STAGS BEATEN BY THE BETTER SIDE AT BURY
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Bury 2 - 0 Mansfield Town
Lowe 40, Mayor 77.
Attendance: 3196 (276 from Mansfield)
Date: 28 December 2014
Martin Shaw at the JD Stadium, Gigg Lane
Mansfield Town put in a poor performance at Bury this afternoon to end the year on a low. Bury were the better side in all departments and the Stags can have no complaints at the result. The Stags barely created a chance in the first half as Bury dominated possession and Mansfield were behind at the break due to a rare error by keeper Dimitar Evtimov on 40 minutes as he failed to hold a shot from Hallam Hope, and Ryan Lowe knocked in the rebound. The Stags started the second half more positively and Heslop missed a great chance to equalise. Later in the half Junior Brown also came close to equalising, but Bury deservedly made it 2-0 on 77 minutes as Danny Mayor brushed past Jamie McGuire far too easily to rifle home a fine goal and seal the victory. In the closing minutes, Mansfield started to cause Bury some problems through the impressive Brown and sub Matt Rhead, but it was too little too late.
So the Stags reach the halfway point in the season in 17th place, with 27 points, 5 points above the relegation zone. The Stags have 2 points more than the same stage last season.
Mansfield have no game for a fortnight until the game at Burton, but it is an important 2 weeks for new boss Adam Murray who would like to be busy in the transfer window. Murray has a meeting with John Radford this week to discuss the transfer window and it will be key that the Stags owner backs his new man to enable him to bring in some players that he would like, as indeed John Radford would have had to have done had he appointed a manager from outside the club. An improvement in the playing squad is needed if the Stags are to comfortably move away from the relegation zone in my opinion.
It was disappointing that individual errors were costly today even though Bury deserved their win. To set Evtimov’s error in context, it was the first goal the Stags have conceded this season where Evtimov could have done better, in his 11th game. To compare with Sascha Studer, there have been four goals conceded this season where Studer could have done better (Accrington, Portsmouth, York, Luton) in 18 games. Meanwhile McGuire’s error for the second goal was disappointing, and Adam Murray has a decision to make about whether McGuire will be his leader on the field for the second half of the season.
Man of the match: Junior Brown
Full report in the Match Centre
Sunday, 28th December 2014: Bury 2, Mansfield Town 0
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Stylish Bury were good value for their 2-0 victory over Mansfield Town at an icy Gigg Lane this afternoon.
In a one-sided first half, a mistake from goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov on 40 minutes saw him fail to hold onto a shot and gift Ryan Lowe the only goal of the half.
Stags came back out full of fire and Simon Heslop volleyed a good chance over the bar from seven yards.
But the Shakers looked dangerous every time they came forward and put the game to bed on 78 minutes after Danny Mayor had got past Jamie McGuire on the by-line before unleashing an unstoppable finish.
Junior Brown kept battling and almost pulled one back near the end on three occasions. But the game was gone by then.
The win left Bury only outside the play-off spots on goal difference and Stags boss Adam Murray with another yardstick of what it will take to be challenging to get into this year’s play-offs.
On the two Festive games, Stags are still a fair way off that standard and, with no game now for 12 days, all eyes will be on what Murray does in the transfer window.
The Stags side showed four changes from the 1-1 home draw with Hartlepool 48 hours earlier in a 3-4-1-2 line-up.
Out went Lambe, Rhead and Clements while Tafazoli joined Taylor in serving a ban.
In came Rakish Bingham up front, Simon Heslop and Lee Beevers into midfield and Martin Riley into central defence.
The game was halted inside the first minute after the first challenge in the centre of the pitch, in an area that looked quite frosty, saw Bury’s Cameron stay down hurt after colliding with a team mate.
A stretcher was brought on but, after a five minute hold-up, he was eventually able to continue.
A scrappy opening then saw Bury force the first corner on 11 minutes which was punched away by Evtimov.
Home keeper Lainton also safely clutched a long Freeman free kick four minutes later.
Bury finally warmed up on 20 minutes and Riley did well to hack clear a low ball in the six yard box after Hope had wriggled his way to the left by-line.
Then Hussey ran purposefully across the box before finding Lowe who warmed Evtimov’s hands with a vicious shot on the turn.
On 27 minutes Hussey played a long ball down the line which skimmed off the head of Freeman invitingly for Lowe who, stretching, could only poke a low effort at Evtimov.
A short home corner saw Evtimov fail to hold Mayor’s high ball in, Waterfall stepping in to help it on its way out the box as the home side continued to dominate.
Soares somehow escaped a booking on 32 minutes after he completely took out Brown, who had beaten him to the ball in the frozen area centre-pitch.
From the free kick, Beevers and Oliver had shots from outside the box comfortably blocked.
On 39 minutes the Shakers almost went ahead as Mayor skipped between two defenders to get in a shot that Waterfall blocked with his head, Tutte firing the follow-up inches wide from 20 yards.
But a minute later Bury were deservedly ahead thanks to a mistake by Evtimov.
Hope let fly from over 20 yards straight at the keeper. But he failed to hold the ball with Lowe in hot pursuit for any seconds and the Bury man gratefully rolled it past the helpless keeper to break the deadlock.
After all the first half hold-ups, eight minutes were added on.
Oliver was being held in the box as he tried to reach a left wing cross from Beevers. But, as he protested, the ball flew to McGuire who met it with a volley that deflected wide for Mansfield’s first corner.
That came to nothing as Bury went into the interval a goal to the good with much work to do for Murray and his men.
Mansfield’s best chance so far came two minutes after the break as Brown got the ball in from the left by-line at the second attempt and, from seven yards, Heslop blazed a first time left-footed high into the stand.
This was a good start to the half and two minutes later they won a corner which Lainton clutched well as he fell backwards.
Soares again took both Brown’s legs late, but again the referee incredibly didn’t book him.
Bury finally got into the Stags half and forced their third corner of the contest on 55 minutes which Brown finally cleared off an opponent for a goalkick.
On the hour Lambe was sent on for Bingham while Bury replaced Hope with Rose.
McGuire took a needless booking on 63 minutes as he lost a chase with Adams and flung an arm round his neck to wrestle with him.
A late tackle by Tutte on McGuire then saw the game’s second booking on 67 minutes.
At this point Rhead was thrown on for Beevers as Stags went 4-4-2.
The visitors suddenly enjoyed another good spell of pressure and when Rhead headed on a long Freeman throw, Brown’s volley was too high.
Rose wanted a penalty for Waterfall’s challenge as the ball ran out, but the referee pointed for a goalkick.
With Cameron off the pitch for more treatment and Bury down to 10 men, a good run down the left by Mayor saw the move end with a sliced finish by Lowe that didn’t even go for a goalkick.
This time Cameron stayed off and was replaced by McNulty.
Mansfield’s third corner of the day was easily gathered by Lainton.
Sutton then conceded a corner at the other end which was cleared.
However, the points were secured by a moment of individual brilliance by the dangerous Mayor on 78 minutes.
Mayor cut past McGuire on the left by-line and left him for dead, cutting back outside slightly to get the angle for a shot that simply zipped past everyone into the far top corner.
Palmer was thrown into the mix for Mansfield at this point in place of Oliver with 11 minutes to go.
Palmer was soon hurt going in bravely with his head as a defender and keeper came to meet him.
Brown almost pulled one back on 88 minutes as Brown cut in from the left and blazed a superb effort towards the near post where El-Abd got in the way for a corner.
Brown got in again a minute later, his low shot deflecting towards the bottom far corner until Lainton pushed it round for a corner from which that man Brown headed wide.
Four minutes of added time were announced, but the damage had long been done for the visitors, despite the late rally, and an excellent late Bury move saw Rose a fraction wide from a third.
BURY: Lainton, Tutte, El-Abd, Etuhu, Hope (Rose 60), Adams, Mayor, Hussey, Lowe (Sedgwick 82), Soares, Cameron (McNulty 74). Subs: Jones, Burgess, Ruddy, Dudley.
STAGS: Evtimov; Sutton, Waterfall, Riley; Freeman, McGuire, Heslop, Beevers (Rhead 67); Brown; Oliver (Palmer 79), Bingham (Lambe 60). Subs; Studer, Bell, Fletcher, Clements.
REFEREE: Richard Clark of Northumberland.
ATTENDANCE: 3,196 (276 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Luke Waterfall.
FULL TIME: Bury 2 Mansfield Town 0
burytimes.co.uk, by Craig Nelson
WINS proved to be like buses for Bury over the festive period as David Flitcroft’s side followed up their victory at Northampton with a comfortable three points at home to Mansfield.
The Shakers ended a run of nine games without a win at Sixfields on Boxing Day and always looked like following that up with a dominant performance against the Stags.
Goals in each half from Ryan Lowe and Danny Mayor were enough to secure a well-deserved victory and helped Bury end 2014 on the cusp of the play-off places.
The game did not start off too well for Bury’s new captain Nathan Cameron, who was clattered in the opening minute by his own team-mate, Kelvin Etuhu, after the pair went up for a header.
Cameron spent more than five minutes on the deck receiving attention to a head wound, but that was the most action the centre-back saw in an opening 45 minutes dominated by the home team.
Flitcroft’s side looked to be back to their old selves, despite struggling to translate early possession into meaningful chances on what was a frosty pitch.
But the Shakers slowly came to the boil on a bitterly cold afternoon, with veteran striker Ryan Lowe having the first shot on target in the 20th minute, turning sharply in the box to test Mansfield goalkeeper Dimitar Evmitov.
The 36-year-old forward then broke clear on to a deflected Chris Hussey pass but could not muster up enough power as he prodded the ball towards goal.
The Stags stopper showed his frailty after fumbling a high Mayor cross into the box and was a mere bystander as Andrew Tutte fired a shot just wide of the far post a minute later.
Lowe finally broke the deadlock on 40 minutes, slotting home from close range after following up a dipping long-range effort from Hallam Hope that Evmitov spilled into his path.
Mansfield threatened for the first time in the match just after the break when Simon Heslop fired over a Junior Brown pull-back from eight yards when completely unmarked.
Brown then volleyed over the bar on the turn, his chance coming while Cameron was off the pitch receiving attention to the head wound he sustained in the opening minute.
The skipper was unable to continue, with previous captain Jim McNulty replacing him for the final 15 minutes.
But any concerns were eased on 78 minutes, when Mayor skipped inside from the left flank and beat his man before unleashing a shot into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
And while Shakers stopper Rob Lainton was forced to produce a diving save late in the game to keep out a deflected shot from Brown, the visitors never looked like forcing their way back into the game.
Bury’s first back-to-back wins in the league since September saw them climb one place to eighth in the table but, more importantly, bridged the three-point gap to the play-off places.
BURY: Lainton 7; Soares 6, Cameron 8 (McNulty 6 74), El-Abd 7, Hussey 7; Adams 7, Tutte 8, Etuhu 7, Mayor 8; Hope 7 (Rose 7 60), Lowe 8.
Subs: Jones, Sedgwick, Burgess, Ruddy, Dudley.
MANSFIELD ROWN: Evtimov; Beevers (Rhead 67), Sutton, Riley, Waterfall, Freeman; McGuire, Heslop; Bingham (Thompson-Lambe 60), Oliver (Palmer 79), Brown.
Subs: Studer, Bell, Fletcher, Clements.
Referee: Richard Clark.
Attendance: 3,296 (276 visiting).
A good Christmas for Bury
buryfc.co.uk, by Michael Henson
Six points from six for Festive Shakers
Read more at http://www.buryfc.co.uk/news/article/a-good-christmas-for-bury-2169465.aspx#CyWSxgII3ccPpOvR.99
Bury ended 2014 with a solid 2-0 win against Mansfield Town at the JD Stadium to move them up to 8th in SkyBet League Two.
Ryan Lowe had opened the scoring in the first half following a goalkeeping error before a Danny Mayor sealed the three points with a magnificent individual effort twelve minutes before full time.
David Flitcroft made two changes to the side that beat Northampton on Boxing Day with Ryan Lowe and Nicky Adams coming in for the injured Danny Nardiello and the suspended Hayden White.
An early clash of heads between Kelvin Etuhu and Nathan Cameron left the latter needing treatment from physio Tom Walsh and a five minute delay after just a minute played. The former Coventry defender was able to carry on but a twenty minute spell followed in which neither team created a noteworthy chance.
The first chance of the game came in the 20th minute when Hallam Hope skipped past two challenges but couldn't pick out a Bury player in the box. The ball was won back and fed out to Ryan Lowe, whose first time shot was saved at the second attempt by Dimitar Evtimov.
Lowe was involved in the action again seven minutes later when he found himself in space on the left hand side of the area but he was unable to get a clean connection on the shot and Evtimov claimed it with ease.
Bury continued to apply pressure on the Mansfield defence and came close in the 39th minute as Andrew Tutte searched for his second goal in as many games but his effort flashed just past the outside of the post.
The home side's continued pressure was rewarded the following minute as Ryan Lowe added his eighth goal of the season. Hallam Hope's powerful effort from 25 yards was spilled by Nottingham Forest loanee Evtimov into Lowe's path and he applied the finish from close range.
Mansfield didn't test Rob Lainton at all in the first half with their first shot of the game shortly before half time as Jamie McGuire unleashed a volley from the edge of the area that was deflected well wide of the Bury goal.
The away side were out early for the second half and could have been level two minutes after the restart. Former Bury trialist Junior Brown cut the ball back for Simon Heslop but his effort was high over the bar from eight yards out.
Following early pressure from the Stags, Bury started to push more bodies forward as they looked for a second goal and had a penalty appeal turned down after substitute Danny Rose went down in the box before Lowe skewed a shot wide of the goal from the edge of the area.
However the second goal came twelve minutes from time as Danny Mayor added his name to the score sheet with a magnificent effort. He picked the ball up near the corner flag and turned his man with ease before cutting back on his right foot and slamming the ball into the top corner for 2-0.
Mansfield looked to add a consolation late on but were unable to find a way past the Bury back line. Junior Brown found space in the box but his shot was deflected into the side netting before Rob Lainton produced a good reaction save to keep out Brown's deflected effort.
Four minutes of added time were indicated at the end of the second half and Bury saw it out with ease to secure back to back wins in the league for the first time since mid-September to move them up to 8th in League Two ahead of Saturday's trip to Dagenham and Redbridge.
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