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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
York City  
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
De Girolamo 20.
 Carr 62
Attendance: 3370 (579 from Mansfield)
Date: 25 October 2014


Martin Shaw at Bootham Crescent

Mansfield Town and York City played out an entertaining draw at Bootham Crescent this afternoon. The Stags began brightly and created more excitement in the opening 15 minutes than in the entire game at Tranmere on Tuesday. Rakish Bingham had two efforts at goal in the opening 5 minutes and then on 15 minutes the Stags were within a whisker of a deserved lead as a great ball from McGuire put Bingham away on the right, he made progress into the area and fired across goal with debut loan striker Vadaine Oliver just missing it at the far post. But the Stags gifted York a lead out of the blue on 20 minutes as Sascha Studer’s terrible clearance found Penn who crossed to De Girolamo, who turned and mishit a soft shot under Studer. Poor from Studer. The goal changed the momentum of the game and York had the better of the rest of the half as Lindon Meikle played very well against his former team. The Stags came out strongly in the second half and were unlucky on 57 minutes when Rob Taylor’s drive from the edge of the box struck the post on 57 minutes after good work by McGuire. But the deserved equaliser came on 62 minutes as Murray’s cross was headed back by Vadaine Oliver to Danny Carr, who fired home left footed on the volley from 8 yards, for his first Stags goal, in his first start for the club. Studer partially redeemed himself with a terrific save from De Girolamo in a 1-on-1 on 66 minutes, and Coulson also went close when his deflected shot went just wide, and Studer also made a good low save from a Coulson free kick. But it was the Stags who had the better of the last 20 minutes and were pushing for the winner with York penned back in their own half. Despite a number of chances the winner wouldn’t come though and the Stags were left frustrated at the final whistle. Overall a pretty good performance from the Stags who would have deserved victory if they could have forced it. The four man defence generally coped well although Beevers was given a bit of a runaround by Meikle in the first half but recovered well in the second. Good performances throughout the team but it was Bingham, and new boys Oliver and Carr, that caught the eye the most and caused York plenty of headaches.

So a fourth successive draw for Mansfield who are four points behind the play-offs and eight points above the relegation zone. But this was much better offensively than the Tranmere and Cambridge games.

Adam Murray told me after the game that the Stags were playing into the wind in the first half and found that difficult, but that it dropped in the second half, as the Stags took a grip of the game.

The Stags were without Dempster, Tafazolli, Jones, Hearn, Rhead, Freeman, Fisher, Heslop (after playing through pain with two injections against Tranmere), and Riley (suffering a back spasm, but should be fit for next week) through injury. Clements and Palmer were returning from injury and not 100% ready but named on the bench. Murray returned from suspension. Danny Carr made his first start on loan from Huddersfield, and Vadaine Oliver made his debut on loan from Crewe Alexandra (he has played against the Stags before for Lincoln). The Stags therefore had four loanees in the squad (you are allowed five in any 18 man squad, and allowed twelve during a season). With Riley’s injury, the Stags switched from three central defenders to a 4-4-2 formation for the first time at the start of a game this season. Marsden returned to the side at right back, Beevers was at left back. Carr and Taylor were on the right and left of midfield as conventional wingers, Murray joined McGuire in central midfield, and Oliver and Bingham were up front. At the start of the second half, Carr and Bingham switched places. In total there were five changes from the side at Tranmere (four of them enforced).

York included former Stags John McCombe and Lindon Meikle. Meikle had told the York press during the week that he was fired up to perform well: “I don’t really know if I’m out to prove a point to him (Cox), but there were a lot of people that doubted me at Mansfield, including a lot of the fans. Football’s all about proving people wrong and that’s how I like to live my life.” For the second game running, the Stags were coming up against a team with a new manager (Russ Wilcox, who led Scunthorpe to 28 games unbeaten and promotion last season), and thus had to contend with players extra fired-up to impress their new manager.

Inside the first 90 seconds, there was a worry for the Stags as Sutton went down under a heavy challenge from Brunt. He had to leave the pitch a few minutes later with blood on his face. The Stags could ill afford to lose another centre half and there was relief as he was able to continue.

On 4 minutes, a Murray free-kick from the half-way line was headed across goal by Beevers, and Bingham headed straight at the keeper from 8 yards. A minute later, a good run down the left by Taylor who squared to Bingham, Bingham took a couple of touches to create a yard for himself and sent a left-footed shot wide of the left post. On 6 minutes, a 35 yard shot from York was straight at Studer. A minute later, Coulson’s free kick from 25 yards was wide of the right post. On 10 minutes, a lucky ricochet off the referee gave McGuire a shooting chance from 25 yards but he sent a poor shot wide.

Sutton was in the wars again on 12 minutes as he went down off the ball. It wasn’t seen by the officials but I think he got a biff in the face. The match DVD later showed that Brunt had elbowed Sutton in the face, not seen by the referee. Two days later, with Sutton still in pain, it turned out that Sutton had suffered a fractured jaw and would be out for 4-6 weeks.

The Stags were within a whisker of a lead on 15 minutes. A good ball forward from McGuire along the turf to Bingham on the right, Bingham pushed forward to the edge of the area, created a yard of space for himself and fired across goal and just wide of the left post. Oliver slid in at the left post and just missed it.

But the Stags’ positive opening was undone on 20 minutes with a dreadful goal to concede. Sascha Studer’s terrible clearance found Penn who crossed to De Girolamo, who turned and mishit a soft shot under Studer. Poor from Studer.

On 24 minutes, another very poor Studer clearance which was this time not punished. On 28 minutes, Meikle crossed from the right, to the left post where Studer got there just before Coulson. Another great touch by Meikle on 31 minutes as he did really well to keep the ball in play and he was now getting the better of Beevers every time.

A great tackle from Marsden on 34 minutes as a York player was just about to pull the trigger on the edge of the box. A minute later, Coulson fired high and wide following a throw-in. On 42 minutes, a good tackle from Sutton as De Girolamo broke forward. The Stags might have had a penalty on 43 minutes as Taylor played a ball into the box and McCombe clearly had both arms around Bingham but the referee took no notice.

So a pretty even first half but the teams were separated by a very poor goal to concede with a poor clearance from Studer and then a soft shot past him. Meikle had a good half for York looking lively against Beevers and clearly with a point to prove.

Half time 1-0

At the start of the second half, Carr and Bingham switched places, Carr going up front and Bingham moving to the right.

On 46 minutes, De Girolamo sent in a left-footed shot low from the edge of the box and Studer saved low to his right. The Stags were awarded a soft free-kick inside the D in a central position on 48 minutes but Taylor sent the free kick straight into the wall. On 52 minutes, a Marsden long throw came back out to McGuire who volleyed over the stand.

The Stags were having most of the possession but Marsden and Beevers both put some poor crossed into the middle.

On 56 minutes, Coulson crossed from the left and Brunt headed well wide. Moments later, another dreadful clearance from Studer which he got away with.

The Stags were desperately unlucky on 57 minutes. McGuire rode one challenge and set up Taylor for a shot from the edge of the box which crashed against the left post. On 59 minutes, Meikle mishit a shot wide of the right post.

The Stags were deservedly level on 62 minutes. Murray’s cross was headed back by Vadaine Oliver to Danny Carr, who fired home left footed on the volley from 8 yards, for his first Stags goal, in his first start for the club.

On 64 minutes, a great run down the right by Bingham but he mis-hit his cross. Straight to the other end and a very good tackle from Marsden half-way inside his own half on Coulson.

Studer made a great save on 66 minutes to partially redeem himself. Coulson played De Girolamo into the box. He was one-on-one with Studer, and Studer made a great save one-handed to his right.

On 67 minutes, a good move forward involving Bingham and Carr, the ball came back to Murray whose shot from 25 yards was saved. On 69 minutes, a good ball from Murray down the left and Carr did well to win a corner. Murray took the resulting corner which Oliver headed over. On 70 minutes, a chance for York came as Coulson’s shot deflected off a Stags defender and went inches wide of the left post. Sutton did well to clear the resulting corner.

On 75 minutes, Marsden’s long throw from the right came to Carr on the left inside the area and Carr dinked a shot just wide of the right post with the keeper at full stretch. So close.

Meikle was replaced on 75 minutes, having been anonymous in the second half after his impressive first half.

On 76 minutes, De Girolamo ran towards goal and was brought down by Sendles-White on the edge of the D. It earned Sendles-White the first yellow card of the game. Coulson sent in a low shot from the resulting free-kick and Studer made a good save to his right.

On 78 minutes, Carr crossed from the right and Oliver claimed he was impeded in the box but it didn’t look like a foul to me. On 80 minutes, Bingham squared to Taylor whose shot from a distance was deflected for a corner.

Palmer replaced Oliver on 82 minutes. Oliver was starting to look tired and came off to good applause from the Stags fans.

On 85 minutes, great play from Bingham who made progress to the edge of the box on the right and curled the shot goalwards which the keeper pushed away for a corner. A minute later, Sutton played a ball forward for Carr who couldn’t quite control the ball on the edge of the box. On 88 minutes, Marsden’s long throw fell for Carr who turned and fired wide of the right post. A good effort from Carr.

The Stags were showing considerable urgency and pressing hard for a winner.

On 89 minutes, a good run by Palmer down the left and his cross just evaded Bingham. A minute later, a good interception by McGuire to set up an attack from which the Stags won a free kick 35 yards out on the right but that came to nothing. Moments later, Bingham did well to get to the edge of the area and his shot was blocked. Then a shot from Taylor was saved. The final chance for the Stags came on 90+3 minutes as Taylor showed great skill on the left and his cross found Murray on the right who sent a piledriver wide of the left post. I noticed that McGuire dropped to his knees in frustration as it whizzed wide.

Frustration for the Stags came at the final whistle at not having been able to force a victory.

A comment on the relative merits of today’s 4-4-2 formation versus the 3-2-2-1-2 formation employed previously this season. I thought we played well for the first 15 minutes and the second half offensively today with the 4-4-2 formation. But I thought we played well offensively in a 3-2-2-1-2 formation in the away games at Exeter, Wycombe and Portsmouth. There are pros and cons of the two formations. A con of today's formation is it may be difficult to squeeze Bell into the team. A pro of today’s formation was that there were better options for Murray and McGuire to play the ball out wide, rather than have to find a ball directly forward. My view is that the improved performance today compared to Tuesday at Tranmere was not so much down to the formation, but that the players played better. Barring more injuries, I would guess that Cox will give this formation another go next week. I would.

Man of the match: Rakish Bingham

Report by: Martin Shaw at Bootham Crescent

Line Up:
Studer 5.5 A personal disaster with the first goal. Several terrible kicks. Made one great save and two good saves to partially redeem himself.
Marsden 7 Good game on his return to the side. Some very good tackles. Long throws created danger. One or two poor crosses.
Sutton 7 Solid. Some good clearances and tackles.
Sendles-White 6.5 Not his best game and one mistimed tackle earned a yellow card. But no other errors.
Beevers 6 Had a tough time against the inspired Meikle in the first half but recovered well. One or two poor crosses.
Carr 8 Quiet first half but excellent second half, scoring and going close with two other efforts.
McGuire 7 Good game. Good play to set up Taylor for the shot against the post and some other good passes.
Murray 7 Good game. Could have been the last minute hero but sent a piledriver wide.
Taylor 7 Very unlucky to shoot against the post. Some good crosses.
Bingham 8 Plenty of great play going forward and could have scored on several occasions.
Oliver 7 Promising debut. Looked good in the air.
Sub Line Up:
Palmer (for Oliver, 82) - Back from injury earlier than expected, though not fully match fit.
Sub not used: Evtimov, Bell, Lambe, Thomas, Clements.
Opposition Line Up:
Cisak; McCoy, Lowe, McCombe, Ilesanmi; Meikle (Straker, 75), Montrose (Platt, 73), Penn, Coulson; Brunt, De Girolamo. Subs not used: Mooney, Parslow, Summefield, Hirst, Cameron Murray.
Graham Salisbury 5 Poor game.

Season 14/15 Reports