FRIENDLY: MANSFIELD 0 DONCASTER 1
Mansfield Town 0 Doncaster Rovers 1
Billy Sharp 78
Att 1576 (195 from Doncaster)
19 July 2011
Man of the Match: Adam Murray
Goodall did not play - the news is that he has signed for Fleetwood.
Stags run rule over Kendrick
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox is keen to take a further look at left-back Joe Kendrick after missing out on Alan Goodall.
The Irish former Darlington man was drafted in to play against Doncaster in a 1-0 defeat at Field Mill last night.
That was after the Stags were beaten to the punch for Goodall, who has signed for big-spending Fleetwood.
Cox was impressed by the performance of 28-year-old Kendrick, who will train with the club for the rest of the week.
"Joe was due to sign for Stockport before Ray Mathias left and I think he did very well for us," he said.
"He started off at Newcastle and has played in Ireland as well. The only problem is Joe has already booked a holiday for the weekend so we will have to try to work around that."
"But I want to see more of him. He's worth another look.
"Alan has gone to Fleetwood and they are spending a lot of money. We are not going to pay what they are offering."
Cox was pleased with his side's showing against Rovers, but insists they must start winning soon.
He said: "The lads are giving me everything and working very hard and I think the fans were appreciative of that.
"We could have had a draw but conceded a sloppy goal at the end.
"The good thing is there were a lot of positives from the game and we are seeing improvements but I want us to start winning games from now on."
Mansfield Town 0 Doncaster Rovers 1, Tuesday 19th July
IF Stags are to achieve their season goal of promotion back to the Football League they will clearly have to show much more bite and resolve on the road than they displayed last year.
Horror shows such as the 4-0 capitulation against Hayes and Yeading and defensive displays conjuring up images of a hot knife through butter need to become a thing of the past.
And on Tuesday night Paul Cox's new-look Mansfield Town showed good signs that they are well set up to withstand long periods of pressure and spells camped in front of their own goal line.
Despite losing 1-0 to Championship outfit Doncaster in their second home friendly of the pre-season, Stags looked solid and resolute for huge spells of the game as their 4-5-1 defensive shape and excellent work-rate saw Rovers controlling the ball well but going nowhere in the process.
The new-look central defensive partnership of Martin Riley and John Thompson marshalled the side well, while Worthington and Murray provided an excellent screen in the central midfield area.
Ultimately Mansfield were undone by a clinical finish from former Scunthorpe striker Billy Sharp – a quality of striker the Stags' defence will not have to contend with in the Blue Square Premier.
There was little, if anything to chose between the two side, and although Stags are still searching for their first pre-season win boss Paul Cox will be happy with how his side is currently shaping up.
Stags will also be buoyed be the excellent crowd of 1576, which was larger than a number of league games last season and a clear sign that the Field Mill faithful have high hopes for the season ahead.
Stags boss Paul Cox made a number of changes to his line-up for the tough test against Doncaster, with Irish trialist Joe Kendrick, new signing John Thompson and Lee Stevenson stepping into the starting eleven.
The unknown Irish left-back (28) most recently played for Bray Wanderers and is a former trainee at Newcastle United.
The Field Mill faithful were also looking forward to getting their first glimpse of former Notts County defender Thompson, who finally signed for the club earlier in the week.
Doncaster, who began their climb out of the Blue Square Premier to the lofty heights of the Championship a decade ago, named a number of big-name players including goalkeeper Neil Sullivan in their starting team.
Rovers started best and should have taken the lead after just six minutes when James Hayter sprung the offside trap after a slick passing move through the visitor's midfield.
But, despite all the time and space in the world, he lifted a lazy chip over Marriott as well as the Stags' crossbar from seven yards out.
Doncaster continued to boss the early stages of the game as their superior ball retention allowed them to take a firm control on the game.
But, with Stags adopting a solid 4-5-1 defensive shape and good work-rate, goal-scoring chances remained a rarity during a very slow tempo start to the friendly.
Donny defender Ellis Deeney then unsuccessfully tried his luck from distance after 24 minutes as Rovers continued to show few signs of being able to crack the resolute Stags defence.
Lone striker Paul Connor wasted Stags only chance so far when he was picked out with a defence-splitting pass by Martin Riley on 35 minutes.
But Connor failed to get his body shape right and, after wasting valuable time controlling the ball, dragged his effort tamely wide from 20 yards while under pressure.
Doncaster made a number of substitutions for the start of the second half as they looked to give a good run out to their entire squad.
Amongst the five new players taking to the field were former Scunthorpe hit-man Billy Sharp and winger James Coppinger.
But the switch failed to provide a new spark for flat Rovers, who continued to control the tempo with a slow and deliberate passing game inside Stags' territory.
Doncaster finally sprung into life on the hour mark as Coppinger began to find some joy down the right flank.
He cut inside before sending in a decent cross, which Sharp met with a true striker's instinct before heading over.
At the other end Louis Briscoe fired a speculative effort high and wide after latching on to a defensive clearance from an Anthony Howell corner on 63 mins.
Coppinger once again showed his threat on 69 minutes as he turned Sutton inside out before fizzing over a fierce low cross, which eluded both defenders and attackers.
Murray then skied a free-kick well over the bar on 72 minutes as both sides became reduced to long range efforts in what was becoming an increasingly tame affair.
Doncaster finally took the lead on 79 minutes when Billy Sharp showed his goal-scoring prowess as he comfortably beat Riley with some neat footwork, before drilling a powerful shot past Marriott at the near post.
It proved to be the difference between the two sides as Rovers shut the game down with some controlled spells of possession.
STAGS: Marriott, Sutton, Kendrick (Horne 63 mins), Murray (Bell 84 mins), Riley, Thompson (Pejic 70 mins), Briscoe (Smith 65 mins), Stevenson (Howell 52 mins), Connor, Worthington, Meikle (Dyer 66 mins). Subs not used: Smith, Bell, O'Neil, Todd, Mitchley, Redmond.
DONCASTER: Sullivan, Dumbuya, Friend, Gillett, Hayter, Brown, Baxendale, Vine, McDonald, Deeney, A. Trialist. Subs: Woods, Hird, Naylor, Bouherra, Spurr, Oster, Coppinger, Sharp, Quinn.
ATTENDANCE: 1576 (195 away).
MAN OF THE MATCH: Adam Murray.
REFEREE: Andy Woolmer
Mansfield Town 0 Doncaster Rovers 1
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny
ON the face of it, three pre-season defeats from three matches played does not make good reading for Mansfield Town fans.
But what will encourage those who have been to see the team is that their displays have been ever-more encouraging.
Manager Paul Cox makes no secret of the fact that he loves to win, whether it be a testimonial or a championship decider.
It means that with the Stags still without a victory, he will never be content with his start at Field Mill.
But what will have pleased the boss is the way that charges are gradually finding their feet.
Last night's home clash with Championship Doncaster – three leagues above Mansfield – was the latest example of that, with just a single goal separating the sides come full-time.
What was perhaps most pleasing for those of an amber and blue persuasion was the fact that Mansfield are looking altogether more solid at the back after a decidedly ropey beginning at Nuneaton.
New signing John Thompson made an assured debut at the heart of the defence – and the team did not concede during his 70-minute stint on the pitch.
And the truth was, their goal aside, Doncaster did not test Stags keeper Alan Marriott throughout the 90 minutes, despite bossing possession.
As expected, Cox chose to play a 4-5-1 formation, with Paul Connor operating up front on his own and Lee Stevenson supporting him in a five-man midfield.
In the absence of Alan Goodall, Irish trialist Joe Kendrick slotted in at left-back and did his chances no harm at all with an accomplished display.
Doncaster had the first sight of goal in the sixth minute when James Hayter beat the offside trap to lob over the advancing Marriott, but also over the angle.
Mansfield should have gone in front in the 35th minute when Martin Riley put Connor in the clear with a precise through-ball.
But the striker overran the ball and his eventual, hurried shot on the turn flew past the left-hand post.
The visitors made a raft of changes at the break and one of them, John Oster, fired past the right-hand post from distance soon after the restart.
Fellow replacement Billy Sharp then had a chance after latching onto a right-wing cross by James Coppinger but headed over the top on the stretch.
The decisive goal came 12 minutes from time after skipper Adam Murray gave the ball away with an errant pass.
Rovers seized on the mistake as Sharp twisted and turned his way past Riley before finding the left-hand corner from 10 yards, despite Marriott getting a touch.
Former Mansfield loan goalkeeper David Grof, released by Notts County at the end of the season, has signed a one-year deal with Walsall.
Mansfield: Marriott, Sutton (O'Neill 82), Riley, Thompson (Pejic 71), Kendrick (Horne 64), Briscoe (Smith 66), Murray (Bell 85), Worthington, Meikle (Dyer 68), Stevenson (Howell 53), Connor (Mitchley 79). Subs not used: Todd, Redmond.
Doncaster: Sullivan, Dumbuya, Trialist, Friend, Deeney, McDonald, Gillett, Baxendale, Hayter, Brown, Vine. Subs: Woods, Hird, Naylor, Bouherra, Spurr, Oster, Coppinger, Sharp, Quinn.
Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northants).
Attendance: 1,576 (195 visitors).
Mansfield Town 0 Doncaster Rovers 1 - MATCH REPORT
DONCASTER Rovers maintained their unbeaten pre-season record with a hard fought victory over Mansfield Town at Field Mill.
Rovers had new signing Chris Brown on debut for their first meeting with the Stags since the 2003-04 season.
The first chance of the game fell to Rovers in the sixth minute - James Hayter just clearing the bar from close range after trialist midfielder Kevin McDonald had picked him out in the box with a long ball.
McDonald shot inches wide of the left-hand post with a low effort on 23 minutes after Rovers had attacked down their left flank.
Rovers had looked solid at the back so far with full-backs Ellis Deeney and Mustapha Dumbuya looking to get forward whenever possible, but the quality of their football had yet to come close to matching that produced in the first half of Saturday's game at Barrow.
Mansfield striker Paul Connor shot wide from the edge of the area with the Stags' best chance to date on 34 minutes.
Rovers made their first substitution, youngster James Baxendale replacing Brown.The former Leeds United junior was soon in the action, shooting over from the edge of the area on 37 minutes.
Both trialists had acquitted themselves well in the first half.
Rovers started the second half with a completely new side.
Sharp had early claims for a penalty turned down. He also headed over from James Coppinger's cross on 59 minutes.
Rovers had upped the tempo this half with John Oster proving an influential figure in midfield while trialist Alan Quinn showed several neat touches.
Coppinger created a chance on 75 minutes but there was no-one to get on the end of his low cross.
The lively Kyle Bennett, who had shown his pace on a couple of occasions, headed well wide from a right-wing cross on 75 minutes.
Sharp broke the deadlock on 78 minutes, poking the ball home from close range after being set up by Quinn.
Town had a late half chance but Rovers held out
Stags 0-1 Doncaster
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 19 Jul 2011
Matt Appleby reports from Field Mill
A 78th minute winner from Billy Sharp was enough for Doncaster Rovers to leave Field Mill with a 1-0 win over the Stags.
John Thompson made his debut in defence for the Stags, joined by trialists left-back Joe Kendrick and Lee Stevenson made his first start at Field Mill, with Lewis Horne and Shaun Pejic amongst the substitutes.
Rovers dominated the early possession and went close through James Hayter, whose deft lob over Stags goalkeeper Alan Marriott sailed just over the crossbar on seven minutes.
It took another seven minutes before either side saw sight of the opposition goal, but Chris Brown's header was comfortable for Marriott.
Martin Riley then provided a perfectly-timed through ball for the onside Paul Connor, whose first touch deserted him and his effort faltered wide.
James Baxendale volleyed an attempt over the bar on 36th minutes and on the stroke of half-time, Hayter picked up the ball and charged towards the area and was unfortunate to see his driven effort fly over the bar.
While Stags remained unchanged for the second half, Rovers made a whole host of changes, Gary Woods, Tommy Spurr, Billy Sharp, James Coppinger, Richard Naylor, Sam Hird, John Oster amongst those to be brought on.
Paul Cox made his first change of the match, bringing on Anthony Howell for Lee Stevenson on 52 minutes.
Doncaster were the first to create a goalscoring opportunity in the second half on 60 minutes, Sharp played the ball out wide to Coppinger, who picked out Sharp from his ball across and the striker's header drifted inches over the bar.
Stags responded through an athletic volley from Briscoe a minute later, Adam Murray's corner was knocked down to the winger, but he could not keep his effort down.
A trio of Stags' substitutions followed with Kendrick, Briscoe and Meikle being replaced by Lewis Horne, Adam Smith and Ross Dyer.
James Coppinger went close for the visitors on 69 minutes, after skipping past left-back Horne, the pacey winger drilled a ferocious effort narrowly wide of goal from a tight angle.
Shaun Pejic replaced debutant Thompson a minute later, before skipper Murray curled a free-kick high over the bar.
It was the visitors who struck the first blow in the 78th minute, Billy Sharp outmuscled Martin Riley, before firing a powerful left-footed effort past the helpless Marriott.
Paul Cox made an immediate change in response to falling behind, Danny Mitchley replacing Connor and shortly after Luke O'Neill replaced Ritchie Sutton at right-back.
Skipper Adam Murray was brought off with five minute to go, with Matt Bell on in his place, before Stags went agonisingly close to levelling the match.
Substitute defender Luke O'Neill cut in from the right wing and curled a left-footed cross aimed for Ross Dyer, however the ball had just too much on it and the striker was unable to make any meaningful contact with the goal begging.
Stags: Marriott, Sutton (O'Neill 81), Kendrick (Horne 63), Murray (Bell 85), Riley, Thompson (Pejic 70), Briscoe (Smith 65), Stevenson (Howell 52), Connor (Mitchley 79), Worthington, Meikle (Dyer 67).
Subs: Redmond (GK), Dyer, Smith, Horne, Todd, Bell, Howell, O'Neill, Pejic, Mitchley.
Doncaster Rovers: Sullivan, Dumbuya, Friend, Gillett, Hayter, Brown, Baxendale, Vine, McDonald, Deeney, Trialist.
Subs: Woods (GK), Hird, Naylor, Bouherra, Spurr, Oster, Coppinger, Sharp, Quinn.
Attendance: 1,576 (195)
Sponsor's man of the match: Adam Murray
Latest | July 2011