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Season 20/21 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
 Walsall
Maynard 33.
 
 Adebayo 49
Attendance: behind closed doors
 
Date: 31 October 2020

IMPROVED STAGS DRAW WITH WALSALL UNDER CARETAKER COOPER

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town put in a much-improved performance under caretaker manager Richard Cooper compared to Tuesday’s abysmal showing against Barrow which saw the sacking of Graham Coughlan, and a goal from Nicky Maynard saw the Stags earn a point in a 1-1 draw with Walsall. The Stags of course wanted all three points for the first time this season but the showing did at least did give a little cause for optimism.
Walsall started the better of the two sides and Marek Stech was called upon to make a fantastic save after 16 minutes as Wes McDonald’s low ball in from the left was missed by James Perch and Stephen McLaughlin allowing Emmanuel Osadebe a free shot at goal from 11 yards. It seemed an almost certain goal, but Stech saved to his left to keep the ball out.
The Stags grew into the game and were on top by the time they took the lead after 33 minutes. After neat play involving George Maris and Kellan Gordon, Jamie Reid won a corner on the right. The corner from Maris was cleared to George Lapslie whose ball forward from 25 yards, which looked like an attempted shot, reached Maynard who came from an onside position to be 1-on-1 with the keeper. Maynard made no mistake with a clinical finish under the keeper for his first goal of the season.
The Stags led at the break for the first time this season but were pegged back four minutes into the second half. A good break down the left involving George Nurse and Wes McDonald, and Nurse pulled a low ball across the area which reached Elijah Adebayo who hit a first time low left footed shot towards the bottom right corner of the net. Stech got a hand on it but couldn’t keep it out. It would have been a magnificent save if Stech could have kept it out, but he couldn’t.
The Stags had a chance to regain the lead after 52 minutes as a short free kick from McLaughlin to Maynard allowed Maynard to shoot from wide on the left, and Maynard curled his shot just wide of the angle on the right. Maynard had a better chance after 67 minutes as McLaughlin’s high cross from the left was well headed back across goal by Andy Cook straight to Maynard six yards from goal. Maynard swung a leg at it and uncharacteristically missed his kick. The ball was cleared as far as Harry Charsley 12 yards out and his side-footed shot was saved on the line by the keeper. A glorious double chance.
Stech made a very good save after 87 minutes palming away a fierce 25 yard shot from Walsall sub Liam Kinsella. And the Stags had a stroke of luck on 90+1 minutes as Osadebe crashed a magnificent volley from 22 yards against the crossbar. Whilst Walsall will feel that was unlucky, a draw was undoubtedly a fair result in my opinion.
The Stags head to Bolton on Tuesday night (kick off 7pm). Bolton are three points ahead of the Stags, with the Stags still looking for that first win of the season. Caretaker manager Richard Cooper is expected to still be in charge.
The Stags are drawing up a shortlist of names and will take their time to choose a new manager who should be in place within a week and a half.

Richard Cooper, who has done a great job at the club over a long period as the academy manager and of course before that as assistant to Paul Cox, took the reigns as caretaker manager following the sacking of Graham Coughlan on Tuesday. Cooper was assisted by Mike Whitlow, Jamie McGuire, Sam Collins and young goalkeeper coach Sam Wilson.
Cooper was without five defenders: Ryan Sweeney tested positive for COVID-19 since the Barrow game and let’s hope he will be ok. Corey O’Keeffe is still self-isolating and will return to training on Monday, presumably too late to be in contention to play at Bolton. Mal Benning returned to training yesterday (Friday) but was not considered for selection here after self-isolating, though presumably will be at Bolton. Aaron O’Driscoll was suspended for one match after his sending off against Barrow. And Rollin Menayese was only on the bench after Cooper said he picked up a knock on Thursday.
Meanwhile, midfielder Ollie Clarke, who has been out of action with a calf injury, is still around three weeks away from a return to training.
So there were two changes from the Barrow game with George Maris and Jamie Reid coming in for O’Driscoll and Menayese.
It was a makeshift back four, with Gordon and McLaughlin at full back, and Farrend Rawson and James Perch at centre half. Perch was captain, taking over from Cook.
The midfield was a diamond formation with Maris at the back of it and Maynard at the front of it in an attacking midfield role, with Lapslie and Charsley in central midfield. Jamie Reid partnered Andy Cook up front.
The bench was youthful including James Clarke, Jason Law, Alistair Smith and Tyrese Sinclair.

Walsall had been the only unbeaten team in League Two before Tuesday’s defeat to Cambridge, but with six draws before today they were in the bottom half of the table. They were managed by former Stag Darrell Clarke of course. Hayden White played at right back, and was very lucky indeed not to be sent off before he was sensibly substituted.

Morning rain and then a downpour of biblical proportions at lunchtime, which left the One Call Stadium car park like a river for a short period, meant that the pitch was soggy and conditions tricky underfoot.

Richard Cooper changed a number of things pre-match. The Covid protocol this season has meant that one team has used the two changing rooms, while the other team has changed in the Kevin Bird suite. The Stags have been using the changing rooms, while the away side has had the Kevin Bird suite. The disadvantage of using the changing rooms is that effectively there has to be two separate pre-match team talks.
So Cooper swapped it round and the Stags changed in the Kevin Bird suite. In another change, the Stags then warmed up at the North Stand end, and switched the dugouts so that Cooper and his management team had the dugout at the North Stand end. You’d imagine it all had an effect of freshening things up.


Inside the first minute, Wes McDonald played a low ball across from the left and it was only just ahead of Adebayo. After 6 minutes, Adebayo had the ball in the net, but the flag was long since up. After 11 minutes, Stech got away with a clearance against Adebayo who was closing down quickly. It was the second such clumsy clearance from Stech.

A decent move from the tags after 13 minutes as Maris fired wide. A minute later, Maris did well to get Perch out of trouble.

Walsall had started the better of the two sides and Stech was called upon to make a fantastic save after 16 minutes as Wes McDonald’s low ball in from the left was missed by James Perch and Stephen McLaughlin allowing Emmanuel Osadebe a free shot at goal from 11 yards. It seemed an almost certain goal, but Stech saved to his left to keep the ball out.

After 21 minutes, great play from Maynard to win a free kick level with the edge of the area on the right. McLaughlin’s free kick was too close to the keeper. Four minutes later, good play from Maynard, he played forward to Cook who should have done better. Then on 26 minutes, Maynard fired in a low shot from 30 yards straight at the keeper.

The Stags had grown into the game and were on top by the time they took the lead after 33 minutes. After neat play involving Maris and Gordon, Jamie Reid won a corner on the right. The corner from Maris was cleared to Lapslie whose ball forward from 25 yards, which looked like an attempted shot, reached Maynard who came from an onside position to be 1-on-1 with the keeper. Maynard made no mistake with a clinical finish under the keeper for his first goal of the season.

After 35 minutes determination from Lapslie to win the ball three times in quick succession.

A clumsy foul on 37 minutes by McLaughlin, who was having a terrible first half ,on Adebayo, 23 yards out. Stech comfortably saved the resulting free kick from McDonald.

Charsley was fouled outside the area on the right after 45+2 minutes. McLaughlin took the free kick and put it too close to the keeper.

The Stags led at the break for the first time this season. Maynard was impressing and deserved his goal. Lapslie and Maris were also impressing. The Stags had had some hairy moments at the back from the makeshift defence. The conditions were tricky, a bit soggy and players slipping over.

Half time 1-0

The Stags were pegged back four minutes into the second half. A good break down the left involving Nurse and Wes McDonald, and Nurse pulled a low ball across the area which reached Adebayo who hit a first time low left footed shot towards the bottom right corner of the net. Stech got a hand on it but couldn’t keep it out. It would have been a magnificent save if Stech could have kept it out, but he couldn’t.

After 52 minutes, a great run from McLaughlin, he got past White, and White brought him down just outside the area on the left. White was booked. It was a tight angle. A short free kick from McLaughlin to Maynard allowed Maynard to shoot from wide on the left having made the angle better himself, and Maynard curled his shot just wide of the angle on the right.

After 54 minutes, White clattered through the back of Reid. Clear foul and yellow card, the referee gave neither. Ridiculous.

Another foul from White after 61 minutes, this time on Lapslie. This time White got a final warning from the referee.

Perch was booked for a dangerous challenge after 62 minutes.

White was substituted after 64 minutes. Sensible from Darrell Clarke as White should have already been sent off.

A good move from the Stags after 66 minutes as Reid won a corner.

After 67 minutes, McLaughlin’s high cross from the left was well headed back across goal by Cook straight to Maynard six yards from goal. Maynard swung a leg at it and uncharacteristically missed his kick. The ball was cleared as far as Harry Charsley 12 yards out and his side-footed shot was saved on the line by the keeper. A glorious double chance.

Good play by Lapslie and McLaughlin on the left and McLaughlin’s shot was blocked for a throw-in after 69 minutes.

A chance for the Stags after 72 minutes. Cook headed down to Reid. Good control by Reid and a good turn, but he didn’t get hold of his shot which was wide of the right post.

At the other end after 75 minutes, Stech watched a low shot from McDonald wide of the post.

Bowery came on for Cook after 75 minutes.

A hairy moment for the Stags after 76 minutes as Stech pushed away a low ball in and Perch eventually cleared. A minute later, Holden’s free kick from the right, and Lavery headed into the side netting from an impossible angle. A minute after that, a good block from Perch from McDonald’s shot.

Bowery made a good break after 79 minutes.

Maynard was booked for a mistimed challenge on Kinsella after 80 minutes.

After 81 minutes, a low ball across from Charsley from the right and Reid’s shot from close range was blocked.

Stech made a very good save after 87 minutes palming away a fierce 25 yard shot from Walsall sub Liam Kinsella. Great shot from Kinsella.

Perch made a good clearance after 90 minutes from Lavery’s low ball in.

The Stags had a stroke of luck on 90+1 minutes as Osadebe crashed a magnificent volley from 22 yards against the crossbar.

Gordon was fouled level with the edge of the area on the right after 90+3 minutes. McLaughlin’s free kick was cleared. At the other end, a good clearing header from Bowery in the final moments of the game.

Whilst Walsall will feel that late effort against the crossbar was unlucky, a draw was undoubtedly a fair result in my opinion.

Man of the match: Nicky Maynard


Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill



Line Up:
(4-4-2, diamond in midfield)
Stech 7 One fantastic save and one very good save. As for the goal, it would have been a magnificent save if he could have kept it out, but he couldn’t.
Gordon 7 Decent game.
Rawson 6.5 Mostly solid.
Perch 7.5 Settled into central defence very nicely.
McLaughlin 6.5 Had a dreadful first half and a really good second half! Heavily involved.
Maris 7 Impressed at the back of the diamond in midfield.
Lapslie 7 Good game. A fortunate assist for Maynard. Linked well with Maynard in general. Showed real determination.
Charsley 6.5 Did ok. One shot saved on the line.
Maynard 8 Really impressed in attacking midfield role. Heavily involved. Clinical finish. One uncharacteristic mis-kick in front of goal.
Cook 6 A couple of good headers down, but overall a bit quiet and lost the ball a few times.
Reid 6.5 Won the corner which led to the goal. Some good moments but his touch also let him down on occasion.
Sub Line Up:
Bowery (for Cook, 75 mins) - Did well. A good break and a good clearing header.
Subs not used: Stone, Menayese, J.Clarke, Law, Sinclair, Smith.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-1-1): Roberts; White (Norman, 65), Scarr, Jules, Nurse; Guthrie (Kinsella, 52), Sinclair (Lavery, 69), Osadebe, McDonald; Holden; Adebayo. Subs not used: Rose, Sadler, Bates, Scrimshaw.
Referee:
Alan Young 5 Clearly should have sent Hayden White off. Otherwise did ok.


Season 20/21 Reports