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Season 02/03 Stagsnet Match Report
FA Cup Round 1
Team Bath  
2 - 4
 Mansfield Town
Heiniger 71, Kamara-Taylor 82.
 
 Lawrence 19, 36, Tisdale og 43,<BR>Christie 56. Lawrence missed pen 22.
Attendance: 5,469 (approx 450 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 16th November 2002

Stags turned in a great performance for 70 minutes to seal a first round FA Cup victory at University side Team Bath this afternoon, in front of the live Sky Sports TV cameras. The Stags went 4-0 ahead and could easily have been 6-0 ahead but allowed the students back into the game with 2 late goals and could have even been embarrassed but for a great Pilkington save very late on followed by a header against the Stags bar.

Stags made two changes from the side that drew at Notts County, with Larkin returning from injury to replace Little (who Crewe did not want cup-tied), and MacKenzie replaced Lever, as Jamie Clarke moved back into a 3-man defence. Ironically Lever had been injured by a MacKenzie challenge in training.

Stags were playing in their away blue kit for the first time this season in a party atmosphere at the University sports ground in Bath. But there was nearly a disastrous start for the Stags as Jamie Clarke horribly misjudged a ball forward and allowed Lavety a free shot from the edge of the box, but Pilkington made himself large and the Bath striker shot wide. However Stags were soon playing lovely flowing football and with Lawrence, Williamson and Corden impressing early on.

Stags took a deserved lead after 19 minutes. Corden teased his marker on the left wing and put in a beautiful cross. Larkin and Christie were together at the far post, but it was Christie who knocked the ball down perfectly into the path of Lawrence, who hooked in a goal from close-range. Just a minute later Christie got in a great header from another Corden cross, but the keeper Northmore made a brilliant save to tip the ball over the bar.

A further one minute on and Stags were awarded a penalty when Christie turned 2 defenders superbly on the edge of box and was clearly tripped. It was a clear spot-kick for the fourth game running for Stags but the first which has been actually awarded! Surprisingly it was Lawrence who strode forward to take the kick. His spot kick was weak, just to the keeper’s left, and was easily saved, with MacKenzie firing the rebound wide. It was a very poor kick from Lawrence - the sort that will go in just 50% of the time, depending on which way the keeper goes. It was surprising that he took it because Watkiss had made it very clear after the Tranmere game when Christie missed a penalty that MacKenzie will be the penalty taker when he’s on the pitch. After the game Watkiss explained that MacKenzie had been out of the side and Lawrence was therefore nominated. However he did concede that the situation needed to be sorted out. Corden, Christie and Lawrence have now all missed spot-kicks this season, all of them with feeble kicks.

Stags continued to pour forward and deservedly scored a second on 36 minutes. Lawrence made amends for his poor penalty by controlling the ball beautifully in the box, cutting inside his defender and firing low into the net from 10 yards. The most surprising thing was that it took until 43 minutes for the third goal and Christie broke down the left and put in a dangerous ball. Williamson seemed likely to score from 3 yards but defender Tisdale got his foot to the ball first and diverted the ball into his own net. There was just one scare at the other end as Clarke made another glaring error giving the ball away but a Bath striker shot wide from 10 yards.

Half time 0-3

An out-of-sorts Larkin should have scored early in the second half but shot wide from 6 yards. But it didn’t matter as Christie showed terrific control from a Gadsby long ball forward and beat two defenders before shooting past the keeper from 5 yards. Stags continued to pour forward but there was a scare at the other end as Pilkington had to rush from his goal to save at the feet of Lavety. Then Christie did brilliantly to win a ball on the touchline and put in a great ball for Williamson who shots inches wide. And Corden was inches over the bar with a fine free-kick from 20 yards.

The home side brought on substitutes Heiniger and Kamara-Taylor and the game rather changed direction in the final 20 minutes. Heiniger scored a brilliant goal from 20 yards on 71 minutes giving Pilkington no chance. Jamie Clarke then made his third glaring error of the game, giving the ball away yet again in a dangerous position after Pilkington had rolled the ball out to him, but again the Stags defender was lucky as the resulting shot went wide. Then the other substitute Kamara-Taylor scored a second on 82 minutes. A cross from the right was met by a powerful header from Kamara-Taylor to beat Pilkington, but Neil Moore will have been disappointed to have lost his man.

Team Bath were now fired up and Pilkington made a superb double save to somehow keep out another close range header from Kamara-Taylor on 88 minutes. Initially it looked as though the ball may have crossed the line but video evidence suggested Pilkington had done brilliantly to prevent the goal. Then on 89 minutes, Lavety headed against the crossbar from a corner. It was the last meaningful action of the game.

It was a very good fight-back by the students but Stags will have been disappointed to concede 2 goals in a game they seemed totally in control of. Indeed it was worrying that Stags, who have not won many games this season, have nearly let games slip in games they have totally controlled, such as Plymouth at home, and Luton away.

Overall a performance to be proud of by the Stags in front of the live TV cameras, which showed what a good footballing side they can be. Christie, Lawrence and Williamson were outstanding and the passing football was simply a joy to watch at times.

Man of the Match: Iyseden Christie

Click here for exclusive photographs from Bath University.


Report by: Martin Shaw



Line Up:
Pilkington 7 Great save at 4-2 was important. A quiet afternoon even though we conceded 2 goals.
Gadsby 7 Looked composed on the ball, and defended well, though sloppy ball led to a goal.
Moore 7 Solid defensive display though beaten on header for Bath's second goal.
JClarke 4 Made three terrible defensive errors, all of which led to good chances which were missed.
MacKenzie 6 Competed well in midfield. Disappeared in the second half.
Williamson 8 Great display in midfield.
Disley 7 Did well driving forward. Was limping at the end.
Lawrence 8 Two good goals, though a poor penalty. Did well all over the pitch.
Larkin 5 Looked rusty returning from injury. Too many misplaced passes.
Christie 9 Powerful performance throughout. Fine goal, did well in earning the penalty, a great cross for the third goal, and a good header down for the first goal.
Corden 7 Great first half, tormenting the Bath defence. Super cross for the first goal.

Sub Line Up:
Bacon (for Larkin, 63 mins) 6 Good to see him back on the pitch.

Subs not used: JWhite, Holyoak, Jervis, Scott.
Opposition Line Up:
Northmore, Watson, Wisson, Ball, Tisdale, Nichols, Matt Lewis, Cozic, Prince, Sorbara, Lavety. Subs: Gibson, Fulham, Heiniger, Kamara-Taylor, Chris Lewis.
Referee:
P.Armstrong 7 Handled the game well.


Season 02/03 Reports