{ match reports }
 
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
The FA Cup - Round Two replay
Mansfield Town  
0 - 1
 Cambridge United
 
 Kaikai 10
Attendance: 1920 (305 from Cambridge)
 
Date: 16 December 2014

STAGS OUT OF THE FA CUP

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town were knocked out of the FA Cup by Cambridge on Tuesday evening. The Stags were unfortunate to lose. Cambridge’s goal was a complete fluke, as Sullay Kaikai’s soft shot deflected first off Luke Waterfall and then off Ryan Tafazolli to wrong-foot the unfortunate Sascha Studer after 10 minutes. The Stags were unlucky not to equalise at the end of the first half when Chris Clements’ shot from the edge of the box was heading for the corner of the net before it hit a defender and went agonisingly the wrong side of the post. The second half was entertaining as Mansfield pushed Cambridge further and further back creating numerous chances but failing to take any of them. Youth team striker Dan Fletcher came on for his debut on 81 minutes and nearly scored with his first touch, a shot that was blocked. There was huge controversy on 89 minutes as Luke Waterfall hooked the ball into the net after Tafazolli headed on a Clements’ cross. The linesman flagged for offside. In real time it did not look offside. Review of the DVD is inconclusive because of the camera angle but it looks to me like Waterfall was level with the last defender as Tafazolli headed the ball on and the Stags can consider themselves unlucky. No doubt in my mind that the Stags deserved to take the game into extra-time at the very least, but the Stags weren’t sharp enough in front of goal, and at the crucial moments did not have the rub of the green. Some of the Stags defending was also a bit sloppy at times. The Stags can concentrate on the league now, and will have a free day on January 3rd as Cambridge will take on Luton in the FA Cup 3rd round. On to AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, and the Stags need to start pulling away from the lower reaches of the table.

POST-MATCH NOTE: Waterfall was given offside for the disallowed goal because the goalkeeper was out of his goal and hence there was only one player between Waterfall and the goal-line.

Adam Murray made five changes from the side that drew with Cheltenham, three of them enforced. Studer replaced Evtimov in goal, Studer was fit to return after being rested with his leg injury, Evtimov was not allowed to play in the FA Cup. Beevers replaced Freeman at left back, Freeman also was not allowed to play. Taylor came in for Brown, the third loan player not allowed to play. Finally Bingham and Palmer replaced Lambe and Bell. It was a 4-4-2 formation with Bingham in right midfield, and Oliver and Palmer up front. For Cambridge, Ian Miller was back from injury from the side that played ten days ago. Miller was the player who lifted the FA Trophy for Darlington against Mansfield at Wembley. Former Stags loanee Greg Taylor was again at left back. Tom Naylor was on the bench, and came on near the end.

The Stags made a positive start in the opening minute. After just 10 seconds Palmer was nearly through on goal after a defensive error. Then after 35 seconds, good play by Bingham who got onto the left hand side, and crossed left-footed, floated beautifully for Oliver who headed powerfully straight at keeper Dunn from just 3 yards out. A yard either side and it would have been in.

On 4 minutes, a Cambridge throw flicked off Tafazolli’s head into the Stags area, Waterfall tried to shepherd it back to Studer who came out, but Studer didn’t get there, and Luke Chadwick nicked the ball away from him, but had to go too wide and his cross was put behind for a corner. Indecision between Waterfall and Studer and both players were at fault. It highlights the importance of having a settled back line and goalkeeper who can get used to playing with each other.

From that corner, a shot from Tom Champion from the edge of the box was blocked by Beevers.

On 9 minutes, a great ball forward from Heslop which Bingham tried to get on the end of, but the keeper just got there first.

Cambridge took the lead after 10 minutes and the goal was a complete fluke. A high ball forward from Chadwick was headed down by Appiah, who lost his marker Tafazolli, to Sullay Kaikai whose soft shot from just outside the box deflected first off Luke Waterfall and then off Ryan Tafazolli to wrong-foot the unfortunate Sascha Studer.

On 12 minutes, a good chance for the Stags as Rob Taylor crossed from the left, Palmer did well head back perfectly into the path of Oliver, who had a free header and headed wide of the right post. Great play from Taylor and Palmer, but Oliver should have got his header on target.

On 18 minutes, Taylor squared for Bingham, on the edge of the box, but he shot low tamely at the keeper. At the other end on 23 minutes, the dangerous Appiah had a volley blocked by Tafazolli following a cross from the left from Blair.

A site of goal for Bingham on 24 minutes as the ball bobbled around in the Cambridge box and Bingham should have pulled the trigger but just dallied for a second and didn’t hit it first time, and his shot was blocked for a corner. Disappointing because Bingham has quick feet and taking a shot quickly should be a strength for him.

On 27 minutes, Bingham found Oliver 25 yards out, but he scuffed his shot wide. He was entitled to try a shot from there after his wonderful goal on Saturday.

Sutton was booked for a late challenge on Matty Blair on 29 minutes.

On 30 minutes, a quick free kick forward from Clements, Taylor chested down and shot wide from a tight angle. A minute later, a quick break from Clements, to the edge of the area, and he fed Palmer whose shot was deflected wide. On 32 minutes, Taylor got into the area and seemed to get a nudge but didn’t go down, then did go down looking for a penalty but there was no foul. If he’d gone down the first time, he might have got a penalty.

On 35 minutes, a great run down the right by Palmer, who beat two men in the process, but he couldn’t find Oliver with his pass.

On 39 minutes, a dreadful error by Heslop who was trying to dribble the ball 25 yards from his own goal, and was robbed by Appiah. Surprisingly Appiah didn’t pull the trigger straight away when he had a chance, and eventually a shot from Blair was blocked. The Stags are in general trying to play the ball too much in the final 25-30 yards of their own goal. That’s just asking for trouble. We need to play the ball in the right areas. Heslop here didn’t learn his lesson from gifting Cambridge the first goal in the original tie.

On 42 minutes, a Taylor ball forwards to Palmer, who did well to flick on towards Oliver in the box. Oliver swung a leg at it from 12 yards out but missed and went down but there was no foul.

On 45 minutes, a Cambridge corner from the left. Studer came out for it and didn’t get anywhere near it, but the Stags were able to clear. Disappointing from Studer; if you come, you have to get there.

The Stags were desperately unlucky not to equalise on 45+1 minutes when Oliver did well to knock the ball back for Chris Clements who shot from the edge of the box and it was heading for the right corner of the net before it hit a defender and went agonisingly the wrong side of the post.

A first half full of defensive errors from both sides.

Half time 0-1

At the start of the second half it was now raining, and continued to rain throughout the half.

On 48 minutes, good play by Taylor, as he beat his man on the left and crossed for Palmer who headed over.

Waterfall was booked on 51 minutes for a foul on Kaikai. It seemed that Kaikai has already fouled Waterfall but the referee missed that. Later on, Waterfall was fortunate though that the referee missed a clear foul that could have seen a second yellow for the Stags defender.

A mistake by Tafazolli on 53 minutes, dilly-dallying heading towards his own byline, allowed Kaikai to nick the ball off him and Appiah to get along the byline, and he flicked goalwards but Studer made a fine save with his legs to put it behind for a corner. From the resulting corner, Clements cleared off the line.

On 55 minutes Oliver went down in the area. It didn’t look like a penalty to me but Oliver was furious.

Lambe replaced Palmer on 55 minutes. Bingham went up front with Oliver, as Lambe replaced Bingham on the right wing.

On 56 minutes Taylor showed great skill in a circling run to get to the byline on the left and his cross was put behind for a corner. Then Lambe went on a good run, and crossed but Bingham couldn’t get in a shot.

On 60 minutes, Ryan Bird got the ball onto his right foot and sent in a piledriver which was well-saved by Studer.

A good run from Bingham on 62 minutes, but it didn’t come to anything.

On 64 minutes, Heslop shot weakly wide of the left post from 20 yards.

On 67 minutes, Clements played a great ball forward to Lambe, who showed a terrific first touch, and sent a left footed shot just wide of the right post. A minute later, Clements’ corner from the left appeared to present a free header for Waterfall but strangely he went for it with his boot instead and didn’t make a good connection.

Rhead replaced Oliver on 69 minutes.

On 74 minutes, a good run from Lambe whose shot was blocked, it came back to Rhead who fired well over.

Beevers was booked for a late challenge on 78 minutes.

On 80 minutes, Waterfall headed wide from a Clements corner from the right.

Youth team striker Dan Fletcher came on for his debut on 81 minutes, replacing Beevers. It was now a 3-4-3 formation, with Fletcher, Bingham and Rhead up front, and Sutton, Waterfall and Tafazolli in defence.

Fletcher nearly had a goal within 10 seconds and with his first touch. Bingham got into the area and laid off to Fletcher who shot was blocked from close range. On 82 minutes, Fletcher squared for Bingham who shot deflected wide of the right post.

On 85 minutes, Lambe crossed but it was just slightly behind Fletcher who could only head it backwards. A minute later, Bingham got into the area but couldn’t get a shot away, then Sutton crossed from the right but Rhead could only head over as the cross was just too high for him.

There was huge controversy on 89 minutes as Luke Waterfall hooked the ball into the net after Tafazolli headed on a Clements’ cross. The linesman flagged for offside. In real time it did not look offside. Review of the DVD is inconclusive because of the camera angle but it looks to me like Waterfall was level with the last defender as Tafazolli headed the ball on and the Stags can consider themselves unlucky.

The Stags won a corner on 90+4 minutes, Studer initially came into the box for it, but was sent back to the halfway line. From the corner taken by Clements, Waterfall headed just over, and that was that.

Huge disappointment for Mansfield who laid siege to the Cambridge goal in the last 20 minutes, with Rhead and Fletcher impressing late on. But lady luck wasn’t on their side.

A word on the attendance. 400 fewer Stags fans than the first round tie against Concord at Field Mill. Almost certainly a product of the £17 entrance fee compared to £10 against Concord.

Man of the match: Rob Taylor


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



Line Up:
Studer 6 Unfortunate to be wrong-footed for the goal. Made two good saves, and made two mistakes.
Sutton 6.5 Defended solidly enough.
Waterfall 5.5 So unlucky not to be the late hero when his goal was disallowed. Looked a threat in the Cambridge box. But looked nervous at the back in the first half and involved in a bad mix-up with Studer.
Tafazolli 5.5 A couple of uncharacteristic errors at the back.
Beevers 6.5 Defended solidly.
Bingham 6 Got into some good positions but didn’t make the most of them. But needs a run in the team, not in and out, in my opinion.
Clements 7 Some good crosses and corners. Unlucky when his fine shot was deflected wide. Cleared one off the line.
Heslop 5 Too many hospital passes and poor balls. Also nearly another disastrous error at the back.
Taylor 7 Plenty of good play, with good runs and crosses and setting up chances.
Palmer 7 Decent first half including setting up a couple of chances for Oliver.
Oliver 6 Missed quite a few good chances. Good set-up for Clements’ shot.
Sub Line Up:
Lambe (for Palmer, 55) 7 Some good play including a few good runs and good balls.
Rhead (for Oliver, 69) - Impressed late on, winning headers and bringing others into play.
Fletcher (for Beevers, 81) - Nearly a dream debut. Impressive start for the youth teamer.
Subs not used: Bishop, Riley, Bell, McGuire.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2) Dunn; Tait, Coulson, Miller, Greg Taylor; Chadwick (Naylor 74), Champion, Hughes, Blair (Bird 58); Kaikai (B.J. Taylor 67), Appiah. Subs not used: Norris, Simpson, Nelson, Atkinson.
Referee:
Carl Boyeson 5 Not a good game. Had to rely on his linesman for the disallowed goal though.


Season 14/15 Reports