STAGS BOUNCE BACK TO CRUSH ALFRETON
Blue Square Bet Premier
Alfreton Town 0 - 3 Mansfield Town
Geohaghon 43, Daniel 57, Dempster 72.
Attendance: 1537 (756 from Mansfield)
Date: 1 January 2013
Martin Shaw at the Impact Arena
Mansfield Town bounced back from the dreadful Boxing Day defeat to Alfreton, with a thumping 3-0 win this afternoon against the same opponents. It could have been 6-0 in the end as the Stags missed a hatful of chances in the second half. On the other hand, with the score at only 1-0, Alfreton were denied a clear penalty when Clayton was brought down by Marriott, having knocked the ball past him. The referee booked Clayton for diving (and the dangerous centre forward had to be substituted later after losing his rag and coming close to getting sent off). The decision was the rub of the green that Alfreton got on Boxing Day for their second goal. Following the non-award of the penalty, the Stags broke straight to the other end and made it 2-0, through Daniel after great play from Meikle. The Stags made it 3-0 on 72 minutes when a free kick from Clements was flicked home by Dempster for his second goal of the season, both goals coming against Alfreton. After that the Stags mixed six glorious chances to make it a massacre, but it didn't really matter. In the first half, the Stags were marginally the better side and took the lead on 43 minutes when Dempster headed back a corner from Clements, and Geohaghon headed home from close range. This was the Stags' second consecutive away win in the league, after the win all the way back on 20 November at Macclesfield, so the away form that was so awful in the first part of the season is now improving. Mansfield can now focus on an exciting FA Cup tie against Liverpool when the focus of the world will be on The One Call Stadium.
Box Paul Cox made three changes from Boxing Day. Thompson came back for the suspended Sutton. Murray came back from injury (his last game was at home to Matlock) in place of the injured Briscoe (back spasms). And Daniel came in for Hutchinson. The formation was 4-5-1, with Murray in front of the back four, and Clements pushing forward just behind Green. Meikle was on the right of midfield and Daniel on the left. Cox preferred to describe it as 4-3-3 with Meikle and Daniel up front.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Will the real Mansfield Town please stand up?
Less than a week ago, I was at Field Mill, or the One Call Stadium as some people now call it, to watch the Boxing Day clash between these two sides.
New Year's Day: Alfreton Town 0 Mansfield Town 3
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
IT was a very happy New Year's Day for Mansfield Town as they avenged their Boxing Day home defeat by neighbours Alfreton Town with a comprehensive 3-0 win at the Impact Arena this afternoon.
The Reds were looking to complete a double after their 2-1 success at Mansfield.
But, after both sides had made hard work of it on a difficult surface in the first half, the Stags grabbed the lead through Exodus Geohaghon two minutes from the break.
Things might have been different had the referee given Paul Clayton a penalty instead of booking him for diving on 56 minutes.
Instead the Stags bagged a second through Junior Daniel a minute later.
From then on it was one-way traffic and the only surprise was that the visitors didn't add any more than the third goal from John Dempster on 72 minutes.
It was the perfect way for action-starved Stags to start 2013 and warm up for Sunday's big FA Cup clash with Liverpool.
Boss Paul Cox made three changes and went for a new formation.
Cox opted to revert to 4-3-3 with Adam Murray, John Thompson and Junior Daniel coming in.
Ritchie Sutton missed out through suspension while Ben Hutchinson and Louis Briscoe were the other two to make way.
Howell was penalised for a late tackle on Quinn in the first 30 seconds but no card was shown.
After a scrappy opening seven minutes, ex-Stag Arnold was the first to try his luck, running at the Stags defence before pulling a low shot wide.
Clayton then tried to put Arnold clear only to see Marriott quickly leave his line to get there first.
A loose pass from Bradley set Stags on a counter-attack which ended with Clements firing a disappointing shot wide of the near post from the left.
Law then sent Arnold racing into the box on the right where he neatly sidestepped Geohaghon before trying to beat Marriott at his near post, the keeper turning the blast aside for a corner.
Meikle then controlled a ball into the box from Dempster and rolled it back for Clements, whose finish was always flying over.
Clements sights were also well off as he curled a 28 yard free kick well over the bar to the jeers of the home fans behind the goal.
Murray was next to fire wide with a first time effort from a half-clearance on 19 minutes as the game struggled to catch alight.
Daniel just failed to get his head on a Meikle cross, then Howell was too high with a hopeful attempt from outside the box as home keeper Barnes awaited his first save.
Stags won their first corner on 25 minutes which saw Clements curl it harmlessly low into the near sidenetting as his afternoon showed no sign of improving.
Marriott left his box to concede a throw as Arnold chased a Bradley through ball in a rare home threat.
On the half-hour Green pulled a low ball back from the right by-line and Daniel ran in to meet it with a low finish that clipped Law's heel to pass just wide for a corner.
On 32 minutes Stags finally had a shot on target as Daniel fired straight at Barnes from 20 yards.
Clayton set up Arnold for a shot that was blocked and Bradley's long range follow-up was always wide as the game screamed out for a goal.
Mansfield forced two more corner kicks with nothing to show for them.
Alfreton finally carved out the chance of the game so far on 39 minutes.
Law clipped a great ball in from the right which was controlled by Clayton who then poked his finish narrowly wide of the far post with only the keeper to beat.
Instead it was Mansfield who broke the deadlock two minutes from the interval.
Clements floated the ball to the far post where Dempster nodded it back across and Geohaghon applied the finishing touch with a close range header.
It was almost 2-0 soon after from another corner as Kempson got in a vital block on Dempster's finish and seconds later Murray sent a 30 yard shot skidding through everyone and narrowly wide as the visitors ended the first 45 minutes with a flourish.
The first threat of the second half saw Meikle work his way through a succession of challenges to pass the ball square to Daniel to his left, but the finish was wildly over from 20 yards.
Law then got in an important header as Daniel tried to meet a Thompson cross.
Alfreton wanted a penalty as Killock slipped Clayton in on goal on 56 minutes, the striker going down as he tried to round the diving Marriott.
But the referee saw it as a dive and instead produced a yellow card for Clayton.
Alfreton's misery was then increased as Stags made it 2-0 a minute later.
Green had a near post blast well saved by Barnes and the ball came back out to Meikle.
His cross the the far post took a deflection which saw the ball roll out of the reach of Barnes towards the incoming Daniel who swept it home from close range.
Thompson was added to the book for his foul on Bradley on the hour mark.
Stags began to take an iron grip with two more corners, the second cleared back out to Clements whose subsequent cross saw Dempster force a great save out of Barnes, turning his diving header over the bar.
Alfreton clearly needed a lift and on 63 minutes they withdrew Clayton and Russell and sent on Taylor and Meadows.
Immediately Arnold got to the right by-line and sent in an a low cross in front of goal but too firm for anyone to be able to reach it.
On 67 minutes Quinn had produce a goalline clearance to keep out Howell's free close range header from a Daniel cross, set up by Green's backheel near the corner flag.
That goal would have settled the game without a doubt.
A hopeful Daniel shot from distance dropped wide of the far post soon afterwards.
Beevers was booked for flattening Law with 20 minutes to go.
On 72 minutes the points were sealed. Clements clipped in a low free kick towards goal from 25 yards where Dempster got the vital touch to beat Barnes.
A minute later Law sent Arnold away, the winger seeing Marriott block his finish and the ball then hit Arnold and roll out for a goalkick.
Quinn failed to get his header on target from a long Law free kick, then Tomlinson lifted a 20 yard effort well over as the Reds floundered for a reply.
From a throw on the left Howell cleverly flicked the ball over the head of Killock before volleying wide with only the keeper to beat.
Barnes then got his legs in the way of a low Green finish as Mansfield enjoyed their afternoon with Alfreton barely able to wait for the sound of the final whistle
Meikle sent Green down the right and he cut inside at the near post before seeing his goalbound finish clip Kempson and sail just wide for a corner.
Kempson stayed down hurt and eventually left the field to leave the Reds down to 10 men, having used all three substitutes already.
Barnes had to dive to his right to grab the ball after it came off the head of team mate Killock, who was then booked on 86 minutes for pulling back Green.
Alfreton forced two corners, but the visitors hung onto their clean sheet.
Geohaghon blocked a Meadows shot in the next raid and Arnold crashed the follow-up out of the ground.
Emerton then forced a good save out of Marriott, the keeper then bravely down at the feet of Tomlinson to deny him with the follow-up.
ALFRETON: Barnes, Law, Quinn, Kempson, Brown, Clayton (Taylor 63), Bradley (Emerton 80), Arnold, Russell (Meadows 63), Tomlinson, Killock. Subs not used: Streete, Wilson.
STAGS: Marriott; Thompson, Dempster, Geohaghon, Beevers; Clements (Hutchinson 77), Murray, Howell; Meikle, Green, Daniel. Subs not used: Jones, Speight, Rhead, Stevenson.
REFEREE: Ross Joyce.
ATTENDANCE: 1,537 (756 away).
No new year hangover as Mansfield Town cruise to Alfreton victory
Nottingham Post report by Stevie Roden
GIVEN it was an away fixture with an early kick off on New Year's Day, Mansfield Town's supporters were just delighted it only involved a short trip down the A38 to take on neighbours Alfreton Town.
With a few nursing a hangover and lack of sleep from the celebrations hours earlier, the last thing they wanted to be treated to was a nightmare afternoon, like on Boxing Day when Alfreton had beaten them 2-1 on their home patch.
But the return fixture, less than a week later, thankfully proved more fruitful as Mansfield made a winning start to 2013 and in the process, probably cleared a few aching heads among the strong travelling support with the comfortable victory.
With Liverpool up next this Sunday in a dream FA Cup tie, Stags boss Paul Cox had warned against any complacency, stating that it would not be tolerated.
And, after a somewhat slow start yesterday, the Stags finally found their feet and Exodus Geohaghon and Colin Daniel scored either side of the break before John Dempster added another to secure a 3-0 win, a first three points of the new year, as Mansfield simply dominated the second 45 minutes.
Cox made three changes to the side that lost 2-1 to the Reds on Boxing Day.
Right-back Ritchie Sutton served a one-match ban for picking up five bookings and was replaced by John Thompson.
Captain Adam Murray and Colin Daniel also came in, with Ben Hutchinson dropped to the bench and winger Louis Briscoe not risked because of a back spasm.
It took until seven minutes for the game to spring to life as Alfreton put together a good passing sequence before Nathan Arnold skipped inside from the left, away from Geohaghon but pulled his shot wide before at the other end Chris Clements, playing in an advanced role behind Matt Green, also pulled an effort heavily wide of the goal.
But it was ex-Stag Arnold who again caused problems when Josh Law threaded him down the right of the box, he again got the better of Geohaghon as he cut inside but Alan Marriott palmed away his near-post shot.
Stags had a great chance on the half hour to take the lead when Adam Quinn failed to clear, it allowed Matt Green to pull the ball back to the edge of the box to the unmarked Daniel and the winger drilled a shot towards the bottom corner, but Law's outstretched foot deflected it behind for a corner.
Daniel then tried to engineer some space in a central position but when he did, he could only curl his 20-yard effort into the hands of Phil Barnes.
Five minutes before the break, the Stags could have been behind. The referee played an advantage in Alfreton's favour and it almost paid off as Law swung a ball in from deep to the back post on the left and Clayton, who scored against the Stags on Boxing Day, brought it down, cut inside but flashed it just wide of the far stick to the relief of the Stags fans behind the goal.
They were to pay for it as, in the 43rd minute, Mansfield were ahead. Clements, whose delivery from corners had been terrible before, floated one in from the left, Dempster headed down and Geohaghon got the crucial touch from close range to turn it over the line.
The lead was almost doubled just before the break when first, Murray bravely put the ball into the box after a corner was cleared and Dempster swung a leg at it but his shot was deflected wide and then from another, Murray drove a shot from the edge of the box that whizzed just wide.
Early in the second half, unselfish work by Lindon Meikle saw him feed Daniel on the left but the former Macclesfield man blazed over the bar.
Alfreton thought they had a penalty on 56 minutes when Clayton went round Marriott, went down as the goalkeeper's outstretched leg came out, but was booked for diving.
And Mansfield went straight up the pitch to score as first Green was denied at the near post by Barnes before Miekle picked up the rebound, fired a deflected shot towards the back post where Daniel dived in to score from a yard out.
It could have been three when Clements picked out Dempster at the far stick with a measured cross, but the defender's diving header was kept out by an acrobatic save from Barnes before, at the other end, Arnold flashed a shot across the face of the Stags goal.
Howell almost extended Mansfield's lead further against his former club but saw his header cleared off the line midway through the second period.
But in the 73rd minute, Clements' low free-kick was met by the boot of Dempster in the Alfreton box and he turned it beyond Barnes, although it appeared to deflect off an Alfreton defender en-route.
Howell again had his head in his hands as he flicked the ball over Ross Killock only to volley wide from close range before Green was denied by the legs of Barnes as Mansfield ran riot, the striker then having another chance on 83 minutes as he twisted and turned, only for his shot to be deflected behind for a corner.
There was to be no fourth goal and Marriott produced a great double save in stoppage time to preserve the clean sheet but, as far as Mansfield fans are concerned, it was the perfect start to 2013.
And with those hangovers clearing, maybe a few Stags fans would have felt like celebrating again last night, after the short journey home
Revenge for Stags as Reds left to lament Clayton 'dive' decision
MANSFIELD Town enjoyed ample revenge for their Boxing Day defeat at home to Alfreton Town, netting three times without reply.
The Reds could not match some of their recent fine form but were left aggrieved about referee Ross Joyce's decision to book Paul Clayton for diving when he appeared to be pulled down by Stags keeper Alan Marriott in the 56th minute.
Alfreton were trailing 1-0 when Ross Killock played Clayton through to try to go round Marriott and, within seconds, they were two down.
Mansfield broke, Paul Barnes saved Matt Green's shot with his chest and the ball skimmed off Killock's heel to allow Colin Daniel to net at the back post.
Exodus Geohaghon had given the Stags a 43rd-minute lead with a close-range header after John Dempster guided a Chris Clements corner across the face of the goal.
And it was Dempster who scored the third, touching home Clements' 72nd-minute free kick.
Yet Alfreton had acquitted themselves well for much of the first half.
Mansfield did not manage to test Barnes until the 32nd minute, when Daniel shot from the edge of the area, whereas the Reds had two gilt-edged opportunities to break the deadlock.
Nathan Arnold had drawn a good save from Marriott after cutting inside from Josh Law's through-ball in the 11th minute and, after 39 minutes, Clayton stabbed the ball wide 12 yards out following another good Law pass.
In the second half, former Alfreton player Anthony Howell had two chances, having a 67th- minute header cleared off the line by Adam Quinn, then flicking the ball over Killock before shooting wide.
A disappointing day for Alfreton got worse when Darran Kempson limped off and, with all the substitutes used, the Reds finished with 10 men.
Even so, in added time, Daniel Meadows had a shot blocked by Geohaghon and Daniel Emerton's effort was parried by Marriott.
ALFRETON TOWN: Barnes; Law, Quinn, Kempson, Killock, Russell (Meadows 64), Brown, Bradley (Emerton 80), Arnold, Clayton (Taylor 64), Tomlinson. Other subs: Streete, Wilson.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott; Thompson, Dempster, Meikle, Green, Howell, Beevers, Clements (Hutchinson 77), Murray, Daniel, Geohaghon. Other subs: Jones, Speight, Rhead, Stevenson.
REFEREE: R Joyce (Billingham).
ALFRETON TOWN 0, MANSFIELD TOWN 3
Alfreton Town began 2013 with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of local derby neighbours Mansfield Town who exacted maximum revenge for the Reds' 2-1 win at the One Call Stadium on Boxing Day.
Exodus Geohaghan headed the Stags in front from close range on 43 minutes to separate the sides in what had been a very even first half.
After the break Alfreton had what looked a stone-wall penalty on 56 minutes denied by referee Ross Joyce who booked Paul Clayton for 'diving' despite the Reds striker having already poked the ball past Stags keeper Alan Marriott who then appeared to bring Clayton down.
Seconds later Mansfield had swept to the other end and doubled their lead when Colin Daniel netted from a yard or so out at the far post to finish a Lindon Meikle right flank cross.
The third goal came on 72 minutes with John Dempster diverting a Chris Clements free kick from the left into the far corner of the net.
Having used all their substitutes, Alfreton finished the game with ten men when skipper Darran Kempson limped off injured.
Anton Brown was named as the Reds man of the match and the attendance was 1,537 including 756 from Mansfield.
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