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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Accrington Stanley  
3 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Mullin 1, Welch 59, Whalley 83.
 
 Conlon 31, Dawson 43.
Attendance: 1234 (186 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 16 January 2007

Dan Westwell at The Fraser Eagle Stadium.

A combination of shambolic defending and woeful finishing cost Mansfield Town dearly at the Fraser Eagle Stadium tonight. The Stags kept the same starting eleven from Saturday, unfortunately the majority of the team failed to turn up for the first 15 minutes. This was a crucial match in the Stags season & to lose in the manner they did put a severe dent in their survival hopes.

In a game, which started how the previous one ended with torrential rain lashing down onto the pitch, it took all of 25 seconds for Stanley to find the net. A ball back towards Jason White saw indecision between him and Alex John-Baptiste as they both left the ball to each other. Baptiste then reacted & poked the ball past White and Mullin latched on to it to slide the ball into an empty net. Baptiste was having a torrid time at the back & was giving away silly fouls all over the pitch. Sean Whalley went close as his thunderous shot cannoned off the post and away to safety. Stags were all over the place and it was surprising that the same team did so well only three days later.

After 15 minutes Stags seemed to get used to the conditions and Mullins and Hamshaw roared forward with a nice neat one-two but the cross was cleared. Then Dawson's header struck Richardson on the hand but the referee waved away the Stags claims for a penalty.

Giles Coke was stretchered off after an innocuous challenge on Boco on the edge of the box after 22 minutes. He was taken to Burnley general hospital by ambulance but sent back to the ground on crutches before the end of the match with a twisted knee. On came Brown with Dawson going into the centre of midfield with Brown on the left with Hamshaw switching to the right. I would’ve thought Boulding would’ve been the better choice on the left after his goal on Saturday.

Stags equalised after 32 minutes. Hamshaw’s free kick from the right fell to Brown whose shot was blocked but the ball fell for Conlon to bury it in a similar strike to his goal on Saturday at Edgar Street.

Again Stags poured forward and Stanley were struggling to get out of their own half. The first corner came and was swung in by Hamshaw & Mullins’ header skidded past the post.

It was no surprise when the visitors went 2-1 up. This time it was Stephen Dawson who scored it. Martin Gritton flicked on a long punt from Jason White & Dawson ran onto Hamshaw’s beautiful through ball to slide the ball under Elliot to give the Stags a half time lead. In all honesty it didn’t look like it was possible after 15 minutes when the Stags were being pulled all over the place by a resurgent Stanley, but credit to them, they fought their way back into the game to take a deserved lead into the break.

Mansfield came out all guns blazing after the interval & Hamshaw’s shot was just wide after 47 minutes. Stanley goalkeeper Elliot was extremely shaky & when he dropped the ball after pressure from Conlon, Brown almost nicked it away from him, but he gathered at the second attempt.

Stanley fought back & went close when Todd skidded the ball across the face of goal with Mullin sliding in but luckily for Stags he was inches away from connecting.

It was only a matter of time when Accrington equalised. The Stags were giving away so many fouls in and around the box and they were undone on the hour when Welch hit a peach of a free kick into the top left hand corner.

Stags tried to regain the lead in an entertaining end-to-end game. Gritton chose the wrong option after 67 minutes as he cut in and shot over the bar with Brown free to his left.

The game exploded into life and the referee could easily have shown more yellow cards and maybe even a red. Stanley’s Edwards scythed down Dawson to which he got booked for, but Dawson appeared to motion his head towards Edwards’ face as the two squared up & he earned a booking as well. Dawson needs to cut that out of his game as he keeps getting booked for petulant things & we need him in the team all of the time.

Boulding replaced Gritton after 71 minutes. A few minutes later, in a carbon copy of the goal in the abandoned game Boulding was given a free shot. This time it was Elliot whose poor clearance landed at Boulding’s feet, but he made amends with a save low to his right. It was a chance that Stags would rue at full time.

Stanley pressed for the winning goal and Whalley shot across goal & just past the far post. After 82 minutes though Stags missed another chance. Boulding sent Conlon through and as Elliot raced out of his goal, Conlon tried to lob him only to see it bounce wide. It wasn’t going to be the Stags night & there was no surprise when the inevitable happened a minute later. Whalley was allowed to run unchallenged and thundered a low shot from 25 yards inside White's left hand post.

Hjelde replaced Jelleyman for the last three minutes, which seemed a strange decision. As the challenges flew in from all angles, Brown, Conlon and Buxton were booked as Stags had five of the seven bookings on the night.

Paul Mullin had a goal disallowed for offside in injury time but it didn’t matter as Accrington sealed their first home win since September. It was a disappointing night for Mansfield as this was a game they should’ve and could’ve won. However, you wouldn’t bet against them bouncing back on Saturday at Field Mill and beating the league leaders Walsall. Stags need to find some consistency and quick.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Barry Conlon.


Report by: Dan Westwell at The Fraser Eagle Stadium



Line Up:
White 6 Should’ve done better with at least two of the goals.
Mullins 7 Put some good challenges in and looked good going forward.
Baptiste 6 After a shocking 15 minutes found his feet to defend, as he is capable of.
Buxton 7 Led the line well, put in some telling challenges & worked hard.
Jelleyman 7 Worked hard & wanted it more than some of his teammates. Will be gutted when he returns to Field Mill as he’d left his lights on all day on his car!
Dawson 7 Excellent goal but needs to lose the attitude/temper, would’ve got an 8 had he not been booked for retaliation.
Coke 5 Was struggling with Baptiste for the first 15 minutes, gave away silly free kicks & injured himself in the process.
D'Laryea 6 Pretty anonymous to be honest.
Hamshaw 7 Put in some dangerous crosses and corners, showing signs of what he’s capable of but needs to do it more often.
Gritton 7 Worked hard but doesn’t seem match fit as yet, but still a good signing.
Conlon 8 Held the ball up well, scored another poachers goal & puts himself about. We’ve been missing a player like this since Phil Stant.
Sub Line Up:
Brown (for Coke, 23) 6 He didn’t seem to get involved as much as he can do.
Boulding (for Gritton, 72) 6 Missed a glorious chance when one-on-one with Elliott.
Hjelde (for Jelleyman, 87) -
Subs not used: Muggleton, Lloyd.
Opposition Line Up:
Elliot, Edwards, Williamson, Welch, Richardson, Todd, Harris (McGrail 78), Boco, Whalley, Mullin, D. Brown (Proctor 78). Subs not used: Fearon, Mangan, Jacobson.
Referee:
J Moss


Season 06/07 Reports