STAGS BEAT MACCLESFIELD 3-1
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 3 - 1 Macclesfield Town
Grant 8, Pearce 57, Walker 89. Evans 42
Attendance: 5642 (236 from Macclesfield)
Date: 2 February 2019
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town overcame second bottom Macclesfield Town in a tight game at the One Call Stadium this afternoon thanks to two second half goals both coming from corners. Getting goals from corners is something the Stags haven’t been good at in recent times and it was great to see. It was 1-1 at half time, with an early goal from Jorge Grant, his 4th in the last 3 games, placing the ball into the net after great work from Nicky Ajose to get in a shot from the right that was parried by the keeper. Macclesfield cancelled out that lead on 42 minutes as Callum Evans fired into the net from 10 yards after a corner was cleared to him. And Macclesfield could easily have been in front at the break as three minutes later Scott Wilson was unlucky to see his shot across Jordan Smith cannon off the post, with Matt Preston doing superbly to block the follow-up shot from Reece Cole. And then two minutes after that, Mal Benning cleared a header off the line following another Macclesfield corner. Mansfield had earlier gone close to scoring when Grant’s free kick from 31 yards was just wide of the post, hitting the back stanchion on 35 minutes, and a minute later Tyler Walker’s shot was deflected wide with the keeper completely wrong-footed.
Into the second half and great goalkeeping from Jordan Smith kept the Stags in front on 54 minutes when Scott Wilson was through one-on-one but Smith was out to block superbly. And just three minutes later on 57 minutes, the Stags were in front. Jorge Grant’s corner was controlled beautifully by the groin of Krystian Pearce to send the ball goalwards, Callum Evans tried to clear off the line, his clearance hit Fiacre Kelleher and rebounded back towards the net. Pearce claimed the goal, his first goal of the season, and if we’re being generous, which of course we are to “The Chief”, it might have flicked off him as it went in!
Macclesfield remained in the game after that playing some good football and could have equalised when Tyrone Marsh was completely unmarked on the edge of the area but fired straight at Smith. At the other end, Tyler Walker’s great shot from 20 yards was superbly tipped over the bar by Macclesfield keeper O’Hara.
But Mansfield sealed the game after 89 minutes with another goal from a corner. Mal Benning’s corner from the right was headed down and goalwards by Matt Preston, it was half-blocked by sub Ryan Lloyd and might have been going in, but Tyler Walker took no chances and stabbed it over the line from 2 yards. Keeper O’Hara tried to save it but it was already a foot over the line before he pulled it back and the linesman immediately signalled the goal. Mansfield had a little bit of bad luck at Forest Green with a refereeing decision, but had a bit of good luck here, because Walker was a fraction offside as Preston headed the ball goalwards and therefore the goal should have been ruled out. No matter, it was Walker’s 20th goal of a fabulous season for him.
So a vital victory for Mansfield on a day when the two-goal margin was flattering, but it’s all about getting results. The Stags weren’t at their best today, but ground out the result. Neal Bishop was my man of the match for an all-action display best summed up when he continued to surge forward despite being held back for a good 15 yards by powerful Macclesfield substitute Brice Ntambwe. Jordan Smith made some vital saves at big moments, Krystian Pearce had a fine game and deserved his goal, Matt Preston also had a good game with a great block at a crucial time at the end of the first half and that header which led to the third goal. Mal Benning also had a very fine game with a great clearance off the line at the end of the first half and the fine corner for the third goal.
The Stags remain in second place, and are now 7 points ahead of 4th place, albeit having played a game more.
On a day when plenty of games were postponed, credit to groundsman Mez Merriman and his team for getting the game on, with thanks also to local company Thermokil who used some form of heat system to keep the area of the pitch in front of the West Stand warm that sometimes gets frozen. As I arrived at the ground two hours before kick off, the system which appeared to pump hot air under covers, was being put away.
Also great credit to the club for the initiative of letting under 18’s in for free. There was an extra thousand Stags fans on the gate over the Tranmere game a week ago. Not clear how many of those were under 18, but a good percentage certainly would have been, and hopefully many of these will come back. They are of course potentially the fans of the future.
After the game it was announced that Mansfield have signed central defender Ben Turner. His contract was ripped up by Burton on transfer deadline day enabling him to join another club outside the transfer window and he is a superb signing. He is carrying an injury and will be fit in a couple of weeks. The injury to Hayden White, who had covered two positions, meant the Stags needed an extra right wing back AND central defender, and they now have both with Gethin Jones having signed earlier in the week. It was particularly important to strengthen the central defence with David Mirfin clearly not going to be ready for first team action in the foreseeable future and being sent out on loan to Conference North York City, while hugely promising youngster Lewis Gibbens, who could potentially have been recalled from his loan spell at Conference North Boston United, has dislocated his shoulder while playing for Boston and will be out for some time.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
REPORT: Mansfield Town 3-1 Macclesfield Town - Stags move two points from League Two summit
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 02 February 2019
Mansfield Town edged to within two points of leaders Lincoln City this afternoon - but struggling visitors Macclesfield Town made them fight all the way for the 3-1 win. Stags failed to build on Jorge Grant’s eighth minute opener and just before the break Callum Evans deservedly levelled for Sol Campbell’s men while Scott Wilson struck the home post soon after. Stags stepped up a gear after the break and skipper Krystian Pearce restored the lead from close range. But it was a nervous afternoon until Tyler Walker’s 20th goal of the season in the last minute finally made the points safe. 1BR in Wotton-under-Edge £78 Promoted by holidaylettings.co.uk Stags were roared on by a big home crowd, boosted by a free tickets for U18s offer - and they were put through the mill at times as the visitors refused to lie down. Unchanged for a third game in a row, Stags went immediately forward and Ajose was caught offside. But on two minutes Marsh was allowed to run and his speculative 30 yards effort did not float too far over the far angle as the visitors made a lively start. Walker finally sent a cutting pass into the Macc box where Welch-Hayes was quick to rob Ajose before he could pull the trigger. But Stags were ahead on eight minutes. Hamilton began the move down the right and when Ajose had a shot saved, the ball rolled back for Grant to tuck calmly away inside the right hand post - his fourth goal in three games. Walker was too high from 20 yards on 16 minutes when the ball broke for him from a throw. Benning then robbed Hodgkiss and got to the by-line but was unable to pick out a yellow shirt as Stags kept up the pressure. However, the visitors were still well in the game and Smith was finally tested on 32 minutes as Evans set up Cole for a shot from the edge of the box that was straight at the keeper. On 35 minutes Grant curled a 30 yard free kick into the sidenetting with a few home fans believing it had gone in as the net rippled.
Then Walker had a shot deflect wide with the keeper stranded. But with three minutes to go to the break the visitors hauled themselves level. Rose had a shot deflect wide for a corner. He put that over low to the near post where it was only cleared as far as Evans who drilled a low finish through everyone from just inside the box. Stags were then fortunate to go into half-time still level as Wilson broke on the left and sent a shot across Smith that came back off the far post and Preston came up with a magnificent block to keep out Cole’s follow-up. Immediately on the restart Kelleher superbly blocked Hamilton’s finish after he had swapped passes in the box with Grant. But Stags had Smith to thank for saving their bacon when were caught square at the back on 54 minutes and Rose sent Wilson through on goal, the keeper standing firm to make the block. Ajose had a header saved at the other end a minute later. But Stags were back ahead from a 57th minute corner which saw a melee end with Pearce forcing it home from close range off Evans on the line. Soon after Grant cut inside as Hamilton made a dummy run outside him and curled a low shot into the sidenetting. An error from Sweeney on 65 minutes saw Smith again have to save, though Marsh’s curling finish was straight at him. Macc sub Ntambwe was booked within nine minutes of coming on for hauling back Bishop, Grant too high with the free kick. Another break by the gutsy visitors ended with Cole firing too high from 18 yards. On 72 minutes Stags broke well after Macc pressure and Walker’s dipping 20 yard effort was superbly tipped over by O’Hara. Having brought Rose on for Ajose, Stags shored things up for the last eight minutes as new boy, defender Jones, made his home debut in place of Hamilton. The points were wrapped up in the final minute from a corner as another scramble saw O’Hara grasp Walker’s close range shot but the linesman indicate it was already over the line, bringing relief all round.
MANSFIELD: J. Smith; Sweeney, Pearce, Preston; Hamilton (Jones 82), Bishop, Mellis (Atkinson 89), Benning; Grant; Walker, Ajose (Rose 72). Subs not used: Logan, A. Smith, Law, Khan.
MACCLESFIELD: O’Hara, Hodgkiss, Kelleher, Marsh (Biabi 68), Wilson, Welch-Hayes, Evans (Lloyd 76), Maycock (Ntambwe 56), Rose, Cameron, Cole. Subs not used: Idem, Fitzpatrick, Jules, Mullings.
REFEREE: Michael Salisbury of Lancashire. ATTENDANCE: 5,642 (236 away). CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Jorge Grant.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/report-mansfield-town-3-1-macclesfield-town-stags-move-two-points-from-league-two-summit-1-9572585
Stags match saved by pest control
chad.co.uk, by DANIELLE ANDREWS
When the pitch at the One Call Stadium froze solid ahead of Saturday's match, the head groundsman had to come up with a unique solution. But how do you defrost an entire pitch?
Luckily, MTFC head groundsman, Michael Merriman knew of someone that could save the day - a pest control specialist.
Ryan Overton, director of Thermokil Insect Control Services, was en route to a pest control job in Newcastle on Thursday 31 January when he received a call from Michael.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/news/stags-match-saved-by-pest-control-1-9577078?fbclid=IwAR1801LdwncGWYV2zfyCdhUraC0oS8Uga7Iq3q99GA63GB0cyUaYXsskDdM
Michael asked if Ryan could come and look at the pitch to see if his specialist heat treatments kits - usually used to drive out pests such as bed bugs - could be used on the frozen ground.
Thermokil is a Mansfield company offering heat-based pest control service - and Ryan had the kit to defrost the pitch in time for Saturday.
Ryan, a lifelong Mansfield Town supporter fired up his specialist heat treatment kits, until the the pitch passed the referee’s inspection.
The game against Macclesfield Town was then allowed to go ahead.