STAGS BEATENAFTER CONCEDING EARLYGOALS AT STEVNAGE
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Stevenage 3 - 0 Mansfield Town
Whelpdale 3, 83, Lee 5.
Attendance: 2820 (292 from Mansfield)
Date: 27 September 2014
Martin Shaw at the Lamex Stadium, Broadhall Way
Mansfield Town were comfortably beaten 3-0 at Stevenage this afternoon. It was a poor performance from the Stags, who have now conceded three goals on all three visits to Broadhall Way. Stevenage scored twice in the opening 5 minutes in a nightmare start for the Stags, who appeared to be asleep or still on the bus, with sloppy defending. The Stags then played some decent football before half time and created 7 good chances before the break, but failure to take any of them, including Rakish Bingham hitting the post and Matt Rhead missing a sitter, was always going to be costly. The Stags needed to keep it going in the second half, but instead were terrible, creating almost nothing going forward, and being cut open again at the back as Stevenage added a third near the end. Plenty of poor performances today, at the back in the early stages and in the second half, in midfield throughout, up front in the second half, and manager Paul Cox whose half time substitutions failed to work as the Stags went from creating chances in the first half to almost nothing in the second half. Only Rakish Bingham and Reggie Lambe can really be praised on the day as both looked dangerous in the first half, and were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. The Stags missed Chris Clements and Fergus Bell in midfield whose inventiveness and drive going forward had been key in the positive performances against Exeter, Wycombe, Morecambe and first half against Carlisle. Bell should be fit for the game next Saturday. The need for a solid left footed defensive player was again highlighted today and needs to be rectified soon, now that Cox is allowed to bring in another player, and hopefully this can be achieved before the next game. No need to panic with the Stags handily placed in 11th (level on points with a play-off place).
The Stags made two enforced changes from the side that beat Carlisle, with Clements out for up to 4 weeks with a hamstring injury and Bell out with a shoulder injury. In came Heslop, recovered from having stitches in his foot, and Reggie Lambe in for his first start. Heslop was playing against his former club. Dempster returned from injury to the bench, though was still not 100% fit. Stevenage included former Stags striker Chris Beardsley, while former target Calvin Zola was on the bench. It was the Stags first visit to Broadhall Way in the Football League, after two defeats in the Conference, both midweek and both times conceding three goals.
The Stags started positively inside the first minute as Marsden crossed from the right and Rhead and a defender got there at the same time, the ball going behind for a corner.
But Stevenage were ahead on 3 minutes. Tom Pett slid a good ball forward that caught out Tafazolli and Whelpdale got in behind him, into the box on the right, and his low shot was very well saved by Evtimov, but the ball spun away from the keeper, and Whelpdale was able to pounce and lash the ball into the net from 6 yards.
It was 2-0 on 5 minutes. Murray slid in to win the ball on the halfway line but only succeeded in finding Whelpdale, who fed Beardsley on the right wing who’d got away from Tafazolli, Beardsley crossed low into the middle where Charlie Lee got past Marsden too easily before sliding under Evtimov into the net.
Report continued in the Match Centre
Saturday, 27th September 2014: Stevenage 3, Mansfield Town 0
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Mansfield Town left themselves too much of a mountain to climb after going 2-0 down inside a nightmare first five minutes in this afternoon’s 3-0 defeat at Stevenage.
The Stags did go on to have the better of the rest of the first half and came close on a number of occasions in the sweltering unseasonal sunshine.
Manager Paul Cox tried two substitutions and a change of formation for the second half, but disappointingly the Stags failed to seriously trouble keeper Chris Day with probabl;y their worst 45 minutes of the season.
The more the visitors committed men forward, the more the home side looked likely to grab a third on the break.
That finally happened on 83 minutes as Chris Whelpdale completed his brace and the Stags were a well-beaten side who could have no complaints.
With both Fergus Bell and Chris Clements ruled out with injuries, new signing Reggie Lambe came in for his full debut just behind the strikers while Simon Heslop returned to central midfield against his former club alongside Adam Murray.
Stags began well and Lambe broke up the first bit of Stevenage possession and raced purposefully downfield only to misdirect his pass to Bingham.
Then Rhead won Mansfield a first minute corner which was cleared.
However, it was the home side who exploded into a third minute lead with their first attack.
Pett cut the defence open with a superb pass in behind Beevers that set Whelpdale away on goal.
Evtimov stood up well to the first attempt, blocking it with his legs. But the keeper couldn’t secure the ball as Whelpdale followed up, smashing it past Tafazolli on the line from seven yards.
Worse was to follow as Stags were left reeling by a second goal two minutes later.
This time ex-Stag Beardsley got down the right and crossed for Lee, who rose Marsden’s attempted tackle before blasting home from just outside the six yard box.
It was almost 3-0 a minute later as Whelpdale’s shot took a massive deflection across goal with Evtimov left wrong-footed and relieved to see it pass wide for a corner.
A dangerous far post Parrett free kick had to be cleared for another home corner as Stags clung on against Stevenage’s whirlwind start.
Stags finally had a sniff on 11 minutes as Rhead released Lambe into space on the right and he cut inside and fired a low shot goalwards which was blocked right in front of goal.
At last Mansfield began to see a bit of the ball and a Bingham shot was blocked for the visitors’ second corner which Stevenage had little trouble clearing.
Pett had a fierce shot blocked after a slip from Marsden.
But Rhead did have a chance to halve the deficit on 22 minutes as Marsden launched a long ball into the box from the right and Rhead managed to muscle himself past the last defender.
The ball bounce high and Rhead tried to nod it over the keeper but didn’t get enough height on it and Day was able to reach up and grab it out of the air.
Two minutes later Bingham let fly from 20 yards, Day diving to his right to turn it away.
A shoulder injury for Tafazolli saw both sides take advantage of the break to take on some water in the stifling heat.
The game restarted with Mansfield temporarily down to 10 men as the defender continued to have treatment before rejoining the action.
On 29 minutes Bingham turned well just outside the box to crack a low finish against the base of the post, Rhead’s equally stinging follow-up well saved by Day.
The home side threatened again when a right wing cross eventually fell to Pett who headed the ball right across the six yard box with no one able to get a finishing touch.
Lee was well over from 25 yards in the 34th minute.
Sutton then twice clashed with Beardsley off the ball and the pair were lectured at length by the referee.
Sutton launched a long ball down the right touchline which Bingham raced onto and put over a far post cross where Rhead rose well but his headed finish was always going over.
The first half went into four additional minutes in which Rhead was well off target with a glancing header from a Bingham cross.
Stags sent on Palmer and McGuire for the second half, withdrawing Lambe and Sutton.
Cox switched the formation to 4-3-3 with McGuire playing deep behind Murray and Heslop and Palmer going left of the front three.
Within 40 seconds McGuire was penalised for a crunching tackle in the centre circle.
Stags then survived a scramble which ended with Evtimov plucking the ball out of the air.
Palmer’s first involvement saw him send a tame low shot at Day from 18 yards.
At the other end Pett dipped a 20-yarder over the right angle.
Heslop slipped Murray into a shooting position 20 yards out on 52 minutes, but the finish bounced just wide.
Conlon controlled a poor Tafazolli clearance before sending a long range half-volley wide.
Bingham’s volley on the turn was blocked for a Mansfield corner only to see the home side clear.
Beevers then pulled a neat ball back towards Murray whose attempted chip was well over the top and never likely to trouble Day.
On the hour Cox made his final gamble and threw on Fisher for Rhead, with Palmer going central and Fisher on the left of the three.
Whelpdale was not too far off with a chipped effort from 20 yards after a mesmerising run from Pett down the left.
Riley then tried to see a ball out for a goalkick but was out-muscled by Beardsley on the by-line who then forced Evtimov to save at his near post when a square ball to an unmarked Whelpdale looked a better option.
Wells popped up with a great tackle to stop Murray getting a shot away from palmer’s pass as Stags constructed a decent move, initiated by a superb bit of control from Fisher.
But time was ticking away for the Stags as they looked desperately for a way back into the contest.
A low Fisher cross from the right, that could have gone anywhere, was hacked away in front of the home goal.
On 75 minutes Whelpdale could have sealed it as Stevenage broke down the left and Bond saw Whelpdale over to his right and fed him, the low finish flying across goal.
Two minutes later Stevenage came desperately close again as Henry’s cross was headed back in front of goal by Lee and sub Calcutt, only on the pitch less than minutes, rose to head over from close range.
Marsden saw the game’s first yellow card for a foul 11 minutes from time.
The more men Mansfield committed forward the more exposed they were at the back. And on 83 minutes the almost inevitable killer blow was dealt by Whelpdale.
Stevenage broke down the left through Deacon who ran past Marsden and looked up to see Whelpdale all on his own to his right. He picked him out with a perfect pass, inviting him to sweep home a low finish past a helpless Evtimov.
A tired tackle from Murray saw him booked two minutes from time as the afternoon ended in defeat.
STEVENAGE: Day, Ashton, Bond, Whelpdale, Charles, Pett (Deacon 65), Parrett (Conlon HT), Wells, Beardsley (Calcutt 75), Lee, Henry. Subs not used: Reading, Dembele, Zola, Johnson.
STAGS: Evtimov; Sutton (McGuire HT), Riley, Tafazolli; Marsden, Murray, Heslop, Lambe (Palmer HT), Beevers; Rhead (Fisher 60), Bingham. Subs not used: Studer, Dempster, Thomas, Taylor.?REFEREE: Patrick Miller of Bedfordshire.
ATTENDANCE: 2,820 (292 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Ryan Tafazolli.
Full-time report: Stevenage 3 Mansfield Town 0
by Damion Roberts
The winger netted once in each half while Charlie Lee scored the game’s other goal as Boro strolled to what was a comfortable victory against a tough Mansfield Town side bereft of the sort of cunning in the final third that Stevenage showed throughout.
Dean Parrett was in for his first start for the club following his comeback from injury, but there was no return for Sam Beasant (foot) so Chris Day kept his place in goal.
Whelpdale, injured last week at Oxford United, was back in the team, and it was the winger who opened the scoring for the hosts.
It took more than 70 minutes for Boro to have a shot on target at Oxford United last week, but within the first six minutes of this encounter they had scored twice.
Put through on the right by Tom Pett, Whelpdale fired straight at Dimitar Evtimov with his first effort before pinching the ball back off the keeper and blasting home the opener.
And then things got even better for Graham Westley’s men, with Pett and Chris Beardsley involved.
The former sent another ball in down the right, and Beardsley spotted Lee’s run through the centre. Collecting the ball, Lee worked it from under his feet and sent a ball past Evtimov and crashing into the back of the net for 2-0
After recovering from the initial double blow, Mansfield slowly moved up the gears and they twice forced Day into action. Firstly, Matt Rhead shrugged off his marker to head straight at the goalkeeper, and then Rakish Bingham hit a low drive from distance that Day dived to his right to keep out.
Moments later they had another two chances in quick succession, but this time Bingham hit the foot of the post with a low hit before Rhead struck the rebound straight at Day.
Boro bossed the Mansfield attack in the opening periods of the second half, and as a result the visitors, who had already made two changes at the break, were forced into taking off the ineffective Rhead for Alex Fisher with half an hour to go.
In fact, it was the home side who next went close when Beardsley made a trademark run into the left channel, won the ball from Ryan Tafazolli and got into the box before forcing a save out of Evtimov.
Astonishingly for a team trailing by two goals, with 15 minutes of the match remaining the hosts worked the ball up the right only for the winger to find just two team-mates in the box with his central midfielders occupied by marking space near the halfway line.
Boro should have added a third goal with 13 minutes to go, but Connor Calcutt, on for Beardsley, headed over from a couple of yards after Lee had nodded the ball to him for an easy chance.
And yet, just moments later, the hosts did wrap up the game. Roarie Deacon was the provider this time, the winger using his pace down the left to get past Liam Marsden before rolling the ball across the 18-yard box for Whelpdale to fire home his second of the match in what was a resounding victory for the hosts.
Stevenage: Day, Henry, Charles, Wells, Ashton, Whelpdale, Pett (Deacon 65), Parrett (Conlon 46), Bond, Lee, Beardsley (Calcutt 75) Subs: Reading, Dembele, Zola, Johnson.
Mansfield Town: Evtimov, Sutton (McGuire 46), Riley, Tafazolli, Rhead (Fisher 60), Bingham, Heslope, Lambe (Palmer 46), Beevers, Marsden, Murray. Subs: Studer, Dempster, Thomas, Taylor.
Ref: Patrick Miller
Latest | September 2014