STAGS BOUNCE BACK TO CLAIM VITAL WIN
Kettering Town 0 - 2 Mansfield Town
Jack OG 58, Briscoe 90+4.
Attendance: 1270 (172 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Rockingham Road
Mansfield Town bounced back from a stuttering start to this game at confident Kettering and gradually got on top, sealing a vital three points with two unusual goals, as first Adam Smith's cross was punched into his own net by keeper Jack on 58 minutes, and then in stoppage Louis Briscoe's fierce low drive across the face of goal was deflected into his own net by a defender. The second half performance was superb with powerful displays especially from Tyrone Thompson in midfield, Adam Smith on the left, and the solid back four of Foster, Grand, Cook and Sandwith. The win is a massive boost to the club and supporters after such a depressing run of results that had seen no win in six league games. Kettering came into the game with a fabulous run of 5 wins and 2 draws in 7 games, and started the game looking supremely confident. The Stags back four was all over the place in the opening stages, especially Sandwith who had a shocker for the first 25 minutes against James Dance on the right wing, and Foster who looked all at sea in the middle. But the Stags turned it around, and Keigan Parker missed a sitter towards the end of the first half, setting the scene for the second half turnaround.
NOTE: Match report amended after studying the DVD. In particular, the first goal is credited as an own goal and the second goal is credited to Briscoe.
Stagsnet report in the Match Centre.
Evening Post Match report: Kettering Town 0 Mansfield Town 2
by Matt Halfpenny
COULD this be a turning point in Mansfield Town's season? Manager David Holdsworth and the hardy band of visiting fans who made the trip south will certainly hope so.
It has been an undeniably tough spell for all connected with the Yellows since John Radford celebrated his takeover of the club by watching a 4-0 victory over Eastbourne at the end of September.
The Stags had gone six league games without victory – four of them ending in defeats – and had scored only five goals during that spell.
But it all came right against the in-form Poppies, who had won four and drawn one of their five league matches under new boss Marcus Law.
It was a first away success in six league games – and first clean sheet in seven – that was as welcome as it was hard-earned.
The Stags struggled in the first half but grew in confidence in the second period and took advantage of the stroke of luck they had been searching for – a calamitous error by home keeper Kelvin Jack.
For boss Holdsworth, the victory lifted the pressure that has been building on the terraces.
For opposite number Law, it was, incredibly, a first defeat in 66 league matches after a long unbeaten spell at previous club Barwell.
Mansfield were forced into three changes, with the injured Gary Silk (hamstring), Paul Stonehouse (thigh and shoulder) and Kyle Nix (ankle) replaced by Steve Foster, Kevin Sandwith and Tyrone Thompson.
And they started nervously. Kettering should have been in front inside the first minute after Nick Green's shot deflected into the path of Jean-Paul Marna, who blazed over from a good position 12 yards out.
Soon after, Patrick Noubissie tried his luck on the volley from just outside the box but his drive was well over the top.
There was a moment of concern for Kevin Pilkington in the 15th minute when Marcus Kelly's left-wing corner bounced off the top of the crossbar.
Kelly then flashed a powerful drive just too high, though Pilkington looked to have it covered.
Mansfield finally found an attacking outlet in Adam Smith, who advanced down the left before crossing just too far for Louis Briscoe, arriving late at the far post.
Kettering then won another corner and as Mansfield failed to clear first time, Marna scuffed wide his shot on the turn.
Steve Foster got in an important header as Kelly's in-swinging free-kick from a dangerous area looked to be heading towards the left-hand corner.
Midway through the first period, Mansfield finally got in their first shot on goal, but Smith's drive was always clearing the bar.
Parker also found space on the right to cross for Smith, who saw the sting taken out of his shot, allowing Jack to claim easily.
Good play from Kettering eventually saw Marna play the ball into the box for Kelly, who could not take it in his stride and diverted it through to Pilkington.
But after being on the back foot for much of the half, Mansfield might have gone in front with half-time approaching, from their first corner.
Adam Murray's right-wing delivery was turned goalwards by Grand for Parker, whose close-range shot on the turn was well pushed away by the diving Jack.
A very sluggish start to the second half was brought to an end by a pinpoint ball in from the right by Briscoe that deserved better than to flash across the face of goal with no Mansfield player on the end of it.
Both sides made attacking substitutions in the 57th minute, with Mansfield bringing on Paul Connor for the largely ineffective Peter Vincenti and veteran striker Paul Furlong replacing ex-Stag Luke Graham for the hosts.
And within 60 seconds the visitors were in front, although it had nothing to do with the changes.
Smith whipped in what looked a disappointing left-wing cross but Jack, going up in front of Ian Roper, inexplicably punched the ball the wrong way into his own goal.
Kettering's response was to make more substitutions and eventually they built up a spell of pressure.
In the 63rd minute, Mansfield were almost two to the good as Briscoe fed Parker who smashed in a low ball from the right that Green did well to turn over his own bar with Connor lurking.
Another opportunity came the Stags' way, but this time Smith blasted too high from Parker's pull back.
It was the Scot's last involvement as he made way for debutant Danny Mitchley, signed on non-contract terms just before boarding the bus to Rockingham Road, for the final ten minutes.
However, Mansfield did make sure of victory when Briscoe's shot from a narrow angle took a deflection off Jack to find the net three minutes into four added on.
That trip to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday suddenly looks a whole lot more appetising for all concerned.
Match facts: Kettering v Mansfield Town
Kettering: Jack, Dempster, Graham (Furlong 57), Roper, Davis, Noubissie (Boucaud 65), Green, Solkhon, Dance, Marna, Kelly (Makofo 61). Subs not used: Pryor, Cooper.
Mansfield: Pilkington, Cook, Foster, Grand, Sandwith, Briscoe, Murray, Thompson, A. Smith (Istead 90+1), Vincenti (Connor 57), Parker (Mitchley 80). Subs not used: Collett, Stonehouse.
Referee: Rob Merchant (Staffordshire).
Attendance: 1,270 (172 visitors).
Goals: Mansfield: Jack (58, og), Mitchley (90+3)
Shots on target: Kettering 2 Mansfield 2.
Shots off target: Kettering 6 Mansfield 7.
Fouls: Kettering 5 Mansfield 14.
Corners: Kettering 6 Mansfield 6.
Offsides: Kettering 2 Mansfield 2.
Bookings: Kettering 1 (Davis, 33, foul on Briscoe) Mansfield 2 (Grand, 38, dissent; Parker, 75, unsporting behaviour).
Sendings off: Kettering 0 Mansfield 0.
Mansfield's man of the match: Adam Smith. At the heart of Mansfield's best play going forward, the left-winger gave Kettering new boy Nick Green a torrid time, especially in the first period.
KETTERING TOWN 0 MANSFIELD TOWN 2
Kettering Town suffered another home defeat tonight at the hands of promotion contenders, Mansfield Town, going down by two goals to nil.The goals came in the 58th minute through a Kelvin Jack own goal and in the last minute through substitute, Dan Mitchley.
Mansfield brought back in both Kevin Sandwith and Steve Foster,
Kettering Manager, Marcus law's team plans were thrown into disarray as four players were held up in severe traffic.In came Ian Roper and Marcus Kelly with new signing, Nick Green also starting.
The Poppies started well. The first attack saw James Dance cross and the Mansfield defence blocking two shots before Jean-Paul Marna blazed over from a great position.Patrick Noubissie fired well over and Dance's free kick was also well over the target.
Marcus Kelly and Sol Davis were finding space on the left and Kelly's corner in the 15th minute bounced on top of the crossbar and away with visiting keeper, Kevin Pilkington, struggling.Two minutes later, Kelly's 30 yard shot was just over and a further Kelly corner was turned wide by Marna.Then, on 22 minutes, Kelly's free kick was headed away as it headed just inside the left upright.
Mansfield's first effort, on 24 minutes, was a 20 yard shot over the bar by Adam Smith.Three minutes later Dance drifted past three defenders and his shot was blocked.Smith, for the visitors, then saw his shot blocked as the ball looped up to Kelvin Jack in the home goal.
On 31 minutes a slip by John Dempster saw Peter Vincenti fail to take advantage as his shot sailed high over the bar.Probably the best chance of the game on 35 minutes saw Marna's cross from the right reach the on-rushing Kelly and the ball bounced off him into the grateful arms of Pilkington.
It was then the visitors' chance to impress, but Keigan Parker's low shot at point blank range was well smothered by Jack.In the final minute of the half, Noubissie saw his shot saved.
Half Time: Kettering Town 0 - 0 Mansfield Town
It was an uneventful start to the second half.The game was very scrappy and unfortunately for Kettering the 58th minute saw a very poor goal conceded.A deep cross from the left by Adam Smith was punched into his own net by Kelvin Jack.
This seemed to spark the visitors, and Keigan Parker shot wide, before Ian Roper deflected another Parker effort over his own bar.
For Kettering, substitute Serge Makofo saw his cross from the right tipped over the bar by Pilkington for a fruitless corner.Then, at the other end, Nick Green somehow got in the way of a goalbound shot from substitute, Paul Connor, and the ball ended up out for a corner.On 78 minutes,Parker's low cross was hit over the bar by Smith.
Kettering were trying to get forward but were meeting a stubborn defence, well marshalled by captain, Steve Foster.Ian Roper shot wide after a free kick, and Brett Solkhon's header failed to trouble Pilkington.
In the first minute of added time Paul Furlong headed over Makofo's corner,Mansfield's second goal came with virtually the last kick of the game, as substitute, Dan Mitchley drifted in from the left and his shot was deflected past Jack, inside the near post.
Full Time: Kettering Town 0 - 2 Mansfield Town
Jack error hurts PoppiesKettering Town 0 Mansfield Town 2
northantset.co.uk, By Jon Dunham
The home hoodoo goes on for Kettering Town.
Marcus Law's 65-match unbeaten league run was always going to end at some point and it was almost inevitable that it would happen at Rockingham Road.
For whatever reason, the Poppies' back yard is anything but a fortress.
In fact it is once agaiADVERTISEMENTn proving to be extremely fruitful for visiting teams.
On this occasion, a poor game was settled by a comical own-goal from goalkeeper Kelvin Jack and the last kick of the game by Louis Briscoe.
Mansfield Town probably just edged the second half but there was little to choose between what were, on the night at least, two very average sides.
After a bright opening, Kettering pretty much lacked ideas and when openings did come their final ball or shot was, in the main, woeful.
Law has his work cut out to find the reasons why this Poppies team can't perform at home but he could really do with finding the answers sooner rather than later.
Kettering lined up in an unusual 5-4-1 formation with Nick Green handed his debut on the right side of defence.
The pre-match preparations weren't helped with skipper Andre Boucaud, Paul Furlong and Serge Makofo being stuck on the M11 at the point when the team sheets had to be handed in.
All three might have been in the starting line-up but the Poppies threw in Marcus Kelly and he, along with James Dance, were quick to join lone striker Jean-Paul Marna while Brett Solkhon and Pat Noubissie did the leg work in midfield.
Green and, in particular, Sol Davis, also showed good support from the full-back positions early on and Marna should have put the hosts in front after just 53 seconds when he fired over the bar after Green's strike was deflected into his path.
Kelly saw a corner bounce off the crossbar and then fizzed a 25-yard effort over the bar before he had a great chance to break the deadlock as he wasn't able to control Marna's cross in front of goal.
However, the Poppies had Jack to thank for a blank scoresheet at the break as he produced a fine block from Keigan Parker after Simon Grand's shot fell into his path six yards out.
Noubissie forced Kevin Pilkington into his first real save just before half-time but the second half started poorly and it always looked like it would take a blockbuster or a howler to open the scoring.
Unfortunately for the Poppies it was Jack, so reliable since arriving on loan, who punched Adam Smith's hopeful cross into his own net as he and Ian Roper failed to communicate.
Law had already thrown on Paul Furlong and reverted to a more conventional 4-4-2 before that setback but even with playmaker Boucaud also on the pitch, they were unable to get any sort of attacks going.
And their failure to keep possession almost resulted in a second own-goal when Green deflected Parker's fierce cross over the bar.
Roper shot wide with Kettering's best opening of the second period but their misery was completed in stoppage-time when Briscoe's deflected shot beat Jack.
In truth, the Poppies went down with a bit of a whimper and that's not something the home faithful will stand for on many more occasions.
Latest | November 2010