{ match reports }
 
Stagsnet wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
 Leicester City
Matt Green pen 27.
 
 Nugent 10.
Attendance: 4273 (1608 from Leicester)
 
Date: 25 July 2015

STANDING OVATION AS STAGS MATCH PREMIER LEAGUE STARS

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town drew 1-1 with Leicester City at the One Call Stadium in the second and last home pre-season friendly this afternoon. Leicester stayed in the Premier League last season with a terrific late run of form and arrived at Field Mill with a new manager in Claudio Ranieri along with a whole host of household names and all of their first team squad. Adam Murray had said before the MK Dons game that he didn’t expect Mansfield to see a lot of the ball in the two games, but again today, as on Tuesday, his team more than held their own. Indeed Mansfield arguably were the better side today, until wholesale changes were made to both sides midway through the second half. David Nugent put Leicester in front against the run of play after 10 minutes with Mansfield’s defence being too hesitant allowing Nugent to shoot from the edge of the box. Scott Shearer had to make good saves after 15 minutes from Croatian international Andrej Kramaric and then from a free header from Liam Moore. The Stags defence looked a little shaky in those early stages but improved greatly after that. The Stags were deservedly level on 27 minutes. Matt Green brilliantly nodded a Scott Shearer kick into the path of Mitch Rose who surged into the box. Such was the pace of Rose’s burst into the box that the slightest touch would take him down and that’s what happened as he was clipped by Dean Hammond. Mansfield haven’t been getting penalties for over a season and a half now, and it’s mainly because players haven’t been making this sort of pacey run into the box. Matt Green stepped up and confidently smashed the penalty into the left corner of the net, giving Mark Schwarzer no chance. It was fitting that Green and Rose were involved in the goal because they were the two outstanding players in Mansfield’s impressive afternoon. On the stroke of half time, Chris Clements curled a cracking a shot that thumped against the bar from outside the box. If Clements continues to play in this more advanced role than he has in previous seasons, he will surely add to his tally of just two Stags goals. The second half was also enjoyable to watch though became disjointed after multiple substitutions. Early in the half, the Stags went close twice as Krystian Pearce forced a great save from Kasper Schmeichel and then Nathan Thomas curled in a great left footed shot towards the left corner of the net and Schmeichel tipped it onto the post and wide. The Stags were greeted by standing ovations both at the end of the first half and the end of the game and both were richly deserved. Mitch Rose staked a big claim for a starting position in midfield when the League season kicks off, Matt Green looked very sharp especially considering the long lay-off he’s had, while Chris Clements caught the eye in a more advanced role. All very encouraging, but as Adam Murray told me after the game: don’t get carried away! We can at least enjoy the moment though.

Mansfield made two changes to the side that started against MK Dons. Reggie Lambe came in for Craig Westcarr on the wing, and Mitch Rose came in for Jack Thomas in central midfield. Chris Clements was in a more advanced role than we have often seen from him, while Adam Chapman was just in front of the back four.

Stags team (4-1-4-1):

Scott Shearer;
Nicky Hunt, Lee Collins (captain), Krystian Pearce, Mal Benning;
Adam Chapman;
Nathan Thomas, Chris Clements, Mitch Rose, Reggie Lambe;
Matt Green.

Claudio Ranieri brought the Leicester first team squad, some playing the first 60 minutes and the rest the last 30 minutes. Of particular interest was new signing Shinji Okazaki, who has scored 43 goals in 93 appearances for Japan, and is such a huge name in Japan that several members of the Japanese media were in attendance. I had to get a decent photo of him for my Japanese relatives.



A sunny afternoon and a good crowd including a full North Stand of Leicester fans.

On 3 minutes, a good tackle from Rose, who then played a ball forward to Lambe, but Lambe tried to do too much in the area. A minute later, Matt Green nudged a defender off the ball, and sent in a curling shot that was saved by Schwarzer. Green looked razor sharp, considering his long lay-off. On 9 minutes, Rose did well to earn a free-kick 30 yards out, which was wasted.

Leicester took the lead on 10 minutes against the run of play. Andrej Kramaric broke down the left, he squared for David Nugent on the edge of the box and Nugent was allowed time to curl a great shot into the bottom right corner of the net. A good quality goal but Mansfield’s defence didn’t get any kind or challenge or block on either Kramaric or Nugent. It was poor defending.

On 13 minutes, David Nugent kicked and kneed Mitch Rose in the head as Rose was down on the ground. It was disgusting challenge and Nugent should have been sent off but red cards rarely happen in pre-season friendlies and Nugent was just shown a yellow. Rose also received a yellow card for retaliation.

On 15 minutes, Shinji Okazaki played a good ball forward to Kramaric to put the Croatian in a 1-1 with Scott Shearer, Shearer did very well to save. From the resulting corner from the left, Liam Moore was allowed a free header, which Shearer tipped over the bar. Another good save from Shearer. From the next corner, from the right, another free header this time for Danny Simpson, straight at Shearer. The Stags defence was a cause for concern, albeit against Premier League opposition.

On 23 minutes, Nathan Thomas shot from the edge of the box and it was blocked.

Moments later a Leicester fan invaded the pitch wearing just a pair of pants, but with a more than ample belly.

On 25 minutes, a shot from Rose was blocked, then Benning venomously fired in a cross that was blocked.

Mansfield were deservedly level on 27 minutes, and it came from the penalty spot. A long free kick from Scott Shearer from halfway inside his own half was brilliantly nodded down by Matt Green into the path of Mitch Rose who surged into the box. Such was the pace of Rose’s burst into the box that the slightest touch would take him down and that’s what happened as he was clipped by Dean Hammond. Mansfield haven’t been getting penalties for over a season and a half now, and it’s mainly because players haven’t been making this sort of pacey run into the box. Matt Green stepped up and confidently smashed the penalty into the left corner of the net, giving Mark Schwarzer no chance.

On 30 minutes, Benning aimed a diagonal ball towards Green but Green couldn’t quite reach it.

A worrying moment on 38 minutes as Scott Shearer received a back-pass and tried to dribble the ball around Kramaric. Kramaric nearly nicked the ball off him and Shearer just got away with it as Kramaric went down in a heap.

On 45 minutes, Green won the ball on the right, got to the byline and pulled the ball back to Lambe but it didn’t come to anything.

On 45+1 minutes, Chris Clements curled a cracking a shot from 24 yards over Schwarzer that thumped against the bar from outside the box. Terrific effort. Straight to the other end and a chance for Leicester as a free-kick from the left was headed wide by Shinji Okazaki.

A standing ovation for the Stags at half time. It was an exciting and encouraging half. Green and Rose were terrific, Benning was exciting going forward, and Clements looked good in an advanced role.

Half time 1-1

Two changes for the Stags at half time: Brian Jensen replaced Scott Shearer in goal; Craig Westcarr replaced Matt Green up front. One change for Leicester as Kasper Schmeichel replaced Mark Schwarzer in goal. So two Danish goalkeepers on.

On 47 minutes, a real chance for the Stags. Chapman hurled in a long throw from the right and Krystian Pearce bundled the ball towards the bottom left corner of the net. Kasper Schmeichel made a great save tipping it past the post. Moments later, Kasper Schmeichel made another great save as Nathan Thomas curled in a great left footed shot towards the left corner of the net and Schmeichel tipped it onto the post and wide. Nathan Thomas has shown in these friendlies that he has a great shot on him with the goals against Tamworth and MK Dons.

On 50 minutes, Jack Barmby crossed from the left, it hit Shinji Okazaki and went out for a goal kick. A poor effort from the Japanese striker.

A free kick for Mansfield 29 yards out on 59 minutes. Nathan Thomas took it but it was miles over the bar.

Mansfield made their first substitution on 59 minutes as Trialist no.30 replaced Reggie Lambe and moved into left midfield/left wing.

Leicester changed their entire outfield 10 players on 62 minutes.

Mansfield also made a change with Marsden replacing Hunt at right back. Then on 62 minutes, Jack Thomas replaced Clements in an attacking midfield role. On 69 minutes, Beardsley replaced Nathan Thomas. Westcarr moved to right midfield and Beardsley went up front.

Leicester had a weak claim for a penalty on 71 minutes, turned down. A minute later, a good header away by Collins from a corner.

More changes for Mansfield on 76 minutes: Jamie McGuire replaced Chapman, Tafazolli replaced Collins.

On 78 minutes, a free kick from Benning from 45 yards, into the area, and Westcarr’s low shot was straight at Schmeichel. On 85 minutes, Marc Albrighton crossed from the right and Robert Huth attempted a volley at goal, but instead it missed the corner flag by a matter of inches.

On 87 minutes, a long throw from Marsden, Tafazolli headed on, but it was cleared. On 90 minutes, Beardsley tried to play the ball forward to Westcarr without success. On 90+2 minutes, Jack Thomas nearly gifted a goal to Leicester as he tried to play back to Brian Jensen who only just cleared as Jamie Vardy bore down on him.

Another standing ovation at full time. And another encouraging half. Brian Jensen didn’t have a save to make in the second half, as the defence tightened up.

A refreshing change after the game to hear the BBC Radio Leicester guys saying that they enjoyed watching Mansfield play. I don’t think that’s happened too often recently from opposition media.


Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill



Line Up:
(4-1-4-1):
Scott Shearer;
Nicky Hunt, Lee Collins (captain), Krystian Pearce, Mal Benning;
Adam Chapman;
Nathan Thomas, Chris Clements, Mitch Rose, Reggie Lambe;
Matt Green.
Sub Line Up:
Team that finished the game:
Brian Jensen (from 46 mins);
Liam Marsden (62m), Ryan Tafazolli (76m), Pearce, Benning;
Jamie McGuire (76m);
Craig Westcarr (46m), Jack Thomas (66m), Rose, Trialist no.30 (59m);
Chris Beardsley (69m).
Opposition Line Up:
(3-4-1-2)
Schwarzer; Simpson, Moore, Chilwell; de Laet, Hammond, Lawrence, Barmby; Nugent; Kramaric, Okazaki.
From 62 mins: Schmeichel (from 46min); Wasilewski, Huth, Fuchs; Albrighton, King, Drinkwater, Schlupp; Mahrez; Ulloa, Vardy.
Referee:
David Coote


Season 15/16 Reports