STAGS BEAT DAGGERS FOR THIRD HOME WIN OUT OF 4
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 2 - 1 Dagenham & Redbridge
Lambe 46, Brown 83. Cureton 60
Attendance: 2546 (122 from Dagenham)
Date: 28 February 2015
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town picked up another crucial three points with a deserved 2-1 win over Dagenham & Redbridge. It was the third home win from the last four home games and takes the Stags five points above the relegation zone, leapfrogging the Daggers in the process. On a windy day and on a bobbly pitch, the first 42 minutes of the game was devoid of goalmouth action before Dagenham could have gone ahead as Jakubiak scooped a good chance over the bar, and then at the other end Jack Thomas was just over with a close range volley. But a minute into the second half, the Stags were in front as Junior Brown’s low cross-shot from the right was too hot for keeper Mark Cousins to handle and Reggie Lambe was able to fire home from close range. Dagenham were level on 60 minutes as experienced striker Jamie Cureton fired into the corner of the net from the right after a rare Dagenham good move. Stags keeper Pidgeley was beaten by the bounce as the ball bobbled over his outstretched hand into the net. After the game, Pidgeley told me that he only went with one hand as he was trying to push the ball away from any onrushing players which he would have found more difficult with two hands. Clearly in hindsight he made the wrong call as he probably would have kept it out with two hands. From that moment on, the Stags were the better side and had a few near misses especially through Vadaine Oliver before Junior Brown won the game on 83 minutes. A long throw from Elder from the left was headed on by Tafazolli to Billy Kee who laid the ball back perfectly into the path of Brown who belted it into the net from 12 yards. A great finish from Brown and a lovely lay-off from Kee. Despite nerves around the ground, the Stags rock solid defence prevented Dagenham from creating anything near the Stags goal after that, and indeed Dagenham only created the two chances of any note that I’ve already mentioned in the entire game. The Stags certainly deserved to win it. The final whistle brought great scenes of celebration, as did the winning goal from Brown. Some solid performances throughout the Stags side and it was great to score twice in a game - for only the second time since September in the league. The previous occasion saw defeat 3-2 at home to Exeter. This was an altogether happier affair. Now on to Newport on Tuesday night, and the Stags need to rectify the away form which has seen five consecutive defeats. Come on you Stags!
Full report in the Match Centre
Saturday, 28th February 2015: Mansfield Town 2, Dagenham & Redbridge 1
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Junior Brown’s late goal secured a massive three points for Mansfield Town in this afternoon’s nervy 2-1 victory over relegations rivals Dagenham & Redbridge at One Call Stadium.
This was only the second time in five and half months that the Stags had scored more then once in a game, but the win saw them leapfrog the Daggers.
A poor first half, with Stags up against a powerful wind in their faces, saw few chances.
But Reggie Lambe provided the breakthrough just 52 seconds after the break as he netted from close range when keeper Mark Cousins could only parry a powerful low cross from Brown towards him.
Stags were stung on the hour when they gave veteran Jamie Cureton, the League’s oldest outfield player at 39, a sight of goal from which he dispatched his landmark 250th League goal to level.
The ball seemed to go through the dive of keeper Lenny Pidgeley, who said afterwards that he had it covered until it shot up off a divot.
But Mansfield upped the ante as the game wore on and looked the only side likely to win it.
They had two cleared off the line through Lambe and Vadaine Oliver, who also had a shot saved, before Brown buried the crucial goal seven minutes from time.
The Mansfield side showed two changes.
Out went central midfielder Simon Heslop and loanee winger Jeffrey Monakana, replaced by Chris Clements and Lambe.
The Daggers were straight onto the attack and won a corner in the opening minute and almost scored an audacious goal.
Boucaud sent the ball low to the near post where Doe stole in with a cheeky backheel straight to Pidgeley.
Mansfield replied with a corner of their own from which saw Tafazolli and Riley jump for the ball and it bounced towards goal where Cousins had to block.
Ravenhill headed a Boucaud free kick over for a second Dagenham corner, wasted after it was taken short to Bingham, who let it run off him for a goalkick.
Pidgeley was lucky when he dropped a high Boucaud free kick into the box, eventually conceding a corner.
Clements had a shot charged down on 11 minutes as Stags got into the Dagenham box for only the second time.
Sutton was happy to flick away a dangerous low Cureton ball from the right that had eluded everyone in front of goal.
It had been a sluggish first 15 minutes for Mansfield with the Daggers looking lively and inventive.
But Tafazolli sent a glancing header across the face of their goal from a Thomas cross from the right on 19 minutes.
A Clements free kick was cleared as far as Thomas whose wild first time shot was well over the bar.
Thomas conceded another unnecessary free kick 20 yards from goal. From that Boucaud’s effort was blocked by Ravenhill and Bingham’s follow-up was was blocked, sparking a worrying goalmouth scramble that ended with Dagenham’s fourth corner.
As play continued down the right, Tafazolli had gone down in some discomfort on the far side of the field.
Cousins sportingly put the ball out of play to allow for some treatment to a shoulder that had popped out of its socket. But it went back in and the defender was able to carry on.
A decent Lambe cross from the left found Sutton at the far post, who laid a ball into Oliver where his first touch let him down.
Hemmings was off target with an effort from distance as we awaited the first goal of a poor game so far.
There was a bust-up on 39 minutes as Ravenhill accused Cureton of diving in the box, then Bingham clashed with Oliver and tried to make out he had been butted.
It was all puerile stuff and the referee handled it well with lectures but no cards.
Three minutes from the break a well-worked series of passes from Dagenham opened up the Stags and, having got past Ravenhill on the by-line, Ogogo pulled a neat ball back for Jakubiak who lashed wildly over with a first time shot from 12 yards.
In the second of two minutes of added time a ball in from the right came off a defender’s head to Thomas at the far post where he was unable to keep an acrobatic finish down from close range.
It was Mansfield’s best chance of the half as the sides went in goalless.
Stags needed a good start to the second half and it couldn’t have been better.
A series of passes from left to right worked the ball wide to Brown.
He got to the by-line and crossed hard and low, Cousins only able to parry and not hold on at the near post and Lambe on hand to bury the loose ball from close range with just 52 second played.
A break down the left by Oliver saw him pick out Clements square to his right, but the midfielder’s ambitious finish was always flying well over.
Obileye came up with two excellent tackles to halt Oliver and Lambe as the home side tried to break again.
But the Daggers hauled themselves level on the hour.
Some fast passing saw them work the ball to the right where Cureton lashed a low shot under the dive of Pidgeley and just off the inside of the far post.
Boucaud tested Pidgeley from 20 yards as Stags struggled to clear from their box.
On 66 minutes Cousins blocked a point blank range far post header from Oliver from a long Brown cross.
Kee replaced Thomas seconds later and almost immediately won a crunching tackle on Ogogo.
The referee saw nothing wrong but the Daggers skipper rolled around as if shot.
Shouts of cheat rang round the ground as he got up uninjured, offering kisses to the crowd.
On 71 minutes a low Brown cross almost produced a goal, helped on by Lambe, Kee was unable to get power or direction on his shot, but Oliver was and Cousins made a smart save to beat his finish away.
Then Lambe’s curling effort towards the far angle was too high.
Lambe had a goalbound shot headed away just in front of goal by Doe on 78 minutes, his last action as he made way for the home debut of Monakana.
Then Ogogo headed a close range Oliver header almost off the line on 81 minutes after Tafazolli helped on a long Elder throw.
But the goal Mansfield desperately needed came on 83 minutes. It was just reward for some excellent pressure.
An Elder throw was laid back by Kee to Brown and the winger rifled an unstoppable finish past Cousins before racing half the length of the field to celebrate with the bench.
Cousins was down well to smother the ball as Brown tried to toe-poke an Oliver backheel past the keeper.
We had four added minutes to endure, but Stags defended superbly to keep the ball out of harm’s way and pick up a crucial three points.
STAGS: Pidgeley; Sutton, Riley, Tafazolli, Elder; Ravenhill, Thomas (Kee 66), Clements; Lambe (Monakana 78), Oliver, Brown. Subs not used: Studer, Rhead, Bingham, McGuire, Beevers.
DAGENHAM: Cousins, Doe, Bingham, Cureton, Ogogo, Howell (Carr 86), Hemmings, Obileye, Boucaud, Widdowson, Jakubiak (Fenelon 80). Subs not used: O’Brien, Saah, Labadie, Raymond, Gayle.
REFEREE: Brendan Malone of Wiltshire.
ATTENDANCE: 2,546 (122 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Junior Brown.
Mansfield Town 2 Dagenham 1: Match analysis: Stags 'tackled by rabbits' before Junior Brown pulls winner out of hat
Nottingham Post, by Sarah Clapson
Victory twisted the screw further on Mansfield Town's relegation rivals. But it came at a price.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Mansfield-Town-2-Dagenham-1-Match-analysis-Stags/story-26102182-detail/story.html?#ixzz3TABTX28L
Manager Adam Murray's ankle went the same way as he got enveloped in a touchline crush celebrating Junior Brown's winner.
Still, a small sacrifice. No doubt he won't mind going over on the opposite foot if his side can keep matching that result - particularly away from home.
The Stags got one major monkey off their back on Saturday, scoring more than one goal in a league game for only the second time since late September. The next challenge is to remove an even bigger one and pick up some points on the road - something they haven't done in their last five attempts.
Then we can maybe start mentioning daylight and the drop zone in the same sentence - tentatively, of course.
This week's road trip, starting at Newport County tomorrow followed by Cheltenham Town on Saturday, offers two bites of a tantalising cherry, against teams at opposite ends of the table.
The latter can perhaps be seen of greater importance given they are four points and three places behind Mansfield; a chance to keep another opponent in the mix, as happened with Dagenham and Redbridge.
And Murray's men can take great confidence from the weekend's result - from the way they coped with an 'eerie, anxious feeling' around the One Call stadium, from the way they hit back after Jamie Cureton's equaliser and from the indisputable team spirit shown in the mass pile-up to mark Brown's strike.
They are beginning to show the kind of grit and graft needed in this situation. The sort of qualities Murray epitomised as a midfielder and captain.
The flair players are still there, able to conjure an opening - Brown, in fact, managed two and took home the sponsors' man of the match award. But it's the backbone which is now really coming to the fore, the combative nature from the likes of Ryan Tafazolli, Ricky Ravenhill and Vadaine Oliver.
The hard work they put in may not always take the headlines, but it's no less valuable.
The Stags boss accepted there will be criticism for playing Oliver on his own up top in a 4-1-4-1 formation. And indeed, his side did look better when they switched to two strikers in the second half following Billy Kee's arrival.
The Scunthorpe United loanee made a difference when he came on, causing problems for the Daggers' back line. But Murray stands by his starting XI.
"People look at this formation and go, 'it's one centre forward', but when we keep possession and we dictate play, it puts a lot of attacking players in the opponent's half," he said. "But we have to penetrate with it.
"At times, first half, I thought we had possession in good periods but we didn't do anything with it. If anything, we put ourselves in trouble because we over-played.
"Second half, we went a little bit more direct. We used the wings, and two second balls that we knew would happen, fell to us and it was two great finishes."
The first half in fact, was pretty much a non-event. A forgettable 45 minutes from two sides clearly struggling.
It was bookended by a chance at either end of the pitch, though such goalmouth action had been a rarity.
Scott Doe threatened to give the contest a dose of quality it didn't merit when he tried an audacious back-heel at the near post from Andre Boucaud's corner. It was on target, though (in keeping with the early tone) a little tame and Lenny Pidgeley scooped the ball up.
Mansfield were sluggish in the opening stages. Although they put together some nice passing phases, as Murray mentioned, too often the move broke down before the Daggers really came under any pressure.
Their best chance fell to Jack Thomas moments before the whistle, but the midfielder couldn't keep the ball down and fired over from close range after Ayo Obileye had inadvertently flicked on Callum Elder's throw.
The second half was much better and the hosts showed their intent from the off.
Within 52 seconds Reggie Lambe had the ball in the net, slotting home after Mark Cousins had only been able to parry Brown's shot from the right.
They tried to build on that and grab a second, but were stung on the hour by Cureton's 250th league goal.
The state of the turf had affected the nature of the game, with Murray admitting it was difficult to play on a pitch covered in 'molehills' - "we're trying to play but we're getting tackled by rabbits," he said. And it played its part in the leveller too.
Pidgeley was adamant he had Cureton's strike covered, but a bobble saw the ball bounce underneath his dive and go in off the post.
Any sense of injustice though, was quickly forgotten and the Stags set about reclaiming their lead.
On home soil they do not give in easily. Roared on by their fans, they put their opponents firmly on the back foot.
Cousins saved brilliantly from Oliver and the striker also had a header cleared off the line by Abu Ogogo.
Only one team looked likely to find a winner. And with seven minutes to go, they got it.
Elder caused problems again with his throw and the ball dropped to Kee, who expertly laid it into the path of Brown for the finish.
It meant a frantic February ended with ten points from 18. A return others would give their right arm, or a twisted ankle, for.
FULL TIME: Mansfield 2-1 Daggers
Daggers lost back-to-back games for the first time since December as they conceded seven minutes from time to lose against Mansfield Town.
Read more at http://www.daggers.co.uk/news/article/full-time-mansfield-2-1-daggers-2302535.aspx#x3Zs7gDX8mQdFokj.99
It meant Jamie Cureton's 13th goal of the season, and the 250th league goal of his career, was scant consolation for Wayne Burnett's team.
The forward's smart finish had brought the visitors back level, but they couldn't build on that goal and fell to a defeat which sees them drop to 19th in the table.
Daggers made a bright start at a wet and cold One Call Stadium as Scott Doe tested Lenny Pidgeley inside the opening minute following Andre Boucaud's corner.
Fellow centre back Ayo Obileye had the next opportunity following Billy Bingham's low corner. However he scuffed his effort.
The game was scrappy with the pitch not in the best condition and the most favourable opportunities were coming from set pieces.
When Ashley Hemmings was fouled outside the Mansfield box midway through the half Bingham, Boucaud and Ogogo all eyed up the free kick.
The Trinidid and Tobago international took charge and although his shot was poor it did appear to hit the hand of Ricky Ravenhill, but referee Brendan Malone kept his whistle away from his mouth.
Daggers continued to look the more threatening, but were struggling to create much and frustration was getting the better of both teams.
Cureton and Ravenhill had a coming together in the 38th minute, which resulted in Bingham and Vadaine Oliver squaring up as well.
Nothing came from the incident, but as the half drew to a close both teams had chances to take the lead.
First Alex Jakubiak should have fired past Pidgeley when Luke Howell and Abu Ogogo combined on the right to release the full-back into the box.
Daggers skipper cut back for Jakubiak, but the Watford loan star smashed over the bar from eight-yards out.
Mansfield then could have taken the lead when Callum Elder's throw was flicked on by Ayo Obileye to Jack Thomas at the back post.
Fortunately for the visitors, Thomas volleyed over from close range and it was level at half time.
Daggers would have looked to start the second half strongly, but they conceded just 52 seconds into it.
Junior Brown picked up the ball in space and test Mark Cousins and the away keeper could only parry out to Reggie Lambe, who tapped in from a couple of yards out.
But Daggers level on the hour mark when Cureton showed his class after collecting Boucaud's pass.
The 39-year-old fired across Pidgeley and found the net, via the post, to score the 250th league goal of his career.
Unfortunately Burnett's team weren't able to build on that goal, but they could have been playing against 10 men had Brendan Malone seen Stags substitute Billy Kee two-footed challenge on Ogogo in the 67th minute.
The incident was missed by the official and Mansfield nearly took the lead through Vadaine Oliver shortly afterwards, but Cousins brilliantly saved.
Daggers number one was forced into a couple more saves, whilst Doe and Ogogo both headed efforts clear before the host did get the winner seven minutes from time.
Another Elder throw caused problems and the ball was cleared and fell to Brown, who rifled past a number of bodies and into the net to score what would prove to be the winning goal.
Latest | March 2015