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Archived News from July 2018

30th July 2018 0:22

Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town 2 - 1 Sheffield Wednesday
Benning 41, Reach OG 67. Reach 72
Attendance: 3599 (1517 from Sheffield Wednesday)

Date: 24 July 2018

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town put in another hugely encouraging performance against more Championship opposition and deservedly beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 at the One Call Stadium this evening. Sheffield Wednesday’s game plan was to keep the ball, knocking it around all evening, but seemed riled in the last 20 minutes and at 2-0 down starting lumping balls forward in a desperate attempt not to be beaten. So riled and frustrated were they that striker Fernando Forestieri started committing some nasty fouls in the final few minutes. After one foul, on Sterling-James, on 89 minutes, there was an incident with Krystian Pearce where Pearce appeared to lose the plot, seemingly incensed by something that was said, and Stags boss David Flitcroft showed good leadership by running on to the pitch to get Pearce off the pitch before he did something he regretted. It’s a shame that the Wednesday manager did not show similar leadership towards Forestieri. Forestieri was booked, and when the game ended just a couple of minutes later, Forestieri punched Stags sub Calum Butcher in the face, sparking a mass brawl and ugly scenes. It was an extraordinary end to a pre-season friendly. The Stags once again put in a superb performance. Wednesday had started the better side in the opening 15 minutes, but the Stags soon got into the game and started pressing Wednesday, with the entire midfield and forward line working hard to win the ball. Such was Mansfield’s superb fitness that they were able to keep up the pressing game for the remaining 75 minutes. Mansfield were close to taking the lead on 29 minutes as Otis Khan put in a great cross from the left and Wednesday’s Atdhe Nuhiu powered a header towards his own goal where keeper Dawson made a wonderful save to keep it out. On 32 minutes a sensational piece of play by CJ Hamilton as he controlled a long ball forward and sprinted into the area past one defender before a covering defender took the ball off him. Mansfield took a deserved lead on 41 minutes. Jacob Mellis slid a lovely ball forward to Otis Khan on the edge of the area, Khan’s shot was blocked by Liam Palmer, to CJ Hamilton who laid off to Mal Benning who fired a great shot into the net from 16 yards off the inside of the right post. Benning at his best. Wednesday should have equalised on 49 minutes when Liam Palmer crossed from the right and Nuhiu hit the bar from 6 yards out. Mansfield doubled the lead on 67 minutes. Alex MacDonald played a great ball out to the right which CJ Hamilton met on the byline, sliding a cross in which somehow went into the net off Adam Reach from a tight angle. A lucky goal but a 2-0 lead which Mansfield certainly deserved. Stags fans in Q block, creating a superb atmosphere, chanted “Championship, you’re having a laugh”. Wednesday were riled and pulled one back on 72 minutes as Reach, who had scored the own goal, fired in a quality finish from 18 yards. It finished 2-1 as Mansfield defended well to keep a desperate Wednesday side at bay, and then it all kicked off at the end of the game. Plenty of encouraging performances throughout the Stags side with everyone playing well, including Tyler Walker who put in easily his best performance so far. The Stags have one more pre-season friendly left, at home to Rotherham on Saturday before the league starts on Saturday-week.

Mansfield again employed a 3-5-2 formation, as they have in every pre-season friendly so far. There was one change to the starting XI against Sheffield United, with Alex MacDonald replacing Craig Davies. Davies missed out, with manager Flitcroft saying afterwards that he had been training on the hard training ground. It was unclear if he has an injury but Flitcroft said we should have him for next week (whether that means Saturday against Rotherham, or back to training on Monday was unclear).

The team that started today was:
Conrad Logan;
Hayden White, Matt Preston (new signing from Swindon), Krystian Pearce;
CJ Hamilton, Jacob Mellis, Neal Bishop (new signing from Scunthorpe), Alex MacDonald, Mal Benning;
Otis Khan (new signing from Yeovil), Tyler Walker (season loan from Forest).

Khan moved from midfield to play alongside Walker up front. Left-footed CJ Hamilton was once again at right-wing back.

The players missing from the squad tonight were Rose (has been injured, and will play in a behind closed doors match at Hull tomorrow morning), Mirfin (out until Christmas), Diamond (also injured), and Anderson (who was injured in Portugal and played a couple of games with the U21 side this week just to get minutes). Also missing was trialist Nathan Cameron who has had a scan on his injury but the results are not yet clear.

Sheffield Wednesday had Matt Penney on the bench but he did not come on. He was on loan at Mansfield last season.



Football Association to investigate Sheffield Wednesday's bad-tempered friendly with Mansfield Town
Sheffield Star, by DOM HOWSON, Wednesday 25 July 2018

The Football Association are looking into the mass brawl which marred Sheffield Wednesday's pre-season friendly with Mansfield Town. Things spilled over at the final whistle of last night's warm-up match at the One Call Stadium as players from both sides squared up to each other. A number of fists were seen flying, with Fernando Forestieri appearing to aim a punch at Calum Butcher before being assaulted himself trying to escape the bust-up. Forestieri had to be escorted down the players’ tunnel by the match referee.

Read more at: https://www.thestar.co.uk/sport/football/sheffield-wednesday/football-association-to-investigate-sheffield-wednesday-s-bad-tempered-friendly-with-mansfield-town-1-9268754

Owls defender Tom Lees was also allegedly kicked in the stomach by a Mansfield player in the giant ruck.

Mansfield boss David Flitcroft was quick to condemn the bust-up.

"In a pre-season game there are no points to play for [but] you could really feel it boiling over," he said. "Calum Butcher has a cut lip. He’s been punched in the face. You don’t want to see scenes like that at any football game but we’ll get to the bottom of it maybe tomorrow and go from there." The Stags edged a fiery, bad-tempered contest 2-1.


LOMAS ON STAGS: Spirit on show as mass brawl deflects away from another great Stags performance
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 25 July 2018

It didn’t help the Owls that their talented Italian frontman Fernando Forestieri let his own frustrations with the way the game was going get the better of him and some of his challenges in the second half would have seen him get yellows, if not reds, had it been a League game.

Referee John Brooks was caught halfway between trying not to get his card out for a pre-season friendly while maintaining law and order. But it all went horribly wrong late on. Forestieri had just made two more bad tackles on home players, one after seemingly going down for a soft penalty appeal when it seemed he could have got a shot away.

What happened then between him and home skipper Krystian Pearce will doubtless come out in the future. There have been unconfirmed allegations of a racist comment by the Italian. I have never seen Pearce so angry, despite bruising clashes with centre forwards week in week out throughout the year. I have also never seen a Stags manager go onto the pitch to haul away a player who has completely lost his cool and point him to the tunnel before he gets sent-off, quickly sending on a substitute - that was absolutely top drawer management from a man already short on centre halves with the start of the season only 10 days away.

If the racist comment rumour proves true the Italian should face a lengthy ban from the game - but everyone is innocent until proved guilty and we await the aftermath once the dust settles. With Pearce down the tunnel and the referee blowing the final whistle, what happened then was simply surreal.

This was no ‘handbags’ ‘mass brawl’ of pushing and shoving. This was brutal. There is an allegation that Forestieri was hit from behind after the whistle. All we definitely know was that Stags’ Calum Butcher’s lip was bloodied by a punch and that Forestieri’s simmering temper was at the thick of things as het up players squared up and then suddenly let fly with a barrage of fists and boots.

Players leapt off the bench ‘ice hockey-style’ to help out their team mates and stewards also piled in to try to pull players apart. It was the worst football brawl I have ever seen live, though the pre-season match at Ilkeston seven years ago ranks higher in my disgust of what one human being did to another that night in another so-called ‘friendly’. It’s hard to know what the repercussions - if any - will be.

The Police were asking questions afterwards, Wednesday wanted video of the fight, and doubtless the FA bigwigs will sit down and analyse what happened too. While in no way condoning what happened, I have played in several games myself down the years where, when the officials have not controlled things well, players have sought to take the law in their own hands - and my old Sunday morning comrades would have definitely said that Forestieri was ‘cruising for a bruising’.

It also has to be said that the way the Stags players backed each other up on the pitch at the end won’t do team spirit any harm. What happened last night is unlikely to happen again this season or possibly in the rest of their careers. But the team spirit was definitely there on show over the 90 minutes and again after the whistle. It was a strange way of boss Flitcroft finding out his pre-season week in Portugal has been a huge success in more than one way. Now everyone must put the brawl behind them and focus on Rotherham on Saturday.

We all know pre-season results count for nothing. But any Stags fans not feeling optimistic and tiny bit excited now should quickly check for a pulse!

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/lomas-on-stags-spirit-on-show-as-mass-brawl-deflects-away-from-another-great-stags-performance-1-9269184


Report: Mansfield 2-1 Wednesday
swfc.co.uk, Tuesday 24 July 2018

Wednesday continued their summer schedule with a 2-1 reverse at Mansfield on Tuesday evening.

Mal Benning gave the hosts the lead just before the break and an Adam Reach own goal made it 2-0.

Reach made amends to halve the arrears but Mansfield held on to take the plaudits.


But from the first whistle, it was the Owls that assumed control as the Stags struggled to gain possession.

Moving the ball around neatly and with pace, Wednesday seemed to have too much for their fourth tier opponents.

But as the contest unfolded, the home side grew into proceedings and went close midway through the first half when CJ Hamilton ghosted in at the back post but Morgan Fox got a vital touch.

The same duo locked horns again ten minutes later, with Fox coming out on top once more, this time deflecting wide for a corner.

And from the corner kick Mansfield went closer still, albeit through Atdhe Nuhiu, whose header was bound for the top corner but for a flying Cameron Dawson save.

Liam Palmer, Sam Hutchinson and Nuhiu had the best efforts for Wednesday, who went behind four minutes before half time.

After Palmer bravely blocked a fierce drive from Olis Khan, the ball fell kindly to Benning, who smashed home off the inside of the far post.

The Owls started the second half as they did the first and came within a whisker of levelling on 49 minutes.

Forestieri found Palmer down the right whose cross was aimed accurately into the path of Nuhiu, who struck the crossbar from close range.

Play was relatively even thereafter until the Stags broke forward and doubled their lead on 67 minutes.

Alex MacDonald executed a perfect through-ball out wide for Hamilton, whose cross was inadvertently diverted into his own goal by Reach.

And it was Reach who pulled a goal back with 18 minutes to go. Taking a cleared feed from Palmer into his stride, the former Middlesbrough man drilled hard and low past Conrad Logan.

Wednesday pressed for an equaliser and saw a penalty claim waved away after Forestieri tangled with Hamilton in the box.

Tyler Walker forced Dawson into a fine save before an unsavoury melee at the end saw a brawl with a raft of players at its heart.

Wednesday: Dawson, Palmer, Lees, van Aken, Fox, Reach, Pelupessy, Bannan, Hutchinson, Forestieri, Nuhiu

Attendance: 3.599


Sheffield Wednesday match report: Mansfield Town 2 Owls 1
Sheffield Star, by DOM HOWSON, Tuesday 24 July 2018

There is definitely work for Wednesday chief Jos Luhukay to do on the training ground. With just over a week to go until the start of the new Championship season, the Owls produced an alarming, disjointed performance against a hard-working Mansfield Town outfit.

There looked anything but two divisions separating the two teams as the Stags edged a bad-tempered friendly. A smart finish by Mal Benning and an own goal from Adam Reach did the damage. Reach pulled one back but in truth Wednesday were second best for long periods.

There were ugly scenes at the end as tempers flared between both teams.

Luhukay has used the depth of his squad throughout their pre-season programme and the likes of Joe Wildsmith, Ash Baker, Maco Matias, Almen Abdi, David Jones, Steve Fletcher and George Boyd featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Bradford City on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday slipped to a 3-0 defeat, with Fletcher playing the first half as he continues his comeback from injury.

Cameron Dawson lined up in goal, Tom Lees, Joost van Aken and Morgan Fox made up the three-man defence, Liam Palmer and Adam Reach were deployed in the wing-back positions, Barry Bannan, Joey Pelupessy and Sam Hutchinson started in midfield while Atdhe Nuhiu partnered Fernando Forestieri up front. Although Gary Hooper is back in the country, having received treatment on his long-standing hip problem in Spain last weekend, he was not considered for either fixture. The striker, who has not made a competitive appearance since last December, is expected to rejoin full training later this week. It was Wednesday who monopolised possession and territory in the early stages. They created the first chance of note. Palmer seized on a lousy headed clearance from Benning but he fired a tame right foot drive straight into the artms of former Rotherham United man Conrad Logan. There was a good tempo and intensity to the Owls' play as Mansfield, who narrowly missed out on a League Two play-off spot last season, struggled to get the ball off them. Mansfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday.'Wednesday's Barry Bannan and Neal Bishop.

Atdhe Nuhiu wasted a glorious opportunity to put Wednesday ahead in the eighth minute. The Kosovo international pounced on a loose pass from Neal Bishop only to curl a rasping left foot shot high over the top from just outside the penalty area. It took an inch perfect challenge from Matt Preston to prevent Nuhiu from forcing Logan into action midway through the half following a cushioned header down by Palmer at the back post as the visitors continued to press for the opener. But Mansfield improved as the half wore on and CJ Hamilton was a real lively presence down their right flank. He beat the Owls' offside trap, latching on to a superb through ball by Benning only for Morgan Fox to produce an immaculate sliding tackle to block his low effort. Moments later, Cameron Dawson spared Nuhiu's blushes. The academy graduate pulled off an outstanding reflex stop to turn away Nuhiu's bullet header from Otis Khan's centre. Hamilton continued to cause Wednesday's backline a lot of trouble with his pace and direct style of play. He darted past Fox, burst into the penalty area but was thwarted by the covering van Aken. Shortly after Hutchinson fizzed over a long range shot, Benning gave Mansfield a 41st minute. His fierce left foot strike went in off the post and was no more than the Stags deserved following a great spell of pressure. The Owls lost their way after a bright start. Too often they put themselves under pressure by trying to be too clever or intricate on the ball. Some credit, though, should go to Mansfield for hunting in packs and forcing them into mistakes. Nonetheless, Nuhiu should have levelled things up three minutes after the break. Forestieri's exquisite pass from deep freed Palmer down the right and he squared to Nuhiu, who somehow rattled the crossbar with the goal at his mercy. It was by far and away Wednesday's best attacking move. Nuhiu tried to take the attack to Mansfield. His 22 yard attempt was comfortably saved by Logan. Slightly against the run of play, the Stags doubled their advantage in the 67th minute as Reach diverted Hamilton's cross past the helpess Dawson. Mansfield fans taunted the 1,500 plus Wednesday travelling contingent, chanting 'Championship, you're having a laugh'. This was no laughing matter for the Owls. Mansfield's second sparked the visitors into life and Reach reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute with a peach of a strike. His rasping right foot volley flew into Logan's top right hand corner. Forestieri had a strong penalty claim waved away after a clumsy-looking challenge by Hamilton but Mansfield were not to be denied

Mansfield: Logan; White, Preston (Gibbens 56), Pearce; CJ Hamilton, Bishop, Mellis (Sterling-James 80), MacDonald (Butcher 80), Benning; Khan (Graham 80), Walker. Substitutes: Olejnki, Atkinson, Digby, Angol.

Owls: Dawson; van Aken, Lees, Fox; Palmer, Bannan, Pelupessy, Hutchinson, Reach; Nuhiu, Forestieri. Substitutes: Wallis, Jack Lee, Hunt, Penney, Preston, Kirby, Stobbs. Attendance: 3,599 (1,517).

Read more at: https://www.thestar.co.uk/sport/football/sheffield-wednesday/sheffield-wednesday-match-report-mansfield-town-2-owls-1-1-9268027



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