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Season 13/14 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Wycombe Wanderers  
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 Palmer 78
Attendance: 3352 (251 from Mansfield)
Date: 17 August 2013


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Adams Park

Mansfield Town picked up the first win back in the Football League, thanks to a goal by new signing Ollie Palmer, as he headed home from close range after Martin Riley’s header had come back off the post. The Stags thoroughly deserved the victory and should have won by more goals. Indeed Palmer should have added a second when he was clean through on goal, but instead of going round the keeper, he elected to shoot and the keeper saved. Wycombe were poor, but upped their game in injury time and twice came close to an equaliser which would have been a travesty. Plenty of fine performances from the Stags, including Riley, Sutton, Jennings, McGuire, Clements, Hutchinson, Clucas and Marriott.

After the game I invited Ollie Palmer to watch his goal and his missed chance, on our cameraman’s Mike’s camera. Ollie was his own biggest critic when viewing the footage, and said he certainly should have gone around the keeper. He said he would expect to score 8 out of 10 times in that situation.

Great stuff from the Stags. For the visit or Portsmouth next Saturday, let’s get all the missing fans back at the Mill and create a crackling atmosphere. The 251 travelling Stags fans today created a superb atmosphere and roared the team on to victory. Come on Mansfield!

Stags box Paul Cox stuck with his three man central defence that he used successfully against Exeter last week. Beevers and Jennings were either side of the central defenders, pushing forward as wing-backs. Cox made two changes to the side, as Chris Clements came into central midfield in place of Howell, and Ben Hutchinson came in for Palmer, playing just behind the front two of Clucas and Andrew. Palmer and Howell dropped to the bench. Goalkeeper Liam Mitchell, who extraordinarily played FOR the Stags reserves on Tuesday afternoon, and then played AGAINST the Stags reserves for Carlton Town the same evening, was on the bench, having signed on non-contract terms.

Wycombe had the better of the opening exchanges in the first 5 minutes and had a shot blocked on 7 minutes.

The first good effort of the game came after 11 minutes. Andrew headed on a free kick and Jennings sent a great volley from the edge of the box which was brilliantly tipped over the bar.

On 16 minutes, Andrew crossed from the left and Hutchinson was barged off the ball as he attempted to get in a header. The referee correctly waved away the appeals for a penalty.

On 18 minutes, Beevers crossed from the right and Clucas headed into the side netting from an impossible angle. On 21 minutes, a dangerous cross from the right by Nick Arnold which was missed by both Dempster and Matt McClure.

It was a quiet opening period with Riley looking good from the back and Hutchinson started well behind the front two.

On 30 minutes, a good free kick from Clements on the right, Andrew headed across goal and Clucas headed just wide. Four minutes later, a free kick from Jennings into the middle eventually dropped to Andrew who sent a left footed scissor kick just wide and over. The Stags were right on top.

A very bad mistake from Beevers on 38 minutes as he allowed Paris Cowan-Hall to dispossess him near the corner flag and he fed the ball back to Josh Scowen whose first time shot brought a great save from Marriott.

Four minutes later, Marriott was in action again with a good save low down to his left from a 20 yard shot from Cowan-Hall. On 45 minutes, Marvin McCoy was allowed too much space to run at goal and he had a shot which was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Nick Arnold shot well over.

Wycombe had ended the half well, bringing two good saves from Marriott, but the Stags had the better of things overall with three good chances.

Half time 0-0

On 46 minutes, Hutchinson’s free kick into the box was pushed away by the keeper. Three minutes later, Hutchinson’s shot from 35 yards was well over the bar. On 51 minutes, at the other end, a free kick from Matt Spring was missed by everyone and drifted past the far post.

On 52 minutes, Hutchinson set Clucas away down the right. His cross come shot was deflected and the keeper pushed it wide. From the resulting corner, Riley headed over. Moments later, Andrew had a chance to get through on goal but didn’t have the pace to get past the defender. Instead he tried to pull the ball back but it was a poor ball, rescued by Clements who won it back and earned a corner. Clements took the resulting corner, it came back to Clucas who fired well over - in fact it hit the roof of the stand.

On 55 minutes, Clucas got the ball into the middle (check DVD). The ball eventually came to Jennings on the left for a really great chance but his shot was saved by keeper Matt Ingram, the ball came back to Jennings for another shot and this time there were cries for handball as the ball struck McCoy, which were correctly waved away. From the resulting corner, Andrew sent a fine overhead kick just over the bar.

The Stags were totally in control.

On 59 minutes, Andrew battled his way into the box and the ball ran loose to Hutchinson who fired just wide but a foul had already been given for the Andrew challenge.

A minute later at the other end, it was so encouraging to see a great tackle from Clements as Wycombe broke forward.

Clements was by now pulling the strings in midfield and all the Stags were missing was a goal.

Ollie Palmer who had been left out of the starting eleven by Cox as he had a slight injury in the week and also, as Cox explained, to take a little bit of pressure off Palmer, came on for Clucas after 69 minutes.

The Stags were within a whisker of taking the lead on 70 minutes. McGuire crossed from the left, Andrew rose well and headed a couple of inches wide of the left post.

Groans from the home fans told that the Stags were totally on top.

On 74 minutes, Rhead replaced Andrew, who was very disappointed to be replaced.

The Stags got the goal they thoroughly deserved on 78 minutes. A beautifully flighted free kick from the right by Clements was met by Riley who beat the keeper with a fine header which came back off the inside of the post and Ollie Palmer was in the right place to head into the empty net from a couple of yards. The Stags celebrated as all the players dived on top of Palmer and one player accidently kneed him in the face but fortunately he was fine. Stags fans behind the goal celebrated.

Palmer should have doubled the lead on 86 minutes. A mistake by the defence put him clean through on goal with only the keeper to beat. He should have gone round the keeper but instead elected to shoot and the keeper made a good save. From the resulting corner, Rhead headed well over the bar.

On 89 minutes, a good tackle by McGuire inside his own box.

From the resulting corner, right on the stroke of 90 minutes, Marvin McCoy crossed to Joe Kuffour who fired wide. It was a glorious chance. A minute later, a Wycombe corner from the left and Marriott saved comfortably low to his right. Two minutes in stoppage time, a Wycombe cross from the right was flicked wide by Kretzschmar - another great chance for an equaliser. But the Stags survived more than 5 minutes of stoppage time for a thoroughly deserved victory.

Man of the match: Chris Clements

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Adams Park

Line Up:
Marriott 8 Made two fine saves in the first half, and his handling was outstanding.
Sutton 7.5 Very solid performance as part of the back three.
Dempster 7 One mistake in the first half, otherwise played well.
Riley 8 Very assured, looked calm on the ball. Fine header against the post, which led to the winner.
Beevers 6 Bad mistake by the corner flag nearly gifted Wycombe a goal, rescued by Marriott. Otherwise did ok.
Jennings 7.5 Got forward a lot, including a fine effort in the first half tipped over, and should have scored in the second half.
McGuire 7.5 Excellent second half after not quite getting into the game enough in the first half. Really got stuck in.
Clements 8 Very good game, composed in the middle of the park, super distribution. Some good free-kicks.
Hutchinson 7 Very promising first game of the season. Plenty of good play.
Clucas 7.5 Looked high quality again. Went close with a header in the first half.
Andrew 7 Rose above the defence and sent a good header just wide in the second half; also went close with a scissor kick in the first half. Decent game.
Sub Line Up:
Palmer (for Clucas, 69) 7 Striker’s instinct to be in the right place at the right time for our first goal back in the FL. Should have scored when through 1-on-1. Very promising.
Rhead (for Andrew, 74) - Held the ball up well.
Howell (for Hutchinson, 90+2) -
Subs not used: Mitchell, Tafazolli, Meikle, Stevenson.
Opposition Line Up:
Ingram, McCoy, Doherty, Stewart, Dunne, Arnold (sub Kretzschmar), Spring, Scowen, Cowan-Hall (sub Wood), Kuffour, McClure (sub Morgan). Substitutes not used: Harrison, Johnson, Pittman, Craig.
Keith Hill 7 Good game.

Season 13/14 Reports