{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 4
 York City
Rhead 77.
 Lowe 9, Coulthirst 17, 89, Hyde 52. Olejnik sent off 31
Attendance: 3133 (565 from York)
Date: 28 March 2015


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

In what boss Adam Murray had described as Mansfield Town’s biggest game of the season, the Stags turned in a pathetic performance to be thrashed 4-1 by a York side that played for over an hour with 10 men. The scene was set in the opening few minutes when Stags keeper Lenny Pidgeley was called upon to make two excellent saves. But on 9 minutes, York were in front with a close range header from a corner by Lowe. Terrible defending. York were two ahead on 17 minutes when Shaq Coulhirst, on loan from Spurs and who impressed against Mansfield for Torquay last season, beat the offside trap to run through and cut back inside Raynes and fire past Pidgeley. Mansfield were unlucky when Rakish Bingham, the Stags best player on the day, fired a thunderbolt against the underside of the bar on 19 minutes. And then on 31 minutes Bingham was through on goal in a 1-on-1 against keeper Olejnik, Olejnik came out of his area, Bingham knocked the ball over him and it would have gone in if Olejnic hadn’t saved it with his hand. The referee pointed for a corner but his linesman indicated correctly that Olejnic was out of his area so he was given a red card. We would rather have had the goal at that stage. The free kick was wasted. Murray had earlier made a change to his formation on 23 minutes: he had started with three central defenders and two wing-backs, but switched to four at the back, in one of the earliest tactical changes I can remember. Despite York sitting back and Mansfield having masses of possession, the Stags had precious few chances to get back into the game and on 52 minutes, York scored against from a corner with Hyde heading in from close range with diabolical defending again from Mansfield. The Stags got a consolation on 77 minutes when sub Matt Rhead fired in off the post, but York made it 4-1 on 89 minutes when the impressive Coulthirst got past Tafazolli and Beevers too easily to score again. Pathetic from Mansfield and only Bingham and Pidgeley could be relatively happy with their performance. The gap to the bottom two is seven points with seven games left with Tranmere grabbing a last minute draw, while Cheltenham were beaten and remain 8 points behind Mansfield. It’s still a big gap, but Mansfield have difficult games coming up over Easter away to Southend and at home to Shrewsbury and need to show some real resolve to pick up some crucial points from these two games. Come on Mansfield!

Very sad news today to hear of the passing away of Chris Taylor. Chris was a great supporter of the team for many years and his passion for the club was inspirational for so many. I always enjoyed chatting with Chris. Deepest condolences to Chris’s family and all his friends. Rest in Peace Chris.

Adam Murray made three changes to the side that lost at Hartlepool, and reverted to three central defenders with two wing-backs. After the game, Murray explained that he had done this because without Junior Brown (suspended for four games) and Reggie Lambe (away on international duty), he would be “putting square pegs in round holes” with a 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1 formation with Terry Hawkridge as the only recognised winger available. So Tafazolli returned to the side, to play alongside Riley and Raynes in central defence. Beevers and Elder were at wing-back. McGuire and Clements were in central midfield. Bingham and Oliver also returned to the side and joined Kee in forming a front 3, in a 3-2-2-3 formation. Out went Brown, Hawkridge and Heslop. Alex Fisher was back on the bench after his two goals in the reserves in midweek. The team was a surprise to me, I expected Murray to start with Hawkridge and Bingham on the wings, in a 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1 formation. York also lined up with three central defenders and two wing-backs. Former Stag John McCombe was one of the central defenders. Lindon Meikle was on the bench. York also included Dave Winfield in central defence: he had played for AFC Wimbledon here 11 days ago, and York had recalled him from his loan there. York had signed two strikers on loan during the week and both were on the subs bench.

It was a very windy day in Mansfield. The wind was partially shielded from the pitch by the West Stand but was also partially from the North Stand end towards the Quarry Lane stand, and York had it behind them in the first half.

York started on the front foot in what was a must-win game for them. On 2 minutes, a good cross from Halliday, and Jake Hyde got in front of Raynes to flick goalwards, Pidgeley made a very good save to push it away for a corner. On 9 minutes, Carson’s 25 yard shot took a deflection off Raynes and Pidgeley made a brilliant save at full stretch to put it behind for a corner.

But from that corner, York were in front. The corner, from the right taken by Carsen, was headed in by Lowe from close range, unmarked. Carsen had got away from McGuire and Beevers.

On 11 minutes, Beevers crossed from the right, and Oliver miscued an attempt through to the keeper. It was already obvious that the three strikers were playing too far apart.

On 14 minutes, Coulthirst was well over the bar from 30 yards. A minute later, Pidgeley came well out of his goal on the right of his area, but Jake Hyde was unable to take advantage, and the ball was out for a corner.

York went 2-0 ahead on 17 minutes. Coulthirst beat the offside trap just inside the Stags half to run through on the right and cut back inside Raynes and fire past Pidgeley, just inside the near post. It was Coulthirst’s first goal for York.

On 19 minutes Mansfield were unlucky when Rakish Bingham fired a thunderbolt against the underside of the bar from a good knock-down by Oliver.

Murray made a change to his formation on 23 minutes switching to four at the back, in one of the earliest tactical changes I can remember, as Riley was sacrified, and replaced by Hawkridge who came on for his home debut.

On 25 minutes, Oliver nodded down for Kee, who skied a poor effort that nearly hit the roof of the North Stand.

On 31 minutes, Hawkridge played a good ball forward for Bingham who was through on goal in a 1-on-1 against keeper Olejnik, Olejnik came out of his area, Bingham knocked the ball over him and it would have gone in if Olejnic hadn’t saved it with his hand. The referee pointed for a corner but his linesman indicated correctly that Olejnic was out of his area so he was given a red card. We would rather have had the goal at that stage. But it would give the Stags an hour against ten men. York brought on Michael Ingham in goal, sacrificing a midfielder, Penn.

The resulting free kick, from 21 yards, inside the D, was taken by Clements and hit Tafazolli before going wide.

On 37 minutes, a cross from Hawkridge, a defender miscued his header, it came to Kee with his back to goal, who turned and fired well wide.

Oliver was booked for a late challenge on 41 minutes. The Stags had the free kick through for a foul moments earlier. Clements took it, into the box, and a half-chance for Raynes, who wasn’t quick enough to pull the trigger though. There were then claims for a handball but the DVD suggests it did not hit a York hand.

On 44 minutes, Beevers crossed and Oliver miscued goalwards again, as he had done earlier.

On 45+2, a great ball forward from Bingham for Oliver, but a defender did well to put it behind for a corner.

York were sitting back, inviting Mansfield pressure. A minute later, Bingham to Kee and Kee’s shot from the edge of the area was blocked.

Boos from some home fans as the half time whistle blew. A terrible opening 17 minutes from the Stags who could have been 4-0 down but for two very good Pidgeley saves, and with some terrible defending. But the Stags were then unlucky with two Bingham efforts, the first against the bar and the second leading to the keeper’s sending-off, but we would rather have had the goal which would have ensued without the keeper’s handball outside the area.

Half time 0-2

York should have been 3-0 ahead on 48 minutes. Pidgeley’s free kick away got caught in the wind allowing Coulthirst another run at goal, but this time Raynes and Tafazolli did well to keep him out, and then Hyde had a shot blocked by Elder.

The Stags had a goal disallowed on 50 minutes. A ball over the top for Oliver, Oliver barged a defender out of the way and put the ball in the net. It was a clear foul. Moments later, Beevers went down with a bang on the head, York played on and Hyde’s shot deflected wide for a corner. The referee should clearly have stopped play with Beevers down with a head injury before York got anywhere near the Stags goal.

Rhead replaced Kee on 51 minutes.

York did make it 3-0 on 52 minutes. The resulting corner from the right was headed in by Jake Hyde at the near post. Diabolical defending again from Mansfield and a near carbon copy of the first goal. It was Rhead who missed his header allowing Hyde the free header.

On 55 minutes, a Beevers throw found Clements who fired wide from 25 yards, left footed. On 58 minutes, a long throw from Elder fell to Hawkridge whose shot hit Oliver.

On 66 minutes, Elder’s low cross was into a good area, Oliver should have gambled but didn’t and it went through a crowd of players for a goal kick.

Fisher replaced Oliver on 67 minutes. It was good to see him back getting a chance, though not in the best of circumstances.

On 67 minutes, a move from Clements to Hawkridge to McGuire, McGuire had a chance to shoot, but squared to Elder, whose shot was deflected over the bar. On 70 minutes, Elder’s free kick from the halfway line was headed on by Tafazolli and went wide off Raynes. On 76 minutes, a Stags corner form the right, the ball bobbled around in the area, Bingham went down but there were no appeals for a penalty.

Mansfield got a goal back on 77 minutes to make it 1-3. Bingham found Clements whose shot was blocked and then a defender headed to Rhead who controlled and smashed it in off the inside of the left post.

On 78 minutes, Rhead headed on to the Fisher, to Bingham who got it onto his left foot and shot straight at the keeper. Two minutes later Rhead headed down from a cross, but it was cleared.

On 82 minutes, a Clements free kick from 35 yards flicked off Fisher, well wide of the right post.

York should have made it 4 on 84 minutes. With Raynes down on the ground with a head injury, Coulthirst dispossessed McGuire just outside the box, and shot goalwards but Pidgeley made a very good save with his legs, and then Tafazolli did well to block from O’Hanlon.

Raynes was not able to return, so the Stags played the last 6 minutes plus 5 minutes of stoppage time with 10 men.

From the resulting corner, more terrible Stags defending (albeit a defender down) and O’Hanlon had a chance for a free header but completely missed it.

On 88 minutes, a Hawkridge corner from the left and Rhead headed wide. Hawkridge was now taking the set pieces as those from Clements had been poor earlier in the game.

York made it 4-1 on 89 minutes. Coulthirst got past Tafazolli and Beevers too easily to fire home into the right corner of the net. Pidgeley gave Tafazolli and Beevers both barrels in frustration at the defending.

On 90+1, Hawkridge cut inside from the right, and his shot was on target but hit Fisher! The second time a Stags shot on target had been blocked by their own man. On 90+5 minutes, a Hawkridge cross was headed past his own post by Lowe.

Boos at the final whistle. The Stags need to regroup and come back strongly at Southend. Five critical wins against Stevenage, Luton, Dagenham, Newport and Wimbledon in the last 12 games have given us a great chance of escaping the drop. We mustn’t blow it now.

Man of the match: Rakish Bingham

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

Line Up:
Pidgeley 7 Made three very good saves, two in the opening minutes. I don’t think he could be blamed for any of the goals.
Riley - Sacrificed after 23 minutes.
Raynes 4 Very poor game. Mansfield have only won 1 of the 8 games he has played (vs Stevenage).
Tafazolli 4.5 Poor game.
Beevers 6 Defensively not too bad apart from the 4th goal. Did get a few decent crosses in.
Elder 5 Couldn’t get the beating of Halliday. Poor game. One good cross.
McGuire 4 Very poor. Should have done better with the 1st goal and Coulthirst’s shot that was saved.
Clements 5 Set pieces were poor.
Bingham 7 Unlucky with the shot against the bar and shot the would have gone in if the keeper hadn’t saved it outside his area. Set up other chances too.
Kee 5 Nothing went his way.
Oliver 5 Two good knock-downs for Bingham and Kee. But miscued several goal attempts.
Sub Line Up:
Hawkridge (for Riley, 23) 6 Good pass to set Bingham away for the shot that the keeper saved outside his box. Two shots that were blocked by his own players.
Rhead (for Kee, 51) 6.5 Took his goal well. Was caught cold missing his header when he first came on allowing York to score their 3rd goal. Did ok.
Fisher (for Oliver, 67) - Good to see him back getting a chance.
Subs not used: Studer, Sutton, Ravenhill, Thomas.
Opposition Line Up:
(3-2-3-2) Olejnik; Lowe, McCombe, Winfield; Halliday, Penn (Ingham 33); Carson, Summerfield, Platt; Coulthirst (Miller 90+4), Hyde (O’Hanlon 73). Subs not used: McCoy, Ilesanmi, Montrose, Meikle.
David Webb 5 Got the sending off right thanks to his linesmen. Twice played on when players were down with head injuries which was poor.

Season 14/15 Reports