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Archived News from August 2019

18th August 2019 22:40

Carabao Cup (English Football League Cup) - Round 1
Mansfield Town 2 - 2 Morecambe
Morecambe win 6-5 on penalties
Pearce 57, Sterling-James 68. Old 18, 59. Conlon sent off 22.
Attendance: 1884 (66 from Morecambe)

Date: 13 August 2019

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town were knocked out of the Carabao Cup on penalties by Morecambe last night after yet another 2-2 draw, the third in three games this season. And also for the third time this season, there was a red card, but this time it wasn’t for Mansfield, it was for the opposition. However, despite playing for three-quarters of the game against ten men, the Stags were unable to force victory.
Morecambe were visiting the One Call Stadium for the second time in three days, and took the lead after 18 minutes from a corner when defender Steven Old was allowed a free header by Ryan Sweeney, who lost his man, to head unchallenged into the net from 6 yards. Poor defending from Sweeney. Young Alistair Smith, who had a fine game, had a chance to head it away off the line, but strangely ducked underneath it presumably getting his angles all wrong.
Morecambe were reduced to ten men after 22 minutes when Luke Conlon lunged in with an over-the-top challenge on Gordon and rightly was shown a straight red card. A ridiculous challenge from Conlon just outside the Stags penalty area on the byline.
Mansfield were unlucky after 25 minutes when Andy Cook swept a fine effort against the underside of the bar from 8 yards from a good low cross from Mal Benning. Good play from Cook to get in the shot despite being under pressure from defender Old.
After having loads of possession but not creating many chances, the Stags were level after 57 minutes. From Otis Khan’s corner from the left, Sweeney escaped his marker to head goalwards, keeper Halstead parried it up in the air, and fox-in-the-box Krystian Pearce headed home from 2 yards.
But Morecambe were allowed to regain the lead after 57 minutes from another set piece. Cranston’s free kick from the left was met by a crisp header from Old, again, and his header from 12 yards crept just underneath the bar. Poor defending again from Sweeney who simply allowed Old a free header, as he appealed in vain for offside. Should Logan have saved it? It dipped just a fraction under the bar, so it certainly would have been an outstanding save to tip it over the bar, and I don’t think it was a goalkeeping error. As Morecambe celebrated their goal, Hayden White squared up to Conrad Logan and captain Pearce had to pull White away. Of course you don’t expect players to be happy when they’re conceding goals and not winning, but this incident might just give a hint that all is not well in the camp.
Omari Sterling-James came on as sub for a rare appearance after 66 minutes and within two minutes had his first Stags goal. Smith fed a ball forward to Sterling-James who turned nicely away from Brewitt just outside the area and fired from the edge of the area into the bottom right corner of the net. A really fine goal from Sterling-James, which made it 2-2.
Despite having lots more possession, the Stags rarely looked finding a winner until almost the last kick in stoppage time, when Alistair Smith picked up a loose clearance and smashed a fabulous shot from 25 yards that whistled inches wide of the left post. It would have been a spectacular winner.
So it went straight to a penalty shoot out (no extra-time in the League Cup). Miller fired over the bar for Morecambe, Khan then had his penalty saved. Cranston scored for Morecambe, then Sterling-James hit the underside of the bar. O’Sullivan scored for Morecambe and so did Benning. 2-1 to Morecambe after 3 penalties each. Lavelle fired miles over the bar for Morecambe, then Rose scored for Mansfield, so it was level at 2-2 after 4 penalties each. Both sides scored their next 3 penalties, Buxton, Kenyon and Brewitt for Morecambe, Pearce, Tomlinson and Smith for Mansfield. Pearce, Tomlinson and Smith all kept their nerve as each had to score to keep Mansfield in it. Old scored for Morecambe, but Sweeney, to cap a terrible night for him, fired against the top of the bar and over, to hand Morecambe a 6-5 win on penalties.
As the Stags players trudged off, Morecambe’s players and management celebrated with their 66 travelling fans, seemingly shaking the hands of every travelling fan, reminding me of the Stags’ win at Yeovil a few years ago under Adam Murray.
Morecambe go on to face Burton Albion away in the second round.
A disappointing night for Mansfield. Mansfield’s defensive worries continue. The best defence in the league last season, yet this season, and it started in pre-season, the defending has been really poor so far, with the same players involved, this time Ryan Sweeney twice allowing Steven Old free headers to score.
Credit to Morecambe for setting up well with ten men for so long, parking the bus as John Dempster called it, and allowing Mansfield few opportunities to score against ten men.
Goalkeeper Conrad Logan is being made the scapegoat of sections of fans, jeered from before the first whistle by sections of fans last night and then at various stages throughout the game he was jeered and ironically applauded. Whatever you think of his performances, and for me it has been the defence that has been the major problem this season including pre-season rather than the goalkeeper, this treatment of one of your own players is disappointing to hear. If you’re coming to support the team, then please support them, including all the players.

The Stags go to Carlisle on Saturday hoping to bounce back from a disappointing start to the season.

John Dempster started with a 3-5-2 formation. There were five changes to the side that drew with Morecambe in the league. In came Hayden White, Ryan Sweeney, Dion Donohue (for his competitive Stags debut), Alistair Smith and Andy Cook. Out went Preston (suspended), Bishop, MacDonald, Maynard and Rose, the latter four essentially rested to give others game time. I had predicted in my report on Saturday that Stone, White, Sweeney, Donohue, Smith and Cook would come in to start, so I got five right, all apart from Stone. White was on the right of the central defensive three. Donohue was alongside Smith in midfield, with Khan just in front of them, behind the front two of Cook and Hamilton. Tyrese Sinclair was a welcome addition to the bench. He impressed me last season. While Mansfield made five changes, Morecambe made seven changes, including bringing in former Stags defender Ritchie Sutton, who was to have a very solid game.



Mansfield Town exit Carabao Cup after penalty shoot-out defeat to Morecambe
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 13 August 2019

Ryan Sweeney’s miss in a penalty shoot-out saw Mansfield Town eventually lose 6-5 on spot kicks after their home Carabao Cup first round tie had ended 2-2 tonight.

Stags twice had to come from behind against a Morecambe side down to 10 men from the 22nd minute for a red card against Luke Conlan.


Steven Old had put the Shrimps in front on 18 minutes only for Krystian Pearce to level on 57 minutes.

Old then had the Shrimps in front again on 59 minutes only for sub Omari Sterling-James to square things up again.

The 10 men defended well to take the game to penalties just four days after they had drawn 2-2 at Mansfield in League two action.

A thrilling shoot-out then saw Otis Khan and Omari Sterling-James miss as the penalties finished 3-3 and went into sudden death which then saw Morecambe prevail.

Stags had several good displays on the night, notably Otis Khan and youngster Alistair Smith, but they are without a win now after their first three games.

Mansfield made five changes and switched to a 3-4-1-2 formation for the second Shrimps clash in four days.

Hayden White returned from injury into a back three that also welcomed back Ryan Sweeney.

In midfield there was a debut for Dion Donohue and a place for promising youngster Smith while, up front, summer signing Andy Cook made his full debut.

Out went the suspended Matt Preston along with Danny Rose, Nicky Maynard, Neal Bishop and Alex MacDonald.

The visitors also made seven changes from the side that drew 2-2 at the same ground four days ago, bringing in former Stags defender Ritchie Sutton.

A scrappy start saw Stags fail to capitalise on dangerous balls into the box from Benning and Smith.

Youngster Smith then saw an early yellow card for a mistimed tackle on Miller on five minutes.

Oates followed into the box two minutes later for bringing down Gordon as he tried to instigate a counter-attack.

However. Stags were fortunate on 11 minutes when, from the visitors’ second corner, two attempted clearances rebounded back towards goal.

On 14 minutes Cook got past Lavelle on the right and made space for a finish that Conlan managed to block.

Hamilton then did well to stretch and cut out a dangerous through ball towards Alessandra on a Morecambe break.

But the Shrimps were ahead from their third corner. Alessandra sent it in from the left and Old was given a free header that he buried with aplomb from six yards.

However, the Shrimps were then down to 10 men within four minutes after Conlan was sent off for diving into a needless foul on Gordon on the home by-line.

Cook came so close to an equaliser on 25 minutes as Donohue’s superb ball sent Benning into space on the left and, when he whipped the ball towards Cook at the near post, he turned it on goal first time only to see it rattle the angle of bar and post from five yards.

On 29 minutes then Cook failed to get enough on his close range header from Benning’s left wing cross.

Tanner was cautioned for flattening White on 32 minutes.

Home fans were starting to become impatient as Stags struggled to penetrate the 10 men and Smith was well off with his hopeful effort from 25 yards.

Both sides made an interval change as Tomlinson came on for Donohue in the home midfield.

Stags won an early corner which Khan sent over and the Shrimps were lucky when the clearance rebounded off Pearce and narrowly wide.

Logan made his first real save of the night on 55 minutes as Miller’s pass somehow sent Cranston into space on the left when it should have been cut out, but the keeper was down well to block the attempt to finish across him.

But the home side were level on 57 minutes.

Khan sent in corner number seven from the left and Sweeney’s flicked header brought a good save out of Halstead who could do nothing as Pearce nodded home the loose ball from close range.

But within two minutes they were behind again as Cranston put in a free kick from the left and Old was able to send a looping header over Logan and under the crossbar.

Gordon sent a cross-cum-shot over the near angle soon after.

Khan’s trickery and shot on the turn saw him flash one just over the angle on 65 minutes.

Soon after Stags sent on Rose and Sterling-James for Cook and Hamilton as a new front pairing.

Mansfield hauled themselves level on 68 minutes as Sterling-James poked home a low finish just two minutes after coming on, turning well just inside the box and finishing superbly.

Rose forced Halstead to clutch his low shot from 20 yards, then Sterling-James was just wide with a header from Gordon’s cross.

Morecambe were wasting time as much as possible and keeper Halstead was booked for delaying his kick on 79 minutes.

Halstead then kept out Benning’s angled shot after Khan had fed the ball into his path.

On 81 minutes Rose was booked for being late on Lavelle.

Khan wasn’t far over from 18 yards, Sterling-James had a shot safely held from the same distance, and Smith blazed one inches wide in added time.

But despite incessant pressure, Stags could not conjure up a winner as the tie went to penalties.

Miller lifted the first spot kick well over the bar only for Khan to see his kick saved.

Cranston found the bottom right corner, then Sterling-James hit the underside of the bar and the visitors had a lead.

O’Sullivan sent Logan the wrong way to make it 2-0 as did Benning on Halstead to make it 2-1 before Lavelle lifted his kick over the top, allowing Rose to calmly level.

Buxton sent Logan the wrong way and Pearce levelled into the top left corner to make it 3-3 and send us into sudden death.

Kenyon found the bottom corner to make it 4-3 and Tomlinson levelled with a similar kick to the other corner at 4-4.

Brewitt sent Logan the wrong way for 5-4 only to see young Smith calmly level again.

Old powered home Morecambe’s sixth success before Sweeney blazed his kick over to see Stags crash out of the competition.

MANSFIELD: Logan; White, Pearce, Sweeney; Gordon, Donohue (Tomlinson HT), Khan, Smith, Benning; Cook (Rose 66), Hamilton (Sterling-James 66). Subs not used: Stone, Clarke, Sinclair, Gibbens.

MORECAMBE: Halstead, Conlan, Old, Alessandra (Kenyon HT), Sutton (Buxton 76), Brewitt, Lavelle, Oates (O’Sullivan 76), Miller, Tanner, Cranston. Subs not used: Roche, Stockton, Ellison, Jagne.

REFEREE: Robert Lewis of Shrewsbury.

ATTENDANCE: 1,184 (66 away).



Morecambe in shootout success to progress in Carabao Cup win at Mansfield Town
thevisitor.co.uk, by DEREK QUINN

Mansfield Town 2 Morecambe 2 (Morecambe win 6-5 on penalties)

Morecambe made it through to the second round of the Carabao Cup with a penalty shootout victory over Mansfield.

After the game ended 2-2 after 90 minutes the Shrimps went through 6-5 on spot-kicks to earn a thrilling win.


Morecambe boss Jim Bentley made seven changes to the side that drew with Mansfield at the weekend and they started on the front foot with a goal on 18 minutes.

Lewis Alessandra swung over a corner from the left and central defender Steven Old was left unmarked as he headed past Conrad Logan from six yards out.

The cheers were short-lived however as the Shrimps were reduced to 10 men just four minutes later.

Luke Conlan was shown a straight red card for a rash challenge on Kellan Gordon after wrestling for possession with the Stags defender in the Mansfield penalty box.

The card changed the game and the rest of the half saw Mansfield dominate possession. Andy Cook went close to scoring on 25 minutes when he latched on to Mal Benning’s left-wing cross but saw his effort come back off the underside of the bar.

Mansfield finally worked their way back into the game on 57 minutes with an equaliser from Krystian Pearce.

Mark Halstead superbly saved Ryan Sweeney’s header but the ball fell to Pearce who headed home from six yards out.

The 10 men rallied though and were in front again two minutes later from another set-piece.

Jordan Cranston floated a free kick into the penalty area and Old nipped ahead of his marker again to direct a looping header over Logan from 12 yards out.

The home side stepped up the pace and levelled for the second time on 69 minutes when substitute Omari Sterling took the ball and in one swift movement turned and drilled a low shot past Halstead from the edge of the box.

Halstead made two fine late saves to deny Mansfield a normal time win to take the game to spot-kicks.

Shaun Miller missed the Shrimps’ first kick but Otis Khan then saw his effort saved by Halstead.

Sam Lavelle failed to find the target on the Shrimps’ fourth penalty but Cranston, John O’Sullivan, Adam Buxton, Alex Kenyon, Tom Brewitt and Old all scored theirs.

And as it went to sudden death ,Sweeney hit the crossbar with Mansfield’s eighth penalty and the Shrimps went through to an excellent win.

Mansfield: Logan, Gordon, White, Pearce, Benning, Khan, Donohue ( Tomlinson 46), Sweeney, Smith, Cook ( Rose 65), Hamilton ( Sterling 65). Subs not used: Stone, Clarke, Sinclair, Gibbens.

Morecambe: Halstead, Sutton ( Buxton 75), Lavelle, Old, Tanner, Brewitt, Cranston, Conlan, Oates ( O’Sullivan 75), Alessandra ( Kenyon 46), Miller. Subs not used: Roche, Jange, Stockton, Ellison.

Referee: R Lewis.

Attendance: 1,884


LOMAS ON MANSFIELD TOWN: Conrad Logan jeering not helping as new boss John Dempster chases first victory
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 13 August 2019

After the opening three games of the season without a win it is inevitable that a section of anxious fans are starting to lose their heads already.

But Rome was not built in a day and rookie boss John Dempster knows he has much work to do.


And making keeper Conrad Logan the target for so much abuse is simply bizarre and unnecessary.

The penalties Carabao Cup defeat by Morecambe was disappointing, but, having made five changes, if it gives the manager a better idea of his starting XI and formation to get points away at Carlisle this Saturday, that is far more important.

Everyone, Dempster included, wanted to get away to a flyer.

But a defence that looked rock solid last season has inexplicably already let in six goals in three games and a moment of indiscipline by Matty Preston means it’s going to be another two games before Dempster has him available again after his red card at the weekend.

Also missing for three games is midfield maestro Jacob Mellis - another factor in the current problems.

Dempster certainly needs to settle on his best XI as soon as he has them at his disposal as well as his best formation.

But there is a whole season stretching out ahead and no need for panic.

A section of fans are not helping by booing their own keeper either. It seems to be a nasty, vicious knee-jerk reaction to the failure to win a game.

Conrad Logan could not be blamed for any of the goals conceded in the first two games.

So to hear boos from the Ian Greaves Stand when his name was announced at the start and then not surprisingly see him look jittery at times before being jeered every time he touched the ball was cruel and totally uncalled for.

Logan has made mistakes in his Stags career, as has every other keeper, but for some reason he seems to be a scapegoat at the moment for the side’s early problems.

Blaming him for Morecambe’s second goal on Saturday gives no credit to the brilliant cross by Kevin Ellison.

If Logan had stayed on his line he was already in trouble.

He had to come out, only to find how perfect Ellison’s cross was in the ball spinning slightly away from him to make Lewis Alessandra favourite to get there.

Logan could do little with Morecambe’s second goal last night either.

If he had been on his line from that free kick he would have looked silly. No keeper would have been perfectly on their line for it. He was only six yards off it but was beaten by a header that simply looped up over him and just under the bar - perfection from Steven Old.

If Logan makes a serious mistake, he will be back on the bench.

Having said that I did expect to see new keeper Aidan Stone get an outing last night to keep him polished and ready to go if needed.

For me the front combination of Andy Cook and CJ Hamilton disappointed as, despite his reputation, Cook missed two great chances from close range on his full debut while Hamilton always looks a little lost to me as an out-and-out frontman.

But, the result aside, for me the positives outweighed the negatives with Hayden White thankfully back fully fit as a great option in a back three, as a left back or as a wing back.

He worked well down that side with new boy Kellan Gordon and they caused umpteen problems for the visitors.

Dion Donohue had an impressive first half in the centre of midfield with some excellent passing, second half replacement Will Tomlinson not quite looking up to the pace after injury.

Stags youngster Alistair Smith made only his second appearance in the heart of midfield and the 20-year-old looked very much at home.

He was calm and kept it simple and he puts a lovely weight on his passes.

Fans know he’s one of their own and he has every chance of being a mainstay in that position for years if he maintains his current rate of improvement.

Otis Khan was again magnificent. Full of energy and movement he will now be very hard to dislodge from this side.

Mal Benning is now also quickly starting to look like he is hitting his best with some great balls in from the left that were not capitalised on.

And the club’s ‘invisible man’ Omari Sterling-James showed what he is capable of with a rare second half outing in which he scored a superb goal.

Sometimes fans need a reminder he is even still on the club’s books, let along raring to go.

Fans and players need to forget how last night ended as penalties are a lottery.

Instead they need to remember the side has not been beaten in its first three 90 minutes and Stags head for Carlisle with every hope of staying unbeaten.

Having said that, a defeat at Carlisle would see the pressure starting to tweak up on the new manager and up the ante for Tuesday’s visit of Leyton Orient.

Dempster wants this monkey off his back as quickly as the fans do.



Latest | August 2019