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Season 13/14 Stagsnet Match Report
The FA Cup with Budweiser - Round Two
Oldham Athletic  
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Smith 28.
 Clucas 45.
Attendance: 3429 (379 from Mansfield)
Date: 7 December 2013


Martin Shaw at Boundary Park

After six consecutive defeats in the league, Mansfield Town finally got back to looking hard to beat in this deserved draw at League One Oldham Athletic this afternoon, to earn a replay in the FA Cup round 2. The Stags will therefore be in the hat for the draw for round 3 (ITV at 4.10pm on Sunday). The Stags welcomed back both Adam Murray (as captain) and Jamie McGuire into central midfield and this added enormous steel and composure to the side. Added to that the defence looked as solid as a rock with Martin Riley faultless, and Alan Marriott back to his best in goal with steady handling and shot-stopping. Going forward, Ross Dyer put in an impressive showing, and Sam Clucas thundered in a great free kick. It was an uncharacteristic mistake from McGuire that gifted Latics captain Korey Smith the ball on 28 minutes, in the Oldham half, and Smith went on a super run and capped it with a fabulous shot into the top right corner to give Marriott no chance. The Stags were deservedly level with Clucas’s thunderous free kick from 20 yards on the stroke of half time. The second half saw the Stags start on top and then Oldham finish on top but no-one could argue that a draw wasn’t a fair result. The importance of today’s performance is huge in my opinion, and with key players back, I expect the Stags to arrest the alarming slide that has seen 10 league games without a win and 6 league defeats on the trot, with 2 big games coming up against AFC Wimbledon and Accrington. In between those 2 games will be the tasty replay of this game.

Paul Cox made three changes from the side that lost to Morecambe. Beevers was dropped after several poor performances. Daniel moved from left midfield to left back. Meikle came in to the right side of midfield (for only his second start of the season, and his first since Tranmere), with Clucas moving to the left. Palmer missed out as Cox switched from 4-4-2 last week to 4-4-1-1, with Howell switching from central midfield to play in front of the midfield 4, just behind Dyer who was on his own up front. Murray and McGuire came into the centre of midfield. Clements missed out with a back injury (Cox was hopeful he should be fit for next Saturday). Oldham included Adam Rooney, who has scored against the Stags for Bury in two games.

The surface was zippy with some light rain having fallen on it. The ground only has 3 stands, and opposite the main stand is an open space with a huge car park and just a six foot plastic fence. Incredibly it took until the 93rd minute for the ball to go over that fence.

On 4 minutes, Marriott dived to collect the ball on the edge of his box on the left and there were howls from the home crowd behind the goal that he had slid outside his area but the referee was having none of it.

On 5 minutes, a cross from Dempster on the right found Clucas who glanced a header wide of the right post, On 6 minutes, Rodgers was allowed too much space to run forward and his shot from 22 yards was deflected wide of the left post. Home captain Korey Smith was booked on 7 minutes as Dyer got away from him.

Then on 8 minutes, Murray’s free kick came out to McGuire 25 yards out and he shanked well wide. On 11 minutes, McGuire intercepted a loose ball in the centre circle, drove forward and fed Dyer on his right. Dyer’s shot from wide on the right was wide of the left post. On 14 minutes, a dreadful square ball from Meikle 35 yards from his own goal was collected by Schmeltz whose cross-shot was straight at Marriott.

On 18 minutes, Korey Smith burst forward and shot from 22 yards and Marriott saved low to his right. To the other end on 19 minutes and Dyer knocked the ball back to Meikle on the right who sent in a good cross for Clucas who glanced a header wide of the left post. On 21 minutes, Marriott punched clear an Oldham free kick from the left. On 23 minutes, a Stags free kick from the halfway line was headed down to Howell who brought the ball down superbly but his second touch was to blaze a right footed shot miles wide.

On 28 minutes, Oldham were ahead and it started with a mistake from the Stags. McGuire’s wayward pass well inside the Oldham half, and Korey Smith beat Murray to the ball and went on a great run on the left, before cutting back on to his right foot and curling in a fabulous shot into the top right corner off the underside of the bar.

The Stags should have been level on 30 minutes. Murray’s corner from the left drifted over keeper Oxley, and Dempster, unmarked at the far post, headed wide from a yard. On 31 minutes, Dyer nodded down to Murray whose left footed shot was deflected through to the keeper. On 37 minutes, Meikle got to the edge of the box but his shot was blocked. A minute later, there was a good clearance by Riley from a cross. Then Clucas was booked for dissent for a foul given against him. On 39 minutes, Dayton’s cross from the right was a fraction too high for Philliskirk who couldn’t head the ball down and headed well over the bar.

The Stags were level on the stroke of 45 minutes. Murray was brought down on the edge of the D. Daniel and Clucas were over the free kick. Clucas took it and belted it straight through the wall into the net with tremendous pace. Another great moment in the FA Cup for the player of the round from Round 1.

A decent first half from the Stags who defended solidly with no mistakes at the back, and just one mistake in midfield which was punished with a brilliant goal. But Clucas’s free kick brought the Stags back level.

Half time 1-1

On 52 minutes, Howell played Meikle in just outside the box, but for some reason he did not pull the trigger. On 54 minutes, Murray’s corner from the right was met by Riley who got a powerful header on it but it was just over the bar. A good effort.

On 55 minutes, a great ball forward from Murray found Howell in the box but his effort at goal was feeble.

With the Stags on top at the start of the second half, the Mansfield fans were in good voice.

On 58 minutes, a free kick from Rodgers was met by a glancing header from Grounds straight at Marriott. Two minutes later, Philliskirk sent a weak header straight at Marriott from a cross from the left. Murray was then booked for a foul, stopping an Oldham break. On 63 minutes, a 30 yard free kick from Rodgers was wide of the left post. On 68 minutes, a great turn from sub Petrasso in the box and his shot was straight at Marriott. On 70 minutes, Philliskirk did well on the edge of the box to get in a shot which was wide of the right post.

Palmer replaced Meikle on 78 minutes. Dyer moved to right midfield.

On 80 minutes, a powerful shot from Clarke-Harris was saved low by Marriott.

Hutchinson replaced Murray on 81 minutes. Murray got a good pat on the back from manager Cox. Hutchinson moved in behind Palmer, and Howell dropped back into central midfield.

On 89 minutes, Tarkowski sent a wild effort from 30 yards, miles wide and high. A great tackle from Riley soon afterwards, one of several in the game.

A scare for the Stags on 90 minutes as Korey Smith went down in the box but rightly no penalty was given. Two minutes into stoppage time, a powerful low shot from Clarke-Harris from a tight angle was well saved by Marriott. Three minutes into stoppage time, a stupid tackle by Daniel earned him a yellow card and a free kick for the home side. Marriott punched the free kick away and, fortunately for the Stags, Petrasso half volleyed the loose ball over the bar.

Good applause from the Stags fans at the end and well acknowledged by the Stags players.

Man of the match: Martin Riley

Report by: Martin Shaw at Boundary Park

Line Up:
Marriott 7.5 Looked back to his best in goal with steady handling and shot-stopping.
Westlake 7.5 Good game at right-back.
Dempster 8 Very solid.
Riley 9 Didn’t put a foot wrong, with important tackles. Even came close to scoring with a good header.
Daniel 7 Did well, filling in at left back. Kept it tight. Silly foul in stoppage time gifted Oldham a free kick which they nearly scored from.
Meikle 6.5 Blew hot and cold with one good cross in the first half and then several bad ones. Also gave the ball away, but on other occasions tackled back well.
McGuire 7.5 Played well on his return after nearly 4 games out. Good interception in the first half and pass to set up a chance for Dyer. Blotted his copybook with wayward pass that Korey Smith capitalised on with a wonderful goal.
Murray 8 Considering he’s not played at this level for some months, this was a hugely impressive return. A couple of great corners to set up chances for Dempster and Riley. Got a big pat on the back from manager Cox when he came off. Great to have him back.
Clucas 7.5 Great free kick. Just wish he’d belted the penalty like this a week ago! Silly booking picked up for dissent.
Howell 7 Did reasonably well playing behind Dyer. Had a couple of chances but finished poorly.
Dyer 8 Won almost everything in the air and held the ball up well.
Sub Line Up:
Palmer (for Meikle, 78) -
Hutchinson (for Murray, 81) -
Subs not used: Deakin, Beevers, Tafazolli, Black, Rhead.
Opposition Line Up:
Oxley; Lanzoni, Tarkowski, Grounds, Plummer; Schmeltz (Petrasso 57), Smith, Rodgers, Dayton (Clarke-Harris 57); Rooney, Philliskirk. Subs not used: Rachubka, Brown, Mellor, Winchester, Belezika.
Iain Williamson 7 No key decisions wrong.

Season 13/14 Reports