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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Peterborough United  
2 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Farrell 49, St Ledger 60.
Attendance: 4056 (859 from Mansfield)
Date: 20 August 2005


Martin Shaw at London Road

Mansfield Town put in a shocking second half performance at London Road this afternoon to be beaten 2-0 by an average Peterborough side. The Stags had started brightly in the first half, but the second half was easily the worst display since the home defeat by Oxford last season.

Mansfield made one change from the side that had beaten Torquay with Jason White replacing the injured Kevin Pressman in goal. So the formation remained at 4-4-2, with Tipton and Barker up front, and Birchall on the right side of midfield. Birchall and Dawson were included, despite having played parts in under 21 internationals on Tuesday. Meanwhile Posh included James Quinn who played for the Northern Ireland senior side on Wednesday, and such was the strength of their squad that Trevor Benjamin was on the bench.

The Stags started brightly and forced 2 dangerous early corners; from the second Barker had a header easily saved. On 7 minutes, the Stags took a clever free-kick from wide on the right: Rundle played a one-two with Tipton, and Rundle blasted a fabulous effort which keeper Tyler clutched above his head. On 16 minutes the Stags had a let-off which was a sign of things to come. Jamie Day was allowed to get to the byeline and his cross somehow evaded the waiting Posh pack. It was a huge let-off and set the scene for the Stags continually failing to stop crosses coming in. Two corners resulted and from the second, McLachlan did superbly to head clear.

On 21, Tipton received a ricochet and fired a shot over the bar. Two minutes later, Dawson crossed and Rhys Day leapt like a salmon above the defence, but unfortunately headed straight at the keeper. This was a very promising opening quarter of the game from Mansfield.

On 28 minutes, Dave Farrell made a dangerous break into the box, but Peers did just enough to put him off. Seconds later, James Quinn went down in the box, but it looked a decent challenge from Rhys Day, and the referee waved appeals away.

On the half hour, Richie Barker had the best chance of the first half. Rundle flighted a perfectly weighted cross from the left, Barker had all the time in the world to dive forward and head goalwards from 10 yards but somehow headed over. He really should have got it on target. On 33 minutes, poor play by Rundle down by his own corner flag as he committed himself and a Posh player crossed but it was well cleared by Rhys Day. Four minutes later, the Stags got a free kick of their own 25 yards from goal, but it was a dreadful scuffed effort by Birchall, so bad that it fell to Rhys Day who flicked his effort wide. Two minutes before half time, Rundle was scythed down on the left. The free kick was wasted and Peterborough broke straight to the other end, where Jelleyman did well to tackle Farrell in the box.

So a promising first half for the Stags, who had slightly the better of things, and much the better chances. In fact the home side did not test Jason White with any efforts on goal. But I did note down at the break that the Posh were getting in too many dangerous crosses, and this was to prove the Stags undoing in the second half. It was also obvious at the break that the real dangerman was Farrell, and he was to rip the Stags apart in the second half.

Half time 0-0

The Stags fell behind four minutes after the break with the Posh’s first attempt on goal. Shaun St. Ledger sent in a cross from the right wing which reached James Quinn at the far post, who headed it back to Farrell, who beat Buxton to the ball, to head past White. I thought it was a poor goal defensively but it was also a well worked goal.

Brown replaced Tipton after 53 minutes. Then two minutes later Buxton was penalized for a foul on Quinn on the edge of the box as Quinn headed towards goal. We had an excellent view of the incident from the press box and it most definitely was not a foul. Nevertheless Buxton was booked. If the ref thought it was a foul, he probably should have been red-carded. From the free-kick taken by Sagi Burton, Quinn flicked an effort just off target. Four minutes later, Buxton was replaced by Baptiste, presumably to save Buxton from the chance of a red card, and also because Palmer realised his mistake of not playing your best players when you can (Baptiste having been suspended for the previous three games).

But within a minute it was 2-0 and more poor defending. There was great wing play by Farrell, who sent in a hanging cross from the left byeline which should have been cleared by Jelleyman, but Shaun St. Ledger managed to outjump him and head over White and Baptiste who were on the line. It was more horrible defending, and the Stags truly had not learnt the lesson to stop those crosses coming in.

Three minutes after that a difference between the two teams was highlighted when the Stags had a free kick and Birchall floated his effort over everyone and straight out of play. Moments later, Dawson went on a fine run, but was heading too wide when he shot past the post. At least this was more promising. Uhlenbeek came on for Rundle on 72 minutes. On 77 minutes Peers was lucky to get away with a headed back-pass that Quinn failed to connect with. 12 minutes from time, Trevor Benjamin came on for Quinn, as if to highlight Posh’s strength in depth up front. Then Farrell was replaced by Richard Logan. Farrell was given a standing ovation. He had been awesome and frankly taken us to the cleaners.

Nine minutes from time Mansfield had a very rare attack when McLachlan whipped in a cross-shot that was just past the post. We reflected that McLachlan had carried on battling during the second half and had clearly been one of the better players during an appalling second half. Posh should have added a third on 86 minutes. Semple was allowed time to get in a cross and Logan headed across goal instead of towards goal and Jelleyman was able to shepherd the ball to White. In the third minute of stoppage time, the Stags had their first effort on target of the half. Barker took a free-kick from 20 yards, which was deflected into the path of Brown whose cross-shot was caught high above his head by Tyler. At the end of the game, Barker was the only Stags player to head over to the away fans and acknowledge the superb support. The rest hung their heads in shame.

The Stags were so dreadful in the second half it was incredible. They were second to every ball and Peterborough totally got on top of us. After the game Palmer was embarrassed by the performance and so he should have been. It was a shocker. It seemed a long time before he came up to the press box to give his views; presumably he had been saying more than a few words in the dressing room. He looked very upset and let down by the players.

Man of the match: Richie Barker

Report by: Martin Shaw at London Road

Line Up:
White 6 Actually had surprisingly little to do. Couldn’t be blamed for the goals.
Peers 5 Too many crosses were allowed to come in all afternoon. His worst performance in a Stags shirt.
Day 5 Didn’t look comfortable today.
Buxton 5 No worse than the rest of the defence, but probably sacrificed because he had been booked.
Jelleyman 5 Not a happy return to his former club.
Birchall 5 Never looked at the races. Dreadful free-kick summed up his performance.
Dawson 5 Quieter than usual. Very disappointing in second half.
McLachlan 6 Not great in the first half, but the best of a bad bunch in the second half.
Rundle 6 Unlucky with one shot, and provided one perfect cross for Barker. Poor in the second half.
Tipton 5 Poor game.
Barker 6 Won most of his headers. But he should have scored with a great chance in the first half
Sub Line Up:
Brown (for Tipton, 53) 5 Didn’t get into the game at all.
Baptiste (for Buxton, 59) 5 Looked slightly rusty.
Uhlenbeek (for Rundle, 72) 5 .
Subs not used: Coke, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
Tyler, Carden, Burton, Arber, Farrell (sub Logan 79min), Gain, Newton (sub Semple 65min St. Ledger, Plummer, Quinn (sub Benjamin 78min), Day. Unused subs: Harrison, Boucaud.
S Dorr 6 Did ok. One dreadful decision when he gave a foul against Buxton and booked him.

Season 05/06 Reports