STAGS SUFFER SIXTH DEFEAT ON TROT
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 2 Morecambe
Dyer 17. Clucas missed pen 75. Redshaw 51, Ellison 85.
Attendance: 2753 (102 from Morecambe)
Date: 30 November 2013
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Despite taking the lead in the first half, and winning a second half penalty, Mansfield Town contrived to gift Morecambe all three points with a poor defensive display. It was the Stags’ sixth consecutive defeat in the league. The record consecutive number of league defeats in the club’s history is seven, set in 1947. The Stags are also now 10 league games without a win having taken just three points in the process. The winless run in the league is the worst since March-Sep 2000 when the Stags went 14 games without a win, which is the club record. Ross Dyer gave Mansfield the lead on 17 minutes when Clements found him with a lovely chip forward and Dyer took his shot first time on the half volley to beat the keeper. The Stags deservedly led at the interval despite some nervy defending, but were pegged back on 51 minutes. Daniel’s clearance was blocked, span up in the air, Beevers tried to shepherd the ball out, it span back into play possibly having gone out in the process, Drummond crossed the ball low across the edge of the six yard box, and Redshaw got there before Dempster to turn it into the net. Poor defending from Beevers and from Dempster. The Stags should have been back in front on 75 minutes. A good run from Daniel saw him upended by the keeper in the box. Clucas took the kick and went for placement rather than power and the keeper dived to his left and pushed the ball around the post. A poor penalty from Clucas as he gave the keeper a 50:50 chance of saving it depending on if he dived the right way. It was huge blow for the Stags. Worse was to follow on 85 minutes. Beevers headed a ball forward 40 yards from his own goal, Meikle headed it backwards into the path of Redshaw, who ran to the byline, and cut inside Beevers like he wasn’t there, Redshaw’s cross was pushed away by Marriott, and Ellison showed more determination than Poku to throw his head at the ball and head it goalwards, getting a kick in the head from Poku in the process, Marriott got a hand on the header but couldn’t keep it out of the net. The Stags had two chances to equalise in stoppage time as Speight shot just wide and Clucas had a shot cleared off the line by the keeper. The full time whistle brought a mixture of boos from some and stunned silence from others. A game that it was hard to work out how Mansfield lost but it came from some poor defending and you can’t afford to miss a penalty.
The Stags brought back coach Micky Moore to the club on the morning of the game on a 2.5 year contract showing clearly that owner John Radford is keeping faith with manager Cox, Moore having been Cox’s assistant in the play-off season two years ago. Moore is an excellent coach, especially defensively and he needs to ensure the Stags cut out silly mistakes handing goals to the opposition. If they can do that, Mansfield will start to rise up the table again having slumped to just four points above the relegation zone. Today’s game for example should have been a 1-0 win, or even 2-0 with the penalty.
Man of the match: Ross Dyer
Stagsnet report here
Saturday, 30th November 2013: Mansfield Town 1, Morecambe 2
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Mansfield Town were booed from the pitch with some fans calling for manager Paul Cox to go after a sixth League defeat on the trot and a 10th League game without victory as Morecambe came from behind to win with a late goal at One Call Stadium today.
Stags led at the break with a Ross Dyer goal, but sub Jack Redshaw sparked the Shrimps’ revival as he levelled soon after half-time before setting up Ellison for the winner in a poor second half for the Stags.
It didn’t help that Sam Clucas missed a 75th minute penalty, keeper Barry Roche denying him from the spot and keeping out two other Clucas efforts.
Mansfield made three changes. Ritchie Sutton and Lee Stevenson were ruled out with injuries while Godfrey Poku, after a decent debut at Burton in midweek, found himself dropped to the bench.
Playing a 4-4-2 formation, Stags welcomed on-loan new boy Darryl Westlake into the side at right back, Anthony Howell replaced Poku in midfield and Ross Dyer returned to partner Ollie Palmer up front.
An early mistake by Clements, unable to control a pass in the centre circle, saw Marshall break to the edge of the home box where he found Riley in his way before he could shoot.
It took 11 minutes for either side to fashion a chance as Clements played a couple of one-twos to get Clucas into the left of the box and, with Stags calling for a penalty as his cross struck a hand, Palmer sent a low finish crashing wide of the right post.
At the other end Dempster did well to hook away a dangerous low Marshall cross from the right.
Riley just failed to get on the end of Clements’ first corner of the game on 14 minutes, the ball sailing inches away from his head and then curling back out for a goal kick at the far post.
Williams sent a tame shot wide from 20 yards after Riley could only head a long ball forward to his feet.
But Stags were ahead on 17 minutes. Clements curled a perfect pass over the heads of the defence into space on the left from the centre of the park and Dyer accelerated onto it and dispatched a deadly low first time finish from 15 yards.
Ellison did fire a shot against Marriott at his near post on 21 minutes, but an offside flag was already in the air.
Stags then cleared their lines from the visitors’ first corner kick as we reached the 25-minute mark.
Stags almost let in Amond with a loose backpass and the Morcaembe man lurking, Dempster sliding in at the last minute.
The Shrimps won another corner on 27 minutes, which eventually saw Marriott fouled as he tried to grab the ball after palmer’s initial attempt to head clear had gone up back towards his own goal.
Stags forced two corners on 32 minutes, the first seeing a Dempster header deflect wide.
Riley slid into a perfect tackle to halt Ellison as he tried to burst into the home box which the Morecambe man seemed unhappy about.
Daniel then went down easily in the Morecambe box and looked around at the officials but was never likely to get a decision in his favour.
Clements again demonstrated his vision with a cutting first time pass down the centre to give Clucas a sniff of goal, his shot looping just over the bar on 36 minutes.
A neat Stags move then ended with Dyer seeing a shot charged down on the edge of the box.
The visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure with no end product as we neared the break, Drummond volleying over from 20 yards from a Riley clearance.
It hadn’t been the best of halves, entertainment-wise, but Mansfield had battled grittily and were given well-earned applause as they left the field.
The visitors made a double change for the second half, Redshaw and Fleming coming on for Williams and Marshall.
The Shrimps immediately won a corner from which Clucas tried to break down the left as it was cleared as both sides made a lively start.
Ellison was well off target with a hopeful 25-yard punt.
But the visitors drew level on 51 minutes.
Beevers was trying to shepherd the ball into touch, but it seemed to spin back away from the line as it landed and Drummond did supremely well to not give up on it and manage to get in a low cross that sub Redmond tucked away from six yards.
Fellow sub Fleming might have turned the game completely on its head three minutes later but, in space on the left, sliced a low finish well wide.
Clements, such an influence when given the ball in the first half, left the field on 57 minutes, presumably injured, as Poku took over.
On the hour Ellison crashed a 20-yard volley over the home bar.
But two minutes later, Dyer’s near square pass to Palmer to his left in the box saw the Stags strike force Roche to make a good save.
Amond almost squared a pass to Redshaw in front of goal on a Morecambe break, but Clucas tracked back well to get in the interception and clear.
The home fans were getting more and more impatient and a few boos could be heard for the first time midway through the half
On 69 minutes Stags swapped Speight for Palmer up front with the visitors starting to dominate possession and Mansfield looking increasingly nervous.
Stags should have retaken the lead on 75 minutes from the spot.
Daniel went clear on goal and was brought down by the despairing lunge of keeper Roche, who was only shown the yellow.
Clucas stepped up and hit a firm low kick towards the bottom right corner only to see Roche get down well and make a fine block.
Clucas was booked soon after for bringing down Threlfall on 78 minutes.
Sub Sampson almost immediately set up Ellison after coming on, but his finish, that looked like it could curl round Marriott struck a defender and the moment was gone.
The last throw of the home dice saw Meikle take over from Daniel on 82 minutes.
Clucas’ shot on the turn on 83 minutes was turned round for a corner.
Instead it was Morecambe who stole a winner five minutes from time.
Redshaw did brilliantly to get down the right and drill in a low cross that Ellison bravely managed to poke into the top right corner over everyone from 12 yards as he was caught by a heavy challenge which saw him need lengthy treatment.
He eventually limped off towards the tunnel arguing with home fans along the way and left his side to finish the game with 10 men as all three subs had already been used.
First Poku, then Speight were just wide of the target as we entered six minutes of added time.
Clucas forced Roche to save with his leg with the final kick of the game as Stags knew their luck was out again.
STAGS: Marriott; Westlake, Dempster, Riley, Beeevers; Clucas, Howell, Clements (Poku 57), Daniel (Meikle 82); Palmer (Speight 69), Dyer. Subs not used: Rhead, Tafazolli, Hutchinson, Deakin.
MORECAMBE: Roche, Threlfall, Kenyon, Hughes, Williams (Fleming ht), Ellison, Marshall (Redshaw ht), McCready, Drummond, Parrish, Amond (Sampson 78). Subs not used: Diagne, Wright, Mwasile, Arestidou.
REFEREE: Lee Collins of Surrey.
ATTENDANCE: 2,753 (102 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Martin Riley.
Pressure is on boss Paul Cox as Mansfield Town's winless run carries on
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny
THE pressure is on Paul Cox and the Mansfield Town fans let him know it on Saturday with chants of 'Cox out' from sections of the crowd at the One Call Stadium.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Pressure-boss-Cox-Stags-winless-run-carries/story-20248147-detail/story.html#ixzz2mJCchGjm
Another defeat for Mansfield Town came after they had surrendered a lead to Morecambe, who left with a 2-1 win.
Cox is street-smart enough to know the way football works. The pressure on him is only going intensify until his team can rediscover that elusive winning formula after six straight defeats in League Two.
After hearing exactly what disconsolate locals thought as he walked off the pitch and down the tunnel, the manager appeared for his post-game press conference visibly shaking with rage.
The former Eastwood boss has always been a firm believer in sticking up for his players when they have been the subject of criticism.
But on this occasion he was collectively damning about the team performance, insisting there were "no positives."
There were at least two, namely the successful introduction of right-back Darryl Westlake, who made a sound start in Mansfield colours, and an encouraging display from Ross Dyer, who scored a second goal in as many games after grabbing one off the bench at Fleetwood to put Mansfield ahead in the 17th minute.
Yet it was a measure of his chagrin and frustration at taking just three points out of a possible last 30 that his focus was solely on the bad decisions that were made.
Things might have turned out differently had the ball not spun so viciously, stayed in play and allowed Jack Redshaw to side-foot in Andrew Fleming's 51st minute cross.
They might have been different had Chris Clements not been forced off with a sore back, sustained in the first half, thereby stripping the Stags of their creativity.
And they would almost certainly have been different had Barry Roche not escaped with a yellow card - just as he did when flattening Michael Boulding while playing for Chesterfield in 2007 - when he should have seen red in bringing down Colin Daniel in the box, meaning he was able to stay on the pitch and keep out Sam Clucas's spot kick.
Cox, however, was sick of the excuses. He wanted it to be known that his players only had themselves to blame and no-one else.
Of course, the buck stops with him - and he knows it. But it might not be the worst thing for some of the players to have been told in no uncertain terms that their future is at stake.
There will be supporters, no doubt, who will blame Mansfield's current problems on their style of play. They will say the Stags are by-passing the midfield, playing it too long and lack flair.
But Cox pointed out that when the Stags have been winning games left, right and centre in the past two seasons, there have been precious few complaints about style.
He believes it is the lack of cohesion from the current crop of players that is the biggest issue, not the modus operandi - and you can be damn sure that over the next few weeks he will be out to prove that Mansfield have been over-complicating things.
Certainly what cannot be argued, regardless of formation and method, is that no side can afford to make fundamental mistakes at League Two level and expect to get away with it.
By and large, defensive errors result in a goal. The Stags are making far too many of them at the moment.
If Morecambe's leveller owed something to fortune, the hosts only had themselves to blame for Kevin Ellison's winner - which gave the Shrimps three wins out of three in competitive meetings between the two sides.
First Lindon Meikle headed the ball behind overlapping full-back Lee Beevers and then, as the pair tracked Redshaw, both left it to each other, allowing the substitute to cut in from the right unopposed.
Even then, his cross looked too close to Alan Marriott, but the keeper could only push the ball out into the danger area, where Ellison dived bravely to plant home an 85th minute header.
Yet the game had started so well for the Stags in appropriately bright sunshine, as Clements measured through-ball saw Dyer race away to drill a left-footed volley past Roche from the edge of the box.
The disappointing thing for all of an amber and blue persuasion was that they could not build on it, and with Roche making some important late saves to deny Ollie Palmer and Clucas twice, the last of those in the sixth minute of stoppage time, the writing was on the wall.
A tenth game without a victory leaves a Mansfield side that ended September in the automatic promotion places down in 18th place - four points above the drop zone.
Cox ended by saying that the Stags can simply not afford to rely on coming around the bend with a late run after Christmas, as they have done in previous years.
If things don't improve soon, he might not even be here by then.
Hero Kev puts head in where it hurts to win
KEVIN Ellison could be out of action for at least a month after heading Morecambe to victory at Mansfield.
Ellison suffered a fractured eye socket after the bravest of diving headers five minutes from time earned the Shrimps their first win in five games.
The striker suffered a kick to the face after getting on to the end of Jack Redshaw’s cross, which forced him to go to hospital for treatment after the game.
Ellison grabbed the headlines but it was Redshaw who turned the game in only his fourth substitute appearance of the campaign.
Last season’s top scorer was brought on at half-time as boss Jim Bentley looked to overturn a 1-0 defici,t after Ross Dyer had put Mansfield ahead on 17 minutes when he ran on to Chris Clements’ excellent through ball and produced a sweet, low finish.
The Shrimps then enjoyed the majority of the possession but struggled to threaten then home goal and were forced to rely on long-range efforts from Ryan Williams and Stewart Drummond which were both well off target.
The home side seemed happy to sit back and hit Morecambe on the break.
And the tactic almost paid off when Sam Clucas went close to scoring a second on 35 minutes when the was teed up by the excellent Clements but drilled his shot just over the bar.
Redshaw changed the game just six minutes after he came on when the excellent Stewart Drummond chased down a loose ball and crossed into the danger area for Redshaw to finish from six yards.
Morecambe continued to press and look dangerous, with Padraig Amond missing two excellent chances before the home side were handed the chance to retake the lead when Shrimps’ keeper Barry Roche brought down Colin Daniel in the box on 73 minutes.
Mansfield’s in form striker Clucas took the spot-kick but Roche saved superbly.
The save gave Morecambe a clear lift and, with five minutes remaining, Redshaw ran directly at the home defence and produced a dangerous cross which was met by the brave head of the diving Ellison.
Having used all their subs, the Shrimps had to see out the game with 10 men and in the 96th minute they were left indebted to Roche again as he saved superbly from a close-range Clucas shot on the turn.
Latest | December 2013