STAGS HELD BY LOWLY LINCOLN
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 0 - 0 Lincoln City
Attendance: 2325 (334 from Lincoln)
Date: 9 October 2012
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium
Mansfield Town were held at home again, this time by David Holdsworth's lowly Lincoln at the One Call Stadium, and the Stags have now failed to win in four games. It was the first time that Mansfield have failed to score this season, and the Stags were much the better side, but Lincoln defended well. Matt Green was unfortunate to be half a yard offside in the first half when he finished clinically from Andy Todd's fabulous through-ball. In the second half, Murray was brought down right on the edge of the area, the resulting free kick being taken literally on the line. Both Rhead and Speight were denied by fabulous saves from Lincoln keeper Paul Farman. And there were several other chances from Mansfield in an improved second half display. At the end of the game, there were some ugly scenes with some Mansfield fans congregating near the tunnel and hurling abuse at players and managers. Fans are entitled to express an opinion, but personal abuse is not acceptable in any walk of life, including in a football ground. Some fans are calling for the head of Paul Cox, yet Paul Cox in his 59 league games in charge, has the best win ratio of any manager in the Stags history (since joining in the league in 1931), followed by Peter Morris, and then Dave Smith. So, whilst the Stags may not be winning at the moment, to sack Cox at this stage would fly in the face of that statistic. He is a manager under huge pressure brought about by expectations of the owner and many fans that the Stags would be in the top one. Clearly results need to improve quickly however if the Stags are to remain in touch with the leaders.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Man of the Match: Andy Todd
Mansfield Town 0-0 Lincoln, Tuesday 9th October
chad.co.uk report By John Lomas
THERE were boos from the home fans at the end as injury-hit Mansfield Town went a fourth game without a win when they were held goalless at home by struggling Lincoln.
Ex-Stags boss David Holdworth, now at the helm at Sincil Bank, would have been far happier with this result last night.
After a tight first half in which Matt Green had an effort disallowed for offside, Mansfield had much the better of the second half with City keeper Paul Farman making good saves to keep out Matt Rhead, Junior Daniel and Jake Speight.
But in the end it was two more precious points down the drain with high-flying Forest Green Rovers in town on Saturday (3pm).
Injury-hit Stags had madeseven changes, including a debut for on-loan Notts County youngster Liam Mitchell in goal and a surprise return for injured midfielder Gary Roberts.
Also in came John Dempster, back from a loan spell at Tamworth, Ryan Tafazolli, Andy Todd, Matt Rhead and Colin Daniel.
Out went injured trio John Thompson, Exodus Geohaghon and Anthony Howell plus keeper Shane Redmond, George Pilkington, Lindon Meikle, and new boy Solomon Taiwo, the latter trio all on the bench.
Lincoln included ex-Stags Adam Smith and Colin Larkin with Gary Mills on their bench.
There were a few boos from the home fans as Holdworth strolled across the pitch before kick-off.
Tafazolli headed clear a Nicolau free kick into the box in the opening minute.
Miller then slid in to rob Speight before he could shoot on the edge of the box after a long Mitchell clearance was helped on.
With no Geohaghon for Stags, it was City who carried the long throw threat with Gray, whose first effort from the right picked out Boyce who planted his header wide.
Green almost snatched Stags the lead with a far post header from Todd's pinpoint cross from the right, but he guided the effort wide.
Nicolau took City's first corner on 17 minutes which actually curled and struck the near post before being cleared.
Stags won their second corner soon after which was half cleared and then headed back wide of goal by Tafazolli.
Smith wasn't too far over the top with a 25 yard free kick in the 20th minute as Lincoln threatened again.
Green blazed over after a great move involving Roberts and Rhead, though an offside flag was up.
Tempers were starting to boil with a succession of decisions going against Stags until Fofana was booked on 25 minutes for hacking down Roberts.
Miller wasn't too far off with an audacious attempt from distance after spotting Mitchell off his line, though the keeper did seem to have it covered anyway.
Stags were almost caught napping when a corner when pulled back towards Gray, who had made a late run to the edge of the box only to fire low and wide.
On 36 minutes a superb ball over the top from inside his own half offered Green a very difficult first time volley on the run opportunity which he couldn't connect with properly and bundled the ball tamely to Farman,
Stags did have the ball in the Lincoln net on 37 minutes as a superb pass by the energetic Todd picked out the run of Green, who was offside as he applied the killer finish.
Stags began the second half in much more impressive fashion and it took a vital block from Boyce to deny Green.
On 48 minutes a quickly-taken Murray free kick picked out Rhead whose on-target header was turned over well by Farman.
By now the home fans were finally starting to warm to their side's efforts and getting behind them.
Another great Todd cross was headed down by Rhead and Green should have shot first time from 16 yards, but delayed and eventually laid the ball off to Murray whose effort was blocked.
There was a momentary worry in the box when Dempster gave the ball away to Smith who was eventually crowded out. Seconds later Smith was too high from outside the box.
Murray was booked for bringing down Smith on the hour, though was screaming at Sutton who he thought should have made the challenge.
Smith was well wide again from distance as Mitchell remained untested.
Mansfield threatened again as Rhead headed down a Roberts free kick on 65 minutes, but Speight lashed well over.
Two minutes later Mitchell had his first save to make as he beat aside a 25 yard Smith piledriver, Gilbert heading over from the ensuing corner.
Murray thought he had won a penalty on 70 minutes but was only given a free kick right on the edge of the box. And Roberts sent the kick into the wall.
With 16 minutes left, Tafazolli headed a Roberts corner goalwards where Green tried a bicycle kick but again didn't catch it cleanly and saw the ball hit a defender.
Another decent Stags move ended with a shot from 25 yards from Roberts that dipped just too late as it passed over the bar.
On 83 minutes a long Murray cross from the left found Daniel whose fine 20 yard header had Farman scrambling across goal to turn it round the post.
Speight then forced another good save from Farman with a fierce 20 yard shot.
after a burst down the left from Daniel and square pass as time ran out on them and the boos began from sections of the crowd.
Mansfield Town: Mitchell; Sutton, Dempster, Tafazolli, Daniel; Roberts, Murray, Todd; Speight; Green, Rhead. Subs: Pilkington, Meikle, Briscoe, Stevenson, Taiwo.
Lincoln City: Farman, Boyce, Smith, Taylor, Gray, Nicolau, Bore (Sheridan 73), Miller, Gilbert, Larkin (Robinson 77), Fofana. Subs: Robson, Mills, Turner.
REFEREE: Karl Evans, of Wigan.
ATTENDANCE: 2,325 (334).
CAUTIONS: Mansfield - Rhead 14, Murray 60. Lincoln - Fofana 25. Lincoln - Sheridan 79.
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Green
Stags under pressure as Lincoln hold on for draw
Nottingham Post report by Stevie Roden
THERE'S going to be an interesting night at the One Call Stadium, when a fans' forum is held on Thursday, November 1.
Manager Paul Cox has already confirmed his attendance and, given the frustration among the fans following the stuttering start to the season, it could be a difficult occasion.
Expectations were high before the start of the campaign, following last season's third-place finish in Cox's first in charge.
It ended in play-off heartache but after bolstering his squad in the summer, the flying start expected by those Stags fans never materialised. It has been inconsistent with some dreadful defensive displays on the road.
Last night was a chance to get back to winning ways but, no matter how much they pushed on at the death to find a winner, it finished in more dropped points, as Mansfield were held to a goalless draw against lowly Lincoln, piling on more pressure ahead of entertaining high-flying Forest Green this weekend.
The apprehension and frustration grew as the game wore on, with critical shouts from various sections of the home support as no substitutions were made and chants of 'you don't know what you're doing' rang out towards Cox in the last ten minutes.
It ended in boos and if Cox wants for any kind of pleasant evening at the start of next month, he will be hoping for a massive transformation in the next few matches.
Cox made seven changes to the side that lost 4-1 at Cambridge at the weekend, the biggest of note being Notts County loanee goalkeeper Liam Mitchell getting his chance in goal, with Shane Redmond dropped.
Defenders Exodus Geohaghon and John Thompson missed out through injury while George Pilkington was on the bench, as John Dempster returned from his loan spell at Tamworth and Junior Daniel and Ryan Tafazolli were brougth in at the back, as he opted for a 3-5-2 formation.
Gary Roberts, Andy Todd and Matt Rhead also came back in at the expense of Lindon Meikle, Soloman Taiwo and Anthony Howell.
Despite winning four and drawing one of their opening six home games, the pressure was still on the Stags given they had struggled so badly on the road, meaning a mere 13th place in the table going into this match against an Imps side managed by former Mansfield boss David Holdsworth.
An early goal would have been perfect and inside the opening three minutes, only an outstretched leg on the edge of the box from Peter Gilbert denied Matt Green an attempt on goal, after the striker appeared to have the best of the defender.
The first real chance came to Mansfield on 16 minutes as Andy Todd thundered in a cross from the right flank for Green to meet, but his angled header went over the bar. At the other end, a corner from the left by Nicky Nicolau came back off the upright.
Roberts showed his passing ability with a perfectly-weighted diagonal ball into the box where Green dropped off the shoulder of his man but his deft touch was not enough to tee up the shot and although he had the ball in the net eight minutes before half-time, the flag had gone up.
However, those two instances showed the Stags could penetrate the Lincoln defence and soon after the restart, Rhead met Adam Murray's ball into the box and his header was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Paul Farman.
Mitchell had to get down to stop Adam Smith's shot, although the goalkeeper continued to look nervy when called into action.
On 70 minutes, Stags skipper Murray, making his 400th professional appearance, was tripped bursting into the area and claimed a penalty, although the referee awarded a free-kick right on the 18-yard-line, on the right of the semi-circle. It was still a good opportunity, but Roberts drilled low into the wall.
As the fans grew angrier inside the last ten minutes, Stags almost got ahead as first Roberts hit a shot from distance just over, before a Rhead header forced Farman into a fine save.
He then beat away Jake Speight's low drive as the Stags produced a wave of attacks, before the final whistle was met with chants of 'what a load of rubbish', boos and some angry scenes as supporters surrounding the tunnel vented their anger towards the manager as he made his way to the home dressing room.
Stags: Mitchell, Todd, Sutton, Dempster, Tafazolli, Daniel, Roberts, Murray, Speight, Green, Rhead. Subs: Pilkington, Meikle, Briscoe, Stevenson, Taiwo
Lincoln: Farman, Gray, Gilbert, Boyce, Miller, Nicolau, Bore (Sheridan, 73), Mofana, Smith, Larkin (Robinson, 78), Taylor. Subs: Robson, Turner, Mills.
Referee: Karl Evans (Wigan)
Attendance: 2,325 (334 visitors)
Mansfield 0 Lincoln 0
Its Cox Out & Holdsworth out then!
Posted by savethemightyimps
.Mansfield Town and Lincoln City ground out a stalemate at Field Mill tonight. The Stags faithful appear as anti Paul Cox as the Imps are anti Holdsworth after a game that saw one shot on target for City and another great performance from England C keeper Paul Farman Gary Simpson and Dave Penny were both at the game suggesting there could be moves afoot.
For the benefit of Stags fans, visiting the site for the first time, first the formations, then the match report and finally more stats than you can shake an Imp or Stag at. Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Tuesday 9th October K.O 7.45 pm
Mansfield Town – Lincoln City FC
(H/T 0 -0)
Stags 1987 Imps 338
The teams & Schemes
2 Sutton 4 Dempster 32 Tafazolli 31 Daniel
24 Todd 21 Murray (C) 18 Roberts
8 Speight 10 Green 16 Rhead (Y-14)
6 Pilkington 26 Stevenson 35 Taiwo 17 Meikle 11 Briscoe
15 Gray 20 Miller 5 Boyce 30 Gilbert
18 Bore 37 Fofana (Y-25) 16 Nicolau 7 Smith
10 Taylor 34 Larkin
72 Sheridan (Y-78) on for Bore, 77 Robinson on for Larkin
27 Turner, 2 Robson, 4 Mills, 12 Sheridan , 39 Robinson
But to the game fellow fans to the game……
Roberts set the tone with an early foul on Taylor ditto Smith on Todd. A great cross from Roberts found the head of Rhead, but Farman was equal to it and made a great save. A long Gray throw found the head of Boyce who also headed wide. Matt Rhead then got a yellow for a foul on Nicolau. Both sides struggled to keep possession, conceding plenty of free kicks in a lively but scrappy contest.
A great cross from Todd saw Green head just over the bar. The game continued to go end to end with Roberts and Nicolau both wasting corners. A poor Bore corner trickled against the post, with the Static Stags defence finally hoofing clear. Tafazolli then shot wide. A decent Nicolau corner saw Smith shoot over the bar. A poor foul from Fofana on Roberts earned him a yellow, although the two would engage in a titanic struggle throughout the game.
Taylor, given little service as usual, took it on his own a hit a thirty-five yard bullet just over the bar. Matt Green was then given off-side ruling out a great run and finish. Another Nicolau corner finds Gray who shot well wide.
A scrappy opening to the second half, mirrored the first. The ball was hoofed into touch by the stags almost from kick-off before both sides gave away throws when far easier passes looked on. A Gray long throw saw Mitchell flap under pressure from Boyce. Gray then appeared to hold Green, who stayed on his feet and spread wide, but Farman punched Roberts cross wide. A quick free-kick found Green but his chip could not beat Farman, who saved magnificently. Todd then shot wide as the Stags approach play continued to gather in momentum and quality, as they drove toward their home end faithful.
The Imps, got their second wind and countered, but Gray's poor ball lost any chance of an end product. The Stags quality began to show, with some composed football orchestrated by captain Murray, a gifted fellow, who must feel only Cox's square pegs in those, otherwise smooth and lucid, round holes are holding the Stags back. A scramble in the box saw Murray hit a scorcher, but Miller and Boyce, the beast and brave-heart of the Imps back four, put body and soul on the line to deny the danger. Taylor stayed on his feet when he could have gone down and Smith fluffed his lines and Larkin also failed to get in a shot.
The Mighty Imp personified, Taylor, looked sharp. He twisted, turned and threaded through, but alas Larkin was caught off side. Midfield matador Murray then brought down Smith and was booked – as much for persistence as anything. Smith certainly tried to prove a point in both halves of the pitch throughout the game but Taylor or a set-piece looked our best chance of a goal. Miller and Boyce were both immense again, against Green and Rhead. Strangely sniper Speight seemed silent until a rising drive went thankfully wide after Green knocked down a Roberts free-kick.
Speight then saw another drive blocked by his own man (Green), as the unrest from the stand began to question a lack of substitutions on the part of Cox. With every sweet in the shop purchased, perhaps he was spoiled for choice. A low 30 yard drive from Smith was punched, with both hands, for a corner, from a nervous Mitchell. The Stags defence did not exactly pull up any roses in front of him suggested there could be more than a point if the Imps played their cards right.
Murray, through on goal, was tripped, but only got a free-kick despite the protestations and a dive that finished well into the box. The wall did the job after Green and Farman had got so close in the run-up, that the ref might well have suggested they get a room. On 72 Sheridan was brought on for Bore who had done little during the course of the game. A Roberts corner saw an adventurous, but off-target, overhead kick from Green. Young Robinson was then brought on for Larkin. Murray cleverly blasted an early free-kick at Sheridan who was booked for being less than 10 yards.
The Stags frustrated faithful then gave a few choruses of 'you don't know what your doing' towards Paul Cox. What might Dave Penny have done you ask? Perhaps he may get the chance as Chairman Radford and he are rumoured to be too close for Cox's comfort. The instant response, a dipping drive from Murray, was well claimed by the flying Farman. A visionary ball from Murray found Green, but his looped drive was again brilliantly saved by Farman. Green then beat two for pace and played in Speight who was denied by a full-length stop from the Imps heroic keeper. Things could be tougher still for the Imps, in January, with 2-3 scouts tailing him these last two games.
A late Nicolau free-kick did not even see a challenge as Tafazolli headed clear, but then the Imps were hardly going to risk that hard-earned point. The chants of 'what a load of Rubbish' and 'Cox out' must have made Holdsworth smile as he left the field. Last season the chants had been for his benefit after a 58 signing tenure had set the Stags a-rutting at the Mill. Mind you, with Gary Simpson and Dave Penny both at the match, it will be the mill of rumour, that will set the pulses racing and the tongues a-wagging amongst both sets of fans. Stagland and Sincil Bank salivates
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