CATASTROPHE AS STAGS GO BOTTOM
Mansfield Town 0 - 1 Dagenham & Redbridge
Att 2028 (146 from Dagenham)
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
Mansfield Town fell to a catastrophic defeat at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday afternoon, providing the visitors with their first ever league goal away from home and their first ever away league win. The Stags were dominant in the first half, creating lots of chances, many of which were blocked by a packed Daggers defence, but the visitors' goal just after the hour, which was their only chance of the first 90 minutes, took the wind out of Mansfield who failed to find a grandstand finish. The defeat took the Stags to the foot of the table, a position they occupied after 11 and 12 games in the 2005/2006 season. The crowd of 2028 was the lowest at Field Mill for a league match since May 2001.
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Mansfield 0-1 Dag & Red
Matt Huke scored Dagenham & Redbridge's first away league goal to clinch their first away league win and condemn Mansfield to a fifth successive defeat.
Town dominated but Michael Boulding had a shot saved by Tony Roberts, a header cleared off the line and missed two more chances before the interval.
After the break Dagenham scored with their first shot on target when Huke headed in Danny Foster's cross.
Matt Hamshaw and Boulding forced more saves from Roberts but Daggers held on.
Mansfield Town 0 Dagenham and Redbridge 1, Saturday 29th September 2007
By John Lomas
A fifth straight defeat saw Mansfield town hit rock bottom in League Two as new boys Dagenham and Redbridge celebrated their first away League goal and away first League at Field Mill this afternoon.
This was certainly not a dreadful Stags performance as it was largely one-way traffic in favour of the home side for long periods and, with a bit of luck, they might have nicked the goal they deserved.
But they spurned a string of chances, Michael Boulding in particular might have scored three or four on the day, and were inevitably made to pay by yet another defensive lapse.
This time they allowed a superb cross in from the right by Danny Foster and then gifted Shane Huke a close range free header which he didn't need asking twice to bury.
Dagenham had lost all three previous away League games without scoring and had conceded six.
But Mansfield eventually seemed to run out of steam and ideas of how to breach their gutsy defence and were booed from the field by the ever dwindling home support – less than 1,900 home fans were in the 2,028 crowd.
Yes, there were more injuries with young Chris Wood the latest to be added to the list – stretchered off with an ankle injury after 56 impressive minutes after losing Gareth Jelleyman in midweek.
Defender emergency for Dearden
But the fact that the club has reached October without a clean sheet is a huge worry.
Stags have now lost eight of their last 10 games, five on the trot and need to turn things round quickly as bottom club Wrexham won to leapfrog them and leave them stranded at the foot of League Two.
The Stags side saw four changes with Alex John-Baptiste and John McAliskey back from injury and Lee Bell and Jake Buxton returning from suspension.
Out went injured pair Jelleyman (knee) and Martin McIntosh (hamstring) along with Ian Holmes and Sean McAllister.
Wood played at right back with Mullins moved across to left back.
Mansfield gave the ball away straight from their own kick off and Strevens was wide with a speculative 30 yard effort with only eight seconds on the watch!
Stags forced two corners and from the second Hamshaw pulled it back short for Dawson whose cross offered John-Baptiste a free header which he sent wide.
On 12 minutes Boulding held the ball up well in the box and then curled it across towards Dawson who completely missed the ball with his volley attempt.
Foster failed to cut out a long Muggleton clearance which gave Boulding sight of goal and from 18 yards he forced Roberts to turn it round his near post.
Two minutes later Hamshaw made an exciting burst forward before finding Boulding who swept a first time shot wide.
The visitors hit back with a Foster cross from the right which found Strevens at the far post from where his header ended on the roof of the net.
Boulding continued to see the best of the chances after McAliskey nodded the ball down to him and the striker whipped his finish well over.
Bell was wide with a low shot soon after as the home side continued to look dangerous.
Mansfield's sixth corner saw Buxton have a shot blocked during a scramble.
They came even closer on 38 minutes as Boulding flicked on Hamshaw's right wing cross and McAliskey stretched out a leg three yards from goal but was unable to guide it on target.
On 40 minutes Dagenham survived a frantic scramble from Mansfield's ninth corner. Boulding's stooping near post header was cleared off the line by Griffiths and Mullins saw both his follow-ups blocked.
Soon after Dawson, twice, and Bell all had shots blocked too as the home side tried to crank up the pressure.
But a one-sided half ended frustratingly goalless.
Sloma replaced Moore for Dagenham at the break, leaving Dagenham with a lone striker, but Stags had to clear an early corner from the visitors straight after the restart.
Wood was left in agony after diving into a solid block on Huke on 51 minutes which saw a stretcher brought on. After a five minute hold-up he was eventually taken away to the applause of the crowd.
After the match he left the ground on crutches for a precautionary X-ray on his ankle but it is not thought there is any bone damage.
Arnold came on to take his place with Bell going to right back.
And on 61 minutes Arnold was inches wide of the far post with a low blast from 18 yards.
But disaster struck on 63 minutes. Foster hoisted in a superb cross from the right and Huke was left unmarked six yards from goal to bury a diving header.
It was the visitors' first away goal in League football - and was also their first effort on target in the game.
Hamshaw soon brought a save from Roberts, diving to his right, as Stags looked for a quick reply.
Then Boulding played a one-two with McAliskey only to see Roberts dive on the ball at his feet as he tried to poke the return home.
Dawson fed Boulding again seconds later and his tame shot was easily saved by Roberts.
Brown replaced McAliskey on 68 minutes who was unfairly booed by some fans as he left the field.
Mansfield strated to run out of ideas and were fortunate when, from a Dagenham breakaway, they suddenly found themselves three on one down only for the ball to hit Southam on the back of the ankle.
Boulding really should have hit the target on 73 minutes when picked out by Brown 15 yards from goal but he blasted wide as home frustrations grew.
Southam was booked for bringing down Brown a minute from time.
Another Dagenham break in stoppage time saw Muggleton stand up well to save superbly from Sloma and Saunders blasted the follow-up into the side netting.
It was the last action on a day of misery at the Mill.
The afternoon had begun with a protest outside the ground against owner Keith Haslam's slow progress on selling the club.
And the final whistle brought the inevitable chorus of booing and chants of 'What a load of rubbish' from a home crowd that only just scraped above 2,000.
Pick whichever song you want. Things certainly can only get better and the only way certainly is up.
STAGS: Muggleton, Mullins, Bell (Martin 84), Hamshaw, Dawson, McAliskey (Brown 68), M. Boulding, Buxton, John-Baptiste, Bullock, Wood (Arnold 56). Subs not used: White, McAllister.
DAGENHAM: Roberts, Foster, Smith, Uddin, Griffiths, Saunders, Huke, Southam, Rainford, Strevens, Moore (Sloma h/t). Subs not used: Thompson, Green, Taylor, Boardman.
REFEREE: Andy Haines of Tyne and Wear.
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