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Stags beat Forest in friendly

28 July 2012

Mansfield Town recorded another impressive victory against Championship opposition, with a 2-1 victory against Nottingham Forest, in a game which saw three sensational goals.

Stags, who beat Derby County on Wednesday by the same score line, gave another good account of themselves, with headline-winning goals from Anthony Howell and Nick Wright helping Paul Cox's men to their latest victory.

Forest, who shaded a first half, were undone in the second period when they made no fewer than nine changes to their line up.

And it was the Reds who carved out the game's first chance in the opening stages, when Frank Moussa, the Belgian midfielder, pounced on a loose ball by Ross Dyer, but he couldn't find the net as goalkeeper Alan Marriott made the stop.

Stags had a handful of chances in the first half, but were to find Reds' goalkeeper Lee Camp in formidable pre-season form. The first of which was struck by Anthony Howell, who let fly on the left, but Camp got quickly to his near post to deny the Stags' midfielder.

With the game a quarter-of-an-hour old, Nottingham-based winger Lindon Meikle stepped inside a challenge to strike the upright, and after Stags hot shot Matt Green couldn't make it to the ball, Dyer slammed over the resulting effort when he should have scored with.

Tenacious midfield man Gary Roberts was then cautioned after a string of fouls, culminating by pulling down ex-Derby player Marcus Tudgay.

Stags racked up eight corners in the first half, opposed to Forest's three, but they came to nothing.

With four minutes of the first half to play, Guy Moussi struck wide with an ambitious 25-yard low drive and then Frank Moussa hit a tame effort at goal when he should have tested Marriott from 20 yards.

Camp was then called upon for Forest when he showed great reflexes to tip over Luke Jones' venomous shot. 

From a free kick inside Stags' half, Dyer flicked on for Howell, who scuffed his shot, and as Jones powered goalwards the loose ball, Camp got fingertips on the shot to push over the bar.

After an entertaining first half, the game stepped up several notches in the second period as both sides had a plethora of chances to get on the score sheet.

Within the opening minutes of the second period, Chris Clements had a free kick blocked and then at the other David McGoldrick, the ex-Notts County forward, saw a shot saved by Redmond after the striker had got behind the Stags' defence.

Anthony Howell put Stags in front just three minutes into the second half, when a long ball downfield was flicked on by Dyer into the path of Howell who finished coolly on the half-volley.

Dyer should have tested goalkeeper Darlo on 52 minutes when Meikle's left wing cross found the un-marked Dyer at the far post, but he struck the side netting when the shot stopper should have been forced to make a save.

Moments later, Ismael Miller turned inside the area, but his low effort was easy for Redmond.

But he was to find the net in sensational style on 56 minutes. Flying by two players on the edge of the area, Miller unleashed a thunderous effort into the top corner, leaving Redmond with no chance.

Green then got past two Forest defenders inside the area but his shot lacked the power to seriously test goalkeeper Khalid Al Rashidi, who replaced Darlo.

Shortly before the hour, Cox introduced Matt Rhead, Nick Wright and Louis Briscoe, who replaced Ross Dyer, Matt Green and Lindon Meikle.

And it was Wright, with his first touch, who put stags back in front. An inch perfect pass from Hand, put Wright in the clear, and after taking a touch, the ex-Kidderminster sharp shooter unleashed a rasping strike which left the net bulging.

Luke Jones, the centre half, then made way for the unattached Pablo Mills

Forest's Jamal Cascelles was guilty of kick fresh air when he miscued in the centre of 68 minutes following a cross from the right.

On 70 minutes, another three changes were made in the home dugout when Owens, Hand and Howell departed for Ritchie Sutton, Godfrey Poku and Ben Hutchinson

McGoldrick then ended a Forest counter attack as he floated wide from 20 yards, with 72 minutes played.

Rhead was then put in the clear for Stags after Briscoe's pass, but Al Rashidi made a good save to put it behind for a corner. 

Btiscoe made another assist, this time for Sutton, who was well forward on the left, but he side-footed the shot into the body of Al Rashidi.

Miller's shot then flashed wide at the other end in the dying embers, before the referee wrapped up an entertaining contest just two minutes later.

STAGS: Marriott (Redmond H/T); Thompson, Dempster, Jones (Mills 63), Owens (Sutton 69); Howell (Poku 69), Roberts (Clements H/T), Hand (Hutchinson 69); Dyer (Briscoe 61), Green (Rhead 61), Meikle (Wright 61).

FOREST 1st half: Camp; Halford, Freeman, Collins, Reid, Greening, Tudgay, Moussa, Blackstock, Maloney, Moussi. 

2nd half: Darlo (Al Rashidi), Freeman, Collins, Lascelles, Guedioura, Bader, Miller, McGugan, McGoldrick, Bouzid, Derbyshire.

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