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Season 13/14 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 Andrew 38.
Attendance: 10,015 (1992 from Mansfield)
Date: 28 September 2013


Martin Shaw at the Proact Stadium, Whittington Moor

Mansfield Town produced a monumental performance of grit, determination and team spirit in a wonderful rearguard action to earn the three points at Chesterfield this lunchtime. Throughout the team, the Stags defended superbly, not just the five defenders but the midfield and forwards too, to frustrate a Chesterfield side who knocked the ball around well and are rightly red-hot favourites the win the league. And behind the defence, Alan Marriott, who some fans had written off in early season, produced a masterclass in goalkeeping with fabulous saves, superb handling, and always was in the right place with his positioning. The Stags had been under huge pressure in the opening 30 minutes, but took the lead after 38 minutes when Calvin Andrew towered above the home defence to head home a pinpoint Ben Hutchinson corner. Andrew told me afterwards that the defenders didn’t know who was supposed to be picking him up, and he capitalised. Four minutes after taking the lead, it was nearly 2-0 as Hutchinson rattled the post with a fine shot and good play to set him up by Clucas. The Stags were an inch away from a penalty just 3 minutes before the goal when McGuire was fouled and the free kick was taken on the line itself. Chesterfield also hit the woodwork, in the final minute of the first half. In the second half, Mansfield continued to defend superbly and Chesterfield ran out of ideas how to break through. The Stags still have not conceded a goal in the second half of a game this season. To cap a woeful day for the Spireites, playmaker Gary Roberts who surely should be playing League One at least rather than League Two, was sent off 4 minutes into stoppage time for kicking James Jennings. So Chesterfield were beaten for the first time this season, while the Stags rose to third and into the automatic promotion places. The only person associated with Mansfield who wasn’t ecstatic was my girlfriend as my beard will continue growth for at least another week during this unbeaten run that so far has lasted 7 weeks. After the game Paul Cox said to me he hopes I’m looking like Father Christmas by Christmas time.

Paul Cox kept faith with the same 11 and same substitutes as the side that beat Northampton 3-0 a week ago. Worth noting that there wasn’t a single player in either squad to have played in a Chesterfield v Mansfield derby before. There was a change in formation as Beevers and Jennings played in conventional full back roles rather than wing-back, in a 5-2-1-2 formation, with Hutchinson just behind the front two as usual.

On 2 minutes, a cross from Roberts was put behind for a corner by Jennings. Resulting from that corner, Hird headed over. On 5 minutes, a great shot from Ryan from 22 yards was brilliantly saved by Marriott diving to his left. It was a good start from Chesterfield and on 8 minutes, Humphreys got in behind Jennings but Marriott collected his cross. On 12 minutes, a good tackle from Sutton as Doyle tried to break through.

The Stags first chance came on 14 minutes as McGuire chested the ball down and volleyed well wide.

A minute later, Chesterfield had a claim for a penalty as a cross from the left hit Jennings in the chest and the referee waved play on. On 18 minutes, Andrew did well to nod down to Clucas, Clucas took one touch but miscued his right footed shot wide.

Two good headers away from Tafazolli on 19 minutes as Chesterfield pressed forward. On 21 minutes, Doyle’s cross from the right deflected off Jennings, and Marriott did well to tip it over. On 23 minutes, Roberts ran down the middle, there was a clash with Dempster and the referee harshly decided it was a foul. Roberts took the free kick from 25 yards. It struck the wall and went behind for a corner.

On 26 minutes, a cross from Humphreys went through everyone, then there was a shot blocked and finally a cross from the right was put behind by Jennings. From the resulting corner, a shot from Humphreys from the left was blocked and eventually it came to Roberts who volleyed into the ground and wide. On 31 minutes, Doyle headed well wide from a cross from the right. The Stags were under the cosh.

On 32 minutes, Doyle was through on goal. From my position in the press box, I could see he was clearly offside but it wasn’t given. He shot goalwards and Marriott made a great save.

Straight to the other end and a great effort from Clucas was just wide of the right post.

The Stags were literally an inch away from a penalty on 35 minutes as a free kick was awarded for a foul on McGuire on the right side of the area near the byline. The free kick was taken ON the line. From the resulting free kick, which was like a short corner, Andrew tried an acrobatic shot at goal but it went up in the air.

On 37 minutes, Beevers crossed from the right to the left post and it was just missed by Clucas.

The Stags took the lead on 38 minutes. Hutchinson’s corner from the left was met by Andrew who rose above the defence and headed in from 3 yards in a central position. It was Andrew’s first goal for the Stags and he ran the full length of the pitch to celebrate with the Stags fans.

It was so close to 2-0 on 42 minutes. Great play from Clucas to set up Hutchinson who struck the left post with an angled drive from 12 yards from the right.

Chesterfield also hit the post, right on the stroke of 45 minutes, as Morsy headed against the left angle from a Roberts cross.

The Stags left the field at half time to rapturous applause. The Stags had been under the cosh for the opening 30 minutes but defended with determination and grit. In the last 15 minutes, the Stags scored, hit the post and were an inch from getting a penalty kick. Chesterfield themselves hit the woodwork in the last minute of the half.

Half time 0-1

A quiet start to the second half. On 53 minutes, Ryan’s shot was blocked. Moments later, Cooper was booked for throwing the ball away after a foul on Clucas.

From the resulting free kick from the right, Tafazolli, unmarked and not offside, headed wide. He should have scored. After the game, he told me he couldn’t believe he didn’t get it on target.

Chesterfield thought they had a penalty on 55 minutes when Morsy went down in the area but instead the referee booked him for diving. On 58 minutes, sub Gnanduillet’s shot was saved but Marriott couldn’t hold on to it, the loose ball was crossed to the far post where Humphreys skied over the bar from close range.

On 59 minutes, Tafazolli was booked for a full blooded challenge in front of the managers’ technical area. Moments later, McGuire was also booked for a rumbustious challenge.

On 62 minutes, Meikle replaced Hutchinson who came off to a good ovation - he’d had a fine game.

McGuire was through into the area on 65 minutes and went down but it was no penalty. McGuire and full back Talbot both got a lecture. On 68 minutes, Roberts went down on the edge of the box and was given a free kick which looked harsh. Sub McSheffrey took the free kick which was blocked by the wall. Then Gnanduillet headed well wide.

On 69 minutes, Jennings was booked for a foul, again in front of the managers’ technical area.

The Stags had a chance on 71 minutes as Clucas crossed from the right and Andrew did well to get in a header at goal but it was easily saved. Straight to the other end and good trickery from Doyle in the box and his low shot was well saved by Marriott. On 76 minutes, a header out from Jennings fell to Ryan who fired well wide.

Daniel replaced Andrew on 76 minutes and the Stags scorer got a standing ovation.

A brilliant save from Marriott on 77 minutes from Doyle who had got goalside of the defence. On 79 minutes, Roberts set up Ryan and his low shot was straight at Marriott.

Rhead replaced Clucas on 80 minutes - the 3rd Stags player to receive a standing ovation.

On 82 minutes, Roberts shot well wide from the left side. A minute later, Ryan shot well wide from 20 yards. Daniel made a run down the left side on 88 minutes and he crossed for Meikle whose shot was blocked.

The Stags should have made the game safe on 90 minutes. Meikle made a great run into the Chesterfield half and he squared for Rhead who was unmarked but Rhead’s shot was weak.

Six minutes of stoppage time was added but quite what for was unknown. After a minute, a shot from Morsy was deflected for a corner. Mansfield managed to break into the Chesterfield through Howell and he put Rhead through but he was offside. On 90+3, Morsy shot well wide.

A minute later, Roberts got frustrated in the Mansfield box and kicked out at Jennings. He received a straight red card which will keep him out of the JPT clash at Field Mill in 10 days.

On 90+5, Rhead nodded down to Meikle whose shot was blocked.

The final whistle brought tremendous celebrations from the 2000 travelling fans and the players alike. A monumental defensive display.

Man of the match: Alan Marriott

Report by: Martin Shaw at the Proact Stadium, Whittington Moor

Line Up:
Marriott 10 A masterclass in goalkeeping, with fabulous saves, superb handling, and perfect positioning. Couldn’t have done any more and hence deserves a rare 10 rating.
Beevers 9 Excellent.
Sutton 9 Defended superbly from start to finish. Some great tackles and blocks.
Dempster 9 Didn’t put a foot wrong.
Tafazolli 9 Excellent performance, won everything in the air with some great headed clearances. Should have scored after 53 minutes and said to me afterwards he couldn’t believe he missed the target.
Jennings 9 Excellent game in a conventional left back role.
Howell 8 Very good game. Defended very well.
McGuire 8.5 Tigerish and determined.
Hutchinson 8.5 Perfect corner for the winning goal, and so unlucky with his shot against the post. Worked very hard for the team.
Clucas 8 Very good performance. Received a standing ovation for the second week running when subbed.
Andrew 8.5 Wrote himself into Mansfield folklore as Lawrence and Disley did in the last victory in Chesterfield 10.5 years ago, with the winning goal. And a great header it was. Celebrated by running 100 yards to be in front of the Stags fans. Led the line well. Deserved a fabulous ovation he was subbed.
Sub Line Up:
Meikle (for Hutchinson, 62) 8 Did very well, and created an outlet to get out from defence near the end. One superb run created a great chance for Rhead which was spurned.
Daniel (for Andrew, 76) -
Rhead (for Clucas, 80) - Had a great chance to score on the stroke of 90 minutes, but shot weakly.
Subs not used: Murtagh, Stevenson, Speight, Palmer.
Opposition Line Up:
Lee, Talbot (Devitt 86), Hird, Cooper, Humphreys; Ryan, Morsy, Darikwa (Gnanduillet 53), Roberts; O’Shea (McSheffrey 53), Doyle. Subs not used: Chapman, Evatt, Edwards, Togwell.
Robert Madley 8 Handled the game extremely well. I had to laugh as when I arrived I saw Paul Cook saying to the ref that no matter what happened in the game, he wouldn’t get any trouble from him. Cook then spent much of the game berating the ref.

Season 13/14 Reports