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Archived News from March 2012

22nd March 2012 10:17

Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 7 - 0 Barrow
Briscoe 9, 17, 67, Howell 28, Meikle 41, Green 55, Rhead 77.
Att: 2510 (70 from Barrow)

Date: 17 March 2012

Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Mansfield Town turned in a fabulous display to hit hapless Barrow for seven at Field Mill. The Stags were rampant, with Louis Briscoe knocking in a brilliant hat-trick including two terrific goals, one curled in from 14 yards, and another chipped up for himself to volley in from 20 yards in the style of Matt Le Tissier in his pomp. Matt Green scored his 24th of the season, and Lindon Meikle capped an excellent performance with a fine goal. Meanwhile Anthony Howell and Matt Rhead scored their first goals for the club. The Stags missed a host of glorious chances, including Green missing a penalty. After the game Barrow manager Dave Bayliss said "I'm glad it was only seven. I want to make the players sit through that DVD tomorrow morning". The Barrow players won't enjoy our commentary on the match DVD as we repeatedly described Barrow as the worst side we had ever seen in the Conference. But that should not detract from what was a sublime performance from the Stags. This was the first time the Stags have scored seven since Boxing Day 1994, in a 7-1 win over Hereford, and is our biggest win since the 7-0 thrashing of Scunthorpe in April 1975.

Man of the match: Louis Briscoe

Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre


Barrow's heaviest defeat for 36 years.

see article below


Mansfield Town 7-0 Barrow, Saturday 17th March
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas

MAGNIFICENT Mansfield Town moved up into third in the table after an amazing seven-goal demolition job on hapless Barrow at Field Mill today.


Stags were brilliant from the first whistle to the last as they had this game won by half-time with Louis Briscoe celebrating his second Stags hat-trick.

Mansfield were 2-0 up in 17 minutes and 4-0 up at the break, having also had a penalty saved, while Barrow had their keeper stretchered off at 3-0 with a knee injury.

Matt Rhead and Anthony Howell opened their Mansfield goal accounts, Matt Green hit number 24 of the season, and Lindon Meikle crowned his best display since joining the club with the other.

It was the first time Stags had scored seven since 1994 and the first time they had won 7-0 since 1975.

That is now six wins and a draw with Fleetwood in the last seven games for Paul Cox's men who now look a great bet for the play-offs.

Barrow arrived with a faint chance of the play-off themselves and a tough reputation but were literally torn to shreds at will in one of the most one-sided games ever seen at Field Mill in their fourth defeat on the bounce.

Hero Briscoe replaced Worthington as Stags reverted to a 4-4-2 formation against a Barrow side who included recent Stags loan defender Paul Edwards.

However, Edwards had a nightmare afternoon as he conceded a penalty and looked generally off the pace as Stags raced into a 3-0 lead and was one of two players subbed after just 31 minutes.

Marriott took charge of a dangerous bouncing ball between him and Riley on the edge of the box in the opening minute to launch a huge clearance over the roof of the main Ian Greaves Stand!

Geohaghon then had two early chances to launch in his long throws from the right, the first headed on by Dyer and clipping a defender before hitting the outside of the Barrow post.

Meikle almost got Green clean away with a low ball down the centre, but Pearson was quickly out his box to win the chase.

Stags continued their powerful start with two more Geohaghon throws and, from the second, Meikle had a shot deflect wide for the first corner.

But the goal arrived on nine minutes. Murray sprayed a volleyed pass out to O'Neill on the right who launched the ball in early. Dyer helped it on to Green who was forced wide, drilled the ball in low at goal where Briscoe was able to smash it high into the net at the second time of asking after his initial effort was blocked on the line.

Barrow took 13 minutes to launch a real threat as Rutherford began a series of neat passes that ended with Smith firing well wide.

Green wasted a great chance of doubling that lead from the penalty spot on 15 minutes.

Meikle had tried to put him clear but saw his pass blocked. Meikle raced onto the loose ball and into the box where Edwards was late with his tackle and took both Meikle's legs.

It was a clear cut a penalty as you will see. But Green did not hit the best penalty as he tried to place it to Pearson's left, the keeper guessing correctly and the kick at a nice height for him to grab.

But two minutes later he made up for it with some good approach play on the left as he came inside two defenders before picking out an unmarked Briscoe to the right.

Briscoe made the Barrow defence pay for their lack of concentration as he simply controlled and then curled a brilliant finish high inside the far angle, giving Pearson no chance.

Good work from Meikle set up Dyer, but he wanted a touch instead of shooting first time and that gave Barrow a chance to block.

Barrow cleared another Geohaghon throw as far as Meikle who blazed a rising shot well over.

Then on 25 minutes Howell's brave low header sent the ball in front of Briscoe to his right who slammed a powerful half-volley on target which the keeper managed to parry.

Barrow's defence continued to creak under the intense pressure and Pearson again had to race from his goal to deny Green after Geohaghon had slotted him through again.

But a third goal seemed inevitable – and it came on 28 minutes.

Geohaghon launched a long throw missile from the right and Howell rose at the near post to flick a header that found the net off the inside of the far post for his first Mansfield goal.

The pressure continued with O'Neill's near post cross being met by both Howell and Dyer and, in each other's way, unable to direct it on target.

Desperate Barrow made a double change on 31 minutes with Edwards and Boyes replaced by Harvey and Mackreth.

But still Stags pressured as Green terrified them with a thrilling run inside two defenders. However, his finish didn't match the approach as he sliced the ball well wide.

Keeper Pearson did well to hold the ball under pressure from Dyer and Geohaghon in the next attack, but when he went down heavily and needed treatment, eventually a stretcher was called for and he was carried off in obvious agony.

On came sub keeper Dixon and all the Barrow subs had been used six minutes before the break.

Howell won an excellent tackle on the edge of the box to gain Stags possession on 41 minutes. And that led to goal number four as Green squared the ball to Meikle to his left who looked up and perfectly picked out the bottom right hand corner past the helpless new keeper.

After five added minutes, Barrow were relieved to hear the half-time whistle after being torn apart by rampant Mansfield.

After, no doubt, a few choice words from their manager, the Bluebirds were sent back out early for the second half.

But straight away they were under the cosh again, defending two more long 'Exodus Exocets' and relieved to see Briscoe's hard, low cross skid across goal without anyone there to tuck it home.

Mansfield then won a 55th minute corner which saw O'Neill pick out Geohaghon for a header back across goal that Green just failed to get the vital touch on in front of goal.

But that led to the fifth goal as this time it was Riley who headed O'Neill's corner back across goal and this time Green stopped to accurately plant his header straight into the centre of the goal.

O'Neill's next corner was met by Geohaghon in a similar position to his last equaliser on Tuesday night, but this time he was too high.

On 64 minutes Green was given a rest and Rhead sent on for a run.

And three minutes later it was 6-0. Another Geohaghon throw was cleared as far as Briscoe just outside the box who controlled and then zipped a dipping volley high under the right angle to complete an excellent hat-trick.

Andrew came on for his Mansfield debut on 69 minutes in place of Sutton and, three minutes later, the excellent Dyer made way for Hutchinson.

Stags were in seventh heaven on 77 minutes as Rhead opened his Mansfield account. Meikle attacked the defence from the left and took the ball along the box before teeing up Rhead, who drew the defenders towards him and then let fly with a low shot that took a slight deflection en route.

The torment went on for poor Barrow as Dixon dived to the right to turn away a Geohaghon header from another O'Neill corner. Two more corners followed with Howell having another low prodded effort blocked almost on the line as the home fans chanted 'we want eight'.

Dixon had to save again as Howell threw himself into a header from O'Neill's long free kick.

Then O'Neill received a clever return backheeled pass from Briscoe and raced on before sending his finish into the sidenetting.

New boy Andrews got one on target with a curling free kick over the wall from 20 yards but Dixon was alert.

Bolland brought down Meikle a minute into time added on to receive a yellow card before the whistle finally sounded to put Barrow out of their misery.

STAGS: Marriott; O'Neill, Geohaghon, Riley, Sutton (Andrew 69); Briscoe, Murray, Howell, Meikle, Green (Rhead 64), Dyer (Hutchinson 72). Subs not used: Redmond, Worthington.

BARROW: Pearson (Dixon 39); Lomax, Bolland, Hone, Edwards (Harvey 31); Rutherford, Smith, Owen, Skelton; Cook, Boyes (Mackreth 31). Subs not used: Baker, Jackson.

REFEREE: Karl Evans of Wigan.

CAUTION: Barrow – Hone 74mins (repeated foul play).

ATTENDANCE: 2,510 (70 away).



Full-time: Mansfield Town 7 Barrow 0
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny

MAGNIFICENT Mansfield Town stormed up to third place in the Blue Square Bet Premier as a hat-trick from Louis Briscoe saw the Stags thrash sorry Barrow at Field Mill this afternoon.


The hosts were in total control from first whistle to last in as masterclass of attacking football with which the Bluebirds simply could not cope.

Briscoe was dropped for tactical reasons for Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at Fleetwood but took full advantage of being restored to the starting line-up with his second treble for the club.

Four other players got their names on the scoresheet and it could have been double figures such was the domination of Paul Cox's men.

The emphatic victory took Mansfield's run to six wins and a draw out of seven matches and further strengthens their grip on a play-off place.

The Stags started brightly and from an early Exodus Geohaghon long throw, Ross Dyer's flick on took a deflection and cannoned against the foot of the right-hand post before Barrow cleared to safety.

Lindon Meikle then looked to have put Matt Green away and clear through the middle until Shaun Pearson raced off his line to thump the ball upfield.

The Stags winger was involved again when he got off a shot from inside the box, only for his effort to be well blocked.

But Mansfield were rewarded for their bright start when they powered into a ninth minute lead.

Skipper Adam Murray sprayed the ball out to Luke O'Neill on the right and his centre was nodded down by Dyer.

Green latched onto it and as he went for goal from a narrow angle, firing across the six-yard box, Briscoe was able to fire in at the second attempt.

The Stags had the chance to double their lead in the 15th minute when Meikle nicked the ball away from Paul Edwards and the ex-Mansfield loanee brought down his one-time team-mate, resulting in a penalty.

Matt Green stepped up but failed to convert, seeing his kick saved by Pearson, diving to his left.

However, that disappointment was quickly forgotten by Green and the Stags as the top scorer laid on a second goal for Briscoe.

He cut in from the left flank and picked out the unmarked former Port Vale man on the far side of the box who looked up and stroked a perfect, curling finish into the top right-hand corner from 12 yards.

Mansfield went for the jugular and it might have been 3-0 had Dyer not delayed his shot for too long – allowing a Bluebirds defender to make a block – when he had been picked out by Meikle.

Geohaghon's long throws were causing all kinds of problems, only for Meikle's snapshot to fly high over the top.

It was one-way traffic as the midway point of the first half passed with Pearson denying Briscoe a hat-trick, pushing away a fizzing first timer from the winger after Anthony Howell had intelligently headed into his path.

The Barrow keeper saved his side again with the half hour mark approaching, diving at the feet of Green as the striker, clean through, tried to dribble around him.

The third goal that had been coming arrived in the 28th minute, though, when Geohaghon's long throw was flicked on by Howell and the ball flew in off the far post, giving Pearson no hope.

Barrow boss Dave Bayliss made a double substitution in a bid to arrest his side's disastrous start, hauling off Edwards and Adam Boyes to be replaced by Alex-Ray Harvey and Jack Mackreth.

But Mansfield continued to attack at every opportunity as their beleaguered hosts had no answer with Green blasting past the right-hand upright after gliding across the box.

The visitors' already sorry afternoon took another turn for the worse when Pearson had to go off on a stretcher after falling awkwardly when collecting a through ball. Reserve keeper Stuart Dixon came on in his place.

Virtually his first touch of the ball was to pick the ball out of the net as Meikle put Mansfield 4-0 ahead.

Facing up to full-back Kelvin Lomax, he jinked into the box before opening up his body to curl an inch-perfect finish just inside the right-hand post.

In first half stoppage time, Briscoe burst into the box but ran out of pitch as he tried to square the ball for those in the middle.

Mansfield came out after the break looking determined not to take their foot off the pedal.

And as Murray found Briscoe on the right, his speedy low cross was only just too far in front of the lurking Green.

The Stags were close to a fifth again when O'Neill's right wing corner was headed back across goal by Geohaghon only for Green to miss his header.

But the striker was finally celebrating moments later when he nodded in from close range after a knock down by Martin Riley. It was his 24th of the season.

Next to go close was Geohaghon, who headed just over from another measured O'Neill corner.

Soon after, Green left the field to a well-deserved reception and was replaced by Matt Rhead.

And it was he who caused chaos in the Barrow rearguard from a Geohaghon long throw, enabling Briscoe to collect a half-clearance and volley into the top corner from just outside the box to complete his hat-trick.

With the game in the bag, Danny Andrew was introduced for his first taste of action since joining from Cheltenham, coming on for Ritchie Sutton, before Ross Dyer made way for Ben Hutchinson.

It seemed Mansfield could do no wrong as Rhead opened his account for Mansfield with 13 minutes to go.

Andrew and Hutchinson combined to set Meikle free and as he squared to Rhead on the right-hand side of the box, the forward moved it out of his feet before drilling a low, angled shot under Dixon, with the aid of a deflection.

Geohaghon then had a header tipped around the right-hand post by Dixon as the efforts continued to rain in on the Barrow goal.

Howell went close with a header that Dixon saved well, while Andrew's free-kick strike was also repelled by the replacement keeper in the closing stages.

Mansfield: Marriott, O'Neill, Riley, Geohaghon, Sutton (Andrew 69), Briscoe, Howell, Murray, Meikle, Green (Rhead 64), Dyer (Hutchinson 72). Subs not used: Redmond, Worthington.

Barrow: Pearson, Lomax, Bolland, Hone, Edwards (Harvey 31), Rutherford, Owen, Smith, Skelton, Cook, Boyes (Mackreth 31). Subs not used: Dixon, Baker, Jackson.

Referee: Karl Evans (Wigan).

Attendance: 2,510 (70 visitors).


Awesome Mansfield Town are in seventh heaven
Nottingham Post considered report by Matt Halfpenny

IT was reminiscent of one of those games we've all played in as a junior that is so one-sided it is embarrassing – except that this was a Blue Square Bet Premier clash rather than a Sunday morning kick-around.


The big fear for Mansfield Town supporters and manager Paul Cox was that complacency would creep into the playing squad following their last-gasp draw against league leaders Fleetwood in their previous outing.

But the response of the team that was sent out to take on Barrow could not have been more emphatic in saying that was not the case.

From the moment referee Karl Evans blew his first whistle, a hungry Stags side sunk their teeth into Barrow and never let go.

It is hard to remember a game at Field Mill which has been so utterly, totally, entirely bossed by one team. Had it been a cold day, Mansfield keeper Alan Marriott could well have suffered frostbite.

As one sharp hack remarked straight after the action had drawn to a close, "Barrow were lucky to get nil."

They were, after putting in such an abysmal performance that they failed to get off a single, meaningful shot at goal all afternoon.

But that should not take anything away from Mansfield who were magnificent, majestic and mesmeric – and all without suspended midfield stalwart Gary Roberts, who is going to have a heck of a job on his hands getting back in the side for tomorrow's trip to Alfreton.

The fact is that Mansfield are now bristling with confidence. Earlier in the season they looked like a team hoping to get in the play-offs; now they look like one who feel they belong there.

This was a complete performance and a real statement of intent to the rest of their rivals. No one will want to face them right now.

With Luton in FA Trophy action, the victory carried them up to third place in the table on 68 points. Four more wins from their remaining eight matches should be enough to clinch that coveted slot in the top five.

The game was, quite simply, a statistician's delight. It was the first time they had hit seven goals since beating Hereford 7-1 at Field Mill on Boxing Day 1994 – when Ian Baraclough scored from close to the halfway line – and the third time they have bagged five goals at home this season.

It was Louis Briscoe's second hat-trick for Mansfield, almost a year to the day after his last in the 3-2 victory at Histon last March.

It was a sixth success in seven outings – the draw with Fleetwood the only exception – and makes it just one defeat in 14 games since Christmas.

And there were first goals in amber and blue for both Anthony Howell and Matt Rhead, plus an incredible 16 shots on target from the hosts.

It could quite easily been double figures as Matt Green had a penalty saved by Shaun Pearson and both he and replacement keeper Stuart Dixon, who came on when the first choice Barrow keeper was carried off on a stretcher, made some excellent saves.

The Stags immediately gave notice of the procession that was to come when Ross Dyer's deflected header struck the foot of the right-hand post.

The opening goal arrived in the ninth minute when Briscoe had the simplest of tasks of smashing home at the second attempt after Matt Green had raced onto a Dyer flick following Luke O'Neill's cross.

Green then had the chance to double Mansfield's lead from the penalty spot after Lindon Meikle was tripped in the box by former Stags loanee Paul Edwards, only to see his kick saved by Pearson.

But the quicksilver striker did not dwell on that disappointment and minutes later he teed up Briscoe on the right-hand side of the box and the winger bent a superb finish into the top left-hand corner from 12 yards.

It was no surprise when Mansfield struck again, this time Howell glancing Exodus Geohaghon's long throw to the near post in off the left-hand upright.

Dixon replaced Pearson in the lead up to half-time and one of his first jobs was to pick the ball out of the back of the net as Meikle curled a sweet finish just into the right corner.

If there were any worries at half-time that Barrow might stage a dramatic comeback after the restart, they were swiftly dispelled.

The rout continued in the 54th minute when Green, after going close on several occasions, finally claimed his 24th goal of the season, heading in from close range after Martin Riley had headed O'Neill's right-wing corner back across goal.

Mansfield made it a record defeat of Barrow in the 67th minute as Briscoe completed his hat-trick, lashing in a scintillating volley from just outside the box after Barrow had been unable to clear another Geohaghon bomb.

And the icing was well and truly put on the cake when Rhead, on for Green, took advantage of good work from Danny Andrew, Ben Hutchinson and Meikle, by drilling under Dixon with the help of a deflection.

There's no doubt Mansfield supporters are starting to dream of a second outing to Wembley in as many seasons – this time with the right to challenge for promotion to the Football League.

And with awesome displays such as this, who can blame them?


Barrow AFC humiliated at Mansfield
North West Evening Mail

THE final whistle couldn't come soon enough for Barrow on Saturday as their faint play-off hopes were shattered in an embarrassing 7-0 defeat at in-form Mansfield Town.


The Bluebirds were left red-faced as the goal rained in – and it could have been worse as keeper Shaun Pearson saved a Matt Green penalty kick in the first half before Pearson was taken off on a stretcher.

True, Mansfield were on a roll with five wins and a drawn thriller with Fleetwood in their previous six games.

But they still must have been shocked and grateful how easily and quickly Barrow waved the white flag after just 17 minutes when the home side went 2-0 up.

The South Cumbrians failed to trouble home keeper Alan Marriott once with a shot on target in the 90 minutes as Mansfield were allowed to turn on the style for the home fans all too easily.

The Stags were out of the traps quickly and recalled winger Louis Briscoe made a ninth-minute breakthrough at the second time of asking as he smashed a low Green cross high into the net from 10 yards.

On 15 minutes Paul Edwards, who had just completed a month with Mansfield, brought down Lindon Meikle in the box to gift the home side a penalty. However, Pearson guessed correctly and threw himself to his left to deny Green from the spot.

But the second goal was only two minutes away as Green squared the ball to a completely unmarked Briscoe to his right who looked up and picked out the far top corner with a superb finish that gave Pearson no chance.

The afternoon then began to go rapidly downhill for the Bluebirds as they tried to counter wave after wave of attack from the home side.

On 28 minutes it was 3-0 as giant defender Exodus Geohaghon launched one of his trademark long throws to the near post from the right and midfielder Anthony Howell headed in his first ever Mansfield goal off the inside of the far post.

Desperate Barrow boss Dave Bayliss quickly made a double change with Jason Mackreth and Alex-Ray Harvey replacing Adam Boyes and Edwards.

However, the changes made little difference as the pressure continued. Then Pearson landed awkwardly after catching the ball and was taken off with what looked to be a knee injury six minutes from the break, to be replaced by rookie keeper Stuart Dixon.

Barrow hoped they could get through to half-time without further damage. But on 41 minutes England C winger Meikle, enjoying his best game in a Mansfield shirt so far and almost unplayable, was given acres of time to take Green's pass and drill home a low finish of deadly accuracy past Barrow's 19-year-old replacement keeper from Kendal.

At the break Barrow's players were told to at least go out and win the second half and restore some pride. But, within nine minutes of the restart, Mansfield had scored a fifth.

This time their top scorer Green joined the fun as Martin Riley nodded a far post corner from Luke O'Neill back into the centre where Green stooped to guide home a header for his 24th goal of the season. On 67 minutes it was 6-0 as a half-cleared Geohaghon throw reached Briscoe outside the box, who controlled before delivering a spectacular volleyed finish into the top right corner for the pick of the day's goals.

If this had been a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it a long time before.

But, with the home fans baying for more and Barrow looking hopefully at the stadium clock counting down, Stags were in seventh heaven on 77 minutes as sub Matt Rhead also netted his first Mansfield goal with a deflected low finish after good approach work from Meikle.

Barrow managed to hold out against further humiliation as Mansfield continued to ask questions right up until the merciful final whistle.

The inquests into this display are likely to go on for some time this week as they await news on the injury to Pearson after one of the blackest days in the Bluebirds' history


Defeat at Mansfield was AFC's heaviest for 36 years

North West Evening Mail, Tuesday, 20 March 2012

BARROW AFC's humiliating 7-0 loss at Mansfield Town on Saturday was the club's worst defeat in 36 years – and their heaviest in non-league's top flight.

Not since they were on the wrong end of an 8-0 Northern Premier League thrashing at Boston United in April 1976 have the Bluebirds been beaten so heavily.

Prior to Saturday's Field Mill nightmare, the last time Barrow conceded seven in a competitive match was in a 7-2 Alliance Premier League (now Blue Square Bet Premier) away defeat at Enfield in April 1982.

According to AFC statistician Phil Yelland, the club's heaviest defeat in its 111-year history was 10-1 at Hartlepool United in April 1959 when Barrow were in Division Four of the Football League. Supporters may also remember a 9-0 pre-season home defeat against Sheffield Wednesday in July 2004



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