{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Pre-Season Friendly
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Dyer 3.
 Nathan Thomas 55.
Attendance: 546 (174 from Mansfield)
Date: 11 July 2015


Martin Shaw at The Lamb

Mansfield Town drew 1-1 at Tamworth of the Conference North in their second first team pre-season friendly this afternoon. Mansfield trailed as early as the 3rd minute when a poor clearance from keeper Scott Shearer gifted a goal to former Stags striker Ross Dyer. Matt Green was making his first appearance of pre-season and induced a handball outside the box from the Tamworth keeper in a 1-on-1 situation, but the referee decided not to award a free-kick and not send the keeper off. Mansfield drew level on 57 minutes with a super strike from Nathan Thomas. The goal came during a good spell for Mansfield as the team started to gel a bit better, before mass substitutions brought that to a halt. The Stags had chances to win it late on as an entirely new team in the last 25 minutes started to get on top, with Adi Yussuf going close several times and really catching the eye.

Mansfield’s team to start the game was in a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Matt Green as the lone striker, and Jack Thomas playing behind him. Nathan Thomas and Reggie Lambe were on the wings. Krystian Pearce was alongside Lee Collins in central defence, after signing yesterday following his period on trial and completing Murray’s defensive part of the squad. Matt Green started, having not played at Rainworth as he had not taken part in some of the activities at Brooksby College the week before due to a pre-arranged holiday.

Stags team (4-4-1-1):

Scott Shearer;
Nicky Hunt, Lee Collins (captain), Krystian Pearce, Mal Benning;
Nathan Thomas, Adam Chapman, Chris Clements, Reggie Lambe;
Jack Thomas;
Matt Green.

Mansfield were not playing in the new kit (amber with one blue stripe, blue shorts, blue socks), which went on sale this morning, as there hadn’t been time to get numbers printed on the shirts.

Tamworth included former Stags striker Ross Dyer, now sporting a beard and hair! Player-manager Andy Morrell was on the bench. This was Tamworth’s first pre-season friendly. Tamworth are two leagues below League Two, in contrast to Rainworth and Worksop who are five leagues below League Two.

It was a sunny and warm afternoon, though it got cooler and cloudier in the second half.

It was a poor pitch, quite bobbly, unusual for this stage of the season.

Tamworth were ahead after just 3 minutes, and it came from a mistake by Stags keeper Scott Shearer. Shearer’s miscued clearance from somewhere near the edge of his own box went to Danny Newton 25 yards out, Newton played the ball to his right where Ross Dyer had all the time in world to stroke the ball into an empty net. Although Dyer couldn’t miss, he must have been pleased to score against his former side.

On 11 minutes, Jed Davies volleyed over for Tamworth.

It was a poor start from Mansfield.

On 14 minutes, a good run from Mal Benning down the left to earn a free kick, level with edge of the area. Benning took the free kick himself but it was over everyone and wasted. Two minutes later, Adam Chapman floated in another free-kick from left, the keeper made mess of it and fumbled it for a corner. Clements took the corner to the edge of the area where Lambe met it and his cross-shot was blocked and away for another corner.

On 18 minutes, a great touch by Jack Thomas to win ball on the left on the halfway line, he ran down left, and in to the area, but just ran out of pitch before he could get a shot away.

On 25 minutes, Reggie Lambe teed up Benning in the area, but Benning shanked a shot wide. At the other end on 28 minutes, Benning was nearly beaten on the Tamworth right, but then produced a good tackle to put behind for a Tamworth corner.

On 30 minutes, a good move out of defence from the Stags, starting with Jack Thomas, and eventually Nathan Thomas’s shot was blocked on the edge of area. On 33 minutes, Nicky Hunt found Matt Green, who tried an ambitious shot 25 yard that was blocked. Two minutes later, Hunt did well to win a corner. But Nathan Thomas’s delivery was over everyone for a goal-kick.

On 36 minutes, Matt Green knocked the ball back to Lambe, 20 yards out, who curled a shot just over the bar. On 38 minutes, Tamworth keeper Belshaw gave the ball away, Nathan Thomas had a chance to shoot, it was blocked into path of Matt Green, but Green was offside as his shot was saved.

Matt Green had looked a little rusty in the early stages in his first pre-season run-out but he came to life on 43 minutes. A ball forward from Nathan Thomas put Green in a 1-on-1 with keeper Belshaw, Green got a vital touch on it, the keeper had come out of his area and pushed the ball away with his hand. It looked a clear free-kick to everyone in the press box, and would have been a straight red card in a competitive game, but the referee waved played on. Small protests from Matt Green to the referee but in a game like this, to be honest no-one would have wanted Tamworth to be down to ten men.

A bit of a lacklustre start from Mansfield, with a very sloppy goal conceded, the defence looked shaky early on, but the team had at least come to life as the half wore drew to a close. Mansfield had tried to knock the ball around, but there were plenty of misplaced passes and they had not created very much. Stags boss Adam Murray told us afterwards that he had administered a rollicking at half time.

Half time 1-0

Craig Westcarr and Chris Beardsley replaced Jack Thomas and Matt Green at half time. Westcarr and Beardsley went up front in a 4-4-2 formation. Tamworth made several changes, but the announcer was not able to say who most of them were!

Mansfield were now kicking towards the 174 visiting fans. On 49 minutes, Nathan Thomas found Westcarr, who found Chapman on the edge of the area, but he scuffed a shot wide.

On 51 minutes, Chapman’s short corner to the nearside edge of the area found Benning who clipped across goal, and Collins tried to turn it in but it was blocked. Moments later, Nathan Thomas fired well over from the edge of the area.

New signing, Krystian Pearce went down injured on 54 minutes and limped off. After the game, Murray said it was nothing serious and just a precaution. He was replaced by Tafazolli.

The Stags were level on 55 minutes. A nice move, the ball reached Nathan Thomas and he curled a lovely shot into the left corner of the net from the edge of the box to the right of centre.

On 64 minutes, Mansfield made a quadruple change with Adi Yussuf, Joe Fitzpatrick, Jamie McGuire and Mitch Rose replacing Lambe, Nathan Thomas, Chapman and Clements. There were some Tamworth changes too. The public announcer very amusingly admitted he hadn’t got a clue who most of the Tamworth changes were, but I kept him informed on the Mansfield changes so he was at least able to announce them.

Three minutes later, four more changes for Mansfield, as Conor Green replaced Benning, Sam Wilson for Shearer, Shires for Collins, and Marsden for Hunt.

So Mansfield had now changed the entire team, which was now (from 67 minutes):

Stags team (4-4-2):

Sam Wilson (youth team keeper);
Liam Marsden, Corbin Shires, Ryan Tafazolli, Conor Green (left back);
Mitch Rose (right wing), Jamie McGuire, Joe Fitzpatrick, Craig Westcarr;
Adi Yussuf, Chris Beardsley.

The game had become disjointed with nothing of note happening.

On 71 minutes, Tamworth went close with an inswinging corner that went just wide of the right post with no one able to touch home. Then on 76 minutes, another chance for Tamworth as Tomassen flicked wide from 10 yards.

There was amusement on 77 minutes as there was a Tamworth substitution with player-manager Andy Morrell coming on, that the public announcer could at last correctly describe!

Morrell was straight into the action on 78 minutes winning a free-kick with a good piece of skill to go past Marsden who brought him down. The free kick was taken, from 30 yards, by Leon Mettam, and held at the second attempt by young keeper Sam Wilson.

Straight to the other end and Adi Yussuf shot from a tight angle, parried away by the keeper. A good effort.

On 81 minutes, Westcarr did well to win the ball, and get it to Yussuf whose goalbound shot was blocked. Good play.

On 84 minutes, Fitzpatrick’s free kick was fumbled by Tamworth sub keeper Raj Gill for a corner. Westcarr’s corner was overhit and out for a throw-in.

Straight to the other end and a good ball from the right to Andy Morrell on the left, he cut inside but weakly fired wide.

On 85 minutes, good interplay between Yussuf and Westcarr on the right, and Westcarr’s cross was headed behind for a corner. Fitzpatrick’s corner reached Beardsley but a poor lay-off from him wasted possession.

On 87 minutes, Morrell headed down a cross from the right, and Corbin Shires did well to shepherd the ball out of play.

On 90 minutes, Beardsley chested down a Tafazolli cross from the left but couldn’t get on the end of his own knock down and the keeper got there first.

A minute later, Fitzpatrick played in Yussuf who broke into the box, but he was denied by the keeper.

Then a minute after that, Fitzpatrick’s firm corner was headed over by Yussuf.

On 90+3 minutes, another corner for the Stags, taken by Fitzpatrick, but Westcarr headed well wide. And that was the last action.

So a 1-1 draw.

The Stags had started the second half well as the team, unchanged from the first half apart from two new strikers, started to come to life, and scored a good goal from Nathan Thomas. Then a completely new side took time to gel, but was starting to look dangerous in the closing stages, with Adi Yussuf catching the eye and going close to scoring several times.

The next first team action is on Wednesday night at Worksop Town.

Report by: Martin Shaw at The Lamb

Line Up:

Scott Shearer;
Nicky Hunt, Lee Collins (captain), Krystian Pearce, Mal Benning;
Nathan Thomas, Adam Chapman, Chris Clements, Reggie Lambe;
Jack Thomas;
Matt Green.
Sub Line Up:
(from 67 minutes):


Sam Wilson (youth team keeper);
Liam Marsden, Corbin Shires, Ryan Tafazolli, Conor Green (left back);
Mitch Rose (right wing), Jamie McGuire, Joe Fitzpatrick, Craig Westcarr;
Adi Yussuf, Chris Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
James Belshaw, Andy Burns, Owain Warslow, Stephen Tomassen, Dan Preston, Paul Green, Elliott Durrell, Shane Clarke, Ross Dyer, Daniel Newton, Jed Davies. Subs Raj Gill (goalkeeper), Dominic McGarr, Connor Taylor, Andy Morrell, and loads of others, unknown to the Tamworth public announcer.
Update: Second half: Gill, Burns, Warlow (Millard* on 66), Tomassen (Morrell 80), Preston (Hubbins on 68), Patori, Taylor, Lewis, Newton (Selway* on 68), Mettam, Smith. * = U21 squad
M. D’Aguilar.

Season 15/16 Reports