A much needed point from the Field
13 March 2010
On the back of two 1-0 reversals Gary Mills took his Lambs to face The Stags for the third time this season. Earlier in the campaign at Field Mill Tamworth had run out convincing 2-0 winners in the FA Trophy, while Mansfield turned the tables in early February with a 4-2 win at The Lamb.
Mills was without Michael Blackwood (injured) and Chris Smith (suspended) and made four changes to the midweek side and also saw ex- Nott'm Forest defender Aaron Mitchell take his first place in a Lambs line up.
After the pre-match formalities Lambs captain for the day Lyttle gathered the huddle and The Lambs kicked off into the wind but Mansfield won possession quickly and fired in a left wing cross which Alcock took at height.
A foul inside The Lambs half saw Mills chip the ball out of play unhindered then won a corner with a cross which was deflected behind off the head of the Lamb defence.
A miskicked clearance fell to Foster on 3 and he tried to beat Alcock from the halfway line, but floated his effort wide of the right hand upright.
Lyttle and Briscoe dealt with some Stags pressure down the left wing on 6 while at the other end, Sheridan tried to cut back into the box after Rodman's touch went wayward but was unable to control the ball or stop if going out of play.
A drilled cross from the right wing by Louis Briscoe on 11 was dealt with via a hefty boot from the Lambs defence and the same player found the top of the net with a lofted cross from a similar position on 14 as the home crowd booed Alcock for trying to make sure the ball didn't blow away when trying to take a goal kick.
Tamworth won a corner on 15 which Sheridan took right footed and Pritchard met with his head, but could only divert it over the bar, failing to test Marriott.
Mansfield then got one of their own which went long to Briscoe who fired a cross come shot in which his namesake headed behind for another flag kick which Alcock collected.
A foul in build up to a pass from the centre circle denied Christie a run at goal on 22 and a foul by Wylde halted his path into the penalty area with the ball bouncing around in front of him on 27 summing a poor game from both sides points of view so far.
An intentioned foul on Jay Smith 35 yards out lined up The Lambs with a dead ball chance on 28 which Michael Briscoe chipped onto the area and won a corner which Sheridan, now complete with head bandaged, took but The lambs were unable to create a chance.
On 34, Christie found a way to the edge of the area and struck the base of the post with a low drive which took a touch off Marriott on the way through and from the corner the ball fell to Briscoe, but he cleared the bar with his shot from 18 yards.
And as Mansfield pushed forward in the next move Nix missed a sitter as the ball bounced across the face of the goalmouth, then a minute later Pritchard took an air shot, Murdock missed his chance and when Rodman did strike for the open net Gary Mills denied with a last ditch clearance on the line.
Michael Briscoe conceded a corner on 39 which Tamworth broke from through Sheridan (now without bandage!) and he worked hard to get the ball back but was fouled in the process and the move broke down.
Briscoe denied another Briscoe cross threatening the Lambs goal on 42 with a telling header and a corner was won at the other end shortly before the fourth official indicated 2 minutes added time - but both flag kicks were wasted - and the first half drew to a goalless close.
Mansfield kicked off the second half towards the 93 travelling Lambs fans and Sheridan once again wore his low head band - a hangover from his recent knock in training and a clash in the first half - and Tait unleashed a long range shot which rose over the bar from distance and was then, at the other end, forced to nod the ball away from danger and from the corner Foster headed a free chance wide of the left hand post.
Williams won a corner on the left on 51 which went short to Mills who hit a low shot and it deflected behind giving The Stags another flag kick. This time it worked its way to the other side and Briscoe floated a cross just onto the roof of the net with Alcock at full stretch.
Tamworth enjoyed a spell of unrewarded pressure around the hour mark but conceded a freekick on the right corner of their area on 61 and Foster headed over the bar with an effort in midflight.
Michael Briscoe took a tumble on the gravel behind Alcocks goal on 64 and stayed down for a prolonged period as play continued on the field and was unable to continue, handing Mitchell - nicknamed ‘Crouchie' due to his height - his debut in a straight swap at the back.
Sheridan forced a corner on 68 which was aimed for Mitchell but cleared away and when Foster bore down on goal as Mansfield pushed on, Wylde made a good tackle to deny Foster a shooting chance.
Mills won a freekick on the right of the area by the byline on 73 after being sandwiched as he ran through but the deadball came to nothing.
Tait then reacted visibly, with arms raised, to Perry to earn both a booking on 74 and fellow substitute Burgess talked himself into the ref's notebook on 77.
Rodman was unlucky not to capitalise on a challenge on the edge of the Mansfield box on 80 and with the minutes ticking down the pace of the game quickened and gaps started to appear at the back of the home side, but no clear cut chances were forming .
Lyttle denied Perry at the far post on 87 and put his head in the way of a shot from Nix from the corner who then fired another shot in, but Alcock was untroubled and caught easily.
Three minutes added time was shown at the end of the game and sensing a hard earned point was not too far away Tamworth were in no mood to rush play too much.
Sheridan headed behind for Mansfield a corner on 92 and despite calls from the home fans to pack the box and look for a winner, nothing came for either side and the whistle blew .
Alcock, Tait, Wylde, Murdock (Lake-Gaskin 70), Rodman, Pritchard, Sheridan, Lyttle, Briscoe M (Mitchell 66), Smith J, Christie
Subs: MacKenzie, Fankem, Shaw T
Mansfield Town Team:
Marriott, Mills, Briscoe L, Duffy (Sturrock 71), Shaw J (Perry 61), Williams (Burgess 57), Foster, Silk, Nicholas, Nix, Brough
Subs: Colley, Somner
Referee: M Heywood