STAGS LOSE AT OUT-OF-FORM CARLISLE
Carlisle 1 - 0 Mansfield
Att: 5293 (249 from Mansfield)
Karl Hawley hit a superb late winner to end Carlisle's four-match losing streak and leave Mansfield propping up the Table.
With 10 minutes to play Chris Lumsdon launched a 60 yard pass to Hawley's feet.
Hawley, without a goal in United's four straight defeats, shrugged off Alex Baptiste's challenge to loft a perfect lob over Kevin Pressman from the corner of the penalty area.
The collective sight of relief rang round Brunton Park - United's recent slump saw them drop from 2nd to 12th.
Carlisle may have left with the points but the match against the League bottom team was anything but a pretty affair.
Mansfield will need to improve to move off the basement and caretaker/manager Peter Shirtliff has a tough job on his hands.
But with better finishing the points would have been theirs. Striker Simon Brown was their chief threat and he could have easily had a hat-trick.
With 20 minutes gone Brown broke Carlisle's lacklustre offside trap only to hit the post from just eight yards.
Soon after that he robbed Cumbrian's captain Kevin Gray but fired straight at Keiren Westwood when well placed.
Then, with seconds gone at the start of the second half, he headed narrowly wide from Gareth Jelleyman's cross.
Raphael Nade had the home side's best chance, forcing a great save from Pressman.
United winger Simon Hackney beat two Stags defenders and curled a perfect cross on to Nade's head only for the veteran keeper to intervene with a full stretch save.
United should have scored after 55 minutes when Pressman flapped at Adam Murray's cross.
Hackney powered a volley into the net but referee Lee Mason blew for a free kick for Nade's challenge on the keeper.
In the end it was the Stags failure in front of goal that cost them the points, but Hawley's winner will live long in the memory of Carlisle fans.
STAGS DENIED BY KARL
PA via Evening Post
Carlisle Utd 1 v 0 Mansfield Town
A moment of magic from striker Karl Hawley enabled Carlisle to halt a four-game losing run with a 1-0 victory over Mansfield.
Chris Lumsdon put Hawley through and he held off a challenge to delicately lob the ball over the head of Kevin Pressman.
Mansfield, for whom leading scorer Simon Brown scorned three good chances, didn't do enough to suggest a first away victory was imminent.
Brown frittered away the clearest opening early on when Gareth Jellyman's pass sent him racing clear, his shot was wide of Keiren Westwood but the ball bounced off the far post.
Carlisle got on top in the closing stages but survived an injury time scare when Westwood missed his punch from a free kick but the referee judged he had been fouled.
News & Star :
Carlisle Utd: Westwood; Beharall; Murphy; Gray; Aranalde; Billy; Lumsdon; Murray; Hackney; Nade; Hawley. Subs: Williams; Holmes; McClen; Arnison; Oâ€™Brien.
Mansfield Town: Pressman; Jelleyman; Baptiste; Buxton; Hjelde; Uhlenbeek; Coke; Dawson; Rundle; Brown; Barker. Subs: Day; Birchill; Talbot; Lloyd; Littlejohn.
3 â€“ Raphael Nade charges into the box but his low left-foot drive is well saved by Kevin Pressman.
7 â€“ Karl Hawley wins a brave header and his cross is deflected behind, but Nade claimed his shirt was being pulled on the edge of the area.
8 â€“ Simon Hackney meets Adam Murrayâ€™s cross but his far-post volley flashes wide.
10 â€“ Mansfield win a free-kick on the edge of the Carlisle area but Richie Barker fires his shot wide.
17 â€“ Hackney embarks on his first threatening run down the left, beating two men before his cross is anxiously cleared.
19 â€“ Kevin Gray is caught in possession on the edge of his own area but Simon Brown drills his low shot straight at Westwood.
20 â€“ Gareth Jelleymanâ€™s long ball evades the Carlisle defence and Brown races clear, but his shot rebounds of the post.
27 â€“ Simon Hackney stands up a cross from the left which Nade meets with a header, but Pressman plucks it out of the air with a fine diving save.
45 â€“ Referee Lee Mason signals the end of a disappointing first-half and there is an outbreak of booing from some United fans.
46 â€“ Brown gets a free header in the Carlisle area but it flies well wide of Westwoodâ€™s left hand post.
48 â€“ Zigor Aranalde is booked for a foul on Barker.
50 â€“ Karl Hawley rifles in a 20-yard shot from the right channel but it whistles wide of the right hand post.
54 â€“ Simon Hackney has the ball in the net but ref Mason blows up for a foul on Pressman by Nade.
55 â€“ Paul Arnison replaces the struggling David Beharall.
57 â€“ Brown runs half the length of the field after Chris Billyâ€™s error but his low shot is comfortably saved low down by Westwood.
60 â€“ Aranaldeâ€™s cross from the left is headed onto the roof of the net by Hawley.
63 â€“ Adam Birchall replaces Simon Brown for the Stags.
67 â€“ Derek Holmes replaces Chris Billy for United.
74 â€“ Adrian Littlejohn replaces Adam Rundle for Mansfield, and Alan Oâ€™Brien replaces Simon Hackney for the hosts.
80 â€“ GOAL â€“ Chris Lumsdonâ€™s fantastic long ball picks out Hawley, who finds the net with a superb chip over Pressman from the edge of the area.
81 â€“ Callum Lloyd comes on for Stephen Dawson for Mansfield.
Flying winger Simon Hackney was brought in for his third start of the season to face bottom of the table Mansfield Town with Raphael Nade keeping his place following a good display at Oxford.
Peter Murphy stayed in his preferred central defensive role alongside captain Kev Gray with Westwood once again chosen in goal.
United came in to this one looking to end a run of 4 straight defeats whilst the visitors, although sitting in bottom spot, had been playing much better of late under caretaker manager Peter Shirtliff.
The last two home games have seen explosive starts from United and Nade was given an early chance to run at the defence in the third minute. He picked the ball up in midfield, arrowed towards goal and unleashed a powerful drive from the edge of the area, forcing Pressman in to a diving save.
Raphael Nade was left in a heap inside the area in the 7th minute when Baptiste dragged him back, and just as Hawley was breaking quickly on the right. Mr Mason waved play on despite some loud protestations.
Simon Hackney made a good run in to the box in the 8th minute and it almost paid off for him when Adam Murray picked the perfect cross. The wide man connected well with a precise volley but it zipped just inches wide of the post.
Brown was brought down in a dangerous position as Mansfield attacked in the 11th minute and Barker stepped up to take the 19 yard free kick. He got plenty on it but it was never on target, whistling well wide in the end.
Lumsdon battled for the ball in the Stags area in the 16th minute as Carlisle tried to get forward more, and he came away with it, despite pressure from two players. He found Hackney on the overlap who clipped a cross to the back post for Murray to battle for. Pressman came out for it, punching it in to space, but there were no blue shirts on hand to pick it up.
Mansfield had a very good 5 minute spell that could have seen them go ahead, starting in the 19th minute. Gray was bounced off the ball by Brown, 22 yards from goal, but he opted to shoot early instead of going one on one with Westwood, and he left it easy for the keeper. Brown really should have scored in their next attack when he beat the offside trap and ran onwards in to the area. With Westwood committed he shot low and hard and was disappointed to see his drive bounce back off the post.
Kevin Pressman showed his quality in the 27th minute when Hackney was fed in down the left. He tricked his marker and swung the ball in, finding Nade 6 yards from goal. The header was crisp but the big keeper was at full length, grasping it out of the air on the line.
A poor clearance saw Hackney on the prowl again but his cross, on this occasion, deceived everyone as it bounced away to safety with Pressman rooted to the spot.
The remainder of the half was played out with very little incident in front of either goal and with both sets of midfield players cancelling each other out.
Half Time: United 0 - 0 Mansfield
A good start from Mansfield saw them create two openings within the first minute following the break.
Brown was first to head wide from close range when Baptiste stole a yard and then Giles Coke was almost on the end of an Uhlenbeek cross as the Dutchman worked space from a throw in, but Beharall did well to complete a clearing header.
Karl Hawley got his first real sight of goal in the 50th minute when Adam Murray went in for a strong challenge in midfield. The ball broke free and Carlisle's top scorer had only one thing in mind as he ran towards the area, fizzing his drive just wide of the mark.
Brown should have done better for the Stags in the 57th minute when Billy was robbed, with no cover behind. The stocky striker was released and had acres of time and space, but left a simple task for Westwood to gather the ball when he failed to get any real purchase on the shot.
Two great crosses in quick succession had the Mansfield back line struggling on the hour mark, the second of which was headed just over by Hawley from 16 yards.
Holmes and Arnison were brought on for United as Simpson looked for more bite but Mansfield were holding a tight line, making life very difficult.
O'Brien also came on in the 74th minute with Simpson clearly looking to seal a victory. It was to be a wonderful pass and a fantastic finish that brought a goal for the Cumbrians in the 80th minute when Chris Lumsdon looked up, having received the ball in acres of space. He found an inch perfect 40 yard cross field pass that bounced nicely for Karl Hawley, 18 yards from goal. He wasted no time and measured a lovely lob that dipped over Pressman and in to the back of the net.
The tension seemed to lift for Carlisle and O'Brien was very busy, looking to cause havoc down the left. His runs had the Stags undecided as to whether to push out or stay back, and the midfield capitalised because of it. United were able to see the match out in relative comfort against a very deflated visiting side who never recovered from the goal.
This was an important afternoon for the Blues who remained patient and got the reward of a goal that is one of the best we will see this season. The effort was there from every player, just as the manager requested, and the defence rarely looked troubled, despite some lively spells from the visitors. It was another determined second half performance from United and the confidence should now grow from that as they showed, once more, what can be done if they put their mind to it. It's a break from League action this Tuesday with the LDV trip to Oldham.
United - Hawley (80)
United - Aranalde (48), Hawley (80)
Mansfield - Jellyman (55)
United - Westwood, Beharall (Arnison 55), Murphy, Gray, Aranalde, A Murray, Lumsdon, Billy (Holmes 67), Hackney (O'Brien 74), Nade, Hawley. Not Used - Williams, McClen.
Mansfield - Pressman, Jellyman, Baptiste, Dawson (Lloyd 81), Uhlenbeek, Barker, Buxton, Coke, Rundle (Littlejohn 73), Brown (Birchall 62), Hjelde. Not Used - Day, Talbot.
Away Fans - 249
United Blunt Stags In Hard Fought Victory
Carlisle United 1 Mansfield Town 0
Hawley's 80th minute strike grabs a vital three points for United as they end their four match losing streak at home to a poor Mansfield outfit
United player-manager Paul Simpson started with a very similar line-up to the one which lost 1-0 at Oxford eight days ago, the only change being Simon Hackney coming in as a direct replacement for Alan O'Brien on the left-wing.
Keiren Westwood was between the sticks in front of a back-four of Zigor Aranalde, Peter Murphy, Kevin Gray and David Beherall. Adam Murray, Chris Billy, Chris Lumsdon and Hackney took the midfield berths while Karl Hawley and Raphael Nade were partnered upfront in a 4-4-2 formation.
The game started quietly with United looking to end their losing run against a bottom of the table Mansfield side operating under the guise of caretaker-boss Peter Shirtliff.
The first half-chance for the Blues came in the third minute as Nade hit a cross-shot which the "well-built" and very experienced Mansfield keeper Kevin Pressman saved easily. Nade was the centre of attention again four minutes later as he seemed to be dragged down in the box by Stags centre-half Alex-John Baptiste. Referee Lee Mason waved play on though in the face of strong complaints from Nade.
Just sixty seconds later the Blues missed a golden chance to take the lead as Hackney fired wide. Adam Murray hit a lovely cross to the far-post where the young winger was lurking but Hackney could only smash his left-volley across the face of goal and behind from 12 yards out.
Mansfield's opening chance of the game came in the 11th minute from a set-piece. Stags front-man Simon Brown was brought down on the edge of the United box by Chris Lumsdon but ex-Sheffield Wednesday striker Richie Barker could only smash the free-kick wide of the target.
Mansfield will look back on the chances they had around the twenty-minute mark as the ones that got away when you suffer a 1-0 defeat.
Firstly Brown robbed Kevin Gray in the "D" but could only fire his low drive straight at Westwood when he had more time and a bit of composure from him could have seen United fall behind.
Then two minutes later Brown once more had the opportunity as he flew onto a through-ball from Gareth Jelleyman while a static Carlisle defence appealed in vain for an offside flag. Brown went in on goal and hit a low shot across the face which Westwood seemed to get a fingertip on and the ball pinged away to safety off the base of the post. It was a lucky escape for the Cumbrians and if one of those chances had gone in then the afternoon could have turned out very differently, but hey that's football.
In the 27th minute Simon Hackney broke away down the left-wing and the ex-Woodley Sports man delivered a good cross into the box which was just inches too high for Nade to get a strong header on it. Pressman threw his considerable bulk away to the right to catch Nade's effort in what was a classic example of "a save for the cameras."
The lack of gambling on balls played into the box cost the Blues dear a few minutes later as Hackney this time drove a low ball across the box which flew harmlessly out for a goal-kick with no United player able to get anywhere near it.
Realistically, apart from the chances that both sides had, it really was a poor first-half of football as both sides struggled to keep hold of the ball. One incident late in the opening period encapsulated the game in a nutshell as the ball was headed back and forth for what seemed like two or three minutes. Nade was the only United player who seemed to be making any effort as he continually won aerial challenges and worked hard for the cause in defending from the front.
Both sides went into the break hoping to serve up better fare in the second-half as each of them knew that it looked like one goal would win the game.
The Blues seemed to come out of the blocks slowly after the interval and within only twenty seconds Brown headed wide of the United goal from a Baptiste cross.
Two minutes later Aranalde was the first player to enter referee Mason's notebook as a late challenge on Barker just inside the United half saw the Basque left-back receive a yellow card.
Shortly afterwards Surinamese defender Gus Uhlenbeek hit a good cross into the Cumbrians' box but just as Giles Coke looked set to meet it United right-back Beherall stole in to head away from danger. It was one bright spot in a dark afternoon for Beherall who had a stinker for the Blues. His distribution was terrible and if he wasn't passing the ball to a Stags player he was slicing it away into touch. Simmo eventually put him out of his misery and brought Paul Arnison on in his place in the 55th minute.
United started to up the pressure though and Hawley went close in the 51st minute when he hit a rising drive narrowly wide from the edge of the box after a through ball from Adam Murray.
The Blues looked to have taken the lead in 54th minute but the "goal" was disallowed by the official. Nade challenged Pressman in the air from an Adam Murray cross and as the keeper flapped and Hackney stroked the ball home into the empty net referee Mason was blowing his whistle for an innocuous foul on the keeper.
Mason officiated very fussily throughout and seemed particularly interested in free-kicks being taken from the exact blade of grass. Pedantic moment of the match though goes to fourth official John Carter when Jelleyman wanted to change his boots. The Mansfield kit-man laid the boots slightly outside the Stags' technical area and Carter walked forward and moved the boots back inside the white box for an early contender for officiating moment of the season.
Brown again wasted a good chance for the Nottinghamshire outfit three minutes later when he could only shoot weakly straight at Westwood after the ineffectual Billy had given the ball away in midfield. A minute earlier Jelleyman had been booked for the visitors after a crude challenge on Adam Murray.
United were really upping the tempo now as Mansfield seemed to drop deeper and deeper into their own half and Hawley had Pressman scrambling back as his header just dropped onto the roof of the Stags net.
Former Blues winger Adam Rundle took a heavy knock shortly afterwards and was replaced by the striker of many clubs, Adrian Littlejohn, as the Stags had to change things round a little in midfield.
O'Brien came on for Hackney in the 74th minute after Holmes had replaced Billy seven minutes earlier. Hackney struggled a bit throughout the game as his slight frame was continually knocked off the ball by stronger opposition players. When he did get the ball at his feet with time the young winger put some lovely crosses in and his pace is exciting, if only he was a bigger lad.
United finally made the breakthrough ten minutes from the end with a wonderful finish from Hawley. Lumsdon hit a fantastic 40-yard ball over the top straight into Hawley's stride. As the ex-Walsall striker held off Stags defender centre-half Baptiste he looked up and hit an inch-perfect lob over Pressman from the right-hand edge of the box and into the top near corner to send 5044 of the 5293 strong crowd into raptures.
Hawley foolishly blooted his copy-book as he ran towards the East stand twirling his shirt above his head. Referee Mason had no choice but to book the striker and it's a bit daft to get yourself yellow-carded for something that is so easy to avoid. At some stage in the season that booking will be the fifth one that leads to a suspension whatever the circumstances regarding the goal.
Mysteriously after spending the previous twenty minutes getting "injuries" all over the field, as soon as Mansfield went 1-0 down they didn't have an injury for the final ten minutes.
That final period was played out with little goal-mouth action as O'Brien struggled to make headway down the left-wing and United seemed to run about five minutes off the clock in the far corner with a succession of throw-ins and corners.
Just as Blues fans were starting to breath easily Mansfield could have scored with the almost the last touch of the game in the fourth minute of added time. Nade brought down Giles Coke 30 yards out on the left and United fans waited nervously as Coke lined up to swing the ball into the middle.
The free-kick came flying into the Cumbrians box and with Westwood flapping at the ball Baptiste was left alone at the far-post but his headed effort on goal was apologetic and went well wide. Fortunately for United referee Mason had already blown for what looked like an invisible infringement on Westwood so any goal would have been chalked off anyway.
A minute later the final whistle came and it was a relief all round for United fans, players and coaching staff alike as the Blues ended their run of four defeats with a deserved victory.
Post-match quotes :
After the game Mansfield caretaker/manager Peter Shirtliff said:
"Probably a point would have been a fairer result, we just ran out of steam at the end. I am not going to be able to turn this around overnight, you don't come here and expect Carlisle to roll over and give you the three points. We had some chances where we could have done a lot better. Simon Brown could have had at least two and with better finishing we would have won."
United player/boss Paul Simpson said:
"It was a much better second half performance and Karl Hawley's finish was excellent. There was such a nervousness about the game but when we scored you could feel the relief from the crowd. Raphael Nade worked really hard today and earned his place in the team but we will take a lot from this match, we didn't play fantastically well but I am just pleased that we have ended our losing run."
It's all about wins and points in football and not about performances and that's what comes out of today for me. We desperately needed a win to get back on track after four defeats in a row and whilst it wasn't the prettiest of performances the result is all that counts.
The first half was a pretty sorry exhibition of football from both sides in which Raphael Nade was the only bright point for United as he worked himself into the ground for the cause. On the other hand I would imagine David Beherall will be having a long lie down in a dark room this evening after his performance until Arnison replaced him, they shoot horses don't they?
Make no mistake though Mansfield looked a poor outfit but you can only beat the team you play and we had enough possession to do just that. You can see why the Stags are down at the bottom of the table though, they looked weak at the back and toothless upfront, add to that a keeper who has Slimfast as his half-time drink and things look bleak for Mansfield this season.
Neither O'Brien nor Hackney had the best of games but Derek Holmes did a good job when he came off the bench. Good to see Chris Lumsdon play the excellent ball over the top that led to the goal as well after he has looked out of sorts recently.
So onto Oldham in the LDV on Tuesday, a game in which Simmo has said he will probably stick with the first-team and then away to a Notts County side in the League on Saturday who haven't won for eight games now.
Latest | October 2005