Saturday, 30th November 2013: Mansfield Town 1, Morecambe 2

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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.