{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Wycombe Wanderers  
2 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Hayes pen 29, Murphy 77.
 Rhead 4 mins.
Attendance: 3106 (261 from Mansfield)
Date: 13 September 2014


Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Adams Park

Mansfield Town were somehow beaten at Wycombe this afternoon after a dominant performance where the Stags were outstanding in the opening 30 minutes and could easily have been 4-0 ahead, but a controversial penalty for Wycombe then cancelled out Matt Rhead’s towering header. Rhead’s header came from a Murray corner. The Wycombe penalty came as a shot from 25 yards struck Martin Riley on the left elbow just inside the box, and everyone in the stadium and on the pitch seemed amazed as the referee gave the penalty and yellow-carded Riley. All of the Wycombe media were certainly as surprised as the Mansfield media that the penalty was given. The DVD confirms that the incident was just inside the box but that it was innocuous. The penalty certainly changed the momentum of the game, but the Stags slowly regained their mojo and started to dominate again from about the hour mark. The Stags had a total of 16 corners to Wycombe’s 2, but fell behind on 77 minutes as Murphy headed home. The Stags were unable to equalise despite more chances late on. Plenty of positives from a good performance, but the Stags need to start converting more chances. Bingham, who looked a handful, was denied on four occasions. The 261 Stags fans were enraged at the performance of the referee, who was poor throughout, and gave the team a standing ovation at the end of the game. If the Stags can keep up this level of performance, good results will surely follow.

Wycombe survived on the final day of last season with help from Mansfield’s 1-0 win at Bristol Rovers. There was talk before the game that Wycombe would do a minute’s applause for the Stags on 36 minutes - the time of the Stags goal at Bristol Rovers. But that didn’t materialise. Probably events overtook everyone as the Stags had pulverised Wycombe in the opening 30 minutes and then the controversial penalty took the fans’ eyes off the ball, so to speak. We met the chairman of the Wycombe supporters trust, that owns the club, before the game, and he did tell to us that Wycombe were extremely grateful for the help they got from Mansfield, and that had they been relegated that would have signalled disaster as they would have lost lots on sponsorship.

Mansfield made one change from the fine victory at Exeter, as Clements came in for McGuire. McGuire was not 100%, having suffered an injury in training on Thursday. With only 17 other fit professionals, McGuire still travelled, to make up the numbers on the bench. Sutton and Bell had recovered from their knocks at Exeter. Micky Moore confirmed that Reggie Lambe has been training with the club, and that if the club sign him, it would be subject to international clearance. Wycombe included Paul Hayes, who scored against the Stags for Scunthorpe last season. And keeper Barry Richardson was on the bench - he played for the Stags on loan in 1999, and is now 45.

The Stags could have been ahead inside 2 minutes. Rhead headed Evtimov’s kick down to Bingham, who got in a first time shot from the right that was on target, and keeper Ingram parried for a corner.

Two minutes later, Rhead threaded Bingham through again, with just the keeper to beat, and the keeper deflected Bingham’s shot into the side-netting, for a corner.

From the resulting corner, the Stags were in front. The corner was taken by Murray from the right, Rhead powered a free header into the net. An incredible start from the Stags, 3 glorious chances inside the first 4 minutes, including one goal.

On 7 minutes, Bingham fed Beevers, whose cross from the left was blocked for a corner.

On 9 minutes, Marsden clipped a lovely ball in to Bingham, who finished well past the keeper, but the offside flag was up. Nevertheless promising finishing from Bingham. The Stags were rampant.

On 11 minutes, Evtimov came for a long ball forward from a free-kick, and spilled it, but the Stags were able to clear. Poor keeping from Evtimov. The ball was recycled and Pierre fired powerfully just wide and over.

The Stags came close again on 14 minutes. Murray’s corner from the right, was met by Rhead, unmarked again, and he powered a header goalwards but this time straight at the keeper.

On 17 minutes, Scowen teed up Hayes, who fired well wide.

On 19 minutes, Beevers headed down to Bingham, who sliced over the bar, left-footed. Another great chance. Five great chances, (including one goal) and a disallowed goal inside 19 minutes. Fabulous play from the Stags.

On 22 minutes, Scowen’s shot was blocked for a corner.

On 24 minutes, Beevers’ ball forward towards Bingham, but the keeper just cleared in time. On 26 minutes, Marsden was booked for fouling Jacobson, having been warned for an earlier foul. A minute later, a towering header away from Tafazolli from a Hayes free-kick.

It was 1-1 on 29 minutes. A shot from 25 yards from Paul Hayes struck Martin Riley on the left elbow just inside the box, and everyone in the stadium and on the pitch seemed amazed as the referee gave the penalty and yellow-carded Riley. It was innocuous. Hayes took the resulting penalty and just beat Evtimov into the bottom right corner. Cries of “cheat, cheat, cheat” from the Stags fans who were incensed. It was farcical that Wycombe were back on level terms, and in farcical circumstances.

The momentum shifted to the home side as the Stags were stunned.

On 31 minutes, Sutton slipped, Hayes got past him, crossed from the left, and Holloway skied over the bar from 4 yards. On 33 minutes, Murphy pulled the ball back from the byline, just behind Holloway.

On 36 minutes, there was no applause for the Stags, which had been mooted.

The Stags briefly rallied on 39 minutes as Murray took a corner from the right, and Tafazolli’s header across goal was cleared away.

On 41 minutes, Jombati crossed from the right, and Holloway just missed it at the far post. On 43 minutes, Jacobson’s free-kick from the left was headed over by Holloway.

As the players came off for half-time, Paul Cox complained to ref Darren Deadman about the controversial penalty awarded to Wycombe that changed the momentum of the game after the Stags were superb for 30 minutes and could have been 4 up.

Half time 1-1

A quiet start to the second half.

On 57 minutes, good play by Fergus Bell who got past his man, and his cross was deflected for a corner. The Stags had 3 consecutive corners. From the third corner, taken by Murray, Rhead headed down but it was cleared.

On 63 minutes, Murray’s corner from the right was fired with venom, and Rhead got the top of his head to it but couldn’t direct it on target.

On 65 minutes, Marsden played a ball forward, Rhead nodded down, and just as Bingham was about to shoot, it was put behind for a corner.

A minute later, Marsden’s long throw was headed on, and as Bingham was about to shoot, the ball was taken off his toe again. Wycombe broke to the other end, and Tafazolli put in a great block on Murphy’s shot to deflect it over the bar. On 68 minutes, a 30 yard shot from Scowen was straight at Evtimov.

On 71 minutes, Clements did well to win the ball in the centre circle, played a one-two with Rhead, pushed forward towards goal, but with Bingham on his right, Clements elected to go alone and lost the ball. He probably should have fed Bingham, but Bingham was perhaps not quick enough to get himself alongside Clements.

On 72 minutes, a dangerous corner from the Stags was cleared after headers from Rhead and Sutton. Two minutes later Bingham did well to win the ball on the right, but wasted his cross straight at the keeper.

The Stags were right back on top, having won 13 corners to Wycombe’s 2.

But a sucker punch on 77 minutes, as Wycombe took the lead completely against the run of play. Evtimov lost the ball and looked to be fouled - from the match DVD it’s arguable whether he had both hands on the ball as it was taken away from him - Wycombe recycled the ball, Jacobson crossed from the left to the far post where Hayes nodded it back across goal and Murphy headed in from close range. Murphy took a knock from Riley’s boot in the process of scoring and there was a three minute delay before the game restarted, yet the inadequate referee was to only add four minutes injury at the end of the game.

On 80 minutes, before the game restarted, Palmer replaced Bell. Then on 85 minutes, Beevers limped off, having taken a knock, and Taylor replaced him.

On 85 minutes, a Stags free-kick was headed on by Rhead, and Murray pulled the ball back from the byline, it clearly hit the hand of a Wycombe defender, right on front of the Stags fans, but no penalty was given. It was in my opinion, not a penalty, but was probably more of a penalty than the one given in the first half. Bizarrely the two seconds where it hits the hand of the Wycombe defender are missing on the match DVD, the only seconds missing in the match. Just a coincidence I hope.

From the resulting corner, Rhead headed towards the top corner and a defender headed off the line. From the resulting corner, Taylor knocked the ball back in, Rhead headed across, and it was turned away for another corner.

From that resulting corner, a great chance for Riley, who headed wide.

On 88 minutes, Clements blocked a shot and then Evtimov made a good save from Wood.

On 89 minutes, Palmer went down on the edge of the area, and the referee gave the free-kick the other way. The Stags fans chanted “cheat, cheat, cheat” at the referee again.

On 90+2, Clements got lucky when he lost the ball but the referee awarded him a free-kick, which it probably wasn’t. Cox booted a water bottle away and was sent to the stand by the referee. Cox was applauded by at least half of the travelling Stags fans.

On 90+3, Taylor was booked as he took one for the team, after Marsden gave the ball away.

The final whistle brought a standing ovation from the travelling Stags fans, while Sutton was booked after the final whistle, for something said to the referee.

Man of the match: Ryan Tafazolli

Report by: Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Adams Park

Line Up:
Evtimov 6 Looked nervous under the high ball and came for one cross that he didn’t get, although had few shots to save. Nearly saved the penalty.
Sutton 7 Defended well. One mistake when he slipped allowing a ball in and a shot over the bar.
Riley 7 Unlucky to concede the penalty. Some good blocks and defended well. Missed a good chance with a header when unmarked.
Tafazolli 7.5 Several towering clearances, and looked composed.
Marsden 6 Got caught out of position a couple of times.
Beevers 6 Did ok. Limped off near the end.
Murray 7 Won lots of balls. Some very good set pieces. Did give the ball away a couple of times.
Clements 6.5 Anonymous in the first half; improved in the second.
Bell 7 Linked well with Bingham in the first half, but game passed him by in the second half and was subbed.
Bingham 7.5 Could have had three or four goals, but thwarted by the goalkeeper. Marked very tightly in the second half to keep him quieter.
Rhead 7 Won everything in the air and took his goal well, and could have had another minutes later when his powerful header was straight at the keeper.
Sub Line Up:
Palmer (for Bell, 80) -
Taylor (for Beevers, 85) -
Sub not used: Studer, McGuire, Thomas, Heslop, Fisher.
Opposition Line Up:
Ingram, Jombati, Mawson, Pierre, Jacobson, Rowe, Murphy (Bloomfield 78), Scowen (Lewis 76), Wood, Holloway (McClure 45), Hayes. Subs not used: Richardson, Walker, Kretzschmar.
Darren Deadman 5 Poor throughout. Awarded Wycombe a penalty that took everyone in the stadium by surprise. The Stags had a better shout for a penalty late on that was ignored.

Season 14/15 Reports