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Season 17/18 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
2 - 2
 Chesterfield
White 26, Diamond 88.
 
 Rowley 14, Kellett 58.
Attendance: 7525 (1646 from Chesterfield)
 
Date: 25 November 2017

JEKYLL AND HYDE STAGS RESCUE A POINT

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town rescued an unlikely point at home to Chesterfield with a fantastic 88th minute header from captain Zander Diamond, from a pinpoint Alex MacDonald cross, when all seemed lost, in the big local derby at the One Call stadium today. Mansfield had been completely outplayed in the second half by a Chesterfield side that looked anything but relegation favourites and Chesterfield led from the 58th minute when top scorer Kristian Dennis got to the byline and played a superb cross which Kellett headed in, unmarked. Really poor play from Hamilton, who Kellett got away from to head home. The Stags were so poor in the second half, continually giving the ball away cheaply, and unable to string passes together. Chesterfield will have gone away gutted that they didn’t win the game. But all this followed a very different first half in which it was Mansfield who were dominant, playing some terrific football, with Jacob Mellis, Alex MacDonald, and Omari Sterling-James, causing the Spireites all sorts of problems. Chesterfield took the lead against the run of play on 14 minutes, when Rowley fired in from 10 yards after he was given too much space in the box. It turned out to be Chesterfield’s only chance in the first 44 minutes, until just before half time, and almost the only time they got into the Stags box. Mansfield were deservedly level when Hayden White played a 1-2 with Sterling-James before clinically firing a fine shot into the left corner of the left. The Stags had other chances to score in the first half including three shots from Mellis, and another from Sterling-James. It had seemed that Mansfield were denied what looked a penalty when Alex MacDonald turned Weir in the box and it looked like he had his legs taken from beneath him. However from the video, MacDonald and Weir actually arrived at the ball and played the ball at the same split-second, so it was not a foul. It was a fine first half from Mansfield, that made the second half even more inexplicable. Nevertheless, euphoria for the Stags at the end with the equaliser, and whilst Chesterfield will feel they should have won it, over the entire 90 minutes Mansfield were worthy of the point in my opinion, having been by the far the better side in the first half. By avoiding defeat, Mansfield take the fine unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions, but the run of 5 wins on the trot is over. On to the FA Cup now, and a big game with Guiseley, managed by Paul Cox and Adam Murray, next Sunday. It’s a big game because Mansfield have a chance to get into the 3rd round and pull out one of the big teams.

The attendance of 7525 was the biggest for a game at home since the Liverpool FA Cup game in January 2013 of 7574. It was the biggest for a league game since the game with Notts County in October 2004 of 7682.

Mansfield made two changes from the side that won at Port Vale. Hemmings has a slight calf strain, and missed out but should be fit for next week. With Angol still not fit, Sterling-James was preferred to Spencer as Steve Evans wanted to get at Chesterfield with pace, and partnered Rose up front. The other change saw Mellis come back in for Anderson.

Chesterfield were unchanged from the side that beat Forest Green, which was their second home win in 3 days. Top scorer Kristian Dennis was up front, having avoided a 5th booking in the last game which would have seen him suspended. Louis Reed was in midfield. He’s on loan from Sheffield United and the Sheffield Telegraph had rumours in the summer that Steve Evans was interested in signing him on loan, but I think Evans had other targets.

Both teams came into the game in good form in the most eagerly awaited game of the season.

Before the game, a group of walkers, led by Nathan Edge and Guide Dog Hudson paraded around the ground, raising money for Guide Dogs for the Blind and Alzheimers disease. The group had walked from Chesterfield and you can still donate to this great cause here .

During the game, there was a minute’s applause in the 12th minute for 12 year old Chesterfield supporter Abbie Jacques, who died last month due to complications related to type I diabetes. And there was a minute’s applause in the 2nd minute for Dawson Willcock, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, who died yesterday aged 2 of a rare cancer.

It was a cold day in Mansfield, but fine.

Mansfield started well. On 4 minutes, great play down the left from the Stags after a quickly taken free kick, Hamilton got to the byline, and dinked in a high cross, which fell for Bennett who knocked over the bar from behind him. On 5 minutes, Sterling-James got down the right, but his cross for Rose was overhit.

On 6 minutes, it had seemed that Mansfield were denied what looked a penalty when Alex MacDonald turned Weir in the box and it looked like he had his legs taken from beneath him. However from the video, MacDonald and Weir actually arrived at the ball and played the ball at the same split-second, so it was not a foul.

On 8 minutes, Mellis did well to win a loose ball, Sterling-James got down the right, and cut the ball back for Mellis, who fired in a low shot from the edge of the area, which Anyon saved.

Sterling-James did well to create a shooting chance for himself on 11 minutes, just outside the box, and his effort was just wide of the left post.

Two minutes after that, Mellis turned well 35 yards out, and ran towards goal before unleashing a powerful low shot that fizzed just wide of the left post from 22 yards with keeper Anyon at full stretch.

Chesterfield took the lead against the run of play on 14 minutes. McCourt’s shot from the edge of the box was completely miscued, it fell kindly for Kellett, who teed up Rowley to fire in from 10 yards out on the right, but Rowley was given too much space in the box.

That turned out to be Chesterfield’s only chance in the first 44 minutes, until just before half time, and almost the only time they got into the Stags box.

On 16 minutes, Sterling-James made a good run down the left, and he found MacDonald whose shot was knocked over his own bar by Binnom-Williams. A minute later, Sterling-James went down in the area, but it didn’t look like a foul.

Sterling-James fired a powerful low cross across the six yard box on 19 minutes, Rose stretched when it just needed a touch to turn it in, but couldn’t reach it.

On 24 minutes, MacDonald got to the byline and his powerful low cross was cleared.

The Stags were playing really well, despite the blow of the goal conceded and were deservedly level on 26 minutes. Hayden White did well to intercept a Louis Reed square ball and knocked the ball forward to Sterling-James who pushed forward and then laid a fabulous ball forward into the path of White who continued into the box and clinically fired a fine shot over the keeper into the left of the left. Excellent play from both White and Sterling-James.

Mansfield continued to play nice football with creating any further chances until 41 minutes, when Mellis’s powerful shot from the edge of the area was blocked following a throw-in.

Nothing had been seen of the Spireites up front. But out of the blue, they created a chance on 44 minutes. Binnom-Williams squared to Kellett whose low shot was wide of the right post.

On 45 minutes, a good move from the Stags, as Rose played forward to Sterling-James who just couldn’t quite get on the end of it in the box.

On 45+1 minutes, Hamilton got into the area and went down, but it was a fair tackle for a corner.

Hamilton fouled Reed 25 yards out in a central position. A great position for a freekick for the Spireites. McCourt’s freekick was deflected for a corner.

Some terrific football from Mansfield in the first half, and they should have been ahead, with Jacob Mellis, Alex MacDonald, and Omari Sterling-James, causing the Spireites all sorts of problems. Chesterfield barely got into the Stags box in the first 44 minutes, with the exception of their goal, highlighting Mansfield’s dominance. The second half was to be so different.

Half time 1-1

Chesterfield came out for the second half and looked a different side.

On 48 minutes, Dennis fired a tremendous shot from 25 yards, on the right, which cracked against the top of the crossbar over Logan. Terrific effort, though had it been lower, Logan would have probably tipped it over the bar anyway.

Then on 53 minutes, Reed’s low shot was comfortably saved by Logan. A minute later, Rowley’s low cross just evaded Dennis. It was a similar half chance to Sterling-James’ cross that just evaded Rose on the first half.

On 55 minutes, Byrom’s free kick from 45 yards out was met by Diamond who headed on, but straight through to the keeper.

Chesterfield led from the 58th minute. They broke with pace following a Mansfield free kick, top scorer Kristian Dennis got to the byline and played a superb cross which Kellett headed in, unmarked. Really poor play from Hamilton, who Kellett got away from to head home in the middle.

The goal had been coming. The Stags were terrible and kept giving the ball away.

On 61 minutes, a great cross from White, Hamilton leapt well but couldn’t keep his header down and headed over.

Potter replaced Hamilton on 65 minutes. MacDonald switched to the left from the right. Potter went on the right.

On 65 minutes, Dennis tried to play the ball out to the left wing, and got a lucky ricochet off White back to him, and fired a good shot from 25 yards that Logan just did enough to deflect past the right post. From the resulting corner, Binnom-Williams headed straight at Logan.

Atkinson replaced Mellis on 69 minutes. Mellis had been so good in the first half but had disappeared in the second half.

On 71 minutes, Dennis played the ball to Rowley on the right, Rowley crossed back in but it was over Dennis.

Spencer replaced Byrom on 72 minutes. Spencer went up front with Rose. Sterling-James moved back to right midfield, Potter to left midfield, MacDonald to central midfield, with Atkinson.

On 80 minutes, at last a good move from Mansfield in the second half, involving Rose and MacDonald, but Chesterfield cleared.

The Stags rescued an unlikely point on 88 minutes with a fantastic header from Diamond onto the bottom left corner of the net, from a pinpoint MacDonald cross from the right. It was a huge relief for the home fans.

Now there was only one side likely to go on and win it.

On 90+2 minutes, really good play from Potter on the right after he won the ball, his ball in looped up and Rose knocked over the bar acrobatically.

Then a real chance to win it on 90+3 minutes, Potter made a good run forward on the left, but fired over the bar.

So the points shared. Mansfield didn’t look like equalising in the second half, but over the course of the 90 minutes Mansfield had more efforts at goal than Chesterfield, and it was a fair result.

Man of the match: Alex MacDonald

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



Line Up:
(4-4-2, diamond formation in midfield):
Logan 6 Not at fault for the goals in my opinion. Other than that, just two long range shots from Dennis to trouble him, one hit the bar, and one he just about pushed wide.
White 7 Super goal. One good cross.
Diamond 7.5 Good game. Fantastic header for the equaliser, and his goals have been critical in the last two games.
Bennett 7 Defended well.
Hunt 6 Did ok.
Byrom 5 Below par and subbed in the second half.
MacDonald 7.5 Good first half. Pinpoint cross for the second goal.
Hamilton 5 Poor game. Lost his man crucially for the second Chesterfield goal. Gave away free kick in dangerous position with sloppy foul at the end of the first half. I expect him to be replaced by Potter against Guiseley.
Mellis 6 Really good first half but completely disappeared in the second half, which was very disappointing.
Sterling-James 6 Had a good first half, and a great assist for White’s goal. But very poor second half. Hemmings was missed today, and will probably return in place of him against Guiseley.
Rose 5 Strangely out of sorts and well below the standard he has set himself this season.
Sub Line Up:
Potter (for Hamilton, 65 mins) - Livened things up for Mansfield going forward in the closing minutes.
Atkinson (for Mellis, 69 mins) - Composed.
Spencer (for Byrom, 72 mins) - Did ok, and won some balls forward to him as well as holding on to them.
Subs not used: Olejnik, Pearce, Anderson, Butcher.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-2-3-1): Anyon; Barry, Hird, Evatt, Binnom-Williams; Weir, McCourt (De Girolamo 90+2); Rowley, Kellett, Reed; Dennis. Subs not used: Parkin, Wiseman, Mitchell, O’Grady, Dimaio, Maguire.
Referee:
Andy Woolmer 7 Decent game. Correctly turned down penalty shouts.


Season 17/18 Reports