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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town  
0 - 0
 Walsall
 
 
Attendance: 1220 (93 from Walsall)
 
Date: 2 August 2014

STAGS END PRE-SEASON WITH CREDITABLE DRAW

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium

Mansfield Town ended their public pre-season friendly games with a creditable draw against an impressive League One Walsall side at the One Call Stadium this afternoon. Mansfield were not as good as they have been in the previous pre-season games but did enough to earn a draw, in part thanks to another fine display from new goalkeeper Sascha Studer who made three super saves. The Stags were cut open a few times at the back, and only created a couple of goalscoring chances going forward. Nevertheless, with one more pre-season game to go (a behind closed doors game against a Championship club on Tuesday), the Stags will go into the big kick-off next Saturday at Northampton in good spirits.

Stags team (3-2-2-1-2 formation):

Sascha Studer;
Ritchie Sutton, Ryan Tafazolli, Martin Riley;
Liam Marsden, Rob Taylor (trialist);
Adam Murray, Simon Heslop;
Chris Clements;
Liam Hearn, Alex Fisher.

Subs:
Lee Beevers (for Marsden, 46)
Sam Clucas (for Clements, 46)
Ollie Palmer (for Hearn, 46)
John Dempster (for Sutton, 56)
Fergus Bell (for Fisher, 61)
Amari’i Bell (for Taylor, 66)
Jamie McGuire (for Heslop, 68)
Subs not used: Matt Rhead, Jack Thomas.
Injured and not in squad: Luke Jones.

It was mostly a sunny afternoon, and the predicted thunderstorms never arrived, much to the relief of groundsman Mez Merriman. There was a place in the starting line-up for trialist left wing-back Rob Taylor, who has played in all of the pre-season games. Paul Cox is hoping to tie up his signature in the coming days. But the other trialist who has played the recent games, Anthony Griffith, has returned to Port Vale, and will not be joining.

On 2 minutes, the first chance of the match came as a low Walsall cross from the left found Webber whose low shot was straight at Studer. On 5 minutes, a good positive run from trialist Rob Taylor to earn a corner for the Stags which came to nothing. On 8 minutes, Baxendale shot well wide of the right post. And moments later, Webber was given too much space on the edge of the area to get in a low shot that was easily saved by Studer.

Walsall had started the better of the two sides.

On 9 minutes, Hearn produced a snapshot with his left foot from the edge of the box which the keeper parried away.

On 11 minutes, Riley did well to block two shots in quick succession.

On 19 minutes, there was good play from Clements who had a shot blocked.

Walsall came close on 21 minutes as a cross from the left reached the far post and Bradshaw volleyed into the side netting. On 22 minutes, an encouraging move from the Stags as a good ball found Hearn on the byline but his attempted pulled back cross was cut out. On 24 minutes, a beautiful through ball from Heslop to Fisher on the right but Fisher’s attempted ball into Hearn was cut out for a corner.

On 26 minutes, a very good save from Studer kept the score at 0-0 as he dived to his left to palm away a shot from Baxendale who’d been given too much room to shoot on the edge of the box. The Stags were not getting tight enough on the edge of the box.

On 29 minutes, a great jump from Murray who was producing a typical all action display.

The Stags had a free kick 30 yards out in a central position on 30 minutes. Fisher took it but sent it over the bar.

On 34 minutes, good tracking back by Clements at the back.

Moments later, another great save from Studer who tipped over a shot from 10 yards by Morris with his fingertips.

On 35 minutes, Sawyers fired well wide after Tafazolli headed away following a corner. The Stags’ defence was being opened up a bit.

On 40 minutes, Hearn sent an instinctive snapshot over the bar from the edge of the area.

On 41 minutes, Clements took a good corner from the left to the far post where Tafazolli headed just over. On 42 minutes, a brilliant run from trialist Rob Taylor won a corner. Then on 44 minutes, a good move from the Stags did not come to anything.

Walsall had given the Stags a good test in the first half and Studer had kept the Stags in it with two super saves, and the Stags defence often didn’t get tight enough as Walsall had several shots from in and around the edge of the area. The Stags came close twice with Hearn’s shot which was parried away and Tafazolli’s header just over.

Half time 0-0

At the start of the second half, the Stags made 3 changes with Beevers, Clucas and Palmer replacing Marsden, Clements and Hearn. It was a welcome return for Clucas following his injury earlier in pre-season. Palmer joined Fisher up front, while Clucas played behind the front two.

On 47 minutes, Kinsella shot just over for Walsall. On 49 minutes, a good opportunity for Walsall as Henry put a chance on a plate for Morris who fired over the bar.

On 51 minutes, Sawyers played a great ball to Webber just inside the area and his shot brought a great save from Studer diving to his right. The Stags defence was cut open again.

On 54 minutes, a couple of great pieces of defending from Tafazolli on the edge of his own area, first a block and then an interception.

On 56 minutes, Sutton limped off with a sore groin to be replaced by Dempster.

On 57 minutes, Rob Taylor crossed from the left to the far post and Palmer pull it back across goal but it had already gone out of play.

Studer showed good alertness to come out of his area moments later.

On 60 minutes, there was good play from the Stags as a good tackle from Beevers set up a chance for Heslop whose shot was deflected through to the keeper.

Another change for the Stags on 61 minutes as Fergus Bell replaced Fisher. Clucas went up front with Palmer, and Fergus Bell played behind them.

Beevers was doing well to close down Walsall players.

On 65 minutes, the Stags had shouts for a penalty as it looked like the ball struck Henry’s hand in the area but no penalty was given.

On 66 minutes, Amari’i Bell replaced trialist Rob Taylor, and 2 minutes later, McGuire replaced Heslop.

The Stags were looking more assured now.

On 74 minutes, a chance for Walsall came as Grimes shot from 10 yards, Studer saved and grabbed it at the second attempt. On 77 minutes, there was another good chance for Walsall as Mansett fired wide from close range.

The Stags put in a good free kick on 78 minutes into the middle but the referee awarded a foul on the keeper which it never was.

Clucas was lacking a bit of match sharpness; Dempster had done well since he’d come on.

Murray wasted a free kick on 82 minutes and soon afterwards made a bad foul probably in frustration. On 87 minutes, good defending from Riley prevented a Walsall chance.

On 88 minutes, Amari’i Bell played the ball back to Fergus Bell who shot over the bar. On 90 minutes, a great challenge from Beevers on the edge of his own box as Clifford tried to shoot.

A minute later, a misjudgement by Studer as he came out of his area and fouled a Walsall striker. It might have been a red card in a league game but the referee didn’t seem to be issuing cards today. The free kick was blocked by Murray for a corner and, from that corner, Chambers headed over. At full time, Studer booted a water bottle away in frustration. It turned out afterwards that he was disappointed with his kicking .. which he described in the post match interview as “shit” :-)

A reasonable performance from the Stags against League One Walsall who looked very good. The Stags created only a couple of chances in the first half and nothing to speak of in the second. Studer’s three fine saves undoubtedly earned the draw but the Stags’ defence probably backed off too often. The Stags defending was a bit lax as Walsall created quite a few chances, and the way the Stags were sometimes cut open at the back will have given Cox and his management team something to think about before the season opener at Northampton.

Man of the match: Sascha Studer


Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium



Line Up:
Sascha Studer;
Ritchie Sutton, Ryan Tafazolli, Martin Riley;
Liam Marsden, Rob Taylor (trialist);
Adam Murray, Simon Heslop;
Chris Clements;
Liam Hearn, Alex Fisher.
Sub Line Up:
Lee Beevers (for Marsden, 46)
Sam Clucas (for Clements, 46)
Ollie Palmer (for Hearn, 46)
John Dempster (for Sutton, 56)
Fergus Bell (for Fisher, 61)
Amari’i Bell (for Taylor, 66)
Jamie McGuire (for Heslop, 68)
Subs not used: Matt Rhead, Jack Thomas.
Injured and not in squad: Luke Jones.
Opposition Line Up:
O’Donnell; O’Connor (Kinsella 32, Bakayoko 84), Holden, Downing (A. Chambers 78), Henry (Taylor 69); Bradshaw (Grimes 69), Sawyers (A. Chambers 69), Baxendale (Clifford 61), Webber (Manset 61), Flanagan (Heath 78), Morris (Benning 69). Subs not used: MacGillivray.
Referee:
Rob Lewis


Season 14/15 Reports