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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
4 - 0
 Crawley Town
N.Thomas 44, Rose 47, Green 71, Westcarr 72.
 
 Edwards sent off 50
Attendance: 2524 (110 from Crawley)
 
Date: 12 September 2015

DOMINANT STAGS BATTER CRAWLEY AND SURGE INTO PLAY-OFF ZONE

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town produced a totally dominant performance to batter Crawley Town 4-0 at the One Call Stadium this afternoon. It was probably the one most-sided game the Stags have played since returning to the Football League. It was the first time Mansfield have scored four at home since the 4-0 win over Gateshead in April 2013 which was Mansfield’s 12th win on the trot in the promotion season. Mansfield dominated the first half after Matt Green’s tackle inside the first five seconds of the game set the tempo for Mansfield’s performance. Despite dominating, it took the Stags until 44 minutes to take the lead and what a goal it was as Nathan Thomas nicked the ball off a defender 25 yards from goal, drove into the area skipping past another defender, and slammed a shot into the roof of the net from the left. Just two minutes after the break, the Stags had the two goal cushion they deserved. Mal Benning’s corner from the left reached Mitch Rose 2 yards outside the area, to the right of centre, and Rose slammed a low shot into the left corner of the net via a couple of slight deflections. Rose’s smile as he ran back into the centre circle was almost as wide as the centre circle itself. Just three minutes later, Crawley were down to ten men as Gwion Edwards stamped down on Nicky Hunt’s leg and was rightly given a straight red. Mansfield continued to dominate and made it 3-0 on 71 minutes. Chris Clements sprayed a wonderful ball from the centre circle out to Craig Westcarr on the left. Westcarr crossed beautifully from the byline to find Matt Green unmarked into the middle who volleyed home from the 3 yards. It was a wonderful goal. A relief for Green to have his first goal at Field Mill of the season. Crawley looked utterly bemused. Within a minute, Green returned the favour to Westcarr. Green lifted a fine ball forward to find Westcarr unmarked in the area, and Westcarr side-footed the ball past a static keeper into the right of the net from 11 yards. 4-0 to the Stags in the end, but if it had been 6-0 Crawley could have had no complaints. Mansfield were excellent, Crawley were made to look woeful. Plenty of excellent performances throughout the Stags side but I can’t separate Nathan Thomas and Chris Clements for my choice of man of the match.

Mansfield made just one change from the side that drew with AFC Wimbledon last week, as Nathan Thomas replaced Reggie Lambe. There was a change in formation as Craig Westcarr joined Matt Green up front in a 4-4-2 formation, with Mitch Rose on the right of midfield. Adam Murray, talking to Charlie Slater post match, described Westcarr’s role as a number 10, behind the lone striker. Brian Jensen was playing against his former club. Crawley were only to name 5 subs on their bench. I spoke to Matty Blair before the game, he told me he is “no longer injured”, and just “not match fit”. He told me he would absolutely love to be able to play against Luton, but it will probably come too soon.

The Stags were on the front foot from the opening minute. Indeed Matt Green’s tackle inside the first five seconds of the game set the tempo for Mansfield’s performance. Straight away, Westcarr was in to the penalty area, and the ball was off the keeper for a corner. From the corner, Tafazolli headed goalwards, but Green couldn’t turn the ball in.

On 6 minutes, a brilliant Chapman left footed volley from 28 yards was just wide of the left post.

On 8 minutes, Nathan Thomas was brought down just outside the area on the left edge of the area. Clements took the free kick, into the wall. The ball came back to Clements, who crossed and Tafazolli headed straight at the keeper.

On 12 minutes, Liam Donnelly headed a corner at Jensen at the near post from a corner.

On 15 minutes, Benning won the ball well, and Nathan Thomas played a good ball out to Westcarr on the right, but Westcarr’s first time cross was cut out by the keeper.

A long throw from Chapman on 17 minutes was headed on by Pearce, and Green could only head up in the air, caught by the keeper.

On 19 minutes, a good ball down the line by Chapman, Green was fouled on the edge of the area on the right. The free kick by Benning was in to the area but cleared.

Crawley striker Matt Harold got goalside of Pearce on 20 minutes but went over and immediately signalled to the bench that he would have to be subbed. At the other end a minute later, Rose got into the area on the right but overran the ball.

A real chance for the Stags on 24 minutes. A shot from Rose was blocked inside the area, it came out to Clements who had a clear sight at goal but Clements fired wide. Clements should have got it on target.

On 29 minutes, Nathan Thomas was brought down again, on the angle of the area on the left. It had been a dynamic performance from Nathan Thomas so far. The free kick from Clements was straight into the wall.

On 33 minutes a speculative effort from Nathan Thomas from 35 yards was over the bar. At the other end a minute later, a poor header away from Tafazolli, out to Barnard, who volleyed towards the left post, and Jensen saved easily.

A great tackle by Benning on 36 minutes inside the area after a good break from Crawley. Straight to the other end, and Nathan Thomas curled a left footed shot straight at the keeper.

Nicky Hunt did well defending a ball into the Stags box on 40 minutes. Straight to the other end, and a high ball into the Crawley box. Green and the keeper both jumped for the ball, the ball broke clear buy came to nothing. The ref belatedly brought the play back for a free-kick.

Despite dominating, it took the Stags until 44 minutes to take the lead and what a goal it was as Nathan Thomas nicked the ball off a defender 25 yards from goal, drove into the area skipping past another defender, and slammed a shot into the roof of the net from the left.

On 45+2 minutes, a great corner from Chapman to the far post, Tafazolli headed down, and Green just couldn’t get there. It was close.

A good dominant first half from Mansfield, who were on the front foot from the start. Very little was seen of Crawley.

Half time 1-0

Soon after the break, a Chapman long throw was put past his own post by a defender. And from the corner, on 47 minutes, the Stags had the two goal cushion they deserved. Mal Benning’s corner from the left reached Mitch Rose 2 yards outside the area, to the right of centre, and Rose slammed a low shot into the left corner of the net via a couple of slight deflections. Rose’s smile as he ran back into the centre circle was almost as wide as the centre circle itself.

Just three minutes later, Crawley were down to ten men as Gwion Edwards stamped down on Nicky Hunt’s leg and was rightly given a straight red.

On 58 minutes, a Stags corner from the right gave Tafazolli a free header at the keeper, but the referee had spotted a foul by Pearce. A minute later, a chance for Green as his close range shot was blocked after Rose knocked on Westcarr’s low cross, then Nathan Thomas went down, but it was no penalty.

The Stags were absolutely all over Crawley.

On 62 minutes, a scare for Jensen as he dropped a cross from the left, but he soon reclaimed the ball. A minute later, Simon Walton tried to catch Jensen out with a free-kick from the halfway line but fired wide of the right post.

On 65 minutes, a comedy foul throw by Crawley. The Stags were awarded the throw-in, and Westcarr’s cross-come-shot floated just wide of the left post.

Brilliant play by Green on 67 minutes to carve a chance for himself out of nothing. He had no right to win the ball outside the area on the right, nudged a defender off the ball, powered to the edge of the area, and sent a left foot shot against the right post. This really was Matt Green at his best. He just needed a goal at Field Mill now.

Lambe replaced Rose on 68 minutes.

Rory Deacon fired well wide of the right post from 25 yards on 69 minutes.

On 70 minutes, Clements tried an outrageous effort from 25 yards as he cut inside and shot with his wrong foot, it was deflected for a corner.

And eventually from the corner, Mansfield made it 3-0. Westcarr’s corner was dummied by Benning and cleared. The ball came to Chris Clements who sprayed a wonderful ball from the centre circle out back to Craig Westcarr on the left. Westcarr crossed beautifully from the byline to find Matt Green unmarked into the middle who volleyed home from the 3 yards. It was a wonderful goal. A relief for Green to have his first goal at Field Mill of the season. Crawley looked utterly bemused.

Within a minute, Green returned the favour to Westcarr. Green lifted a fine ball forward to find Westcarr unmarked in the area, and Westcarr side-footed the ball past a static keeper into the right of the net from 11 yards. 4-0

On 78 minutes, a brilliant run down the left by Nathan Thomas, he dinked in a cross, and Green headed just over the bar from just under the bar. The cross was perhaps just a fraction high. The build-up was terrific as Mansfield kept the ball for 1 min 20 secs in the build-up to the header.

On 80 minutes, a very rare chance for Crawley. Luke Rooney took a free kick for the left, Lee Barnard was completely unmarked and headed over. Poor marking from the Mansfield defence.

Collins replaced Hunt after 80 minutes, and slotted in at right back.

On 81 minutes, a ball clipped forward for Green but a defender just cleared.

Yussuf replaced Westcarr on 83 minutes.

On 85 minutes, a Crawley corner came off Collins towards his own goal, but cleared.

On 86 minutes, Lambe got into the area on the right, and shot goalwards but saved. The ball came back to Nathan Thomas, who also shot goalwards, easily saved by the keeper.

On 88 minutes, good skill and a good run forward by the wonderfully named Bobson Bawling, and he shot wide of the left post.

On 90 minutes, a free kick from Luke Rooney from 25 yards was a yard over the bar.

A standing ovation for the Stags at the final whistle, as you’d expect. A very dominant performance from Mansfield. Crawley were battered and made to look very poor, with Green setting the tone in the opening 5 seconds of the game with a tackle. As comfortable a win as you’ll get at this level.

Man of the match: Nathan Thomas/Chris Clements


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



Line Up:
(4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1)
Jensen 7 Quiet afternoon, with a couple of easy saves. Good distribution.
Hunt 7 Solid. Foul on him brought a red card for the second game running.
Pearce 7 Quiet game with Crawley so poor. Solid.
Tafazolli 7 Won some headers in the Crawley box.
Benning 7 Won a couple of tackles. Set pieces were of variable quality.
Rose 6 He’s been a real find this season, and he scored a fine goal. But otherwise his performance today was mostly disappointing.
Chapman 8 Some good corners, long throws and good distribution.
Clements 9 Excellent. Pass that led to the third goal was wonderful.
N.Thomas 9 Dynamic performance. Super goal.
Westcarr 8.5 Looked good from the start. Linked well with Green for the 3rd and 4th goals.
Green 8.5 His tackle inside the opening 5 seconds set the tone for the game. Very good game.
Sub Line Up:
Lambe (for Rose, 68) -
Collins (for Hunt, 80) -
Yussuf (for Westcarr, 83) -
Subs not used: Marsden, McGuire, Jack Thomas, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
Woodman; Donnelly (Bawling 73), Bradley, Ashton, Scales; Young (Rooney 55), Smith, Walton, Edwards; Harold (Barnard 24), Deacon. Subs not used: Henderson, Preston.
Referee:
Andrew Madley 6 Got the red card right. Bizarrely lectured Simon Walton three times without showing him a yellow card.


Season 15/16 Reports