{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
3 - 0
 Torquay United
Rundle 14, Peers 42, Brown 81
Attendance: 2, 632 (192 from Torquay)
Date: 13 August 2005

The Stags made two changes in personnel plus a change in tactics for the visit of Torquay United. In came Adam Rundle for Gus Uhlenbeek and Jake Buxton replaced Jon Hjelde. There was also a change in formation, with the Stags starting with a 4-4-2 - the result in the change in formation was there for all to see as the Stags turned in a terrific performance, one which the scoreline probably doesn't do justice to.

The pitch was sodden at the start of the game after over an hour of driving rain which continued throughout the first half. After a fairly quiet opening with neither side really testing the keepers, the Stags managed to take the lead with their first chance of the game. A neat passing move saw Tipton get to the byeline and knock in a fine low cross, Barker just failed to connect but the ball fell to Rundle on the far post who took a touch and fired the ball home. From then on it was all Mansfield and some of the football was excellent, prompted by the outstanding Dawson and industrious McLachlan at the heart of the Stags midfield. Barker could have put the Stags further ahead, more fine passing saw Dawson float a great pass out to Rundle on the left, he was upended and Birchall's floated free kick found Barker on the far post but he couldn't get enough on his header to direct it towards goal. Barker again latched on to a through ball, again from Dawson, but this time his shot drifted past the other post. Pressman was at last called into action ten minutes before half time with a powerful shot from Priso hit straight at the Stags stopper who was able to palm the ball away. As the ball was fed dangerously back into the Stags area, Priso was flagged offside. Peers, having another fine game on the right, almost extended the Stags lead after his cross from the right almost caught out former Forest keeper Marriott, but he managed to tip the ball over for a corner. A couple of minutes later it was another corner which saw the Stags increase their lead. Rundle floated in a fine corner and an unmarked Peers was able to head home. The Stags left the pitch to a warm ovation, it was a fine opening half display.

Half-Time 2-0

The Stags were quick off the mark in the 2nd half as weather conditions improved. Rundle firing a shot which Marriott saved and then moments later Dawson firing a low shot just wide. Pressman was forced into a save at his near post, conceding a corner which, not for the first time, was headed clear by the imperious Day. Birchall twice found space down the right after fine passing moves, but twice his excellent low crosses just evaded a Stags striker. At this stage it looked like the Stags would add to their tally at any moment, but always in the back of your mind was the fact that one goal for the visitors would bring them right back into it. Indeed, Torquays best chanced of the game came when a powerful shot was fumbled by Pressman but Buxton was on hand to fire the ball away with Torquay sub Coleman about to pounce. This was as close as the visitors came with the Stags totally dominating the final half hour of the match. Tipton tried his luck from the edge of the area, Marriott just managing to save and then Dawson found himself unmarked in front of goal but just couldn't get the ball down, instead he held the ball up for Barker but his shot flew across the goal and wide. The excellent Rundle was replaced by Brown as Birchall switched to the left to allow Brown to take his place on the right. Brown wasn't to spend long on the right as the next Stags switch saw Uhlenbeek replace Tipton, Brown moving into attack with the sub moving to the right hand side. Despite the changes, the Stags remained on top, Brown fired well over from the right when a cross would have been the better option but on 81 minutes he made the match safe. A terrific through ball from Dawson set Brown free and he lobbed the ball over Marriott to put the game beyond the Gulls. Brown almost added his second into injury time, firing over after a neat turn.

An excellent display by the Stags, probably the best home display under Carlton Palmer. Torquay did look a side in the middle of rebuilding, but the Stags exploited that to the full and domintated throughout and probably should have scored more than three goals. The change in formation saw Stags players looking more comfortable, the selection of Rundle on the left worked well and McLachlan had his finest match for the Stags, involved throughout and rarely wasting possession. The back four looked solid, where Day was outstanding and Peers continuing to look a splendid signing. However, the Stags best player was Stephen Dawson, he rarely wasted a pass, covered every area of the pitch and gave the perfect central midfield display. Credit to the manager too, despite saying he was committed to 4-3-3, having seen the opening two games he decided to change it and he and his side reaped the rewards.

Man of the Match: Stephen Dawson

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
Pressman 6 One spilled shot but otherwise solid
Peers 8 Goal capped another fine display
Jelleyman 7 Got forward well and was steady defensively
Day 9 Another tremendous performance from Rhys
Buxton 8 A good return for Jake, very solid
Birchall 8 Worked hard and showed some quality touches on the right
Rundle 8 Gave the Stags excellent width and scored
McLachlan 8 Best game I've seen him play, tackled well and passed well and always up with the pace of the game
Dawson 9.5 Outstanding display, all over the pitch, some superb passing - real class
Barker 8 Tireless display, unlucky not to get on the scoresheet
Tipton 7 Some neat touches
Sub Line Up:
Brown (for Rundle, 70) 7 Pace caused problems again and a fine finish for his goal
Uhlenbeek (for Tipton, 76) 6
Beardsley (for Beardsley, 82) 6
Opposition Line Up:
Marriott, Lawless, Woods, Taylor, McGlinchey, Hockley, Garner, Hill, Sow, Priso, Kuffour
Subs: Villis, Sako, Coleman, Connell, Sharp
S Mathieson 7 A bit fussy but got most things right

Season 05/06 Reports