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Archived News from August 2012

2nd August 2012 10:57

Saturday 28 July 2012
behind-closed-doors pre-season friendly

Mansfield Town 2-1 Nottingham Forest
Howell 49, Wright 63. Miller 57.

Att: 0


post match video interviews with Cox and Howell from mansfieldtown.net --->

post match audio interviews with Cox and Howell from Mansfield 103.2 --->

podcast commentary Forest game from StagsPlayer
1st half: http://www.stagsnet.net/interviews/NottmForest_1sthalf_StagsPlayer_28Jul12.mp3
2nd half: http://www.stagsnet.net/interviews/NottmForest_2ndhalf_StagsPlayer_28Jul12.mp3


Stags beat Forest in entertaining friendly
mansfieldtown.net report

Mansfield Town recorded another impressive victory against Championship opposition, with a 2-1 victory against Nottingham Forest, in a game which saw three sensational goals.


Stags, who beat Derby County on Wednesday by the same score line, gave another good account of themselves, with headline-winning goals from Anthony Howell and Nick Wright helping Paul Cox's men to their latest victory.

Forest, who shaded a first half, were undone in the second period when they made no fewer than nine changes to their line up.

And it was the Reds who carved out the game's first chance in the opening stages, when Frank Moussa, the Belgian midfielder, pounced on a loose ball by Ross Dyer, but he couldn't find the net as goalkeeper Alan Marriott made the stop.

Stags had a handful of chances in the first half, but were to find Reds' goalkeeper Lee Camp in formidable pre-season form. The first of which was struck by Anthony Howell, who let fly on the left, but Camp got quickly to his near post to deny the Stags' midfielder.

With the game a quarter-of-an-hour old, Nottingham-based winger Lindon Meikle stepped inside a challenge to strike the upright, and after Stags hot shot Matt Green couldn't make it to the ball, Dyer slammed over the resulting effort when he should have scored with.

Tenacious midfield man Gary Roberts was then cautioned after a string of fouls, culminating by pulling down ex-Derby player Marcus Tudgay.

Stags racked up eight corners in the first half, opposed to Forest's three, but they came to nothing.

With four minutes of the first half to play, Guy Moussi struck wide with an ambitious 25-yard low drive and then Frank Moussa hit a tame effort at goal when he should have tested Marriott from 20 yards.

Camp was then called upon for Forest when he showed great reflexes to tip over Luke Jones' venomous shot.

From a free kick inside Stags' half, Dyer flicked on for Howell, who scuffed his shot, and as Jones powered goalwards the loose ball, Camp got fingertips on the shot to push over the bar.

After an entertaining first half, the game stepped up several notches in the second period as both sides had a plethora of chances to get on the score sheet.

Within the opening minutes of the second period, Chris Clements had a free kick blocked and then at the other David McGoldrick, the ex-Notts County forward, saw a shot saved by Redmond after the striker had got behind the Stags' defence.

Anthony Howell put Stags in front just three minutes into the second half, when a long ball downfield was flicked on by Dyer into the path of Howell who finished coolly on the half-volley.

Dyer should have tested goalkeeper Darlo on 52 minutes when Meikle's left wing cross found the un-marked Dyer at the far post, but he struck the side netting when the shot stopper should have been forced to make a save.

Moments later, Ismael Miller turned inside the area, but his low effort was easy for Redmond.

But he was to find the net in sensational style on 56 minutes. Flying by two players on the edge of the area, Miller unleashed a thunderous effort into the top corner, leaving Redmond with no chance.

Green then got past two Forest defenders inside the area but his shot lacked the power to seriously test goalkeeper Khalid Al Rashidi, who replaced Darlo.

Shortly before the hour, Cox introduced Matt Rhead, Nick Wright and Louis Briscoe, who replaced Ross Dyer, Matt Green and Lindon Meikle.

And it was Wright, with his first touch, who put stags back in front. An inch perfect pass from Hand, put Wright in the clear, and after taking a touch, the ex-Kidderminster sharp shooter unleashed a rasping strike which left the net bulging.

Luke Jones, the centre half, then made way for the unattached Pablo Mills

Forest's Jamal Cascelles was guilty of kick fresh air when he miscued in the centre of 68 minutes following a cross from the right.

On 70 minutes, another three changes were made in the home dugout when Owens, Hand and Howell departed for Ritchie Sutton, Godfrey Poku and Ben Hutchinson

McGoldrick then ended a Forest counter attack as he floated wide from 20 yards, with 72 minutes played.

Rhead was then put in the clear for Stags after Briscoe's pass, but Al Rashidi made a good save to put it behind for a corner.

Btiscoe made another assist, this time for Sutton, who was well forward on the left, but he side-footed the shot into the body of Al Rashidi.

Miller's shot then flashed wide at the other end in the dying embers, before the referee wrapped up an entertaining contest just two minutes later.

STAGS: Marriott (Redmond H/T); Thompson, Dempster, Jones (Mills 63), Owens (Sutton 69); Howell (Poku 69), Roberts (Clements H/T), Hand (Hutchinson 69); Dyer (Briscoe 61), Green (Rhead 61), Meikle (Wright 61).

FOREST 1st half: Camp; Halford, Freeman, Collins, Reid, Greening, Tudgay, Moussa, Blackstock, Maloney, Moussi.

2nd half: Darlo (Al Rashidi), Freeman, Collins, Lascelles, Guedioura, Bader, Miller, McGugan, McGoldrick, Bouzid, Derbyshire.


Second Championship scalp for Stags as Mansfield Town beat Nottingham Forest in pre-season friendly
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas

MANSFIELD Town claimed their second Championship scalp of the week with a fine 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the One Call Stadium this afternoon.


The Stags, unbeaten in their six pre-season games so far, had seen off Derby County by the same score in midweek and today cut down the Forest with goals by Anthony Howell and Nick Wright.

In a strange atmosphere in an empty stadium bathed in sunshine, the sides produced a decent game with plenty of chances.

Howell opened the scoring four minutes into the second half from Ross Dyer's flick.

Forest were level with a magnificent strike by Ismael Miller eight minutes later.

But Wright thundered home the winner on 63 minutes after a great ball from Jamie Hand had paved the way for him.

It is just a shame the supporters of both clubs could not have enjoyed the afternoon but it is believed, with so many police officers seconded to the Olympics, the police costs for this hastily-arranged game would have been prohibitive.

Instead the only row of seats full in the stadium was the one in the press box.

“I don't want to be miserable but the result really doesn't matter,” said Stags boss Paul Cox.

“It was more important that we got a good work-out and we certainly did.

“Forest had some excellent footballers on show and we kept our shape well and our fitness levels looked good.

“The players are starting to understand what is expected of them in and out of possession with this system.

“The result does breed confidence. But you can't read anything into it. We just need to make sure we are ready for 11th August.”

George Pilkington and Jamie Tolley were rested after completing 90 minutes in midweek while injured pair Lee Stevenson and Jake Speight are expected back for Tuesday and next weekend respectively.

Mansfield produced some early menace without testing Camp.

But Dyer almost gifted Forest a sixth minute opener when his loose pass set Kuwaiti trialist Moussa on the run who forced Marriott to save low to his right.

Stags survived two Forest corners before forcing one of their own after Camp turned round a fierce Howell drive at his near post.

On 15 minutes Mansfield might have been ahead after a good run into the box by Meikle. His low shot cannoned back off the foot of the post, Green, under pressure, was unable to get a follow-up effort away, the ball rolling instead to Dyer who, six yards from goal, blazed high over the bar when he should have scored.

Roberts, who had already been warned for a lunging tackle on Reid, was booked on 25 minutes for hauling over Tudgay as the Reds tried to break.

Two minutes later Jones jumped well to head over from a Hand corner in an evenly-poised game.

Two more home corners followed and, following a low Meikle shot that bounced across the gaping goal, a third.

When Roberts brought down Reid on a Forest two on two break, the referee called Roberts and home skipper Thompson across to read the riot act.

Howell then did well to shrug off Reid before seeing his low shot deflect wide for yet another corner.

Three minutes later Dempster head over from another Mansfield corner.

Forest finally enjoyed a spell of their own as Moussi dragged a low shot wide and Moussa failed to catch a shot right and bundled it wide.

But on 44 minutes Marriott was back at his best, standing large to block Tudgay from close range as he got on the end of a superb chipped pass from Blackstock to crash a half-volley at goal.

A minute later Howell kicked at fresh air when he had a shooting chance as the ball came in from the left, but recovered to square for Jones whose rasping effort was tipped over by Camp to end a thoroughly entertaining first 45 minutes.

Clements took over from Roberts for the second half while Redmond was given 45 minutes in goal in place of Marriott in the only two Stags changes while Forest changed nine players.

Clements sent an early fee kick into the home wall.

But McGoldrick might have put Forest ahead directly from a long kick from the keeper which sent him clear, Redmond down well to block.

Instead it was Stags who grabbed the lead on 49 minutes through Howell.

A long ball forward was flicked on by Dyer to Howell to the right of goal in the six yard box and he dispatched a clinical half-volley past Darlo.

Dyer turned a Meikle cross into the sidenetting while Miller fired a low shot on the turn straight at Redmond.

However, on 57 minutes Miller did level the scored with an absolute pearler.

Given space 20 yards from goal he unleashed a venomous left foot shot into the top left corner, giving Redmond no chance.

A great pass from Hand over the top on 63 minutes then unlocked the Forest defence for the home side's second goal.

It was perfectly weighted to drop in front of Wright whose first touch on his right foot was sublime and his second touch to smash it past a helpless Darlo unstoppable.

Miler got to the Mansfield by-line on 68 minutes and pulled an accurate ball back into the path of Bader who missed his kick at the vital moment.

Miller then curled a pass from right to left to an incoming McGoldrick whose low finish was wide of the post with Mansfield's back line stretched.

On 74 minutes a good Stags move down the centre ended with Rhead's rising blast being turned over by the third Forest keeper of the game, Al Rashid.

Sutton overlapped well down the left to reached Briscoe's pass but his sidefooted finish was easy for the keeper.

Seven minutes from the end Mills poked a close range finish at the keeper after Forest struggled to clear a Clements free kick.

Another Miller shot on the turn from just outside the box was wide with a minute left as Mansfield took the spoils.

STAGS: Marriott (Redmond HT); Thompson, Dempster, Jones (Mills 63), Owens (Sutton 69); Howell (Poku 69), Roberts (Clements HT), Hand (Hutchinson 69); Dyer (Briscoe 61), Green (Rhead 61), Meikle (Wright 61).

FOREST 1st half: Camp; Halford, Freeman, Collins, Reid, Greening, Tudgay, Moussa, Blackstock, Maloney, Moussi. 2nd half: Darlo (Al Rashidi), Freeman, Collins, Lascelles, Guedioura, Bader, Miller, McGugan, McGoldrick, Bouzid, Derbyshire.


Forest suffer 2-1 defeat at Mansfield Town
Nottingham Post report by Paul Taylor

NOTTINGHAM Forest suffered a 2-1 defeat at Mansfield Town, as Sean O'Driscoll continues to piece together his new look side.


New signings Danny Collins and Greg Halford both made their debuts for the Reds, but it was a disjointed performance as Forest fielded two almost entirely different sides in each half.

Instead it was the Stags, who already had five pre-season friendlies under their belts, who often looked the sharper of the two sides – and who deserved victory.

Anthony Howell put Stags ahead early in the second half and, while Ishmael Miller provided a spectacular leveller, Nick Wright followed suit with an impressive strike of his own to ensure victory for the home side, in a behind closed doors friendly at the One Call Stadium.

Forest included former Leicester City winger Franck Moussa in their starting XI, as manager O'Driscoll had a look at the free agent.

The 23-year-old was released by the Foxes at the end of the season, after failing to make a huge impact with the Reds' Championship rivals.

The Belgian player almost got the game's first goal, as a defensive slip allowed him to collect possession on the edge of the box before cutting inside to let fly with a driven shot that Alan Marriott did well to push away, diving low to his right.

From the resulting corner, Guy Moussi had a shot charged down after Forest had worked themselves into a promising position.

But it was Mansfield who were to respond by carving out a few opportunities of their own, to test the reflexes of Lee Camp.

Firstly the Northern Ireland international demonstrated sharp reactions to push away an angled shot from Anthony Howell. Then he produced an even better save to push a powerful strike from Lindon Miekle onto the post, with Howell firing over when presented with a fine chance from the rebound.

Luke Jones then produced a towering header from a John Thompson corner, but saw it fly narrowly over the bar.

Gary Roberts was given a long lecture by the referee after hacking down Andy Reid for the third time in the first half hour – and might have been on dodgy ground had this match not been a friendly encounter.

Moussa produced another dangerous moment when he angled across the face of the box, before changing direction to dart into the area, beyond two Stags players, before then firing a dangerous cross towards the far post, where there were no Reds players positioned to profit.

Reid and Moussi both had firmly struck shots blocked as Forest looked to find a way through the Stags defence while Moussa produced a disappointing shot after a superb interchange with the overlapping Moloney down the right.

Marcus Tudgay forced a brave save from Marriott after Moussi had fed Reid on the edge of the box following a corner, allowing the Irishman to lift a dangerous ball towards the far post, where the keeper threw himself in at Tudgay's feet to smother his instant shot.

It was understandable that Forest's new look defence, with new signings Greg Halford and Danny Collins partnered in the centre with Moloney and Kieron Freeman either side, was taking time to gel.

And Jones almost took advantage as the Reds took an age to close him down just inside the box, allowing the defender to let fly with a rasping, rising effort that Camp brilliantly pushed over the bar.

Forest made nine changes to their side at half-time, with only defenders Collins and Freeman surviving from the first period.

Kuwaiti trialist Bader Al Mutawi was included in an attacking midfield role. While Ismael Bouzid, a former Hearts player and Algerian international team mate of Adlene Guedioura, was included in the centre of defence.

But it was Mansfield who were to finally break the deadlock, as Howell produced an incisive finish when presented with the chance to unleash an angled volley at the far post, which sub keeper Karl Darlow was unable to stop, four minutes into the second half.

For Forest, Ishmael Miller was looking lively up front, forcing a save from Shane Redmond, who had come on at half time.

But the keeper was helpless to deny the striker a goal in the 57th minute when he hammered an unstoppable shot high into the corner of the net from just inside the box.

Forest did not have parity for long, however, with Stags substitute Wright firing them into the lead for a second time in the 63rd minute. Again, Darlow was largely blameless, as the striker broke clear and delivered a precise, powerful finish beyond the keeper.

Al Mutawa missed a golden chance to level after good work from Miller saw the striker power into space down the right before cutting the ball back into the path of the Kuwaiti international, who failed to make contact with the ball from close range.

Matt Rhead forced a fine stop from Khalid Al Rashidi, after he had replaced Darlow, as he tried his luck with a no nonsense strike from just inside the box, which he lashed his foot through emphatically.

Stags brought on former Derby player Pablo Mills, who is currently without a club, and he almost netted – but failed to make proper connection with a close range effort.

Miller came close to an equaliser with a sharp turn and shot that saw the ball flash just wide of the post, late in the game.

Forest: Camp, Halford, Freeman, Collins, Reid, Greening, Tudgay, Moussa, Blackstock, Moloney, Moussi.

Forest second half: Darlow (Al Rashidi 75), Lascelles, Collins (Fenton 50), Freeman, Guedioura, Al Mutawa, Miller, McGugan, McGoldrick, Bouzid, Derbyshire. Subs: Reegan, Andrew.

Stags: Marriott (Redmond 45), Thompson, Jones (Mills 63), Dempster, Owens (Sutton 69), Roberts (Clements 45), Hand (Hutchinson 69), Howell (Poku 69), Dyer (Biscoe 61), Meikle (Wright 61), Green (Rhead 61).


Defeat to Mansfield Town leaves Nottingham Forest boss with lot to think about
Monday, July 30, 2012 Nottingham Post

AN industrial estate setting in a corner of north Nottinghamshire is a world away from Charleston, Florida.


But, while the setting may have been far less glamorous, Saturday will still have been an illuminating day for Sean O'Driscoll.

Nottingham Forest's planned pre-season trip to the USA was cancelled before the new manager even walked back through the door at the City Ground, along with planned friendly games against Orlando City and the Charleston Battery – who should have provided the opposition last weekend.

But a hastily-arranged friendly against more familiar opposition, in the form of Paul Cox's finely-tuned, hard-working Mansfield Town side, might just have taught the new Reds boss more than he might ever have hoped to learn on the other side of the Atlantic.

The lack of more than a handful of supporters in the One Call Stadium did not create the atmosphere normally associated with a competitive game.

But the ghostly ambiance was not reflected on the pitch, where the contest was entirely full-blooded.

On that front, it was always Mansfield – playing their sixth friendly of the summer – who had the edge, in sharpness and organisation. Their hard-won 2-1 victory was more than deserved.

Despite the result, things are coming together slowly for Forest. O'Driscoll will know better than anyone that, with just two weeks to go until his side travel to Fleetwood, something a little more than slow progression is required.

But, as he looks back on his first week in charge, he can at least console himself in the thought that Forest, under the ownership of the Al Hasawi family, seemed to have rediscovered the art of successfully utilising the transfer market.

Danny Collins and Greg Halford both made their first appearance in the Garibaldi red, after signing from Stoke City and Portsmouth respectively. While, at the other end of the A60, Dan Harding was completing the final details of his move from Southampton.

Trialists Franck Moussa, who O'Driscoll had previously had on loan at Doncaster, and Ismael Bouzid, an Algerian international defender recommended by Adlene Guedioura – Forest's other summer addition – both completed 45 minutes with some degree of promise, with Moussa in particular twice coming close to scoring.

At the same time, O'Driscoll found himself with a clear idea of where his side need to prove in particular, when it comes to facing sides intent on stopping them from playing the brand of passing football he wants to see become their ethos.

"They wanted to stop us playing and they did that really, really well. We did not really have an answer to it," said O'Driscoll. "We battled away and used everyone that we could.

"We have been here for a week and we have not really played any proper games, prior to this. We have had a few low-key games. But this was more the kind of football we can expect in the Championship, in the sense that, with every chance the opposition get, the ball is going to be in your back four.

"At times we did well, at times we did poorly. But when there are personnel changes and switches in positions, it creates problems.

"There was more that we can get out of the last few, without question. This was a proper game.

"With nobody in the stadium, some might say it was a training exercise. But to give credit to Mansfield, they gave us a good test.

"They came to stop us playing and, for a large part of the game, they succeeded.

"We need to find a solution to that and a solution that everyone understands. That is where we are."

As for Collins and Halford, O'Driscoll can at least console himself that his back four is beginning to take shape.

"Greg is a little way off with his fitness, because of the situation at Portsmouth. Danny had an hour at Mansfield, which will move him on," he said. "We have added Dan Harding to the squad as well, somebody who is a natural left-back, which is important."

Having made nine changes at half-time – and a handful more as the second half progressed – it was hard to properly assess Forest's progress, with Andy Reid the most influential player in the first 45 minutes and Ishmael Miller the pick of the bunch in the second.

Miller, in fact, fired Forest level with an impressive strike in the 57th minute, fired high into the corner of the net from just inside the box, after Anthony Howell had produced a neat finish of his own early in the second half, to put the home side ahead.

But Stags were rewarded for their determined, gutsy efforts when substitute Nick Wright supplied an emphatic finish of his own, hammering the ball beyond Forest's sub keeper Karl Darlow six minutes later.

Highly-rated Kuwaiti international striker Bader Al Mutawa, who had a few solid touches after coming on for the second half, was not so sure-footed when it mattered most, falling over after Miller had presented him with a golden opportunity to shoot from ten yards. Miller also flashed another effort narrowly wide of the post.

But it was Stags who were to claim their second Championship scalp of the summer, having already beaten Derby, to extend their unbeaten run of friendlies to six.

Forest: Camp, Halford, Freeman, Collins, Reid, Greening, Tudgay, Moussa, Blackstock, Moloney, Moussi.

Forest second half: Darlow (Al Rashidi 75), Lascelles, Collins (Fenton 50), Freeman, Guedioura, Al Mutawa, Miller, McGugan, McGoldrick, Bouzid, Derbyshire. Subs: Reegan, Andrew.

Stags: Marriott (Redmond 45), Thompson, Jones (Mills 63), Dempster, Owens (Sutton 69), Roberts (Clements 45), Hand (Hutchinson 69), Howell (Poku 69), Dyer (Biscoe 61), Meikle (Wright 61), Green (Rhead 61).


Defeat For Forest At Mansfield

Forest's lack of match fitness was evident as Sean O'Driscoll's men suffered a 2-1 defeat against Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium.

The first chance of the game fell to Forest trialist Frank Moussa, who capitalised on a poor pass by Ross Dyer only to be denied by a superb save by Alan Marriott.

Minutes later The Stags fought back and Lee Camp was tested at his near post. This inspired the home side and on 14 minutes, Lindon Meikle - who looked lively throughout - forced Camp into another good save. The ball squirmed free and Dyer blasted over with the goal at his mercy.

Mansfield continued in the ascendancy and forced four corners in quick succession. Half-chances abounded but nobody was there to provide the final touch.

Towards the end of the half Forest began to get a grip on proceedings and Moussa, Marcus Tudgay and Guy Moussi all missed chances to send The Reds into the interval 1-0 up.

The second half saw a flurry of changes, particularly for Forest, with the likes of Adlene Guedioura and David McGoldrick taking to the field.

And it was McGoldrick who found himself one-on-one with substitute keeper Shane Redmond in the early stages, but he failed to finish.

This was to be punished minutes later when Anthony Howell volleyed past Karl Darlow from his unmarked position at the back post.

Dyer missed a golden opportunity to make it two moments later before Ismael Miller fired a warning shot at Redmond after twisting and turning in the box.

And it was the quick feet of Miller which set him up to equalise. He bought himself some space on the edge of the box before unleashing a superb strike into the top corner.

Mansfield fought back immediately. Jamie Hand's through ball was met by Nick Wright who finished emphatically to restore the hosts' lead.

Having already scored, Miller was extremely unfortunate not to come away with an assist after his excellent work teed up both McGoldrick and Bader Al Mutawa. Both wasted golden opportunities.

Despite his struggles in front of goal, McGoldrick was playing well and was at the heart of most of Forest's second half attacking endeavours.

The Reds still had to be alert at the back and young centre back Jamal Lascelles and trialist keeper Khalid Al Rashidi - on for Darlow - were both called into action as the game progressed.

A half chance for Miller with seconds to play wasn't enough - he fired wide and the final whistle shortly followed.

This was Mansfield's sixth pre-season friendly and their superior match sharpness shone through in their impressive display. Forest showed glimpses of promise, with Miller looking particularly threatening, and will benefit from what was a physical encounter played out at a high tempo.

Forest: Camp, Halford, Freeman, Collins, Reid, Greening, Tudgay, Moussa, Blackstock, Moloney, Moussi.
Forest second half: Darlow (Al Rashidi 75), Lascelles, Collins (Fenton 50), Freeman, Guedioura, Al Mutawa, Miller, McGugan, McGoldrick, Bouzid, Derbyshire. Subs: Reegan, Andrew.

Mansfield: Marriott (Redmond 45), Thompson, Jones (Mills 63), Dempster, Owens (Sutton 69), Roberts (Clements 45), Hand (Hutchinson 69), Howell (Poku 69), Dyer (Biscoe 61), Meikle (Wright 61), Green (Rhead 61).


twitter.com/andrewowens89 (Andy Owens)

Mansfield 2 Nottingham Forrest 1... Rumours are we're organising a Premiership friendly to give us a game :P


BLOG: Through the keyhole – Stags 2-1 Nottingham Forest
Craig Priest reports....

Fixture: Mansfield Town V Nottingham Forest
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly (#7) BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Venue: One Call Stadium
Date & Time: Saturday 28th July – 1pm
Match Referee: Unknown

You know the worst feeling in the world? No it's not standing on a plug when you get out of bed or being smashed over the head with a pudgelstick by Shadow from Gladiators – it's wanting something you can't have. That feeling would have been strong for you yesterday as the majority all knew the Stags we're playing host to Forest behind closed doors. I too feared that my 100% pre-season coverage record would be broken however thanks to the club, media we're permitted to watch and broadcast on the game.

My aim with Mansfield Matters has never about getting my own name in lights, the sole aim has always been to keep fellow supporters updated and as close to the team we all love as possible, another reason my thanks is extended to the club for yesterday.

I have to admit it did feel strange arriving at the One Call Stadium yesterday, the gates locked on arrival to stop supporters trying to get a view of the match – it felt very celebrity party-ish 'There's nothing going on here, nothing to see'. Truth is there was. Yet another pre-season match yet another tough test for Paul Cox and his players against a reforming Nottingham Forest.
Again it was unknown what sort of side Paul Cox would put out following Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Derby County, in the end six players remained from the midweek victory. John Thompson donned the skipper's armband as he came in at right back and John Dempster in at centre back for Lee Beevers and George Pilkington respectively. Ross Dyer and Lindon Meikle moved up alongside Green as 4-4-1-1 was replaced by a 4-3-3, Gary Roberts, Jamie Hand and Anthony Howell made up the midfield replacing Jamie Tolley, Chris Clements and Lee Stevenson.

Line Up: Alan Marriott, John Thompson (C), Luke Jones, John Dempster, Andy Owens, Gary Roberts, Jamie Hand, Anthony Howell, Ross Dyer, Matt Green, Lindon Meikle.
Substitutes Named: Shane Redmond, Ritchie Sutton, George Pilkington, Louis Briscoe, Nick Wright, Chris Clements, Matt Rhead, Lee Beevers, Jamie Tolley, Godfrey Poku, Andy Todd, Ben Hutchinson, Lee Stevenson. Pablo Mills was NOT named on the team sheet but did appear in the second half, this is the same for a number of Forest trialists.

Despite Forest's recent takeover and mass departure of players, new boss Sean O'Driscoll has already begun to strengthen, a number of his new additions meant it was a very strong Forest side the Stags faced in the first half, it was they who had the first real chance of the game despite Lee Camp having to leap high to collect an Andy Owens long throw with less than a minute played.

Ross Dyer was the guilty party in the aforementioned Forest chance as he gave the ball away with a sloppy pass with six minutes played. Frank Moussa picked up the loose ball and charged into the box with a dominant run, Alan Marriott read the situation well and got down low to parry away for a corner.

A minute later it was Marriott's opposite number Lee Camp who was called into action. Former Forest man and Stags Skipper for the afternoon John Thompson started the move by chipping a ball down the right channel for Matt Green to run onto. Green did well to battle against former Stag loanee Kieron Freeman before delivering a delightful cross into the middle. The on rushing Anthony Howell controlled well on the penalty spot before swivelling Danny Collins and smashing a left footed effort towards the top corner – Lee Camp was at full stretch to push the ball around the post for the Stags first corner of the afternoon.

John Dempster remained strong to clear at the last as Forest broke away on 11 minutes however it was again the Stags that came within a whisker of opening the scoring three minutes later. Lindon Meikle, who scored Stags' winner against Derby on Wednesday, was the main creator as he drove forwards, cutting inside from the left flank. From just inside the box in almost the same spot as Wednesday, Meikle let fly and saw his shot take the faintest of touches from the glove of Lee Camp and onto the post. The ball cannoned back out but couldn't be turned in by Green who was bundled over, the ball did however fall for Ross Dyer who had an open net but failed to keep his effort down, firing over the bar from ten yards.

Ross Dyer then looked to redeem himself with some cleaver hold up work, however the Stags failed to punish as Forest cleared Gary Roberts teasing cross on 16 minutes. Dyer was involved again two minutes later as he flicked on Alan Marriott's long ball, Matt Green raced onto it but was stopped in his track by the presence of the offside flag.

On 26 minutes the Stags entertained and pressured with a series of consecutive corners. It all started from a deep Jamie Hand free kick from the right hand side, Lindon Meikle the initial tormentor in the box to earn the first of four Stags corers. The first taken by Hand saw Luke Jones unmarked and head narrowly over, Matt Green picked up possession from the resulting goal kick and drove forward to earn another corner. Hand again delivered and this time it ran to the edge of the box for Roberts. The tough tackling midfielder let fly on the volley with the ball cannoning off Collins for another corner. Jamie Hand again delivered from the right for Meikle who saw his cross back into the mix headed away for a throw. Andy Owens found Meikle who, from the edge of the box, cut onto his left foot and again earned a corner, Greg Halford making the block. The pressure the Stags had previously applied went astray and Forest cleared with ease, having already been booked Gary Roberts was very fortunate to remain on the pitch after a very late and tough tackle on the cantering Andy Reid. The referee called skipper Thompson over to calm a fiery Roberts down, the actions of Roberts perhaps contributed to his half time withdrawal, a league match he'd have been off.

A forest corner came to nothing on 31 minutes and moments later it was again the stags who threatened. Alan Marriott's ball forward found its way to Thompson on the right hand side of midfield; he turned inside Jonathan Greening before picking out Anthony Howell. The Stags midfielder set himself for a left footed effort from 25 yards, the final shot deflecting away from goal and away for another Jamie Hand corner from which Lindon Meikle again forced Camp into action, the Forest shot stopper getting down low to keep out the driven cross.

With four minutes of the first half remaining it was Forest's turn to threaten from a corner. A cheeky delivery to the edge of the box caught the Stags off guard and napping. As the ball came back in, Forest's Marcus Tudgay suddenly found himself 1 v 1 with Marriott. The former Derby County striker hit a ferocious volley only to be denied by Marriott who made a fine double save to keep the scores level.

Three minutes later it was Cox's side that again came close. Anthony Howell earned a free kick after good passing movement between himself, Roberts and Hand. The latter delivered the set piece which Howell flicked on into the path of Jones who was somehow denied by a blinded Lee Camp. The resulting corner fizzling out and the half time break called.

HALF TIME: Stags 0-0 Forest

Paul Cox made two changes at the break withdrawing the feisty Roberts for Clements and replacing Marriott with Redmond as the two shot stoppers continue to get an equal share of the pre-season minutes. The introduced Stags subs we're both in action in the opening two minutes of the second half.

Twenty-five seconds into the second half Howell and Clements played a delightful one-two pass which saw Howell tripped on the edge of the box. Chris Clements stepped up with the free kick but saw his thunderous set piece hammered off a Forest body. Seconds later Redmond raced off his line and blocked with his chest as David McGoldrick beat the offside trap and race through the Stags back line.

The opening exchanges had told the privileged few watching that a goal was just around the corner, on 48 minutes the first goal did arrive and predictably it was the Stags who got it. John Thompson swung in a fine cross from deep just over the half way line, Ross Dyer made a superb assist heading the cross strongly across the box where Anthony Howell broke free to tuck beyond Karl Darlow.

Stags 1-0 Forest

Four minutes after the restart the Stags should have doubled their lead with another fine flowing move which again started on the left with Lindon Meikle. The flying winger picked up play and cut inside Freeman who was moved to right back for the second half, Meikle put a testing cross in for Ross Dyer who ghosted in unchallenged but fired powerfully into the side netting.

At the other end Redmond again denied McGoldrick with a low save, the Irish shot stopper could do nothing on 56 minutes as Ismael Miller broke free. The former West Brom hit man drove into space before unleashing an unstoppable left footed effort into the top corner of Redmond's net, a wonderful goal.

Stags 1-1 Forest

Jamie Hand and Chris Clements then combined in the middle to feed Green into the box as Stags searched for a response. Despite a clever little turn Karl Darlow was on hand to collect the loose ball before Paul Cox made three changes on the hour mark. Matt Green, Lindon Meikle and Ross Dyer were replaced by Matt Rhead, Louis Briscoe and Nick Wright restrictively, the latter putting the Stags back into the lead with his first touch on 62 minutes.

It was Jamie Hand that made the goal with a suburb reverse chip over the Forest defence; Nick Wright held his run to drop off the shoulder of his mark, latching onto the bouncing ball and smashing into the roof of the net on the half volley.

Stags 2-1 Forest

With the celebrations taking place Luke Jones made a silent exit to be replaced by Pablo Mills, still training with the club as he searches for a new employer following his release from Crawley. It was Mills' former team mate Dempster in action next though as he cleared a testing Forest cross from Miller on 67 minutes as he broke down the right hand side

Andy Owens, Anthony Howell and Jamie Hand then made way for Ritchie Sutton, Ben Hutchinson and Godfrey Poku for the remaining twenty minutes. Hutchinson saw an effort blocked before David McGoldrick fired narrowly wide, cutting inside from the left two minutes later.

Another McGoldrick run with ten remaining nearly dragged Forest level, John Dempster on hand to divert away for a corner from which Jamal Cascelles headed away. Again it was again at the other end where the late action took place; Matt Rhead latched onto Briscoe's pass and saw a thunderous effort palmed away by Forest's third keeper of the afternoon, Khalid Al Rashidi. Rashidi then got down to clock Ritchie Sutton's effort as the left back gained ground to received Briscoe's central pass.

With Six remaining it was again pressure applied by Stags, Chris Clements lofted in a free kick, Nick Wright rose at the ear post and saw his header fumbled by the keeper. Pablo Mills was first too it but the keeper recovered to keep out Mills' effort.

Moments later it was Forest attacking strongly down the flanks with Miller dragging a shot wide of Redmond's post, the hit man unable to level for a second time in the match ensuring the Stags ran out 2-1 winners.

FULL TIME: Stags 2-1 Forest << click here for highlights of the game

It was yet another good run out for the Stags who we're tested in a more physical way, having to go long spells without the ball and keep their shape to avoid conceding, something which will stand the boys in good stead for the forthcoming campaign which ebbs ever closer.

In what is now the final week of our pre-season preparations things again get busy as the Stags split their squad in two this Tuesday, one side heads for Eastwood and the other to Stourbridge – we're hopeful to have someone at both games to keep you to date as we have done throughout pre-season. On Wednesday everyone's back together again as it's a trip to Rainworth MW – On Friday it's the re-arranged Boston United trip before the final pre-season run out against Rotherham United at the One Call Stadium. See our MM-Live page for coverage details.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the writer and not those of Mansfield Matters – To submit a blog email mtfcmatters@gmail.com



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