REET WINNER AS OXFORD FANS DISGRACE THEMSELVES
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Oxford Utd
Att 3480 (701 from Oxford)
Controversy as Reet grabs late winner
Mansfield Town 1 Oxford United 0
MANSFIELD Town moved to within five points of the Play-offs again after Danny Reet grabbed a controversial late winner at Field Mill this afternoon.
Visitors Oxford were adamant Reet's header did not cross the line and there was trouble at the away end with stewards battling with fans spilling onto the pitch.
The trouble continued afterwards on the retail park as the afternoon ended in uproar.
Much of the uproar centred on linesman James Cox. He had already upset Stags by disallowing Adam Birchall's 70th minute effort for offside.
But he then upset Oxford by deciding Reet's header had already gone over before Italian keeper Andrea Guatelli got there.
Earlier Kevin Pressman had been by far the busier keeper and earned a Man of the Match award for his display.
Shirtliff made three changes from the side beaten at Bristol Rovers last week.
Rhys Day failed a fitness test on a dead leg, but, fortunately, John-Baptiste proved hit fitness after his tendonitis in the knee eased and came straight back into the side.
Oxford lost Leo Roget in the warm-up after he felt ill. So Dempster was promoted into the side and the visitors were left with only four subs.
Coke replaced Dawson in midfield while Jelleyman missed out with his knee ligaments injury, Wilson dropping to left back and Rundle coming into the side to play left midfield.
Stags had a free kick and corner to defend in the opening couple of minutes.
N'Toya got goalside of the Stags defence on seven minutes. But he was quickly crowded out and squared the ball to Basham. He should have shot first time but took a touch and Wilson was in quickly to shield the ball back for Pressman.
Stags replied with some patient build-ups and Dempster had to be quick to clear after giant Italian keeper Guatelli failed to hold a dangerous low Buxton cross from the right.
A minute later Reet went down under Wilmott's challenge in the box but the referee was unimpressed.
The visitors conceded a string of free kicks as Mansfield slowly built up the pressure and Stags also won their first corner which was easily cleared.
Guatelli had his first save to make on 23 minutes as Uhlenbeek's 16 yard effort took a deflection, diving to his right to claw away.
Oxford tried to break and Pressman did well to tackle Basham just outside his area.
But the pressure was soon back on at the other end as Stags forced three successive corners.
From the last of those the visitors again broke quickly. But N'Toya's touch let him down as John-Baptiste was able to nip in and take control.
Oxford might have gone ahead on the half-hour as Pressman left his line to try to gather Mansell's cross but was beaten to it by Basham who sent a header over the unguarded goal.
A dangerous Reet cross was turned away for another corner which Rundle drilled in and D'Laryea got a touch on but couldn't direct it on goal.
Barker shot tamely into the Oxford wall as half time neared with the game goalless.
Oxford sent on Goodhind in place of Brooks for the second half.
Hjelde conceded an early corner which Stags managed to get clear.
Dempster was finally booked for his umpteenth foul on Barker on 49 minutes, the game's first yellow card.
Pressman saved Stags with a superb 56th minute save. Basham's flicked the ball on and N'Toya got there before Hjelde and crashed a close range shot at goal which the Stags keeper did well to turn away.
Barker tried a dipping shot from 25 yards on the hour but it was an easy stop for Guatelli.
Reet then tested the big Italian with a more powerful shot from a tight angle on the right and he was again well placed behind it.
But Pressman twice made excellent stops at the other end inside a minute to prevent Oxford breaking through.
First he reached up to turn away a 16-yard effort from Hargreaves that was heading for the top left hand corner. From that, Wilmott popped up with a powerful header that saw Pressman react to quickly to get his hands in the way.
On 65 minutes Rundle made way for Birchall for the home side.
And within five minutes he thought he had broken the deadlock after turning home Coke's low cross from close range. But the celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.
The same linesman was under the microscope again soon after when, incredibly, he raised an offside flag as Barker was running back onside and nowhere near the action.
To add insult to injury Uhlenbeek was booked for pointing out the new rules to the officials!
Oxford made a double change on 73 as Gemmill and Sills came on for Horstead and Basham.
But Stags finally grabbed the lead on 84 minutes though amid more controversy.
Uhlenbeek's cross was headed back across goal by Barker and Reet applied a close range headed finish that the officials decided had crossed the line before keeper Guatelli got his hands behind it to push out.
The visitors were incensed and as the arguments on the field continued a large number of Oxford fans piled over the barriers towards the home fans and there were fights with home stewards.
The restart was held up as the stewards tried to restore order.
Guatelli got down to make sure a low Uhlenbeek effort didn't creep through when play finally restarted.
Deep into stoppage time Reet slammed the ball against the near post.
But the final whistle sparked more trouble at the away end with fans also fighting outside in the car park to bring an unsavoury end to a strange afternoon.
Oxford official site:
Date : Sat 01 Apr 2006 Kick Off : 15:00
Venue : Field Mill Attendance : 3480
Comp : Coca-Cola Football League Two Referee : D Deadman
A controversial late goal by Danny Reet condemned United to their first defeat in five games at a stormy Field Mill this afternoon
Illness has forced United boss Jim Smith into making changes from the team that picked up three points against Peterborough last weekend.Matt Robinson and Andy Burgess both missed the game with flu whilst Tim Sills droped to the bench.Lee Mansell switched to left back, Barry Quinn to right back and Liam Horsted made his full league debut on the left wing.Steve Basham started up-front alongside T'Cham N'Toya and there was also a first appearance on the bench for player-coach Scott Gemmill
Roared on by the fantastic away support, it was important that United started well but as the teams lined up for kick-off one big centre back was conspicuous by his absence for United. Leo Roget was named in the team, warmed up, but did not appear for the start of the match after he became a late victim of that same flu bug and had to be replaced at the last minute by John Dempster.
With all the other changes it was a blow for United, but they needed to keep their concentration and not let the disruption affect them. They almost did better than that in the 7th minute when Steve Basham had a good shout for a penalty waved away after good link up play with N'Toya and in the early stages in the match it was the home side that were looking the more lively of the two sides.
The home side though were always likely to have a sustained spell of pressure and with The Stags kicking with the wind the chance duly came in the 24th minute when Gus Uhlenbeek broke free on the left, fired in a low shot that Guatelli did well to palm away.The game then burst into life when Jay Smith played a ball through the home defence, but the on-rushing Kevin Pressman did well to block the chance.
One thing that was obvious was that this United team has pace and N'Toya especially was causing the home side problems on the counter. It was his fellow strike partner Steve Basham who had the best chance of the match so far in the 29th minute when he flicked a Lee Mansell cross just over the bar as Oxford looked to open the scoring although the less said about John Dempster's effort a minute later the better!!
But as hard as both teams pressed and looked for the opening goal neither side could create the opening and as the referee blew the whistle to end the half, you felt that Oxford would be the happier of the two sides.
Brooks had shown some nice touches in the first half but seemed to be struggling with a groin injury, and he failed to reappear for the second half, with Warren Goodhind replacing him, Goodhind at left back and Mansell on the right of midfield.
There was an early booking for John Dempster as he clattered into Richie Barker, the latest instalment of an ongoing battle between the two, but Dempster was doing well , especially for someone thrown in at the last minute. To his right Barry Quinn was having a cracking game and showing once again why he has played at right back at a much higher level than League Two, and the home side were finding it hard to break through.
Going forward United were finding it hard to get support to the front two, although Horsted clearly has pace and ability, but they should have made the breakthrough on 56 minutes as Basham knocked down a Mansell cross from the right and N'Toya took one touch to knock the ball into space but could find no way past the sizeable frame of Pressman as the keeper charged from his line like a runaway mattress.
The U's were just starting to press, and Hargreaves forced Pressman into another save on 62 with a left footed shot from the edge of the area. Moments later and Pressman was rolling back the years once again with an amazing reflex save to parry away Chris Willmott's header from Lee Mansell's corner. Byb far the busier keeper, Pressman was a playing colleague of Stags boss Peter Shirtliff at Sheffield Wednesday twenty years ago and was helping his old mate's team no end.
There was then a key moment on seventy minutes as United failed to clear their lines and Giles Coke sent in a cross from the right which sub Adam Birchall converted from close range. Oh how we laughed to see the linesman's flag go up for offside!
Scot Gemmill was then given an Oxford debut, with Tim Sills also coming on for the tiring Basham. The former Scottish international slotted in nicely on the left of midfield, while one flick from Sills with ten minutes to go almost created an opening as his teammates swarmed forwards.
Sadly, thrirty second later and the game was up as Mansfield scored the most controversial of goals. Uhlenbeek was the architect, crossing to the far post where Barker headed across. Reet was at close range and headed onwards but as Guatelli scrambled the ball away the linesman signalled that the ball had crossed the line and a goal was awarded. Guatelli was incensed and picked up a yellow card for his protests, and without the benefit of a replay it was much too close to call.
It angered the away fans, with two storming on to the pitch and the game held up for five minutes while order was restored. United need all the support they can get right now, but not that type.
The game restarted and United pressed but could find no way through. A decent performance undone in the most controversial circumstances.
Report Julian Hitchman and Chris Williams, pictures Darrell Fisher. Trust us, it WAS just like a runaway mattress and you wouldn't want to meet one of those!
Rage Online 1st April 2006
Oxford bottle it
United were beaten by a controversial late goal at Mansfield, scored by Danny Reet six minutes from time, to end Jim Smith's 100% record, and the Us' four-match unbeaten run. The end of the game was marred by crowd trouble after a bottle was thrown into the away end from outside the ground, hitting a young boy, and causing some Oxford fans to run towards some nearby Mansfield supporters, with some Yellows supporters running across the pitch leading to the game being suspended for about five minutes. This was probably the most exciting action of the afternoon, following a scrappy game that wasn't helped by a swirling wind. Neither side looked comfortable on the ball, and there was precious little time or space for anyone to put their foot on the ball and control the game.
United had the slightly better chances in the first half, with Steve Basham being foiled by a late challenge by Kevin Pressman when the striker almost broke through. At the other end Andrea Guatelli had a nervous moment when he failed to hold onto a low cross, but John Dempster was on the line to hoof the ball away. The game improved slightly in the second period, after a while. T'cham N'Toya managed a clear shooting chance, but Pressman blocked the shot, and then Chris Hargreave's powerful shot looked to be heading for the top corner, but Pressman saved again. From the resulting corner Pressman again rescued the Stags with a save from close-range Chris Willmott header. United had a scare when, with 20 minutes remaining, Adam Birchill put the ball in the net, but the Mansfield celebrations were cut short by an offside flag. Then came Reet's goal, the striker's close-range header was palmed clear by Guatelli, but the linesman who had earlier ruled out Birchill's strike indicated that the ball had crossed the line, much to the anger and disbelief of Guatelli and his colleagues.
Jim Smith rang the changes for his second game in charge, although most of them were forced on him by an outbreak of flu in the Oxford camp. Neither Matt Robinson nor Andrew Burgess were well enough to play after going down with the bug, and Leo Roget, who was named in the starting line-up, had to be withdrawn before the game, with Dempster taking his place at the last minute, leaving the Us with just four substitutes on the bench. Robinson's place at left back was taken by Lee Mansell, while Liam Horstead made his full Oxford debut as Burgess's replacement. Jamie Brooks started the game on the right wing, while Basham started the game in place of Tim Sills, having recovered from his own dose of flu. At half time Brooks was replaced, with Warren Goodhind coming on as left back, leaving Mansell to play as wide right midfielder. A double substitution on 73 minutes saw Basham replaced by Sills, and Horstead going off for Scot Gemmill to make his Oxford debut.
The referee this afternoon was Darren Deadman, ably assisted by his assistants Cox and Bramley, an Apple Fools Day joke by the Football League. Mr Deadman, taking charge of an Oxford game for the first time, had a decent match, although he did show yellow cards to Dempster, for a foul, and Guatelli, for disputing Mansfield's goal. The attendance was just 3,480, of whom an impressive 701 were in the away stand. We have been promised a match report, hopefully published tomorrow.
Although Oxford only dropped one place, this defeat sees them just four points above the relegation zone following today's results. Mansfield are up to 12th. The big game at the bottom of the table ended with Rushden beating Torquay 1-0, to leave the Seagulls bottom, one place behind the Diamonds. Barnet are third from bottom after they lost 2-1 at 14th-placed Boston, while Stockport's 1-0 home defeat by Bury leaves the Hatters fourth from bottom, with the Shakers one place above Oxford, who are one of four teams on 45 points. Derek Asamoah scored twice, to make it five goals in two games, as Chester beat Macclesfield 2-1, leaving the Blues 20th, and the Silkmen 17th.
At the top of the table, Carlisle stay three points clear despite not playing, as they get ready to face Swansea in tomorrow's LSD Cup final. Second-placed Grimsby beat 10th-placed Wrexham 2-0, while Northampton are third after winning 1-0 at 7th-placed Peterborough. Orient drew 1-1 at 15th-placed Notts County to stay fourth, while Wycombe's declined continued with a 3-1 home defeat by 9th-placed Bristol Rovers, for whom Richard Walker scored a penalty. Cheltenham are 6th after losing 2-0 at 13th-placed Shrewsbury. The day's other game was a 4-2 win for 11th-placed Darlington over Lincoln, in 8th.
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