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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Wycombe Wanderers  
1 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Easter 58
 
 
Attendance: 4,754 (252 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 1 September 2006

CROSSBAR DENIES UNLUCKY STAGS

Martin Shaw at Adams Park

Mansfield Town were so unlucky to be beaten 1-0 at high-flying Wycombe Wanderers this evening. The game turned on a dramatic five minute spell in the second half, during which Mansfield hit the bar twice and Wycombe scored the only goal. On 55 minutes, Simon Brown chipped a delightful shot onto the crossbar from 18 yards with the keeper well beaten. Three minutes later, Wycombe scored the only goal of the game as Jermaine Easter scored from close range after Muggleton had failed to hold onto Betsy's close range header following a cross from Mooney. It was Easter's fourth goal against the Stags in little over a year. Then two minutes after that, a brilliant Stags move saw Mullins play Hamshaw in on the right. Hamshaw's measured cross was met powerfully by the head of Barker, but Wycombe keeper Jamie Young, making his league debut, brilliantly turned the ball onto the underside of the crossbar and away.

The Stags had other good chances, notably Brown who missed a sitter at the end of the first half, and Barker, whose header was cleared off the line in injury time.

Wycombe had chances of their own, but the Mansfield defence was massively improved from last Saturday and could feel aggrieved that their performance didn't earn at least a share of the spoils.

After the game, Stags boss Peter Shirtliff said his side has not been getting the rub of the green this season, but he is a big believer that luck evens itself out over a season. No-one could argue with this point, and it is to be hoped that he is right. Certainly a return of 6 points from 6 games does not reflect the Stags performances to date.

Mansfield were unchanged from the side that had lost to Lincoln, with Hjelde and Coke still unfit. Wycombe included the dangerous trio of Tommy Mooney, Jermaine Easter and Kevin Betsy. Like Easter, Betsy scored three times against the Stags last season, this time all in one game.

Before the game, there was the bizarre site of partridges flying around Adams Park, and into the stands causing spectators to duck. But unlike two seasons ago, they were not to stop play. In that game two years ago, Wycombe keeper Frank Talia, had to pick one partridge up off the pitch and hand it to a steward to take down the tunnel!

The game started quietly. The first chance fell on 10 minutes when, following a free kick, Williamson headed powerfully at Muggleton. On 19 minutes, Betsy crossed into the box and Mooney got there just before Muggleton to head wide. On 21 minutes, Mansfield had their first chance. Jelleyman's ball into the box was headed across by Brown for Barker on the edge of the box, but Barker's low shot was at the keeper.

On 30 minutes, Dawson's risky crossfield pass was cut out by Grant, who strode forward and shot over. A minute later, Hamshaw took a short corner to Dawson. Dawson's cross found Barker who sent a scissors-kick over the angle. A fine effort. On 35, Buxton did well to head a Wycombe corner away under pressure, but it fell to Mooney who shot wide. On 38 minutes, a clever forward ball from D'Laryea almost found Brown, who couldn't quite control it in the box, and it ran on to the keeper.

Barker pick up a head injury on 42 minutes and eventually returned with a headband. He was to return in the second half wearing a shirt with Coke, number 15, on his back.

In stoppage time, Mansfield should have taken the lead. Boulding, who had otherwise done nothing, did well to find Barker on the right. Barker passed to Brown about 10 yards from goal. He took a touch to control the ball and with only the keeper to beat, used the outside of his right boot to shoot, but it was too close to the keeper, who saved. It was a terrific move, easily the best of the game, but a terrible finish by Brown from what can only be described as a sitter.

Half time 0-0

On 49 minutes, Betsy went on a fine run and crossed for Stockley who fired over. The Stags produced a good move on 52 minutes as Hamshaw found Boulding on the left and his cross was met by Brown who headed tamely at the keeper.

Then came Brown's shot against the bar on 55 minutes. Muggleton made a good save from Mooney on 57, but Easter made it 1-0 on 58. Then Barker hit the bar on 60.

The ball went straight to the other end following Barker's effort, and Baptiste produced a brilliant tackle to deny Easter a chance. A minute later, a lucky ricochet fell to Mooney, whose first time shot was well-saved by Muggleton. A minute after that and a Wycombe corner was well-headed away by Mullins but fell to Oakes, who shot wide.

Reet replaced the disappointing Boulding on 69. Brown moved to the right and Hamshaw to the left. On 75, Lloyd replaced Dawson.

On 81 minutes, Lloyd's fine ball found Reet who went down on the edge of the box, but despite his protests, nothing was given. Brown was booked on 85, and was frankly lucky not to get a red for shoving a home player right on touchline.

On 89, a mistake by Baptise allowed Mooney in, but his shot was blocked by Muggleton.

In the second minute of injury time, the Stags were so close to a deserved equaliser. A free kick from the right reached Barker at the far post and his header back towards the other post was headed away by a defender more or less on the line just when it looked like Reet would convert the chance. The ball broke straight to the other end and Mooney had a chance to make it 2-0 but Muggleton saved well.

And so the Stags went down to a second successive defeat, which leaves them with only 6 points from 6 games. This was a good performance though. Mansfield defended well as a unit, restricting Wycombe to few chances, whilst creating enough gilt-edged chances to win the game, and will rue poor finishing as well as dreadful luck on hitting the bar twice for denying them a deserved point.

Man of the Match: Richie Barker

Report by: Martin Shaw at Adams Park



Line Up:
Muggleton 7 A couple of good saves.
Mullins 7 Much better performance, did well.
Baptiste 7 Defended well.
Buxton 7 Good performance.
Jelleyman 5 Struggled badly against the dangerous Betsy.
Hamshaw 6 A couple of good crosses, but generally average.
D'Laryea 6 Gave the ball away too often, but otherwise ok.
Dawson 6 Much quieter game than recent matches.
Boulding 5 Totally anonymous. Has to contribute more than this.
Barker 7 Won lots of headers in both boxes. So unlucky not to score on two occasions.
Brown 7 Ran at the home side all night and caused problems. Unlucky to hit the bar.
Sub Line Up:
Reet (for Boulding, 70) - Did ok.
Lloyd (for Dawson, 76) - Some good touches.
Subs Not Used: White, Beardsley, Birchall.
Opposition Line Up:
Young, Stockley, Williamson, Antwi, Grant, Torres, Palmer (Golbourne 16), Oakes, Betsy, Mooney (Dixon 90), Easter. Subs Not Used: Thornton, Fernandez, Gregory.
Referee:
R Lee (Brentwood)


Season 06/07 Reports