Stags strike slays Lambs
10 March 2012
Lambs boss Marcus Law opted to keep the faith with the same starting eleven that had performed so well as a defensive unit against York City in midweek, for the visit of Mansfield just a couple of short weeks after his side had gone down to the odd goal in three at Field Mill.
Paul Cox's Stags came to The Lamb in a fine vein of form sitting in 5th position having won seven of the previous nine and lost just one in the last eleven and would no doubt be out to keep their play-off spot.
The visitors won the toss and kicked off towards the Castle End, away from the packed Meadow Street terracing, and immediately showed their attacking intentions.
2: Reece conceded a corner on the right as away fans continued to enter the ground and Tait headed it behind for another on the same side which Tait got away from danger again.
4: At the other end, Thomas won a corner with a deflected cross and took it short to Connor but the flag prevented the move from continuing.
10: McKoy was adjudged to have fouled Meikle on the edge of the area but the resultant freekick went high over the bar.
13: A skillful piece of interplay between St. Aimie, Thomas and Nix ended with Thomas' cross from the left wing which Connor just failed to get his head to, but play quickly moved to the other end and a corner from the left was finished at the second attempt by Green. (0-1, 13 mins)
16: Following a foul on Reece on the right wing, Nix sent in the dead ball to the far post but St Aimie was unable to get his head on the chance.
20: Hedge was called into action to push Dyers header over the bar from Geohaghan's long throw, and from the corner the same two players combined but the former found the Lambs defence blocking his shot.
22: Tamworth pushed on from the Mansfield chances and won a corner on the left which fell to Reece on the opposite side and his cross was deflected behind for another flag kick but Francis was unable to keep his header down and floated it over the target.
30: As the first third of the game came to a close, Mansfield looked the more in control of proceedings, but there were good runs from Taylor and Thomas at the opposite end which unforutntaley came to nothing.
33: The Stags then won a trio of corners which came to nothing.
36: Nix found space and hit a low shot at Marriott but it was very easy for the keeper to gather.
42: McKoy won the ball in the final third of the Lambs half and made a run into the Mansfield half, finding Nix and then St. Aimie. But St. Aimie's powerful shot was blocked by Briscoe and caused him to require a visit from the physio before play could continue.
45: 2 minutes added time was shown at the end of the first half and the visitors won a corner on the right which flashed across the face of goal via a couple of deflections before being headed behind by Briscoe.
The Lambs got the second half underway, running down hill and St. Aimie made an early foray into the area but it was cut short by the Stags defence.
48: Francis brought Meikle down on the left just outside the area and O'Neill lined up the deadball but not well enough as it bent straight out of play past the far post.
52: With the visiting fans singing loud and proud, Thomas was unable to get shit shot past the covering defender and Marriott remained untroubled by The Lambs attacks.
55: Patterson replaced St. Aimie in a straight swap up front.
59: Taylor nipped the ball around the back of the Mansfield defence but it was taken off his toes for a corner on the right and Marriott punched clear and when the ball came back in for Francis, his header was difficult but off target.
61: Tamworth made their second change of the afternoon and when a Tait backpass was intercepted Hedge was forced to leave his area to deny Matt Green any sort of a sight at goal.
64: Briscoe hit a right footed shot wide of the left hand upright from 25 yards following a string of cross field passes.
69: At the other end, Barrow and Habergham combined down the left to work their way into the area but the final ball from the latter was put into the area at a stretch and cleared the goal.
71: A similar run from Barrow earned a corner on the left when his low cross was put behind at the near post and Francis headed the dead ball over the bar.
75: Meikle cut into the box and drew Hedge out of his comfort zone, but failed to set up a fellow teammate.
76: Roberts then picked up a booking for a debated challenge on Nix in the centre circle and a minute or so later Thomas brought down the same player but in a much more dangerous position, 10 yards outside the Lambs penalty area with a straight line at goal.
Roberts struck the freekick himself but it was directly into the arms of Hedge and the keeper was forced to gather the ball at the second attempt when he and Meikle went for a high ball at the far post.
84: Tamworth made their third change of the match and Habergham's cross was punched away by Marriott.
88: Habergham sent a low ball from the left into the box and Francis got a deft flick on the chance, but it went agonisingly past the far post.
90: Hutchinson, Roberts and Meikle broke up field quickly from a Tamworth freekick which tait put into the box, but the latter of the Mansfield players was unable to curl his low shot inside the right hand upright and three minutes added time was shown.
Jonathan HEDGE, Richard TAIT, Sam HABERGHAM, Francino FRANCIS, Charlie REECE (Scott BARROW 61), Connor TAYLOR, Kieron ST. AIMIE (Kyle PATTERSON 55), Danny THOMAS, Kyle NIX (Liam McDONALD 84), Paul GREEN (c.), Nick MCKOY
Subs: Duane COURTNEY, Chez ISAAC
Mansfield Town Team:
Alan MARRIOTT (GK), Gary ROBERTS, Martin RILEY, Lindon MEIKLE, Exodus GEOHAGHON, Louis BRISCOE (Matt RHEAD 73), Ritchie SUTTON, Matt GREEN (Ben HUTCHINSON 87), Luke O'NEILL, Anthony HOWELL, Ross DYER
Subs: Shane REDMOND (GK), Andy TODD, Adam MURRAY
Yellow Cards: Roberts 76
Man of the Match: Tamworth Herald chose Connor TAYLOR
Referee: Mr. S. Martin