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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Lincoln City  
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 Green 90+2.
Attendance: 2734 (1107 from Mansfield)
Date: 26 February 2013


Martin Shaw at Sincil Bank

Mansfield Town won with a last minute goal away from home for the second time in three days. It was an incredible finale with Matt Green turning home a Lindon Meikle knock down from just three yards for a classic poacher’s goal, and then celebrating in style in front of the massive Stags following of over 1100 by holding the corner flag aloft. It was a magical moment as the Stags made it 8 wins from 9 games, and even more amazingly 7 away wins from 8 away games. In truth it was something of a smash and grab raid by Mansfield who didn’t deserve to win the game and were far from their best. But that really doesn’t matter - it’s all about the three points. In the first half, Lincoln belied their league position and recent form, and seemed determined to get revenge for the FA Cup defeat in December creating numerous chances from open play and should have scored two or three goals, whereas the Stags created three chances from set pieces and crosses, with Luke Jones being denied by an incredible save from keeper Paul Farman, while Colin Daniel had a goal disallowed, for handball according to the referee. I’ve had another look at the disallowed goal on the match DVD and it looks as though it came off Daniel’s chest, so he was unlucky there. Mansfield thought they should have had a penalty when Stevenson was brought down inside the area early in the second half but the referee and his assistant (who were terrible) gave a free kick outside the area. From the match DVD it appears to be just inside the area so again the Stags were unlucky there. After that it had 0-0 written all over it until Matt Green had the final word. The Stags will need to play better than this if the excellent run is to continue, but for now let’s just enjoy another fabulous away day.

The Stags were unchanged from the side that won at Lincoln. Anthony Howell told me before the game that he has a knee ligament injury and is seeing a specialist later in the week and he may be out for 2-3 weeks but would know more after seeing the specialist. Lee Beevers was fit to play despite dislocating his shoulder against Luton. Lincoln were without the injured Gary Mills, while Colin Larkin and Adam Smith were on the bench. Scott Garner did start. Dan Gray, born in Mansfield, was also on the bench having played very well in the two FA Cup games and caused the Stags problems with his long throw.

On 4 minutes, Fofana made a good break for Lincoln down the left and fed the ball to Power who sent a right footed shot just wide of the right post. It was an early escape for the Stags. On 7 minutes, Briscoe crossed for the Stags and there were appeals for a handball but without conviction and they were waved away. A great block from Jennings on 10 minutes to repel a shot from Jake Jones. Then on 15 minutes, the dangerous Power sent in a free kick that missed everybody and went past the far post.

It was a good start from Lincoln and not the start from the Stags that I expected.

On 18 minutes, Green pulled the ball back to Stevenson inside the box but Stevenson took too much time and the shot was blocked.

The Stags burst into life with a triple chance on 22 minutes. Daniel’s shot from 28 yards looped up off a defender and past the right post. From the resulting corner from Jennings, Green headed goalwards but it was cleared away and then, moments later, Jennings crossed again from the right and Jones powered in a bullet header from 3 yards which was brilliantly saved by Farman. On 24 minutes, Murray and Stevenson fell over each other and Oliver had a free shot at goal which he somehow slid wide. Sheridan had a chance on 26 minutes as he appeared to knock the ball down with his hand but no handball was given and he fired a good chance over the bar. On 29 minutes, Oliver was through on a one on one with Marriott. The Stags keeper was out quickly and he tackled Oliver with his feet, the ball coming back off Oliver and going wide. Great keeping from Marriott against his former club. Jake Jones fed Turnbull on 31 minutes who blasted over the bar.

Straight to the other end and the Stags had a goal disallowed. Briscoe played a ball into the path of Daniel who appeared to control the ball with his chest before firing right footed into the top right hand corner for a great finish but the linesman indicated that Daniel had used his arm and the goal was ruled out. Another chance for the Stags on 34 minutes as a long throw from Beevers was headed on and Murray headed goalwards but it was clutched by the keeper on the line. At the other end, Beevers headed a power corner just over his own bar.

Not a great first half from the Stags, and Clements and Stevenson were passengers. Lincoln missed some good chances but the Stags were unlucky that Daniel’s goal was ruled out while Farman pulled off a brilliant save from Jones.

Half time 0-0

The Stags should have been awarded a penalty on 51 minutes as Stevenson was brought down on the corner of the box. The referee decided however that it was outside and the free kick came to nothing. Two minutes later, Briscoe sent a cross flashing across the face of the goal and Stevenson, instead of gambling, watched it go in front of his face. On 58 minutes, a Lincoln break finished with Power having a shot blocked. Four minutes later at the other end, a free kick from Jennings just evaded Dempster at the far post.

Rhead replaced Stevenson on 62 minutes. Two minutes later, Green went down in the area but he was the only player appealing and the referee waved away the appeals.

Meikle replaced Briscoe on 65 minutes. On 71 minutes, Rhead had to head past his own post from a Power free kick. Then, on 78 minutes, Sheridan played the ball out to his right and Jake Jones fired wide. On 80 minutes, Jake Jones chipped over Marriott and over the bar when he had better options available.

At the other end, a real chance for Dempster in the box as he had a shot blocked after Rhead headed down Jennings’ free kick. As the Stags began to get on top, Daniel got to the byeline for a cross on 81 minutes, and then Meikle missed a great chance to win it on 87 minutes as he scuffed a shot wide of the left post having been set up by Rhead. Farman made a brilliant save a minute later from a Green header but the offside flag was already up.

It was all Mansfield and Green flicked an effort over on 90 minutes after Rhead flicked on a throw from Jennings.

The pressure told on 90+2 as Green slid in the winning goal. Clements won the ball on the left, Jennings chipped it into the middle and Meikle headed it down perfectly into the path of Green to slide it under the keeper. Green celebrated by lifting the corner flag aloft and he was booked presumably for this celebration.

Green was immediately replaced by Hutchinson. Interestingly, after the game, Paul Cox told me he changed his mind as soon as the goal went in and did not want to take Green off but the 4th official wouldn’t let him change his mind. Shortly afterwards, Lincoln substitute Dan Gray, born in Mansfield, fouled Rhead on the touchline and was given a straight red card after the referee consulted with his linesman.

Lincoln failed to get a single effort on target. The Stags came strong in the later stages, but could not claim to have deserved the winner.

Man of the match: Matt Green

Report by: Martin Shaw at Sincil Bank

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Didn’t put a foot wrong against his former club.
Beevers 6 Another brave performance after his shoulder injury at Luton. Broke his nose in this game.
Dempster 6 Ok.
Jones 6 Did ok. Unlucky when his header from point blank range was brilliantly saved.
Jennings 6 Some good crosses and set pieces, and his floated ball forward le to Green’s goal.
Briscoe 6.5 Some good surging play. Things didn’t quite fall for him this time.
Clements 5 The game passed him by; he gave the ball away a few times, and didn’t get stuck in when needed. A home game where the Stags are more on the front foot should suit him more.
Murray 7 Good game, trying to lead the troops. Perhaps not quite at his best but incredibly hard-working.
Daniel 7 Caused some danger down the left. A couple of good crosses and unlucky to have a goal chalked off.
Stevenson 5.5 Unlucky not to earn a penalty, but didn’t get involved in the game enough.
Green 7 His goal was Matt Green at his best, poaching in the box for a sharp finish.
Sub Line Up:
Rhead (for Stevenson, 62) 7 Should have been on earlier in my opinion. Caused the home defence some problems.
Meikle (for Briscoe, 65) 7 Started confidently with a great run. Lovely knock down for Green’s winner.
Hutchinson (for Green, 90+3) -
Subs not used: Sutton, Wright.
Opposition Line Up:
Farman; Miller, Boyce, Scott Garner, Nicolau; Turnbull, Fofana, Jake Jones, Sheridan, Power; Oliver. Subs: Adam Smith, Dan Gray. Subs not sued: Preece, Colin Larkin, Jamie Taylor.
Darren Handley 4 Terrible. Got so many things wrong, annoying both sets of fans.

Season 12/13 Reports