Craig Priest writes...
Fixture: Macclesfield Town V Mansfield Town
Competition: Blue Square Bet Premier – Game #11 (Re-Arranged)
Venue: Moss Rose
Date & Time: Tuesday 20th November 2012 – 7.45pm
Match Referee: K Evans
Attendance: 1272 (202)
Winning is a wonderful feeling, however winning away from home for the first time in the league since August and breaking what some call a barren run of draws makes last night’s result at the other MTFC even more sweeter – everything just clicked.
Mansfield we’re excellent, I don’t have one negative thing to say about their performance at all, it was polished with every single player putting in a shift – for the first time in a long time, especially away from home, we looked confident and up for the challenge, we dictated the way the game went rather than lurking nervously in the shadows of others homes. We we’re Mansfield Town, true to ourselves and true to our belief from start to finish – our fire is now burning, long may it continue.
I have to admit to a degree of worry prior to the game because of having to make more changes when we’d become settled, however credit to those who came in, they picked up where others had left off and fought for their side rather than for themselves, there wasn’t an ounce of selfishness in our side last night – everyone was in it for the team and today, can walk tall with a beaming smile – results come from confidence, let’s channel it now into our next few fixtures and climb the table.
From back to front we we’re excellent, I always try to pick a man of the match and last night chose Shane Redmond. The Irish shot stopper again took some flack on Sunday for the two Luton goals but redeemed himself with an excellent display last night. I can think of at least two occasions, where at 1-0 up, he’s kept us in the game with excellent reflex saves. The clean sheet was thoroughly deserved and I hope his confidence continues to grow as Alan Marriott returned to training yesterday. Aside from Redmond, Thompson, Jones, Murray, Clements, Meikle and Green all mounted individual cases for man of the match, for me that was the liveliest we’ve seen Meikle in a long time and frankly, Macclesfield looked worried every time he picked up the ball – Isn’t it wonderful that the only headache is picking a man of the match!
The victory moves us up to seventh place, four points from the play-offs and seven points from the top with a game in hand – now six game unbeaten and with one defeat in ten we are hitting form, if it continues then we’ll certainly climb. Bring it on!
Paul Cox was forced into two changes with Exodus Geohaghon suspended for a match Luke Jones came in, Lee Beevers was NOT suspended and kept his place, the other enforced change being Adam Murray back in for Anthony Howell who picked up a knock during the Luton game. One further change was made, Matt Green’s late leveller on Sunday enough to give him the nod ahead of Nick Wright.
Line Up [4-4-1-1] Shane Redmond, John Thompson, Ritchie Sutton, Luke Jones, Lee Beevers, Louis Briscoe, Adam Murray (C), Chris Clements, Lindon Meikle, Ben Hutchinson, Matt Green
Substitutes: Jake Speight, Nick Wright, Matt Rhead, Lee Stevenson, Junior Daniel.
The Stags started brightly and looked to grab the early imitative when Matt Green let fly from the edge of the box with 47seconds on the clock, Kieran Charnock deflecting the ball away for a throw to spare the hosts blushes.
Eight minutes later Mansfield looked lively again as Adam Murray stepped in front of ex Stag loanee Sam Wedgbury to win back possession. A delightful chip down the left channel saw Green drive forward and fire narrowly over with his left boot.
Macclesfield then thought they’d grabbed the opener on 11 minutes as Chris Holroyd slotted beneath Shane Redmond, the Preston North End loan man foiled by the offside flag moments before Redmond got down well to deny Charlie Henry following Keiran Murtagh’s driven run.
Luke Jones then got in the way of Holroyd’s effort on 17 minutes before at the other end, Chris Clements came close five minutes later. It all began with a poor piece of Macclesfield play in the midfield, Clements intercepting and driving forward before attempting to feed Green inside the box. The attempted pass cannoned back off Charnock sitting perfectly for Clements who curled agonisingly over from 20 yards.
On 27 minutes Clements was involved again, this time linking up with Green and Briscoe before drilling just wide of the keepers left hand post. Four minutes later Clements let fly once more after efforts from Green and Hutchinson had gone astray, Lance Cronin fumbling the ball but grabbing hold at the second attempt as Green slid in.
With nine minutes of the first half remaining Sam Wedgbury nearly opened the scoring against his old team for whom he made one appearance in 2008 against Wrexham, suffering a suspected broken leg on his debut on loan from Sheffield United. Now fully fit and a Macclesfield regular his forty yard half volley had to be pushed up into the air and then caught at the second attempt by Redmond.
Three minutes later Louis Briscoe stepped up to take a free kick after Green was felled on the edge of the box, the ball deflecting away for a corner from which, the opening goal was gained. Clements stepped up to deliver and saw Lane Cronin fumble a catch, Matt Green on hand to cushion home for his second goal in as many games.
Shane Redmond then produced two excellent saves to maintain Mansfield’s lead going into the half time break, tipping over an excellent effort from Henry on 43 minutes before getting down low to deny the advancing Ryan Jackson on the stroke of half time.
HALF TIME Macclesfield 0-1 Stags
After the break the Silkmen played with a little more intensity and began to register more efforts on goal, on 54 minutes John Paul-Kissock fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box after good interchanging play with Wedgbury and Craig Braham-Barrett.
Mansfield always looked comfortable though and registered another chance on the hour mark, Lindon Meikle danced his way forwards, turning and spinning past three players from the left hand side following Clements’ pass. Meikle really deserved a goal but was denied by Cronin who made a strong save.
Clements then came close again a minute later from the edge of the box however it was at the other end where Mansfield needed to maintain their focus as Ryan Jackson linked up with substitute Jack Mackreth on the right hand side. The former found space for a cross which sat up nicely for Holroyd, Shane Redmond well positioned to keep out the forceful header.
John Paul-Kissock then spurned another chance for the hosts, screwing a shot well wide of the mark on 63 minutes, two minutes later the Stags got breathing space as they doubled their lead. Louis Briscoe flicked up for Green who thundered down the right hand side before pulling back for the on rushing Briscoe, the Stags joint longest serving player showed great foot work before cutting the back across the goal line, Lindon Meikle on hand to riffle home in front of the 202 travelling fans.
Five minutes later Shane Redmond palmed away a forceful Barnes-Homer effort before John Thompson cleared the danger, the Stags keeper called upon again with eight minutes remaining to deny Wedgbury as the Silkmen enjoyed two successful corners.
Jake Speight, Lee Stevenson and Junior Daniel had all come on for Green, Hutchinson and Briscoe respectively, the former Speight helping to seal the game for Mansfield with three minutes to go. Driving forward to latch onto a central pass, a wonderful curling effort was beaten away by Cronin for another Stags corner. Clements delivering a peach for Luke Jones at the far post, the centre half connected thunderously with the set piece to make it three-nil and seal all three points.
In the final minute of four added on Macclesfield nearly grabbed a consolation through Mackreth, Redmond however wasn’t willing to give up his clean sheet and sprung down well to tip the ball behind for a corner, Adam Murray slamming clear to the sound of the full time whistle and the beautiful taste of three points – at last, the Stags had completed the job.
FULL TIME: Macclesfield 0-3 Stags << Audio Highlights
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