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Season 04/05 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
1 - 2
 Cheltenham Town
Larkin pen 73
 Devaney 61, Finnigan 89
Attendance: 3665 (289 from Cheltenham)
Date: 12th February 2005

The Stags turned in a very disappointing performance in dreadful conditions at Field Mill as visitors Cheltenham left with all three points after a deserved victory. The Stags made two changes from the side victorious in midweek. In came Colin Larkin to partner Richie Barker whilst Derek Asamoah, suffering from migraines, dropped to the bench to be replaced by debutant Lambu.

The Stags failed to take advantage of a strong wind at their backs and it took fully 30 minutes before the first serious attempt on goal - Colin Larkin seeing his shot on the turn easily saved. The rest of the half was instantly forgettable and indeed, Cheltenham had looked the more composed side and kept possession better than the home side, without ever threatening Kevin Pilkington's goal. However, the 2nd half was very different and it is fair to say that the Robins could have scored more than the two they managed. It also has to be said that the Stags goal owed much to fortune following a very generous decision by referee Robinson to award a penalty after a "foul" on Asamoah. This came after the Robins had taken the lead when Devaney's long range effort swerved in the wind to leave Pilkington stranded. Despite the efforts of Richie Barker, who had the Stags best other chance when his shot on the turn after a goal-mouth scramble was cleared off the line, the Stags never held any real possession and after a string of missed chances, it came as no surprise when Cheltenham grabbed the win in the last minute, an excellent move superbly finished by Finnigan.

A poor performance in wet and windy conditions - but the weather can be no excuse as Cheltenham coped much better and fully deserved the win. The Stags defence generally coped well under the pressure, but were not at fault for either goal. In midfield the Stags struggled all afternoon and the full-backs rarely got into the opponents half. Whether the defensive tactics by the manager are to blame, or just a lack of confidence, the truth is the Stags have lost any semblence of the fast flowing attacking football and are creating virtually nothing. Man of the match is a tough choice, Buxton and Baptiste were again excellent but once again Stags striker Richie Barker was behind all the Stags best moments, albeit there weren't too many, and was again our best player.

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
Pilkington 7 Two excellent saves, perhaps at fault for the 1st goal
Neil 6 Did well defensively but unable to get forward
Jellyman 6 Like Neil, wasn't as effective in attack as he can be
Buxton 7 Very solid, some fine clearances
Baptiste 7 Once again looked a class act in the back 4
Lambu 5 A couple of decent moves but never threatened to beat his man
Murray 5 Failed to stamp his authority on the match
Curtis 5 Worked hard but let down by distribution
Rundle 6 Quiet game, but when involved did OK
Barker 7 Another strong performance leading the line
Larkin 6 Took his penalty well and looked fairly sharp
Sub Line Up:
Asamoah (for Lambu, 46) 6 Never really threatened
Subs not used: White, Smeltz, McLachlan, McIntosh.
Opposition Line Up:
S Higgs, J Victory, S Duff, G Caines, J Gill, M Devaney, G McCann, J Finnigan, B Wilson, D Spencer, S Guinan (82 K Odejayi)
Subs: M Taylor, S Brown, D Bird, K Odejayi, A Vincent
P Robinson 6 OK, gave us a dodgy penalty!!

Season 04/05 Reports