STAGS BEATEN AT WYCOMBE
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Wycombe Wanderers 1 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 5003 (216 from Mansfield)
Date: 25 March 2016
STAGS BEATEN AT WYCOMBE
Martin Shaw at Adams Park
Mansfield Town fell to a fourth 1-0 defeat in 5 games at Wycombe this afternoon and were undoubtedly beaten by the better side. The only goal of the game was a fluke as Michael Harriman’s low cross from the right on 69 minutes sneaked in at the far post. But it was also a result of poor defending as Harriman beat Mal Benning not once but twice, too easily, before putting his cross in. Benning was also at fault for the only goal of the game in the last away game at Bristol Rovers and he needs to quickly regain his form from before his injury. Wycombe started the game on top in the opening 20 minutes, and the Stags relied on excellent defending from Tafazolli and Pearce to stay in the game. Mansfield then had their best spell of the game in the remainder of the first half, more than matching Wycombe for that spell but the closest they came to scoring was a good ball forward by Matty Blair to Chris Clements who tried to beat the keeper from close range but the keeper was just able to block it. The Stags just about deserved to be level at the break but the second half was a different matter as Wycombe dominated the game, though it wasn’t until after the goal that Wycombe started creating plenty of chances and could have won by more, with McGinn hitting the post and Shearer saving well from O’Nien. The Stags were depressingly poor going forward and just had one double chance in the second half as Rose’s shot was blocked and Clements’ follow-up shot was also blocked. A poor second half showing from Mansfield. Not many Stags players come out of the game with much credit: Tafazolli was excellent throughout the game, and Pearce alongside him played well. Alfei had a decent game at right back, as did Collins in front of the back four, and Shearer made a couple of good saves. But too many players didn’t contribute enough in terms of quality, notably all the players looking to push forward from midfield, Rose, Clements and Blair, and the front two. Wycombe were good at what they did and look to a good bet to get into the play-offs. The Stags are looking very low on confidence, and it will take a hugely improved performance from this to get a win over Northampton on Monday. The Stags drop another place to 14th and are 8 points behind the play-offs. This run of four 1-0 defeats in 5 games has probably finished any realistic chances of getting into the play-offs. But there is still much to play for and it’s important to finish the season with better results than we’ve seen lately.
Mansfield made one change to the side that drew with Portsmouth. Blair returned from illness in place of Kavanagh. Youngster Zayn Hakeem travelled with the squad to gain experience though was not in the 18. Wycombe had won three straight home games coming into this game, and boosted the crowd to over 5,000 with reduced admission for home fans.
The Stags started with the same 4-1-3-2 formation as against Portsmouth. Loanee Mani Dieseruvwe again partnered Matt Green up front. Rose (right), Clements, and Blair (left) were in front of Collins who was in front of the back four. Blair often got back during the first half to help out Benning at left back. During the second half, in an attempt to produce more going forward, Mansfield sent on Colin Daniel in place of Blair and he went into a front 3. It was only a few minutes later that Benning was beaten too easily for the goal. I mentioned this point to manager Adam Murray afterwards and he, quite rightly, responded that Benning shouldn’t need to rely on Blair to help him out.
It was a gorgeous sunny day. The warmest day of the year.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Wycombe Wanderers 1 Mansfield Town 0 - Stags eight points off play-offs
chad.co.uk, Friday 25 March 2016
Mansfield Town suffered their fourth 1-0 defeat in five matches with Michael Harriman’s fortuitous strike enough for promotion-hopefuls Wycombe Wanderers to claim the points.
In a contest where there was little to choose between the teams, the Wycombe winger’s left-footed cross eluded everyone inside the box and found the bottom corner.
The Stags best chance arrived midway through the first half, but Chris Clements could find no way past keeper Ryan Allsop.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/match-report-wycombe-wanderers-1-mansfield-town-0-stags-eight-points-off-play-offs-1-7818378#ixzz43xHk2WtZ
Adam Murray’s men have now scored just once in 456 minutes of football and the manager will be desperate to see the goal burden taken off Matt Green’s shoulders from elsewhere in the team.
The Mansfield defence stood firm in the first half, with Wycombe limited to little in front of goal and Paul Hayes was forced to try his luck from 25 yards but struck wide.
On 23 minutes an incisive through ball from Matty Blair released Clements in behind the Wycombe defence, but he could only prod a tame effort straight at Allsop.
After the break Wycombe looked reinvigorated and should have been ahead on 51 minutes when right-back Jason McCarthy latched onto a loose ball inside the six-yard box, but he pulled his shot wide with Scott Shearer’s goal gaping.
Mansfield were eventually undone on 68 minutes with a rare moment of quality and added stroke of luck in an otherwise poor game.
Winger Harriman brilliantly brought down a ball on the right-flank and jinked past Mal Benning before aim a curling cross towards Hayes.
The ball deceived the Wycombe forward, as well as the Mansfield defence, skidded off the turf and nestled into the bottom-right corner.
The result leaves Mansfield 13th in the League Two table, eight points behind the play-offs with runaway League Two leaders Northampton the visitors to Field Mill on Monday.
Michael Harriman's lucky strike seals a 1-0 win for Wycombe Wanderers over Mansfield Town
bucksfreepress.co.uk, by Harry Gray
Michael Harriman scored the only goal as Wycombe Wanderers secured a 1-0 win over Mansfield Town at Adams Park.
The former QPR man’s strike came with a huge slice of luck as his cross from the right beat everyone to find the back of the net.
The result sees the Chairboys move up to seventh in League Two with just eight games to play.
On a lazy bank holiday Friday, you could be forgiven for thinking Wycombe Wanderers and Mansfield had opted to take the day off in what was a turgid first half.
An inventive corner form Joe Jacobson created the first chance of the day as he picked out Aaron Pierre on the edge of the box after eight minutes.
The burly centre-back hooked a powerful volley towards goal but saw his effort well blocked as it hurtled towards the top corner.
A departure from the 4-3-3 formation which the Blues had employed in their last three matches saw Paul Hayes return up front to partner Garry Thompson in a 4-4-2.
It was a combination which worked well in the early stages as the veteran forwards both had decent efforts from range inside 20 minutes.
First Thompson controlled smartly on the edge of the box and drilled a volley straight at Scott Shearer in the 17th minute.
Moments later Hayes tried his luck as he settled on the ball 15 yards from goal and sent a rasping drive fizzing past the right hand upright.
Mansfield had offered little to concern the Chairboys but were almost ahead as a loose ball broke into the path of Chris Clements.
The Stags’ midfielder could only prod a weak shot towards goal and the onrushing Ryan Allsop smothered with ease.
With Wycombe and Mansfield coming into the game with 40 and 47 league goals respectively, the poor quality in the final third was hardly surprising.
Thompson had the final meaningful chance of the first period as his close-range header was tipped over the bar by Shearer.
Wycombe came out for the second half with a greater intensity and twice went close to taking the lead inside the opening 10 minutes of the half.
Thompson, who was restricted to feeding of scraps for much of the match did well to control volley from 30 yards which dipped just over the bar.
Moments later Jason McCarthy had a golden chance to add to his two goals for the season as he latched onto a loose ball inside the Mansfield area, but could only lash wide.
The Blues eventually found their winner as Harriman showed the sort of drive lacking throughout much of the game.
First the winger controlled a high Aaron Pierre pass wide on the right before beating his man and sending a left-footed cross curling towards the back post.
The ball eluded the outstretched leg of Paul Hayes and found its way into the bottom right corner after Shearer had been left wrong footed by the Wycombe skipper’s presence.
Wycombe were dominant now and a could have gone further ahead as a smart pass from debutant Jerell Sellers played a fine pass to Luke O’Nien.
With Shearer racing out to meet him O’Nien tried to lift the ball over the keeper, but his effort lacked the required height and was well blocked by the Stags keeper.
Ainsworth’s side held out from their and will look to Monday’s match at Notts County to build on a run of four games in a row without defeat.
Wycombe Wanderers (4-4-2): Allsop, McCarthy, Stewart, Pierre, Jacobson, Harriman, O’Nien, McGinn, Wood (Sellers 7), Hayes (c) (88 Kretzschmar), Thompson (Sellars 77)
Subs not used: Siegrist; Jombati, Liburd, Ugwu
Mansfield Town (4-4-2): Mansfield Town: Shearer, Alfei, Pearce, Tafazolli, Benning (Thomas 83), Rose (Kavanagh 77), Collins (c), Clements, Blair (Daniel 62), Dieseruvwe, Green
Subs not used: Jensen, Chapman, Beardsley McGuire
Referee: Iain Williamson
Bookings: Harriman (68 celebration)
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