STAGS WIN AGAIN TO BE WITHIN 7 POINTS OF PLAY-OFFS
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Morecambe 0 - 1 Mansfield Town
Fleming sent off 81. Daniel 42
Attendance: 1,772 (345 from Mansfield)
Date: 5 April 2014
Martin Shaw at the Globe Arena
Mansfield Town pulled off a third consecutive victory for the second time this season, with this hard-fought win in a real battle at Morecambe’s Globe Arena this afternoon. And the goal that won it was fit to win any game in any league as Colin Daniel fired an unstoppable free-kick from 27 yards into the top left corner on 42 minutes. The Stags had started the game very sloppily and were fortunate to be in front at the break, but had the better chances in the second half and eventually just about deserved the victory. Neither side played much, if any, flowing football, in a game lacking in quality from either side. The game was the dirtiest Mansfield have been involved in this season. Players from both sides put in nasty challenges, but Morecambe’s constant whingeing, while Mansfield just got on with it, was pathetic. The worst challenge of the game by a long way saw a red card for Morecambe’s Fleming who lunged in on Murray with studs showing on 81 minutes. The Stags away record of not having lost to a team outside the top 8 all season (it was “top 7”, but Oxford have dropped down to 8th) continues and shows resilience and battling quality. The Stags are just 7 points short of the play-offs with 5 games left. It is actually just about possible! Come on Mansfield!
Morecambe’s whingeing and general bad spirit even continued after the game as a home official (in a suit, so not a member of the coaching staff) offered Micky Moore out for a fight. And then when Paul Cox asked the same official what he was playing at, ten minutes later, the official told Cox to “get into his changing room”. Biting his tongue, but probably wisely, Cox did just that as I left the scene to track down our copies of the match DVD. You can see my free videos from the game at https://www.youtube.com/user/mtfcofficial and as always extended video highlights will be on StagsPlayer.
Stagsnet report here
Saturday, 5th April 2014: Morecambe 0, Mansfield Town 1
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
It was about as far away from the beautiful game as you could get, but Mansfield Town’s impressive away form continued as they battled out a 1-0 win in a bruising clash, thanks to a screamer of a free kick from Junior Daniel, at Morecambe this afternoon.
The home side had Andrew Fleming red-carded seven minutes from the end of a very ill-tempered game in the rain on a muddy pitch with nine other players booked in a game that continually threatened to spill over into a mass brawl.
But Mansfield stood firm and took another massive step closer to safety as they made it four wins and four draws in their last nine away games with the Shrimps now six without a win.
The win left Stags 12th but now only seven points off the play-off spots with five games to go.
The animosity of the game continued afterwards with a Morecambe official allegedly threatening Stags coach Micky Moore.
There will certainly be few Christmas cards going between the two clubs in the future.
But a scrappy game was at least settled by the one genuine moment of class, though home keeper Barry Roche did make two top drawer saves as well.
With Anthony Howell joining James Jennings on the suspended list, Lee Stevenson came in to play the advanced central midfield role.
There was also a change at left wing back where Darryl Westlake, who has usually operated at right wing back, came back in to replace Junior Daniel.
The Shrimps began the day five games without a win against a Stags side that had won three and drawn four of their last eight away games.
However, this was only the side’s fourth ever meeting and the Shrimps had won all three previous clashes.
Westlake coolly headed a high cross back to Marriott as the home side put the first ball into the box.
Riley then allowed the ball to bounce off his shin for a corner as he tried to shepherd it out for a goalkick.
At that point, the game was held up as Beevers had clearly again dislocated his problem shoulder and had to be replaced by Daniel with only four minutes on the watch, Westlake moving to right wing back and Daniel going left.
Murray hooked away the eventual corner.
A dreadful mistake by Riley on nine minutes saw him miscontrol a Tafazolli pass along the edge of his own box and allow Redshaw to nip in and steal the ball.
The Morecambe man was through one-on-one with Marriott and looked a certain scorer, but he somehow managed to slot his low finish inches wide of the post.
Soon after Threlfall had Marriott diving full length to his left with a low 25-yard effort, the ball beating the keeper’s fingertips and the post.
Roche had to leave his box to clear before Palmer could reach a Westlake ball over the top on 12 minutes.
Soon after Ellison was picked out with a through ball and Stags were grateful to see an offside flag.
McGuire conceded a free kick almost 40 yards out which saw Hughes drill a powerful, ambitious low kick through the wall and force Marriott to make a save.
When Rhead headed the ball back across the home box on Stags’ next raid, Sutton had a snapshot charged down.
McGuire then curled a great ball over the top down the left for Stevenson. He controlled on his chest to get himself into the box only for Parrish to slide in and concede the corner just as he was about to pull the trigger.
Murray sent over Mansfield’s first corner of the day from the left, but it was an easy catch for veteran keeper Roche.
Stags almost went ahead on 25 minutes as Rhead shaped to shoot but then sent a disguised pass through to Stevenson who was so close to slipping it under Roche, but the keeper was down well to grab it off his toe.
There was then another hold up as home skipper Highes completely lost his rag as he accused McGuire of throwing an elbow in his face, but the officials had seen nothing.
Hughes left the pitch raging with blood coming from his mouth.
There was more home furore as Rhead caught Kenyon in the face with an elbow as he jumped for a header. A free kick was given but no card produced which saw home boss Jim Bentley erupting on the touchline.
A McGuire through ball saw Palmer chase and win the ball only to drag a dreadful well wide of the target that almost went for a throw.
On 38 minutesDevitt put on a dangerous cross from the left which Daniel confidently blazed over his own bar from close range for a corner.
A clever corner routine saw Redshaw neatly backheel the ball to Devitt who was left free on the by-line and took the ball closer to goal before whipping a powerful shot across the face of goal from a tight angle.
In the Shrimps’ next attack Devitt turned well on the corner of the box only to drag a poor low finish straight at Marriott.
Edwards flattened Rhead from behind on 42 minutes to finally persuade the referee to pull out his cards.
The free kick was over 25 yards from goal, but saw Daniel step up to lash a simply unstoppable finish into the top left corner to break the deadlock.
The Shrimps quickly won two successive corners, the second of which was headed back as far as Devitt whose low angled effort was well held by Marriott at his near post.
Three minutes were added on during which Hughes headed wide from another home corner.
The referee was confronted by angry home players as the sides left the field at the end of an untidy half in which Stags had the advantage from the one moment of brilliance shown in the 45 minutes.
In the opening seconds of the second half Stevenson went up for a header with Roche and the keeper landed on top of him with Stags screaming for a penalty to no avail.
It didn’t take long for the rough stuff to kick off again and when Sampson caught Sutton fractionally late, the pair squared up, bumping heads and shoving.
The referee calmed things down and had a word with both but kept his cards in his pocket.
On 48 minutes Stags almost doubled their lead.
Murray’s free kick was headed on by Rhead towards the far post where it just floated wide, Westlake coming in fractionally late and collided painfully with the post.
Stevenson was rightly booked on 50 minutes for a dive on the edge of the home box.
Fleming was well over with a first time 20 yard shot after Murray and McGuire had both failed to win the ball off Sampson on 53 minutes.
Seconds later Rhead headed on for Palmer in the box and Roche did just enough as he challenged Palmer as he tried to hook it over him, his touch conceding a corner.
The Shrimps won corner number seven on the hour which was cleared easily allowing Rhead and Daniel to quickly counter, Parrish producing a crucial tackle as Rhead tried to send Daniel clear.
The rain had been falling throughout the second half and the floodlights had to be switched on to help illuminate proceedings on a dank afternoon by the sea.
Fleming controlled a loose ball well in the box but miscued his finish to give Marriott as easy take wide of his right post.
At this point in the game, the visitors were starting to defend deeper and deeper on a cloying pitch, inviting pressure.
Edwards went down with an audible scream of pian when clattered by Rhead though was quick to jump up soon after, the Stags striker lectured.
Rhead’s stray elbow caused more consternation as he jumped with Kenyon on 64 minutes, leaving the Morecambe man with a nosebleed, the yellow card produced but Stags relieved to see no red.
With 20 minutes to go, Morecambe made a double change as top scorer Amond and Beeley came on for Sampson and Parrish.
Rhead was clearly fouled on 73 minutes, but the home side did not agree and keeper Roche was booked for angrily kicking the ball away.
Daniel eventually took the kick from 25 yards out and again sent a scorcher on target, this time Roche happy to palm it away for a corner, from which Tafazolli nodded tamely wide.
Marriott clearly appeared to be shoved at Morecambe’s next corner, the ball thankfully bouncing through everyone and going wide of the far post as, had anyone put it in the net, it would have stood and Stags would have been furious.
Amond put in a decent cross from the left on 77 minutes which Ellison jumped well to reach only to power his header straight at Marriott.
With 12 minutes to go Murray launched a free kick to the far post where Rhead met it with what looked like the perfect headed finish back across the keeper like at Hartlepool last week. But Roche did supremely well to dive to his left and somehow manage to claw it away for a corner.
The referee again had to get involved as Ellison dumped Tafazolli to the turf after he had shepherded the ball out for a goalkick, the cards again staying in the pocket.
But on 83 minutes the inevitable red card that had been brewing all game was shown to Fleming as he slid into Murray with studs showing.
The home side were incensed and players from both sides were squaring up with arguments also raging in the technical areas.
Ellison was eventually booked with 85 minutes showing for dissent.
Sutton tripped Threlfall in full flight a minute later to see a deserved yellow card, Murray also added for something he said.
Mustoe and Clucas came on for their respective sides on 87 minutes and within a minute Mustoe clattered into Clucas to see the game’s eighth yellow card.
One minute into the eight minutes added, Clucas was also booked for delaying the game.
Amond flicked a header wide from a long cross as we reached the sixth of the eight long minutes of stoppage time in which Stags tried to waste as much time as possible.
Then Hughes stretched out a leg to meet a Mustoe cross and the ball looped up and over Marriott but onto the roof of the net.
Agonisingly Morecambe a corner in the last of the minutes which Stags laboured to clear, the whistle finally sounding once it was hacked away to signal three more precious points won at the end of a bruising encounter.
MORECAMBE: Roche, Threlfall (Mustoe 87), Keynon, Hughes, Redshaw, Sampson (Amond 70), Ellison, Devitt, Fleming, Parrish (Beeley 70), Edwards. Subs not used: Arestidou, Diagne, Williams.
STAGS: Marriott; Sutton, Riley, Tafazolli; Beevers (Westlake 4mins), Murray, Stevenson, McGuire, Westlake; Rhead, Palmer (Clucas 87). Subs not used: Dempster, Briscoe, Speight, Clements, Meikle.
REFEREE: Darren Deadman of Cambridgeshire.
ATTENDANCE: 1,772 (345 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Ritchie Sutton.
Victory brings Mansfield Town sunshine
Nottingham Post by Sarah Clapson
'BRING Me Sunshine' rang out over the PA just before kick-off. What we actually got was blood and thunder.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Victory-brings-Mansfield-Town-sunshine/story-20922033-detail/story.html#ixzz2yBxP3KcT
Bloodied noses and a thunderbolt, to be more precise.
Morecambe complained Mansfield Town striker Matt Rhead dished out the former, but it was Colin Daniel (pictured) who delivered the sucker-punch.
His stunning first-half free-kick was totally at odds with the rest of this stormy encounter. Beauty to the beast.
Battling, bruising, bad-tempered - this was not one for the faint-hearted. Any fears it would be a mundane match-up between two teams with little left to play for, were quickly allayed.
The squabbling started almost from the first whistle and continued beyond the last, with words exchanged on the touchline in addition to meaty challenges on the pitch.
"What do people want? It was a tempestuous game, it was high tempo, there were tackles flying in and it was a game both clubs wanted to win - and I think that's a great feeling," said Stags boss Paul Cox.
"We knew what was coming our way, we knew Morecambe were going to come out.
"Both sides were really going for each other. There was tackles, there was incidents, there was everything you could think about in a football match.
"I'm just happy we got the 1-0 because it was a right battle."
At times, we could certainly have done with one of the town's most famous sons to provide some light relief.
In addition to playing Morecambe and Wise's signature tune on matchdays, a little way down the road from the Globe Arena, there is a larger than life-sized statue of Eric - a tribute from the seaside resort which game him his stage name.
"All of life is based on timing," reads an inscription close by; a quote from the late, great comedian himself.
It applies just as much in football matches.
Mansfield had been on the back foot for much of the first half. They had struggled to get going and survived a couple of scares as their opponents created the better chances. Jack Redshaw had the best of those with less than ten minutes on the clock.
The Shrimps striker was able to pounce when Martin Riley miscontrolled Ryan Tafazolli's pass on the edge of the area and nipped in, one-on-one with Alan Marriott, only to send his shot wide of the post.
Most of the home side's attacking play came through Jamie Devitt. A couple of his crosses caused problems, and Daniel was on hand to clear one from just underneath the bar.
Any inroads Cox's men tried to make at the other end of the pitch were largely met by referee Darren Deadman's whistle and protests from those in red and white.
The Morecambe defence took exception to Rhead's physical approach, in particular, and frustrations had already begun to bubble under the surface.
Mark Hughes made his feelings known when he had to leave the field for several minutes following a blood injury, and more groans followed shortly after his return when Robbie Threlfall was penalised for a foul on Rhead.
The timing, as Eric Morecambe would say, was perfect. As was the execution.
Daniel unleashed an unstoppable strike from nearly 30 yards which flew into the top corner and left keeper Barry Roche stranded. It was an absolute belter, and coming three minutes before half-time, gave Mansfield a chance to regroup at the break.
They emerged the brighter of the sides in the second half and should have extended their lead.
An Adam Murray free-kick on the right was headed on by Rhead, but Riley, at full-stretch at the back post, couldn't turn it goalwards, while Daniel again went close with another set-piece.
A fourth-minute replacement for the injured Lee Beevers, the goalscorer needed a little coaxing to take this one, though still forced a save out of Roche as he drove the ball through the wall.
"Sometimes he frustrates me a little bit. He's got so much ability," Cox said of Daniel.
"You just have to see the strike for his goal - there's not a keeper in the world would have saved that.
"With feet like that, I want him taking free-kicks all over the pitch.
"What annoyed me is we had a free-kick in a similar position in the second half and he didn't want to take it until I forced him to. He said it was too far out!
"Then the keeper pulled off a world class save to deny him."
Roche did the same again with a little over ten minutes to go, scrambling across goal to push away Rhead's header from Murray's deep free-kick.
This clash though, will be remembered more for flared tempers than flair football.
It had been threatening to spill over all afternoon and was therefore no surprise when a red card was finally dished out - Andrew Fleming heading for an early bath after scything down Murray with studs showing.
If only the referee's notebook had taken early leave, too. Instead, the final few minutes descended into farce, with yellow cards issued left, right and centre.
In fact, there was more bookings (ten, plus the sending off) than we had minutes of stoppage time - and when you consider the game had eight of those, that's saying something.
As a spectacle, it was all but dead.
There was more bickering afterwards, but there can be no arguments about the Stags' safety now.
The manager insists he will not celebrate until it's mathematically certain, but seeing his side up to 12th on the back of a third straight win will have provided a ray of sunshine on an otherwise grey day.
Morecambe 0, Mansfield 1
Read more at http://www.morecambefc.com/news/article/morecambe-0-mansfield-1-1469373.aspx#yhhbt1egtwkeWv5l.99
Sat 05 Apr 2014
Wonder goal sinks Shrimps
MORECAMBE slipped to a third consecutive defeat for the first time this season against an in-form Mansfield side at the Globe Arena.
Substitute Colin Daniel’s sensational first-half free-kick was enough to hand the visitors a third win in a row and all but ensure League Two safety for the Stags.
The Shrimps, who had Andy Fleming sent off late in the game, are now six games without a win and sit just five points above the relegation zone with five left to play.
Jim Bentley’s side are now also four points worse off than they were at this stage last season, with a tricky trip to Fleetwood looming next weekend.
With the Shrimps looking to improve on their recent run of form manager Bentley continued to put his faith in a more traditional 4-4-2 formation, with last season’s top goalscorer Jack Redshaw returning to the starting line-up.
After a quiet start to proceedings Bentley switched wingers Jamie Devitt and Kevin Ellison in order to open up the Mansfield defence and just moments later the home side should have been ahead.
Stags’ defender Martin Riley failed to control a routine Ryan Tafazolli header and with Redshaw lurking the diminutive forward raced clear of the Mansfield back three but despite just having ‘keeper Alan Marriott to beat the Shrimps’ no.7 fired wide with the outside of his right boot.
Angered by that miss, Redshaw immediately picked up possession and sprayed the ball out wide to Devitt and after cutting in onto his more favoured right foot the on-loan Chesterfield man struck a powerful effort which bounced just a yard wide of the right-hand post.
Now in complete control, the Shrimps continued to probe the Mansfield defence and following a trip on Jack Sampson, captain Mark Hughes hit a driven free-kick from 40 yards which was well held by Marriott.
Despite that early home pressure the visitors managed to disrupt the home side’s flow and just before the half-hour mark Barry Roche had to get down well to deny Lee Stevenson who latched onto a Matt Rhead through-ball.
That all came after the game threatened to boil over following a collision between Hughes and Mansfield’s Jamie McGuire which left the Morecambe defender with a bloody mouth.
Tempers continued to boil on the touchline after a series of physical challenges but on-the-field matters soon resumed as Daniel did well to clear Devitt’s dangerous cross over his own crossbar.
From the resulting corner the Shrimps came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock yet again but this time after a clever short corner between Redshaw and Devitt, the latter curled a shot inches wide of the top corner.
With the break edging ever closer the home side looked the more likely side to go in ahead but just three minutes before the interval it was the visitors who struck against the run of play.
A foul on Stags’ forward Rhead gave Paul Cox’s side the perfect opportunity to fashion a first shot on target and they didn’t disappoint as substitute Daniel struck an unstoppable free-kick from 25 yards which flew into the top corner of Roche’s net.
Stunned by that goal the Shrimps tried to grab an equaliser but the lively Devitt saw a well-hit cross deflected narrowly wide, while Alex Kenyon headed just over as Morecambe went in behind.
Buoyed by their first half goal the away side started the second 45 in confident mood and wing-back Darryl Westlake came within inches of connecting with a Rhead flick on at the back post after a driven Adam Murray free-kick.
With front pair Rhead and Ollie Palmer now a constant menace, Hughes’ hooked clearance looped just a yard wide of his own net as the Stags sensed the all-important second goal.
Bentley’s side nervously kept the visitors at bay however and even produced a chance of their own but Fleming dragged at a shot and Marriott comfortably claimed.
The Shrimps sent top goalscorer Padraig Amond and attacking full-back Shaun Beeley into the action as they went in search of a vital equaliser and Amond soon found himself through on goal after a clever turn and pass by Devitt but a last ditch challenge from Riley denied the Irishman.
Daniel tried his luck at the other end with another ferocious free-kick but Roche was more than a match for it this time as he parried the effort over his own crossbar.
With the pace of the game intensifying Ellison was unable to generate enough power on his header from a left-wing Amond cross, before Roche had to be at his best again to excellently claw a Rhead header off his goalline when he looked to be beaten.
In urgent need of a point the Shrimps were then dealt a major blow as a bad tempered affair littered with yellow cards finally witnessed a red, as playmaker Fleming was dismissed for a late challenge on Mansfield captain Murray.
The home side were handed a glimmer of hope when the fourth official unveiled eight minutes of added time but a clipped effort from Hughes which brushed the top of the net was the best the Shrimps could muster and the visitors held on for a vital three points.
Morecambe [4-4-2]: Roche; Parrish [Beeley 71], Edwards, Hughes [c], Threlfall [Mustoe 88]; Devitt, Fleming, Kenyon, Ellison; Sampson [Amond 71], Redshaw
Subs not used: Arestidou, Diagne, Williams
Mansfield [3-5-2]: Marriott; Sutton, Riley, Tafazolli; Beevers [Daniel 4], McGuire, Murray [c], Stevenson, Westlake; Rhead, Palmer [Clucas 88]
Subs not used: Dempster, Briscoe, Speight, Clements, Meikle
Referee: D Deadman
Attendance: 1,772 [345 away]
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