DOMINANT STAGS PICK UP WELL DESERVED FIRST VICTORY
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Wycombe Wanderers 0 - 1 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 3352 (251 from Mansfield)
Date: 17 August 2013
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Adams Park
Mansfield Town picked up the first win back in the Football League, thanks to a goal by new signing Ollie Palmer, as he headed home from close range after Martin Riley’s header had come back off the post. The Stags thoroughly deserved the victory and should have won by more goals. Indeed Palmer should have added a second when he was clean through on goal, but instead of going round the keeper, he elected to shoot and the keeper saved. Wycombe were poor, but upped their game in injury time and twice came close to an equaliser which would have been a travesty. Plenty of fine performances from the Stags, including Riley, Sutton, Jennings, McGuire, Clements, Hutchinson, Clucas and Marriott.
After the game I invited Ollie Palmer to watch his goal and his missed chance, on our cameraman’s Mike’s camera. Ollie was his own biggest critic when viewing the footage, and said he certainly should have gone around the keeper. He said he would expect to score 8 out of 10 times in that situation.
Great stuff from the Stags. For the visit or Portsmouth next Saturday, let’s get all the missing fans back at the Mill and create a crackling atmosphere. The 251 travelling Stags fans today created a superb atmosphere and roared the team on to victory. Come on Mansfield!
Stagsnet player ratings here
Wycombe Wanderers 0 Mansfield Town 1 - 17th August 2013
chad.co.uk report by Stephen Thirkill
Ollie Palmer scored his first goal in a Mansfield Town shirt to earn Stags their first win since returning to the Football League against Wycombe on Saturday.
Palmer pounced from close range in the 78th minute to fire home a loose ball after a Martin Riley header had hit the post and earn an impressive Mansfield side a 1-0 win.
It was nothing more than Stags deserved after they had controlled the second half, creating a number of chances and starving lifeless Wycombe of possession and goalscoring chances.
James Jennings and Sam Clucas had both came close to firing Stags into the lead with four separate chances as Stags piled the pressure on throughout a dominant second half.
Paul Cox will be delighted by the club’s second clean sheet in a row after their poor defensive start to the season against Scunthorpe and Tranmere.
It was an excellent all round team display by Mansfield with Jennings, Clucas, Clements and McGuire all impressing.
Calvin Andrew and Ben Hutchinson also stood out with two hardworking displays which summed up the visitors determination take all three points back to the One Call Stadium.
The win was Stags first win in the Football League since they beat Shrewsbury 3-1 on 19th April 2008.
Mansfield had made two changes to the starting line up with Ben Hutchinson replacing Ollie Palmer as Stags looked for a different formula to break their goal drought.
Chris Clements was also recalled into midfield at the expense of Anthony Howell.
James Jennings nearly put Mansfield ahead on 10 minutes when his fierce volley was tipped over the bar acrobatically by Matt Ingram after the ball had fallen free on the edge of the box.
Stags fans were appealing for a penalty in the 16th minute when Gary Doherty shoulder-charged Ben Hutchinson as the duo both jumped for a cross. But the shouts were waved away by referee Keith Hill.
Sam Clucas should have scored for the visitors on 30 minutes when Calvin Andrew rose well to head a Clements cross back across goal.
But Clucas failed to get enough purchase on his header and nodded the ball wide of Ingram’s left post with the net begging.
Calvin Andrew then fired wide on 34 minutes after he had turned well as Stags began to grow in confidence.
Alan Marriott stood firm on 38 minutes to deny Josh Scowen with Wycombe’s first chance of the game after some slack defending by Lee Beevers played Mansfield into big danger.
Beevers was robbed of the ball by Paris Cowan-Hall down the left touchline after he had attempted to let a long ball over the top run out for a goal-kick.
Cowan-Hall needed no second invitation to surge into the box before cutting the ball back to Scowen who failed to beat the Mansfield shot-stopper from 16 yards.
Marriott then palmed a Cowan-Hall shot away from danger on 42 minutes as the home side finally sprung into life.
Nick Arnold then caused more danger to the seats in the away end than to Alan Marriott as he skied a shot from 30 yards after a clearance from a Wycombe corner fell into his path in first-half stoppage time.
Wycombe continued to put pressure on Marriott’s goal at the start of the second-half when an inswinging free-kick from Matt Spring flashed across the goalmouth and away to safety.
The dangerous-looking Clucas was denied on 52 minutes after a bustling run down the right flank by Ben Hutchinson gave him a sight at goal.
But Clucas, faced with a tight angle, was tracked well by Anthony Stewart who blocked his effort out for a Mansfield corner.
Marvin McCoy was then forced to turn a Clements cross behind for another Mansfield corner as the visitors began to realise that the game was there for the taking.
Jennings was denied a deserved goal for Stags on 56 minutes after he was played in on goal following an excellent flowing move from the improving visitors.
But Jennings was denied by a smart save from Ingram before McCoy bravely dived to block Jennings’ follow-up strike.
Mansfield continued to boss the second half with Clucas, Jennings and Clements continuing to pull the strings for the visitors.
New signing Ollie Palmer was thrown on by Mansfield in the place of Sam Clucas as the visitors went in search of all three points.
Andrew then went close with a header as the frustration continued to grow for the travelling band of Mansfield fans.
But the frustrations were finally over on 78 minutes as Mansfield took a thoroughly deserved read through substitute Ollie Palmer.
Martin Riley rose well before heading against Ingram’s right post. But Palmer was the first to react to the loose ball as he fired into the empty net to claim his first goal since joining Stags.
It was nothing more than Mansfield deserved for their impressive second-half performance which saw them boss the game and starve the struggling home side of possession and chances.
Palmer should have wrapped up the points in the 86th minute when he failed to convert a one-on-one chance with Ingram after he had sprung the Wycombe offside trap.
Mansfield survived a massive scare with two minutes to go when Jo Kuffour shot wide from inside the box when he really should have scored.
Wycombe: Ingram, McCoy, Dunne, Stewart, Doherty, Arnold (Kretzschmar 77 mins), Spring, Scowen, Cowan-Hall (Wood 66 mins), McClure (Morgan 57 mins), Kuffour. Subs not used: Harrison, Johnson, Pittman, Craig.
Mansfield Town: Marriott, Sutton, Beevers, Dempsters, Riley, Clements, Clucas (Palmer 69 mins), McGuire, Jennings, Hutchinson (Howell 93 mins), Andrew (Rhead 74 mins). Subs not used: Mitchell, Stevenson, Tafazolli, Meikle.
Referee: Keith Hill, Hertfordshire.
Stags man of the match: Chris Clements.
Palmer gives Stags lift-off in their first win back in League
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny
SO often in beautiful Buckinghamshire, it's the ornithologist's delight, the red kite, that is flying high. On Saturday evening, however, it was the turn of Ollie Palmer and his Mansfield Town team-mates to have lift-off.
Read more: http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-19677153-detail/story.html?#ixzz2cVr0KXA8
After their memorable elevation to the Football League in April, the Stags travelled south to Wycombe Wanderers having still to fully spread their wings.
?Stags in action: Defender Ritchie Sutton hooks the balls clear against Wycombe
Stags in action: Defender Ritchie Sutton hooks the balls clear against Wycombe
They were akin to a young fledging ready to fly the nest, but still a little hesitant and uncertain of how to go about it.
Yet at the end of the 90 minutes at Adams Park, any such doubts and anxieties about stepping up a level - that had been a feature of their first two League Two matches against Scunthorpe and Exeter - had disappeared amid a confident glide to a well-deserved first victory back among the country's elite 92.
It was a welcome sight to see Paul Cox's men finally demonstrating the same predatory instinct as the graceful bird of prey that is a frequent visitor to the rolling hills around Adams Park.
The Stags' rite of passage has taken some time in coming, and in the early stages of 2013-14 they have undergone the same steep learning curve experienced by any newly-hatch chick.
But gradually, as is nature's way too, Mansfield have eased into their new surroundings, so that after an eye-opening League defeat at Glanford Park and a steadying home draw on more familiar territory at the One Call Stadium, this confidence-enhancing, breakthrough triumph has increasingly been on the cards.
The catalyst for it was hitman Palmer, who completed his own transition from promising non-league hopeful to Football League goalscorer, following his summer move from Havant and Waterlooville, just nine minutes after appearing off the bench.
His name will go down in history and is definitely one to remember for the quiz question in few years that will ask: "Who scored Mansfield Town's first goal back in the Football League?"
The 21-year-old's strike ended a 348-minute wait - almost six hours - for a Stags goal this season. It had certainly been coming during the course of a second half in which Mansfield had taken control, leaving the already subdued home fans frustrated and dismayed.
The first period had been evenly contested with Chris Clements seeing his volley tipped over by the alert Matt Ingram and Sam Clucas heading wide from Calvin Andrew's knock-down.
At the other end, goalkeeper Alan Marriott's excellence preserved parity at the break, saving well from Wanderers' Josh Scowen and Paris Cowan-Hall.
But it was a different story for the second 45 as the visitors fashioned a succession of decent openings, where the telling factor for that was their superiority in central midfield.
It was no surprise to see Jamie McGuire once again to the fore, underlining that he looks to be an excellent acquisition with his abilities to not only do the 'dirty' side of the game well, but also play an astute pass when in possession.
What was more pleasing for manager Paul Cox was that the two men he drafted into the side - Ben Hutchinson and Clements - were able to produce the creative sparks the Stags have been searching for.
Both players have been the subject of the wrath of their manager in the past for their apparent insouciance, but no one is going to complain if they continue to match their skills with the endeavour they showed against the Chairboys.
A rare blip from Hutchinson saw him guilty of a mis-kick when well placed in the box in a purple patch that had the Mansfield supporters on the edge of their seats in anticipation. That spell of pressure also saw James Jennings denied by the excellence of Ingram and then the desperate block of Marvin McCoy, and Andrew nod inches wide of the upright.
The angst, though, was not to last as Palmer - not risked from the start because of a sore ankle - struck in the 78th minute. Clements' well-flighted free-kick from the right was headed powerfully against the left-hand upright by Martin Riley and, with Ingram still grounded, Palmer stooped to head home from point-blank range.
The 300 or so Mansfield fans, along with Palmer, should have been celebrating again five minutes from time when he was put clear by McGuire, only to have his finish blocked by the advancing Ingram.
You wondered if that might come back to haunt the Stags, and it very nearly did as Jo Kuffour drove wide from inside the box and substitute Max Kretzschmar was also off target attempting to turn home a right-wing centre.
Yet a leveller would have been rough justice on a Mansfield defence who kept a second consecutive clean sheet and were once again imperious, with no signs of the nervy, shaky rearguard that played out pre-season and the opening week of the campaign.
Cox revealed afterwards that he had reiterated to his players that they have nothing to fear at this level - and he is absolutely right.
Now they're up and running, a strong belief can ensure Mansfield soar not just for one August night, but throughout the rest of the season to come.
Sorry Blues beaten at home
Saturday 17th August 2013 By Andy Carswell
Wycombe Wanderers 0, Mansfield Town 1.
WANDERERS were hit by a late sucker punch as a desperate match ended in defeat against newly-promoted Mansfield Town.
Substitute Ollie Palmer netted the only goal of a dire game to give the visitors their first win since rejoining the Football League after a five year absence.
The game had long looked destined to finish goalless as neither side showed any real quality.
Annoyed at last week’s defeat by AFC Wimbledon, Blues boss Gareth Ainsworth rang the changes as no fewer than five new faces were drafted into the starting line-up.
Matt McClure and Jo Kuffour were paired together in attack, Gary Doherty took the captain’s armband as he took his place in the centre of defence, Matt Spring replaced the suspended Stuart Lewis and there was a first start for Nick Arnold.
It was a bold move but it failed to pay off as Wanderers put in one of the poorest showings of the Ainsworth era, although Mansfield were little better in a match low on quality throughout.
There was little to write home about early on, as Anthony Stewart’s shot was deflected behind and Matt Ingram added to his growing reputation with a good save to turn James Jennings’ effort from the edge of the box over the bar.
Mansfield’s team of giant defenders were generally first to everything and prevented Blues from having a sight of goal, and it wasn’t until a stretching Matt McClure just failed to tuck away a pinpoint Nick Arnold centre that the first chants were heard from the home fans.
At last a chance was created as Calvin Andrew headed a floated free kick back across the face of goal but Sam Clucas could do more than to head narrowly wide of a gaping goal at the far post when he probably should have opened the scoring.
Experienced striker Andrew made a nuisance of himself at another set piece as he managed to hook away a shot after doing well to take the ball out the air, but he didn’t get the finish he wanted and the ball cleared the crossbar.
Blues finally managed to fire a shot in anger with seven minutes remaining of the first half as Paris Cowan-Hall managed to pick Lee Beevers’ pocket with the defender trying to shepherd the ball out of play for a goalkick. The Wanderers winger seized on the ball and pulled it back for Josh Scowen, whose effort was beaten out by visiting keeper Alan Marriott.
Cowan-Hall forced Marriott into action again before half time as his low skidding shot was parried away by the keeper, but he was untroubled as the half closed with Arnold wildly slicing a shot into the stand.
A free kick from Spring went untouched and almost snuck in at the far post with Marriott statuesque, before the Stags broke the offside trap through Clucas and his shot went behind via a deflection off Stewart and the fingertips of Ingram. From the corner that followed skipper John Dempster headed over the top.
Then Jennings burst into the area and Ingram stopped his first shot before Marvin McCoy heroically managed to block his follow up.
Ainsworth decided it was time to shake things up and the mercurial talent of Dean Morgan was introduced from the bench in place of McClure.
Blues were forced into another change shortly afterwards as Cowan-Hall - who had looked the most likely Chairboy to create something - was stretchered off with what appeared to be a knee injury. Sam Wood replaced him.
Mansfield somewhat surprisingly elected to replace the lively Clucas with Palmer, but it was the visitors who continued to have the better in front of goal as Andrew’s deep header went across the face of goal and crept agonisingly wide of the far post.
Morgan’s first attacking action was to ape Andrew as his angled shot missed the target but it was a rare chance at either end.
With the game seemingly destined for a goalless draw, Mansfield went in front with 12 minutes remaining. Dempster was first to attack a free kick into the box and was unlucky to see his header come back off the post, but it sat up nicely for Palmer and the substitute justified his introduction to the game as he dived to head home the Stags’ first goal of the season.
He should have had a second in the closing stages as Stewart failed to cut out a pass and Palmer bore down on Ingram, but the keeper made an excellent block with his foot.
Kuffour missed a golden opportunity to level as he stabbed wide from close range, and in stoppage time a stretching Max Kretzschmar couldn’t quite touch home a low cross.
Wanderers: Ingram, McCoy, Doherty, Stewart, Dunne, Arnold (sub Kretzschmar), Spring, Scowen, Cowan-Hall (sub Wood), Kuffour, McClure (sub Morgan). Substitutes not used: Harrison, Johnson, Pittman, Craig.
Attendance: 3,352 (251 from Mansfield)
Report: Blues 0-1 Mansfield
Read more at http://www.wycombewanderers.co.uk/news/article/report-blues-0-1-mansfield-998041.aspx?#pv9Ygk7zA3H4DkkI.99
Ollie Palmer’s close-range header 12 minutes from time saw the Wanderers beaten 1-0 at Adams Park.
Palmer made no mistake from four yards after John Dempster’s header had crashed back off the crossbar, and despite late pressure the Blues failed to test Alan Marriott in the Mansfield goal.
Gareth Ainsworth made five changes to the Wanderers side, including a return for fit-again Matt McClure.
In came Gary Doherty, Nick Arnold, Matt Spring, Jo Kuffour and McClure with Leon Johnson, Stuart Lewis, Sam Wood, Dean Morgan and Jon-Paul Pittman the men making way.
Blues started well and Paris Cowan-Hall was picked out by Arnold at the near post, but he didn’t get enough on an attempted flick to worry Alan Marriott. Anthony Stewart then saw a shot blocked after the visitors failed to clear their lines.
However, it was the Stags who came closest to breaking deadlock early on when James Jennings’ dipping volley was superbly tipped over the bar by Matt Ingram in the 10th minute.
McClure was inches away from opening the scoring in the 20th but Arnold’s fine cross from the right just eluded the frontman after Kuffour had picked out the Reading loanee with a pinpoint crossfield pass.
Sam Clucas headed wide for Mansfield after a free-kick was nodded back across goal by Calvin Andrew and the striker went closer himself just past the half-hour mark when he hooked a volley narrowly off target from the edge of the area.
The best chance of the first half was Wanderers’ and it came eight minutes before the break. Spring played the ball down the left and Cowan-Hall did well to dispossess Lee Beevers near the byline before cutting back for Scowen, only for the midfielder’s effort to be kept out by Marriott.
The lively Cowan-Hall saw his drilled effort parried away by Marriott with three minutes of the half remaining and Arnold fired high over the bar from Spring’s corner in injury-time.
Mansfield were fast out of the traps after the restart and Ingram saved from Jennings before McCoy threw his body in the way of the rebound.
Ainsworth made his first change on the 56th minute introducing Morgan in place of McClure, and Blues’ boss was forced into a second swap 10 minutes when Cowan-Hall was stretchered off holding his knee to be replaced by Wood.
Morgan’s cross eluded everyone after the forward had linked up with Kuffour, but the Wanderers were struggling to break through a solid defence.
Ainsworth made his final substitution with 14 minutes remaining, bringing on Max Kretzschmar for Arnold, but it was the visitors who took the lead two minutes later.
Blues failed to deal with a free-kick from the right and John Dempster crashed a header against the bar, the rebound fell kindly for the visitors and Ollie Palmer scrambled in from close-range.
The visitors should have wrapped it up five minutes from time when a hopeful through ball sent Palmer through on goal, but Ingram narrowed the angle well to make a smart stop.
Kuffour had a great chance to level with time running out when he collected Morgan’s left-footed cross and turned his man, only to drag wide of the far post from six yards.
Morgan saw a hooked effort comfortably saved by Marriott as the Chairboys pushed forward before Kretzschmar got on the end of Kuffour’s fizzed-in cross, but couldn’t divert the ball goalwards.
Wanderers: Ingram, McCoy, Dunne, Stewart, Doherty, Arnold (Kretzschmar 76), Spring, Scowen, Cowan-Hall (Wood 66), McClure (Morgan 56), Kuffour.
Subs: Harrison, Johnson, Pittman, Craig.
Mansfield: Marriott, Sutton, Beevers, Dempster, Riley, Clements, Clucas (Palmer 68), McGuire, Jennings, Hutchinson (Howell 90), Andrew (Rhead 74).
Subs: Mitchell, Stevenson, Tafazolli, Meikle.
Attendance: 3,352 (251 Mansfield)
Latest | August 2013