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Archived News from August 2002

18th August 2002 20:34

Wycombe Wanderers 3 Mansfield Town 3
Devine 6, Faulconbridge 45, McCarthy 90. Corden 6, 85, Christie 74
Attendance: 5,057 (510 from Mansfield)

Martin Shaw at Adams Park

Stags drew 3-3 with Wycombe to keep up their average of scoring and conceding 3 in each game. Stags were put under huge pressure for the opening 60 minutes as Wycombe pumped cross after cross into the Stags box, where Stags defence looked very weak. However 2 sensational goals by Wayne Corden and a first goal on his return to the club for Iyseden Christie put Stags on top with just 5 minutes to go. But the poor defence was unable to withstand another ball into the box and Stags conceded a last minute equaliser.

Stags made one change form the side that lost at Wigan with Corden replacing Sellars, who had been sent-off at Wigan.

Stags took the lead after just 6 minutes. Lawrence took a free-kick from 22 yards and just played it 5 yards to his left, into his path of Wayne Corden who smacked a fantastic shot from 22 yards in off the underside of the bar over keeper Taylor.

Within 30 seconds Wycombe were level as Stags fans were still on their feet celebrating. Simpson played a ball forward almost straight from the kick-off and with Devine looking yards offside, the striker simply moved the ball forward and thrashed a shot past Pilkington. From our position at the far end of the ground, it seemed Devine had to be offside, and certainly Pilkington protested loudly, but the goal stood. However from the video evidence afterwards, Lawrence may have been playing Devine onside, though the video was not conclusive.

Stags had some good moments from then on, notably when Corden shot just wide from 15 yards, but were generally under pressure from Wycombe set pieces and crosses, especially from the left wing, where Stags were often horribly exposed.

In injury time at the end of the half, Currie put in yet another cross from the left after Disley had given away an unnecessary foul with a reckless challenge, and Faulconbridge rose high above the Williamson at the far post to easily head past Pilkington. It was a predictable end to the half and one which was to be repeated in the second half.

Half time 2-1

Wycombe had a few chances to make the game safe, but didn't take them, as Stags continued to look inept in defence. Pilkington made some fine saves, but the worst miss was a Devine shot from 10 yards straight at the keeper.

Stags brought on Iyseden Christie on 70 minutes, and within 4 minutes he had equalised for the Stags. Corden crossed from the left and there seemed to be little danger. But keeper Martin Taylor seemed to just leave the ball and Christie nipped in to head the ball into the net from 3 yards.

Stags seemed to have nicked the 3 points when Corden scored with another fantastic goal on 85 minutes. Corden picked the ball up 40 yards from goal, moved forward and shot with his left foot from 30 yards into top right hand corner. It was a sensational effort, reminiscent of his last minute winner over Hartlepool 2 seasons ago when Stags came from 3-1 down to win 4-3.

Could Stags hold on? The feeling was that if Wycombe could get any kind of cross into the Stags box the home side would rescue a point. Unfortunately Stags were undone by an old boy. Richard Harris, who spent a short period on load at Field Mill last season, had only come on on 80 minutes. We all remembered his remarkable long throw. In the 90th minute, Wycombe got a throw-in down by the corner flag. Sure enough, in came a mammoth throw from Harris, right to the far post, where home defender Paul McCarthy rose above the ineffective Eddington to head home. A truly sickening feeling for the Stags fans.

Wycombe manager Lawrie Sanchez said after the game “If you don't put teams away when you're on, as we were for 60 minutes, teams can come back and bite you. To be fair their third goal was a very good goal.”

All in all this was a fairly good result for Mansfield but the game had an all too predictable and disappointing ending. The Stags defence simply isn't able to cope with crosses into the box at the moment, as 6 headed goals conceded in 3 games testifies. It is paramount that a dominant centre half is drafted in straight away as Reddington appears to be in terrible form at the moment. Also how Stags need their regular full backs Tankard and Hassell back from injury, to prevent some of the crosses in the first place.

Man of the match: Wayne Corden.

Pilkington 8 Handled quite well in the box under fierce pressure, and made some great saves.
Reddington 5 Looks in terrible form at the moment.
Moore 6 Looked more solid than Reddington.
Jervis 5 Given a roasting after some encouraging displays in earlier games.
Disley 5 Guilty of giving the ball away too often, sometimes in dangerous positions.
MacKenzie 7 Not as effective as previous games, and looked to be carrying an injury, but still had a good game.
Williamson 7 Tigerish inmidfield. Won plenty of 50:50 balls.
Corden 8 Two fantastic goals. Also did quite well going forward.
Lawrence 7 Did well alongside Corden on the left of midfield..
Larkin 6 Didn't get much of the ball. Unlucky with one shot into the side netting.
AWhite 7 Battled well and held the ball up well.
Christie (for AWhite, 70) 7 Looked lively and nicked a goal just after coming on.
Sellars (for MacKenzie, 73) 7 Showed touches of class on the right in a deep role.
Bacon (for Larkin, 88) 6 .
Subs not used: JWhite, Clarke.

Ref: P Prosser


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