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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Boston United  
2 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Thomas 9, White 34.
 Barker (pen) 25, Brown 70.
Attendance: 2848 (809 from Mansfield)
Date: 27 August 2005


Martin Shaw at York Street

Mansfield Town picked up another point in a highly entertaining draw at Boston this afternoon, but it should have been all three but for some lapses in defence, and failure to make their territorial advantage count. After going behind early on, Richie Barker pulled the Stags level with a thunderous penalty after Rhys Day was fouled in the box. The Stags were behind again before half time after Pressman seemed to be at fault, but Simon Brown rescued a deserved point with a superb equalizer on 70 minutes.

The Stags made just one change from the side that knocked Championship side Stoke from the Carling Cup, with Pressman returning in place of cup hero Jason White.

The Stags started positively but it was Boston who had the first chance when Joachim headed over the bar from a right wing cross. But after 5 minutes the Stags came so close to scoring. Beardsley did well to hold off several defenders, and was checked on his route to goal, so he rolled the ball across the edge of the box for Baptiste who steadied himself before striking a great left-footed shot just past the angle of bar and post. We had a superb view from our position in the press box and it really was just a whisker wide. Then a cross from the right was headed goalwards by Jelleyman, but this time it was straight at the keeper, unlike on Tuesday.

But the Stags were behind on 9 minutes. A ball was pumped into the Stags box and Jason Lee outjumped Day to flick the ball on for Danny Thomas. For some reason, Peers was out of position and Thomas was left with the easy chance and plenty of time to place a shot past Pressman and in at the far post. It was very lax defending, and it seemed that it was Peers’ fault.

Moments later Beardsley had a gilt-edged chance to equalize. Talbot won the ball and found Coke, who in turn played the ball forward for Beardsley, who made his way into the area slightly to the right of centre, but instead of pulling the trigger, he dallied too long and a combination of keeper and defender blocked the shot. It was a bad miss by Beardsley, in fact it would have been classed as a sitter for any striker looking sharp in front of goal.

The Stags were gifted a chance for the equaliser on 25 minutes. A cross into the Boston box saw Jason Lee in his own area and he pulled back Rhys Day. It seemed completely unnecessary as Day was by no means in a scoring position, but it was a clear foul. Richie Barker stepped up, fresh from his success in the penalty shoot out, and he blasted it straight down the middle as Nathan Abbey dived to his right. A fine penalty.

More poor defending by the Stags nearly cost another goal when Joachim played Thomas into the box. Again Peers was nowhere to be seen, but this time Thomas was off balance as he ballooned his shot wide and over.

Boston regained the lead on 34 minutes, with a very soft goal. Maylett's deep free-kick to the far post was met by defender Alan White’s looping header. It floated over Pressman and two defenders couldn’t clear it off the line. My impression from the far end of the ground in the press box was that Pressman was badly at fault. It was revenge for Alan White who had been clattered three times by Stags players in his own box, receiving attention from the physio each time. He had also been sent off against the Stags on his last game against them (for Colchester).

The Stags continued to play the better football but went into the break behind, due to poor defending.

Half time 2-1

The Stags continued to play nice football as the second half got under way, but Pressman was called upon to redeem himself as a cross into the Stags box was met by Jason Lee, whose goal-bound header was kept out by a brilliant one-handed save. It was a great effort by the Stags keeper as he turned the ball around the post.

Chances were now fewer, and the Stags were frustrating in that their open play was great, but crossing was consistently awful as moves broke down. Uhlenbeek and Peers were particularly at fault. Simon Brown replaced the disappointing Peers on 58 minutes as Uhlenbeek moved to right back and Brown to right midfield. But there was an excellent moment on 68 minutes. Coke turned his man in the box and fired an excellent shot from 16 yards out against the top of the bar and out for a goal-kick. It was a brilliant effort by Coke, who was having a fine second half. A minute later, Stags’ hearts were in their mouths as the home side had the ball in the net. The dangerous Lee headed down for Paul Ellender, who bundled the ball towards the goal, and Pressman managed to swipe the ball into his own net off the post. It probably would have been counted as an own goal, but the referee did well to spot a hand-ball by Ellender, that was clear to us from our position, but may have been more difficult to see from behind.

And on 70 minutes the Stags at last got a deserved equaliser with a stunning effort from Brown. Brown ran from around the halfway line and shrugged off challenges before firing into the bottom left hand corner of the net from just inside the area. It was a stunning effort and just what the Stags needed. Minutes later the Stags had a let-off when Joachim curled a shot inches wide of the right hand post from inside the box, with Pressman beaten. And there was another escape on 82 minutes. Joachim muscled Buxton off the ball on the left touchline and got in front of the Stags centre half as he made his way along the byeline. We had a perfect view of it from behind the goal as Buxton brought him down, but referee Foy waved play on much to the Stags relief. During injury time, the Stags at last put a decent cross into the box but Barker could only send a weak header towards goal. Back at the other end Boston appealed again for a penalty as substitute Greaves claimed he was pushed in the area from a corner but again we had a perfect view of the incident and this time it was definitely not a penalty.

The Stags were very bright today and produced a good performance. But defensive lapses and generally poor crossing cost them dear. So another draw and the Stags now have just 5 points from the first 5 games. This is nowhere near enough and a win over Notts County on Monday is vital.

The Stags fans were excellent again today in getting behind the team. I stayed behind in the press box to try to find out the exact number from Mansfield, and finally found the right person to talk to, only to be told that they had a new guy dealing with it today and he hadn't been able to work it out yet! I was told to call on Tuesday when they will have worked it out. UPDATE on Wednesday - the number was 809.

Man of the match: Simon Brown

Report by: Martin Shaw at York Street

Line Up:
Pressman 6 Seemed to be at fault for the second goal. Made some good saves in the second half to redeem himself.
Peers 5 Got caught out for the first goal. Not his best afternoon.
Day 6 Had his hands full with Jason Lee, but did ok overall.
Buxton 7 Defended well generally; lucky to get away with not conceding penalty for clumsy challenge on Joachim.
Talbot 6 Decent game at left back.
Uhlenbeek 6 Played well in open play but crosses were very poor all afternoon.
Baptiste 7 Did well in central midfield role. Unlucky with one rasping shot just wide.
Coke 7 Quiet first half but excellent second half and so unlucky to strike the bar.
Jelleyman 6 Did ok on left side of midfield.
Beardsley 7 Put himself about well, but missed a sitter in the first half.
Barker 7 Did well, and crashed home the penalty.
Sub Line Up:
Brown (for Peers, 58) 8 Very lively, and what an outstanding goal.
Birchall (for Jelleyman, 71) 6 .
Dawson (for Beardsley, 84) 6 .
Subs not used: White, Hjelde.
Opposition Line Up:
Abbey, Canoville, Ellender, White, McCann, Maylett, Noble, Talbot (Ross 76), Thomas, Lee (Whelan 73), Joachim (Greaves 85).
Subs Not Used: Futcher, Wright.
Chris Foy 6 Did ok. Was generous to the Stags when he turned down penalty for foul on Joachim by Buxton.

Season 05/06 Reports