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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 2
 Burton Albion
Rhead 75.
 
 MacDonald 42, McFadzean 71.
Attendance: 2966 (508 from Burton)
 
Date: 30 August 2014

STAGS BEATEN BY LEAGUE-LEADERS IN TIGHT GAME

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

In a tight, uncompromising game, Burton continued their remarkable knack of being able to win a game by one goal, to go top of the table. The Stags played some good football in the first half with several good moves but without finding a killer touch, as Clucas fired over, then Beevers fired over, and then Clucas shot wide, all after fine moves. But the Stags fell behind in the cruel fashion as a shot from MacDonald took two deflections, off McGuire and Riley, to beat debutante Stags goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov, to give Burton an undeserved lead at the break, and the Stags were rightly applauded off. The Stags continued to have the better of the chances in the second half as Taylor blasted wide from a good position, then Rhead headed against the stanchion from a great position, Clucas was in a good position but scuffed wide, and Rhead headed onto the roof of the net. But against the run of play, on 71 minutes, Burton broke forward as Beevers gave the ball away and then was out of position, Burton broke into the Stags box, Riley made a great last ditch challenge, but the ball free ran to McFadzean who stroked the ball into the net. The goal came just after the Stags had switched to a 4-4-2 formation and the defence was momentarily all-over-the-place. The Stags pulled a goal back on 75 minutes, as Rhead glanced Murray’s dinked free-kick from 40 yards over the keeper into an empty net. Burton, who had not threatened at all in the second half apart from their goal, were unlucky when MacDonald’s thunderbolt rattled the underside of Evtimov’s bar on 84 minutes. Burton were down to 10 men on 86 minutes as Robbie Weir saw red in a coming together of heads with McGuire off the ball, and McGuire may have been lucky to escape. But the Stags were poor in remaining 4 minutes plus 7 minutes of stoppage time, unable to take advantage of the extra man with only a blocked Heslop shot as a half-chance. Great disappointment at the final whistle, but based on chances, the Stags deserved a share of the spoils with the new league leaders in a tough game. Neither goalkeeper had any saves to make, with Evtimov beaten for the two goals, and seeing a great shot against the underside of the bar. Much has been made of hoofball in recent times, the irony here was that Burton went to the top of the table playing more hoofball than the Stags play. The Stags are in desperate need of adding to the squad, the absolute priority being a sharp striker to replace Liam Hearn, who looked so sharp in pre-season. After the game, Paul Cox told the media that he has had a sharp striker on trial for the past few days (not to be named of course so as not to alert other clubs) but needs the agreement of John Radford and Paul Broughton to proceed and bring him in. Hopefully he will get the go ahead by the transfer deadline on Monday, because the need is clear to see.

Mansfield made 5 changes from the side defeated at Dagenham as goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov replaced Studer for his Stags debut, Riley came in for the injured Dempster, Murray replaced Heslop, Clucas came in for Clements, and Palmer replaced Fisher. It was no surprise that Clucas started after the Stags put an end to speculation that he might join rivals Chesterfield in midweek.

The Stags came into the game never having scored against Burton in any of the 4 games played by the two sides.

Before the game, there was a minute’s applause in a fitting tribute for former player Paul Aldread, and two Stags fans Roy Palmer and Harold Calvert, who have all recently passed away.

The game started quietly with Burton putting 3 balls over the top and out for goalkicks.

The first chance of the game came on 8 minutes as Palmer nodded into the path of Clucas in a bit of space but Clucas fired over. On 10 minutes, Palmer flicked on to Rhead but the keeper got there first to clear with his boot.

On 12 minutes, a great ball down the line from Beevers for Clucas but Clucas’ ball into the middle wasn’t good enough. A minute later, a better ball in from Clucas but it was still cleared.

On 15 minutes, there was a great ball from Murray to Beevers, Beevers took it brilliantly in his stride, past a defender but couldn’t get the ball properly out from under his feet and fired over the bar. Nevertheless, it was a good move.

On 17 minutes, Beevers blocked a Beavon close range shot.

It was an encouraging first 20 minutes from the Stags.

On 24 minutes, a Burton free-kick came out to MacDonald who shot well wide.

On 25 minutes, there was great play from Taylor breaking forward, he got the ball to Clucas on the left, who did really well to get past 3 men into the area but then sort of ran the ball out of play with a mis-hit shot. A poor end to another good move.

On 28 minutes, Rhead slid the ball forward for Palmer who got into the area on the right and Palmer’s shot was deflected for a corner. It was a good chance for Palmer who probably should have run straight at goal to get a better angle for himself.

On 32 minutes, there was a good ball forward from Murray to Palmer on the right who won a corner. More good football from the Stags and Murray was putting in some good passes.

Burton were playing more long ball than the Stags.

On 41 minutes, McGurk shot wide from 20 yards.

But on 42 minutes, Burton were ahead in fortunate circumstances. A shot from MacDonald from the edge of the box took two deflections, off McGuire and Riley, to beat debutante Stags goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov.

On 45+1 minutes, Murray got a shot on target but it hit Edwards and went out for a corner.

Some good football from the Stags in the first half and the Stags were applauded off. But a fortunate goal gave Burton an undeserved lead.

Half time 0-1

On 49 minutes, Taylor, whose corners were generally poor either not beating the first man or straight to the keeper, took another corner which again hit the first man, but this time flicked off him, hitting Palmer and going just wide.

On 52 minutes, Beavon was booked for a late tackle on Sutton. Evtimov took the resulting free kick, Rhead nodded down and Taylor blasted well wide when he should have got it on target.

On 57 minutes, there was another chance for Taylor as a Beevers long throw was flicked on and Taylor shot just over from the edge of the box. A better effort than the previous one.

The Stags came close on 61 minutes when Murray floated a free kick forward from 40 yards and Rhead got a clean header on it against the stanchion.

On 62 minutes, Clucas should have done better when he latched on to a ball forward but could only scuff a shot wide from the edge of the box.

Fisher replaced Palmer on 62 minutes. Palmer had had a decent game, showing a good first touch but desperately needs a goal.

On 63 minutes, a lovely curling cross from Sutton from the right and Rhead got there in front of the keeper to head on to the roof of the net. The keeper claimed he was fouled and was booked for protesting.

A glut of chances for the Stags but critically none on target. The Stags were playing well though, putting Burton under considerable pressure.

On 67 minutes, Beevers was booked for pulling back MacDonald. McGurk sent a free kick from 32 yards well wide of the right post.

The Stags switched to a 4-4-2 formation with Sutton at right back, Beevers at left back, Clucas right midfield and Taylor at left midfield.

Burton made it 2-0 on 71 minutes. Burton broke forward as Beevers gave the ball away and then was out of position, Burton broke into the Stags box, Riley made a great last ditch challenge, but the ball free ran to McFadzean who stroked the ball into the net.

The Stags were back in the game on 75 minutes, as Rhead glanced Murray’s dinked free-kick from 40 yards over the keeper into an empty net. It was a similar incident to the earlier free kick where Rhead headed against the stanchion.

Fergus Bell replaced Taylor on 77 minutes and went on to the left side of midfield.

Burton were unlucky on 84 minutes when MacDonald sent a great shot from 25 yards against the underside of the bar. It bounced down, hit Beevers’ knee and went on to the roof of the net.

A flash point on 86 minutes came as Weir saw red for a headbutt on McGuire, off the ball, but it seemed McGuire may have been lucky to escape red.

Heslop replaced Beevers on 90 minutes.

On 90+2, Heslop had a shot blocked.

Tafazolli was guilty of wasting two balls forward which went straight out for goal kicks as the Stags wasted possession too easily.

On 90+6 minutes, Murray’s free kick was flicked on to the keeper by Fisher sparking a big melee, involving Riley and the most of the players of both sides. Referee Darren Drysdale consulted with his assistant but, after a long discussion, took no action against any of the player. We may not have heard the last of this incident though, or indeed McGuire’s part in the Weir sending off.

The Stags were poor after the sending-off, unable to take advantage of the extra man. Great disappointment at the final whistle, but based on chances, the Stags deserved a share of the spoils with the new league leaders in a tough game.

Man of the match: Adam Murray

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



Line Up:
Evtimov 6 No chance with the two goals or the shot against the underside of the bar; otherwise had no shots to save.
Sutton 6 Did ok. One good cross which Rhead should have converted.
Riley 6 Unlucky with a good tackle in the build-up to Burton’s second goal.
Tafazolli 6 Defended ok. Two late balls forward that went out for goal kicks were frustrating.
Beevers 5.5 Did well going forward, but crucially culpable for the second goal.
Taylor 5.5 A couple of efforts on goal, but couldn’t get either on target. Corners were generally poor either not beating the first man or straight to the keeper.
McGuire 6 Did ok. Needs to curb himself, as he was lucky not to be red-carded in the Weir incident.
Murray 7 Sprayed some lovely balls around. Two great free-kicks to set up chances for Rhead, one of which he scored from.
Clucas 6.5 Brilliant play when he got past 3 men into the area but then ran the ball out of play with a mis-hit shot. Needs a goal.
Palmer 6.5 Had a decent game, showing a good first touch but desperately needs a goal.
Rhead 7 Scored one and went close with another header.
Sub Line Up:
Fisher (for Palmer, 62) - Didn’t make an impression.
Fergus Bell (for Taylor, 77) -
Heslop (for Beevers, 90) -
Opposition Line Up:
McLaughlin; Edwards, Sharps, Cansdell-Sherriff, Taft; McFadzean (Lee Bell 90), Weir, Mousinho, MacDonald; McGurk, Beavon (Harness 77). Subs not used: Lyness, Knowles, M Palmer, Blyth, Slade.
Referee:
Darren Drysdale 7 Handled the game well. Probably was over-generous to McGuire.


Season 14/15 Reports