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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
4 - 0
 Shrewsbury Town
Coke 6, Rundle 65, Barker 69, Uhlenbeek 71
Attendance: 3334 (488 from Shrewsbury)
Date: 7 October 2005

The Stags made two changes from the side beaten at Orient 6 days earlier. With Adam Birchall on Welsh Under 21 duty and Gavin Peers injured, in came Gus Uhlenbeek on the right with Jake Buxton switching to right back to allow Jelleyman to drop to left back with Adam Rundle starting the match on the left wing. The visitors had former Notts striker Mark Stallard on the bench.

It was the visitors who had the first meaningful attempt on goal, a Walton header from a right wing corner beating Pressman but Baptiste was on hand to volley the ball away. Just a minute later the Stags were ahead with a simply stunning goal. Dawson, in the thick of the action from the opening minute, did well to win a corner. Rundle's cross was headed clear only as far as Coke some 20 yards out and the Stags youngster smashed the ball past Hart with a superb right foot volley. Dawson almost fired the Stags further ahead, his shot looked goal-bound but Barker just couldn't get out of the way in time and the ball deflected off the Stags striker and drifted wide for a goal kick. Although the Stags were creating chances, there remained some nervy moments and too often possession was squandered too easily. Fortunately for the home side the Shrews were unable to create any clear cut chances and it was the Stags who continued to create the better openings. Brown, a real mennace up front, saw a 15 yard shot from the right easily saved by Hart and just before the break Rundle embarked on a fine run through the middle which ended with a well hit shot which Hart handled well.

Half-Time: 1-0

Shrews made two changes at half time, on came Stallard and Langmead for Herd and Darby. The Stags began the 2nd half well, Brown turned brilliantly just inside the Shrew half and his pace saw him clear of the defence on the left, however, instead of looking for Barker or Rundle to his right, he chose to shoot and the ball flew high and wide. This was symptomatic of Brown's evening, at times he was simply brilliant but occasionally his final decision was the wrong one. Pressman had his first real save of the game to make ten minutes into the 2nd half, an almost slow motion like dive to deny McMenamin who had headed goalwards from a cross from the right. The Shrews were on top and you could sense the nerves both in the players and supporters. Stallard broke clear but from 18 yards pulled his right foot shot well wide. Just past the hour Brown missed a glorious chance to put the Stags two up. Buxton curled in a splendid cross from the right, Barker nodded the ball back to Brown who with a free header from 5 yards managed to somehow head wide. As it looked likely the Stags were to endure an edgy last 25 minutes, the home side secured the points with three goals in 6 minutes - each of the goals were superbly created and each demonstrated what a good side we could be if we could sort out the defensive line. Barker held the ball up and turned a neat ball to Brown inside the area, the pacey striker then hit a great low ball across the area and found Rundle at the far post who tapped home gleefully. Four minutes later the game was over and it was another fine passing move. Brown again involved, this time choosing the right pass and setting Rundle clear, he cut inside from the left and saw his shot palmed away by Hart, the ball fell to Barker who had the simple task of tapping home from a yard. On 71 minutes the Stags rounded off an incredible spell of attacking football, Buxton again doing well on the right, his low cross was met by Uhlenbeek whose low shot flew past Hart. Littlejohn replaced the excellent Brown with ten minutes to go and Lloyd came on for Uhlenbeek a few minutes later. The Stags did sit back a little towards the end and allowed a couple of late chances from corners, but by then the game was over. One worry was a late knock for Dawson, but it was a relief to see him walk off the pitch unaided, he was replaced by McLachlan.

All in all this was a good performance by the Stags. Perhaps the scoreline was not an accurate reflection of possession, but it was a reflection of clear chances created. The home side had a cutting edge the Shrews lacked and for once the back four remained solid. The form of Dawson makes a mockery of the fact that on one occasion our previous manager didn't even include him in the 16, he was excellent and Baptiste at last resembled the player we all know he is. Barker was again extremely effective up front and the two wide players provided good service. However, man of the match was Simon Brown, one or two things did not come off for him, but he was everywhere, chased down lost causes, showed some terrific skill which lead to two of the goals and was a real thorn in the Shrews side. If we can sort the away form out and continue to play this type of attacking football at the Mill, the worry of relegation will not last long.

Man of the Match: Simon Brown

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
Pressman 7 Solid handling, good kicking
Buxton 7 Nervy first half, vast improvement in the 2nd
Baptiste 8 Almost back to his best
Hjelde 7 Solid in the air, lack of pace remains a worry
Jelleyman 7 Like Bucko struggled first half but also vastly improved 2nd half
Uhlenbeek 7 Did a good job on the right and worth his goal
Coke 7 Terrific goal and some very neat passing
Dawson 8 High class display in the middle
Rundle 7 Occasionally his final ball let him down, but involved throughout
Barker 8 Fine target man display, and in the right place for his goal
Brown 9 A mixed night, some good, some bad but one thing, he never stopped - a real livewire and despite a few misses, our best player
Sub Line Up:
Littlejohn (for Brown, 79) 6 A few decent touches
Lloyd (for Uhlenbeek, 83) 6 Little time to make an impact
McLachlan (for Dawson, 85) 6 Like Callum, not much time to make an impact
Subs not used: Day, Talbot.
Opposition Line Up:
J Hart, K Sharp, D Walton, R Hope, S Whitehead, N Ashton, N Sorvel, J Denny, B Herd (45 K Langmead) , D Darby (45 M Stallard) , C McMenamin.
Subs: B Smith, G Thompson, G Cowan.
E Ilderton 5 Not as bad as he has been, but still not a good referee

Season 05/06 Reports