STAGS BEATEN BY LATE ERROR
Peterborough United 2 - 0 Mansfield Town
Mackail-Smith 87, White 89.
Attendance: 4,276 (314 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw at London Road
Mansfield Town slipped to a fourth defeat in six winless games, at London Road this afternoon against a Peterborough side just outside the play-off zone. The Stags defended well for 87 minutes, but then a terrible error by keeper Jason White allowed a shot from a tight ankle by Craig Mackail-Smith to sneak in at his near post, and, two minutes after that, calamitous defending gifted the home side a second goal. The Stags have scored only two goals in those six matches, as the season has collapsed, and thank goodness for the run of three wins before that which has steered the side to complete safety.
Man of the Match: Alex John-Baptiste
post match round-up by Jason Harrison from Mansfield 103.2 here
More Easter misery after White mistake
PETERBOROUGH UNITED 2 MANSFIELD TOWN 0
TWO Peterborough goals in the last three minutes completed a miserable Easter for Mansfield Town at London Road this afternoon.
Without ever really looking like scoring themselves, Mansfield at least looked set to grab a point from a ground they have not won at in 28 years.
But a late double salvo from Craig Mackail-Smith and Alan White kept United's outside Play-offs hopes alive and sentenced Stags to a sixth miserable game without a win.
Even worse, Mansfield have now failed to seriously trouble an opposition goalkeeper in two games and have not scored for 292 minutes of tedious football.
Like the Bristol Rovers game on Saturday, this game was largely awful with only Jason White having a decent save to make, denying George Boyd on 67 minutes.
But the deadlock was broken by a goalkeeping howler and White will be disappointed how he was beaten on his near post by Posh Player of the Month Mackail-Smith on 87 minutes.
Then, after saving from Adam Newton, he was soon beaten again as former Notts County man Alan White gratefully accepted a free header.
Still without five injured key players, Stags boss Billy Dearden made three changes, electing to play five in midfield with Brown and Michael Boulding on the wings and
Lloyd joining Hodge in central midfield with Hamshaw playing just behind lone striker Conlon.
Out went Sleath, Arnold and Gritton from Saturday's home defeat by Bristol Rovers.
But, despite changing things round both player and formation-wise during the game, Dearden could not produce the spark needed from his depleted side to test Mark Tyler in the home goal and give some much-needed cheer to over 300 travelling Stags fans.
John-Baptiste's challenge deflected Mackail-Smith's low poked effort wide for a corner inside the first 60 seconds.
Stags' first effort came on eight minutes as Brown won the tackle against Blackett and forced keeper Tyler into an easy save at his near post.
Jelleyman, back at his old club, produced a good tackle in the box to halt Mackail-Smith as Posh threatened again.
A good break down the left by Boulding saw him keep his feet after being fouled and, with play waved on, he crossed low to Conlon who tried to cue up Hamshaw only to see his team mate swing a boot at fresh air.
Peterborough broke from Mansfield's first corner and Gain shot low and tamely at White.
Futcher wasn't too far over with a header from Low's 25th minute corner.
Stags might have capitalised on the acres of space afforded to Hamshaw on the right from Mullins' flicked pass. But his low ball in was smothered by Tyler before a yellow shirt could get on the end of it.
Conlon was shown a yellow card for his foul on Blackett on 33 minutes after several warnings for previous infringements.
United took their corner tally to seven with three more near half-time but none of them caused a problem to White.
In stoppage time Newton hoisted in a cross from the right towards the far post where Mackail-Smith, under pressure, headed over as the half ended goalless.
Mansfield made a double switch at the break with Charlton and Brown withdrawn and Rory Boulding and Arnold sent on.
After starting 4-5-1, Stags were now playing a 3-5-2 formation.
Conlon was well over after Michael Boulding pulled the ball back towards him from the by-line on 49 minutes.
United enjoyed a spell of pressure which ended with John-Baptiste getting in a block as Newton shot low following a return pass from Boyd.
Hodge's pass to Arnold put the youngster in space but his run ended in disappointment as he pulled a low shot tamely wide.
Boyd almost broke the tedium on 57 minutes as he crashed a half-volley inches over the far angle - the nearest we had come to a goal so far.
Crow replaced Butcher on 59 minutes for the home side.
A cutting pass from Gain behind Mullins gave Low a crossing chance. However, with team mates well placed his cross was over-hit and the moment gone.
Another great Gain ball sent Crow on a run which saw him cut inside John-Baptiste but have his final shot blocked by the diving challenge of Jelleyman.
Futcher's foul on Rory Boulding earned the big centre half a booking on 63 minutes.
White finally had a serious save to make on 67 minutes. Gain made space and shot goal wards from a central position. The ball reached Boyd who tried to help it home but White made himself big and was able to parry it six yards from his goal line.
Gritton came on for Lloyd for the final 18 minutes.
Day's free kick was headed straight at White on 76 minutes and at the other end a long Hamshaw free kick was headed well wide by Conlon as we continued to await the first goal.
Mansfield forced two corners as we entered the last seven minutes. The first was cleared as far as Hodge who had a powerful shot blocked while the second saw Tyler fouled.
But there was to be a sting in the tail.
Seconds after Crowe had blasted a difficult far post chance across the face of goal, the deadlock was finally broken on 87 minutes.
Mackail-Smith was allowed to get away a low shot from the left of the box which White allowed to find the net at his near post.
A minute later White did well to turn round a vicious Newton shot.
But he was picking the ball out the back of his net on 89 minutes once more.
This time Day floated in a cross from the right and White was all alone to bury a free header from six yards.
Latest | April 2007