STAGS BEATEN AT COLCHESTER
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Colchester United 2 - 0 Mansfield Town
Murray 29, Mandron 34
Attendance: 3262 (339 from Mansfield)
Date: 7 October 2017
Martin Shaw at the Weston Homes Community Stadium
Mansfield Town were beaten for the second time in succession away from home, this time at Colchester United. Whereas the performance at Cheltenham 11 days ago was dreadful, this was not as bad, but the Stags still didn’t do enough to warrant the points. Colchester had slightly the better of the opening 10 minutes as Mikael Mandron fired over the bar and Brandon Hanlon fired wide. The Stags were then completely in control for the next 20 minutes and should have been in front with some fine play going forward and four great chances. On 11 minutes, a great move as Will Atkinson played a one-two with Hemmings on the edge of the box, then squared to Johnny Hunt on the left, Hunt took one touch before crossing back in to Atkinson who had got forward to the penalty spot and sent a diving header inches wide of the left post. A terrific move which would have been goal of the season so far. On 17 minutes, a good move from the Stags as Alex MacDonald powered forward, fed Omari Sterling-James who teed up Atkinson who fired a good opportunity over the bar from the edge of the box. Then on 21 minutes, Danny Rose flicked on a Conrad Logan long ball to Hemmings, Hemmings perfectly headed the ball back into the path of Rose who fired a fine shot that was heading for the bottom left corner of the net before the keeper pushed it away. Another good move on 24 minutes as Sterling-James shot wide of the left post from the right with Rose on space at the left post. Completely against the run of play Colchester were in front on 29 minutes, and frustratingly it was partially self-inflicted. Sterling-James gave away a free kick 22 yards from goal to the right of centre with a clumsy and unnecessary challenge. Hanlan squared the free kick to Sean Murray in a central position and his low shot took a deflection off the advancing MacDonald that took it past Logan into the bottom left corner of the net. I had initially thought that Logan should have done better, but the video shows that the deflection wrong-footed him and gave him no chance. Murray admitted after the game to The Moose on TalkSport that he was fortunate. Colchester added a second goal 5 minutes later. Sterling-James allowed Murray to cross from the left, a beautiful curling cross into the middle where Mandron lost his marker Pearce to glance a header past Logan. Certainly no blame to Logan, but Sterling-James and Pearce should have done better. Sterling-James had had a first half to forget and was replaced at the break. The Stags needed to get back into the game and took the game to the home side early in the second half. The Stags should have had a penalty on 52 minutes. MacDonald forced his way into the area on the left, cut inside and was clearly clipped as he was about to shoot, but just about stayed on his feet before finally going down. Had he gone down initially, the referee would probably have given the penalty, but it was still a clear penalty from my position, and I had a great view of it. Three minutes later, more fine play from MacDonald as Hemmings slid a good ball to him, he got to the byline and pulled back a wonderful cross onto the head of Rose who sent a diving header inches over the bar. Fine play and unlucky not to bring a goal. Then on 62 minutes, more good play from MacDonald with a great run forward, cutting inside from the left on to his right foot, and he unleashed a powerful drive which the goalkeeper palmed away. The Stags had really needed to score during this fine spell but were unable to do so. After that, Mansfield rarely looked like getting back into it despite having the majority of possession but some of the play was poor, and the game ended with Colchester going close twice as first Murray broke the Stags’ offside trap and his shot from a tight angle was denied by a good save with his legs by Logan, then Murray shot wide from a good position in the box from a Colchester break with the Stags desperately trying to get back. In stoppage time, with the game already up, sub Lee Angol won the ball and pushed forward but elected to shoot with Danny Rose unmarked to his left, and Angol’s shot was blocked.
A bit of perspective after the game from The Moose and Alvin Martin who were covering the game for TalkSport. The Moose asked me what I thought, I said I thought Mansfield hadn’t done enough through the game to earn all the points. He disagreed and said he thought Mansfield were very unlucky and played much better football than Colchester, who he said did nothing apart from their goals until a bad miss right at the end on the break.
After the game as the Stags players came over to thank the travelling fans, they were greeted with “what a load of rubbish” shouted at them by a few Stags fans. From my position, I couldn’t tell how many fans it was shouting that but my brother who was among the travelling fans told me it was just a few. Steve Evans was unhappy that his players had that shouted at them as they went to applaud the fans.
A disappointing result for Mansfield but it’s far from doom and gloom with the Stags just a couple of points outside the play-offs and five points outside the top 3. I fully expect Mansfield to bounce back next week at home to Swindon with a good performance, as they have following the previous two defeats this season against Accrington and Cheltenham.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Mansfield’s 15-year wait for win over Colchester goes on after today’s defeat
chad.co.uk report, by Agency, Saturday 07 October 2017
Mansfield’s 15-year wait for a win against Colchester United went on after a 2-0 away defeat. The Stags last win against the U’s came way back in 2002, seven meetings ago. A five-minute first-half burst from Sean Murray and Mikhael Mandron condemned the Stags to only their second league defeat in their last nine. The Stags ended Notts County’s impressive nine-game unbeaten run last weekend, but failed to back it up at the Weston Homes Community Stadium. And manager Steve Evans made just a solitary change to that side as the injured Alfie Potter made way for Omari Sterling-James’ first league start of the season. The visitors found themselves behind after an end-to-end first half despite creating a handful of their own chances. Will Atkinson and Johnny Hunt linked up well early on with the former heading wide. Oxford United loanee Kane Hemmings then went close as he stung the palms of Sam Walker in the U’s net. Shot stopper Conrad Logan bravely dived at the feet of Brandon Hanlan to avoid any danger. But the Stags were caught off guard just before the half-hour mark as Murray rifled into the bottom corner after a short free-kick. Danny Rose could have equalised moments later when he headed at Walker and within the blink of an eye it was two. This time Murray was the provider as Mandron headed past the hapless Logan. Krystian Pearce cut out a dangerous cross moments after the restart with Mandron waiting ominously to fire home his second. The Stags continued creating chances and Rose almost had his fifth in as many games when he headed Alex MacDonald’s cross over. After the hour workhorse MacDonald cut in from the left and let rip a curling effort, which Walker could only punch clear. Logan kept the deficit at just two with a superb save with his legs to deny Murray who was gaping down on goal.
Colchester: Walker, Jackson, Inniss, Kent, Vincent-Young (Eastman, 20), Wright, Loft, Murray, Reid (Comley, 55), Mandron, Hanlan (Kabamba, 81). Unused subs: Gilmartin, Slater, Guthrie, Odelusi.
Mansfield: Logan, Anderson (Mellis, 64), Pearce, Mirfin, Hunt, MacDonald, Butcher, Atkinson, Sterling-James (Bennett, 45), Rose, Hemmings (Angol, 65). Unused subs: Olejnik, Digby, Spencer, Hamilton.
Referee: John Busby
Attendance: 3,262 (339)
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-s-15-year-wait-for-win-over-colchester-goes-on-after-today-s-defeat-1-8793307
Colchester United 2 Mansfield Town 0, match report: Sean Murray and Mikael Mandron hunt down the Stags
greenun24.co.uk, 07 October 2017, by Carl Marston
First-half goals by Sean Murray and Mikael Mandron inflicted a defeat on promotion candidates Mansfield Town at the Weston Homes Community Stadium this afternoon.
Colchester United suffered only their third home league defeat of 2017, against Wycombe in their last home league outing, but they fully deserved the three points against Steve Evans’ under-performing Stags.
Fresh from scoring the only goal of the game at Yeovil the previous weekend, Murray bagged the opener in the 29th minute.
Kyel Reid took a free-kick shot to Murray, and the midfielder directed a low, measured 20-yard shot through a crowded penalty area into the far corner of the net, deceiving keeper Conrad Logan.
Five minutes later and the U’s doubled their lead, with Murray turning creator.
It was a superb cross by Murray, from the left flank, which enabled Mandron to climb high and head powerfully into the roof of the net.
It was a slick finish by Mandron, to chalk up his third goal of the season.
Mansfield had beaten league leaders 3-1 the previous Saturday, but they had no response today.
Both sides showed an attacking intent from the first whistle, and Mandron squandered a great chance to break the deadlock inside the first minute when he ballooned a shot over the bar from just eight yards out.
At the other end, an angled drive by Stags winger Omari Sterling-James was blocked by Doug Loft on the edge of the six-yard box, and then hastily cleared by the ex-Gillingham midfielder.
Brandon Hanlan created a chance for himself, with some superb close control, although his final shot flashed wide of target on nine minutes, and seconds later Stags midfielder Will Atkinson headed inches wide with Sam Walker rooted to the spot.
The U’s were forced to reshuffle their pack, when Kane Vincent-Young limped off injured on the 20-minute mark.
Substitute Tom Eastman, back after a hamstring injury, came on at centre-back with Frankie Kent switching to left-back.
Walker was forced into his first real save shortly afterwards, diving low down to push away a goal-bound drive by leading scorer Danny Rose.
A good U’s move in the 26th minute, started by Mandron, ended with Reid’s shot from a tight angle being squeezed behind for a corner.
But three minutes later and the hosts did take the lead, thanks to Murray’s measured 20-yard shot from Reid’s short free-kick.
Mansfield tried to get back on level terms straight away, but Walker comfortably caught Rose’s rising header under his own bar, on the half-hour mark.
And they found themselves trailing by two goals, when Mandron headed home Murray’s delightful cross in the 34th minute.
The Stags were very close to halving the deficit, eight minutes into the second half, Rose’s header flashing inches wide of the far post from Atkinson’s delivery.
Walker was in the right place to punch away a fierce goal-bound shot by Alex MacDonald, in the 61st minute, as the U’s continued to shut out the opposition.
Murray could have bagged his second the U’s third in the 76th minute. He was put clean through on goal, only for his shot to be blocked by onrushing keeper Logan.
Murray had another chance on 86 minutes, but he sliced his shot wide with just Logan to beat.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Walker, Jackson, Inniss, Kent, Vincent-Young (sub Eastman, 20), Wright, Loft, Murray, Reid (sub Comley, 55), Hanlan (sub, Kabamba, 81) Mandron. Unused subs: Gilmartin, Slater, Odelusi, Guthrie.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Logan, Anderson (sub Mellis, 64), Pearce, Mirfin, Hunt, MacDonald, Butcher, Atkinson, Sterling-James (sub Bennett, 46), Hemmings (sub Angol, 64), Rose. Unused subs: Olejnic, Digby, Spencer, Hamilton.
Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire)
Attendance: 3,262 (339 away fans)
Evans wrong to say Mansfield dominated despite defeat
Stags supporters turn on their team at Colchester
By Mark Langdon
So who do you believe?
The Mansfield fans who chanted "what a load of rubbish" at the full-time whistle or Stags boss Steve Evans who claimed afterwards: "I think the players gave us everything. We've dominated for 75 minutes plus."
Mansfield were not rubbish at Colchester but the fans' frustration probably stems from yet another poor away result as their team have secured just one triumph in six road trips this season.
That success came in fortuitous circumstances at Lincoln where Mansfield scored with their only shot on target and didn't even force a corner.
However, if the Stags were better than rubbish, they were certainly not as in control as Evans claimed afterwards. It was a reasonably even encounter which did little to highlight why the Stags were seen as ante-post promotion favourites for Sky Bet League Two.
Mansfield looked a better side in the second half when Evans brought on the commanding Rhys Bennett and switched to a three-man rearguard formation from the starting 4-4-2, but Colchester were happy to give up territory by that point to defend a 2-0 lead.
There was little to separate the sides for 30 minutes before Sean Murray's weak free kick crept past Conrad Logan and within five minutes Colchester had doubled their advantage when the goalscorer turned provider for Mikael Mandron to head home powerfully.
Mansfield had not done a great deal wrong to find themselves 2-0 down but at the same time they had created only a couple of half-chances and lacked the kind of bite usually associated with teams managed by Evans.
Indeed, Evans, unusually given the perception of him, was quiet in the first period, leaving assistant Paul Raynor to do most of his bidding on the touchline.
It was much different in the second half with the Scot snarling at every decision against his side. There was a reasonable shout for a penalty when Alex MacDonald appeared to be tripped but it was hardly a case of underdogs Colchester desperately hanging on.
MacDonald, freed by the change of shape, was a much greater threat early in the second half and as well as nearly winning a penalty he also forced Sam Walker into a smart save and delivered a cross from which the lively Danny Rose headed just over.
Substitute Lee Angol selfishly shot instead of passing to Rose in added time, although by then the travelling supporters had seen enough to dig out their own players.
Mansfield were hesitant at the back until Bennett arrived and fairly average across midfield until MacDonald was shifted off the left, while the off-form Kane Hemmings was lucky to last 65 minutes before being hooked for Angol.
Top scorer Rose was a threat and did not deserve the "rubbish" treatment. Despite his small stature he won his share of headers, combined well and did his best on limited service.
Expect Rose to continue to blossom as the season progresses. I would be in no rush to write off Mansfield solely on the back of this performance. However, they were also not nearly as good as Evans claimed in his post-match press conference.
Colchester are up to 15th in Sky Bet League Two and they look a better side than their current position suggests after injuries contributed to United's poor start to the season.
Tom Eastman, Craig Slater and Kurtis Guthrie were on the bench on Saturday as they continue to search for full fitness and Murray twice went close on the counter late on to make the scoreline even more emphatic in favour of the hosts.
John McGreal started with a 4-4-2 but switched to a three-man defensive line following an early injury to Kane Vincent-Young with Eastman slotting alongside Frankie Kent and Ryan Inniss.
That's a solid base from which Colchester can look to kick on with Doug Loft keeping the ball well in midfield and Mandron was a real handful up front. It's a surprise he has scored only three times this term because on this evidence he can be influential for United.
Colchester 4-4-2: Walker; Jackson, Kent, Inniss, Vincent-Young (Eastman 20); Wright, Murray, Loft, Reid (Comley 55); Mandron, Hanlan (Kabamba 81).
Mansfield 4-4-2: Logan; Anderson (Mellis 64), Pearce, Mirfin, Hunt; Sterling-James (Bennett 46), Butcher, Atkinson, MacDonald; Rose, Hemmings (Angol 65).