22 February 2015

Stags well beaten at the Kassam

Saturday 21st February 2015
Sky Bet League 2 
Oxford United 3-0 Mansfield Town
The Kassam Stadium
Attendance: 6954 (away support 322)

MANSFIELD TOWN manager Adam Murray saw fatigue as a major factor in his side’s poor performance, as the Stags fell to a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

A goal in each half from Alex MacDonald had put the home team well on the way to three points, before a penalty from Danny Hylton completed a decisive victory for the U’s.

Whilst some disappointing gamesmanship from Oxford and dubious refereeing decisions did not help the Stags on the day, these factors cannot be blamed for what turned into a heavy defeat. 

Mansfield were brought firmly back down to earth after beating promotion-chasing Luton four days earlier.  In his post-match interview, Adam Murray pointed to a spell of five games in 15 days having stretched his injury-hit squad to its limits.

Under pressure to pull clear of the League Two relegation zone, the players and management will be relieved to now have seven clear days to lick their wounds before the visit of Dagenham & Redbridge next Saturday.

My full review for Real Footy Talk can be found here.

15 February 2015

Wood Off Target

Saturday 14th February 2015
Vanarama Conference South
Boreham Wood 0-0 Concord Rangers
Meadow Park 
Attendance: TBC

CONCORD RANGERS are a team which caused some trouble for Mansfield Town earlier in the season.

Last November, the Essex outfit held the Stags to a 1-1 draw in Nottinghamshire in an FA Cup 1st Round tie.  Three days later, Paul Cox stood down as Mansfield's manager, walking away after coming under increasing pressure from a section of fans.

Seven days later, and now under the caretaker management of Adam Murray, Mansfield scraped through to the 2nd Round of the competition with a 1-0 win in the replay at Concord's Aspect Arena.

The Beach Boys also provided tough opposition for Boreham Wood during that same month.  Ian Allinson's team crashed 4-0 in an FA Trophy tie in Essex just four days after that FA Cup replay, and the two teams shared the points when drawing 1-1 draw in a Conference South fixture at the same ground two weeks earlier.

This weekend I was finally able to see Concord Rangers for myself, when the Beach Boys came to Meadow Park.

My report for Real Footy Talk can be found here...

8 February 2015

Barnet On Their Way

Saturday 7th February 2015
Vanarama Conference
Barnet 2-1 Woking
The Hive
Attendance: 2036
BARNET maintained a seven-point lead at the top of the Conference, holding on despite some late scares to beat Woking 2-1 on a cold and grey afternoon at The Hive.

My report for Real Footy Talk -->

1 February 2015

Tough At The Top

Saturday 31st January 2015
Vanarama Conference South
Boreham Wood 0-4 Basingstoke Town
Meadow Park 
Attendance: 380

The Conference South promotion race became even tougher to call, as leaders Boreham Wood fell to a 4-0 home defeat against Basingstoke Town.

Three first half goals put the visitors in control at the break, and it was ‘game over’ when the Stoke added a fourth midway through the second half.

Article continues...

30 January 2015

Match Preview: Boreham Wood v Basingstoke Town

After a three-week break, league leaders Boreham Wood return to Vanarama Conference South action this Saturday.

Basingstoke Town are the visitors to Meadow Park for a game which pairs the teams currently sitting first and fifth in the table.  The Hampshire side are nine points below Wood, but with two games in hand, and could still threaten the Hertfordshire club’s position at the top of the table.

Since Boreham Wood’s last game, the 5-3 win at Stevenage in the Herts Senior Cup quarter-final on 13th January, manager Ian Allinson has strengthened his squad with two new signings.  Brentford midfielder Tyrell Miller-Rodney has arrived on a loan deal until the end of the season, and the club was further boosted by the return of former player-coach Daryl McMahon, who captained the Ebbsfleet United side which claimed a 3-1 win at Meadow Park at the start of this month.

For the visitors, manager Jamie Bristow marks his 150th game in charge tomorrow, and this week confirmed that England Under-19 centre-back Rob Dickie’s loan from Reading has been extended to a second month.

Basingstoke will arrive in Hertfordshire after collecting just one point from their last three games, including last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at home to fellow promotion-chasers Bromley.  Wood have also wobbled recently, losing three out of five prior to a 2-0 win at St Albans City in their last league game three weeks ago.

When Boreham Wood and Basingstoke met in Hampshire back in September, two goals by leading scorer Chris Flood gave the home team a 2-1 win.

On a day where the top eight teams in the Conference South are all in action against one another, Wood will be looking to avenge that result and consolidate their place at the top of the table.