STAGS HELD BY BARROW AND NEARLY BEATEN LATE ON
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Barrow
Briscoe 63. Forrest 78
Attendance: 1,253 (71 from Barrow) (the lowest crowd for a league game at Field Mill since 1939)
Date: 12 April 2011
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
Mansfield Town came within 12 minutes of putting the pain of Saturday's humiliation at Hayes & Yeading behind them at Field Mill on Tuesday against Barrow but a strong comeback by the visitors, sparked by a brilliant goal on 78 minutes, completely turned the game and Barrow should have won the game with a string of near misses and fine saves late on.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre.
CHAD report by John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town fans endured a third successive poor result against a struggling side when Barrow came from behind to draw a poor game in front of the lowest post-War crowd for a league game at Field Mill on Tuesday night, reports John Lomas.
Stags, beginning a tough run of four home games in eight days, were looking to regain some pride after Saturday's humiliating drubbing at Hayes and Yeading.
But they failed to even get a shot on goal in a poor first half and, even after the ever-willing Louis Briscoe had put them ahead on 63 minutes, the Cumbrians earned a deserved point with Danny Forrest's spectacular dipping finish 12 minutes from the end.
Indeed, only the heroics of on-loan keeper David Grof, prevented Barrow grabbing a deserved winner in the last few minutes as Stags ended the night on the ropes and were booed from the field.
Despite getting Mansfield to Wembley, boss Duncan Russell knows current results are likely to lose him his job in the summer and will be desperate for points against Bath tomorrow (Thursday), when the crowd should be boosted by a £5 admission offer, Luton Town, who come on an FA Trophy revenge mission on Saturday, and Grimsby Town, who arrive on Tuesday looking to inflict more misery after hammering Stags 7-2 at home.
The crowd of 1,253 was 40 lower than the post-War record low who saw Stags take on Torquay in 1982.
See this week's Chad, on sale from Wednesday morning, for a full match report and all the latest from Field Mill, including an interview with chairman John Radford on the latest about the club's bid to buy Field Mill, the court case with landlord Keith Haslam and manager Duncan Russell's future
Mansfield Town 1 Barrow 1
Evening Post report by Matt Halfpenny
IT was the kind of match that would have normally brought a chorus of boos around Field Mill from the Mansfield Town fans – except there were not really enough hardy souls in the ground to make their disapproval truly heard.
The FA Trophy final at Wembley may have caught the imagination of the town's public, with nearly 10,000 tickets already sold for the big day.
But the same cannot be said of the club's flagging league programme, with the result a worst home league crowd since World War Two.
Only once, when 800 attended an afternoon match against Torquay in 1939, have less turned out for a first team game with points at stake than tonight's attendance of 1,253.
And many of those who did brave a nippy evening must have wondered why they had bothered as Mansfield never got going.
It did look for a while as if Louis Briscoe would send the home fans home happy, despite a drab encounter, when he broke the stalemate with his 18th goal of the season.
But when Barrow levelled in the closing stages, the Stags were extremely fortunate not to slip to a defeat and were indebted to the excellence of David Grof.
It was the hosts who got in the first shot on goal when Adam Murray released Danny Mitchley through the left channel and took a return pass which he blasted wide of the left-hand upright from the edge of the box.
Paul Smith got in the Bluebirds' first shot but his ambitious volley never threatened the goal.
Mansfield might have gone in front in the 17th minute when a half-cleared corner was whipped back in by Kyle Nix and headed down by Kevin Sandwith only for Tom Naylor to fail to connect from point-blank range.
It took until the 34th minute for the first shot on target to be registered as Paul Rutherford skipped past Paul Stonehouse on the right and cut in, only to fire straight at Grof, who held on comfortably.
Paul Edwards recovered well after gifting Medley possession only to get back and slide tackle the ball away from the Stags striker.
As half-time approached, Rutherford cut in from the left following a corner and forced Grof into a save down by the foot of his post.
The second period started as slowly as the first had finished and it was not until nine minutes after the restart that the Stags had a chance.
Nix's shot from 20 yards was charged down but as Gary Silk fed the ball in from the right, Medley could only shoot into the side-netting with a snapshot on the turn.
At the other end, a good run and cross from Edwards came to Rutherford at the far post, whose drilled blast was well blocked.
Medley might have done better when Ashley Cain whipped over an inviting cross only for the forward to head straight at Clark Masters.
It was the former Barnet man who wriggled free again on the hour but this time his finish was too high.
But there was finally something for the home fans to cheer as Briscoe pounced.
The biggest surprise was that it came from a corner, taken short to Medley, whose cross was taken on his chest by the Port Vale man and lashed into the right-hand corner.
As the Stags pressed again, Medley cut in from the left and was not too far wide with a 25-yard howitzer.
Mitchley then turned neatly to get to the left byline but his cutback was just out of the reach of the late-arriving Murray.
But the visitors were back level 12 minutes from time with a spectacular strike from Danny Forrest.
The ball dropped invitingly 25 yards from goal and his looping volley screamed over Grof and just under the bar.
Mansfield were almost trailing when Paul Smith's goalbound drive flicked off Nix with Grof stranded.
And Stonehouse then hooked off the line from a powerful header by substitute Andy Cook.
Grof then did well as he kept his eye on the ball from a deflected Cook strike.
It was all Barrow in the closing stages as Forrest was denied by Grof, who then got up quickly to smother at the feet of Smith.
And the Hungarian pulled off a wonder save to deny Cook down at the foot of his left-hand post from a header that looked goalbound all the way.
If you listened carefully at full-time, you could just about make out chants of 'Russell out' from the stands.
Even if they are fast diminishing in number, the Mansfield fans are making it abundantly clear they now have the knives out for their manager
Match facts: Mansfield Town v Barrow
Mansfield: Grof, Silk, Sandwith, Naylor, Stonehouse, Cain, Nix, Murray, Briscoe, Mitchley (Higginson 88), Medley. Subs not used: Collett, Foster, Smith, Istead.
Barrow: Masters, Spender, M. Pearson, Bolland, Edwards, Rutherford, Owen (Hulbert 71), Sheridan (Baker 71), Smith, Forrest, Curtis (Cook 76). Subs not used: S. Pearson, Nicholas.
Referee: Richard West (Yorkshire).
Attendance: 1,253 (71 visitors).
Goals: Mansfield: Briscoe (63). Barrow: Forrest (78).
Shots on target: Mansfield 3 Barrow 8.
Shots off target: Mansfield 6 Barrow 5.
Fouls: Mansfield 10 Barrow 7.
Corners: Mansfield 3 Barrow 6.
Offsides: Mansfield 4 Barrow 7.
Bookings: Mansfield 1 (Stonehouse 85, foul on Rutherford) Barrow 0.
Sendings off: Mansfield 0 Barrow 0.
Mansfield's man of the match: Tom Naylor. Another solid showing from the teenager who is mature beyond his years. The only blot on his copybook was failing to net from a decent close range opportunity in the first half when he failed to connect with Kevin Sandwith's knock down
North West Evening Mail AFC
Forrest earns Barrow a draw with stunning strike
BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER: MANSFIELD TOWN 1 BARROW 1
Goal: Mansfield: Louis Briscoe (63). Barrow: Danny Forrest (78)
Attendance: 1,253 (71 Barrow fans)
A WONDER-STRIKE from Danny Forrest earned Barrow AFC a share of the spoils at mid-table Mansfield Town tonight.
Forrest struck with a stunning 25-yarder in the 78th minute to cancel out an opening goal by Stags' Louis Briscoe.
Having equalised, Barrow threw everything but the kitchen sink at the hosts in the closing stages and were hugely unlucky not to grab a late winner.
The first half ended goalless with the only two shots on target, both coming from Barrow in the shape of Paul Rutherford. Mansfield enjoyed the better of the early exchanges but failed to work AFC keeper Clark Masters. The Bluebirds grew stronger as the half developed and went into the break well in the ascendancy.
Mansfield came out strongly at the start of the second half and took the lead on 63 minutes when Louis Briscoe fired home from seven yards out following a corner.
Barrow equalised on 78 minutes when Forrest hit a stunning 25-yard shot that dipped over David Grof. Moments later, AFC substitute Andy Cook saw a header cleared off the line. The chances continued to come for Barrow, who were denied a winner by the heroics of home keeper Grof.
Barrow - who went into the game four points, and five places, clear of the relegation zone - named the same side that thrashed Kettering Town 5-0 at Holker Street on Saturday. Midfielder Richie Baker, returning from a three-game suspension, took the place of Marc Goodfellow on the bench.
Mid-table Mansfield, who will play Darlington in the FA Trophy at Wembley next month, made five changes to the team beaten 4-0 at Hayes and Yeading at the weekend. The hosts were without striker Paul Connor. Tonight's game was the Stags' first of four successive home matches in eight days.
Barrow: Clark Masters, Simon Spender, Paul Edwards, Mike Pearson, Phil Bolland, Darren Sheridan (Robin Hulbert 66), James Owen (Richie Baker 66), Paul Smith, Paul Rutherford, Danny Forrest, Wayne Curtis (Andy Cook 75). Subs: Shaun Pearson, Andy Nicholas, Richie Baker.
Mansfield: David Grof, Gary Silk, Paul Stonehouse, Tom Naylor, Kevin Sandwith, Ashley Cain, Kyle Nix, Adam Murray, Louis Briscoe, Danny Mitchley (Conor Higginson 87), Luke Medley. Subs: Neil Collett, Steve Foster, Adam Smith, Steven Istead.
Referee: Richard West.
Booked: Mansfield: Stonehouse (85)
Don't forget to see tomorrow's Evening Mail for full report, photos and post-match reaction.
Forrest fires Barrow AFC revival
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
BARROW AFC would have settled for a point before their game against mid-table Mansfield at Field Mill.
That was certainly still the case after 77 minutes, with the relegation-battling Bluebirds 1-0 down.
A Danny Forrest wonder-strike changed all that.
Back level at 1-1, the visitors pummeled the Stags goal with chance after chance and, but for the heroics of home keeper David Grof, would have left with a victory.
Barrow named the same side that thrashed Kettering Town 5-0 at Holker Street on Saturday. Midfielder Richie Baker, returning from a three-game suspension, took the place of Marc Goodfellow on the bench.
Mansfield, missing influential striker Paul Connor, made five changes to the team beaten 4-0 at Hayes and Yeading at the weekend.
The game was the first of four successive home matches in eight days for the Stags, and this played a part in a small, muted crowd at Field Mill.
The encounter started with the feel of a pre-season friendly, bursting into life momentarily on five minutes when home skipper Adam Murray flashed an 18-yard shot over the bar.
Midfielder Paul Smith, who scored twice for Barrow in their weekend romp, sent a long-range volley well wide on 10 minutes, but it was Mansfield, with jet-heeled striker Luke Medley proving a threat, in the ascendancy.
The hosts came close to opening the scoring on 16 minutes from a corner when a header by ex-Bluebird Kevin Sandwith fell at the feet of centre-half partner Tom Naylor, who failed to convert from three yards out.
Louis Briscoe then dragged a 25-yard effort wide, before Barrow began to settle into the game, knocking the ball about neatly to feet in midfield and the final third, without managing to carve open the home defence.
Unable to get round the back, the Bluebirds opted to try their luck from distance and, just before the half-hour mark, a sweetly-struck 25-yard effort from right-back Simon Spender dipped just wide of the upright, a hat-trick hero on Saturday, cut inside from the right, leaving full-back Paul Stonehouse in his wake, and curled an effort straight at Grof. It was the game's first shot on target.
As a largely uneventful half came to a close, Barrow forced a succession of corners, from one of which the increasingly-dangerous Rutherford brought an excellent save down low from Grof.
Moments later, Danny Forrest skied an 18-yard shot high over the bar as the Bluebirds finished the opening 45 minutes well on top.
The second half started in a more lively fashion, with both sides attacking and Barrow continuing with some neat build-up play.
It was, however, the Stags who had the half's first attempt when, after some brave blocks in the AFC defence, the ball fell to Medley, whose shot on the turn hit the side netting.
Then, on 58 minutes, with the pressure building on the visitors, Medley registered the home team's first effort on target, a header straight at Masters following a cross by Ashley Cain.
The Mansfield striker was involved again moments later when beating Spender and curling the ball over the bar from 18 yards out.
The opening goal arrived on 63 minutes when, following a short corner from the left, an unmarked Louis Briscoe was able to bring the ball down and fire home from seven yards out.
Medley almost doubled his side's lead shortly after, but his shot skidded just past the upright.
Barrow responded by making a double substitution, with Baker and Robin Hulbert introduced for Darren Sheridan and James Owen. Andy Cook then came on for Wayne Curtis as AFC switched to a 4-4-2 formation.
The Bluebirds equalised 12 minutes from time when Forrest's spectacular 25-yard strike – reminiscent of former Barrow striker Jason Walker – dipped over Grof.
Suddenly it was all Barrow.
Paul Smith had a shot which would have gone in but for hitting a Mansfield man on its way towards goal.
From the resulting corner, Cook's header was cleared off the line by Stonehouse.
A Cook shot was then saved by Grof, before Smith fired just over. Moments later, a Forrest shot was saved at the second attempt.
Then, on 89 minutes, Cook rose and sent in a superb downwards header that looked destined for the bottom corner until Grof made an outstanding save.
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