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Season 13/14 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
2 - 2
 Wycombe Wanderers
Stevenson 55, Palmer 86.
 Lewis 9, Scowen 48.
Attendance: 2789 (258 from Wycombe)
Date: 25 January 2014


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town recovered from 2-0 down at home at Wycombe to salvage a point, but in truth with better finishing and without a brilliant performance from the Wycombe goalkeeper Matt Ingham, the Stags would have won the game. The two teams produced a cracking game of football that was much better than you could have expected in the conditions on a soggy and muddy pitch. After the Stags had started positively, Wycombe scored out of the blue from 25 yards, in the same way that Scunthorpe had done two weeks earlier. It remained 1-0 at half time as the Stags were denied by three good saves, from a Westlake shot, a Rhead close-range volley and a Dyer shot, while Tafazolli sent an unmarked header over the bar. The Stags were unfortunate to be behind at the break. It got worse on 48 minutes when Scowen volleyed in a fine goal from 12 yards as a result of some slack defending. The Stags brought on Sam Clucas, in his first game since returning from injury, and he helped turn the game around with an all-action performance. Mansfield pulled one back on 55 minutes as Stevenson shot under the keeper from 2 yards following a corner. Mansfield continued to try to play good football and were finally level on 86 minutes as a right-footed shot from Jennings was tipped brilliantly by the keeper onto the underside of the bar, bounced down and Ollie Palmer was in the right place to slot into the empty net. Clements came close to winning it when his 30 yard shot took a slight deflection, seeming to wrong-foot the goalkeeper who still managed to re-adjust and tip it round the post. But the Stags couldn’t force the victory and whilst Wycombe keeper Ingham made a string of brilliant saves, Marriott didn’t have a single save to make, aside from the two goals conceded. Overall quite a decent performance from Mansfield and some optimism to be gained, but Wycombe themselves had not been on a good run since October and this was a real opportunity for Mansfield to pick up 3 points for the first time at home in over 4 months. The Stags are now 9 home league games without a win, just two short of the club record of 11, set in 1959.

Mansfield were unchanged from the side that drew at Portsmouth. Sam Clucas however was fit enough to return to the bench. Wycombe included striker Reece Styche, signed from Forest Green Rovers this week.

In the hour before kick, an almighty hail-storm, with thunder and lightning, swept around the ground. Fortunately it stopped before kick-off leaving the pitch playable, and the referee able to bounce the ball successfully on most areas of the pitch.

There was a lesson for defenders as early as 3 minutes when a Sutton back-pass to Marriott held up on the soggy pitch and Marriott only just got there before the onrushing Styche.

A double chance for the Stags on 5 minutes. Westlake skipped past one defender on the edge of the box and unleashed a shot that keeper Ingham parried, the ball came out to Rhead, whose shot was blocked.

Two weeks ago, Scunthorpe scored on 9 minutes having been not been in the Stags box, and lightning struck twice as Wycombe scored out of the blue on 9 minutes (though they had once been in the Stags box). Mustoe fed the ball to Lewis, 24 yards from goal, Lewis sent a shot into the right corner of the net, leaving Marriott completely deceived and rooted to the spot. I initially wondered if it had taken a deflection, but it didn’t. Marriott may have been unsighted by Dempster.

On 13 minutes, the Stags came close to equalising as Rhead volleyed a shot from 3 yards out, and Ingram made an unbelievable save, one handed. Rhead struck it cleanly but would have wanted to score from that position.

Good defending from Tafazolli, and Jennings coolly chested back to Marriott.

On 17 minutes, a free kick from Clements came back to him, he chipped the ball forward, Dyer nodded the ball to Stevenson, who volleyed weakly straight at the keeper. On 18 minutes, Nick Arnold shot wide of the left post from 22 yards as Marriott had it covered.

On 22 minutes, a Jennings corner from the right almost curled straight in but it deflected out for another corner from the other side. Clements took that corner, it was headed on to Tafazolli, who was unmarked at the far post, but he headed over. A poor effort from close range and we really do need to get our defenders scoring.

On 27 minutes a Jennings corner was caught right on his line by the keeper.

On 33 minutes, a great effort from Dyer, left footed from 20 yards, which was tipped over by Ingram.

No more chances in the remainder of the half. The Stags had tried to play some good football in the first half, despite the difficult conditions, and were denied by 3 very good saves and some poor finishing. Wycombe offered very little going forward, and had just one shot from 22 yards, apart from the goal which was from 24 yards.

Half time 0-1

On 46 minutes, a Clements free kick from 35 yards, was headed on by Dyer, and Dempster headed over, though Dempster was ruled offside.

Slack defending by the Stags on 48 minutes as Nick Arnold broke down the right, and crossed into the middle where eventually the ball was cleared. But from the resulting throw-in, Arnold got past Jennings, in spite of Jennings trying to pull him back, and crossed from the by-line into the middle where Scowen caught it on the volley and hitting it like a bullet into the net from 10 yards. A fine goal.

On 51 minutes, Clucas returned for his first game since the cup defeat to Oldham, in place of Dyer.

On 53 minutes Dempster headed over from a Jennings corner.

On 54 minutes, Stevenson’s shot from distance cannoned off a defender and span just wide. From the resulting corner, taken by Clements, the Stags pulled a goal back. Jennings did well to win the ball on the edge of the area, Howell took a shot that was probably going wide, it hit Stevenson who was able to fire low under the keeper from 2 yards.

On 57 minutes, a high hanging cross from Jennings, and Clucas did well to win a header but headed over. Then on 60 minutes, a good move from the Stags came to nothing.

Dempster was booked for a late challenge on Scowen on 61 minutes. From the resulting free kick from 30 yards which was whipped in, McClure sent a free shot over the bar. An escape for the Stags.

On 64 minutes, Clements sent a free kick from a tight angle over the bar.

Then on 72 minutes, a Clements cross was headed over his own bar by Johnson. On 76 minutes, a Clements free kick from 28 yards was over the bar.

On 77 minutes, McClure ran at the Stags defence but the ball ended up trickling through to Marriott.

Palmer replaced Dempster on 80 minutes.

Within 6 minutes, Palmer had scored the equaliser. Clements fed the ball forward and Jennings sent a right footed shot that the keeper brilliantly turned onto the underside of the bar. The ball dropped down and Palmer was first to it, to turn it into the empty net. Palmer’s fourth goal of the season, but also credit to Cox for bringing Palmer on.

On 89 minutes, keeper Ingram made his first mistake as he dropped a Clements cross, but was able to fall on the ball and smother it.

On 90 minutes, Clements came close to winning it when his 30 yard shot took a slight deflection, seeming to wrong-foot the goalkeeper who still managed to re-adjust and tip it over the bar. A great save.

Stevenson was booked for dissent on 90+1. Then in the final of the 4 minutes of stoppage time, it was Wycombe who finished on the attack as sub Anthony Jeffrey (formerly an Arsenal youngster) broke forward but his poor shot was probably going wide but Marriott didn’t take any chances and put it behind for a corner.

Applause for the Stags at the final whistle for a decent performance, and for great spirit coming from 2-0 down. When you’re losing with only 4 minutes to go, a point is not a bad return, but this was certainly a game the Stags should have won.

Man of the match: Chris Clements

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

Line Up:
Marriott 5.5 May have been unsighted for the first goal but possibly should have done better. Otherwise had no on-target shots to save.
Westlake 7 Got forward a lot. Solid defensively.
Sutton 6.5 Did reasonably well.
Dempster 6 Substituted late on.
Tafazolli 7 The pick of the defence. Should have scored when he got into a good position though.
Jennings 6.5 Did well going forward, and hit the underside of the bar for Palmer’s goal, as well as winning the ball in the lead up to the first goal; but was turned too easily for Wycombe’s second goal.
Howell 6.5 Put in a good shift. His shot fell nicely for Stevenson to score.
Clements 7 Good game, nearly won it in the last minute with a long range shot. Kept trying to pass the ball and make something happen.
Stevenson 7 Another goal, his sixth of the season, and went close with a shot deflected wide.
Dyer 5.5 One good shot, but didn’t get in the game enough part from that.
Rhead 6.5 Got in the game quite a lot, and won a lot in the air; should have scored with a close-range volley.
Sub Line Up:
Clucas (for Dyer, 51) 7 Caused Wycombe problems and ran around feverishly; changed the game when he came on. Brilliant to have him back in the team.
Palmer (for Dempster, 80) - In the right place at the right time for his equaliser.
Subs not used: Beevers, Riley, McGuire, Meikle, Daniel.
Opposition Line Up:
Ingram; McCoy, Johnson, Doherty, Mustoe; Arnold, Scowen, Lewis, Wood; Styche (Jeffrey 70), McClure (Hause 83). Subs not used: Stewart, Horlock, Kuffour, Kewley-Graham, Kretzschmar.
Tim Robinson 7 Barely noticed him other than bouncing the ball pre-match, so he must have had a good game.

Season 13/14 Reports