STAGS HAMMER `WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH` COUNTY
Mansfield Town 3 - 1 Notts County
Day 25, Woodman 45+1, Larkin 69, Asamoah missed pen. Gorden 90+2.
Att 7682 (1787 from Notts)
County fans chanted "What a load of rubbish" as the Stags pulverised them at Field Mill this afternoon.
Stags 3 Notts County 1
MANSFIELD Town demolished neighbours Notts County in a one-sided local derby at Field Mill this afternoon.
The result by no means tells the story as Stags could have had double figures were it not for poor finishing and a string of brilliant saves from keeper Saul Deeney.
And County's consolation came in stoppage time.
Mansfield produced a magnificent first 45 minutes to mark manager Keith Curle's 100th game in charge of the club with Rhys Day heading (comment from Martin - not a header) them in front on 25 minutes and Craig Woodman producing a spectacular strike in stoppage time to give them the breathing space their display deserved.
There was little respite in the second half as Mansfield bore relentlessly down on the Magpies and it was 3-0 on 69 minutes when Colin Larkin volleyed his eighth goal of the season.
Deeney, only in because Aston Villa recalled Wayne Henderson, continued to defy Mansfield and even saved a 79th minute Derek Asamoah penalty shortly before Julien Baudet headed against his own crossbar.
"I thought at times today we were superb," said manager Curle.
"It was a superb team performance and just the sort of entertaining football I want to serve up.
"Credit to Notts, they kept going and they have some very good players. We knew we would have to be at our very best today to make sure we got the points.
"Our commitment, effort and desire all over the park was fantastic. We looked bright in possession and always looked lively and dangerous.
"It would have been nice to keep a clean sheet. I think the players got a little bit over-excited as they sometimes do in local derbies and we had defenders going forward to get another goal."
Stags sprang a surprise with the arrival of Doncaster Rovers striker Guy Ipoua on a month's loan and forming part of a deadly three-pronged attack. Wayne Corden was the player to make way and Ipoua took the chance to shine and had a standing ovation as he left the pitch after 68 minutes.
Adam Murray returned from a one-match ban, replacing Neil MacKenzie, who dropped to the bench, and Tom Curtis came in for the injured Alex John-Baptiste (hamstring).
Stags created the first danger as McNiven's long throw from the right was helped on by Day towards Murray who sent a header just over the angle.
Then on 10 minutes young Notts keeper Deeney failed to collect McNiven's long free kick as Day jumped with him and won the ball. There was a few seconds of panic before Deeney managed to recover and punch the loose ball away.
Neil found himself without support 20 yards from the Notts goal, held up the ball and then played a sweet pass to Asamoah just inside the box on the right. He cut inside Ullathorne before forcing a low save from Deeney at his near post.
Mansfield continued to dominate and a low McNiven cros saw Asamoah miss his kick as he swung at it first time, Murray behind him managing to direct the ball at goal but unable to seriously trouble Deeney.
A cutting Neil pass on 15 minutes then released Larkin down the Mansfield right. But, with options inside, he tried the shot from a difficult angle and Deeney turned it round the near post for a corner.
Asamoah threatened again as he beat Bolland to a loose ball in midfield and went on an exciting run before letting fly from 20 yards straight at Deeney.
Seconds later Neil set up Asamoah for another crack at goal, his low shot again straight at the keeper.
In the 23d minute Day twice came close. From an outswinging Neil corner, Day produced an acrobatic volley from 16 yards which forced an equally impressive save from Deeney to his right.
And when Notts couldn't clear the second corner Day powered a header just over from Neil's cross.
But Day's luck changed a minute later as Stags swept ahead on 25 minutes.
Murray sent a left wing free kick in towards the near post where Day stuck out a leg to get the vital touch past Deeney.
Notts replied with a 20 yard shot from Palmer that deflected wide of the home goal.
Ipoua had been out of the action for a while but almost extended Mansfield's lead on 29 minutes. Showing great skill, composure and balance for a big man, he tricked his way past two defenders in the box to leave Deeney at his mercy only to poke his finish wide of the far post.
Soon after Neil had a shot charged down as the home side continued to run the show. Then Murray's free kick fed Neil whose first time effort from 25 yards lacked power and was easy for the Notts keeper.
A low right wing cross from Bolland flew into the six yard box where Pilkington bravely gathered amid the flying legs.
Larkin should have netted on 37 minutes. Again Neil's measured pass sent him clear and this time his low finish beat the keeper and the far post.
Notts enjoyed a little spell of pressure as half time approached and a long throw from Gill found Baudet who sent a looping header on target but easy for Pilkington.
Stags produced the second goal their first half display merited in stoppage time.
Notts found themselves under siege and, when the ball was cleared as far as Woodman almost 30 yards from goal. And he let fly with a rocket shot under the far angle that gave the rooted Deeney no chance.
The half-time whistle blew on the restart as Stags went in well satisfied with their superb first half showing.
The shellshocked Magpies replaced Gill with Wilson for the second half and O'Grady soon showed good strength to win a tussle with McNiven and blast a shot into the side netting from the left of the box.
But Mansfield replied with two excellent chances in as many minutes.
Asamoah beat Baudet to a long ball forward and, with Deeney off his line, tried a dipping shot from 16 yards which brought the best save of the game out of Deeney, turning it away at full stretch.
Seconds later Ipoua again danced into the box and turned the defenders before rolling a pass to Neil which seemed to bobble as he struck it and it sailed over from eight yards.
Ipoua marked his debut with a yellow card on 55 minutes for a foul on Oakes.
Notts threatened briefly on 54 as Pipe sent in a low cross from the right which Hurst tried to direct inside the far post first time but failed to get any real power on and Pilkington made the save.
Notts pitched Gordon up front in place of O'Grady on 58 minutes.
Artell should have done better when he jumped well to get a head on Neil's free kick but could only send the ball over the top from 10 yards.
Neat work in midfield saw Neil square a pass to McNiven who set off on a run which ended with an ambitious 40 yards shot that bobbled well wide.
Hurst almost sneaked in on 66 minuets but Artell did just enough to hamper him and get the ball safely back to Pilkington.
When Hurst again had the ball at his feet seconds later, he saw his blast blocked by Day.
Hurst raised temperatures when he squared up to Day.
Both sides made further changes with O'Neill on for Ipoua for Stags and Palmer replaced by Scully.
O'Neill made a sterling contribution within seconds as his first touch led to Stags' third goal.
Woodman's free kick was headed on by O'Neill in the box and Larkin volleyed the ball home as it dropped.
That prompted Notts fans to start calling for the head of manager Gary Mills.
Day was replaced by Dimech and Neil by MacKenzie as Stags completed their substitutions.
Larkin called for a penalty after he went down under Whitlow's challenge, to no avail.
Baudet then almost found his own net, but saw his attempt to head away McNiven's cross come back off his own crossbar on 77 minutes.
The pressure continued relentlessly as Larkin found Murray whose 20 yard shot was turned aside by Deeney. Asamoah went for the loose ball but was brought down by Wilson to concede a 79th minute penalty.
But Deeney guessed correctly as he dived to his left and saved Asamoah's spot kick.
O'Neill missed a sitter on 83 as Asamoah switched play from left to right to Larkin. He knocked it square to Murray who missed his kick but it rolled on to O'Neill who, with Deeney at his mercy, saw the keeper twist in mid-air and claw the ball away.
Asamoah was harshly cautioned four minutes from time for a foul on Pipe.
Another superb Stags move on 90 minutes saw MacKenzie and Murray set up Larkin for a shot that beat the far post.
But Stags' hopes of a clean sheet to put the icing on the cake were wrecked when Notts grabbed a stoppage time consolation.
Deeney's long kick was helped on by Hurst to Gordon who found the top right hand corner from 12 yards.
But it was too little too late as Stags deservedly took the spoils and got their promotion hunt back on track.
County assistant boss Darron Gee said: "It wasn't down to tactics or team selection. It was about having the hunger and passion to play in a local derby and too many of our players didn't have that desire which is very disappointing.
"Mansfield overwhelmed us with their passion and desire which we failed to match.
"I feel for the fans and I feel for the manager who has to carry the can for that. But what can you do? We have no funds or long-term injured players coming back so we have to get on with what we've got. That's life at this football club right now.
"You have to speak the truth and be honest and, after a fantastic week, we have come back down to earth with a bang.
"You just can't put your finger on what team will turn up for some reason. It was men against boys which is wrong and is something we have to put right very quickly."
Stags now prepare to travel to Cheltenham on Tuesday night before an away game against promotion rivals Wycombe Wanderers next Saturday.
Stags stroll derby
Mansfield returned to form in a one-sided local derby against Notts County that finished 3-1 and ensured Keith Curle was able to celebrate his 100th game in charge.
County keeper Saul Deeney's goal was under constant attack throughout the game and only his heroics prevented a much heavier defeat. Rhys Day's scissor kick forced Deeney to make a spectacular save before the same player deflected Adam Murray's free kick into the net. Just before the interval the home side doubled their lead when a loose ball fell to Craig Woodman, who blasted home into the top corner with a superb strike from long range. Colin Larkin's volley made it safe for the home side following Joe O'Neill's flick and County's Julien Baudet headed against his own bar. Deeney denied Derek Asamoah from the penalty spot following Kelvin Wilson's foul on the same player before Gavin Gordon hit a late consolation.
Mills Or Bust
Well the platitudes first, Mansfield were in my opinion by far and away the best side we have played this season and richly deserved their win.
Get the news from all the clubs first hand through the eyes of the fans, the ones that know.
The fact that a sizeable number of their supporters are Neanderthals is unfortunate, that their policing and stewarding belongs in former communist countries and that visiting the toilets meant wading through ankle deep water (I hope) should not detract from the fact that the team is ideally suited to do well in this division. Strong at the back, committed and creative in midfield and pacey up front simply illustrated everything missing from Notts.
Listening to Radio Nottingham on the run home I heard coco the clown aka Darren Gee say that today wasn't about team selection or tactics but passion and commitment. Sorry Darren it's about all three.
Team selection surely would have meant the inclusion of our best player last Sunday in Kelvin Wilson. It would also surely have meant Pipey playing right side of midfield and above all it would have meant the exclusion of the weak, ineffectual, uncommitted and quite frankly chuffin useless Mathew Gill. Tactically we might have set out to cut out at source the balls for the speedy Asamoah and it might have ensured we got bodies around to pick up the pieces from the combative Larkin and Ipua. Lastly maybe it was the responsibility of the management team to install some pride, commitment and desire amongst the players that they signed.
So what happened? I struggle to think of a more comprehensive 3-1 thrashing. We were murdered in every area apart from the goalkeeping. Deeney was magnificent today and possibly saved us from the worst ever defeat I have seen in my 36 years of watching. Aside from the penalty save he defied the rampant Stags !! time and time again as they simply cut us apart.
With Bolland and Gill impotent, Palmer again clearly unfit and Oakes being asked to simply all creativity the back four got swamped. Time after time the full backs were left 2 on 1 and Whitlow is either ponderously slow or seeking to hasten Mill's exit. It was interesting he applauded the fans at the end. (Methinks someone has an eye on a player manager role). Up front Hurst and O'Grady never got a kick and again one has to question whether a local derby was not the occasion for a big man such as Gordon particularly since he started last week and scored for the reserves.
Did we ever have a chance, no not really. Gordon's last minute consolation was just that by which time most fans had long since gone. Goals from a free kick which either got a flick off the unchallenged centre half or went straight in, plus an unchallenged (spot the link) drive from the left full back gave a two nil half time lead and Mills inspirational half time team talk produced five fitful minutes of pressure and no shots. Thereafter more of the same. Larkin surprisingly (?) unchallenged made it three and then Deaney saved the penalty before Stags contrived to miss a shed load of chances.
Where now? This was unacceptable. The loud chants of "we want Millsy out" were fully justified. Irrespective of the give it time arguments we are in desperate turmoil. I feel Mills has clearly lost the dressing room, he has all his players, one of the larger budgets in the league yet we have no structure, commitment or passion. In my opinion if we retain Mills we will not only be playing Conference football next season we will most probably be bankrupt. I also believe that the board of directors will be negligent if they cannot see this and do not act accordingly.
Over to you gentlemen.
Mansfield: Pilkington, McNiven, Artell, Day (Dimech,73), Woodman, Neil (MacKenzie,70), Curtis, Murray, Ipoua (O'Neill,68), Asamoah, Larkin.
Subs not used: White, Corden.
Notts County: Deeney, Pipe, Whitlow, Baudet, Ullathorne, Bolland, Palmer (Scully,67), Gill (Wilson,45), Oakes, Hurst, O'Grady (Gordon,58)
Subs not used: Mildenhall, Kuduzovic.
Bookings: Asamoah, Ipoua (Mansfield)
Referee: Dermot Gallagher (Banbury)
Notts slaughtered by Stags
by Rob Davies
A gutless Notts County were defeated 3-1 by Mansfield Town at Field Mill this afternoon. But the 3-1 scoreline does not do the home side justice, and only some brilliant goalkeeping from Saul Deeney kept the scoreline semi-respectable.
Surely this is now the point of no return for Gary Mills. Mills said early on in his reign that if he lost the support of the fans he would resign. Well, I think it would've been clear to the 1,800 odd travelling fans that he no longer has the support of the fans (or the players for that matter). Surely, then, that leaves him with only one possible option.
The Notts manager, who had got himself some breathing space with the 2-1 win at Maccesfield last week, immediately set the tone by naming both Matty Gill and Paul Bolland in his now full strength midfield. Meanwhile, Tony Scully and on-form Bosnian Fahrudin Kuduzovic were both left on the bench.
Mystifying stuff from Mills. The Notts manager, therefore, left out young full-back Kelvin Wilson to accomodate the hapless Bolland, with Pipe moving back to right back, while Gill, back from injury but as bad as ever, replaced Craig Pead, who returned to Coventry this week.
Young striker Chris O'Grady was given the nod to partner Glynn Hurst, after an impressive showing in the week, while Deeney was preferred to Steve Mildenhall between the sticks.
It was clear right from the outset that, despite being promised by Mills in the week that the players knew how important this game was, there was only going to be one winner. And it wasn't going to be us.
Despite a few half-decent moves orchestrated by Stefan Oakes, the Magpies never really threatened Man U reject's Kevin Pilkington's goal, while Mansfield tested Deeney a number of times in the opening 20 minutes.
The Irish stopper had to make an excellent save at his near post after Stags hitman Colin Larkin had easily got in behind the slow (understatement of the year) moving Whitlow. Nippy forward Derek Asamoah was also allowed in behind the Magpies rearguard a number of times in the early stages, and throughout the game for that matter.
Deeney again did well to parry a Rhys Day scissor kick on 21 minutes, after the Welsh centre back was completely unmarked at a set piece.
Notts clearly did not learn their lesson, though, as the centre back was again left unmarked to nod the home side into a deserved lead on 24 minutes.
Ex Notts midfielder Adam Murray, who revelled in the space given by his former employees, whipped in the free-kick where Day stood completely unmarked on the 6-yard line to get the slightest touch past Deeney.
It was debateable as to whether Day even got a touch on the free-kick, but what was certain was to how poor Notts had now become at defending set-pieces, among other things.
The Stags, loving the amount of space given to them in midfield (just what does Gill do?), continued to fly forward at every oppurtunity, with strikers Colin Larkin and Derek Asamoah constantly exploiting the lack of pace of Whitlow.
It was big striker Guy Ipoua though, making his debut for the home side, who really should have scored when dancing past two Notts 'challenges' only to finish rather poorly, scewing his effort wide.
Larkin was the next to miss a gilt-edged chance when played through by Murray, only to send his effort narrowly wide when one-on-one with the keeper.
The Stags weren't to be denied though, and eventually went in at the break with the two goal cushion their dominance deserved.
The goal, from Notts' point of view, was an absolute shambles. The original danger appeared to have gone after Asamoah show-boated in the area, Ipoua intercepted a cutback aimed at someone else and Notts had 6 players between the ball and the goal. Wrong. Ipoua danced past 3 'tackles', the ball was badly cleared and left back Craig Woodman hammered a right-foot shot into the top corner of the net and past a motionless Deeney.
The half-time whistle was met with a chorus of boos from a disgusted travelling support.
Half time: Mansfield Town 2-0 Notts County
After an 'inspirational' pep-talk by Mills and Gee, County came out for the second half looking revitalised. Yes, I'm lying. They were as bad as before.
Wilson was brought on to replace the hopeless Gill, though it was probably due to an injury, as it's very unlikely Mills would have ended his love affair with the midfielder by choice. This meant Bolland moving into centre midfield alongside Oakes, with Pipe pushing further forward.
Notts, now attacking the goal in which their disgusted supporters sat behind, were lacking any sort of creativity whatsoever, with Mansfield running through the heart of the midfield time and time again. Predictably, Bolland was frequently found on 'walkabout'.
Chris O'Grady, devoid of any useful service up the front, did manage to twist and turn his way into a half opening early on, but his left-footed strike smashed into the side netting.
That was a rare attacking venture, though, from Notts, who were desperately trying to hold a rampant Mansfield outfit to just two goals.
Asamoah, again, forced Deeney into an outstanding save after a bad error from Julian Baudet, while Stags midfielder Alex Neil then somehow managed to fire over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Mills, having already put Gavin Gordon on for O'Grady eight minutes earlier, then decided to use his final substitution on 66 minutes by putting on Scully for the unfit Chris Palmer.
The change meant little, however, when LARKIN fired Mansfield's third of the afternoon. If the first two goals were bad from a defensive point of view, this one was an absolute disgrace.
The ball was punted high up into the air by a defender, Whitlow let Murray get a flick to it and the unmarked Irish hitman somehow managed to refrain from burst out laughing to slot the ball past Deeney.
This was enough for Notts' band of travelling supporters, who now made their feelings perfectly known with loud cries of 'We Want Millsy Out'. The Notts manager, predictably, turned his back. Incidentaly, the Notts manager also refused, yet again, to talk to Colin Slater after the game. When will he ever accept responsibility for this rubbish?
The rest of the game was hardly much to write home about. Deeney excelled himself, having his best ever game for Notts, producing countless wonder-saves to deny the Stags clocking up a cricket score which wouldn't have been undeserved.
The keeper also saved a penalty from Asamoah, after Wilson- having an utter nightmare- brought down the former Northampton striker in the box. Premiership ref Dermot Gallagher- excellent through-out- had little option but to point to the spot, and Notts can count themselves lucky he refused one just before after Whitlow hacked down Larkin.
GORDON did manage a late consolation for Notts, reacting well to Hurst's flick-on, which perhaps explained the Notts' fans rather subdued reaction at the end, rather than the fierce booing and anti-Mills chanting that had taken place earlier.
Full Time: Mansfield Town 3-1 Notts County
Another shambolic display by the Magpies. And, with 7 or 8 players that could walk into the majority in this Division, it should be obvious where the blame lies.
Mills and Gee may continue to insist they're doing a good job here, but the majority of Notts fans disagree- and the Supporters Trust should take note of this.
Latest | October 2004