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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
2 - 3
 Notts County
Barker 15, Jelleyman 60.
 Hurst 18, 85, Edwards 81.
Attendance: 6444 (1683 from Notts)
Date: 29 August 2005


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

For the second time in 48 hours, some dreadful defending cost the Stags so dear. This time the Stags paid the ultimate price and were beaten at home by near neighbours Notts County. In a generally entertaining encounter, the Stags led twice, with goals from Barker and Jellyeman, but an appalling mistake by Baptiste gifted County their first goal, and then two goals in the final 9 minutes saw the Stags end up pointless.

Carlton Palmer made an incredible 5 changes to the side that drew at Boston. Hjelde came in at the back, with Uhlenbeek and Baptiste moving from midfield into defence, while Brown, Dawson, McLachlan and Birchall came in for a completely new midfield. Day, Buxton, Coke and Jelleyman dropped to the bench, while Peers didn’t make the 16. All in all, only Pressman, Talbot, and the two strikers Barker and Beardsley, started the game in the same position as Saturday. For me, that was too many changes. Once again, manager Palmer took a gamble with no sub keeper on the bench. Current leaders Notts County had Kevin Pilkington in goal, while Andy White was on the bench. Glynn Hurst, who was on loan at Field Mill in the nineties, started up front.

Notts were quicker out of the blocks and the first chance fell to Scoffham on 7 minutes when he was allowed to run at the Stags defence with no challenge, but he shot wide. Minutes later Scoffham crunched into Pressman, and having fouled him, pushed him afterwards as they both got up. Amazingly Scoffham was not booked.

On 10 minutes the Stags had their first chance. Brown made a great run and cross, which eventually fell to McLachalan, on the edge of the box, who sent a powerful left footed shot just wide. This was a chance to make himself a hero, but sadly the young Scot couldn’t take it.

But on 15 minutes Mansfield were in front. Barker received a ball from a Beardsley flick on, held off his marker, made his way into the box and slid a precision shot just inside the far left hand post. It was a terrific goal from the Stags frontman.

But the lead last only 3 minutes and it was shocking defending as the Stags gifted a goal to County. McLachlan gave away an unnecessary free kick 20 yards from goal. Julian Baudet took the kick and it was easily blocked by the Stags wall. Baptiste had a chance to clear but inexplicably tried to control the ball in the 6 yard box and lost control, allowing the predator and former Stags loanee Glynn Hurst to rifle a shot under Pressman from 5 yards. Once he was there, Hurst couldn’t miss. We knew all about Hurst and it was painful to see him score against us again.

On 23 minutes Ullathorne had a shot from 25 yards deflected over the bar by Baptiste. Three minutes later, Baptiste made another mistake, with a misplaced header 40 yards from goal; Scoffham picked up the loose ball and ran at goal. He unleashed a powerful which Pressman did superbly to save. He parried the ball up in the air, and could have expected one of his defenders to finish the clearance, but instead Scoffham himself reacted quickest and headed the rebound over. The Stags survived a scare on 36 minutes. Pressman made another point blank save; the ball looped up in the air and again no Stags player jumped for it, a County player had a free header which was blocked and the resulting shot was wide. Moments later the Stags were living dangerously again as Hurst broke through a static defence and was denied by an outstanding last ditch tackle from Hjelde.

On 37 minutes there was a disaster for Stags striker Chris Beardsley who suffered a broken leg. Pilkington and Beardsley both went for a 50/50 challenge and crunched into each other. Both players seemed initially to be ok, and Pilkington remonstrated with Beardsley, but it quickly became clear the Stags striker was hurt and after a long delay he was stretchered off. Buxton came on at right back with Uhlenbeek switching to right midfield and Brown going up front. The tall Kelvin Wilson was booked for a reckless challenge on Brown by the touchline on 44 minutes and was booked. Brown himself was lucky to escape punishment for his retaliation. A minute into injury time, Scoffham got through the Stags defence again and was again was denied by a brilliant last ditch challenge from Hjelde. At the other end, Barker was fouled by Wilson. The Stags took a clever quick free kick to Uhlenbeek, but his shot was so wide it went for a throw-in.

At half time we reflected that the defence was a worry. Sadly this was to prove a pointer for the second half.

Half time 1-1

Jelleyman replaced Birchall at the break. Birchall had done little in the first half. There was another taste of things to come in the opening seconds as a soft cross from the left into the Stags box should have been cleared by Talbot, but he dallied and Hurst was there to nip in but failed to take the chance. Oh for a predator like Hurst in the Stags squad.

On 47 minutes, Barker nearly did it all himself with a great run down the left, he cut in, and screwed a shot just wide. It was a brilliant effort. The Stags had another chance on 54 minutes: a throw-in was headed over the Notts defence where Brown was in the clear but he shot into the side netting when he should have done better.

The Stags were the better side at this stage and on 60 minutes they were back in front, thanks a bad mistake by Kevin Pilkington, on his return to Field Mill. A ball came into the box from the right; Pilkington came for it but Barker headed it over him and it sat up for Jelleyman to acrobatically steer the ball into an empty net right footed. Bedlam at Field Mill. No goals in 140 career appearances for Jelleyman, then two come along in less than a week (in addition to the penalty in the shoot-out).

Coke replaced Dawson on 66 minutes. There was general amazement around us in the West Stand that it was not McLachlan who was replaced, since he had been very poor. After a quite period, a loose ball fell to Uhlenbeek on 72 minutes, who sent his shot wide from 22 yards. Andy White came on for County after 75 minutes: amazingly some Mansfield fans thought it appropriate to boo the lad, incredible.

With 10 minutes left, a long ball forward by Notts found Hurst again behind the Stags defence, but from an acute angle, Pressman made a good save. From the corner that resulted Notts levelled. It was a straightforward ball into the Stags box, but no Stags player was there to clear it and Edwards sent a clean header past Pressman. Sickening.

And it got worse, much worse, on 85 minutes. A long range shot was blocked by Pressman, Andy White followed up and Baptiste cleared it off the line, but that predator Hurst was there again to knock the rebound into the net from close range. Two minutes later it was nearly 4-2. Jelleyman was beaten on the right wing by a fine turn and cross from Sheridan, and Andy White somehow headed the ball into the ground and it bounced over the bar. The Stags had just one chance to equalise. Right on 90 minutes, a quick free kick was taken to Brown, whose shot was going inches wide when Pilkington made a save low down just outside the left post.

And so the game ended in despair for Stags players and fans alike. No one likes to lose local derbies, and this one was made much worse by the fact that Notts are now nine points above us in the league, already. As at Boston on Saturday, poor defending cost the Stags dearly, but in addition the Stags midfield really didn’t get a grip on the game. And the lack of the striker to partner Barker is a massive worry. Palmer said after the Boston game that he may not make any more signings before Wednesday’s transfer deadline, but the injury to Beardsley will surely now force his hand. The loss of Tipton was a big blow since where is the 20 goal a season striker going to come from?

After such a huge blow today, a positive result at Chester is vital. Forget the Keith Curle element, the Stags just need some points from somewhere. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Richie Barker

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Pressman 7 Some cracking point blank saves.
Uhlenbeek 6 OK in defence, but too quiet when moved to midfield.
Hjelde 7 Two brilliant last ditch tackles in the first half. The pick of a disappointing defence.
Baptiste 5 Shocking mistake for the opening goal. Not at his best throughout.
Talbot 6 OK, but sometimes hesitant.
Brown 6 Quiet.
McLachlan 5 One early shot that was wide. After that completely anonymous.
Dawson 6 Contributed little.
Birchall 6 Too quiet.
Beardsley 6 Much effort but little reward. Desperate news that he got a broken leg. Good luck for a speedy recovery.
Barker 7 Terrific goal. Won most of his headers, but had little support all afternoon. Needs a Glynn Hurst type predator to play alongside him.
Sub Line Up:
Buxton (for Beardsley, 37) 6 Slotted in at right back.
Jelleyman (for Birchall, 46) 6 Took his goal well, but like the rest of the midfield, didn’t do enough.
Coke (for Dawson, 66) 6 Never got into the game in midfield.
Subs not used: Day, Lloyd.
Opposition Line Up:
Pilkington, O'Callaghan, Ullathorne, Baudet, Wilson, Palmer (Martin 45), Edwards, McMahon, Long (Sheridan 65), Hurst, Scoffham (White 76).
Subs Not Used: Zadkovich, Marshall.
G Laws 6 Did ok. Generous in not brandishing his cards, but kept control of the game.

Season 05/06 Reports