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Season 13/14 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Dagenham and Redbridge  
0 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 1,377 (172 from Mansfield)
Date: 1 March 2014


Martin Shaw at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium, Victoria Road.

Mansfield Town picked up a solid point in a 0-0 draw at Dagenham and Redbridge this afternoon. It was a fair result in a game both sides could have won with better finishing. There were plenty of good performances from Stags players, with Sutton, Tafazolli and Daniel defending particularly well, Marriott back to his best in goal with some super saves in a faultless display, and McGuire impressive on his return to the side. Up front Rhead was commanding in the air, but the Stags missed too many chances especially through top-scorer Clucas while Sutton missed a glorious chance with a free header from close range.

The table is incredibly tight, with five teams including the Stags on 39 points, though some teams have played fewer games. Exeter are right into the mix now, with the same points and same games played as the Stags. Morecambe are another side right in the mix too now, on 40 points. 53 points will surely be enough for a side to stay up (possibly 52), so really the Stags need to concentrate on their own points tally and get 13 or 14 points from the final 12 games to ensure staying up.

Paul Cox made one change to the side beaten by Bury on Tuesday night as McGuire replaced the out-of-sorts Clements. It was a surprise to me that Cain didn’t get a place in the starting eleven. Of the Stags players who travelled on the morning of the game to Dagenham, those to miss out from the bench were Dyer and Deakin (in addition to assistant manager Murray). Dagenham included prolific goal scorer Rhys Murphy.

With Stags physio Simon Murphy having left the club to go to Leicester City, Chris Bowman stepped up from youth team physio as interim physio with a successor to Simon Murphy to be found.

It was a sunny but cool day in East London for only the Stags second ever visit to Dagenham and Redbridge, the first being what can only be described as a horrendous day: the last game before relegation to the Conference six years ago.

On 3 minutes, Dempster picked up an early booking for tripping Norris as Norris broke down the left. On 6 minutes, a low shot from Norris was straight at Marriott from the edge of the area. On 8 minutes, a Westlake free kick was nodded down by Dempster and Rhead flicked straight at the keeper from a tight angle with the outside of his right boot. On 9 minutes, a cross from Elito from the left was not attacked by anyone and went behind for a goal kick.

In a dour opening to the game, Sutton made a powerful start with several headed clearances.

On 16 minutes, the Stags went close as, from a long throw, Rhead nodded on and Clucas did well to stretch out a leg and flick the ball over the keeper on to the roof of the net. Unlucky.

On 17 minutes, Dagenham broke to the other end and Dempster’s heart must have skipped a beat as he accidentally handballed but the referee didn’t bat an eyelid. And, moments later, Tafazolli did well to clear.

On 18 minutes, another good chance for the Stags as Rhead nodded down to Clucas on the edge of the box and Clucas scuffed a shot through to the keeper. On 19 minutes, Dempster blocked a Norris shot on the edge of the box. A couple of aimless balls from Stevenson raised a bit of discontent from the Stags fans.

On 20 minutes, the ball fell to Clucas on the edge of the box and again he miscued straight to the keeper. Another good chance.

On 26 minutes, a good tackle by Daniel as Dagenham attacked down the right and then he made a good clearance. On 29 minutes, Norris sent a snap shot from 25 yards just over the bar. It was a great effort.

The Stags should have been in front on 33 minutes. Clucas curled in a superb free kick from the left and Sutton was unmarked 6 yards out but sent his header wide. The Stags central defenders need to up their game in front of goal.

On 35 minutes, a Dagenham ball over the top found Elito on the right who shot low across Marriott and Marriott got down well to save. Marriott’s kick to the far end was superbly flicked on by Rhead to Clucas who fired just wide of the left post. So close.

Moments later, Rhead nodded down to Clucas again who ballooned over the bar from the edge of the box. On 37 minutes, Westlake lost a header 30 yards out, the ball was played forward to Azeez who struck a first time volley wide. On 40 minutes, Rhead nodded on to Clucas who nodded down to Stevenson who fired wide from the edge of the box. On 42 minutes, Norris crossed low from the left and Sutton put in a great interception. Straight to the other end and a low shot from Stevenson from a tight angle was saved by the keeper at his near post.

On 43 minutes, Norris shot from the edge of the box and Marriott made a good low save. On 44 minutes, Hoyte crossed and Sutton did well to head away.

A pretty even first half, the Stags having the better of the chances: Clucas with several while Sutton missed with a free header. At the back Sutton was superb, while Daniel made some good challenges and Marriott made two good saves.

Half time 0-0

On 49 minutes, Stevenson put in a good cross from the left and Rhead met it on the volley on the right but completely miscued. On 51 minutes, a snap shot from McGuire from 32 yards was just high and wide. Moments later, a Westlake shot from the right was blocked for a corner. From the resulting corner, appeals for a Stags penalty for handball were waved away.

Dagenham broke straight to the other end through Elito and Azeez sent in a low shot at goal which brought a great save from Marriott, getting down quickly to his left.

Hutchinson replaced Stevenson on 54 minutes.

On 56 minutes, Daniel did well to win a corner, from which the ball bobbled around dangerously but was eventually cleared.

On 59 minutes, Marriott made a superb save getting out quickly to block from Murphy. Then Murphy picked up the loose ball and curled over the bar.

On 63 minutes, Clucas fired a piledriver just over the bar from 22 yards.

On 66 minutes, a good ball forward to Murphy who controlled brilliantly and Marriott again saved his shot very well, low down. On 67 minutes, Westlake crossed and Rhead nodded down into the path of Hutchinson who was about to shoot when the ball was nicked off his toe. Moments later a shot from Westlake was blocked. On 69 minutes, a quick Dagenham free kick found Murphy 10 yards from goal. He turned superbly and fired over the bar.

On 70 minutes, one for the scrapbook as Dempster made a great run down the left and put in a fine cross which was headed back by Rhead before being cleared.

Rhead was booked for a late challenge on Hoyte on 71 minutes. On 74 minutes, Dagenham broke quickly from a Stags corner and Azeez went down in the area under a challenge from Daniel but the referee waved away penalty appeals. On 76 minutes, a free kick from the Stags 32 yards out was taken by Daniel having scored from just such a position back in pre-season but he didn’t catch it properly and it was straight at the keeper who made an easy save.

Palmer replaced Rhead on 76 minutes; Rhead came off to a good ovation having had a good game and after the game, Cox explained that he was worried he would pick up a second yellow card in quick succession.

On 78 minutes, a Daniel long throw was flicked on to Westlake who had a free shot from the edge of the box but sent it over the bar. It was a great chance.

On 87 minutes, Howell was booked for an innocuous challenge. On 90 minutes, Clucas got to the byline but there was no-one up with him and the ball was cleared.

Four minutes of stoppage time was added. On 90+2, a Dickson shot was blocked by Sutton with his face, on the edge of the box. An important block and one which must have hurt him. On 90+4, McGuire was booked for dissent.

The final whistle brought a good ovation for the Stags players from the excellent Stags fans, who were supportive throughout. A solid point and a fair result.

Footnote: the Stags had 14 chances in total (Clucas had 6, Rhead 2, Stevenson 2, Westlake 2, Sutton 1, Daniel 1).

Man of the match: Ritchie Sutton/Alan Marriott

Report by: Martin Shaw at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium, Victoria Road.

Line Up:
Marriott 8 Back towards his best with five good saves. Very good performance.
Westlake 6.5 Solid. Got forward quite a lot.
Sutton 8 Very good defensively with great headers away, clearances and blocks. Missed a great chance to score.
Dempster 7 Defended well.
Tafazolli 7.5 Good game.
Daniel 7 Good defensively and got forward well.
Howell 6 Broke play up. Did ok.
McGuire 7 Impressive on his return to the side.
Stevenson 6 Did ok though a couple of aimless balls.
Clucas 6.5 Great skills on show but failed to score from 6 chances. Great free-kick for Sutton’s chance.
Rhead 7.5 Prolific in the air, setting up several chances.
Sub Line Up:
Hutchinson (for Stevenson, 54) - Looked decent. Had one half-chance when the ball was nicked off his toe.
Palmer (for Rhead, 76) -
Subs not used: Beevers, Clements, Meikle, Cain, Briscoe.
Opposition Line Up:
Lewington, Ilesanmi, Doe, Saah, Hoyte, Elito, Ogogo, Murphy (Shields 87), D’Ath (Howell 83), Azeez (Dickson 77), Norris. Subs not used: Seabright, Wilkinson, Bingham, Saunders.
Gavin Ward 7 Generally handled the game well.

Season 13/14 Reports