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Archived News from October 2006

9th October 2006 17:34

The Times, October 09, 2006
Trouble on cards for sorry Gallagher
By Gemma Clarke

Mansfield Town (2) 2 Notts County (0) 2

FIELD MILL IS ONE OF the more low-key venues in the Football League; perfect if you are a Premiership referee hoping to make a discreet comeback. Not so perfect if you are Dermot Gallagher, who, no matter where he is, never seems to be far from controversy.
One month after failing to send off Ben Thatcher, the Manchester City defender, for his high-speed smash into Pedro Mendes, of Portsmouth, Gallagher attempted to tiptoe back into officialdom. Mansfield Town and Notts County, the Nottinghamshire rivals, were not about to oblige.

Mansfield dominated the first half and Danny Reet's quick reactions, respectively from a miscued clearance and a header off the bar by his team-mate, Richard Barker, put them two goals ahead. Five minutes before half-time Reet seemed to score his third after shrugging off a challenge from Alan White, but Gallagher intervened. Ignoring the inactivity of his assistant, who was far closer to the incident, Gallagher disallowed the goal.

“He said I leaned on him but when we kicked off for the second half he admitted he'd made a mistake,” Reet said. “He just said, 'Well I think I've made a mistake.' It isn't very nice to hear when you know you could've scored another goal and finished the game off 3-0 at half-time.”

Gallagher's second crucial intervention also went against Mansfield. Matthew Hamshaw received his second yellow card for an innocuous-looking challenge on Austin McCann. It appeared as though Gallagher had forgotten the earlier booking when he turned his back on Hamshaw, but he quickly recovered and flipped out his red card.

“I don't think he (Hamshaw) even touched him,” Reet said. “Those two decisions were crucial and Notts County were lucky that they went their way. He's a Premiership referee and he doesn't want to be refereeing League Two games. I think it showed. Obviously he had to come back from the game he refereed the other week somewhere, unfortunately for us he's come back here and we' ve got one point instead of three.”

A little more than ten minutes after the sending-off, County pulled a goal back. Mike Edwards tussled with Jon Olav Hjelde and overcame the Norwegian defender to poke the ball past Jason White. Lawrie Dudfield headed County's equaliser with four minutes left.

“If you'd asked me at half-time would I have taken two apiece, the answer's yes,” Steve Thompson, the County manager, said. “To begin with we were shocking and Mansfield were excellent. We got kippered on our set plays and, certainly for the first half, we weren't at the races.

“I said to the players at half-time, 'These supporters of ours that have travelled all this way, they work seven days a week, they pay good money and that first half wasn't up to scratch,' ” he said. “After that we dug deep.”

Dudfield put it in much cruder terms: “We were absolutely terrible for the first 45 minutes and the gaffer, quite rightly, went absolutely mental at us. Thankfully we came out and showed a bit of spirit.”

Mansfield Town (4-4-2): J White — J Buxton, J O Hjelde, A John-Baptiste, G Jelleyman — A Sheehan (sub: G Coke, 72min), J D'Laryea, S Dawson, M Hamshaw — R Barker, D Reet. Substitutes not used: J Mullins, C Beardsley, C Muggleton, C Lloyd. Booked: Reet, Hamshaw. Sent off: Hamshaw. FORM DLWDLW NEXT Boston United (a)

Notts County (4-4-2): K Pilkington — G Silk (sub: D Martin, 77), M Edwards, A White, A McCann — D Pipe, M Somner (sub: S Hunt, 46), I Ross, A Parkinson — J Mendes (sub: T N'Toya, 46), L Dudfield. Substitutes not used: S Deeney, T Curtis. Booked: Silk, Edwards, Parkinson, Dudfield, Ross. FORM DWWDWD NEXT Bristol Rovers (h) Reet 10, 19

Referee: D Gallagher

Attendance: 6,182

Evening Post, 09 October 2006

Mansfield midfielder Matt Hamshaw has defended his conduct after being sent off in Saturday's derby.

After being booked in the first half, Hamshaw was adjudged to have fouled Magpies defender Austin McCann in the 59th minute.

But the former Stockport player said: "It should not have been a sending off, it's as simple as that - and that makes it so frustrating.

"It was a booking in the first half but no-way was it in the second half because I didn't even touch him.

"People know that I am an honest lad and if you know you deserve to go then you can accept it.

"But I think in this case their left-back has got me sent off.

"From a professional point of view it was good for them, but not from a sportsmanship point of view. It has cost us two points and I feel a bit responsible because I was the player involved."

But Hamshaw felt the Stags should still have taken it.

He said: "We should have been three or four up by half-time. We knew that they would come at us in the second half.

"They didn't really have a chance before we were down to ten. You could probably say that we could have been more professional and gone into two banks of four and made sure of the win.

"But we held on as best we could and it's a pity we couldn't see it through."

Hamshaw will now miss Saturday's trip to Boston.

Evening Post, 09 October 2006
Danny Reet has revealed referee Dermot Gallagher admitted to him that he was wrong to disallow what would have been a crucial third goal for Mansfield in their derby clash with Notts County.

With Reet having already scored twice to put the Stags 2-0 up, he netted again with a thumping finish.

But Banbury official Dermot Gallagher ruled that Reet had fouled Notts' Alan White in the build-up, denying Mansfield a 3-0 half-time lead.

And as the Magpies came back strongly to draw the game 2-2, the former Sheffield Wednesday striker felt that pivotal moment cost the Stags victory.

"It was very disappointing that a foul was given when I didn't think anything was wrong," said Reet.

We think we can beat anyone

IAN Ross believes the character shown by Notts County this season proves they can go on to bigger and better things.

The midfielder, on loan from Sheffield United, said the way they came back from two goals down only goes to prove that.

Notts could have won it in the end with a barrage of pressure that saw them win 15 corners.

But Ross was happy with the point in the circumstances.

He said: "We believe we can do well and we can eventually go on to a better league and we are all for it. We are all sticking together. We believe we can beat anyone in this league and we have proved we deserve to be at the top.

"We had a couple of corners at the end of this game that could have snatched it but in the end I thought a draw was a fair result.

"We have been working hard on set-pieces and could have had a couple more. I was getting sick of running to the corner flag every two minutes."

Dudfield's derby delight

LAWRIE Dudfield was delighted to keep up his habit of grabbing important goals in local derbies.

He scored the late equaliser on Saturday five years after netting the winner at Field Mill for Chesterfield. And last season he scored the decisive goal for Boston in their local derby with Lincoln. His header came after scoring an injury time winner against Torquay seven days earlier. Once again, he was booked for celebrating.

But he said: "It is a nice feeling. With the celebration (running into the fans behind the goal) it was all right because Dermot Gallagher (referee) said I don't want to book you but these are the rules.

"I was disappointed in my own performance like everyone else so it was up to me to get into the game.''

Red card was so crucial

PETER Shirtliff was adamant that the dismissal of Matt Hamshaw was the turning point.

With Mansfield leading 2-0 and seemingly in control, Hamshaw was shown a red card after picking up a second booking in the 59th minute.

Notts battled back to claim a 2-2 draw but Shirtliff felt had his side had 11 players on the pitch for the full 90 minutes, they would have come out on top.

"The sending off changed the game without a doubt," he said. "Matt Hamshaw couldn't tackle my missus, yet he has been shown two yellows. He stopped a lad running for the first caution and the second one he didn't even make contact, so that is very disappointing.''

Everyone backed the cause

NOTTS boss Steve Thompson was delighted. "Irrespective of ten men, we dug deep and everyone was for the cause," he said.

"The sending off, I don't know. Obviously Peter is bitterly disappointed but we finished stronger and on the play in the second half we nicked a point and probably deservedly. We missed big Jason (Lee) and it turned out to be more of a scrap than I thought.

"Hamshaw gave us a lot of problems with the two centre forwards and it does help when they go down to ten men. If you asked me at half-time if we would take 2-2 the answers is 'yes'. But the first ten minutes could have cost us the game but we have got out of jail and the players had to show character to do that."

Evening Post, 09 October 2006

Lawrie Dudfield says the Magpies don't seem able to play unless they go a goal behind.

And he is right. Notts have played 15 games so far this season, including cup games, and kept seven clean sheets.

But in the eight where they have conceded, they have done so first in seven matches. However, in all but one of them they have fought back from behind to either win or draw.

At Crystal Palace, in the Carling Cup, they went behind but won 2-1. Against Barnet they were two goals down away from home but won 3-2 and when they met Lincoln, Shrewsbury, Swindon and now Mansfield they have battled their way back to earn a point. The only time they have gone behind and lost is when reduced to nine men at MK Dons. Despite that, they pulled two goals back to almost earn a draw in a 3-2 defeat. It is an amazing set of statistics that also show every time Notts have gone in front first they have won - including at Middlesbrough.

It does raise certain alarm bells that Notts have gone behind so many times in games. But if manager Steve Thompson can halt that, his players have proved if they can get their noses in front more often, they are capable of defending even a 1-0 lead.

As individuals and as a team, they have the character to fight to the death and a never-say-die attitude. And the fact it is now October and Notts have done it on six occasions proves it is no fluke.

Had Notts given up in games, they would be in lowly position and out of the Carling Cup. Instead they sit fifth in League Two and in the third round of the cup - and it is all down to character.

On Saturday, their first-half performance was atrocious. Embarrassing would not have been too strong a word.

But half-time changes - pushing Mike Edwards into midfield for Matt Somner and bringing Stephen Hunt on at the back as well as Tcham N'Toya up front for Junior Mendes - made a difference.

Notts dominated possession, especially after Matt Hamshaw's dismissal. Mansfield did not have a real second-half chance until injury time. Notts won 15 corners and, thanks to Edwards and Dudfield, the visitors got a point. And it could have been all three.

But that would have been unfair on the Stags.

Notts now have to look beyond that and question why, when they don't keep a clean sheet, they always concede first.

If that can be sorted then their character will see them turn those draws into wins. And that could make all the difference come the end of the season.

Evening Post, 09 October 2006

Notts County's players revealed a venomous X-rated dressing room blast from manager Steve Thompson inspired their comeback in the local derby with Mansfield.

The Magpies were shocking in the first half and were lucky to only be 2-0 down at the break.

But they received the hairdryer treatment from Thompson - who made two changes - and came out a different team after the interval.

And after Matt Hamshaw was sent off, Notts pushed on and almost won it.

Midfielder Ian Ross said: "The gaffer gave us a few words to fire us up. We knew what we needed to do and got a draw which we were pleased about.

"There were a few censored bits. But we really played their game in the first half rather than ours. In the second half we put them under the cosh. It was how we came back - it was bounce back ability - and that is what counts."

Striker Lawrie Dudfield, who scored the late equaliser, added: "We were terrible for the first 45 minutes and the gaffer, quite rightly, has gone absolutely mental at us and said it is totally unacceptable and a test of character.

"Thankfully we came out and showed a bit of spirit. It was not a case of one or two not playing well it was all 11, except Pilks. The sending off turned it but you can only deal with what is put in front of you. And it was still up to us to put the ball in the net at 2-0 down."

Manager Thompson said: "They needed a rocket up their backside and that is what they got at half-time. It was not pleasant in there but like I said to them nothing would please me more than giving them a slap on the back.

"I was not at all happy with the first 45 and I thought we were complacent. We were not competing and were not getting a grip of their centre forwards.

The first ten minutes were absolutely abysmal. I always said I would be honest with the supporters. We were shocking. In the first half we were not at the races. One or two things had to be changed and second half, we had a right go at them.

"But I am pleased as punch at the second half. We have set our own standards individually and as a team and you have to adhere to them. I don't know if we had a touch of nerves or the jitters but I don't want to make excuses for not competing.

"We are in it together and have got to help each other both on and off the pitch. There is a lot of combative spirit and that showed. I said to the players that these supporters work seven days a week and pay good money and the first half was not up to scratch.

"It is the biggest crowd we take to an away game and we needed to show character, endeavour and attitude. I thought players were first class again in the second half."

Evening Post, 09 October 2006
Mansfield Town 2 - 2 Notts County
HARRY Redknapp is not the only manager who will not have referee Dermot Gallagher on his Christmas card list this year.

He will now have been joined by Stags boss Peter Shirtliff after the Banbury official courted controversy again in the latest dramatic episode of the Stags-Notts derby.

Gallagher was in charge of his first senior match since he was roundly criticised for failing to send off Ben Thatcher during a Portsmouth versus Manchester City Premiership clash.

It was a decision that left Redknapp incensed and much of the football world bemused. This time it was Shirtliff who was upset with Gallagher as he first disallowed what looked a perfectly good goal from Danny Reet at the end of the first half that would have put Mansfield in a strong position at 3-0.

Then he wound up the Stags manager even more by sending off Matt Hamshaw, who had been a key figure, for a second bookable offence.

The player admitted that he deserved to be booked for his first challenge, but said that he had not touched Austin McCann in the challenge that brought a second caution.

At that point, just before the hour mark, Mansfield were in total command and leading 2-0 through two superbly-taken goals by in-form striker Reet.

Shirtliff felt that had Gallagher not penalised Mansfield in either situation, then the Stags would have gone on to win. As it was, their early dominance, and probably their best performance of the season in terms of one half, went relatively unrewarded.

To the home fans, the point almost felt like a defeat and was hard to take.

But for Steve Thompson and his troops, their feelings at the final whistle were entirely different.

Having been outplayed in the first half, the Notts boss admitted his men needed a kick up the backside at half-time to galvanise them into action.

And he got just the response he wanted, as the Magpies battled back with guts and determination to snatch a late point and keep their record of just one defeat this season intact.

They used Hamshaw's departure to their advantage and turned the screw superbly in the closing stages as the Stags could hardly get out of their half.

At times it was not pretty as Notts went direct and pumped balls into the box. However, it was certainly effective and it became obvious it was only a matter of time before the goals would come.

The first strike came from Mike Edwards, who continued his habit of chipping in with important goals as he found the corner of the net from ten yards following a right-wing centre from N'Toya.

The equaliser did not arrive until four minutes from the end of the regulation 90 minutes after a succession of corners had been won and spurned by the visitors.

At the umpteenth time of asking, though, the ball was nodded back across the face of goal by Stephen Hunt and Dudfield - just like at Torquay last week - converted to send the Notts faithful into raptures.

Yet that finish was far removed from the opening minutes when it was the Stags who set the tempo of the match with a flying start.

They did all the early attacking and it was no surprise when Reet fired home the first, high into the roof of the net, after Alan White had failed to clear Richard Barker's header into the danger zone.

Soon after, Barker was within a whisker of a second for Mansfield as his shot came back off the left-hand post.

But the shots from the home side continued to rain in and it was no surprise when Mansfield doubled their tally.

Reet was again the man to profit with a close-range finish after Gareth Jelleyman's shot had been blocked following Hamshaw's right-wing corner.

As Notts spluttered, the home side could have put the game out of sight before the interval as Barker spurned two good opportunities and Reet was denied his hat-trick by Gallagher's intervention.

The young striker seemed to win the ball fairly by heading the ball past Alan White before powering a finish into the corner, but he was adjudged to have pulled back the Notts defender.

The result keeps the Magpies in the chasing pack for promotion. The team have an air of confidence about them this season and that is hardly going to have been damaged by coming back from two goals down and staring defeat in the face.

For the Stags, on the other hand, things are becoming increasingly worrying as they continue to be sucked closer and closer to the bottom.

Having lost their last four matches away from home, it means they are now desperate to pick up something at Boston on Saturday.

Certainly they will hope for more help from the referee for a start.

Evening Post, 09 October 2006
Mansfield Town 2 v 2 Notts County
Mansfield manager Peter Shirtliff bemoaned two crucial decisions by referee Dermot Gallagher as Notts County roared back from 2-0 down to grab a point in a thrilling local derby at Field Mill.

Gallagher ruled out a Danny Reet effort which would have put Mansfield 3-0 up and out of sight and also sent off the Stags' Matt Hamshaw for two bookable offences after 59 minutes which dramatically changed the game.

Shirtliff said: "When we had that third goal disallowed I wondered to myself if that was a defining moment and that's how it turned out.

"I thought it was a perfectly good goal and so did the Notts County people. So they got away with that one and it was a bad decision in my opinion.

"I was very disappointed with the sending off too as Matt Hamshaw couldn't tackle my missus.

"The first booking I will accept as he obstructed him but the second Matt says he didn't even touch the lad and I agree with him.

"That gave Notts a lift and they started to load the ball into our box.

"We have to be a bit calmer in defence and their first goal should have been dealt with while the second was just bobbling about in the area.

"It's a shame as I thought my players were all excellent. We just have to stick with it and maybe our luck will change and we will start getting a few dubious things going our way."

Notts boss Steve Thompson, who used to play alongside Shirtliff at Charlton, said: "I always said I would be honest with the supporters, well for the first 10 minutes we were abysmal, shocking.

"Mansfield were up for it and we were second to everything. Quite frankly we weren't at the races in the first half so we had to make one or two changes at half-time and they proved crucial.

"We had a right go in the second half and on the balance of play deserved our draw.

"We finished by far the stronger of the two teams.

"I suppose everyone will talk about the sending off and how that changed the game.

"Would we have got back to 2-2 if it had been 11 versus 11? I don't know. Also I don't know if it should have been a sending-off, but Peter (Shirtliff) is definitely not happy about it."
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn

Mansfield Town 2 Notts County 2
(Reet 9, 19) (Edwards 71, Dudfield 86)
Attendance – 6182 (1628 Notts).

A dramatic red card for Stags Matt Hamshaw proved to be the turning point as near neighbours, Notts County came from two goals down to earn a point at Field Mill.
Stags had got off to a dream start when after 19 minutes, through Danny Reet, they were two goals to the good, however a controversial disallowed goal and Hamshaw's sending off proved the catalyst for a County comeback as goals in the last 19 minutes from Edwards and Dudfield rescued what seemed for so long, an unlikely point for the visitors.
County, defeated just once all season looked out of sorts early on as out of form Mansfield took the game to their visitors with gusto.
After only 9 minutes, Stags took a deserved lead through Danny Reet. Jelleyman's cross was not dealt with competently by White and Reet was on hand to hammer in an unstoppable volley into the roof of the net with former Stags custodian, Kevin Pilkington nothing more than a bystander.
Stags could have made it two-nil just 2 minutes later. Hamshaw sent a defence splitting pass into the path of Richard Barker whose effort although beating Pilkington, crashed against the foot of the left hand post.
It was however 2-0 on 19 minutes. A right sided corner from Hamshaw was met by Jelleyman, his effort looped up and fell conveniently onto the head of Barker, who from close range powered a header against the crossbar, Reet was on hand though to calmly steer the ball over the line.
It was no more than Mansfield deserved. The 'Big City Boys' were at that point been torn apart by their North Notts neighbours and the majority inside Field Mill were loving it.
County's first shot in anger came on 21 minutes through an effort by Ross that flew inches wide. Dudfield also had a go from around the 20-yard mark but that too caused little threat to White in the Mansfield goal.
Matt Hamshaw was booked on 22 minutes by Referee Dermot Gallagher who was taking charge of a game for the first time since the infamous Thatcher/Mendes incident.
Barker did well to first set up Hamshaw for a dipping drive that just sailed over the crossbar, he then set up Reet for a low shot that Pilkington dived down well to save.
On the 31st minute mark, good work by former Stag, Mendes saw a curling shot saved with ease by a well-positioned Jason White in the Mansfield goal.
It was all Mansfield at this point and a flowing move where D'Laryea laid on the ball for Barker, saw the big Stags striker power a fierce drive over the crossbar. He then sent a diving header just wide as Stags poured forward trying to find what should have been a game killing third goal.
On 39 minutes, Hamshaw cleverly chipped the ball forward for Barker, but unfortunately for Mansfield his effort was smothered by Pilkington.
All in the ground, bar from Referee, Gallagher thought the third goal had come on 41 minutes. A fine through ball found Reet in a one on one challenge with County defender, White. It looked for all the world that Reet fairly got the better of the defender before unleashing a terrific and unstoppable shot from 18 yards that flew into the bottom right hand corner of the net with Pilkington doing nothing but tasting the turf. However as Field Mill erupted in joy, Gallagher shook his head and pointed for a Notts free kick. It was a decision that mystified the whole ground.
County made two changes at the half time stage bringing on N'Toya for Mendes and Hunt for Somner.
The 2nd half saw Gallagher in card happy mood first booking Silk and then Parkinson for Notts, but it was the 2nd booking of Hamshaw that finally swung the game in the visitors favour on 59 minutes. Hamshaw looked to have caught McCann and after showing Hamshaw a yellow card, it was several seconds later when Gallagher realised that he had already been booked when he turned around and produced a red. It was hardly a fine example of Premiership Refereeing! Afterwards, Stags boss, Peter Shirtliff was adamant that the sending off was harsh.
"I was very disappointed with the sending off too as Matt Hamshaw couldn't tackle my missus.
"The first booking I will accept as he obstructed him but the second Matt says he didn't even touch the lad and I agree with him."
With the Stags down to 10 men, County found the heart that had been missing from their game up until that point. They forced home their pressure forcing at times desperate defending from Mansfield who attempted to block off each shot and cross.
However on 71 minutes the pressure finally told and County were back in the game. N'Toya crossed the ball over where Edwards got the better of Hjelde to steer the ball agonisingly into the net.
County then really put the home goal under severe pressure, both Ross and McCann going close.
Stags had made a change bringing on Coke for Sheehan and moving Jelleyman back to left back, but it couldn't stem the County tide.
The seemingly inevitable equaliser came with just four minutes to go. A Ross corner was headed on by Hunt leaving Dudfield with a simple close range header. The travelling Notts fans went loopy in their celebrations and who could blame them? For an hour their side had been very much second best.
Despite feeling low at letting a two-goal lead slip, Stags almost came away with all three points when Giles Coke beat off a few challenges on the edge of the County box before firing inches wide.
The final whistle saw mixed emotions. The Stags trooped off no doubt feeling like they had lost whilst the County players celebrated the point like all three.
This weekend Stags make the trip to Boston United. The Pilgrims sit in the relegation zone in League 2 but are only three points behind The Stags. It is a vital game for both sides.


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