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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Burton Albion  
2 - 1
 Mansfield Town
M.Palmer 8, Maynard 24.
 Lambe 51
Attendance: 3506 (1033 from Mansfield)
Date: 10 January 2015


Martin Shaw at the Pirelli Stadium

Mansfield Town were beaten 2-1 at high flying Burton Albion this afternoon. The Stags started with all five new signings made this week and with a total of seven changes from the side that lost meekly at Bury in the last game. The new-look Stags side started well and should have been ahead on 30 seconds when Reggie Lambe missed a glorious chance when clean through on goal, it was a chance that he really should have at least got on target. But poor defending allowed Burton to roar into a two goal lead. Firstly on 8 minutes Ritchie Sutton conceded an unnecessary free-kick with a push two yards outside the box on the left hand side. Matty Palmer’s free-kick was into a good area but took a deflection to beat new Stags keeper Adam Smith. Tough luck on the new keeper. Then on 24 minutes a Burton corner from the right sailed over Sutton allowing Kelvin Maynard a free header which he powered into the bottom right corner of the net. Slack marking punished ruthlessly. Stags new striker Billy Kee was through on goal after 28 minutes but could only fire at the keeper. 2-0 to Burton at the break and the Stags with a mountain to climb as a result of poor defending. Mansfield started the second half positively and were back in the game on 51 minutes as left back Callum Elder’s long throw was superbly headed on by a Raynes, towering above the home defence, and Reggie Lambe flicked in from 3 yards with his right boot. This gave the Stags renewed vigour and they took the game to Burton pinning them back for long periods but the deserved equaliser just wouldn’t come. The Stags ended the game with four strikers and Burton had to bring on an extra central defender as they clung on by their fingernails. No disgrace to lose to a Burton side that was winning its fifth home game on the trot, but mixed emotions of huge frustration at what might have been and large encouragement at what might come in future games as Adam Murray’s new side gels together. I certainly saw enough today that against worse sides than Burton this Stags side should be capable of picking up some wins and picking them up quickly. After the game Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admitted that his side was hanging on in the second half and that Mansfield will be a force if they continue to play as they did in the second half here. The Stags players got a good reception from the 900 or so travelling fans at the end. The Stags need points though and are now just an uncomfortable four points above the relegation zone. Next week’s game against an average Exeter side punching well above its weight and now without its best player in Matt Grimes who has gone to the Premier League for £1.7million, is huge. Come on Mansfield!

Stags boss Adam Murray promised he was going to be busy at the start of the transfer window and he was true to his word with 5 new players coming in (plus Junior Brown and Reggie Lambe staying to the end of the season) and with 5 going out (a full summary of the ins and outs plus how many loans have been used up is here: http://stagsnet.net/news/newsdetails.php?newsid=7898). Today Murray added that the ins AND outs have not finished, and specifically noted that he intends to bring in another striker, PLUS he would like to keep Vadaine Oliver (whose current loan runs out on January 19).

All five of the new signings came into the starting eleven. Adam Smith (on loan from Leicester) was in goal. Callum Elder (also on loan from Leicester) was at left back. Michael Raynes came in at centre half. Ricky Ravenhill came into central midfield. And Billy Kee (on loan from Scunthorpe) started up front. Billy Kee was of course playing against the club where he scored against Mansfield last season.

The rest of the side saw Sutton at right back, Riley at centre half and as captain. Lambe and Brown were on the right and left of midfield, with Clements in the middle. Vadaine Oliver was up front alongside Kee. There was no Ryan Tafazolli on the bench. I had a long chat with Tafazolli before the game who told me he was not in the squad today because of a virus, and I could see that he had been unwell. Rumours that he was left out for reasons that he was about to be sold were definitely untrue.

Burton included centre half Ian Sharps on the bench and he came on for the final few minutes. Murray admitted during the week that Sharps is a player who interests him but that at the moment he would not be trying to sign him. Before the game, Burton manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink clarified again that Sharps has been told that he can leave Burton.

As in the game at Cambridge, Mansfield turned out in the third kit of red and white hoops, to avoid a colour clash with Burton’s yellow and black kit.

It was a windy day. Burton had the wind behind them in the first half, Mansfield in the second.

The Stags should have been ahead within 30 seconds. Reggie Lambe played a great one-two with Clements and just had the keeper to beat but put it into the side-netting. It was a great move but Lambe really had to get it on target from there.

On 3 minutes, following a free kick on the right by Clements, Brown turned on the edge of the box and his shot was blocked.

A minute later, a shot from out of the blue at the other end by Lenihan from 35 yards hit the outside of the right post with Adam Smith at full stretch.

It was an action packed start to the game.

On 8 minutes, Sutton conceded an unnecessary free kick with a push two yards outside the area on the right hand side. Before the free kick was taken, as the clock ticked on to 8 minutes, a section of Stags fans started a minute’s applause for Ernie Moss, a superb striker for the Stags in the 1970s who is now suffering from dementia and today was “Ernie Moss day” at another of his former clubs, Chesterfield where there was also going to be applause after 8 minutes. In the meantime though, Matty Palmer took the free kick for Burton and fired it into the right corner of the net. It took a deflection off Junior Brown in the wall giving unlucky Stags keeper Adam Smith no chance.

On 10 minutes, a Stags cross from the right went over the Burton defence to Clements on the left and he fired in a left footed volley that was going wide before it took a deflection for a corner. From the corner, Sutton got his head on to it but could not direct it goalwards. A minute later at the other end, a terrible decision by the officials to give a corner to Burton right in front of the Stags fans when it clearly came off a Burton player. But Sutton headed away the resulting corner.

On 14 minutes, Clements gave away a free kick in a dangerous position 27 yards out in a central position with a little nudge. Matty Palmer was a foot wide of the right post with his kick that hit the stanchion of the goal.

A chance for the Stags on 16 minutes as Riley squared to Ravenhill whose shot from 25 yards was blocked. On 20 minutes, Ravenhill blocked a shot from Matty Palmer. Three minutes later, Lenihan’s shot from 25 yards was blocked by Raynes.

From the resulting corner, Burton roared into a two goal lead. The corner, from the right, floated over the leaping Sutton allowing Maynard a free header which he powered into the bottom right of the net. Poor defending from the Stags.

On 26 minutes, Oliver found Clements who played a good ball out to Brown on the left and Brown’s cross was just put past his own post by a defender. The corner, taken by Clements, came out to Ravenhill whose shot was blocked. Burton broke to the other end and Callum Elder gave the ball away and a shot from Matty Palmer was easily saved by Smith.

The Stags should have pulled a goal back on 28 minutes. Burton gave the ball away allowing Billy Kee a run through on goal in a one-on-one with the keeper. But Kee’s left footed shot was blocked by the keeper. You would have fancied Kee to score from that position.

On 34 minutes, McCrory’s volley was blocked on the edge of the box. On 38 minutes, a good ball forward by Kee nearly put Oliver in. On the stroke of half time, a miscommunication between Riley and Smith as Smith left the ball and Riley just put the ball behind for a corner in the nick of time.

A poor first half from the Stags possibly caused by five new players coming into the side and needing time to gel but crucially two poor pieces of defending and two glorious chances missed left the Stags 2-0 down. Too many free kicks were given away by the Stags and too many balls given away in their own half.

Half time 2-0

On 46 minutes, a snap shot from Burton’s Matty Palmer was high and wide.

On 47 minutes, the first sight of a long throw from new left back Callum Elder. His long throw was back headed by Oliver into the keeper’s arms. A minute later, Brown’s cross from the left was mis-cued into the air by a defender and as it bounced up, the keeper held it just under his own bar.

A minute later, Lambe’s diagonal ball forward found Oliver on the left. Oliver steadied himself and sent a side footed curling shot just wide of the right post.

The Stags deservedly pulled a goal back on 51 minutes. Elder’s long throw was superbly headed on by Raynes and Lambe flicked in from three yards for his first goal for the Stags.

Within a minute, Lambe had a chance for his second goal. A mistake by Taft put Lambe clean through but his first touch was poor and it ran straight through to the keeper. Frustration at a glorious chance gone begging.

Billy Kee was booked on 54 minutes for wild lunge on Lenihan in the middle of the park. It was a poor challenge from Kee and it initially looked like the ref was heading for his red card but he gave himself a minute to think and brought out a yellow. Possibly a little fortunate for Kee.

On 59 minutes, another long throw from Elder led to a corner from which Riley headed goalwards and it deflected wide off Kee. On 61 minutes, Kee fed Lambe who squared for Sutton whose cross was cleared. Moments later at the other end, the Stags got lucky as Riley and Raynes collided and Blyth would have been through on goal but Blyth was wrongly penalised for a foul and, to make matters worse, was also booked.

On 64 minutes, a clearance from Elder went straight to Maynard but Elder redeemed himself with a fine tackle as Maynard was about to shoot. On 73 minutes, Kee gave the ball away and was rescued by a good tackle from Riley.

Straight to the other end and a great ball from Clements to Sutton on the right and one good touch took Sutton past the defender but with a great position to cross or shoot, he really did neither as he put the ball into the stand.

On 75 minutes, a long ball over the top from keeper Smith and Lambe knocked the ball past the keeper but a defender was able to put it behind for a corner. More frustration for Lambe and the Stags. The resulting corner from Clements was cleared but it came back to Clements who crossed to Sutton beyond the far post but Sutton mis-kicked wide.

On 77 minutes, Kee nodded down to Lambe who got it on to his left foot but his low shot from 22 yards was easily saved.

Rhead replaced Lambe on 79 minutes after what had certainly been an eventful game for Lambe.

On 84 minutes, a free kick from the half way line from Clements and Raynes headed wide while calls for a penalty for a possible foul on Rhead off the ball was ignored. A minute later, a great header by Rhead into the path of Oliver who was clearly fouled but the ref waved play on. Chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” came from the Stags fans.

A minute later, there was nearly a howler from the Burton keeper McLaughlin as he tried a stepover against Oliver and only just got away with it.

A minute after that, Brown ran through the middle, fed Rhead on the right and Rhead crossed to Oliver who headed straight at the keeper.

The Stags had Burton penned back in their own half.

A rare attack from Burton came on 88 minutes with a shot on the turn by Blyth which was held by Smith above his head.

Burton reacted to being under the cosh by bringing on an extra central defender Ian Sharps for Matty Palmer.

The Stags brought on a 4th striker in Dan Fletcher for Elder but Mansfield couldn’t create another chance in stoppage time and were frustrated at the final whistle.

Nevertheless, there was a good reception from the Stags fans at full time for a rousing second half display. It was one that definitely deserved at least a point.

Man of the match: Reggie Lambe

Report by: Martin Shaw at the Pirelli Stadium

Line Up:
Smith 7 Couldn’t be blamed for either goal. Solid debut, good handling and very good kicking.
Sutton 5 Normally such a dependable defender, he was at fault in both of the goals. Got forward a lot, but his crossing was poor.
Raynes 7 Looked good in the air at both ends.
Riley 7 Captain. Decent game.
Elder 7 Longish throw could be a useful weapon. Looked a useful player on his football league debut. Gave the ball away a couple of times but redeemed himself on both occasions.
Lambe 7 Involved in so much. Scored his first goal, but should have had more, and his miss inside 30 seconds could have changed the game.
Ravenhill 6.5 Didn’t give the ball away but didn’t get stuck in either.
Clements 6.5 Not at his best. Some good balls.
Brown 6.5 His quietest game in a Stags shirt. Lively in spells.
Kee 6 Looked a bit rusty and should have scored when through one-on-one. He’s the “wow” signing of the transfer window for me though and I’m confident he’ll score goals.
Oliver 6 Involved in a few good things but things didn’t quite come off for him.
Sub Line Up:
Rhead (for Lambe, 79) - Dominant in the air and caused problems. I would have had him on ten minutes earlier.
Fletcher (for Elder, 90+2) -
Subs not used: Studer, Bell, Beevers, Heslop, McGuire.
Opposition Line Up:
McLaughlin, Edwards, Moushino, Taft, Weir, Beavon (Akins 84) , Blyth, McRory, Lenihan, Palmer (Sharps 90+1), Maynard (McGurk 79). Subs not used: Shearer, Lee Bell, Harness, Maletic.
Andy Haines 5 The officials were dreadful and infuriated both sides with poor decisions, though no major decisions.

Season 14/15 Reports