STAGS WIN AT EASTBOURNE
Eastbourne Borough 1 - 3 Mansfield Town
Taylor 53. Nix 22, Murray 75, Parker 90+3.
Attendance: 903 (approx 100 from Mansfield)
Date: 8 January 2011
Martin Shaw at Langney Sports Club, Priory Lane
Mansfield Town registered an important victory on the south coast this afternoon, after the demoralising defeats against Grimsby and Altrincham, with a 3-1 at Eastbourne Borough. This was not a convincing performance from the Stags but enough against a side who were terrible and had not won in the league since Oct 2nd. After Eastbourne had wasted six chances in the first 20 minutes, the Stags took the lead with Nix's stooping header from Cain's excellent cross. Eastbourne equalised early in the second half, but the Stags won it with an excellent goal from Adam Murray on 75 minutes and a late third in stoppage time from Keigan Parker. Ashley Cain and Tom Naylor, on their returns to the side, were particularly impressive and surely deserve to keep their places and a little run in the side.
Stagsnet report in the Match Centre.
Photo of Kyle Nix goal from Sussex Argus, showing the new all dark blue kit, with sky blue collar:
Stags back to winning ways - Eastbourne 1 Mansfield Town 2, Saturday 8th January
A NEW-look Mansfield Town got the club back to winning ways with two goals in the last 16 minutes at struggling Eastbourne Borough on Saturday afternoon, reports John Lomas.
With a side showing six changes, this was by no means a silky display from the Stags, reeling from those two dreadful defeats last weekend.
But they dug in, worked hard and made the long journey home with maximum spoils after sentencing Borough to their sixth straight loss and 12th game without a win.
After the previous two results, one of the lowest ever number of Stags away fans, barely breaking into three figures, braved the long haul to the south coast.
But those that did saw Kyle Nix head the only goal of a scrappy first half.
Borough were level through Jamie Taylor on 54 minutes and Kevin Pilkington had a couple of smart saves to make while Gary Silk had to clear off the line as the desperate home side pressed.
However, Adam Murray edged Mansfield back in front on 74 minutes before Keigan Parker crowned his best display in a Mansfield shirt with the third in time added on.
Parker was delighted as he had missed two great chances earlier in the game.
It was just the tonic boss Duncan Russell needed ahead of Tuesday's visit of Fleetwood.
The Stags side showed six changes, three enforced by injury.
With Rhys Day and Steve Cook both out with knocks, youngster Naylor and veteran Foster teamed up in the centre of defence.
There were changes too on both wings with Adam Smith injured and Louis Briscoe dropped, Williams making his first start of the season on the left and Cain in on the right for his first start of the season.
Nix replaced Steve Istead in central midfield and Parker took over from Connor up front.
Can provided some superb crosses while Williams worked hard, Nix sprayed some excellent passes about and grabbed a goal, Naylor and Foster largely looked solid with Naylor confident in carrying the ball forward, and Parker edged man of the match.
Stags, playing in a brand new all-navy blue kit, kicked off but caused their own problems in the second minute when Naylor was caught in possession trying to carry the ball out and Norwood whistled a shot wide of the near post.
A minute later Taylor tried to chip Pilkington from 20 yards out on the left of the box, but the keeper comfortably caught the ball.
A misplaced pass from Sandwith again encouraged a swift counter from the home side with Norwood again slicing wide of the near post.
But Parker missed an absolute sitter in the 10th minute for the visitors.
Cain curled in a delightful cross from the right and Parker looked a certain scorer but helped the ball over on the volley from right in front of goal.
Masterton, making his debut on loan from Crawley, drew applause from the home fans for a shot on the turn that flew wide.
At the other end Smart timed his sliding challenge perfectly to halt Parker's burst into the box and, after keeper Banks had caught the corner, a swift counter saw Walker fire over
Eastbourne continued to cause problems and Walker scuffed an 18 yard shot at Pilkington.
On 21 minutes Masterton let fly from 35 yards with a dipping shot that almost crept under the bar and brought a good tip-over save out of Pilkington.
But a minute later the visitors took the lead. Cain was the provider with another quality cross from the right and Nix stooped to beat Banks with a close range header.
Sandwith sent Parker down the left behind full back Nelson but, after cutting into the box, his low cross was easily gathered by Banks.
Naylor nodded the ball over the far angle from a Nix corner on 41 minutes as Stags continued to look comfortable and apply the pressure.
Defender Elphick did well to put off Duffy as he tried to get a head onto Silk cross and subsequently limped off to be replaced by Baker.
Austin received the afternoon's first caution for a cynical trip on Nix after the midfielder had gone past him in the centre circle.
Home keeper Banks eventually gathered Mansfield's third corner in stoppage time as the visitors went in with the advantage.
Williams almost doubled the Stags' advantage 70 seconds after the restart but hurried his first time shot wide when Silk's long free kick was headed out to him.
Instead the home side drew level on 54 minutes. Jenkins crossed from the left and Taylor was allowed too much room to cushion a right footed finish wide of Pilkington.
Stung by this reply, Mansfield poured forward with new urgency and Sandwith had a low 20 yard shot saved at full stretch and then saw another effort blocked.
Afforded plenty of room on the right Walker cut inside two defenders before firing just over the home crossbar.
Matt Crabb was narrowly wide from 18 yards from a half-cleared corner as Eastbourne pressed again on the hour. And soon after sub Atkin threw himself at a Walker cross but his head was agonising inches from making contact in front of goal.
Medley took over from Williams on 65 minutes and four minutes later the visitors missed another golden opportunity.
Austin should have cut out Silk's long ball forward but allowed the ball to squeeze past him and Parker was in on goal. But, instead of shooting, he tried to make a better angle, cut inside a defender and sidefooted his finish wide of a grateful Banks.
Murray was booked for his late tackle on Matt Crabb on 71 minutes. Masterton put the free kick into the box and Pilkington made another superb tip-over to keep out Nathan Crabb's looping header.
Masterton was well over two minutes later as the home side looked the more likely to snatch a winner.
But it was Mansfield who stunned the home side with a second on 76 minutes. Medley's poor control in the box saw the ball run to Murray who was onto it like a flash, turning and sweeping it low past Banks from 12 yards.
There was a scare soon after as Walker somehow managed to poke the ball between Pilkington and Naylor on the by-line and forced Silk to kick off the line. Then Smart was just wide from 18 yards as Stags failed to clear the ball far.
Taylor's looping header had Pilkington stretching upwards but the ball cleared the keeper's fingers and the bar.
Cain burst into the home box on the right and beat two men only to see his shot blocked for a corner.
The game entered four minutes of stoppage time and in the third of those Parker made it third time lucky as he finally got his goal.
Racing into the box on the right he easily went past two half-hearted challenges and then smashed a low finish from a tight angle under the keeper before celebrating with the away fans behind the goal.
EASTBOURNE: Banks, Austin, Masterton, M. Crabb, Elphick (Baker 44), Jenkins, Norwood (Atkins 52, M. Crabb 65), Nelson, Smart, Taylor, Weaker. Subs not used: Brinkhurst, Strevett.
STAGS: Pilkington; Silk, Foster, Naylor, Sandwith; Cain, Nix (Mills 87), Murray, Williams (Medley 65); Parker, Duffy (Connor 80). Subs not used: Collett, Stonehouse.
REFEREE: John Busby of Oxfordshire.
Eastbourne Borough 1-3 Mansfield Town
Evening Post report
MANSFIELD Town recorded their first victory of 2011 with a third victory at Eastbourne Borough's Priory Lane in as many seasons.
The Stags had endured a barren start to the New Year after being thumped 7-2 at Grimsby before losing 1-0 at home to lowly Altrincham.
But Duncan Russell's side got back to winning ways on the South Coast to consign Borough to their sixth consecutive defeat.
Kyle Nix opened the scoring midway through the first half in what was his first start since November.
Jamie Taylor put the hosts back on level terms not long after the restart.
But Adam Murray then bagged his second goal in four games before Keigan Parker sealed the Stags' success in stoppage time.
Eastbourne got in the first shot on goal in the second minute, but James Norwood's long-range drive never threatened the target.
Soon after, Taylor tried his luck with a lob, only for Kevin Pilkington to collect with a degree of comfort.
Norwood fired in another drive from a similar position after a mistake from Kevin Sandwith, but again it crashed into the advertising hoardings.
Mansfield should have gone in front in the tenth minute when Ashley Cain whipped over an inviting cross from the left and Parker volleyed over from just six yards.
New boy Steve Masterton found space to shoot on the turn but shot well wide before Matt Smart denied Parker just as he was winding up to shoot.
Dan Walker went closer for Borough as he fizzed a 20-yard shot just over the top with Pilkington back-pedalling.
Pilkington was called into serious action when he did well to tip over a volley from Masterton after the ball had sat up nicely for the midfielder to strike.
The significance of that stop was underlined moments later as the Stags took a 22nd-minute lead.
Rob Duffy threaded a pass through for Cain on the right, who advanced before playing an excellent cross into the danger zone for the onrushing Nix to plant a header into the left corner from eight yards.
Eastbourne had penalty claims for a foul on Norwood waved away as they looked to quickly get back on level terms.
A pinpoint pass down the line from Sandwith put Parker away down the left but he could not find Cain at the far post with a low cross as keeper Rikki Banks intervened.
As half-time approach, Mansfield went reasonably close to a second when Naylor rose highest to head wide of the right-hand upright from Nix's left-wing corner.
Just before the break, Gary Elphick did well to head away from Duffy from Gary Silk's cross but injured himself in the process and had to be replaced by Darren Baker.
Mansfield might have doubled their lead early in the second half, only for Ryan Williams to drive inches wide of the right-hand post from Silk's half-cleared free-kick.
Parker was almost in from a precise first time pass from Williams and it needed a well-timed last gasp tackle from a member of the Borough back line to thwart the Scot.
But Eastbourne were level in the 54th minute with a goal Mansfield would have been very disappointed to concede.
Neil Jenkins was allowed too much time to cross from the left byline and his cutback was swept home by top scorer Jamie Taylor from eight yards.
Suitably stung, Mansfield roared back and Banks got down well to deny Sandwith's low drive.
More Mansfield pressure failed to yield a chance before Matt Crabb blasted wide as Mansfield struggled to concede a corner.
On the hour, substitute Andy Atkin was not too far away from connecting with Walker's curling right-wing centre when positioned in the centre of the goal.
In the 69th minute, Parker had a great chance to put Mansfield back in front after Ben Austin had failed to cut out Gary Silk's ball into the inside-right channel.
The striker switched feet onto his left foot but curled his finish well past the left-hand post.
At the other end, Pilkington pulled off another fine stop to flick Nathan Crabb's header over the bar following Masterton's free-kick.
Just like Mansfield's first goal, the Stags went straight after almost conceding to regain the lead in the 76th minute.
Substitute Luke Medley lost control of the ball but an attempted Borough clearance rebounded kindly for Murray, who turned and shot in one motion to find the right-hand corner.
But the home side were far from finished and Silk had to clear off the line when Walker had nicked the ball past Pilkington as Naylor attempted to shepherd the ball back to his keeper.
However, Mansfield continued to push forward and in the third minute of added time, Parker made the result safe.
He brushed off two half-hearted challenges on the right-hand side of the box before drilling under Banks from a tight angle.
Long trip proves worthwhile as Stags return to winning ways
Evening Post considered report by Matt Halfpenny
AS the longest trip of the season at getting on for 450 miles, you would think Mansfield Town's players and fans would be glad to see the back of their annual visit to Eastbourne Borough, should the Sports be relegated at the end of the current campaign.
Not a bit of it.
The journey to Sussex by the sea may be long and arduous, and Priory Lane is invariably bitingly cold when they play there.
But the fact remains it continues to be one heck of a happy hunting ground for the Stags – and one they would be happy to frequent for as long as they are trying to reacquire their Football League status.
Since dropping into the Blue Square Bet Premier at the end of the 2007-08 season, Mansfield have never lost to Garry Wilson's men in six attempts.
At Field Mill they have earned 4-2 and 4-0 triumphs either side of a 1-1 draw last season.
But the Stags' record is even better on the south coast, with this latest triumph their third straight success at the Langney-based venue.
In 2008-09, David Holdsworth's second away game after taking over the reins from the sacked Billy McEwan brought a 2-1 triumph with goals from Jonathan D'Laryea and Scott Garner.
Last season produced the same scoreline, as Kyle Perry and Rob Duffy secured another 2-1 victory and maintain the Stags' decent early season form.
There was no less need for three points on this latest occasion after two morale-sapping defeats.
A 7-2 hammering at Grimsby was devastating; a 1-0 home defeat to Altrincham a real kick in the teeth.
Thankfully for the visitors, though, they were able to grind out their first of 2011 to push themselves back up to eighth in the table and three points off the play-off spots on a day most of their rivals slipped up.
It looked for all but the final few seconds as if it would finish 2-1 for a third time on the trot. In the end, it got even better for Mansfield as a stoppage time third gave them a two-goal winning margin.
But that scoreline flattered the Stags, with the game in the balance for much of the second period.
Borough are a team Mansfield should be beating if they believe they are a force to be reckoned with at this level.
Not only had the Sports lost their previous five games, but they had failed to register a league victory since early October and were subsequently devoid of confidence.
So while the outcome was encouraging, there is every reason for the players to remain grounded, as manager Duncan Russell knows too well.
Partly due to injuries and partly down to preference, Russell made no less than six changes.
Tom Naylor and Steve Foster were expected to vie to partner Rhys Day in the centre of defence in the absence of Steve Cook (ankle).
In the event, the Welshman (knee) was not fit enough to participate meaning both youngster and veteran were given the nod.
They did not disappoint with assured displays, and neither did Ryan Williams, Ashley Cain, Kyle Nix and Keigan Parker, drafted in for Adam Smith (groin), Louis Briscoe, Steven Istead and Paul Connor.
Cain provided some excellent ammunition from the right wing and Parker worked tirelessly for the cause, getting late reward for his efforts.
But most welcome was the comeback of Nix after ankle ligament damage, whose range of passing had a telling impact.
Eastbourne bossed the first 20 minutes without truly threatening, yet Mansfield might have gone in front when Parker volleyed over.
However, the Stags were soon indebted to keeper Kevin Pilkington as he tipped over Steve Masterton's spectacular volley.
That sparked the Stags into action and they took a 22nd-minute lead when Rob Duffy picked out Cain, whose pinpoint centre was headed home by the late-arriving Nix from eight yards.
Either side of half-time, Naylor was not too far away with a header from a corner while Williams drilled off target when he might have netted.
However, Eastbourne restored parity in the 54th minute when Neil Jenkins was allowed too much space to cross low from the left and Jamie Taylor swept home.
Both sides had their moments to strike a decisive blow, but it was Mansfield who did so through Adam Murray's second goal in four games.
Not to be outdone by midfield partner Nix, he seized superbly on a ricochet off substitute Luke Medley to thrash into the right-hand corner on the turn from 16 yards.
As expected, Eastbourne threw players forward in trying to salvage a point but it was the resilient Parker who crowned Mansfield's day in the third minute of stoppage time, shrugging off two challenges to drill under Rikki Banks from a narrow angle.
That strike means the Stags have now scored 24 away goals – more than any other side in the division – and earned a respectable six away wins.
What they have failed to do is back that up with solid home form, especially against other top teams.
Tomorrow they have can start to put that right when Fleetwood Town visit Field Mill. Realistically, with opportunities fast running out, it's an examination they must pass if they are to be serious promotion contenders.
Match facts: Eastbourne B v Mansfield Town
Eastbourne: Banks, Nelson, Austin, Elphick (Baker 44), Jenkins, Walker, Masterton, Smart, M. Crabb, Norwood (Atkin 52; N. Crabb 65), Taylor. Subs not used: Brinkhurst, Strevett.
Mansfield: Pilkington, Silk, Naylor, Foster, Sandwith, Cain, Murray, Nix (Mills 87), Williams (Medley 65), Parker, Duffy (Connor 80). Subs not used: Collett, Stonehouse.
Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire).
Goals: Eastbourne: Taylor (54). Mansfield: Nix (22); Murray (76), Parker (90+3).
Shots on target: Eastbourne 7 Mansfield 4.
Shots off target: Eastbourne 10 Mansfield 5.
Fouls: Eastbourne 14 Mansfield 13.
Corners: Eastbourne 2 Mansfield 5.
Offsides: Eastbourne 6 Mansfield 5.
Bookings: Eastbourne 1 (Austin, 44, foul on Nix) Mansfield 1 (Murray, 71, foul on M. Crabb).
Sendings off: Eastbourne 0 Mansfield 0.
Mansfield's man of the match: Kyle Nix. Starting his first game for two months, the central midfielder marked his return with Mansfield's opening goal and took the pressure of Adam Murray, providing the attack with welcome service thanks to some crisp passing.
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