STAGS BEATEN BY CLINICAL GATESHEAD
Gateshead 3 - 0 Mansfield Town 0
Shaw 34, Odubade 41, Curtis 59. Naylor sent off 79.
Att: 825 (125 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw at the International Stadium
Mansfield Town were beaten 3-0 by Gateshead on Tuesday night on a nightmare of an evening in the North East. The Stags had dominated play for the opening 34 minutes, and had actually had the home side on the rack for about 15 minutes, when Gateshead took the lead out of the blue through former Stags Jon Shaw. Then Yemi Odubade scored a brilliant individual goal on 41 minutes to make it 2-0. Stags heads dropped, while Gateshead grew visibly in confidence. When Gateshead added a third on 59 minutes with a powerful Curtis header from a corner, it was only their third goal attempt. After that the Stags never looked like clawing their way back, and the misery was compounded when Tom Naylor was shown a straight red on 79 minutes for a two-footed challenge though he did get the ball. After the game Paul Cox said his side had a soft underbelly and he would be attempting to add some steel to it by moving some players on and bringing in some players who do the ugly side of the game well.
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Gateshead 3 Mansfield Town 0, Tuesday 16th August
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 16 August 2011
DESPITE being comfortably the best side for the first half hour, Stags succumbed to a 3-0 defeat on Tyneside as Gateshead ended Tuesday night as early league leaders, reports John Lomas.
After Saturday's disappointing 1-1 home draw with Bath City, it has become a miserable start to the Paul Cox era and, to make matters worse, young defender Tom Naylor was red-carded near the end of the game.
Looking comfortable in their 4-3-3 formation, Mansfield played some good football in the first half hour without seriously stretching home keeper Paul Farman.
But the game swung on two home goals in eight minutes, ex-Stag Jon Shaw netting on 33 minutes and Yemi Odibade doubling their advantage with a high quality second.
Mansfield never recovered from that double blow and gifted James Curtis a third from a corner early in the second half to end their hopes.
Louis Briscoe was Stags' most inventive player and had an effort cleared off the line before Naylor saw red for his tackle on the livewire Odibade 10 minutes from the end of a miserable night at a stadium where Paul Cox's last visit saw him lose 4-0 when Eastwood boss.
See this week's Chad, on sale from Wednesday morning, for full report
Gateshead 3, Mansfield Town 0
Nottingham Post, by Matt Halfpenny
TWO games into the season and Mansfield Town's latest crop of players are already throwing up more questions than they are answering.
The first, and most obvious, after a lacklustre defeat in the north-east is: Have the club got the right personnel in place to challenge for the play-offs this season?
But there are others posers as well. What is Mansfield's best formation? How did they fail to capitalise on long spells of early possession? Why do they continue to concede sloppy goals?
These are all things that manager Paul Cox will be addressing over the next few days and, no doubt nights, ahead of the weekend trip to Blue Square Bet Premier newcomers Braintree Town.
What is clear, however, is that there is plenty of room for improvement. And it is desperately needed.
Mansfield had come back from 2-0 down in the final home game of last season against Gateshead to win 3-2 after a last-gasp Louis Briscoe winner, with Adam Murray inspired.
Yet there was little sign of a repeat performance last night on what is fast becoming an unhappy hunting ground for Cox.
His only previous visit to the International Stadium had seen his Eastwood side stuffed out of sight 4-0 in a UniBond League Premier Division play-off semi-final.
This performance from his new team was just as frustrating – especially as they had started out so well.
For the first half hour, Mansfield were much the better team and it seemed only a matter of time before they would score.
But they fatally failed to make the most of their superiority and were hit by two sucker punches in quick succession that totally knocked the wind out of their sails – and there was no way back.
As was hinted at before the game, Mansfield switched from 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 formation.
That saw Lee Stevenson brought into a three-man midfield, Andy Todd making way, while Briscoe joined the attack.
The only other change was at left-back with Joe Kendrick returning after suspension at the expense of Matt Bell.
It was the visitors who threatened first. Kendrick's ball down the line saw Matt Green muscle James Curtis off the ball through the inside left channel.
He got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Paul Connor, but Ben Clark did enough to block the striker.
The Stags looked to unlock the door when Stevenson attempted to thread in Connor, only to be ruled marginally offside.
More good play from Mansfield saw Luke O'Neill tee up Connor who shot into the side netting, before Briscoe got away down the right put failed to pick out his target with the cross.
Connor was then clear just past the midway point of the half as he raced onto a Kendrick pass, only to be denied by Clark's last-gasp challenge.
And as Mansfield continued to press, Stevenson let fly from outside the box, straight into the hands of Farman.
Curtis then got a vital foot in to deny Stevenson from Briscoe's cross while Murray's drive following a half-cleared corner was easily blocked.
Gateshead won their first corner after Tom Naylor had to cut out Chris Carruthers' centre, but Alan Marriott came off his line to punch confidently.
Mansfield were made to pay for not scoring when they were on top as the Tynesiders netted with their first effort in the 33rd minute.
As the Stags switched off, a Carruthers throw found Yemi Odubade on the left-hand side of the box and his low cross was rammed home from 15 yards by former Stag Jon Shaw.
And with the Stags still reeling they were hit by a second goal four minutes from the break thanks to a piece of brilliance from Odubade.
Taking a pass from Kris Gate, the former Stevenage man cut in from the right past Kendrick and before Martin Riley could come across to cover, drilled past the advancing Marriott.
Mansfield had a chance to pull a goal back straight after the restart when Connor headed over from a good position.
Two more ambitious shots came in from Stevenson and Briscoe, but neither threatened the target.
And there was more misery for Mansfield after poor marking allowed Curtis to power home a header from six yards out just before the hour.
As the Stags tried to respond, Riley somehow headed over while Briscoe's drilled effort from the tightest of angles was hacked off the line.
But it was a night when Mansfield probably wouldn't have scored if they had played until midnight. As poor as they were in the second two-thirds of the game, nothing went right.
To illustrate the point, Naylor was shown a straight red card with ten minutes to go for a late tackle on the livewire Odubade.
For the moment, the slow start is more disappointing and irritating than problematic and irrevocable.
Even so, Cox knows Mansfield can ill-afford to take too long to get that first win on the board
Gateshead 3 - 0 Mansfield Town
Date: 16/08/2011 Venue: Gateshead International Stadium
Attendance: 825 Referee: Stephen Smith
Furious Stags boss Paul Cox says he will look to move players on after a 3-0 defeat to Gateshead.
Missed opportunities cost Mansfield dear as they fell to a 3-0 defeat and to rub salt into the wounds, Tom Naylor was controversially sent off on 79 minutes after a late challenge on Yemi Odubade.
In contrast, the hosts were clinical in front of goal, netting three times out of their four shots on target throughout the contest.
Stags enjoyed a large spell of domination during the first half, where they could have taken the lead on numerous occasions, but they had the wind taken out of their sails after Jon Shaw gave Gateshead the breakthrough on 33 minutes.
Afterwards, Stags chief Cox said he will attempt add steel by the way of new additions in the forthcoming games and pointed to his side's 'soft underbelly' as a crucial factor in this evening's downfall.
The manager made two changes from the line up three days ago, with Joe Kendrick making his first start at left back at the expense of Matt Bell, while Lee Stevenson entered the fray in behind Paul Connor in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Matt Green almost forced a breakthrough for the Stags on eight minutes when he outmuscled James Curtis in the area following a long ball by Joe Kendrick. But after being forced wide, his pass across goal towards Paul Connor was put behind for a corner.
Moments later, Kendrick sent a teasing inswinger into the box but Paul Farman, the Gateshead custodian, did well to punch clear.
Stags came even closer when Lee Stevenson sent a cute throughball between the Gateshead centre halves, but Paul Connor, the recipient of the pass, was just offside as he tried to round the keeper.
Mansfield's next move consisted of a three man act as Stags crept on top. Tom Naylor found Luke O'Neill on the right, who in turn sent Paul Connor into space - but his shot rifled into the side netting.
Connor had another shooting chance when he got behind the defence after Kendrick had put him in the clear. But Gateshead captain Ben Clark caught up with him and thwarted the chance with a strong tackle.
Paul Farman then pulled off a routine save from a 20-yard shot from Stevenson.
By now, the home side were simply looking to hold back the tide, after wave after wave of attack from the Stags.
Briscoe then tried to provide from the right as he drilled in a cross, but Stevenson, near the front post, was beaten to the ball as Gateshead were happy to concede a corner.
Gateshead had a short spell of pressure when Stags had to head behind for two corners in quick succession.
It was the hosts who were to make an unlikely breakthrough from their first shot at goal, started by a left-sided Chris Carruthers' throw. It found Yemi Odubade, who assisted former Stag Jon Shaw to slam low into the net from 15 yards.
Odubade turned from architect to goalscorer with a magnificent solo effort four minutes before the break. After a surging run on the right, the ex-Oxford man glided by two Stags' defenders before sliding the ball past Marriott.
In the last minute of the half, Briscoe flew by Carruthers to drift in from the right, but the Tynesiders blocked the cross.
Stags' frontman Paul Connor was kicking himself two minutes after the restart when Kendrick swept in from the left, but the big striker headed over from five yards.
Gateshead wrapped up the tie on 59 minutes from a preventable goal. James Curtis was left unchallenged to head home from six yards from a Micky Cummins corner.
Two minutes later, Ross Dyer replaced Paul Connor in attack.
Martin Riley had a chance to pull a goal back for the Stags 20 minutes from time from Kendrick's flag kick, but his header, from 12 yards, flew over.
Moments later, Briscoe fired at goal but was denied on the line by James Curtis, and Green's follow up on the opposite side was saved.
Soon after, Jon Worthington left the pitch and was replaced by Adam Smith, making his first appearance of the season.
Stags' miserable night was compounded when Tom Naylor was given his marching orders on 79 minutes for a late tackle on Odubade, although most agreed that a yellow card would have been a more suitable punishment.
Soon after the dismissal, Neil Wood came on for Matt Green.
Gateshead's Kris Gate fired over from eight yards after an assist from Eddie Odhiambo on the right, when he should have buried it.
Shortly before the blast of the final whistle, Shaw headed straight at Marriott from a corner, as Stags were left to contemplate what might have been
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