FRIENDLY: : Tamworth 1 Mansfield Town 1

Scott Shearer - Pic By James Williamson
Scott Shearer - Pic By James Williamson

A superb finish by Nathan Thomas earned Mansfield Town a 1-1 draw in their away friendly at Conference North Tamworth this afternoon.

An early mistake by new keeper Scott Shearer saw former Stags striker Ross Dyer put Tamworth into a 1-0 half-time at The Lamb.

However, the visitors settled into the game well after an uncomfortable first 15 minutes on a bobbly surface and should have been level by the break.

They had to wait until the 55th minute before Thomas lofted the ball under the far angle from the edge of the box.

After that the game died a little on a warm afternoon as the subs rolled on, though the lively Adi Yussuf three times forced saves from the home sub home keeper near the end.

Mansfield did lose new signing Krystian Pearce with injury on 54 minutes which will be of great concern to boss Adam Murray.

Stags began the game with a strong line-up in a 4-4-1-1 formation.

But a howler by Shearer gifted Tamworth a third minute lead.

He made a mess of his attempted clearance and scuffed it straight to Newton who quickly squared it past the helpless keeper to leave ex-Stag Dyer an open net from six yards which he was never going to miss.

On 11 minutes Davies volleyed over from a headed clearance by Pearce after a home raid down the left.

Stags finally began to find their feet after 15 minutes and an inswinging Chapman free kick from the left had keeper Belshaw in trouble, happy to turn it away for a corner.

Stags spurned a chance on 25 minutes as Benning lashed a first time shot wide from Lambe’s pass after the home side had given the ball away in their own box.

On 36 minutes Lambe was just too high from 20 yards as he swung a boot at a Green knock-down.

Stags continued to press and three minutes later a poor kick out by keeper Belshaw offered a chance to Nathan Thomas, but he was unable to get a clean strike due to Green’s challenge.

Three minutes from the break Nathan Thomas put Matt Green away down the centre, Belshaw racing out to intervene and appearing to handle outside his box. But the referee ignored Mansfield’s pleas and played on.

Stags made two changes up front at the break with Matt Green and Jack Thomas replaced by Beardsley and Westcarr.

Stags began the second half on the front foot with Chapman scuffing a half-chance, then from the first of two corners, a home defender made a superb block to deny Collins from close range.

But the visitors suffered a 54th minute blow as new signing Pearce limped off, replaced by Tafazolli.

However, Stags were all smiles a minute later as a pearler from Nathan Thomas levelled the game.

With the ball at his feet on the right hand corner of the box, the winger looked up and floated a perfect finish under the far angle.

As both sides made numerous chances, the half became scrappy and disjointed, though the home side went close with an inswinging corner on 71 minutes that passed just wide of the far post with no one able to touch home.

With so many Stags youngsters on the field, the home side began to enjoy much more possession, Tomassen narrowly wide with a first time effort on 77 minutes.

Home boss Andy Morrell decided to join the action to big cheers from the Tamworth fans with 12 minutes to go.

Young keeper Wilson had two bites of the cherry to hold onto a vicious home free kick.

Seconds later at the other end Yussuf had a shot saved, the sub home keeper repeating the feat with his legs soon after.

In the dying minutes Yussuf forced another save by the keeper’s legs and headed over from a Fitzpatrick corner as the visitors finished the game strongly.

TAMWORTH: Belshaw, Burns, Warlow, Thomassen, Preston, Paul Green, Durrell, Clarke, Newton, Dyer, Davies.

STAGS: Shearer (Wilson 68), Hunt (Marsden 68), Collins (Shires 68), Pearce (Tafazolli 54), Benning (Connor Green 68), Chapman (Rose 63), Clements (Fitzpatrick 63), J. Thomas (Westcarr HT), Lambe (Rose 63), M. Green (Beardsley HT), N. Thomas (Yussuf 63).

REFEREE: Mr M. D’Aguilar.

ATTENDANCE: 564 (174 away).