Craig Priest writes...
Fixture: Mansfield Town V Southport
Competition: Blue Square Bet Premier – Game #18
Venue: The One Call Stadium
Date & Time: Saturday 10th November 2012 – 3pm
Match Referee: Declan Ford (Lincoln)
Attendance: 1918 (83)
Well what a relief it is to be finally writing about a victory, Ben Hutchinson’s goal 95 seconds into yesterday’s game proved the eventually winner against Southport, a victory which hopefully can revitalise our season.
I’m aware that we should have taken more chances and made the victory a more comfortable one but personally, I don’t think you can fault the desire, work rate and effort of the players one bit. The football matched the support, excellent – it won’t happen overnight as we well know but let’s keep digging away to put together a good sequence of results now, Luton who we face a week today (Sunday) are suffering a blip with two back to back defeats whilst Macclesfield’s six game unbeaten run came to an end yesterday at Cambridge, we face the other MTFC a week on Tuesday – a perfect time to face both and gain some of that “lost” ground.
What counts in football is results, we got one yesterday and can build on it as I mention, having games coming thick and fast shouldn’t be a problem for our squad size – providing we can beat Slough in normal time! We’ve got the FA Trophy coming up too so we have different focuses in some respects, however all that counts is winning football matches – come on admit it, the winning feelings a good one right? Let’s continue to support in the way we did yesterday and enjoy it for a long while longer: together as one.
Paul Cox stuck by his word and was consistent in his team selection yesterday as he named the same starting eleven from Nuneaton midweek, tweaking the bench slightly as Jake Speight got the nod ahead of Junior Daniel.
Line Up [4-4-1-1] Shane Redmond, Ritchie Sutton, John Dempster (C), Exodus Geohaghon, Lee Beevers, Louis Briscoe, Chris Clements, Anthony Howell, Lindon Meikle, Ben Hutchinson, Nick Wright
Substitutes John Thompson, Jake Speight, Matt Green, Matt Rhead, Adam Murray.
Mansfield made the best possible start as they kept and moved the ball well after winning possession back from Southport’s kick off. Anthony Howell was key in the centre of the park with a strong body block on his Southport counterpart allowing Nick Wright to drop deep and collect. The front man who netted his first Stags goal midweek then played a 1-2 give and go with Briscoe on the right hand side before crossing into the middle. Anthony Howell was first to have a go but missed the ball, Hutchinson on hand at the far post to tuck in his first of the season.
Stags 1-0 Southport
Southport then had a half chance to level two minutes later following a long ball forward, Shane Redmond racing out to collect ahead of Shaun Whalley. Mansfield looked in control and should have had a second goal on six minutes after John Dempster had read Southport’s play to expert affect, collecting possession inside the centre circle. The Stags skipper then sprayed a controlled pass to the advancing Wright on the right hand side, a quick interchange with the advancing Sutton then saw Wright’s effort deflect off of Chris Lynch for a Stags corner.
Steven Tames wasted a clear cut opportunity on nine minutes as he found space inside the area, two minutes later Whalley was shown a yellow card by the referee for simulation after going down inside the box under pressure from the assured Dempster.
Chris Lever then swung in a dangerous cross on 16 minutes which Dempster put behind for a corner, a poor delivery from Alan Moogan saw Chris Clements block the second ball and Mansfield break with intensity. Meikle was then man to cover the most ground going forward at a canter before slotting Wright in to his left, the former Kidderminster man as again denied by Lynch with an excellent sliding block.
The half hour mark then triggered a host of chances for the Stags moments after Whalley had wasted a Southport free kick. Hutchinson, Wright and Beevers coming close for Mansfield in the space of three minutes, the latter curling over from the edge of the box after yet another flowing move.
The final ten minutes of the first half had little too write home about, Hutchinson’s early strike the difference at the interval.
HALF TIME: Stags 1-0 Southport
Mansfield began the second half in rampant style grabbing a free kick curtsey of Hutchinson after 35 seconds, Chris Clements’ delivery headed narrowly wide by Geohaghon. Two minutes later Clements was involved again with a surging run down the right hand side, a clipped cross into the middle saw Wright nod wide with a diving header, the offside flag also up.
Anthony Howell was then flagged offside on 51 minutes following another Clements set piece, before the central midfielder pulled down Whalley in the middle – collecting a yellow card in the process. From the resulting free kick former Stag Simon Grand, now skipper of Southport, header wide of the target although Shane Redmond had it well covered.
Four minutes later another Exodus Geohaghon long throw nearly set Louis Briscoe for a spectacular, the lively wide man well blocked off by the visitors who failed to prevent him turning and firing into the side netting.
On the hour mark Clements was extremely lucky to escape a second booking as he pulled back Tames on the edge of the box, Alan Moogan curling the resulting free kick over for the visitors. Five minutes later Clements again rode his luck with a late challenge, Jake Speight then replaced Wright in attack.
Lindon Meikle curled an effort wide on 70 minutes after good play between Speight and Hutchinson, the luck riding Clements departed a minute later as Adam Murray came on. John Dempster, who kept the armband on despite Murray entering play, then put in a proper captains challenge on 73 minutes, he slid in to deny a fast moving Steven Tames.
With seven minutes remaining Andrew Parry upended Jake Speight on the edge of the box, Louis Briscoe clipped in a clever set-piece which saw Howell head over. Minutes later Lee Beevers clipped down the left hand side finding Speight who earned a corner, Ben Hutchinson’s delivery led to another spell of pressure which eventually ended after a delightful interchange between Meikle and Howell, the latter having the ball taken from his toes by McMillan.
Speight curled an effort wide with a minute to go, with thirty seconds of the four added left – Hutchinson was on hand to clear a free kick from Whalley which saw keeper McMillan venture forward, there was no time for an attack though as the full time whistle abruptly blew.
FULL TIME: Stags 1-0 Southport << Audio Highlights & Match Pack
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