STAGS ARE ALL-REET AFTER FIRST ONE-NIL WIN
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Rochdale
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
Danny Reet repaid a huge chunk of his enormous transfer fee (£25,000) at Field Mill today with the only goal of a tense encounter against Steve Parkin and Tony Ford's Rochdale. It was Mansfield's first 1-0 league win of the season. The goal came out of the blue, from a corner, in a first half that was possibly the dullest of the season. But after the break the Stags roared back with chance after chance after chance, and should have won by a much greater margin. Failure to convert chances led to a tense finale, but Mansfield held on, so that they are now nine points above the relegation zone. Rochdale failed to register a single shot on target.
The first noticeable thing was the terrible state of the Field Mill pitch. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that the players are currently training on the pitch, as recently seen on Central News. (Note the team has not played at home for three weeks.) This is a another direct effect of well documented lack of a training base. As reported in the CHAD last week, the Stags were thrown out of a decent facility at Forest Town Welfare after Mr Haslam's reluctance to pay the money on time; meanwhile the training ground at Field Mill remains unused despite the SSA's earlier offer to pay to have it made usable, and now we know why: Mr Haslam is hoping for a £100m jackpot if a casino is built on the land. Please go now Mr Haslam so that someone else can run the club who will give the team a chance of succeeding.
A great second half display that should have brought several goals, but one scrappy goal was enough for a massive three points. How nice it is to win 1-0. Only last week manager Shirtliff made a comment about wanting to win some games 1-0. So onto Tuesday and Keith Curle brings his Chester side to Mansfield. With McNiven, Dimech, Artell, Curtis, Corden and Asamoah, this is an incredible 6 players released by Palmer last season, all of whom will be wanting to prove something. Even though Chester are on a truly dreadful run, to have so many players with a point to prove will provide the Stags with a tremendous challenge. Onwards and upwards as someone once said! Come on Mansfield.
Full Stagsnet report now in the Match Centre
Mansfield 1-0 Rochdale
Mansfield new-boy Danny Reet marked his home debut with the winning goal as the struggling Stags grabbed their first win of 2006 against Rochdale.
Reet, who signed for £25,000 from Sheffield Wednesday, volleyed home from close range in the 40th minute after Rickie Lambert sliced a clearance.
After the break, Reet wasted two chances, while Giles Coke shot wide.
Rochdale forced two late corners, and the second saw Mansfield survive an almighty scramble.
Stags 1 Rochdale 0
DANNY Reet was an instant hero on his home debut for Stags today with the only goal as Mansfield saw off Steve Parkin's Rochdale 1-0.
His 40th minute strike in only his second start proved enough to inflict more misery on Parkin and earn three valuable points to pull even further clear of trouble.
Rochdale have now lost seven and drawn one of their last eight games and are only a point ahead of the Stags - a far cry from when high-flying Rochdale beat Mansfield at Spotland earlier this season.
Today it was the visitors who edged a dour first half until Reet punished a Rickie Lambert mistake.
But it was one-way traffic after half-time with Stags desperately close to a second goal on several occasions.
It didn't come and so the nerves remained, despite the fact that Rochdale failed to get a single shot on target all afternoon.
Stag made two changes from midweek. With Jon D'Laryea back at Manchester City and Adam Birchall dropped to the bench, back into the midfield came Uhlenbeek and Rundle.
Rochdale's surprise inclusion was former Stags midfielder John Doolan, signed on loan from Blackpool.
They also gave a debut to Dagnall, signed from Tranmere Rovers and he started as one of three strikers for the visitors.
Rochdale enjoyed the best of the early possession with Doolan involved in much of it.
Stags were finally gifted a 14th minute corner which was easily cleared as the home side struggled to make an impact.
The first moment of real excitement came on 17 minutes as Sturrock crossed from the right by-line and Jones, seven yard from goal, met it with an acrobatic overhead volley that flew over the top.
Stags forced two successive corners, the first saw Reet have a near post header blocked, and the second, taken short, saw Uhlenbeek cross into the hands of Gilks.
A dangerous cross into the box by Jelleyman saw the ball drop for Uhlenbeek. But he cushioned the ball forward to no one instead of trying a shot from a good position.
Rochdale again came close as Doolan spread play wide to Goodall on the overlap whose cross was met with a first time prod by Sturrock that was only narrowly wide with the home side static spectators.
On 31 Sturrock put in a cross from the right which saw Lambert allowed to guide a header that whistled past the angle from 10 yards out.
Two minutes later Goodall had Pressman scrambling to his right to make sure his hopeful 30 yard shot went wide of goal.
Mansfield replied with two corners. And from the second they grabbed an undeserved lead.
Rundle's ball in looked set to be cleared by Lambert. But he sliced it badly back towards his own goal where Reet quickly put away a close range volley.
Within a minute Reet forced a save from Gilks, diving to his right to keep out the striker's low shot from the right of the box.
Dagnall was booked for a foul on Buxton as the visitors' frustration quickly spilled over.
But half-time arrived with Mansfield somehow in front. The Stags had never got into their rhythm, were over-run in midfield despite having a man advantage, and played too many high balls over their midfield.
Rochdale had to defend a home corner early in the second half while Gilks safely clutched a Rundle cross.
Sturrock was afforded time to get in an 18-yard shot but was so wide it went out for a throw.
Pressman gathered the visitors' first corner of the game on 53 minutes. But Stags broke upfield and Uhlenbeek found Reet in the box who spun round to fire into the side netting.
Reet really should have netted five minutes later when Barker expertly steered a header between two defenders from Buxton's throw to put Reet into a great position in the box. But with time and space from 10 yards he shot disappointingly wide.
Another Rochdale corner was cleared out to Doolan. He sent the ball back towards Lambert on the right and his cross was turned into the side netting by Sturrock at the near post.
Barker could not get over a stretched header on Dawson's cross and the ball flew over.
Rochdale made a switch up front with Moya-Modise on for Dagnall on 70.
Stags came close to a nerve-settling second goal a minute later as the visitors made a hash out of clearing a home corner and Buxton saw his effort headed off the line by McArdle.
Seconds later Hjelde glanced a header just wide at the far post after being picked out by Rundle's free kick.
Stags also changed things up front on 73 with Russell replacing Reet.
It was all Stags now as they looked for the elusive second and Coke blasted a low shot inches wide after bursting into the box unchallenged from Barker's clever touch.
Barker then found Russell at the near post with a low square ball. But the defender's challenge was enough to force him to shoot wide.
Then Uhlenbeek's dipping shot from 25 yards landed inches over.
Griffiths was booked for bringing down Russell as he tried to burst clear from midway in the Dale half.
Gilks was behind Jelleyman's low 18 yard drive before Gallimore replaced Sturrock for the final seven minutes.
A Rundle corner on 85 beat Gilk's fingertips but Barker, at the far post, could only power his header over the top.
Rochdale mounted a last effort and forced two corners, the second ending in a frantic scramble that was finally cleared.
Barker fired a chance straight at Gilks in stoppage time and then set up Dawson for a run from the halfway line on the counter attack only to pull his finish wide.
But it didn't matter as the whistle brought three valuable and, ultimately, deserved League Two points.
Stuart Ashworth at Field Mill.
Rochdale's search for a win continues after defeat at Field Mill following a display devoid of confidence. Despite plenty of possession for Steve Parkin's side interlinked with good football at times, they failed to record a single shot on target giving veteran 'keeper Kevin Pressman a very easy afternoon for MansfieldTown.
Rochdale manager Steve Parkin made seven changes to his starting line-up following defeat last Saturday against Stockport County, a line up that included new signing John Doolan in midfield
It was a fairly even start to the game though both sides set out to grab control of affairs from the first whistle. To be fair the first five minutes belonged to the home side who did enjoy plenty of the ball though they struggled to carve a way through the Dale rearguard.
Lee Cartwright, who had been recalled to the starting line up was everywhere and he inspired Rochdale to go on and take command of the game. His colleagues responded and Steve Parkin's side, playing some slick football took control playing the majority of the first 45 minutes in Mansfield half of the field.
With 16 minutes played Rochdale crafted their first effort on Kevin Pressman's goal after more good play by Parkin's side. A cross from the left by Alan Goodall was collected well by Lambert on the back stick and his cross was met acrobatically by Gary Jones, but sadly for the Dale skipper his effort flew over the bar.
Debutant John Doolan was finding his feet and those of his team-mates with some good passes in a composed performance in the middle of the park. In fact it was a ball out to Goodall on 23 minutes that almost broke the deadlock.His first time ball into the box was met by Blair Sturrock who attempted to guide the ball into the goal, but with Pressman rooted to the spot the ball drifted just wide.
Rochdale continued their pursuit of an opener and a great diagonal ball from Gary Brown just before the half hour almost gifted Rickie Lambert a chance. Brown's cross evaded the heads of the Stags defence, but the Rochdale striker failed to latch on to the ball at the far post after being some what surprised the ball came through without a touch.
With the strikers failing to find the gaps Alan Goodall raced through from the back with the ball and drove a firm shot from 30-yards just wide with Pressman concerned enough to dive across his goal to ensure the ball never found its target.
Cue sucker punch! With 39 minutes gone Rochdale found themselves unlucky to be behind after a series of corners of corners for the home side. It was Mansfield's seventh corner of the afternoon and perhaps the poorest delivery of all after the ball barely left the ground from the foot of Rundell. The ball flopped into the box with no apparent danger and Rickie Lambert was unlucky to slice the ball back to home debutant Reet who finished from close range.
The second half was a totally different affair, it was one that belonged almost entirely to the home side and Dale were very lucky the finishing of the Mansfield players was poor.
Reet was unlucky with a swiftly taken effort after turning Griffiths on 53 minutes only finding the side-netting.Wide of the mark, but close all the same.
Five minutes later the former Sheffield Wednesday striker went close again following more attacking play from the Stags. Reet found himself clear on goal, but with the goal at his mercy he somehow managed to drag his low shot wide.
Mansfield didn't have everything their own way although attacking spells for Dale were very few and far between. Chris Dagnall skipped down the wing from a Doolan ball before laying the ball off for the over-lapping Sturrock.His first time ball across the six-yard line was cleared by Coke as Jones and the defender slid in to meet the ball.
Blair Sturrock was again called into the fray following a John Doolan arched cross that found the Dale man inside the area. Again Sturrock went for a precise finish in much the same way earlier in the game but sadly the result was identical, finishing wide of the mark.
It was Mansfield's turn to try and score the next goal and it was another wayward defensive clearance that almost gave the Stags that chance. A Gareth Griffiths clearing header only found an unmarked Giles Coke at the far post and his return shot brought a goal-line clearance from McArdle on 70 minutes, stooping low to head clear.
MansfieldTown continued to carve out chances, though they like Rochdale failed to find target on many occasions. Giles Coke and substitute Alan Russell were guilty of squandering their best late efforts, though the best chance of the whole game fell to Stephen Dawson in the closing stages.
The young midfielder burst clear after a strong final burst from Steve Parkin's men in a bid to get something from the game. Dawson latched onto the ball and mounted the classic counter-attack from the clearance, racing through unopposed on Gilks' goal, but his tried effort was well wide of the target.
Again lady luck had a huge part to play in the outcome of this game and the confidence that once flowed through Parkin's side some months ago has ebbed away following a poor run of results, and today it showed. Whilst the effort and endeavour today cannot be questioned, Rochdale simply didn't ask enough questions of Kevin Pressman in the Mansfield goal.
Mansfield Town Rochdale
Always seemed to be within a couple of yards of the ball. Constant problem for Dale throughout.
Impressive debut performance showing good touches and some quality passing.
Managers Comments in Brief
"I couldn't have asked anymore from my players, we just need a little luck."
Mansfield 1-0 Rochdale - Full report and ratings
Rochdale lost their seventh game in eight and this time at the hands of the worst team I've seen us play this season. Full report and ratings online now if you can stomach it.
Things are going from bad to worse aren't they. We're now without a win in 8 games having lost 7 of them. It's getting to the stage where I can't see where it's going to stop.
Another game, another awful defeat, this time away at Mansfield. It's very rare that we ever get anything from Field Mill anyway but with new signings and playing one of the worst teams in the division according to the league, a win was something we could have expected realistically. Instead, we put in a truly awful showing, second half especially and lost the game 1-0 without even so much as troubling "The Thames Whale" Kevin Pressman into making a save.
There is a huge amount of pressure on Parkin now and the fans aren't going to stand for much more of this. Tuesday night at Torquay could get very ugly if we lose whether it be by the small amount brave (or daft) enough to go or on the messageboard. A defeat could make Parkin about as popular as Ruth Kelly in a room full of mothers!
This game saw perhaps the most baffling decision of the season and I'll admit that when I was told that Tony Gallimore had been dropped, I thought Parkin was turning into Dave Sutton and losing the plot. Anyway, McArdle came in for Galli who was on the bench. John Doolan slotted straight into a three man midfield which also saw Cooksey dropped for Cartwright and Warner dropped for the new signing. Our best player against Stockport was also dropped to the bench which I found bizarre as well. Clive Moyo Modise was on the bench and Blair Sturrock was preferred. Paul Tait was dropped from the squad completely at last and Chris Dagnall went up front. Thankfully, Jon Boardman was also dropped to make way for Griffiths' return to the line-up. Warren Goodhind was injured and Gary Brown came in for him.
The Dale lined up with: Gilks, Brown, McArdle, Griffiths, Goodall, Cartwright, Doolan, Jones, Sturrock, Lambert and Dagnall. On the bench were: Boardman, Gallimore, Warner, Cooksey and Moyo Modise.
It's fair to say Dale looked alright in the first half. Some decent football was on show but we didn't make Pressman work. We didn't really deserve to go in 1-0 down at half time in my opinion.
Gary Jones had an effort fairly early on but his overhead kick sailed over the bar. Not long after and Blair Sturrock should have done better with an effort which drifted past the post. A fabulous pass from John Doolan set Goodall off down the wing and Sturrock met his excellent cross but couldn't make the most of it.
It wasn't all Dale, far from it as Mansfield must have had about seven corners, most of which tested Gilks and put him under pressure. One particular one he didn't deal with and it somehow managed to go out for a corner rather than go in. He did well with the rest he had to deal with. Unfortunately, Mansfield took the lead from one of these corners and it was an awful delivery as well. The ball came in, Lambert tried to clear it but miss-kicked it badly and it fell to Danny Reet who volleyed it past Gilks to make it 1-0.
The half time whistle came and it was more disappointment for Dale fans who must have been wondering if this run of defeats would ever end. That said, there was enough in the first half to suggest we could get back into it.
Unfortunately though, there wasn't enough in the second half to suggest we are anything other than crap!
Dale were horrific to be honest and only had two efforts that even looked like they might have gone in but the quality of the performance was one that left me with my head in my hands all too often.
Mansfield absolutely bossed proceedings in the second half and went through several times as our defence couldn't contain Barker and Reet up front and had it not been for some awful finishing, mainly from Reet, it could have been about 4-0 at the end.
What makes this even more worrying is that I've not seen us play a worse team this season than Mansfield.
Blair Sturrock somehow managed to have one effort hit the side netting when again, he should have test Pressman. He also had a penalty claim turned down and to me, it looked like a clear penalty but the referee waved it away.
Reet went off for Alan Russell for the home side and he too was guilty of missing some excellent chances.
Rickie Lambert had a great chance to equalise but his header was wide of the post but it should have been a goal. This summed up Lambert's performance, awful.
Clive Moyo Modise came on for Blair Sturrock who looked very angry at being taken off. Must say, I would as well having done so much more than Lambert. Tony Gallimore made it onto the pitch for Chris Dagnall late on but neither substitution had any sort of impact.
The final whistle went and as the Mansfield fans chanted "Haslam Out!", I expected the away fans to start a similar chant with slightly different words!
For some strange reason, I'm still going to Torquay on Tuesday night and if things aren't significantly better then it could just be the final straw in many eyes.
Matt Gilks 6 Nowt he could do with the goal but it was obvious the defence have no confidence in him at all.
Gary Brown 6 Looked alright actually, better than Goodhind of late
Alan Goodall 6 Got forward as he usually does and create openings
Gareth Griffiths 7 We looked a lot better with him in the side, welcome back Griff!
Rory McArdle 5 Poor I thought. Made a couple of important headers but always struggled one on one
JOHN DOOLAN 7 Looked a decent player. Good range of passing and added some creativity. My Man of the Match
Gary Jones 5 Had one effort in the first half but pretty anonymous after that
Lee Cartwright 6 Got stuck in and looked alright but still wouldn't have him in a three man midfield
Blair Sturrock 6 Our best striker yesterday but that's hardly a glowing reference.
Rickie Lambert 4 Very poor. Looked half arsed although he's not suited to the role he's been given as a target man.
Chris Dagnall 6 Looked lively and worked hard but not a great game
Clive Moyo Modise 6 Tried to get Dale back into the game but couldn't
Tony Gallimore 6 Not on long enough to have any impact
Block capitals indicate my Man of the Match.
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