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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Mansfield Town  
3 - 3
 Rotherham United
Dawson 44, 73, Barker 79.
 Burton 56, Williamson 70, Worrell 72
Attendance: 1523 (286 from Rotherham)
Date: 30 July 2005

The Stags began with the now usual 4-3-3 formation with Jelleyman in at left back and Dawson starting in midfield alongside Palmer and Uhlenbeek. Rundle and Birchall began in wide attacking position's, often switching sides with former Millers striker Richie Barker down the middle. The visitors included Lee Williamson in their side, the former Stag having joined the Millers from Northampton this summer.

Most of the attacking play in the early stages came from the away side, the Stags had to be thankful to Pressman for several excellent saves, most notably one from a poor kick of his own where he showed his experience in a one-on-one and saved well. The Stags best early moment came when Barker held off the Millers centre half for Rundle to fire a shot which flew just wide. The Stags were struggling to maintain any sort of possession, too often passes were going astray and too often Barker was isolated, indeed for most of the half the formation was pretty much a 4-5-1 with both Birchall and Rundle doing more defensive than attacking work. However, in injury time of the first half the Stags took the lead with their best move of the half. Dawson released Jelleyman on the left, he put in a terrific cross which Barker won in a challenge with the Millers keeper, the ball falling to Dawson who fired home. It was much more than the Stags deserved on balance of play.

Half-Time 1-0

The Millers were level early in the 2nd half, Burton firing home from close range after two excellent point blank saves from Pressman following a fine low cross from Campbell-Rice, the Stags defence caught out for pace. Just a few minutes later the Stags fell behind and it was former Stag Williamson, so rarely a scorer in Amber, who fired home from close range after he had earlier in the move robbed Palmer of the ball in midfield. Worse was to follow as the Millers went 3-1 up, a bad mix-up in the Stags defence saw a weak low shot from the right somehow beat Pressman. The Stags made a series of changes and this changed the game. The introduction of the pace of Brown, craft of Coke and hard work of McLachlan made a huge impact and for the first time the Stags bossed midfield. On 73 minutes the Stags pulled one back, Barker did superbly at the far post to knock the ball to Dawson who fired home his second. Six minutes later the Stags were level with the goal of the game. Neat passing in midfield was followed by an inch perfect cross from McLachlan which Barker headed home. The Stags almost claimed an unlikely win when the impressive Brown cut inside having beaten two men only to see his low left foot shot palmed away by Montgomery.

The Stags were excellent in the last 20 minutes or so and just about deserved a draw. The defence were caught out several times for pace and the midfield trio of Palmer, Uhlenbeek and Dawson didn't really get a grip on the match. Only when Dawson was joined by Coke and McLachlan and the pace of Brown was introduced did the Stags look a real threat. Again I would question the formation, we have all the quality required in a 4-4-2 formation, two excellent wide players, a quality front man and Birchall who should be playing further up the field - too often the supposed 4-3-3 looked like a 4-5-1. On a more positive note, Peers again looked comfortable, Jelleyman had a good game and Dawson got better as the match wore on. Birchall still looked a good player event though his role was more defensive and substitutes Coke, McLachlan and Brown impressed hugely. The Stags best player on the day was Barker, his hold-up play was exemplary throughout, he set two goals up and scored the other and put in a top class display.

Man of the Match: Richie Barker

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
Pressman 7 Some excellent saves, a question over the 3rd goal though
Peers 7 Looked comfortable
Jelleyman 7 Did well against the tricky Campbell-Rice
Day 5 Looked a bit out of sorts and lacking in pace
Buxton 5 Like Day his lack of pace was exposed a few times
Uhlenbeek 5 Pretty quiet and ineffective display
Palmer 5 Poor display, not a patch on other performances in pre-season
Dawson 7 Got better as the match wore on, in the right place for both goals
Rundle 7 Worked hard in both halves of the pitch
Barker 9 Excellent display, head and shoulders above the others
Birchall 7 Tenacious as ever
Sub Line Up:
Hjelde (for Day, 63) 6 Some good passing but is clearly not yet match fit
Brown (for Rundle, 68) 7 His pace proved a real threat
Coke (for Palmer, 71) 7 Kept the ball well and used it well
McLachlan (for Uhlenbeek, 80) 7 Did very well, excellent cross for the 3rd goal
Subs not used: White, John-Baptiste, Talbot, Lloyd, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
Montgomery, Worrell, Barker, Murdock, Minto, Campbell-Ryce, McLaren
(Vernazza 86), Williamson (Mullin 81), Robertson (Hoskins 64), Butler, Burton
(Newsham 72).

Season 05/06 Reports