MORE REPORTS AND REACTION
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn
DANNY DOES ALL-REET ON HOME DEBUT
Mansfield Town 1 Rochdale 0
Danny Reet 40.
Danny Reet marked his home debut with a game winning goal against Steve Parkin's Rochdale. It was one of only a few highlights in a game in which the three points were the important factor, as Mansfield pulled even further away from the relegation scrap at the foot of the Coca Cola League 2 table.
Stags made two changes from the side, which had drawn 0-0 away at Shrewsbury Town. D'Laryea returning to Manchester City and Birchall dropped to the bench, Uhlenbeek and Rundle coming into the side.
Since their victory over The Stags in September, Dale have been far from impressive, in fact the defeat at Field Mill was their seventh in their last eight games. Troubling times indeed at Spotland.
It was the visitors though who were playing the better football in the opening period of the game, with Dale new signing and ex-Stag John Doolan mainly pulling the strings. Dale though, although passing the ball around nicely were not causing much heartache to Stags Custodian, Kevin Pressman.
It was a dour encounter which only came to life in the 17th minute when a cross on the right by-line by Sturrock was acrobatically met by Jones, unfortunately for the Dale man, his effort flew high over the crossbar.
Stags were not really causing the visitors much trouble either, the best falling to Uhlenbeek who after controlling Jelleyman's cross, looked to pass the ball instead of having an effort on goal.
Rochdale created three good chances, Sturrock pocking narrowly wide from a ball from Goodall, Lambert heading wide from a cross by Sturrock on 31 minutes and Goodall caused a little flutter when his speculative shot from 30 yards had Pressman making sure the effort went wide of goal.
Stags responded with two corners, one of which provided the opening for Danny Reet to score his first goal in a Mansfield Town shirt. Rundle provided and for all intents and purposes it looked poor, until that is McArdle sliced his clearance up in the air and in direction of his own goal to where the predatory Reet pounced, swinging his right boot at the ball from close range and giving Gilkes no chance in the Dale goal.
Reet almost added a second within a minute, this time though Gilkes dived to his right to push the Stags strikers effort away.
The end of the 1st half was greeted with mixed response, Stags were one goal to the good, but not playing at all well whilst the visitors, although having plenty of possession had only created rare and non-testing opportunities. It was hoped by all that the 2nd half would be better fair.
Rochdale were the first to threaten in the 2nd half, but a promising chance came to nothing when Sturrock's shot from 20 yards went out for a throw in.
Danny Reet was causing Dale problems but when put in by Uhlenbeek he turned and shot into the side netting. Reet though should have scored his second of the game when he was set up by his striking partner, Richie Barker, but again his finish, this time from 10 yards, was disappointing.
Sturrock again posed a problem for the Mansfield defence but his poor effort hit the side netting as Rochdale desperately tried to get back into the game.
On 70 minutes, Dale boss Parkin tried to inject some fresh idea's up front when he replaced Dagnall with Moyo-Modise, but within a minute it was the home side who could have gone a further goal ahead but McArdle was on hand to clear Jake Buxton's effort off the goal-line. Then it was the turn of Hjelde but his header from a Rundle free kick flew just wide of the upright.
Stags changed things around on 73 minutes when Russell replaced Reet. Reet given a good reception from the home crowd.
It was all Mansfield now as The Stags went in search of a game killing 2nd goal. Coke was unfortunate when he blasted narrowly wide after being fed by Barker and it was Barker again who was nearly the provider when his near-post cross for Russell was desperately cleared away for a Stags corner.
There was almost a spectacular goal from Gus Uhlenbeek who from fully 30 yards tried to chip Gilkes in the Rochdale goal only to turn away in frustration as the ball clipped the back of the crossbar and landed on the roof of the net.
Gilkes was the busier of the two keepers as Stags pushed hard, Jelleyman forcing him into a save from a blistering shot, and when Gilkes got a hand to a Rundle corner, Barker headed over.
The last chance of the game fell to Stephen Dawson, who after being put in the clear, screwed his effort wide of the keepers right hand post.
It proved a vital three points for Mansfield who now find themselves nine points clear of the relegation places and nine points short of the play off's.
This weekend Stags make the trip to inform Darlington who last weekend won away at Oxford United. The Quakers have lost just one of their last nine league 2 outings.
Supporters wishing to travel up on the official SSA coaches to Darlington can do so by ringing 07967 689597. Coaches depart Field Mill at 11 am. Bookings required.
Pressman, Jelleyman, John-Baptiste, Dawson, Uhlenbeek, Barker, Buxton, Coke, Rundle, Hjelde, Reet (Russell 73).
Subs not used – Day, Birchall, White, Arnold.
Gilkes, Brown, Griffiths, McArdle, Goodall, Cartwright, Doolan, Jones, Sturrock, (Gallimore 83) Lambert, Dagnall (Moyo-Modise 70)
Subs not used – Cooksey, Warner, Boardman.
Attendance – 3,018 Visitors 303.
Referee – Mr D Deadman.
Observer Man of the match – Richie Barker.
REET ON CUE FOR STAGS
Evening Post, 23 January 2006
Mansfield 1 - 0 Rochdale
After last Tuesday night's draw at Shrewsbury, Mansfield boss Peter Shirtliff was wishing his side would have a bit more luck.
Well, on Saturday afternoon, they got it.
With the Stags struggling against an out-of-form Rochdale - who had lost six of their previous seven games - it was difficult to see where a goal was coming from.
Mansfield were second best to former boss Steve Parkin's Dale side for the first 40 minutes of the game and were lucky not to be trailing.
But then, from a poorly taken corner from Adam Rundle, they got their break.
Ricky Lambert could only slice his attempted clearance into his own six yard box, allowing new striker Danny Reet to snaffle his first goal for the club in his first home start.
If Rochdale's leading scorer since the departure of Grant Holt to Forest had tried to clear the ball another ten times, he would probably have succeeded on every occasion.
But crucially for the Stags, at that moment he didn't. And it was the pivotal moment of the game, as the Stags grew in stature while the visitors' threat diminished more and more as time went on.
So much so that in the second half, Mansfield could have gone on to win the game more comfortably with a little more composure in front of goal.
As well as galvanising the Stags into action, the goal will also have done Sheffield teenager Reet the world of good.
Any forward joining a new club is desperate to get his name on the scoresheet and prove his worth - especially in front of his own fans.
That Reet managed to get that particular monkey off his back at the first time of asking can only be a good thing.
The fans certainly seemed to appreciate his efforts, chanting his name when he was replaced by Allan Russell in the 73rd minute.
But equally effective, perhaps even more so, was his co-striker Richie Barker, who used all his strength, experience and know-how to give the Dale defence a torrid time. In the last half an hour, when Mansfield were at their best, Barker seemed to be central to every good move the Stags put together.
It was just disappointing for the home fans - and no doubt Barker - that they could not make their dominance at that point pay with more goals.
Reet was the chief culprit when he had a clear shot following a superb headed flick from Barker, only to fire wide.
But there were other good opportunities that went begging too. Giles Coke and Stephen Dawson both blazed wide from good positions, while Jake Buxton had his volley cleared off the line by Rory McArdle.
Had Mansfield scored a second, then it would have prevented lots of nail-biting in the closing stages when Rochdale threw caution to the wind in search of an equaliser. Instead, it meant the cheer at the final whistle was more out of relief than delight.
The biggest worry, though, was Mansfield's slow start.
In the Stags' last home defeat to Bury, they were 2-0 down inside the first ten minutes after failing to get out of the blocks quickly and never got back in the game, eventually losing 3-0.
At such a low ebb, Rochdale were not really in a position to punish Mansfield in the same way - but the warning signs were there.
Blair Sturrock should have scored when he fired wide at the near post from Alan Goodall's centre and Lambert headed over from another decent opening. Against better sides, the Stags would have been playing catch up, and if the team are to find the consistency that boss Shirtliff is craving, then it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Nevertheless, the victory, Mansfield"s first since winning at Oxford and their first in five matches, was much-needed.
As well as edging the Stags further away from the relegation places at the bottom of the table, it also sets them up nicely for tomorrow night's home match to Chester.
Had Shirtliff"s men drawn or lost, then it would have really put the pressure on for the visit of Keith Curle's men to Field Mill. As it is, the Stags can now go into the game with a sense of confidence.
SHIRTLIFF: NOW WE NEED CONSISTENCY
Evening Post, 23 January 2006
Mansfield boss Peter Shirtliff has challenged his side to be more consistent after their narrow victory over Rochdale.
He praised the attitude of his players but wants to see them produce the goods on a more regular basis.
"We need to find some more consistency. There are signs that we can start to be that way, so we have to keep working hard at it.
"I think we are improving and learning and going in the right direction. If we are a little bit more clinical in front of goal and play the right final ball that is going to help us.
"I think we have done OK recently. We had a run of eight games where we picked up 15 points and then we did well over Christmas. I'm delighted with the effort and application of the players and we are looking more comfortable in the league now. But we have to keep going and not get complacent and make sure we put together good results."
After losing 2-0 at Rochdale earlier in the season - a result that saw Carlton Palmer resign as boss - Mansfield were made to work hard to get their revenge. But Shirtliff had anticipated a difficult game and was not surprised that he got one.
"It wasn't an easy match. Rochdale played quite well and it took us until 60 minutes to really get on top of them," he said. "Full credit to the players they got stuck in, battled for everything and kept a clean sheet for the second game running.
"I thought we limited Rochdale very well."
Evening Post, 23 January 2006
Former Stags boss Steve Parkin was disappointed that his Rochdale side did not take advantage of their good start at Field Mill.
He said: "For the first 40 minutes we dominated and had a couple of chances to go into the lead.
"If things had been going our way our way, then we might have taken one of them. It's a difficult place to come and get a result so I was really disappointed with the way they got their goal, which sums up our luck at the moment."
rochdaleafc.com (Mansfield - the worst team I've seen us play this season)
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.
Latest | January 2006