ENCOURAGEMENT BUT STAGS BEATEN BY DEFENSIVE ERRORS
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Burton Albion 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
M.Palmer 8, Maynard 24. Lambe 51
Attendance: 3506 (app 900 from Mansfield, exact figure being emailed to me after they have got it from their accountant would you believe!!)
Date: 10 January 2015
Martin Shaw at the Pirelli Stadium
Mansfield Town were beaten 2-1 at high flying Burton Albion this afternoon. The Stags started with all five new signings made this week and with a total of seven changes from the side that lost meekly at Bury in the last game. The new-look Stags side started well and should have been ahead on 30 seconds when Reggie Lambe missed a glorious chance when clean through on goal, it was a chance that he really should have at least got on target. But poor defending allowed Burton to roar into a two goal lead. Firstly on 8 minutes Ritchie Sutton conceded an unnecessary free-kick with a push two yards outside the box on the left hand side. Matty Palmer’s free-kick was into a good area but took a deflection to beat new Stags keeper Adam Smith. Tough luck on the new keeper. Then on 24 minutes a Burton corner from the right sailed over Sutton allowing Kelvin Maynard a free header which he powered into the bottom right corner of the net. Slack marking punished ruthlessly. Stags new striker Billy Kee was through on goal after 28 minutes but could only fire at the keeper. 2-0 to Burton at the break and the Stags with a mountain to climb as a result of poor defending. Mansfield started the second half positively and were back in the game on 51 minutes as left back Callum Elder’s long throw was superbly headed on by a Raynes, towering above the home defence, and Reggie Lambe flicked in from 3 yards with his right boot. This gave the Stags renewed vigour and they took the game to Burton pinning them back for long periods but the deserved equaliser just wouldn’t come. The Stags ended the game with four strikers and Burton had to bring on an extra central defender as they clung on by their fingernails. No disgrace to lose to a Burton side that was winning its fifth home game on the trot, but mixed emotions of huge frustration at what might have been and large encouragement at what might come in future games as Adam Murray’s new side gels together. I certainly saw enough today that against worse sides than Burton this Stags side should be capable of picking up some wins and picking them up quickly. After the game Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admitted that his side was hanging on in the second half and that Mansfield will be a force if they continue to play as they did in the second half here. The Stags players got a good reception from the 900 or so travelling fans at the end. The Stags need points though and are now just an uncomfortable four points above the relegation zone. Next week’s game against an average Exeter side punching well above its weight and now without its best player in Matt Grimes who has gone to the Premier League for £1.7million, is huge. Come on Mansfield!
Mansfield Town fightback in vain as Burton Albion seal the win
CHAD.CO.UK REPORT BY John Lomas
Despite a valiant second half fightback, Mansfield Town had left themselves too much to do after conceding two first half goals as they went down 2-1 at high-flying Burton Albion this afternoon.
Murray took a major gamble as he pitched in all five of his new signings into a completely new-look side on a windy afternoon in what is the nearest Stags have to a local derby this season.
And how different this game might have turned out to be had Reggie Lambe put away a golden chance in the first minute.
Instead, the Brewers served notice by hitting a post and then grabbed an eighth minute lead via a deflected Matty Palmer free kick.
The game looked all over when Kelvin Maynard headed the second home from a 24th minute corner.
But Mansfield, playing towards a superb and noisy away following, rallied well after the break and Reggie Lambe found a way past the rock solid Burton defence to pull one back on 51 minutes - the first goal Burton had conceded in 424 minutes of football.
They then spent much of the second half on the front foot and asked all sorts of questions of the Albion backline, but were unable to breach them a second time.
Nevertheless, there was much to be encouraged about from a new-look side that had only trained together twice.
Adam Smith, Ricky Ravenhill, Callum Elder, Billy Kee and Michael Raynes all made debuts and Reggie Lambe and Chris Clements came into the side.
Ryan Tafazolli missed out with a reported virus which, in a transfer window, is bound to start speculation.
Kee was booed on his first touch by the home fans but almost conjured up a goal inside the first 30 seconds as he flicked a low Clements pass into the path of Lambe in the box, but the youngster stroked his finish wide from seven yards.
But Albion came even closer on four minutes as Lenihan was afforded the room to shoot from 25 yards and saw his shot come back off the post.
And on eight minutes Burton were ahead. Sutton conceded a free kick on the right of the box and Palmer stepped up to curl the ball home side the near post for his first League goal.
Stags went straight back at them and Clements bundled a long Sutton cross back across the box and Albion conceded the game’s first corner which failed to trouble the home side.
Burton then won a corner of their own which Sutton headed away.
Palmer was offered another free kick chance, more central this time and 25 yards out, and this time he curled it inches wide.
Albion cleared another Mansfield corner and Ravenhill had a shot blocked from the follow-up.
Raynes got a head onto a Leihan shot to concede another corner on the right. From that Maynrad rose well to power home an unstoppable header from seven yards - his first goal for Burton - and Stags suddenly had a mountain to climb.
Clements sent a wild shot over the home bar, then Brown won Stags their third corner which the Brewers cleared.
They then broke well, the move ending with Smith having to get down to block a low Palmer shot.
A defensive mistake allowed Kee his first sight of goal on 28 minutes, but McLaughlin stood up well to beat away his finish after he had burst into the box.
McRory had a powerful volley blocked in Burton’s next raid.
Ravenhill was flattened in a challenge and needed treatment. But no foul was given and when Blyth was asked to kick the ball back to Smith, he blazed it truculently over the goal.
A mix-up between Smith and Riley led to a third home corner which was cleared to Lenihan, whose shot was blocked as Albion went in very much in charge.
Palmer lifted a 20 yard shot well over in the opening seconds on the restart.
Oliver flicked a header on from a long throw which flew straight at the home goal, at least forcing McLaughlin to grab it.
A Palmer flick into the air on the box caught on the wind and McLaughlin had to keep a close eye on it to cleanly grab as it bounced through everyone.
A good crossfield pass from Lambe found Oliver on the left, who wasn’t far wide with his first time effort, sidefooting wide of the far post.
Stags had started the second half on the front foot and were rewarded with a goal on 51 minutes.
Raynes flicked a long Elder throw from the left in front of goal where Lambe stretched out a leg to notch his first Mansfield goal.
From the restart Lambe almost levelled as he tried to accelerate down the middle of the box but a poor touch saw the ball roll to the the keeper.
Kee’s challenge on Lenihan saw his former team mates surround him and call for a red card, but the striker escaped with a yellow card on 54 minutes.
McLaughlin was able to get a fist onto another long Elder throw.
Mansfield forced another corner, which Clements swung over, Sutton headed goalwards and Kee failed to get his flick on target.
Burton were furious when Riley and Raynes ran into each other to leave Blyth clear and the referee somehow blew for a foul and booked Blyth.
Burton had hardly been out their half since the break, but forced a corner on 64 minutes, which was cleared at the second attempt
Three minutes later the Brewers forced two more in succession without profit.
Lenihan was booked for a foul on 70 minutes.
Ravenhill was then caught late by Weir and was angry nothing was given.
A great ball by Clements put Sutton into space on the right and, having sidestepped a defender, he blazed a poor left foot finished well over the far angle.
Another good burst of pace saw Lambe race into the box and take the ball wide of McLaughlin only to see McRory shepherd him wide and concede a corner.
That was cleared back out to Clements, who got the ball over at the second attempt and found Sutton, who completely missed his kick.
A Kee flick then offered Lambe a 20 yard shot which the keeper grabbed at the second attempt.
The referee was in the spotlight again as Oliver was blocked off chasing a Rhead flick after the big striker replaced Lambe.
Blyth turned on the right on 89 minutes to fire a powerful effort on target from 20 yards that Smith did well to hold above his head.
Fletcher came on for Elder in the four minutes of stoppage time for the final push, but the Brewers stood firm to take the spoils.
BURTON: McLaughlin, Edwards, Moushino, Taft, Weir, Beavon (Akins 84) , Blyth, McRory, Lenihan, Palmer (Sharps 90+1), Maynard (McGurk 79). Subs not used: Shearer, L. Bell, Harness, Maletic.
STAGS: Smith; Sutton, Raynes, Riley, Elder (Fletcher 90+1); Lambe (Rhead 79), Clements, Ravenhill, Brown; Oliver, Kee. Subs not used: Studer, F. Bell, McGuire, Heslop, Beevers.
REFEREE: Andy Haines of Tyne and Wear.
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Martin Riley.
Burton Albion sweat out victory and three points against Mansfield Town
Burton Mail, By Tom Sloan
JIMMY Floyd Hasseslbaink made it five home wins on the spin since taking over as Burton Albion manager - but his side had to sweat for the points against Mansfield.
Read more: http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/Burton-Albion-sweat-victory-points-Mansfield-Town/story-25840522-detail/story.html?#ixzz3Ob32VpNy
On paper, it looked a sure-fire win for the Brewers against an outfit with just two wins in their last 14 league games.
Surely the Brewers would leave the Stags staggered with the quality of their football?
If only life was as simple as that.
Mansfield gave as good as they got and Albion were perhaps a touch fortunate to come away with all three points.
Matty Palmer - who was outstanding all afternoon - got the ball rolling with his first goal in the Football League.
He then set Kelvin Maynard up for his first in English football to make it 2-0 before half-time.
This came after an uncomfortable start for the Brewers, with several decent openings going begging for the visitors.
But at 2-0 and with Mansfield bedding in five new signings, the scene had been set for more goals after the break.
However, the only goal of the second half came at the other end as Reggie Lambe pulled one back for the Stags.
Suddenly the game was wide open and Albion wobbled as Mansfield, aided by the wind which had helped Albion in the first half, charged headlong in search of an equaliser.
It was touch and go at times, but the Brewers held firm under an aerial bombardment and took the three points.
They had put on another valiant rearguard show a week on from their 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury.
Saturday's win, their 10th at home this season, keeps them second in the table.
They have shown they can win ugly as well as in style - and both kinds of performance will be needed in the final four months of the season.
The Brewers were unchanged from the Shrews game, but Lucas Akins returned to the bench after missing the last eight weeks with an ankle problem.
Transfer listed Lee Bell was also back in the matchday squad for only the second time under Hasselbaink.
There were five debutants for Mansfield, including Brewers hero Billy Kee and villain Ricky Ravenhill, who was involved in a couple of spats with Bell two seasons ago.
Lambe should have given Mansfield the lead after 35 seconds when he was played in by Kee, but he put his shot wide from six yards under no pressure. Kee's touch to set him up was excellent.
Albion then came under early pressure, with Junior Brown also having a shot following a free kick given away for a push by George Taft on Kee.
Darragh Lenihan went up the other end on four minutes and crashed a 35-yard shot into the outside of Adam Smith's right post with the keeper well beaten.
It had been a rip-roaring start to the match.
The Brewers then took the lead as Palmer curled home a lovely free kick. Ritchie Sutton was penalised for a push on the hard-working Jacob Blyth near the left corner of the box.
Palmer whipped the free kick in and goalkeeper Smith barely moved as the ball curled across him and into the far corner.
Chris Clements had a chance to level a minute later but volleyed well wide from a good position, with the Brewers looking all at sea in defence.
Clements then fouled Robbie Weir just outside the box on 14 minutes in a central position. Palmer had another go from the set piece, but the ball sailed a foot wide and hit a stanchion behind the goal.
Lenihan had an 18-yard shot deflected over by Michael Raines on 23 minutes after a good period of possession for Albion.
From the corner, whipped in by Palmer, Maynard got free to thump a rocket of a downward header past Smith from six yards to double the hosts' lead.
The Dutchman certainly looks like he can be a real danger from set pieces.
Seconds later, John Mousinho had to be alert to cut out Brown's cross from the left as the Brewers were caught on the break.
The action soon flew back up the other end as Albion broke three on three, but Palmer perhaps picked the wrong pass as he did not see Blyth running into space and Mansfield were able to get back and the move ended with Palmer's left-footed shot saved by Smith.
Kee had a cracking chance to pull one back on 28 minutes as Lenihan played a poor ball to Weir and the midfielder miscontrolled it.
Kee was able to nick the ball and get in on goal, but Jon McLaughlin was out like a shot to block his left-footed effort.
Blyth was inches away from making it 3-0 a minute from half-time but Stuart Beavon's cross was cut out just short of the big man. Maynard almost capitalised on a mix-up between the keeper and Raynes in the aftermath before the ball was cleared for a corner.
Mansfield improved after the break and with the wind behind them really put the pressure on Albion.
On 49 minutes, Vadaine Oliver attempted a lavish finish from the corner of the box but got it all wrong and sent the ball miles wide.
But two minutes later Mansfield pulled one back.
A Callum Elder long throw-in was headed on by Raines and Lambe finished from close range. Lambe could have added a second soon after when Phil Edwards' half-clearance fell to him, but McLaughlin was out quickly to block.
Kee earned the wrath of the home fans on 54 minutes with a late, high lunge at Lenihan that earned him a yellow card. The tackle incensed some of his former team-mates.
Kee could then have scored on the hour as he flicked Raynes' header just wide from close range.
Just past the hour Raynes and Sutton ran into each other and allowed Blyth a free run on goal, but referee Andy Haines blew for a foul by Blyth and to add insult to injury booked the Albion man. It was a farce.
Sutton surged on from right-back on 73 minutes as the Brewers were cut apart down their left, but his left-footed finish was wildly off target.
Damien McCrory pulled off a great tackle two minutes later to clear as Lambe got round McLaughlin and looked set to finish.
Sutton then swung a foot at a cross in acres of space in the area but completely missed the ball.
Albion were penned in and with big Matt Rhead on, Mansfield threw everything at them, only for the defence to stand up - with Taft and Mousinho both winning header after header.
Adam McGurk, on for a tiring Maynard, found Blyth with a neat reverse pass with a minute to go as the Brewers lifted the pressure, but Smith was right behind his powerful shot for the top corner.
Four minutes of injury time came and went, with the Stags threatening much without really creating anything clear-cut.
It has been a tough examination for Albion, but they came through it well to take another three home points in their bid for a top-three finish.
BURTON ALBION 2
Palmer 8, Maynard 24
MANSFIELD TOWN 1
BREWERS (4-4-2): McLaughlin; Edwards, Mousinho (capt), Taft, McCrory; Maynard (McGurk 79), Weir, Lenihan, Palmer (Sharps 90+2); Blyth, Beavon (Akins 84) Subs not used: Shearer (gk), Maletic, L Bell, Harness.
STAGS (4-4-2): Smith; Sutton, Raynes, Riley (capt), Elder (Fletcher 90+2); Lambe (Rhead 79), Ravenhill, Clements, Brown; Oliver, Kee. Subs not used: Studer (gk), F Bell, Beevers, Heslop, McGuire.
REFEREE: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear).
YELLOW CARDS: Stags - Kee 54 (foul on Lenihan); Brewers - Blyth 62 (foul on Raynes), Lenihan 70 (foul on Clements).
4 SHOTS ON 3
2 SHOTS OFF 7
7 CORNERS 5
14 FOULS 15
2 YELLOW 1
0 RED 0
50 POSSESSION 50
MATCH VERDICT: An awkward game for Albion, who were expected to easily see off Mansfield. It was far from easy, but they had enough to get over the line.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Matty Palmer - the young midfielder excelled out wide on the left, scoring his first Football League goal and setting one up for Kelvin Maynard with a neat corner kick.
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