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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Leyton Orient  
3 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Keith 17, Alexander 58, Echanomi 75.
 Coke 65.
Attendance: 4164 (197 from Mansfield)
Date: 1 October 2005


Martin Shaw at Brisbane Road

Mansfield Town fell further adrift at the foot of the Football League this afternoon after a 3-1 defeat at Leyton Orient. Once again defensive errors were the sole reason for the defeat, despite a decent performance in which they more than matched the team who started the game in fourth place. The Stags looked impressive going forward and created more good chances that the Londoners, but dreadful errors by Peers and Pressman gifted two goals to the home side, and the Stags were never able to recover.

Peter Shirtliff made one change from the side that drew at Macclesfield, bringing in Hjelde for Day in central defence. Day took his place on the bench. It was a change that was met with surprise from Stags fans, since Day did not look injured. Orient included Gary Alexander, who always scores against the Stags, and had scored in his previous 5 games this season - it was an absolute certainty he would score this afternoon.

In an even start to the game, the Stags were nearly behind on 7 minutes when Alexander missed, after a scramble in the Stags box. But a minute later Simon Brown did superbly to twist and turn in the box and create a chance for himself, but his powerful effort was straight at Orient keeper Garner.

On 17 minutes Orient took the lead and it was a repeat of numerous other goals this season as a Stags player messed up in his own box. Shane Tudor, who was giving Buxton a nightmare on the right wing, got in a cross. Peers should have been able to clear it, but allowed the ball through to Joe Keith who had an easy task to beat Pressman from 7 yards.

Just a minute later the Stags had a glorious chance to equalize. Hjelde, who was playing superbly at the back, played an incisive ball forward for Jelleyman to run onto. Jelleyman made progress into the Orient box, and just had Garner to beat, but shot inches past the right post. It was a bad miss and one that you felt Rundle (who was sitting on the bench) would have taken. However Rundle was to miss an even easier chance in the second half!

Hjelde continued to dominate at the back for the Stags but on 25 minutes the Stags had a massive let-off after more terrible defending. A corner was played into the Stags box and was cleared to Lockwood just outside the area. He had at least 8 yards of free space and made his way into the box before pulling the ball back, and it cannoned off a Stags player and onto the post.

The Stags were easily a match for their opponents, who looked very dodgy at the back, and on 33 minutes it should have been 1-1. Coke made a great run through the middle. The Orient defenders kept backing off him, expecting him to play a ball to Birchall on his right. But the youngster kept going and from the edge of the box he shot just past the right post. It was a great run, reminiscent of his run and shot that led to Brown’s goal last week against Wycombe, but Coke should have hit the target on this occasion.

On 39 minutes, Birchall had a shot deflected over the bar after neat play with Jelleyman.

On the stroke of half time, a ball was played into the Stags 6 yard box from the right. It was no more than 2 yards from the goal line and incredibly Pressman just let it run and Hjedle did well to get it clear. It was shocking goalkeeping, and the sort that cannot give defenders any confidence. Pressman was to repeat this in the second half.

Half time 1-0

At half time, Rundle came on for Buxton, who had had a poor half against Shane Tudor.

On 52 minutes Rundle could have made an instant impression. Brown did superbly to get the ball across to the left, and Rundle was in acres of space just 12 yards out. He took aim and would surely bulge the net. But no, he blasted his effort wide. It really was a sitter.

At this stage the home fans were getting on the backs of the Orient players as the Stags were completely on top. But disaster struck on 58 minutes with another howler. Lockwood took a free kick from about 25 yards. It was straight at Pressman. He should have caught it, but it rebounded off his ample chest to the edge of the six-yard box where it bounced back into the net off a combination of Baptiste and Alexander (actually TV evidence showed that Alexander didn’t touch it!). But of course it had to be Alexander’s goal; because he always scores against us.

It buoyed the home fans but the Stags remained completely on top. On 64 minutes, Barker came within inches of a goal. He took a free-kick from 25 yards which deflected off the wall and completely wrong-footed the keeper, but bounced inches wide of the right post. Then from the resulting corner it seemed like more bad luck for the Stags as Brown did brilliantly to work a shooting chance for himself and shot against the underside of the bar via a deflection. But the Stags’ luck changed as the ball bounced down and Coke was able to head in unchallenged from 2 yards.

A point really looked on the cards, and three minutes later Baptiste fizzed a shot along the wet surface and the keeper had to tip it around for a corner.

Uhlenbeek replaced the disappointing Peers on 74 minutes, and Echanomi came on for Orient. Within 30 seconds Echanomi had made it 3-1 and it was game over. The Stags were on the attack, but lost possession and a long ball was punted forward for Echanomi to run onto. He showed fantastic pace and easily got past the labouring Hjelde to fire past Pressman. Hjelde booted the ball into the stand in frustration. He had had such a fine game, but his lack of pace had cost a goal.

After that, the Stags lost heart and didn’t look like getting back into it. And so another defeat, and a sickening one at that as the Stags were worthy of at least a point, but if you gift the opposition two goals then you will lose most games. Unless defensive frailty can be eradicated very quickly indeed, then the Stags are only heading for one place: the Nationwide Conference. Forget talk of a team that is too good to go down; it doesn’t matter how well you play if you give away stupid goals, time after time after time.

Man of the match: Jon-Olav Hjelde

Report by: Martin Shaw at Brisbane Road

Line Up:
Pressman 4 Bad mistake for Orient’s second goal. Two further errors went unpunished where he let crosses bounce within 3 yards of his own goal and defenders had to clear. Nowhere near good enough today.
Peers 5 Dreadful error for Orient’s first goal. Confidence drained away after that, typified by one terrible shot in the first half
Baptiste 6 Did ok in defence against the pace of Ibehre.
Hjelde 8 Made me eat my words on the radio with an outstanding performance, until he was outpaced by Echanomi for the third goal.
Buxton 5 Disappointing. Given the run around by Tudor on the right wing. Subbed at half time.
Birchall 7 Powerful performance on right side of midfield.
Coke 7 Did well pushing forward; one superb run but then missed the target.
Dawson 6 Did ok.
Jelleyman 6 Missed a glorious chance in the first half. Moved to left back at half time and did ok.
Brown 8 Involved in most of the Stags attacks; gave the defence lots of problems.
Barker 6 Repeatedly fouled by Zakuani and not protected by the ref. Looked very frustrated again.
Sub Line Up:
Rundle (for Buxton, 46) 6 Missed an absolute sitter. Crossing could have been better.
Uhlenbeek (for Peers, 74) 6 Showed some good skills.
Littlejohn (for Birchall, 87) -
Subs not used: McLachlan, Day.
Opposition Line Up:
Garner, Lockwood, Mackie, Miller, Zakuani, Tudor, Simpson, Easton, Keith, Alexander, Ibehre (Echanomi 74).
Subs Not Used: Barnard, Carlisle, Morris, McMahon.
Keith Stroud, Hampshire 5 Repeatedly failed to act when Barker was fouled all afternoon.

Season 05/06 Reports