriot safely clutched.
Reeves put over a long cross from the right which invited a volley from a tight angle from Brown which flew well over.
The visitors were ahead, however, on 11 minutes as Connor notched his fourth goal of the season in style.
Adam Smith got down the left and crossed and Connor rose majestically to power a header wide of Coburn's dive to his right and in off the inside of the post.
Crowell was booked for a trip on Adam Smith in full flight down the left soon after.
Briscoe was also offering a threat down the right and Cobrun had to make sure he held onto a hard, low ball across with Connor lurking in front of him.
Densmore sliced wide from a quickly-taken Clee corner from the right which was pulled back to him.
But it was 2-0 on 18 minutes as Adam Smith, creator of the opening goal, cut inside from the left and, from all of 30 yards, thumped in a slow shot that just beat the dive of Coburn inside the keeper's right hand post.
Connor headed over from close range from a Briscoe shot a minute later as the visitors almost extended their advantage.
But they had a scare on 21 minutes when Williams met a Crowell free kick with a looping header over Marriott which last man Mills had to clear off the line.
Briscoe dragged a low shot wide after a good run on 24 minutes.
Marriott was always behind Crowell's 25 yard shot. And the home side's next attack was halted when Reeves was brought down by Foster who was shown the third card of the game.
A Densmore free kick was headed wide by Holsgrove as the home side continued to look for as way back into the contest and, from another pulled back home corner, Crowell was again left free to crash a volley wide.
Holsgrove limped off with a knock on 32 minutes, replaced by McCarthy.
Connor forced a save with a powerful shot from the right on 33 minutes, Adam Smith unable to reach Connor's cross as he put the loose ball back into the box and then Briscoe, trying to turn and get a shot in, thwarted by play being halted due to a head injury to a home defender.
Great work by Sandwith on the left saw him get to the by-line and cross to Parker who, unmarked and just five yards from goal, got under the ball and headed disappointingly over.
But better options around him, a desperate Crowell went for glory from 35 yards but Marriott was happy to see it fly well over.
Smith and Parker were warned by the referee after a tangle on the left in which both players shoved each other, but no cards were produced.
The home side might have pulled one back within 38 seconds of the restart as Brown rolled the ball into the box from the left and Reeves, racing onto it, sidefooted wide with Stags almost caught cold.
Crowell lashed a half volley at goal from 25 yards that Marriott was always well placed behind.
The home side had come back out with more urgency and forced a left wing corner which picked out Joseph who glanced a header that dropped just wide of the right hand post and out.
Clee was too high from distance as the home side continued to press, Chris Smith then wining a vital header on the edge of the box with Marriott having come off his line to the edge of his box and seen the clearance hit long back into the danger area.
On 57 minutes Stags created their first danger of the half as Chris Smith nodded a right wing Mills free kick wide.
But the visitors had clearly lost a bit if that first half impetus and boss David Holdsworth sought to peper things up with a double substitution on 64 minutes as Nix and Medley replaced Adam Smith and Briscoe.
Chris Smith was again too high with his header from Mills' free kick.
Connor did well to burst into space on the right but saw his initial low drilled cross blocked and, with the follow-up, tried to surprise Coburn on his near post but the keeper stood firm.
Stags won two corners, both cleared, then Nix cheekily tried to lob Coburn from the halfway line with the keeper backpeddling and catching with comfort.
Medley went down under Densmore's challenge in the box but play went on.
Soon after Duffy took over from Connor up front for the visitors.
McCarthy almost got Alty back into it on 78 minutes as he came inside from the right and fired in a dipping shot that Marriott just managed to help over his bar.
Medley raced onto a ball on the right and looked up to roll an inviting pass towards Duffy who miscued his first time shot as the home side breathed again.
But it was 3-0 and game over on 81 minutes as Medley carried the ball down the left and crossed low in front of goal where Parker was well-placed to tap home from close range.
Four more Stags corners followed as the whistle could not come fast enough for the struggling home side.
Twiss headed over from an 88th minute free kick while Silk curled over the far angle at the other end.
Four minutes into stoppage time Parker made Danylyk look daft with a superb turn and poke through his legs and was immediately brought down.
The referee booked Danylyk and pointed to the spot which, with last season's penalty-taker Dufy on the field and Parker, who netted from the spot on Saturday, saw a row over who would take it.
Parker, having won the kick, refused to hand the ball over and Duffy walked away in a huff waving his hand as Parker sent Coburn the wrong way to set the seal on a superb Bank Holiday afternoon.
ALTRINCHAM: Coburn, J. Smith, Joseph, Williams, Densmore, Reeves, Clee (Twiss 57), Holsgrove (McCarthy 32), Brown, Crowell, Holmes (Danylyk 70). Subs not used: Coates, Welch.
STAGS: Marriott; Silk, Foster, C. Smith, Sandwith; Briscoe (Medley 64), Mills, Thompson, A. Smith (Nix 64), Parker, Connor (Duffy 76). Subs not used: Naylor, Collett.
REFEREE: Peter Wright of Merseyside.
GOALS: Stags – Connor 11, A. Smith 18, Parker 81, 90 (+4) pen.
CAUTIONS: Altrincham – Crowell 12, Danylyk 90 (+3). Stags – Silk 4, Foster 26 (all fouls).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Chris Smith.
ALTRINCHAM (0) 0 MANSFIELD TOWN (2) 4
Blue Square Bet Premier
played on Monday, 30 August 2010, at 3pm
Despite a bright start to each half of the game, Altrincham ended up soundly beaten by Mansfield Town - their heaviest home defeat since a 0-4 reverse against Rushden in November 2008. Alty fell behind against the run of play when former York man, Adam Smith, got up the left and his cross found Connor unmarked. His header back across goal looped perfectly into the net off the upright with 11 minutes gone. The goal prompted an improvement from the Stags who made it 2-0 in the 18th minute when Alty stood off Adam Smith, allowing him time to choose his spot, just inside the same upright that Connor had struck with the first goal. Alty, already without the injured Lawton, Doughty and Denham, lost Holsgrove after 32 minutes, injured by a foul tackle. McCarthy, making his debut, replaced him.
Reeves almost made it 2-1 in the first minute of the second half but after the first 10 or 15 minutes of the half the impetus went and the game drifted uneventfully. But in the closing stages Parker made in 3-0 with a tap in from Medley's cross (81 mins). Then in the third minute of added time, Parker got past Danylyk to the right by-line where the Alty midfielder brought him down to concede a penalty. Parker himself made it 4-0 from the spot to send Mansfield to the top of the table.
It is now more than six hours since Altrincham scored a goal and after they had gone behind the passing began to go astray. McCarthy (right) gave a promising showing on his debut and it was he who went closest for Alty with a curling shot which Marriott tipped over the bar. Also on the positive side, Alty only won one of their first nine games in 2008-09 yet rallied to finish fifteenth and the Robins have already had to play three of the current top four.
11 mins: Paul CONNOR (ALTRINCHAM 0 Mansfield Town 1)
18 mins: Adam SMITH (ALTRINCHAM 0 Mansfield Town 2)
81 mins: Keigan PARKER (ALTRINCHAM 0 Mansfield Town 3)
90+4 mins: Keigan PARKER (pen.) (ALTRINCHAM 0 Mansfield Town 4)
REFEREE: Mr P C Wright
ATTENDANCE: 1,261 (351 in away end)
Altrincham were without the injured Denham and Lawton as well as Doughty who is still on the way back from his cruciate operation last season. Johnson and Welch who started the last game were respectively not in the squad and on the bench today. Holmes and a less than fully fit Clee came into the starting eleven whilst McCready was replaced on the bench by McCarthy, a striker, signed last week from Warrington Town.
This was the sixth game of a season which after 78 minutes of the second game seemed to be going quite well. Alty were cruising at 2-0 against Darlington, having narrowly lost their first game away at Luton. The Robins then conceded twice to take a single point and since then they had not scored a goal or taken a point in three attempts before today.
Mansfield had started pretty well with three wins and a draw from five starts.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): Confirmed as 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 19. Danny HOLMES, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 15. Ryan BROWN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 18. Matty CROWELL, 11. Nicky CLEE, 8. Damian REEVES, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE Subs: 23. James McCARTHY, 21. James COATES, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 22. Michael WELCH, 9. Michael TWISS.
MANSFIELD TOWN (Blue & yellow stripes, blue shorts, yellow socks): 1. Alan Marriott, 2. Gary Silk, 5. Stephen Foster, 6. Chris Smith, 3. Kevin Sandwith, 7. Louis Briscoe, 8. Tyrone Thompson, 4. Gary Mills, 11. Adam Smith, 21. Keigan Parker, 23. Paul Connor. Subs: 25. Neil Collett, 16. Tom Naylor, 10. Kyle Nix, 9. Rob Duffy. 22. Luke Medley.
Under cloudy conditions at Moss Lane, Alty kicked off, defending the Golf Road End. In the second minute Holsgrove hussled Chris Smith into conceding a corner but this came to nothing. Soon afterwards, Connor earned a corner for the Stags but this was taken woefully, low and short, straight to an Alty player. Following this, Holsgrove skipped past Silk near half way and looked set to get behind the defence but the Mansfield man tripped him and got the yellow card that his challenge deserved (5 mins).
With both sets of supporters in good voice, Alty started the game brightly and a fine diagonal ball from Crowell to Brown, on the left, led to the midfielder's cross which gave Alty another corner. Clee hit the corner too deep (7 mins). Then Mansfield took the lead with their first serious threat. Smith, Joseph and Crowell got the ball to Clee inside the Mansfield half. But he was immediately challenged by Silk who broke forward with the ball and the ball came to Adam Smith on the left wing. His excellent cross found an unmarked Connor who leapt to direct a looping header back across goal and into the net off the upright to Coburn's right (11 mins).
Crowell was then almost immediately booked for a trip (12 mins). Though Alty won the next corner, the goal had shifted the balance of play towards the visitors. From this corner by Clee, Densmore sliced a shot wide (17 mins). Altrincham then allowed Adam Smith far too much time in the centre of the pitch just outside the box. The Mansfield man had time to pick his spot before driving a well-hit low shot into Coburn's right-hand corner - 0-2 after just 18 minutes.
Connor was then booked for a foul on Coburn which the linesman spotted (19 mins). Things got worse for Alty when Holsgrove was felled by Chris Smith about 30 yards from goal and the Alty man was left hobbling badly (21 mins). Alty nearly extracted a big price for the foul when Crowell's freekick was met by a towering leap from Williams which beat the keeper but was cleared off the line by a defender's head.
As Holsgrove hobbled on, Mansfield began to get the upper hand and, next, Briscoe was allowed to advance unchallenged but he shot narrowly wide (24 mins). Foster was fortunate that Mr Wright did not consider him the last man when he tripped Reeves as the Alty man threatened to get free up the inside-right channel; a yellow card was produced for the defender. Reeves needed treatment but was eventually able to continue.
Foster then conceded an unnecessary corner with a poor header and from Clee's kick, Crowell tried an ambitious volley which he struck well, but wide (29 mins). A trip on Joseph underlined the visitors' physical approach and an earlier victim, Holsgrove, now had to give way to his injury and leave the field, to be replaced by James McCarthy, who was making his debut (32 mins).
Coburn then had to make a fine save after good work by Connor before play stopped for treatment to yet another Alty casualty; this time it was Densmore, inside his own box (33 mins). Alty were giving the ball away too frequently to make an impression on Mansfield but Clee and Brown did combine well to force a save from Marriott. Holmes and Clee then fed Crowell but his shot cleared the goal by a big margin (40 mins).
When Parker fouled James Smith, the two then went head to head with the Mansfield man then pushing Smith in the chest. He was lucky to escape with no more than a joint lecture with Smith (42 mins). In the second of three added minutes at the end of the half an underhit back pass from James Smith caused Coburn a problem but he emerged with a goalkick as an opponent challenged. Alty won a corner after this but there was no time for it to be taken as the half-time whistle sounded.
Half-Time: ALTRINCHAM 0 MANSFIELD TOWN 2
As in the first half it was Altrincham who started the better of the two sides. Indeed Reeves went very close to scoring inside the first minute from Brown's low cross from the left but, as he arrived at the near post at speed, he could not direct the ball the right side of the post to score. Next a well hit effort from 35 yards by Crowell forced a save from Marriott (49 mins). Alty's bright start continued as they won a corner through McCarthy. Joseph headed the corner wide as it came in from the left (50 mins).
Adam Smith soon threatened for Mansfield but Alty's back three saw him off. Mansfield remained on the back foot as Clee fired a shot over the bar. Marriott then came out to clear but only found Clee nearly on half way on the Alty right. he quickly lobbed the ball forward to the edge of the box where Reeves rose with a defender who both cleared the ball and flattened Reeves in the process. Mansfield counter-attacked and won a corner.
Michael Twiss now came on for Clee, who has not been fully fit this season (57 mins). McCarthy then showed some more good skill to gain Alty a corner which Marriott managed to palm away (59 mins). After a Mansfield corner had been and gone, McCarthy again impressed, finding Brown but the midfielder was closed down in the opposition box (62 mins).
The visitors now made a double substitution with Medley and Nix coming on for Briscoe and Adam Smith (64 mins). After Alty's bright 15 minutes, the second half now went quiet as Mansfield took the sting out of the game and Alty lost their impetus. The game drifted along without any real incident until Danylyk was brought on to replace Holmes, who had had a solid game in midfield for Alty (71 mins).
Mansfield now won two successive corners and when Medley went down in the box under Densmore's challenge, Stags' boss David Holdsworth held nothing back in a tirade against the assistant referee involved. Now Duffy came on for Mansfield's Connor (76 mins). Altrincham almost got a goal back in the 78th minute when McCarthy drifted in from the right and fired an excellent left-footed curling shot at goal which Marriott only just managed to tip over the bar for a corner (78 mins). It was to be Alty's last moment of hope and three minutes later the Alty defence parted to allow Medley to advance on the left. His low cross gave Parker a tap-in from close range to make it 3-0 to the visitors (81 mins).
Mansfield then won three corners in two minutes as Alty looked a beaten side. From a Brown freekick Twiss headed over the bar (87 mins) but that was the best Alty could muster at this stage. Silk then shot narrowly wide for Mansfield before three added minutes were announced. After a Mansfield corner the ball soon came back to Parker on the right. He got past Danylyk into the box, right of goal, and the Alty midfielder brought him down to concede a clear penalty. The Alty midfielder was booked before Parker himself drove the spot-kick past Coburn to make it 4-0 for the Stags.
Mansfield went to the top of the table with this result whilst Alty became four points adrift at the bottom. In mitigation, Altrincham have had more than their fair share of injuries this season and having lost half a dozen players over the summer, they have not had a settled side this campaign. Indeed, seven outfield players who had not made a start for the club before this season have already had to be blooded by the Altrincham management this season. On the plus side, McCarthy looked a useful prospect on his debut today and it is to be hoped that he can help to break Alty's goal-scoring duck which has now extended to 372 minutes without a goal.
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