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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Shrewsbury Town  
2 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Grant 59, Collins 75
 
 McGuire sent off 30
Attendance: 5001 (356 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 15 November 2014

STAGS PUMMELLED BY SHREWS AFTER McGUIRE STUPID SENDING-OFF

Martin Shaw at the New Meadow (also known as Greenhous Meadow)

Mansfield Town were well beaten by a rampant Shrewsbury Town side who pummelled the Stags for an hour after the irresponsible sending-off of Jamie McGuire on 30 minutes. The ten-man Stags were over-run as Shrewsbury totally dominated, and the Stags were barely able to get out of their own half. Shrewsbury scored twice, through a blockbuster from Bobby Grant from the edge of the box on 59 minutes, and then James Collins sweeping in from inside the six-yard box on 75 minutes. It could have been more goals for the Shrews but for a resolute defensive display from the Stags with the returning Ryan Tafazolli, debutante Luke Waterfall, and Martin Riley impressing, and Sascha Studer pulling off two excellent saves. The Stags had done alright in the opening half hour with Shrewsbury having just one chance from within the area, while the Stags created a decent chance with good play between Clements and Murray and Murray’s shot was blocked. But the game was to change with two yellows in three minutes for McGuire. For the first yellow card, McGuire fouled Liam Lawrence, Lawrence retaliated and both players were booked. The referee gave the free-kick to the Stags. As the referee decided it wasn’t a foul by McGuire, then McGuire shouldn’t have been booked in my opinion. Just two minutes later, the second yellow card for McGuire was stupid. My initial view of the incident was not clear, but review of the DVD shows that he lost control of the ball and pulled Collins to the ground with his arm around his neck. Yellow card was the correct decision. So, whilst McGuire might have been a bit unlucky with the first yellow card, he was stupid to get booked so soon afterwards. His irresponsible action cost the Stags the chance of getting something from the game in my opinion. UPDATE: on further review of the DVD, Lawrence should have got a second yellow on 49 minutes for deliberately bringing down Palmer. What a difference it could have made if it had been 10 v 10. So, more disappointment for the Stags, no wins in 8 games now. Pressure continues to mount on boss Paul Cox. The Stags are now 9 points behind the play-offs, and 7 points above the relegation zone. Shrewsbury are second and far and away the best team I have seen in League Two this season. They have now won 8 and drawn 1 of their 9 home league games, as well as beating Norwich and Blackpool at the New Meadow and giving Chelsea a good run for their money in the Capital One Cup. They have spent well and in players like Liam Lawrence have enough quality to get automatic promotion.

Today was the first time the Stags have come up against Liam Lawrence since he left after the play-off final at Cardiff in 2004. He was given a great reception by the Stags fans, put in a fine performance running the midfield, and at the end of the game came over to the Stags fans and gave his shirt to one of the fans.

This was the Stags' second visit to the New Meadow ground, the first being in the season we were relegated. Comically, the Stags team bus drove to Gay Meadow instead of the New Meadow, but still arrived plenty early enough at the new ground. Shrewsbury hadn't beaten the Stags in the previous 8 meetings but after the first half hour that record was never going to continue.

Paul Cox made five changes from the team that lost to Southend two weeks ago: Luke Waterfall came in for his debut, Tafazolli, Freeman and Rhead returned from injury, and Clements stepped up from the bench also following injury. Out went Sendles-White, Marsden, Taylor, Bingham and Oliver. It was a 3-2-3-2 formation: with Riley on the right, Waterfall in the middle and Tafazolli on the left of the back three; Freeman at right wing-back and Beevers at left wing-back; Clements, McGuire and Murray in a central midfield three; and Rhead and Carr up front. Shrewsbury also had three at the back. On the bench for Shrewsbury was Anthony Griffith who was on trial at Field Mill in the summer. Both teams had Swiss goalkeepers.

On 3 minutes, Grant tried a pot shot from 25 yards, well wide of the left post. A minute later, Grant tried again from a similar distance and this one was well over the bar. On 6 minutes, a bad touch by Tafazolli allowed Shrewsbury to break on the left and Akpa Akpro’s shot deflected past the left post. From the resulting corner, Tafazolli headed away. On 16 minutes, a Liam Lawrence free kick was headed across goal and Riley put in a good clearance. Some Stags fans behind the goal chanted “there’s only one Liam Lawrence”.

On 24 minutes, a chance for the Stags following good play from Clements, Freeman and Murray and Murray’s shot was blocked by Knight-Percival.

The game sparked into life with controversy on 27 minutes. McGuire fouled Liam Lawrence, Lawrence retaliated and both players were booked. The referee spoke to both officials before deciding what to do. The referee gave the free-kick to the Stags. As the referee decided it wasn’t a foul by McGuire, then McGuire shouldn’t have been booked in my opinion. On 30 minutes, a second yellow card for McGuire which was stupid. My initial view of the incident was not clear, but review of the DVD shows that he lost control of the ball and pulled Collins to the ground with his arm around his neck. Yellow card was the correct decision. So, whilst McGuire might have been a bit unlucky with the first yellow card, he was stupid to get booked so soon afterwards.

On 32 minutes, a cross from Grant from the right and Tafazolli headed behind for a corner. On 35 minutes, Lawrence crossed from the right and Akpa Akpro headed over. A minute later, Grimmer got to the byline, pulled the ball back to Collins who side-footed wide from a great position.

Palmer replaced Rhead on 39 minutes in a tactical change.

On 40 minutes, Freeman was booked for a totally innocuous foul.

On 41 minutes, Collins volleyed from outside the area straight at Studer.

A chance for the Stags came on 42 minutes as Murray dinked a ball forward for Carr who got into the box on the left and sent a left-footed shot goalwards which the keeper saved.

On 44 minutes, Lawrence chipped over the bar from the edge of the box. Straight to the other end and a Clements free kick was headed across goal by Waterfall but Shrewsbury cleared.

On 45+1, Clements was booked in another innocuous incident.

A good half defensively from the Stags with Tafazolli making several headed clearances after an uncharacteristic early error. The Stags had a couple of chances, but the stupid sending-off of McGuire meant that the Stags would have it all to do in the second half to get anything from the game.

Half time 0-0

On 46 minutes, Riley went down holding his face. The referee gave a free-kick to the Stags but didn’t even have a word with the Shrewsbury offender Akpa Akpro.

On 48 minutes, Studer punched away a Lawrence corner as far as Demetriou who sent a thunderbolt from 30 yards over the bar.

A minute later, Palmer had a chance of a run at goal and was brought down by Lawrence. The referee gave a foul but ridiculously did not produce a card. What a difference it could have made to the rest of the game if Lawrence had got booked, which would have been a second yellow.

On 51 minutes, Shrewsbury created a chance from a Stags corner. The Stags corner was cleared, Shrewsbury broke quickly and Akpa Akpro shot from the edge of the box and Studer brilliantly tipped it over the bar. A minute later, Grant headed wide from Lawrence’s deep cross. On 55 minutes, Waterfall headed the ball away to Lawrence who sent a left footed shot goalwards and Waterfall again got his head in the way.

On 56 minutes, Grant’s long range shot was blocked by Waterfall, and seconds later Grant poleaxed Freeman with a terrible challenge but only received a yellow card.

Shrewsbury were totally dominating and it was no surprise when they took the lead on 59 minutes. Grimmer cut past Beevers on the right, pulled the ball back to Grant who blasted a thunderbolt just under the bar from 12 yards giving Studer no chance.

Before play restarted, Bingham replaced Carr. The Stags switched to a 4-4-1 formation with Riley at right back, Beevers at left back, Bingham on the right and Freeman on the left of midfield, and Palmer up front on his own.

On 62 minutes, Riley put in a crucial tackle on Grant with Collins unmarked in space. A minute later, Collins turned in the area and his shot was blocked by Tafazolli. On 68 minutes, from a short throw, Grant sent a volley over Studer’s bar. Chants of “Cox out” and “stand up if you want Cox out” broke out from a group of Stags fans.

On 73 minutes, Grimmer crossed from the right, Akpa Akpro headed back and Collins volleyed wide.

It was 2-0 to Shrewsbury on 75 minutes. A Grant corner was looped high into the area, Grandison headed the ball down and Collins turned and swept in from inside the 6 yard box.

Shrewsbury had the ball in the net again on 78 minutes but the whistle had already gone for a foul on Freeman as the ball was crossed into the middle and then headed in. On 85 minutes, a shot from Wesolowski was blocked by Tafazolli for a corner. On 87 minutes, a great tackle by Riley as a square ball was played into Collins in the area. A minute later, Grimmer fired into the side-netting from a tight angle. Then, a minute after that, a fine save from Studer from a pile driver from Collins from the edge of the box. On 90 minutes, a Lawrence free kick from 20 yards was wide of the right post.

The Stags should have pulled a goal back a minute into stoppage time as Palmer picked up a loose ball and broke into the area but his shot was palmed away by the keeper. From the resulting corner, Shrewsbury headed away from underneath their own bar for another corner, from which Waterfall got in a header but couldn’t direct it on target.

On 90+3, a low shot from Clark and Studer saved low to his right.

The Stags well beaten. Without the sending-off, and 11 v 11 though, the Stags could certainly have got something from the game based on what happened in the opening half hour. It was McGuire’s second sending off for Mansfield, a year to the weekend after his first red card against Oxford which also cost the Stags the chance of getting something from the game. Paul Cox remains under pressure. People have asked me whether I think there should be a change in the manager at this stage. My opinion is no. But it’s a results business and results need to improve. If we find ourselves in the relegation zone in early January, then I'd be inclined to think we need to make a change in the manager.

Man of the match: Ryan Tafazolli


Report by: Martin Shaw



Line Up:
Studer 8 Two great saves, some good handling. No chance with the goals.
Riley 8 Very good game, with some great tackles and clearances, under considerable pressure.
Waterfall 7 Decent debut, under a lot of pressure from Shrewsbury.
Tafazolli 8 Back into the side from injury and after an early mistake, played very well, with numerous headed clearances.
Freeman 6 Did ok.
Beevers 5 Beaten in the build-up to the first goal. If he’s going to play, he has to play on the right in my opinion (Freeman on the left).
Clements 5 Didn’t make any mark on the game.
McGuire 4 Irresponsible sending-off cost the Stags any realistic chance of getting something from the game.
Murray 6 The pick of a poor midfield.
Rhead 5.5 Saw very little of the ball.
Carr 5.5 One chance to score brought a save from the keeper.
Sub Line Up:
Palmer (for Rhead, 39) 6 Caused the home defence a couple of problems, being brought down and having a shot saved.
Bingham (for Carr, 60) - Barely saw the ball.
Sub not used: Marsden, Sendles-White, Bell, Lambe, Oliver.
Opposition Line Up:
Jayson Leutwiler, Jermaine Grandison, Mickey Demetriou, Connor Goldson, Jack Grimmer, Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Liam Lawrence, James Wesolowski, James Collins, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (Scott Vernon 82), Bobby Grant (Jordan Clark 78). Subs not used: Aaron Wildig, Anthony Griffith, Ashley Vincent, Mark Ellis, Mark Halstead.
Referee:
Darren Handley 5 Got the second yellow for McGuire right, but got most other things wrong, including booking for Clements and Freeman for innocuous incidents.


Season 14/15 Reports