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Archived News from January 2012

31st January 2012 11:04

Blue Square Bet Premier
Ebbsfleet United 0 - 3 Mansfield Town
Green 21, Roberts 38, 90+4.
Att: 1085 (approx 200 from Mansfield)

Date: 28 January 2012

Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Stonebridge Road

A fine performance from new boys Gary Roberts and Ben Hutchinson inspired Mansfield Town to a convincing 3-0 at in-form Ebbsfleet. The Stags started the game powerfully in the opening minutes, but after a dodgy 10 minute spell, took the lead with a clinical finish from Matt Green from a great flick-down by Ross Dyer. Gary Roberts made it 2-0 with a fabulous strike from 25 yards into the bottom left corner. In between the two goals, Mansfield were denied what appeared to be a clearcut penalty when Matt Green was tripped, but unlike at Luton this time the decision was costly. The Stags didn't play as well in the second half, and Ebbsfleet had periods on top, but the closest they game was a deflected Enver-Marum shot that looped over Marriott and just wide. As Ebbsfleet pushed forward, the Stags had several glorious opportunities to extend the lead in the last 10 minutes but Ross Dyer missed two sitters and Lindon Meikle seemed reluctant to shoot from good positions. Good play from Louis Briscoe set up Roberts for a third goal in stoppage time as his initial shot was saved but he popped in the rebound. A professional performance from the Stags against inferior opposition, and we will need to continue to beat teams below us in the table without fail if a play-off spot is to be achieved.

Mansfield were unchanged from the side that drew at Luton.

Man of the match: Gary Roberts


Ebbsfleet 0 Mansfield Town 3, Saturday 28th January
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas

STAR man Gary Roberts netted twice as Mansfield Town continued their current fine run of form with a splendid 3-0 success at Ebbsfleet United that keeps play-off hopes firmly alive.


The win meant Stags moved up to ninth but just four points off the play-off spots with a game in hand.

It was a sixth game unbeaten and the first league away win in nine since the victory at Wrexham in late October, though Stags had only lost one of those nine games.

After the midweek draw at Luton, Stags boss Paul Cox had been keen to stress how much of a banana skin this game at mid-table Ebbsfleet could be.

But he needn't have worried as first half strikes from Matt Green and Roberts all but sealed a win as Stags thoroughly dominated.

To their credit Ebbsfleet dug in and fought back hard after the break with Mansfield having a lot of defending to do.

Late on Ross Dyer wasted two good chances to ease the pressure before Roberts settled it deep into stoppage time at the end.

It was the first time Mansfield had managed back to back clean sheets since that early season unbeaten run.

New boy Paul Edwards had to be content with a place on the bench as Stags remained from Wednesday's 0-0 draw at Luton.

Hutchinson almost gave Stags a lead after only 26 seconds, allowed room outside the box to whip in a low finish that passed narrowly wide of the left post.

Soon after Green got to the right by-line where he tried to pull a low ball back and saw the ball hit the hand of Lorraine as he slid in to block. But it was ball to hand and no penalty was given.

A great move between Roberts and Hutchinson saw Mambo make a great tackle on Roberts in the box as the home side creaked under Mansfield's early probing.

United finally threatened on 10 minutes a loose clearance in the Stags box saw Dempster given the ball to Enver-Marum only to see his low shot hit fallen team mate Willock before it could test Marriott.

On 13 minutes Enver-Marum put a dangerous low ball across the box where only Willock was waiting but unable to reach it.

Willock was also just short of reaching the ball as he jumped for a right wing cross by Stone.

A poor ball in the box from Dempster gifted the ball to Enver-Marum who saw his shot deflect wide for a corner at the near post.

Stags had let their early momentum ease off and had allowed the home side into the game.

So it was a relief when on 22 minutes Stags took the lead through goal machine Green.

It was route one stuff, too, as Marriott's long kick was helped on by Dyer towards Green who lashed a low right-footed finish inside the left post.

A minute later Green went down under challenge from Phipp in the box but again the referee waved play on.

United came close on 27 minutes as Pinney was stronger in the tackle then Murray just outside the box and squared the ball to Enver-Marum for a low shot that Marriott got down to gather.

Ebbsfleet won their second corner of the game on 33 minutes from which Stags broke quickly, Murray finding Roberts whose pass offered Hutchinson a chance that Edwards did well to turn away with a good save.

Edwards was also in he way of a rasping low 20 yard drive from Roberts after Dyer had done well to retrieve a lost cause near the corner flag.

Phipp was also straight at Marriott from 25 yards after Murray had failed to get any distance on a clearance.

But on 38 minutes Roberts doubled Stags' lead with a high quality finish.

Green and Hutchinson worked the ball to Roberts 20 yards from goal and he made space before rifling in a superb low right-footed finish that gave Edwards no chance.

Mambo was booked for bringing down Roberts 30 yards from goal on 45 minutes which then saw O'Neill curl a free kick over the wall and bar.

In stoppage time Willock wasn't far away with a surprise half volley from 30 yards when he spotted Marriott off his line.

But Mansfield went into the break with a comfortable and deserved 2-0 advantage.

In the opening minute of the second half we had a hold-up for treatment to Barrett after he felt the full force of a tackle by Roberts.

On 53 minutes Riley conceded a foul five yards outside the box for which he was fouled and West's ferocious free kick found it way on target, Marriott down to make the save.

Green, already carrying a knock for a couple of games, was clearly in pain after a challenge and, with Stags in command, it was decided to replace him with Briscoe just 10 minutes into the half.

On 58 minutes Smith hauled down Phipp to earn himself a caution, neither Marriott nor Dempster dealing with the free kick as it came at the first time of asking, but no Fleet player close enough to punish them.

On 65 minutes Hutchinson worked himself an opening on the right from a tight angle which was blocked, Briscoe crashing the follow-up straight at Edwards.

Marriott had to get down well to his right to block an unexpected Enver-Marum shot from 35 yards.

Desperate Ebsfleet peppered the visitors' goal with Enver-Marum and sub Azeez off target.

A rare loose pass by Roberts gifted Ebbsfleet possession which saw Enver-Marum's shot take a nasty deflection and loop up and over Marriott, thankfully bouncing wide for a corner.

Stags survived two home corners as Fleet built up a head of steam, then Enver-Marum headed tamely at goal before Stags gave themselves a much-needed energy boost for the last 12 minutes with the introduction of Meikle for Smith.

Almost immediately he set up an 81st minute sitter for Dyer with an inch-perfect cross which Dyer somehow headed wide from six yards.

Dyer had worked so hard all afternoon with some sterling defensive work. But, like last week, it was a chance he should have put away.

On 83 minutes one of the home side's most fluent passing moves ended with Enver-Marum firing into the sidenetting.

Howell replaced Hutchinson for the final six minutes with the finishing line in sight.

As we entered the last minute, Meikle took a pass in the box, drew two defenders and squared to his right where Dyer, in space, saw his first time shot hit the outside of the post.

Four minutes were added on at the end in which Sutton was booked for taking his time over a throw.

But the visitors put the icing on the cake with a third goal in the final minute of stoppage time.

Briscoe crossed from the right of the box where the incoming Roberts saw his volley saved, but tucked the loose ball away at the second time of asking.

EBBSFLEET: Edwards, Stone, Lorraine, West (Azeez 68), Willock, Phipp, Howe, Enver-Marum, Mambo, Barrett (Shakes 58), Pinney. Subs not used: McNeil, Smith, Stavrinou.

STAGS: Marriott; Sutton, Riley, Dempster, O'Neill; Murray, Hutchinson (Howell 84), Roberts; Dyer, Green (Briscoe 55), Smith (Meikle 78). Subs not used: Edwards, Redmond.

REFEREE: Justin Amey of Bournemouth.



Ebbsfleet United 0 Mansfield Town 3
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny

GARY Roberts scored his first two Mansfield Town goals and Matt Green his 18th of the season to help the Stags to their first away win since September as they ran out convincing winners at Ebbsfleet.


Paul Cox's men were much the better side in the first half and netted twice during that time to silence the Stonebridge Road crowd.

But it was much harder for the visitors in the second 45 minutes as they were made to work hard for a second consecutive clean sheet, before Roberts struck a second to wrap up three points in the dying stages.

The victory sees Mansfield stretch their unbeaten run to six matches and means they are still unbeaten in 2012.

The Stags almost went in front inside 30 seconds as Ross Dyer picked out Roberts whose accurate pass released Ben Hutchinson and he whistled a drive inches wide of the left-hand post from the edge of the box.

Yado Mambo produced a timely tackle to dispossess Roberts in the box just as he looked set to unleash a shot.

As Ebbsfleet hit back, Liam Enver-Marum's low shot, after confusion in the Mansfield defence, struck team-mate Calum Willock, allowing Alan Marriott to claim with ease.

Paul Lorraine was in the right place to nod back to keeper Preston Edwards just as Green seemed set to burst clear onto Roberts' chip over the top.

At the other end, Enver-Marum's low cross from the right was just too far in front of Willock.

The game became bogged down in midfield, with both sides giving away a succession of free-kicks.

But it burst into life in the 22nd minute when Mansfield stole ahead.

A long free-kick forward by Marriott was flicked on superbly by Ross Dyer for Green to run onto and the razor sharp striker's first time finish found the left-hand corner from 10 yards.

Almost immediately, Mansfield had claims for a penalty waved away when Green went down under the challenge of Tom Phipp just inside the box.

As the game moved towards the half hour mark, Nathaniel Pinney robbed Adam Murray and fed Enver-Marum, whose shot was too close to Marriott.

A deep left-wing centre from Smith was then headed back across goal by Dyer and Green almost sneaked in, but he could not turn his effort goalwards.

It was almost 2-0 to Mansfield as they swept the length of the field after clearing a corner - Smith, Murray and Roberts teeing up Hutchinson whose goalbound drive was pushed away by the advancing Preston Edwards.

The Stags continued to press forward at every opportunity and Roberts was the next to test Edwards with a long range shot that the England C man gathered at the second attempt.

Mansfield did double their lead in the 38th minute – and a fantastic strike it was too.

Green and Hutchinson combined to give Roberts the chance to let fly and his 25-yard blast found the left-hand corner unerringly.

With half-time approaching, Roberts was fouled 25 yards out, only for O'Neill to curl just past the left-hand upright.

As the game restarted, Michael West brought Marriott to his knees with a long-range free-kick.

The Stags were forced to withdraw Green after 55 minutes after he picked up a knock. He was replaced by Louis Briscoe.

There was a moment of panic in the visitors' ranks when Marriott dropped a routine free-kick, but not Ebbsfleet player was on hand to capitalise.

Briscoe's first real involvement saw him fire straight at Edwards on the volley after Hutchinson's initial effort had been charged down.

A terrific snapshot from Enver-Marum from fully 40 yards almost caught out Marriott, but the keeper recovered to make a save.

As Mansfield went for a killer third, Dyer picked out Hutchinson on the edge of the box but his drive was blocked.

United responded with a succession of attacks but both Enver-Marum and Ricky Shakes took the wrong options in good positions.

The hosts were getting closer, though, and Enver-Marum's effort deflected inches wide with Marriott beaten.

Mansfield could have wrapped it up with 10 minutes to go as substitute Lindon Meikle's centre from the right found Dyer, whose header flew wide of the right-hand post.

A well-crafted move from the Fleet culminated in Enver-Marum trying his luck again but this time he found the side-netting.

Dyer spurned another chance to kill off Ebbsfleet in the closing moments when he clipped the right-hand post from Meikle's pass.

But it was 3-0 in stoppage time when Roberts' volley from Briscoe's cross was saved by Edwards, only for the former Port Vale man to calmly tuck home the rebound.

Mansfield: Marriott, Sutton, Riley, Dempster, O'Neill, Murray, Roberts, Hutchinson (Howell 83), Dyer, Green (Briscoe 55), Smith (Meikle 79). Subs not used: N. Edwards, Howell, Redmond.

Ebbsfleet: P. Edwards, Stone, Lorraine, Mambo, Howe, West (Azeez 69), Phipp, Barrett (Shakes 58), Enver-Marum, Willock, Pinney. Subs not used: McNeil, Smith, Stavrinou.

Referee: Justin Amey (Dorset).

Attendance: 1,085


Belief grows among Mansfield players and fans after victory
Nottingham Post considered report by Matt Halfpenny

HAVING seen a Mansfield couple defy the odds to win £40 million of lottery cash, there's a growing belief among the town's senior football team and their supporters that they can do the same.


History tells Stags supporters their team falls alarmingly away from the race for promotion in the second half of their campaign.

Former Mansfield bosses Billy McEwan and David Holdsworth found to their cost that getting off to a flying start is one thing, while keeping it going is quite something else.

A faltering sequence of results leading up to the end of 2011 confirmed to most, certainly to the majority of fans, that nothing had changed under Paul Cox.

Another mid-table finish was an apparent inevitability as the Stags stuttered to just one win in nine league games.

But nothing is cast in stone, as Gareth and Catherine Bull found in scooping their gigantic EuroMillions prize.

Mansfield, too, have begun 2012 with an equally welcome change in fortunes – and it is that notable shift which has once again set tongues wagging that a play-off place is within their grasp.

This latest comprehensive and largely comfortable victory over Liam Daish's Ebbsfleet – who had beaten Tamworth by the same margin at Stonebridge Road only five days previously – made it six games unbeaten for the Stags.

And though there is still much work to do before the side can consider themselves as genuine threats to the likes of York and Kidderminster in the current Blue Square Premier top five, their confidence and sense of momentum is indisputably growing.

There will be some who will dismiss this purple patch as a fluke. They will venture that the embers that have been re-ignited will be quickly stamped out with a couple more setbacks.

But you can never say never, nor should you in the fickle world that is professional sport.

If you had asserted to those on the terraces at Cox's old club Eastwood early last year that they would eventually finish fourth in the Blue Square Bet North, they would, no doubt, have thought you had lost your marbles.

Yet four months on they clinched a spot in the play-offs – albeit not being able to compete because of problems with their Coronation Park home.

It just demonstrates what can happen once you get on a roll.

No-one is suggesting that Mansfield are going to charge through an altogether tougher division with that same kind of tidal wave effect. If only it were that easy.

There are signs, however, that the team has an edge and purpose about them at just the right juncture.

Perhaps the biggest catalyst in Mansfield's new-found vibrancy is the arrival of midfielder Gary Roberts.

Cox proclaimed following his move from Port Vale that the former Crewe trainee would be one of the best players around at this level – and he has swiftly gone on to prove that was no idle boast.

In fact, it is not impossible to conceive that had Roberts arrived from the moment Cox first enquired about him in the autumn, then the Stags' road to recovery would have started sooner than his New Year's Day debut at York.

The 24-year-old's creative input and range of passing has certainly taken the strain off skipper Adam Murray, who has previously shouldered the burden of being Mansfield's only real chance of unlocking opposition defences.

But Roberts also adds another key ingredient that has been lacking in the middle of the park – the threat of goals.

He had tried desperately, without much luck, to open his account in amber and blue swiftly; he was oh-so-keen to show why he scored five goals at Vale Park in the early part of 2011-12.

It was typical that when one goal came along for Roberts, so followed another, underlying just how important he could be to the team between now and the end of April.

Another new arrival, Ben Hutchinson, was also an influential contributor against the Fleet.

The former Celtic and Middlesbrough player is still not fully match fit and consequently there's clearly more to come.

But there are tantalising flashes of the ex-Arnold man's ability which, if harnessed, could make him just as much of a key man as Roberts, if not more so.

In the first half, Hutchinson played in the pocket just behind Matt Green and in front of his midfield team-mates with intelligence and craft.

A few more games under his belt and there will not be many defences relishing trying to snuff out his threat.

Yet for all the impetus offered by the new faces, it was a familiar one that came up with the goods to set Mansfield one their way.

Just as Ebbsfleet looked to be working their way back into the game after a promising start to the match, it was that man Green who shook off a niggling shin injury to convert his 18th goal of the season midway through the first half.

Alan Marriott launched a free-kick towards the edge of the area and Ross Dyer, as he so often does, got a flick-on. Green did not need a second invitation to slam a right-footed shot just inside the left-hand post from ten yards.

Hutchinson was denied Mansfield's second by England C keeper Preston Edwards' fine reflexes, but a 2-0 lead was not long in coming.

Green and Hutchinson combined to tee up Roberts and he smashed home an unstoppable low drive from 25 yards.

It was predictable that Ebbsfleet came out after the break with renewed vigour, knowing that an early goal would change the complexion of the game.

Their task was aided when, just ten minutes after the restart, Green was forced to make way for Louis Briscoe due to the aforementioned knock.

However, unlike in other matches this season where they had looked home and hosed only to give it away, Mansfield stood firm.

For all their bluster, United rarely tested Marriott as the defence in front of him put their bodies on the line.

At the same time, the Stags always looked capable of snatching a killer third on the counter, especially following the introduction of Lindon Meikle.

It seemed such an eventuality had passed the visitors by as Dyer headed wide and then clipped the right-hand post when he should really have netted.

In the fourth minute of stoppage time, though, Roberts capped another assured display by tapping coolly home after Edwards had saved his first volley from Briscoe's inviting right-wing centre.

It was a joyous end to an enjoyable afternoon for the travelling faithful, who now have a new outlook on Mansfield's season.

Because in terms of promotion back to the Football League through the play-offs, maybe, just maybe, it could be them


Ebbsfleet United 0 Mansfield Town 3
kentonline.co.uk report

Ebbsfleet United slipped to a disappointing 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Mansfield Town in Blue Square Bet Premier on Saturday.


The damage was done in the opening 45 minutes at Stonebridge Road, with the visitors beginning the brighter of the two sides.

Ben Hutchinson fired narrowly wide inside 30 seconds while Paul Lorraine escaped after appearing to block a Stags cross with a hand.

Fleet began to find their feet with Liam Enver-Marum firing in a low shot which was inadvertantly blocked by Callum Willock (pictured) on 10 minutes and moments later Willock almost connected with a low cross from Enver-Marum, who saw another shot deflected wide of Alan Marriott's post.

But Fleet suffered a blow when Matt Green turned in his 18th goal of the season after a route-one ball from Marriott was flicked into his path to fire low past Preston Edwards.

Nathaniel Pinney teed-up Enver-Marum who saw a shot saved by Marriott and Tom Phipp saw a shot saved by Marriott but Edwards needed to make two good saves to keep Town out at the other end.

He was eventually beaten for a second time when Gary Roberts fired low into the corner from just outside the box seven minutes before half-time.

Willock went close with a long-range effort moments before the interval and afterwards Marriott saved a thunderous free-kick from Michael West.

Enver-Marum went close to pulling one back on more than one occasion but Ross Dyer headed wide of an open goal from six yards for the visitors and then hit the post moments later.

There was still time for Roberts to tuck in his second at the second attempt in stoppage-time after Edwards had blocked his initial volley.

Fleet's first home defeat in six saw them remain in 14th place


Fleet 0 Mansfield Town 3
ebbsfleetunited.co.uk report

Fleet fell to a first-half double and a late goal as the first meeting with Mansfield Town this season ended in a relatively comfortable win for the visitors.


Minus Ram Marwa, but with Ricky Shakes and the returning Ross Smith on the bench, Fleet were seeking to build on their impressive 3-0 win over Tamworth in midweek. But Mansfield had other ideas and took control of the game from the first whistle as Ben Hutchinson – who played for Celtic in an Old Firm derby and Champions League Football against Manchester United – marauded through the Fleet defence but fired wide in the first minute.

With strike partner Matt Green, scorer of two goals at Stonebridge Road for Oxford in 2008, the two Stags front men immediately caught the eye as they got on the end of a plentiful supply from midfield as Fleet struggled to gain a foothold in the middle. There were half chances for the home side, with Liam Enver-Marum unfortunate to send his shot bouncing off a prone Calum Willock inside the box and then seeing a decent low effort skip across the six-yard box with nobody in support to fire home the loose ball.

But with 22 minutes on the clock, Mansfield took the lead. From a rather soft free-kick given for Paul Lorraine's challenge on Adam Murray, goalkeeper Alan Marriott launched a ball forward that Ross Dyer flicked on to Green and he diverted it past Preston Edwards from close range.

Six minutes later Pinney exploited some casual Mansfield defending and rode a few challenges to slip a ball into Enver-Marum but the resulting shot was weak and easy for Marriott. But it was all too tame from Fleet and the visitors went from strength to strength. First Fleet succumbed to a break from their own corner on 32 minutes and Murray fed a ball to Hutchinson and his strike was well parried by Edwards. Minutes later Gary Roberts hit a low stinging drive that threatened to bobble between Edwards' legs before the goalkeeper held it at the second attempt.

Roberts wasn't to be denied for long, however. On 38 minutes, after Tom Phipp had registered a shot on target for the Fleet, Hutchinson laid a ball off 30 yards out for Roberts. The midfielder had plenty of time to advance as the Fleet defence stood off and with nobody closing him down, Roberts crashed a shot into the bottom corner of the goal. Fleet were further frustrated when Yado Mambo went into the book for a foul on Roberts that owed as much to the rolling over afterwards as it did the original challenge.

Well worth their lead, the Stags were understandably a little less attack-minded in the second half as the Fleet tried to engineer another late comeback. After Martin Riley had upended the energetic Pinney and received a yellow card, Michael West fired a low free-kick to the far post that Marriott got down well to stop. Shakes replaced Neil Barrett midway through the half and Enver-Marum lobbed a shot over Marriott that had it taken a deflection may well have found its way into an unguarded net. On 68 minutes, West gave way to Lanre Azeez as Fleet continued to probe without creating anything clinical enough to get past a Mansfield defence where Luke O'Neill was the standout performer.

Mansfield looked briefly on the back foot but with about 10 minutes left upped their game again, with substitute Louis Briscoe giving them another dimension in midfield. Dyer headed off target from a good position late on and then struck the post witha half-volley on 89 minutes. Fleet pushed Mambo up front as Azeez, Pinney and Shakes buzzed around the visitors' box and Enver-Marum flashed a shot into the side netting after a good strong run but it was little surprise when Mansfield capitalised, Briscoe supplying Roberts who exploited gaps at the back, fired low against Edwards and then converted the rebound with the goalkeeper prone.

TEAM: Edwards, Stone, Howe, Mambo, Lorraine, Barrett (Shakes 58), Phipp, West (Azeez 68), Enver-Marum, Willock, Pinney. Subs not used: McNeil, Smith, Stavrinou


Three-goal Mansfield prove too strong for battling Ebbsfleet
Charlie Sewell, at Stonebridge Road


Blue Square Bet Premier: Ebbsfleet United 0 Mansfield Town 3

Ebbsfleet United lost for the first time in five league games on Saturday when they welcomed visitors Mansfield Town to Stonebridge Road.

A quiet opening 20 minutes where the only opportunity came from Mansfield's Ben Hutchinson within 30 seconds was followed by a dominant performance from the visitors.

The away side took the lead after 22 minutes when Matt Green latched onto a route-one ball that was flicked on by Ross Dyer and slotted past Preston Edwards from a tight angle.

Mansfield came close to doubling their lead 10 minutes later when a counter-attack from an Ebbsfleet corner led to Hutchinson testing Edwards who was equal to it.

However, after 38 minutes the Stags did make it two when Gary Roberts scored his first goal for Mansfield with a 25-yard rocket which gave the Fleet keeper no chance.

The home side came out fighting in the second half but, despite the majority of possession, failed to get the breakthrough that they desperately needed.

Michael West's free kick was comfortably saved after 52 minutes before Liam Enver-Marum tested the visitor's shot stopper Alan Marriott from distance.

Hutchinson had a chance to double his tally of the afternoon but saw his effort land in the hands of Edwards just after the hour mark.

The pressure was building on Mansfield's back line and the away dugout was wondering whether missed opportunities could cost them.

Dyer missed a sitter from five yards when he fired over a header with 10 minutes remaining before he hit the post from close range with the game going into stoppage time.

However, the game was put to bed deep into injury time when Roberts grabbed his second of the game after seeing his initial shot saved by Edwards, Roberts followed up and placed the ball in the back of the net past the scrambling Edwards.

Despite the result, Ebbsfleet stay 14th in the league table and 11 points above the relegation zone.

Ebbsfleet United: Edwards, Stone, Lorraine, West (Azeez, 68 mins), Willock, Phipp, Howe, Enver-Marum, Mambo, Barrett (Shakes, 58 mins), Pinney.

Subs not used: McNeil, Smith, Stavrinou

Attendance: 1,085


Stags fan view – Dennis Lord
Nottingham Post

ON a cold, dry but sunny afternoon the stags travelled to Ebbsfleet for a tricky away game against an in form and strong side.


After Wednesday's game against Luton we were hoping for the same effort and commitment from our team.

With an unchanged team we kicked off and within the first minute could have been ahead. Not long afterwards another chance came and went and we could had been two to the good.

As in all games the home team, Ebbsfleet, started to string a few passes together and started to attack.

The Stags defence held firm and with Riley and Dempster forming a confident partnership most of the attacks were broken down quickly but they always posed a threat.

Mansfield had control of this match and it was only a matter of time when we would open the scoring.

On 22 minutes Mr Dependable, Matt Green, broke the deadlock with a low shot across the keeper and into the net.

The Stags were on the up and could have added to the score on a couple of occasions. Ebbsfleet started to rally and could have scored had it not been for some poor finishing. On 38 minutes Gary Roberts produced a moment for us all to enjoy when he controlled the ball and superbly shot into the left corner of the goal with the keeper well beaten.

Half time came and went and for some unknown reason we started to let Ebbsfleet back into the game.

After 55 minutes Green was substituted by the improving Briscoe after Green seemed to be limping. Ebbsfleet made two changes in quick succession and that lifted them and the crowd and they started to put us under pressure.

Stags were coping well in defence but something needed to be done to stop the flow, enter Meikle and Howell.

The Stags midfield was galvanised by the presence of Howell whose strong tackles and heading stopped the flow of their attacks. Once more we took control of the game and could have scored a couple more.

We had to wait until into added time for Roberts to get his second goal and seal the points.

Six games unbeaten and the talk now moves to that phrase 'play-offs'. If we keep this form up we won't be far off. Come on you Stags



Latest | January 2012