BRILLIANT BINGHAM AND BELL SEE OFF EXETER
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Exeter City 1 - 2 Mansfield Town
Grimes 67. Bingham 15, Bell 40.
Attendance: 2771 (137 from Mansfield)
Date: 6 September 2014
Martin Shaw at St James Park
A week ago, after the defeat against Burton, Paul Cox and Micky Moore told me privately that they had a striker on trial who had the potential to be better than Matt Green and who also in the short term could be something very special. Today we saw exactly what they meant as Rakish Bingham hit the ground running with an outstanding first half display to score one, he should have had another when he got himself clean through on goal, and generally gave the Exeter defence the run-around. He ran out of the steam a little in the second half, not surprising given he hadn’t played this season, but he’d already done enough to contribute to a fine victory at Exeter. Just behind the front two of Bingham and Matt Rhead, Fergus Bell started his first game since the defeat at Northampton and produced an equally outstanding performance, providing the shot that was parried for Bingham to net the first, and then powering home a pildedriver from the edge of the box to put the Stags two up. Bell had to limp off in the second half having taken a blow bravely diving in front of a shot to block it, and he told me after the game that it was worth it because he thought the shot was dangerous. With Bell off, and with Sutton limping off too to be replaced by Rob Taylor who was ill but bravely battled on with no other defensive options available, the Stags were rocked by a magnificent free kick on 67 minutes by England under 20 international Matt Grimes to pull Exeter back into it. But the Stags deservedly held on for the points, with Evtimov not having to make a save, although Exeter did have one chance near the end when Keohane blazed over from 8 yards. So a good end to a bad week, and a thoroughly deserved victory on the back of a first half performance that was just about as good as anything the Stags have produced away from home in three years under Paul Cox.
Saturday, 6th September: Exeter City 1 Mansfield Town 2
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Mansfield Town chalked up a timely first away win of the season with a 2-1 success at Exeter City this afternoon.
Rakish Bingham crowned a fine debut for the club with the opening goal and Fergus Bell’s screaming finish for his first League goal had Stags 2-0 up and in the driving seat by half-time.
Exeter, without a win and having only scored two goals all season, had a mountain to climb after their poor first half showing.
But, to their credit, they dug deep and England U20 international Matt Grimes pulled one back with a fabulous free kick on 67 minutes.
However, the Stags, under fire from fans in midweek after a third straight defeat, did a professional job of seeing out the match and lifted some of the pressure on boss Paul Cox.
Bingham, the 20-year-old former Wigan striker, who joined Stags on Monday, lined up alongside Matt Rhead up front with Alex Fisher dropped to the bench.
Also coming in were Fergus Bell, Lee Beevers and Jamie McGuire at the expense of Chris Clements, Rob Taylor and Simon Heslop, who were all on the bench.
Exeter provided the first threat on three minutes, but Cummins’ header was always looping well over from Wheeler’s by-line cross from the right.
City then won the first corner of the game on seven minutes. It was overhit by Oakley over everyone but then sent back over from the other flank by Woodman, Evtimov causing worry as he went to claim it but failed and was relieved to see it hooked clear before a home player could punish him.
Exeter eventually managed to clear their lines after Tafazolli had nodded on a Murray free kick into the home box.
A neatly-worked free kick from the home side then teed up Woodman for a 25 yard blast from a central position that took a deflection for a corner.
Instead Bingham marked his debut with the opening goal on 14 minutes.
Bingham created the danger himself with a pass to Bell to his right.
Bell got away a powerful low shot that Pym blocked, diving to his right. But the ball ran loose and Bingham was there on hand to slot it home past the helpless Pym, who was in goal for England U20s the night before.
It was almost 2-0 on 19 minutes as Bingham again created a shooting chance for Bell whose low effort took a deflection that spun the ball wide of Pym’s dive but also wide of the post.
A low Tafazolli shot from another Murray free kick won Stags another corner. It was cleared out as far as Bell who put the ball back in, Pym spilling it as he tried to catch it, but the Grecians surviving.
Exeter were offering little threat in open play and also letting themselves down with set pieces. A push from Tafazolli on the right offered them a chance to get the ball into the box, but Oakley again overhit the ball and it went into touch on the far side
Stags twice threatened as first Bingham’s initial touch on a great pass down the centre from Murray took him too wide, then a Beevers ball went through everyone for a goalkick.
Tafazolli won an important diving header to cut out a dangerous home cross and concede a corner.
Bingham should have doubled his tally on 36 minutes. Rhead flicked on an Evtimov clearance down the centre and it left the youngster one on one with Pym. But the keeper managed to get in the way of his low finish.
Three minutes later Beevers was afforded time and space outside the box for a curling low effort that was always going wide.
But the second goal arrived for the Stags on 40 minutes.
It stemmed from a Murray corner on the left which was met by the head of Tafazolli.
The ball dropped for Sutton whose first time blast was blocked, but the ball rolled just outside the box where Bell swept home a superb first time finish that gave the keeper no chance.
In stoppage time, Stags almost added a third on the counter attack as Rhead’s flick set Bingham on his way, the youngster cutting inside from the left to get away a rising shot that took a deflection for a corner.
The home side were booed from the field by their fans as the whistle went with Mansfield firmly in control.
City changed things round at the break with Grimes, who had played for the England U20s the night before, replacing Baldwin.
There was early as Riley conceded a free kick just outside the box, just left of centre, but the wall stood firm and did its job as Sercombe’s shot flew straight at the line of black shirts.
Soon after Ribeiro might have done better when he was picked out with a left wing cross for a free far post header that, instead of going for goal, he bizarrely tried to head the ball back into the path of a team mate and, with no one there, Stags were able to easily clear.
Bingham got a lucky break 25 yards from goal to take the ball forward and send Marsden to the byline, Pym able to smother his low cross.
Stags were left to defend with 10 men for a few minutes after Sutton limped off. Sercombe might have taken advantage with a shooting chance, but he delayed his shot to the anger of the home fans and Riley was able to get in the way when he eventually tried his luck.
Taylor, left out due to illness, was eventually forced to come on in the 56th minute, Beevers dropping into the back three and Taylor playing left wing back.
Beevers conceded a free kick almost on the left by-line from which Woodman drilled it hard and fast through everyone, just needing it to hit a body.
Another swift Mansfield counter-attack saw Bingham find Rhead who clipped a very tame low finish wide of the target.
Wheeler’s low shot came off Riley’s block for a corner from which Bell threw himself into the path of a Sercombe shot which left him on the floor needing treatment. Bell was unable to continue and on came Heslop for the last 25 minutes.
Taylor was booked on 67 minutes for a foul on the right. And from that City gained the lifeline they desperately needed as Grimes’ left foot whipped a tremendous free kick across Evtimov and into the far top corner.
Nichols was added to the book on 71 minutes for a high foot in a challenge on Marsden.
Bingham’s sparkling debut ended with 12 minutes to go as he was replaced by Palmer to warm applause from home and away fans alike.
Evtimov successfully held onto a dangerous cross from the right as we entered the last 10 minutes with Stags continuing to keep Exeter at bay.
Home players and fans were furious when Keohane went past four challenges to the edge of the box but was pulled back for a free kick for an attempted foul on him seconds before, denying him the chance to get in a shot.
Keohane was wide with a low 20 yard shot as the minutes ticked away.
Stags had a half-chance as a long Marsden throw reached the near post where the ball dropped for Heslop to blast a snapshot well over from a very difficult angle.
In the penultimate minute there was an almighty shout from the home side and supporters behind the goal for a penalty against Tafazolli. He had put the ball behind for a corner in the box but City felt he had put it out with his hand. All they ended up with was a corner.
Stags’ time-wasting tactics near the end earned Exeter six minutes of stoppage time in which to save the day.
They almost managed it in the first of those six minutes as Keohane met a low cross pulled back from the right with a vicious first time blast from 18 yards that flew over the Mansfield bar.
More home pressure followed with Grimes off target from 20 yards.
As we entered the final minute, with Stags playing keep-ball superbly, Heslop won a corner.
The gae ticked over into a seventh minute in which a long hopeful ball into the box saw Woodman send a looping header well over the top as the whistle finally went.
EXETER: Pym, Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin (Grimes HT), Ribeiro (Keohane 64), Sercombe, Oakley, Moore-Taylor (Nichols 64), Wheeler, Nicholls, Cummins. Subs not used: Hamon, Butterfield, Davies, Tillson.
STAGS: Evtimov, Sutton, Riley, Tafazolli, Marsden, Murray, McGuire, Beevers, Bell (Heslop 65), Rhead, Bingham (Palmer 78). Subs not used: Fisher, Clements, Studer, Thomas.
REFEREE: Tim Robinson of West Sussex.
ATTENDANCE: 2,771 (137 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Rakish Bingham.
Exeter City's League Two woes continue with home loss
By Western Morning News
Exeter City were left bottom of the League Two table after a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to Mansfield Town.
Read more: http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Exeter-City-s-League-woes-continue-home-loss/story-22886956-detail/story.html?#ixzz3CYygDiCA
The Grecians were comfortably beaten in front of less than 3,000 spectators at St James’s Park. And to make matters worse City registered just one shot on target all game in a week when the club had announced that it was reviewing ticket prices because of poor attendances at home games.
The performance, or lack of it from City, will have done little to convince those fans not currently turning up at games this season to return and may even hinder the gate at next week’s home match with Oxford United.
Yes there were blocked shots and balls into the box but, when England manager Roy Hodgson was criticised by the national press for his side failing to test Norway goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland enough, City boss Paul Tisdale will be left questioning why his side also faltered so badly in front of goal.
Tisdale made three changes to the side that lost to Northampton Town last week, handing new loan signing Alex Nicholls his first start for the Grecians.
There was also a debut for Christian Ribeiro who signed for City in August but had yet to feature for the club due to a groin strain, while Jordan Moore-Taylor - who injured his ankle in the club’s pre-season tour of Brazil - started his first game of the new season.
However, despite having a number of key players return to the starting line-up, City were woeful in the first half failing to test the Mansfield keeper Dimitar Evtimov once.
A Craig Woodman shot from 30 yards, which was deflected behind for a corner, and an off-target header from Graham Cummins was as close as they came to getting a goal before the break.
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox, who himself was under pressure to get a result having won just two of his five league games so far this season, named new signing Rakish Bingham up front with Matt Rhead.
The duo linked up well throughout the half, with Rhead getting his head onto most of the long balls played up to him to create chances for the visitors.
However, the star performer for Mansfield in the first half was Fergus Bell. It was his half volley on 14 minutes which produced the opening goal as it forced Christy Pym into a good save and allowed Bingham to follow up and tap the ball home from close range. Pym, who spent the week training with the England under-20s, must have been left wondering why none of his defenders had helped him out after his initial stop.
Bell went close to grabbing a second five minutes later as his shot from just outside the box had Pym scrambling across his line as the ball went just wide of the post.
Ten minutes before the interval Pym needed to produce another good stop to deny Bingham after the City defence had been caught out by long ball forward from Mansfield, which allowed their new signing in on goal.
However, Mansfield took a deserved 2-0 lead into the break as a corner was swung into the area and headed clear by a City defender. The ball dropped on the edge of the box where Bell had too much time and space and just rifled a volley into the bottom left-hand corner of the net to leave City with a mountain to climb.
Tisdale made one change at the break to try and rectify things, bringing on Matt Grimes for Pat Baldwin. This saw Oakley drop into defence as a result.
City had the first chance of the second half as Cummins went down on the edge of the box, but Sercombe’s shot into the wall, from a free-kick around 20 yards from the goal, about summed up the home side’s threat going forward.
Tisdale made further changes on 63 minutes as Tom Nichols and Jimmy Keohane came on for Jordan Moore-Taylor and Christian Ribeiro.
However, it was Grimes who got City back into the match. Having also spent the week on England under-20s duty he showed his goalscoring talent by hitting and angled drive past Evtimov from a free-kick in the left corner of the pitch.
It gave hope of a comeback and City threw everything at the final minutes employing four strikers up front.
However, other than an optimistic appeal for a penalty and a wayward shot from Jimmy Keohane there was little to suggest that City were going to get the equaliser they needed.
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