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Archived News from November 2013

5th November 2013 0:19

Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Southend United 3 - 0 Mansfield Town
Straker 24, McGuire OG 43, Hurst 90+5.
Attendance: 4824 (199 from Mansfield)

Date: 1 November 2013

Martin Shaw at Roots Hall

Mansfield Town had their very own horror show the night after Halloween at Roots Hall this evening as an impressive Southend side deservedly picked up the points. Mansfield started slowly and were under the cosh from the outset as Southend played what their press guys described as their best football of the season in the first half. Southend took a deserved lead on 24 minutes as McCombe was turned too easily by a Southend player who laid back to Hurst, who crossed to the far post where Straker turned the ball home from close range despite pressure from Beevers. In the earlier build up to the goal, it looked like the Stags should have been awarded a free kick, but it wasn’t given. On 32 minutes, new loan signing James Alabi was given a straight red card for clattering into Luke Prosser with his knee. I think the challenge warranted a yellow card. Alabi was distraught. Just eight minutes later, referee Darren Drysdale, whose got form in Stags games, evened up the numbers, sending off Conor Clifford for a two footed lunge on Calvin Andrew. This one was the right decision for sure. The Stags were right back in the game with the numbers evened up, but disaster struck on 43 minutes as a harmless cross from Leonard deflected up off McGuire and it seemed like a routine catch for Marriott on his line. But inexplicably instead of catching it above his head, he waited for it to drop into his midriff by which time the ball was probably over the line, as his boots were clearly behind the line. Marriott protested that the ball had not gone over the line but my brother who was behind the goal near the corner flag thought it had done, and the DVD shows Marriott’s boots clearly behind the line and the ball in his midriff. Truly a remarkable first half, but ultimately the Stags paid for poor defending and a mistake by Marriott. In the second half, the Stags improved a lot as Rhead and Clucas came on as subs and went up front. Clucas had three efforts, twice set up by Rhead, Rhead had a header wide, and Daniel had a shot deflected wide. If the Stags could have scored, it would have been a different game, but they couldn’t and the goal drought went on, reaching 428 minutes. On the stroke of 90 minutes, the Stags were down to 9 men as Lee Beevers picked up a second yellow card for a silly foul in the circumstances on Will Atkinson well into the Southend half. Southend got a fortunate third goal in the 5th minute of stoppage time as a shot from Hurst took a big deflection to wrong foot the Stags keeper, who couldn’t be blamed for this one. So two rather crazy goals for Southend, but they deserved their victory, albeit not by a three goal margin. The Stags have a week to lick their wounds before the cup tie at St Albans. I still think the Stags are not far away from being a top seven side, and the addition of Alabi could have been just the catalyst needed, sadly it now looks like that won’t happen unless his loan can be extended. After the game, boss Paul Cox, who served a one match touchline ban for his sending off at Bury, was annoyed with a poor performance from his side.

Alabi joins two other players in the last 20 years sent off on their Stags debuts: Colin Hoyle in the famous League Cup win over Leeds in 1994 and Andy Jones sent off at QPR in the 2002-03 season.

Remarkably this was the sixth consecutive Stags away game in which there has been a sending off.

Manager Cox made three changes from the side that lost to Plymouth. Marriott returned from injury to replace Mitchell in goal. James Alabi, signed on loan from Stoke, came in for Clucas, and Andrew came in for Rhead. It was a 4-4-2 formation, with Pilkington at left back, and Hutchinson in right midfield. Alabi and Andrew were up front. Southend had former Stags loanee Will Atkinson in their side.

Stagsnet report here


Friday, 1st November 2013: Southend United 3 Mansfield Town 0
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas

New loan signing James Alabi was sent off after just 31 minutes of his debut, Lee Beevers also dismissed in the last minute, as nine-men Mansfield Town’s fine run of away form shuddered to a halt and the goal drought reached 428 minutes at Southend United tonight.


United also had a player sent off as the game ended nine on 10!

Alabi, signed for a month from Stoke City yesterday, was shown a straight red for his challenge on Luke Prosser to start the rot.

Beevers joined him for a second bookable offence just before the end of a disappointing night in the Essex rain.

Referee Darren Drysdale did even things up nine minutes later when he decided Conor Clifford had gone in too high in a 50-50 challenge with Calvin Andrew but, in truth, both red cards looked harsh at first glance.

Aside of the cards, the game was won in the first half with an excellent display by the Shrimpers that could have seen them score several more.

Anthony Straker netted from close range on 24 minutes before a bizarre second goal on 43 minutes saw Mansfield keeper Alan Marriott catch a header from team mate Jamie McGuire over his own goalline.

The Stags had much more of the ball in the second half and created the better chances, but Southend were content with their first half work and had only their second home win in six games at Roots Hall in the bag when a stoppage time Kevan Hurst shot deflected past Marriott.

For Mansfield it was the end of their six-game unbeaten away run, their last away loss being at Scunthorpe on the opening day of the season, and also a sixth League game without a win.

Amazingly it was also a sixth successive Mansfield away game in which a red card had been shown.

Alabi went straight in for his full League debut after signing on a month’s loan yesterday.

Keeper Marriott also returned after his back spasm last weekend, having a good game aside of the second goal, while Calvin Andrew was restored to the Stags’ attack.

Out went Liam Mitchell, Sam Clucas and Matt Rhead.

Manager Paul Cox was forced to watch the game from the stand after being served with a one match touchline ban following his row with the referee at the end of the Bury away game last week.

The evening began with a Remembrance Parade with a march onto the pitch by the Armed Forces and full ceremony which left the match kicking-off seven minutes late.

Stags might have gone behind in only the second minute after no defender reacted to a low cross from the left by Atkinson and the ball was allowed to roll to Clifford who forced Marriott to beat away his fierce 16-yard finish before the loose ball was hooked away to safety.

Two minutes later Hurst forced Marriott into another save from a firmly struck 25-yard free kick, the keeper grabbing it at the second attempt.

On eight minutes Alabi had his first attempt at goal in a Mansfield shirt, stabbing Hutchinson’s near post cross narrowly wide.

Straker chipped in an inviting left wing cross on 10 minutes which saw Atkinson power a header that beat Marriott but also beat the post.

A minute later Hurst wasted a great chance as Stags failed to clear another left wing cross and Hurst blazed the loose ball over from seven yards.

Andrew almost opened the scoring on 14 minutes as he lashed a low 20-yard left foot shot inches wide after swapping passes with Hutchinson in a neat build-up.

Tinwin tested Marriott with a low shot from 25 yards which the keeper blocked and then dropped onto the loose ball as Hurst tried to follow up.

Hutchinson almost got Alabi in, but the ball just ran through to the keeper as the Stags new boy powerfully held off the challenge of White as the two tussled to get there first.

After McGuite clerared the first corner of the night, the Shrimpers were again denied by Marriott on 21 minutes after Hurst was able to drill in a low cross from the right which Leonard eventually sidefooted at the keeper.

But the inevitable Southend goal they had threatened all night finally came on 24 minutes.

Hurst whipped in a right wing cross right in front of goal where Straker was able to simply turn the ball over the line from close range.

The goal immediately lifted the home side to start knocking the ball around with some confidence.

Stags were then stunned on 31 minutes as they were reduced to 10 men with a red card for new boy Alabi.

He make a shuddering body challenge that left Prosser on the floor just outside the home box.

But it was hard to see if he had done anything that actually merited a red and the youngster was clearly distraught as he was calmed down and led down the the tunnel.

A Straker cross almost drifted over the busy Marriott at the last minute as he clawed it out of the air at the last minute.

Then Sutton slid in with a superb last ditch tackle to stop Corr getting a finish away from eight yards.

The sides were evened up by another debatable red card on 40 minutes as Clifford and Andrew flew into a 50-50 tackle and the Stags man came off the worst.

But it seemed harsh to see referee Drysdale again wave a red card.

The evening took an even more farcical turn on 43 minutes.

Leonard floated in a cross from the right which McGuire got a header on that sailed towards Marriott.

The keeper caught the ball, but straight away the home players were screaming that the ball was over the line as the keeper caught it and the linesman agreed.

Mansfield looked on in shock and disbelief as referee Drysdale pointed to the centre and gave the goal.

But photographs suggested Marriott had caught the ball over his line and the goal was valid.

After so many first half talking points, stewards rushed to protect the referee as representatives of both sides waited to have a word with him.

Stags tried to make a positive move at half-time with Clucas and Rhead on for Palmer and Hutchinson.

McCombe was booked for a clumsy challenge on Timlin on 50 minutes.

Coker took the free kick and Leonard’s backheader was just too high.

Straker showed superb pace to get down the left and Beevers’ late challenge on him was always going to earn him a booking too.

Marriott threw himself to his right to turn away the goalbound 20-yard Coker free kick and then grabbed Hurst’s resulting corner.

Coker showed sublime skills to drag the ball inside Clucas but, from a tight angle, shot straight at Marriott.

Stags replied with two successive corners but failed to test Bentley.

As the rain began to pour down, Mansfield’s final throw of the dice was to send on Meikle for Daniel on 62 minutes.

Hurst lashed a volley wide from 16 yards after more magic on the left from Coker, drifting between two defenders.

Beevers picked out Rhead with an excellent far post cross on 66 minutes, and his firm header bounced across goal and wide of the far post.

Clucas then tried to beat Bentley with a firm half-volley from a tight angle on the left of the box two minutes later, the ball cannoning off the keeper’s well-placed legs.

Coker’s neat pull-back set up a chance for Straker, but he scuffed it and it proved easier for Marriott than it might have been.

Rhead did well on 72 minutes to control and then send a backheel into the pat of Clucas, but his finish was disappointingly wide of the near post.

McGuire brought down Leonard in full flight on 75 minutes to earn himself his seventh booking of the season.

Clucas wasn’t far wide with a rasping low shot from 25 yards as Mansfield continued to look for a way back into the contest.

The game was held up for a clash of heads between Rhead and Prosser, the Shrimpers’ defender eventually having to be substituted to have a head wound tended to.

With time running out, Southend had a couple more efforts as Leonard saw a low cross-cum shot skid across the face of goal while Atkinson sent a shot on the turn at Marriott.

But Marriott was beaten with what proved to be the last kick of the game as Hurst shot goalwards and a wicked deflection, possibly off Sutton, left the keeper helpless to cap a disappointing night.

SOUTHEND: Bentley, White, Coker, Prosser (Keirnan 79), Timlin, Corr, Straker (Laird 80), Atkinson, Hurst, Clifford, Leonard. Subs not used; Smith, Reid, Payne, Auger, Woodrow.

STAGS: Marriott, Sutton, McCombe, Beevers, Hutchinson (Clucas HT), McGuire, Andrew (Rhead HT), Blake, Pilkington, Alabi, Daniel (Meikle 62). Subs not used: Murtagh, Stevenson, Clucas, Rhead, Jennings, Palmer.

REFEREE: Darren Drysdale of Lincolnshire.

ATTENDANCE: 4,824 (199 away).



Southend United 3 Mansfield Town 0: Match report
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny

WELL, big striker James Alabi certainly made an impact on his Mansfield Town debut, just not the kind of impact he was looking for.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/story-20022283-detail/story.html?#ixzz2jW1vfHvR

Signed on loan from Premier League Stoke, both the Stags management team and fans were looking to the striker to give them fresh impetus after a goal drought that had stretched to 338 minutes leading into the trip to Roots Hall.

Considering he had been scoring goals for fun for the Potters' under-21 side, and had been tipped before the start of the season in an on-line BBC survey as a star of the future alongside the likes of Ross Barkley and Adnan Januzaj, those hopes appeared thoroughly justified.

But after just over half an hour it was all over for the imposing 18-year-old as he crashed awkwardly - and with some force - into Luke Prosser challenging for an aerial ball.

A red card from Darren Drysdale - whose decisions were to raise eyebrows and prompt boos of derision all evening - seemed very harsh and left the teenager visibly upset. He felt hard done to and understandably so.

Yet the harsh reality is it could end his Stags career before it has really started, given the fact he will now sit out three games and his loan stint is scheduled to be a solitary month.

The incident was a microcosm of Mansfield's hugely disappointing evening, their first defeat in seven away games and first on the road since the opening day of the season at Scunthorpe.

Southend set the tempo from the off and were deserved winners, meaning it is now six league games without a victory for the Stags and in excess of seven hours since they scored.

The last of those successes came at Chesterfield at the end of September when hopes of another immediate promotion were riding high. With Mansfield now having lost their impetus so badly, those ambitions might have to be re-evaluated.

With manager Paul Cox watching from the stands, serving a one-game touchline ban after being sent off at Bury, he sent out a side showing three changes.

Alabi's inclusion for Rhead was not at all a shock. More of a surprise was his strike partner, with Calvin Andrew preferred up front to top scorer Sam Clucas. Elsewhere, Alan Marriott had recovered from a back spasm to take his place in goal ahead of Liam Mitchell.

A sign of things to come came within the opening 90 seconds. Mansfield were caught napping by a quick free-kick and Conor Clifford forced a smart save from an alert Marriott.

Alabi then placed a side-footed effort inches wide after being teed up by Ben Hutchinson.

The Shrimpers were quickly back in the ascendency and Atkinson was a whisker away with a header from Anthony Straker's centre before Kevan Hurst somehow blasted over.

At the other end, Andrew was left holding his head in his hands when he whistled a 20-yard shot narrowly off target following a neat one-two.

But the hosts deservedly went in front after 24 minutes, though Mansfield were aggrieved by the way it came about. Jack Blake appeared to be fouled and as play was allowed to continue, Hurst's pinpoint right-wing centre allowed Straker to tap home coolly from close range.

The game already looked all over with Alabi's dismissal in the minutes that followed. However, the Stags were given fresh hope five minutes from the interval when Southend were down to ten themselves as Clifford was sent off for a two-footed tackle on Andrew.

Two minutes before the break, United doubled their advantage. A Leonard cross was deflected up in the air by Jamie McGuire's head and though Marriott appeared to catch the ball comfortably, the assistant referee adjudged the ball had crossed the line.

With pictures appearing to confirm the decision was the correct one, it was a bad misjudgement by the Mansfield shot-stopper.

Mansfield tried to shake things up offensively at the start of the second period as Rhead and Clucas replaced Andrew and Hutchinson.

Initially, it made little difference, as Marriott had to save well from Ben Coker's curling free-kick, while Hurst then volleyed wide.

Clucas showed some promise by stinging the hands of Daniel Bentley and twice thrashing just wide of the post.

All the same, there was very little for the visiting contingent to cheer as the game drifted towards its inevitable conclusion - and things were made even worse when Beevers was shown a second yellow card and a red in the final minute of normal time before Hurst added a deflected third deep into stoppage time.

It's most definitely back to the drawing board for Mansfield.

Southend United: Bentley, Leonard, Prosser (Kiernan 79), White, Coker, Timlin, Atkinson, Clifford, Hurst, Corr, Straker (Laird 80). Subs not used: Smith, Reid, Payne, Auger, Woodrow.

Mansfield Town: Marriott, Beevers, McCombe, Pilkington, Sutton, McGuire, Blake, Daniel (Meikle 62), Hutchinson (Clucas 46), Andrew (Rhead 46), Alabi. Subs not used: Murtagh, Stevenson, Jennings, Palmer.

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).

Attendance: 4,824 (199 visitors).

Mansfield's man of the match: Ritchie Sutton.


Southend United 3, Mansfield Town 0
By Chris Phillips

SOUTHEND United got back to winning ways with an eventful 3-0 triumph against Mansfield Town at Roots Hall tonight.

Both teams were reduced to 10 men in the first half with visiting striker James Alabi and Blues midfielder Conor Clifford being shown red cards.

The Stags also had midfielder Lee Beevers dismissed for a second yellow card in the closing stages.

But, by then, Phil Brown’s side had already made sure of the win to end a run of two successive defeats, thanks to a first half strike from Anthony Straker, an own goal Jamie McGuire and an injury time effort from Kevan Hurst.

The Shrimpers started strongly and almost opened the scoring in just the second minute when Will Atkinson’s left wing cross eventually rolled in to the path of Clifford whose low 16 yard shot was well saved by Mansfield goalkeeper Alan Marriott.

The visiting shot stopper then gathered a 30 yard free-kick from Hurst at the second attempt before the Stags hit back with James Alabi sending a snap shot inches wide of the right post.

Blues were soon back on top with Will Atkinson heading Straker’s left wing cross wide of the left post and, in the 11th minute, they wasted another great chance to score as Hurst somehow sent an eight yard shot, with his left foot, over the crossbar.

And Southend were almost made to pay for the missed opportunities just four minutes when Mansfield striker Calvin Andrew sent a low, 25 yard shot just fractions wide of the right post.

Blues hit back with the recalled Michael Timlin having a low range effort gathered by Marriott at the second attempt, just ahead of the on rushing Hurst.

But the home-side finally made the breakthrough in the 24th minute as Barry Corr did well to tee up Hurst down the right hand side and his fantastic right wing was tapped home by Straker, at the far post, from inside the six yard box.

The Stags suffered a further blow in the 32nd minute when their on loan striker Alabi, who was making his debut after signing on loan from Stoke City, was shown a straight red card after clattering in to Luke Prosser.

However, Southend were also reduced to 10 men just eight minutes later when Clifford was dismissed after making a strong challenge on Andrew.

The midfielder’s red card did not halt Blues’ momentum though and they doubled their lead just before the break when Leonard’s inswinging cross from the right hand side, struck the head of Stags skipper Jamie McGuire and was adjudged to have been carried across the goal-line by Marriott.

The start of the second half was far less eventful until the impressive Ben Coker had a curling 25 yard free kick tipped wide of the left post by Marriott.

Mansfield soon replied with substitute Sam Clucas having a powerful shot parried to safety by Bentley in the 67th minute of the match.

Twelve minutes later, the Shrimpers were forced in to making their first change of the night as Prosser went off, following a clash of heads with Matt Rhead, and was replaced at the heart of the back four by Rob Kiernan.

Moments later, the fit again Marc Laird came on to replace Straker for his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury in mid August.

However, there was little action until the game exploded in to life again in the final few minutes with Stags midfielder Lee Beevers being sent off after being shown a second yellow card for a foul on Atkinson.

The Shrimpers then wrapped up the three points with a long range shot from Hurst which flew through the hands of goalkeeper Marriott and in to the back of the South Stand net.



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