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Season 03/04 Stagsnet Match Report
FA Cup Round 2
Wycombe Wanderers  
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Holligan 51
 Christie 60
Attendance: 3,212 (538 from Mansfield)
Date: 5th December 2003

Martin Shaw at The Causeway Stadium

The Stags produced a fine display at second division Wycombe Wanderers on Friday night and were very unlucky to have to settle for a draw. Mansfield had 11 shots on target compared to only 2 for the home side. Incredibly the Stags hit the woodwork three times, with Day, Christie and MacKenzie the unlucky players. Indeed Wycombe's goal followed within 30 seconds of Day striking the bar and Christie the woodwork. It was Christie who equalised 10 minutes later, but neither side was able to force a victory.

Mansfield were forced into one change with MacKenzie replacing the injured Curtis. Wycombe, managed by Tony Adams, included the dangerous Currie and McSporran.

The Stags started really well and in the third minute a superb move culminated in Christie laying the ball off for Lawrence to strike a wonderful shot with his left foot that Talia in the Wycombe goal tipped around the post. At the other end Pilkington flapped at a corner and was relieved to see a shot fly over the bar. But on 12 minutes Mendes nearly gave the Stags the lead with a great side-footed shot following a Williamson free-kick, which again was well-saved. From the resulting corner, Artell headed over the bar. Mansfield continued to be the brighter side and on 18 minutes Christie had an open net when Talia rushed out of his goal and was out of position, but Christie couldn't find the net with a side-footed volley from 20 yards.

McSporran started to show his undoubted class and gave Vaughan a real run-around at left back, continually beating him for pace as the half wore on. Pilkington was again lucky when he completely left a corner that should have been his, but fortunately it came to nothing as Senda missed his header, and soon afterwards Senda headed over when unmarked from a McSporran cross. Five minutes before the break Disley seemed certain to score when he was fouled from behind in the box, but unfortunately he was ruled offside.

Half-time 0-0

Mansfield started the second half superbly and played some wonderful attacking football. From a Lawrence corner on 51 minutes, Day headed superbly against the underside of the bar, and from the rebound Christie sent an overhead kick against the post, with the rebound falling to Vaughan whose shot was blocked on the line and rebounded to Day whose header was cleared. It was an unbelievable sequence, but even more incredible was that within 30 seconds the ball was in the net at the other end as Wycombe broke quickly and Holligan slid the ball home from Currie's fine cross.

It was one of the great injustices of the beautiful game!

The Stags continued to play excellent football, and after Lawrence shot straight at the keeper, they were denied a blatant penalty when Talia had his arms all over Christie. Within seconds, MacKenzie had a fine shot from the edge of the box which was deflected onto the post. But the equaliser wasn't far away, and how the Stags fans behind the goal, and in the radio commentary box, celebrated. It came from another corner, the ball reached the far post, where Vaughan expertly back-heeled it back and Christie fired home off a defender from 3 yards.

The Stags were simply on fire at this stage and seemed the likely winners. Christie played in Disley who crossed for Williamson to fire just wide and then, after Mendes had a shot blocked, Christie sent the follow up inches wide.

However in the final 15 minutes it was the home side that came closest to scoring, first through Currie who shot inches wide from 20 yards, and then with several late corners and free-kicks pumped into the box, there was one header just over the bar.

At the end of the game the Stags players look disappointed as they trooped off, but in fact they could be proud of a fine performance in front of the live Sky TV cameras. It was an exciting game for the excellent following of 538 Stags fans among the paltry crowd of 3,212. On a bitterly cold evening it was noticeable that the Stags fans were so excited by the quality of their side's play that they spent the whole second half on their feet, to a man/woman.

On a personal note, I spent the evening co-commentating for Mansfield 103.2. This was the first time for me and was very enjoyable. It was amazing how cramped for room the media were as commentator Adam Summerton was sandwiched between me and Steve Wilson of BBC Radio 5 live. One thing I particularly noted after the game was the fine rapport between Keith Curle and the local media. Curle shared jokes with them and when Adam said he might not be able to get to see Curle receiving his manager of the month award on Tuesday because of another commitment, the Stags manager responded: “I might not be able to do any more interviews with you; I can see Radio Nottingham getting very big”. Priceless.

Man of the match: Iyseden Christie

Report by: Martin Shaw at The Causeway Stadium

Line Up:
Pilkington 5 Had a really poor start making a hash of two crosses. Made one further mistake later on, but otherwise did ok.
Hassell 6 Had a difficult evening against Darren Currie but did ok.
Day 8 Had a fine game in the centre of defence, and was unlucky not to score. Was lucky to get away with one mistake when he tried to run the ball out of play and failed.
Artell 7 Also did well in defence.
Vaughan 6 Had a torrid first half against McSporran and was continually outpaced, but fought back well.
Williamson 8 Did really well in the defensive midfield role normally occupied by Curtis, and drove the side forward very well in addition.
MacKenzie 6 Not his best game, and lucky to get away with a defensive error at the start of the second half. Unlucky when his shot struck the post.
Lawrence 6 A quiet first half, other than a great early shot. Much more lively in the second half.
Disley 7 Did well throughout the game.
Christie 8 Lively all evening and so deserved his goal after being unlucky to strike the post earlier.
Mendes 8 His pace worried the Wycombe defence all game.
Sub Line Up:
Larkin (for Disley, 88) -
Not used: JWhite, Dimech, Corden, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
Talia, Senda, Johnson, Marshall, Vinnicombe, Currie, Bulman, Simpemba, McSporran, Faulconbridge, Holligan. Subs: Williams, Rogers, Mapes, Roberts, Brown.
Paul Taylor 5 Fussy, and made several mistakes. But at least there were no red cards this time.

Season 03/04 Reports