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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
 Hartlepool United
Brown 10.
 Duckworth 52
Attendance: 3357 (419 from Hartlepool)
Date: 26 December 2014


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

In a controversial game against bottom placed Hartlepool, Mansfield were denied victory after the Stags had taken an early lead through Junior Brown, by a deflected goal that wrong-footed Stags keeper Evtimov, and then by a header from Matt Rhead that appeared to have crossed the line but was not given as a goal by the officials. First half chances and possession were wasted by Mansfield, which was to prove costly with Hartlepool equalising early in the second in their best spell of the game. Then came Rhead’s header on 55 minutes which enraged the home crowd. The Stags were reduced were ten men for the second week running with Tafazolli stupidly picking up a second yellow card. It prevented Mansfield from putting Hartlepool under pressure for the next 15 minutes, but then Hartlepool were also reduced to ten men as Marlon Harewood was sent off after tangling on the floor with McGuire. Hartlepool were then reduced to nine men 5 minutes into stoppage time when Michael Woods picked up a second yellow card, but he should have picked up a second yellow card 10 minutes earlier. A disappointing result for Mansfield who really need to be beating the teams beneath them especially at home, with tough games at Bury and Burton as the next two matches. Sometimes you need the rub of the green though and the Stags certainly didn’t get it today with the deflected goal for Hartlepool and the controversial decision not to award the goal for Rhead’s header. Less than 48 hours until the Bury game. The Stags are seven points behind Bury and with a good performance can get something from the game. The Stags are eight points above the relegation zone.

Adam Murray made one change from the team that won with ten men at AFC Wimbledon. Reggie Lambe came in for Rob Taylor, who was suspended after the Stags did not appeal his red card. As at Wimbledon, it was a 3-2-2-1-2 formation, with three central defenders, Freeman and Brown as wing-backs, two central midfielders, and Reggie Lambe playing behind the front two of Oliver and Rhead. Hartlepool arrived at Field Mill as the bottom side in the Football League and the only side in League Two to have scored fewer goals than the Stags. Hartlepool turned out in a repulsive bright salmon and black kit.

On 4 minutes, Evtimov was out quickly to clear. There was a scare for Mansfield on 10 minutes as Duckworth went down in the box under a challenge from Brown but the referee waved play on.

The Stags were ahead on 10 minutes with a fine goal from Brown. Clements swept the ball from the right, out to Brown on the left wing. Brown cut inside, played a one-two with Oliver 25 yards from goal, burst into the box and slid a clinical finish from 16 yards under the keeper who got a touch on it but it still rolled into the net.

On 13 minutes, Ironside got past 3 Stags defenders on the left and rolled a shot wide of the right post. Poor defending from Mansfield.

On 14 minutes, Lambe did well to get past his defender on the right and put in a good cross to the unmarked Oliver in the middle who acrobatically sent a scissors kick over the bar from six yards.

On 16 minutes, Tafazolli was booked for taking out a player on the touchline. It was to become significant later.

On 17 minutes, Franks crossed from the left and Dan Jones headed over.

On 21 minutes, McGuire crossed from deep on the right, and Rhead headed over the angle of post and crossbar.

On 35 minutes, Lambe got to the byline on the right and his cross was met by Oliver beyond the far post but he could only head into the side-netting from an impossible angle.

On 37 minutes, Freeman crossed from the right to Rhead who back-heeled it and the ball was cleared. Rhead probably should have tried to shoot. A minute later, Brown got into the box and fed Rhead who couldn’t control it. Straight to the other end and Marlon Harewood shot well wide from distance. On 39 minutes, Freeman sent in a hanging cross from the right, and Rhead headed wide from 12 yards. On 41 minutes, keeper Flinders bowled the ball out of his area straight to Brown, who got the ball onto his right foot and shot well wide from 25 yards.

On 45+3 minutes, the first corner of the game, for Mansfield, taken by Clements from the right, and Rhead’s header was kicked off the line just inside the post.

The Stags deservedly in front at the break but hadn’t made enough of the possession in Hartlepool’s half and should have been further in front.

Half time 1-0

Hartlepool came out after half time full of intent with the Stags asleep. On 46 minutes, a good one-two between Woods and Harewood, and Woods fired just wide of the left post. Evtimov probably had it covered. Hartlepool won a free kick on the edge of the D in a central position, 22 yards from goal, and Jones fired it straight into the wall.

Hartlepool were pushing the Stags back and it wasn’t a surprise when the equaliser came, on 52 minutes, though it was lucky. Harewood chested down to Duckworth, whose weak shot deflected off Waterfall past the stranded Evtimov. Terrible luck for the Stags who have conceded deflected goals to Burton, Cambridge and now Hartlepool this season.

On 55 minutes, a great surging run from Lambe, and Freeman’s cross was tipped onto the roof of the net.

Huge controversy from the resulting corner by Clements from the right, Rhead headed goalwards, keeper Flinders scooped the ball up and it seemed to go over the line before being booted away by a defender. From our position, it looked clearly over the line. The match DVD is not definitive given the angle, and the pitchside video footage has players obscuring the ball, but we believe it was a certain goal. Hartlepool full-back Neil Austin, in a great position to see the ball, tellingly had his head in his hands in despair as the ball appeared to cross the line.

A minute later, a great break from Brown into the box from the left, and he fired a cross-shot which went wide of the right post and Oliver just missed it at the far post.

On 57 minutes, Hartlepool cross from the right was headed down and Ironside volleyed well wide. On 63 minutes, a great challenge by Waterfall to stop a cross coming on. On 66 minutes, Brown made a good run and his cross was headed wide by Rhead. A minute later, a free-kick from Clements from 32 yards was flicked on to Waterfall who sliced wide.

On 72 minutes, Tafazolli was sent off for a second yellow card for shirt-pulling. A clear yellow even if Tafazolli though Tafazolli might claim he’d already been fouled. Stupid from Tafazolli and put his team at a disadvantage.

Riley replaced the sacrificial Lambe. It was now a 3-2-2-2 formation with Riley into central defence and no attacking midfielder behind the front two. Then Bingham replaced Rhead and joined Oliver up front.

On 80 minutes, Brown crossed into Bingham who chested down but had the ball taken off his toe. At the other end, Franks turned onto his left foot and shot wide of the left post.

On 81 minutes, Waterfall’s ball forward, was flicked on by Oliver, Bingham took the ball forward and his shot was deflected wide. The inept officials unbelievably gave a goal-kick.

On 85 minutes, controversy as Michael Woods, who had already been booked, scythed down McGuire. A foul was given but unbelievably Woods escaped without a second yellow.

A minute later, Hartlepool were down to ten men as Harewood held down McGuire in the box and struck McGuire. The referee produced a straight red card. The incident is just out of shot on the match DVD. McGuire was also booked though it wasn’t clear why. The referee had lost control of the game.

On 90 minutes, from a Freeman cross, Oliver headed goalwards but it was saved under his own bar by the keeper. On 90+2, Oliver shot straight at the keeper from the edge of the area, off balance.

Hartlepool missed a golden chance on 90+3 minutes. A free-kick from the left dropped perfectly for Neil Austin two yards who fired over via a deflection. It should have been a corner, but a goal-kick was given.

Hartlepool were down to down to nine men on 90+5 minutes as Woods tripped Sutton and then wrestled McGuire to the ground in the Stags box after the whistle had gone for the foul. He should have been sent off earlier and there was no doubt he would go this time.

Waterfall was booked on 90+7.

The game ended in huge frustration for Mansfield and booing for the referee from both sets of fans.

Man of the match: Junior Brown

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

Line Up:
Evtimov 6 Didn’t have much to do and couldn’t be faulted for the goal. No mistakes.
Sutton 6 No mistakes. Defended ok.
Waterfall 6 One good challenge. Defended ok.
Tafazolli 5 Stupidly picked up a second yellow card.
Freeman 7 Got forward well with some good crosses.
Brown 8 Splendid goal. Caused Hartlepool problems every time he got near the box.
McGuire 6 Did ok.
Clements 6 A couple of good corners providing headers for Rhead.
Lambe 6 Some good runs.
Oliver 6 Some good moments and should have done better with the scissors kick.
Rhead 6 Didn’t have a great game from open play, but one header which should have been given as a goal and one header cleared off the line.
Sub Line Up:
Riley (for Lambe, 75) -
Bingham (for Rhead, 78) -
Subs not used: Studer, Beevers, Heslop, Bell, Palmer.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2) Flinders, Austin, Bates, Jones, Holden, Duckworth, Featherstone, Woods, Franks, Harewood, Ironside (Fenwick 78). Subs Not Used: Maxted, Lanzoni, Green, Walker, Schmeltz, Compton.
Scott Mathieson 4 Lost the game in the second half, with his assistants. On the positive side, on two occasions he did well to let play flow then brought play back for an earlier foul.

Season 14/15 Reports