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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
2 - 3
 Accrington Stanley
Green 27, Clements 88.
 
 Mingoia 3, Kee 72, Gornell 85
Attendance: 3271 (144 from Accrington)
 
Date: 2 January 2016

STAGS BEATEN BY SUPERB STANLEY

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town were beaten 3-2 at home by Accrington Stanley this afternoon. It was a disappointing result for the Stags but sometimes you have to admit you were beaten by a side who played very well. Accrington’s performance going forward was comfortably the best Mansfield have come up against this season and in Josh Windass they have the best player in League Two by a country mile. And the supporting cast to Windass of Billy Kee, who played as well as we hoped he would play for us last season, Piero Mingoia, Sean McConville, Bradley Halliday and Terry Gornell were also excellent. Having said all that, Mansfield could certainly still have got something from this game after pushing Accrington back for at least half an hour either side of half time.

Accrington were ahead after just 3 minutes. Windass got past Rose too easily on the left and his cross into the middle was excellent and Mingoia nipped in between Adams and Jack Thomas to poke home from 6 yards. Against such a good attacking side, the decision to put a non-defender in Rose at right back had already backfired. The return of Hunt from injury can’t come soon enough, but with the resources available today I would have put Collins at right back as although he’s not a natural right back he is at least a defender by trade. It’s also not the first time Adams has allowed an opponent to score from such a position. The goal highlighted that the two regular full-backs from earlier in the season of Hunt and Benning have been very badly missed through injury. Another early goal conceded by the Stags. Mansfield had got the third best defensive record in the league before today but this was the 10th goal to have come in the opening 15 minutes of games, out of 22 conceded in total by that stage. Accrington could have blown Mansfield away completely in the opening 25 minutes with outstanding attacking play, as Kee fired wide from wonderful play on the right by Windass. Then Jensen did well to save bravely at the feet of Kee, and then he saved superbly as McConville was clean through on goal.

Mansfield were level out of the blue on 27 minutes with a wonderful finish from Matt Green. A hopeful ball forward by Collins was badly miscontrolled by Tom Davies allowing Green to run into the area on the left. From a tight angle Green’s only hope of scoring was to fire just inside the far post and his aim was perfect as he gave the keeper no chance. A wonderful goal, Green’s 8th goal of the season, and his 4th in the last 7 games. The goal changed the momentum of the game. Suddenly the Stags were on the front foot, pushing Accrington back. Two minutes later, brilliant play from Green on the left touchline, getting into the area and unselfishly electing not to shoot but instead to try to find Lambe, but keeper Mooney used every inch of his 6 ft 9 inches (the tallest keeper in the Football League) to grab the ball at full stretch. The Stags were the better side for the rest of the half and had other chances to go in front.

The Stags started the second half on the front foot too with a real intensity forcing Accrington back. A great opportunity for Mansfield to take the lead as Jack Thomas fired over the bar on 54 minutes. Then a big blow for the Stags as Matt Green was forced to limp off having earlier been deliberately brought down at the end of the first half by Tom Davies, and the remarkably inept referee didn't even see the challenge as a booking. Hopefully Green will not be out for any length of time after his fine performance today and he was really missed after going off.

With Mansfield still in the ascendancy, Accrington re-took the lead on 72 minutes. A mistake by Collins allowed Terry Gornell to break forward, he pulled the ball back for Crooks, who tried to square the ball, it looped up off the boot of Krystian Pearce perfectly into the path of Billy Kee who hit a bullet of a volley from 17 yards that fizzed past Jensen into the net. Some fans have blamed Jensen for the goal, but in my opinion it was hit with too much power to blame him. Certainly a bit of good luck with the ball looping up but a great finish from Kee. Accrington made it 3-1 on 85 minutes. Adam Buxton crossed from the left and Gornell headed towards the bottom right corner of the net from 8 yards as Collins jumped and didn’t get to it. Jensen made a fine one-handed save to keep it out, but bashed his head on the post as he did so meaning he was a split second late in reacting to the loose ball which Gornell slotted into the net. No blame to Jensen in my opinion, but Collins was at fault for missing the header and then not reacting at all to the loose ball.

Mansfield pulled a goal back on 88 minutes. Westcarr was pushed in the back just outside the D of the area. Chris Clements stepped up to take the resulting free kick from 24 yards and curled a beauty over the wall and into the right corner of the net. A super strike from Clements. It set up a grandstand finish with Pearce up front. But it was Accrington who came closest to scoring again as Kee played a lovely ball forward to Gornell who should have scored from 8 yards but Jensen was out quickly to make a superb save. In the 4th minute of 5 minutes of stoppage time Lee Collins had a shot blocked but that was as close as the Stags came to equalising.

In truth it was wonderful entertainment in my opinion between two top half of the table teams. But it did highlight to me that we are short of a player or two in order to be a promotion outfit. Certainly another striker that’s for sure. And of course we desperately need Hunt and Benning back from injury.

Frustrating that we’ve still yet to beat Accrington in 10 attempts in the league since they reformed in 1968 (though we did of course beat them before that) but today they were superb going forward.

Adam Murray made two changes from the side that drew with York. In came Jack Thomas for Craig Westcarr. And in came Nathan Thomas for Matty Blair. Nathan Thomas of course replaced Blair as substitute against York and was excellent for 10 minutes. This was his opportunity to show that he can provide some consistency. On the bench, Murray explained that Yussuf has a tear in his groin and hasn’t been able to train so would only be able to play 20 minutes maximum, and likewise Beardsley is not able to train more than twice a week after his stress fracture so also couldn’t play a full game. Accrington included Billy Kee who was on loan at Mansfield last season.

The game was the first in a series of three that were kids (u18s) for a quid and it appeared that there was quite a good take-up on the offer. Well done to the club for making the offer.

The Stags were off to a poor start. Rose lost the ball 40 yards from his own goal on 3 minutes and Chapman in winning the ball back could only put the ball out for a corner.

And moments later, Accrington were ahead. Windass got past Rose too easily on the left and his cross into the middle was excellent and Mingoia nipped in between Adams and Jack Thomas to poke home from 6 yards.

On 5 minutes, a chance for the Stags to respond, with a free kick from level with the edge of the Stanley area. But Chapman’s delivery was poor, straight to the keeper. On 8 minutes, more poor play from Chapman, but Adams rescued him with a great tackle.

On 10 minutes, wonderful play on the right by Windass and a wonderful curling ball into the middle into the path of Kee, who fired wide. A half-chance for the Stags on 11 minutes as Lambe pulled back for Green but it was intercepted. Then Clements had a shot blocked a minute later.

On 18 minutes, Windass made a great run forward and fired in a low shot which Jensen saved low to his left. Then a great cross from Mingoia which was just cleared.

On 20 minutes, McConville got past Rose too easily into the area and his low shot was saved well by Jensen with his legs.

On 23 minutes, a ball forward for Kee and Jensen did well to save bravely at his feet. Brave keeping, and a yellow card for Kee. Review of the video shows that Collins pushed Kee into Jensen and the yellow card was harsh.

On 26 minutes Kee held off one of the Stags defenders allowing McConville to go clean through on goal. Jensen made himself big and saved superbly.

What an opening 26 minutes and Accrington could have blown Mansfield away completely with some of the best attacking play against us in recent memory, albeit against the Stags defence which was not looking rock solid.

Mansfield were level out of the blue on 27 minutes with a wonderful finish from Matt Green. A hopeful ball forward by Collins was badly miscontrolled by Tom Davies allowing Green to run into the area on the left. From a tight angle Green’s only hope of scoring was to fire just inside the far post and his aim was perfect as he gave the keeper no chance. A wonderful goal, Green’s 8th goal of the season, and his 4th in the last 7 games.

The goal changed the momentum of the game. Suddenly the Stags were on the front foot, pushing Accrington back. Two minutes later, brilliant play from Green on the left touchline, getting into the area and unselfishly electing not to shoot but instead to try to find Lambe, but keeper Mooney used every inch of his 6 ft 9 inches (the tallest keeper in the Football League) to grab the ball at full stretch.

Moments later a shot by Clements saved above his head by the keeper.

Great play by Green on 37 minutes as he nicked the ball, showed great strength and fired just over the bar. A minute later, Nathan Thomas went down the right and the ball in just squirmed away from Green.

On 39 minutes Jack Thomas won the ball brilliantly and got into the area but then lost the ball. The Stags were really motoring now.

On 41 minutes, Chapman’s corner from the right, Adams got up well but under pressure could only head wide.

Rose was booked for a foul near the halfway line on 45 minutes. That looked harsh to me. Great play from Halliday on 45+2 minutes as he got past two Stags players and fired well wide.

The Stags were the better side for the rest of the half and had other chances to go in front.

On 45+3 minutes Jack Thomas did really well to win the ball and play the ball to Matt Green who was deliberately brought down by Tom Davies, and the remarkably inept referee didn't even see the challenge as a booking. Green stayed down and was clearly injured. Murray was fuming with the referee in the aftermath. Green eventually had to be replaced due to the injury in the second half.

A remarkable first half of terrific entertainment. Accrington superb for 26 minutes and could have been several goals ahead. Then a great fightback from Mansfield, drawing level, and could have been a couple of goals ahead by the break.

Half time 1-1

On 46 minutes, Green broke down the left, squared to Lambe and Lambe shot straight at the keeper without enough power.

Jack Thomas was booked on 49 minutes. He gave the ball away then charged after it and fouled his man. A clear yellow card.

Blair replaced Nathan Thomas on 53 minutes.

Blair was straight into the action a minute later with great play down the right and a great ball in for Green, who backheeled nearly into the path of Lambe. The ball eventually came to Jack Thomas who sent a left footed shot over the bar with the goalkeeper nowhere. What a chance.

On 59 minutes, another shot from Jack Thomas, this time deflected straight to the keeper.

The Stags were forcing Accrington back with a real intensity.

Nothing had been seen on Accrington going forward for some time but on 64 minutes a great move, Crooks to Kee, who turned well but fired well wide.

Green had to go off on 64 minutes after his injury sustained at the end of the first half. Westcarr replaced him.

A great tackle by Lambe on Mingoia on 66 minutes as Mingoia was about to cross.

Windass was replaced by McCarton on 67 minutes. He’d played very well. Accrington soon made two other substitutions to give renewed impetus and they were to change the game in their favour.

On 69 minutes, Jack Thomas was hacked down, the referee played an advantage to Mansfield and Chapman had a shot blocked. Pearson received a yellow card for the foul.

With Mansfield still in the ascendancy, Accrington re-took the lead on 72 minutes. A mistake by Collins allowed sub Terry Gornell, only on for a minute, to break forward, he pulled the ball back for Crooks, who tried to square the ball, it looped up off the boot of Krystian Pearce perfectly into the path of Billy Kee who hit a bullet of a volley from 17 yards that fizzed past Jensen into the net. Some fans have blamed Jensen for the goal, but in my opinion it was hit with too much power to blame him. Certainly a bit of good luck with the ball looping up but a great finish from Kee.

McCartan made a good run on 74 minutes and his low shot was an easy save for Jensen.

At the other end on 75 minutes Lambe fed Westcarr who turned and his low shot was blocked. The turn was good from Westcarr.

Yussuf replaced Lambe on 76 minutes.

Accrington made it 3-1 on 85 minutes. Adam Buxton crossed from the left and Gornell headed towards the bottom right corner of the net from 8 yards as Collins jumped and didn’t get to it. Jensen made a fine one-handed save to keep it out, but bashed his head on the post as he did so meaning he was a split second late in reacting to the loose ball which Gornell slotted into the net. No blame to Jensen in my opinion, but Collins was at fault for missing the header and then not reacting at all to the loose ball.

Mansfield pulled a goal back on 88 minutes. Westcarr was pushed in the back just outside the D of the area. Chris Clements stepped up to take the resulting free kick from 24 yards and curled a beauty over the wall and into the right corner of the net. A super strike from Clements.

It set up a grandstand finish with Pearce up front. But it was Accrington who came closest to scoring again on 90+2 minutes as Kee played a lovely ball forward to Gornell who should have scored from 8 yards but Jensen was out quickly to make a superb save.

In the 4th minute of 5 minutes of stoppage time Lee Collins had a shot blocked but that was as close as the Stags came to equalising.

A disappointing result for the Stags but sometimes you have to admit you were beaten by a side who played very well. Next week, the Stags need to bounce back against Stevenage. This was the first defeat in 5 games and Mansfield have tended to be good at bouncing back this season.

Man of the match: Matt Green


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



Line Up:
Jensen 8 Made four very good saves. In my opinion, was not to blame for any of the goals.
Rose 5 Beaten too easily on a few occasions, including for the first goal. Improved as the game went on.
Collins 4 At fault for the second and third goals after being at fault for the goal against York on Monday. A really bad two games after being solid for many games this season. Tafazolli will surely return for the next game.
Pearce 6.5 Fairly solid.
Adams 5.5 Could have done better for the first goal, not the first time he has allowed an opponent to score from such a position. Some good defending after that.
Lambe 7 Continued a decent run of form.
Chapman 5.5 Some poor set pieces in contrast to the game against York. Was awarded the sponsors’ man of the match which brought some boos from the crowd, surely for the decision rather than for Chapman.
Clements 6.5 Super goal. Did ok.
N.Thomas 5 Didn’t put in a single good cross.
J.Thomas 6.5 Won the ball well a few times. Could have done better for the first Accrington goal.
Green 8 Great goal, on his birthday, and at the heart of most of the good things the Stags did. His injury was very costly. Hopefully he will not now be out for any length of time.
Sub Line Up:
Blair (for N.Thomas, 53) - Great piece of play straight after coming on to set up a chance. Didn’t offer much after that.
Westcarr (for Green, 64) - Good turn and shot that was blocked. Otherwise didn’t offer much.
Yussuf (for Lambe, 76) - Was not fully fit according to Adam Murray (see above) but the squad was down to the bare bones, so had to come on for 15 minutes.
Subs not used: Shearer, Tafazolli, McGuire, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-1-1): Mooney; Halliday, Wright, Davies, Pearson; Mingoia (Gornell 71), Conneely, Crooks, McConville (Buxton 76); Windass (McCarton 67); Kee. Subs not used: Etheridge, Barry, Proctor, Wakefield.
Referee:
Scott Duncan 4 Inept.


Season 15/16 Reports