5-STAR STAGS ANNIHILATE NEWPORT LIVE ON TV
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 5 - 0 Newport County
Green 11, Briscoe 33, 71, Dyer 56, O'Neill 75
Attendance: 2324 (121 from Newport)
Date: 10 September 2011
by Martin Shaw
Mansfield Town turned in a superb display in front of the Premier Sports TV cameras on Saturday night to annihilate hapless Newport County 5-0. The Stags got off to a great start with an early goal from Matt Green (again) though he was half a yard offside which was missed by the officials. Louis Briscoe added a terrific second on 33 minutes. Ross Dyer was in the right place to tap in the third in the second half, then Briscoe volleyed home a brilliant fourth from outside the area, and finally a great goal from Luke O'Neill who had his shorts vitually pulled down but still managed to slot the ball home. The Stags could have had more, whereas Newport barely tested Alan Marriott. Mansfield move into third place and are really on the up.
It was the first time the Stags have won four games on the trot since October 2003, a run that started with that amazing win with nine men at Cambridge, in a season when the side eventually reached the play-off final at Cardiff. It was the first time the Stags have kept four clean sheets on the trot since April 1997, when we actually kept six successive clean sheets. It was the first time the Stags have won four games on the trot with clean sheets in each game, since May 1977, those games being the last 4 games of the title-winning season which took the Stags into the second tier of English football for the only time in our history. It was the first time the Stags have won live on TV since the win at Harrogate Railway in the FA Cup in December 2007, in our last season in the football league.
The Stags were unchanged again. On the bench, Adam Smith replaced the injured Lee Stevenson. The game was played in a howling wind, and started in bright sunshine, yet ended in a torrential downpour which was so heavy that it took Premier Sports TV off the air from 86 minutes to the final whistle. Fortunately nothing of note happened in those final 7 minutes.
Man of the Match: O'Neill, Howell, Briscoe, Meikle, Green - couldn't split them - all excellent.
Stagsnet report in the Match Centre
Mansfield Town 5 Newport County 0, Saturday, September 10, 2011
Nottingham Post Match report by Matt Halfpenny
FIVE-STAR Mansfield Town swept into third place in the Blue Square Premier after ripping Newport County apart in recording their fourth straight victory and clean sheet.
The Stags were dominant from start to finish and once Matt Green had given them an 11th minute lead, the result was never in doubt.
Leading 2-0 at the break after Louis Briscoe doubled the Stags' advantage, they added further strikes through Ross Dyer, Briscoe's second and Luke O'Neill.
The result piles the pressure on County boss Anthony Hudson, whose side have now lost four games in a row.
But Mansfield were only concerned about events at the other end of the table where they are now four points behind top two Wrexham and Gateshead, who lost respectively at Barrow and Fleetwood.
Boss Paul Cox had the luxury of naming an unchanged starting line-up for the third game running – and his troops made a quick start.
Briscoe chipped into the box for Dyer, whose lay-off saw Green try his luck only to have his shot blocked.
The ball broke for Lindon Meikle, but his shot, from a tight angle, was always flying wide of the left-hand post.
At the other end, Paul Rodgers crossed dangerously from the right, only for Craig McAllister's header to fly over the top.
Green was within a whisker of tapping in from close range after Ben Futcher had flicked on Joe Kendrick's free-kick.
But the Oxford loanee was celebrating moments later when he bagged his fifth of the season to give Mansfield an 11th minute lead.
Briscoe picked up the ball in the inside left channel and ran at the home defence before slipping a pass through to Green.
The striker had timed his run to perfection to beat the offside trap, allowing him to run on and stroke past the advancing Glyn Thompson, finding the net via the inside of the right-hand post.
However, County soon hit back and Danny Rose dragged well wide from just outside the box when he should have picked out the unmarked Craig McAllister to his left.
O'Neill then used Briscoe as a decoy to try his luck from 30 yards, but Thompson was always right behind it.
Meikle should have doubled the Stags' lead in the 25th minute when he nutmegged his marker as he cut in from the left, only to curl his finish beyond the right-hand post.
Newport might have hit back on the stroke of the half hour as Alan Marriott failed to hold Lee Baker's left-wing cross but Paul Rodgers blazed over from a good position.
Mansfield doubled their lead in the 33rd minute – and what a fine strike it was.
Anthony Howell won the ball in midfield and lobbed it forward for Green who held the ball up and then cut inside from the left.
He spotted Briscoe on the charge, who swept past a would-be tackler before depositing an angled finish just inside the left-hand post from 15 yards.
It was so close to be 3-0 within 90 seconds of the restart when Green swivelled in the box to unleash a left footer that cannoned back off the bar with Thompson beaten.
Newport were not too far away when Tom Miller's near post header rippled the side netting following Rose's corner.
McAllister got in the Exiles' first shot on target, but it was easily held by Marriott.
However, the Stags soon grabbed a third in the 56th minute with a slick move that again featured Green and Briscoe heavily.
O'Neill played the ball down the right flank for Green, who picked out the marauding Briscoe.
His low shot from the right side of the area was flying wide, but Dyer was on hand to slide home at the far post.
It was almost four when Meikle drilled a rising effort goalwards and Thompson had to be alert to tip over the top.
But the respite lasted only a matter of seconds as Joe Kendrick's corner was cleared only as far as Brisoce, who volleyed superbly into the left corner from just outside the box.
And it was 5-0 in the 75th minute when Green laid off to O'Neill who skipped into the box before threading a low finish through Thompson's legs.
Mansfield made several substitutions in the closing stages as they played out the rest of the game and left the field to a standing ovation in the driving rain.
Mansfield: Marriott, O'Neill, Sutton, Futcher, Kendrick, Briscoe, Howell (Worthington 80), Murray, Meikle (Smith 76), Green, Dyer (Connor 84), Subs not used: Redmond, Naylor.
Newport: Thompson, Robson, Warren, Yakubu, Baker, Rodgers (Jardim 69), Doherty, Rose, Miller, McAllister, Buchanan (Jarvis 57). Subs not used: Harrison, Hughes, Hatswell.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancs).
Attendance: 2,324 (121 visitors).
Mansfield Town 5 Newport County 0, Saturday 10th September
IN-FORM Mansfield Town destroyed big-spending Newport County with a five star display in front of the live Premier Sports TV cameras tonight.
It was the first time since the end of the promotion-winning 1976/77 season that Stags had won four on the bounce without conceding a goal and it piled further pressure on Exiles boss Anthony Hudson as they crumbled to a humiliating fourth straight defeat.
Matt Green, who launched his career with Newport, began their downfall with his fifth goal in seven games after just 11 minutes.
He then set up Louis Briscoe for the second on 33 minutes as the pair terrorised the County defence.
It was mostly one-way traffic after Ross Dyer slid in the third six minutes into the second half and Briscoe and Luke O'Neill continued the spree to entertain the watching tea time Premier Sports TV audience.
Mansfield are now up to third in the table and have closed the gap on the top two, who both lost, to complete a day to remember.
So often Stags have flopped in front of the TV cameras or big home crowds but boss Paul Cox had spent all week keeping his in-form players' feet on the ground and it worked a treat as they sounded a warning to the rest of the league.
Stags were unchanged for the third successive match and included again on the bench was defender Tom Naylor, who is just back from a week on trial at Derby County with a week at a Premiership club, reputed to be Fulham, ahead next week.
The Exiles, who have only won once all season, made two changes, bringing in Paul Robson and Ismail Yakubu.
Stags produced an immediate threat as Green chased a through ball down the right. But, unable to get clear, the move eventually petered out.
Briscoe then put a dangerous ball into the box from the right which saw Green have a shot blocked and Meikle put the follow-up wide.
Marriott did well to push the ball to safety as McAllister all of a sudden almost beat him to what had seemed an easy one for the keeper to deal with.
On six minutes Rodgers came inside to curl a delightful cross in for McAllister who was allowed to nod over from six yards and probably should have hit the target.
At the other end Thompson had to leave his box to stretch out a leg and deny Green in full flight.
Then Murray was too high with a firm shot from 25 yards after a Kendrick free kick was partially cleared.
The visitors were furious after a high boot from Howell left Miller needing treatment for a blow to the ribs. But Marriot grabbed the free kick ahead of two chasing white shirts.
Green was close again as Kendrick sent in a left wing free kick which Futcher tried to help on into Green's path, the ball just reaching the keeper before he could get on the end of it.
But Green was celebrating his fifth goal in seven games on 11 minutes.
Briscoe's pass slipped him into space in the box and Green clipped the ball past the advancing Thompson and in off the inside of the foot of the right hand post.
Buchanan and Rose both dragged shots from wide from distance.
The Exiles then won the game's first corner from which Stags broke quickly through Briscoe, the winger eventually just unable to send Green clear with the final pass.
Thompson was fully behind O'Neill's searing 30 yard attempt as Stags began to produce some sustained pressure.
Rose went down like he had been shot in the box before Howell even made contact and was lucky not to be booked let alone get the penalty kick he was looking for.
Meikle came so close to a second goal for the home side on 25 minutes as he slipped the ball between the legs of Warren on the left but curled a finish across goal and wide of the far post from a tight angle.
The impressive Green got his 12 yard header on target from Kendrick's left wing cross only to see it sail straight at Thompson.
But Newport again had a sniff of a chance to get back into the game on the half-hour. Marriott spilled Baker's cross from the left and, with the keeper on the floor, Rodgers blazed the loose ball over from 16 yards.
Three minutes later it was 2-0. Howell began the move, winning the ball in midfield and launching a long ball for Green to chase.
The striker won the chase, held off two defenders as he came inside and then laid a square pass to Briscoe to his right.
A quick burst of pace by Briscoe made him space to the right of Baker and his low finish across Thompson was perfection.
Newport survived two home corners before winning another of their own.
But Stags left the field for the half-time break to huge applause for their all-action first half and a deserved two-goal lead.
Newport desperately needed to find a way back into the contest but, within two minutes of the restart, they had a huge let-off as Green turned well 15 yards from goal but saw his dipping shot come back off the crossbar.
On 50 minutes Newport won a corner which saw Miller head Rose's kick into the sidenetting at the near post.
Stags responded with Green holding the ball up on the edge of the box and then backheeling for Howell whose shot deflected wide for a corner.
McAllister curled a tame finish into Marriott's hands from a County breakaway.
The next goal was always going to be crucial and it went to Mansfield on 56 minutes.
Green reached a long ball forward and picked out a great pass to send Briscoe into the right of the box. He drilled a low shot-cum-cross across goal where Dyer slid in at the far post to turn the ball home.
Newport threw Nat Jarvis into the action in place of Buchanan and within less than two minutes he was booked for his foul on Sutton.
Tempers were becoming heated and Briscoe and Doherty squared up after tangling near the halfway line.
Green was clearly enjoying his afternoon as a dragback just outside the box saw him zip in a ferocious low shot at Thompson.
On 71 Meikle came inside from the left and shot towards the far angle, Thompson throwing himself to his left to tip away for a corner.
But from that corner, it was 4-0 as the ball was cleared only to Briscoe 18 yard form goal who shaped up for a textbook volleyed finish that gave Thompson no chance on 72 minutes.
Three minutes later it was five as full back O'Neill got in on the act. Racing into the box, Green fed the ball to him and, despite being hauled back, the defender slipped a striker's finish between Thompson's legs.
Jarvis headed narrowly wide at the near post from a corner two minutes from the end as the players were drenched in a freak downpour.
But even that couldn't spoil the celebrations at the end as Stags deservedly left the field to one of the nosiest ovations in a long time at Field Mill.
STAGS: Marriott; O'Neill, Futcher, Sutton, Kendrick; Briscoe, Murray, Howell (Worthington 80), Meikle (Smith 76); Dyer (Connor 84), Green. Subs not used: Redmond, Naylor.
NEWPORT: Thompson, Robson, Baker, Miller, Warren, Yakubu, Rose, McAllister, Doherty, Rodgers (Jardim 69), Buchanan (Jarvis 57). Subs not used: Harrison, Hughes, Hatswell.
REFEREE: Jeremy Simpson of Lancashire.
ATTENDANCE: 2324 (121 away).
CAUTION: Newport – Jardin 59mins
Nottingham Post considered Match report by Matt Halfpenny: Stags 5 Newport County 0
THERE'S been a growing belief around Field Mill that Mansfield Town can be serious promotion challengers this season – and now the rest of the Blue Square Bet Premier know why.
The Premier Sports cameras were in town on Saturday evening to check on the Stags' early-season progress, so often a past prompt for a disappointing display.
But there was no fluffing of the lines this time by a Mansfield side who are made of much sterner stuff these days. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The amber and blues were dynamic, diligent and ultimately dominant to dismiss boss Paul Cox's worst fears of an 'after the Lord Mayor's show' performance following their recent run of five games without defeat.
It sent out a clear message to the watching managers of the Stags' rivals, from Fleetwood in the north to Luton in the south, that they really do mean business in 2011-12 after a stuttering start.
Cox has always insisted that he wants his squad to quietly go about their work with a minimum of fuss and slowly ease their way into play-off contention.
But he is inevitably going to struggle to keep a lid on expectation now after such an impressive romp against a Newport side well-fancied to push hard for a Football League place at the start of the campaign.
The biggest test now will be to maintain the kind of consistency that has seen them sweep to third place in the table.
A settled side has now claimed four consecutive victories in a row, all with clean sheets – the first time that has been achieved since the Division Three promotion season of 1977.
And the simple reason for the club's success in that spell is disciplined hard work, both in and out of possession, sprinkled with a healthy serving of flair and creativity.
The most obvious outlets of the latter, Matt Green and Louis Briscoe, were both very much to the fore in this clash, running the Newport back line so ragged that it wouldn't have been surprising to see them waving a white flag in the last ten minutes.
It was Green who started the goal feast with a typically predatory strike that was his fifth of the season – and he was unlucky not to claim a sixth when his drive less than 90 seconds into the second half thudded back off the crossbar.
Equally menacing was Briscoe, who took his own personal tally to four with two crisp strikes that so regularly became his trademark at the back end of 2010-11.
Egged on by a partisan support buoyed by recent triumphs over Kettering, Stockport and Darlington, Mansfield went straight for the jugular, knowing that three points would take them to within four of top two Wrexham and Gateshead, who had both earlier lost at Barrow and Fleetwood respectively.
The Exiles just about kept Mansfield scoreless inside the first ten minutes, but it was no surprise when Green broke through, timing his run perfectly to beat the offside trap, latch onto Briscoe's deft pass and slot past Glyn Thompson, via the right-hand post.
Only at 1-0 did the visitors ever look like getting back in the game – most noticeably when Paul Rodgers blasted over after Alan Marriott could not hold Lee Baker's left-wing centre.
But once Briscoe doubled Mansfield's advantage in the 33rd minute, they took a strong grip and never relented.
It was the excellent Anthony Howell who broke up a County attack in midfield and lobbed the ball forward for a willing Green to hold up.
He turned inside from the left and picked out Briscoe, who used his momentum to sidestep his marker and drill unerringly into the left-hand corner with an angled shot from 15 yards.
Newport knew only a goal back in the early stages of the second period was likely lead to any kind of salvation, but, instead, Mansfield added a third in the 56th minute.
Luke O'Neill, who just gets better and better at right-back, dinked down the line for Green who fed Briscoe as he headed into the box.
The winger's shot was drifting wide of the far post but still within the reach of Ross Dyer, who swept home gleefully.
Mansfield kept on making the chances and when Joe Kendrick's corner was headed clear only as far as Briscoe, he volleyed powerfully home from the edge of the area to make it four.
It was no surprise to see the Stags add a fifth – O'Neill tricking his way into the right-hand side of the box before slipping through Thompson's legs.
But while Cox, predictably, is trying to play things down, it is for good reason that supporters are getting a little excited.
Unlike in previous seasons, when the depth of squad was lacking, Mansfield have real hopes of claiming a top-five finish this time.
And if that leaves Field Mill positively bouncing, as it was come full-time, then why not? It's been a long time since the place has seen a slice of the good li
Latest | September 2011