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Season 13/14 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League Trophy - Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, Northern Area, Round 2
Mansfield Town  
0 - 1
 McSheffrey 72.
Attendance: 4837 (1306 from Chesterfield)
Date: 8 October 2013


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town put in a fine display against Chesterfield but missed some glorious chances and fell to a 1-0 defeat in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on a pulsating Tuesday evening, in a reversal of the league game ten days earlier. Chesterfield are the red hot favourites to win League Two and Mansfield have matched them toe to toe over these two games to give much optimism for the season. You cannot afford to miss two one-on-one situations in a match though and the Stags did that with Stevenson and Daniel the guilty parties, while Andrew also missed three good chances, and Palmer’s late effort was heading for the top corner before it was brilliantly saved. The only goal of the game came against the run of play when a long ball into the Stags box saw Marriott come out of his goal to punch clear, but he was only able to punch Ritchie Sutton’s head, and as Stags players collapsed in a heap, the loose ball fell to Gary McSheffrey who rolled into the empty net. It was rough on Mansfield. In the league game, 10 days ago, Chesterfield played the better attacking football and the Stags came away with the points having been very physical and defended superbly. Here it was somewhat the other way around and Mansfield outplayed their Derbyshire opponents with some super football, Chesterfield were very physical with Clucas being crocked six times in the first half alone, and were time wasting throughout the 15 minutes of time added on at the end, to the annoyance of the referee and Stags fans alike. However just as Spireites manager showed a bit of class and paid tribute to Mansfield for winning the game at the Proact Stadium, Stags boss Paul Cox did the same here. Overall a very entertaining game in what is often a low key competition, a real blood and thunder atmosphere, and genuine optimism for the rest of the season for both sides.

Ritchie Sutton was injured as the goal was scored and play was held up for fully 10 minutes. It was revealed by Cox afterwards that he was much better than first feared, was suffering concussion and hopefully he'll be back at training on Thursday. This was great news to hear as Stags fans were genuinely concerned for the well-being of a player who has been popular with those fans. As a side-note, huge credit to the Chesterfield fans for their applause for Sutton as he was stretchered off.

Tonight was more evidence that if the Stags are to be good enough to mount a promotion challenge then a goalscorer is required. Paul Cox is very aware of this and made reference to it in post match interviews. Anyone with an imprint of Matt Green’s 57 goals from the past two seasons in their head, could have envisaged Green knocking in several goals tonight including the two one-on-ones and some of Andrew’s chances. However, even without the addition of a goalscorer, the Stags look good enough to me to be in and around the upper mid-table.

It was the Stags first match in this competition for six years (having received a bye in round 1), and of course it is a trophy cherished by Stags fans after the win at Wembley in 1987. However to confirm how far we’ve come in a year, last season we were playing Matlock in the FA Trophy; now we are back and playing Chesterfield in the FL Trophy.

Both sides made changes from the league game at the Proact Stadium: Mansfield made four and Chesterfield five. Two of Chesterfield’s were enforced, with Gary Roberts suspended and Ritchie Humphreys injured. Chesterfield were able to bring in new signing centre forward Chris Porter just signed on loan from Sheffield United and who played at Field Mill in the pre-season game; a signing of real intent by the Spireites. Paul Cox would undoubtedly have been mentioning this example to John Radford in their post match drink. Cox himself made four changes: Riley returning from suspension in place of the unlucky Tafazolli, Murtagh in for his debut in place of Howell, Stevenson for Hutchinson, and Daniel in for Jennings. It was 4-4-1-1 for the Stags with Sutton at right back, Beevers at left back. Daniel and Clucas were on the wings, changing sides throughout the game. And Stevenson played just behind Andrew.

The Stags had the ball into the Spireites box inside the first 15 seconds as Stevenson produced a dangerous low cross but that was cleared. On 4 minutes, Stevenson was in the action again as he latched on to a through-ball but from 20 yards he blazed over when he might have been better chipping the keeper.

It was Stevenson again on 8 minutes, clean through on goal with the defenders nowhere in sight, but he shot straight at the keeper. A bad miss.

Chesterfield’s first chance came on 9 minutes as Porter’s shot from close range was straight at Marriott.

The Stags had a free kick wide on the left on 13 minutes. Unusually Clucas was on set piece duty and, as he was waiting to take the kick, Dempster came over for a word in his ear. The free kick duly found Dempster who headed wide at the near post.

There was a great atmosphere inside Field Mill and the Stags had started really well playing good football.

On 26 minutes, Porter shot over from 22 yards for the Spireites. The ref then brought it back to book McGuire for a late challenge in the build-up to the shot. Straight to the other end and a cross from Clucas was luckily miscued back to his keeper by a defender.

The Stags had a glorious double chance to take the lead on 34 minutes as Calvin Andrew had two shots blocked inside the box, the second of which, for all the world, looked like it would open the scoring.

With the Stags taking the game to Chesterfield, Andrew was through on the left on 37 minutes with a clear sight of goal but he shot wide of the left post.

On 43 minutes, Murtagh’s free kick eventually fell to Dempster whose shot was blocked. On 45 minutes, Devitt’s free kick from 30 yards was well saved by the diving Marriott. Good keeping from Marriott after his error of judgment from a similar free kick on Saturday. Moments later, as the ball was recycled, Marriott was out with a good punch.

A very good performance from the Stags in the first half and they should have been well ahead.

Half time 0-0

On 49 minutes, Clucas showed another side to his game, tracking back and putting in a terrific challenge to win the ball.

On 52 minutes, O’Shea’s cross from the right hit Porter and went just wide. It was the start of a good five minutes from the Spireites. On 55 minutes, Ryan’s cross from the right was met by a clean header from Porter wide of the right post. On 56 minutes, Marriott had a tip over a shot from the edge of the box after an inadvertent set up by Beevers.

On 57 minutes, a cross-come-shot from Stevenson was cleared away. Then on 61 minutes, Daniel fashioned a half chance for himself on the edge of the box but fired well wide.

The Stags had another glorious chance to take the lead 63 minutes. Following a good move, Stevenson played a lovely ball into the path of Daniel, clean through on goal without a defender in sight. Daniel’s shot towards the right corner of the net clipped off the keeper, who had made himself big, and went wide. What a miss, similar to Stevenson’s in the first half.

On 66 minutes, a snapshot from McSheffrey was over the bar from 22 yards. Then on 69 minutes, a quick Chesterfield free kick and O’Shea fired wide of the left post.

The Stags were playing all the football and Chesterfield were doing all of the fouling. McGuire had to go off on 70 minutes having been crocked twice and he was replaced by Howell.

Chesterfield were ahead on 72 minutes, completely out of the blue. A long punt into the Stags box from the halfway line created confusion. Marriott came out to punch but only succeeded in punching Sutton’s head and the loose ball dropped kindly for McSheffrey to roll it into the empty net. When Marriott came for the long ball, he had to get there and didn’t and Chesterfield scored as a result. Sutton stayed down and after more than a 10 minute delay, was stretchered off. Good news came later that there was no spinal or neck injury and it was just concussion.

When play finally re-started, Jennings replaced Sutton, and Beevers moved to right back.

Ryan fired miles over for Chesterfield on 85 minutes.

Palmer replaced Stevenson on 86 minutes.

Fourteen minutes of time was added on, ten of which were to account for the Sutton injury.

On 90+1, a Stags corner resulted in a scramble and Howell’s close range shot was deflected wide.

Chesterfield were already time wasting with fully 13 minutes left.

On 90+11, Chesterfield sub Banks advanced forward and blazed high and wide.

The Stags looked like they would be level on 90+13. Palmer took a couple of good touches on the edge of the box on the right to make space for a shot. His left footed effort was heading for the top left corner before the keeper made a fantastic save to tip it over. From the resulting corner, claims for a hand ball were not given. Straight to the other end and Marriott’s save from a close range shot and Porter missed from the rebound. The final whistle went after a minute was added on to the 14 minutes of stoppage time to account for time wasting.

A very disappointing defeat but there was good applause for the Stags who had been the better team let down by poor finishing.

Man of the match: Keiran Murtagh

Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 6.5 Good handling and a fine save from the first half free kick; but when he came for the long ball in the second half, he had to get there and didn’t and Chesterfield scored as a result.
Sutton 7 Good game. Real concern for his welfare when the game was held up for 10 minutes but huge relief to hear that he should be fine.
Dempster 7 Very solid at the back.
Riley 7.5 Commanding display on his return to the side.
Beevers 7.5 Did well at left back.
Daniel 7 Caused the home defence plenty of problems especially when he moved to the left. Should have scored when through one-on-one.
Murtagh 8 Very good, long-awaited, debut after his injuries at the start of the season. Very composed on the ball, ran the midfield, some good tackling too. Formed a good partnership with McGuire.
McGuire 7.5 Worked very hard as usual, and tried to play on despite being crocked. Had to come off eventually. His 5th yellow of the season should see him suspended on Saturday.
Clucas 7.5 Given very rough treatment by the dirty Spireites. Chopped down 6 times in the first half alone. One outstanding challenge to win the ball coming back towards his own goal. A shame none of the goalscoring chances fell to him.
Stevenson 6.5 Had a decent game overall, but missed a glorious one-on-one opportunity after 8 minutes. To be fair to him, perhaps with more game time under his belt and match sharpness he would have slotted it away.
Andrew 7 Led the line well. Went close with a couple of blocked efforts, but then should have done better with a clear sight of goal when through on the left.
Sub Line Up:
Howell (for McGuire, 70) - Replaced the injured McGuire.
Jennings (for Sutton, 82) - Replaced the injured Sutton and slotted in at left back.
Palmer (for Stevenson, 86) - Very good control to get manoeuvre the ball in a tight situation and get in a fine shot heading for the top corner, brilliantly saved by the keeper after 90+13 minutes.
Subs not used: Meikle, Rhead (note only 5 subs in FLT).
Opposition Line Up:
Lee; Edwards, Hird, Evatt, Cooper; Ryan, Devitt (Darikwa 90+4), Morsy, McSheffrey (Banks 90+10); O'Shea; Porter. Subs not used: Togwell, Chapman, Brown.
Michael Naylor 7 Had a decent game. Correctly booked several Chesterfield player for bad tackles. Got impatient with Chesterfield's time wasting.

Season 13/14 Reports