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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier, Play-off semi final 1st leg
York City  
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Geohaghon OG 42.
 Dyer 26
Attendance: 6057 (1352 from Mansfield)
Date: 2 May 2012


Martin Shaw at Bootham Crescent

Mansfield Town put in a battling performance in the 1st leg of the play-off semi-final at York on Wednesday night to earn a good 1-1 draw and take it back to the One Call Stadium all square. In an even contest, the Stags took the lead through a Ross Dyer header from an Exodus Geohaghon bullet throw on 26 minutes. But the Stags had been rocked by an earlier injury to Martin Riley, and looked a little shaky defensively culminating in a calamitous own goal when Geohaghon deflected a cross past Marriott on 42 minutes. The Stags sorted themselves out defensively and were solid in the second half, but a critical moment in the tie came on 74 minutes when Mansfield’s 30 goal striker Matt Green was sent off for a second yellow card. The yellow card was given for handball but the Premier Sports live TV pictures confirmed that Green did not touch it with his hand, and showed that the referee had made a howler of gigantic proportions which will keep Green out of the second leg on Monday. Paul Cox said after the game that he had spoken to the referee who said he will look at the Green incident and if it wasn’t handball then he’ll rescind the yellow card, but my understanding of the rules is that is not possible. I hope I’m wrong! After the sending-off, the Stags dug in and prevented York gaining a further advantage. Riley has tweaked his hamstring and is therefore probably out of Monday’s game which is a big blow. However, a good result for Mansfield and one that we would certainly have settled for before the game. The tie is evenly poised. York will feel that they have every chance of stopping Mansfield scoring without Matt Green. Mansfield will look for goals from elsewhere including set pieces, and have enough quality in the squad to overcome the loss. As Ross Dyer said after the game, the Stags will look to get to Wembley for Matt Green so he can play in the final. What a massive day Monday is going to be. Come on Mansfield!
Paul Cox elected to leave out Louis Briscoe and got with a three man central midfield of Howell, Murray and Roberts, with Dyer and Meikle on the wings, and Green alone up front in a 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 formation. It was the usual back four, with Sutton at left back, and Marriott of course returned in goal.

Mansfield were roared on by a following of 1,352 despite the game being on TV and shown in pubs and clubs around Mansfield.

Mansfield were under the cosh in the opening minutes, and Riley made a good tackle inside the first 60 seconds, then Doig had a shot deflected over.

The Stags slowly started to get a foothold in the game. There was controversy on 15 minutes when York keeper Ingham claimed the ball when he may have been outside the area, but the officials were poorly placed to see. A couple of great passes from Roberts and Murray got Mansfield going.

But there was bad news on 18 minutes when Riley was down clutching his hamstring, and had to be replaced. Riley looked distraught as he walked off. Usually hamstrings are about a 3 week recovery, which is terrible for Riley and Mansfield as he has been superb since February. Andrew came on at left back with Sutton moving to the middle.

The first chance for Mansfield was on 20 minutes when Roberts chipped a cross from the left and Howell flicked over. York had a goal disallowed on 22 minutes when Blair put the ball in the net following a free kick, but the linesman’s flag was already up. Then on 23 minutes, McLaughlin made a good run and his shot was deflected wide. The Stags defence was all at sea and disorganised following the loss of Riley.

It was 1-0 to Mansfield on 26 minutes. Geohaghon’s bullet throw from the right was flicked into the net by the head of Dyer. A great moment for Dyer, who, as a great header of the ball, should have scored more headed goals this season.

Roberts was lucky not to be yellow carded for a crunching challenge on the touchline. Then on 30 minutes a blatant dive by Blair in the box looking for a penalty.

Then on 32 minutes, Dyer headed a long free kick towards goal, Roberts got a flick to it, and Ingham saved low down. A minute later, Marriott saved from a powerful shot from Chambers. On 35 minutes, Marriott did well to tip away a Blair cross, and the ball fell to Jason Walker who fortunately for Mansfield had an air shot from a good position. McLaughlin was then well over the bar from distance.

Green chased a ball over the top on 40 minutes, and clattered into Ingham outside the box. Green was booked.

York equalised on 42 minutes in crazy circumstances. Former Stags Jon Challinor crossed from the right and Geohaghon stretched out a leg which deflected the cross past Marriott into his own net. What a game for the Stags to concede the first calamitous goal of the season.

Jason Walker tried an audacious long range shot on 43 minutes, which was easily saved by Marriott and probably going wide anyway. We’ve seen Walker score this type of goal against the Stags twice before though for Barrow. A minute later, Walker was through in a 1-on-1 against Marriott and dragged his shot wide of the left post. A bad miss by Walker.

On 45+1 minutes, a Geohaghon long throw fell to Green who scuffed his shot and Roberts sent the follow-up over the bar.

Then three minutes into stoppage time, Meikle broke forward down the right, but had a shot blocked and then fired the rebound over.

The Stags were looking a little nervy and disorganized at the back following the injury to Riley.

Half time 1-1

On 48 minutes, Howell got into the box on the right but his cross was blocked. Then a minute later, Blair sent a shot straight at Marriott. On 50 minutes, Dyer pulled a ball back to Green, who fired well over. And a minute after that, Howell sent a 20 yard shot into the keeper’s chest.

On 54 minutes, Geohaghon did superbly to get a cross in from the right, Green had a shot blocked, and then the ball came back to Geohaghon and he had two close range shots blocked.

Controversy on 65 minutes, as Fyfield cynically tripped O’Neill. Fyfield had already been booked but amazingly escaped a second yellow. A bad moment for Marriott on 67 minutes as he misjudged a corner which sailed over him, but he got away with it.

Huge controversy on 74 minutes. Green tried to race onto a through ball and the referee deemed he used his hand. Green was shown a second yellow card. The Premier Sports live TV pictures confirmed that Green did not touch it with his hand, and showed that the referee had made a howler of gigantic proportions.

On 79 minutes, Briscoe came on for Meikle.

On 81 minutes, former Stags defender Chris Smith sent a free header over the bar from Meredith’s cross. Then on 86, Challinor sent a long range effort wide. Geohaghon did well to head away a corner on 87 minutes, but it fell to Blair who sent a shot over the bar. Then on 88 minutes, Chambers flicked over the bar from Challinor’s cross. And on 90 minutes, Challinor went down in the box, but it looked like a dive and the referee waved away appeals.

Rhead came on for Dyer in stoppage time, and in the final moments, sub Moke sent a shot straight at Marriott.

The Mansfield fans gave their side a good reception at the end, appreciating the hard work work, toughing out a draw. Now on to Monday.

Man of the match: Luke O’Neill

Report by: Martin Shaw at Bootham Crescent

Line Up:
Marriott 7 A couple of good saves and generally dealt well with crosses. Lucky to get away with one corner which he misjudged in the second half
O'Neill 8 Defended very well, and positive going forward.
Riley - Went off with a hamstring injury on 18 minutes and looked distraught.
Geohaghon 7 Another assist for the goal. Calamitous own goal at the worst possible moment. Generally defended well.
Sutton 7 Looked shaky initially when moving to centre half but settled well in the second half.
Dyer 7 Good game, winning headers and scoring a rare goal with his head. One shockingly bad pass in the second half which turned a Stags attack into a York attack.
Roberts 7 Not as influential as would have hoped but still some great passing, and got stuck in.
Murray 7 Decent game in the middle. Didn’t allow the York midfield to get on top.
Howell 7 Positive going forward and got into some goalscoring positions.
Meikle 6 Tracked back well, but didn’t create enough danger going forward.
Green 6 Put a good chance over the bar from a Dyer pass. Unjustly sent off.
Sub Line Up:
Andrews (for Riley, 18) 6 Did ok at left back.
Briscoe (for Meikle, 79) -
Rhead (for Dyer, 90+2) -
Subs Not Used: Redmond, Stevenson.
Opposition Line Up:
Ingham, Meredith, Smith, Parslow, Walker, Chambers, Fyfield, Blair, Challinor, Doig, McLaughlin (Moke 82). Subs not used: Musselwhite, Reed, Potts, Brown.
Richard Clark (Northumberland) 5 Should have sent Fyfield off for a bad foul when he already had a yellow, and got Green’s red card completely wrong.

Season 11/12 Reports