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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Cheltenham Town  
0 - 2
 Mansfield Town
 Barker 28, Brown 67.
Attendance: 3033 (321 from Mansfield)
Date: 29 October 2005

Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Whaddon Road


Mansfield Town won away from home for the first since March, after a terrific performance at Cheltenham this afternoon. The Stags were the better team throughout and scored fine goals from Barker and Brown to secure a comfortable victory, marred only by the sending off of Jelleyman deep into injury time.

The Stags were unchanged from the side that had annihilated Barnet and so nearly beaten Millwall, but there was one change on the bench with Day replacing Jakobs.

Cheltenham made a positive start in the first two minutes but the Stags soon wrestled control of the game and came close to opening the scoring on 9 minutes. Brown did well on the left side in front of the large and vocal Stags following, and put the ball in for Uhlenbeek coming in at an angle at the far post. Uhlenbeek caught his shot beautifully and although from the press box it looked to be heading just wide, the keeper turned the ball away.

On 12 minutes, Cheltenham had a shout for a penalty but the referee adjudged that Spencer had slipped and not been pushed. On 17 minutes, Cheltenham had their first attempt on goal as Pressman saved a shot easily low to his right.

On 18 minutes, Brown was put through on the right hand side and his fierce shot was slow but straight at the keeper who saved, but fumbled the ball, before gathering it. On 23 minutes, Cheltenham got a free kick on the right at a tight angle. McCann tried a cheeky shot which just cleared Pressman’s bar. Two minutes later, D’Laryea was hacked down, and got up to take a quick free kick which nearly put Brown through on goal. On 27 minutes, McCann went close again with a shot.

But on 28 minutes the Stags were in front and what a fine goal it was. Brown picked out Rundle on the left as he made a diagonal run into the box, Rundle then played a fabulous hard low cross to the far post where Barker joyously swept the ball high into the net from 3 yards. He couldn’t miss, and he didn’t, but he had got himself into the right position. There were tremendous celebrations from the Stags players in front of adoring faithful.

The Stags had a let-off on 32 minutes when a Cheltenham player was able to cross the ball from the right with Jelleyman nowhere to be seen. Fortunately Spencer, completely unmarked, headed the ball over the bar. Two minutes later, Brown went down on the byeline under a clumsy challenge and the referee waived away Brown’s furious claims for a penalty. On 37 minutes the Stags had two corners in quick succession. From the first, on the left, a Cheltenham defender just denied Barker and cleared the ball for another corner. This one, taken on the right by Rundle, resulted in Brown whipping in a cross from the left which Barker just headed wide. On 42 minutes, there was a melee in the Cheltenham box but the ball wouldn’t fall kindly an no Stags player could get a shot in. A minute later, Hjelde committed a professional foul on the halfway stopping a Cheltenham player getting free and rightly earned a yellow card which would have been a red further up field. But Hjelde will feel that he made the right choice, as he prevented a dangerous moment. On the stroke of half time, Pressman made a fine catch from a cross.

At half time the Stags were well worth their lead, playing confident football with Rundle and Brown outstanding, and Baptiste and Hjelde commanding at the back.

Half time 0-1

The Stags were lucky not to concede in the first minute of the second half. Buxton gave the ball away with an aimless pass, and Odejayi outpaced Baptiste before shooting against the outside the Pressman’s right post. It was a close call for the Stags who had fallen asleep for the opening minute. On 53 minutes, after a quiet spell, Barker had a turn and shot from the edge of the box straight at the keeper.

The Stags had another lucky break on 65 minutes after a Pressman howler. The Stags keeper came for a cross to the edge of his six-yard box and under pressure, dropped it at the feet of Bird, who side-footed over the bar. Pressman has been under fire for being rooted to his line. This time he did come for a cross but needed to get more on it, and perhaps a punch clear would have been better.

The Stags extended their lead on 67 minutes. Brown ran onto a through ball and as the keeper Higgs came out of 6 yard box, Brown lobbed the ball over him with the outside of his right boot. The ball headed slowly towards the goal and bounced up into the net just inside the left post, as defender Jamie Victory desperately tried to clear it. It seemed like the defender was favourite to clear the ball but somehow made a mess of it probably distracted by the post as he ran towards it at speed.

On 78 minutes, Brown got away again and instead of trying to create a shooting opportunity, he crossed but the ball was behind the inrushing Uhlenbeek. The Stags were keeping the ball nicely for long spells and on 80 minutes after a good move, Brown shot over the bar from just outside the box. Two minutes later, more good approach down the left ended with Barker drilling a dropping loose ball just wide of the keeper who pushed it behind for a corner. A minute later, Brown was motoring down the left again but it came to nothing and then Coke was brought down outside the box. After Coke received attention, the Stags worked a nice free kick routine and Rundle had space for a shot from 24 yards which was wide.

In the third and last minute of injury time, there was a moment of madness from Gareth Jelleyman which will see him miss the next 3 games for a straight red card. As the Stags fullback was clearing near his own corner flag he was caught very late by Cheltenham diminutive substitute Bradshaw. Jelleyman got up and pushed Bradshaw before head butting him and leaving the referee with no option. Bradshaw was also sent off for the challenge. It was a shame that such a victory was marred by this unnecessary event which will force the Stags into having to change a winning team for next week’s cup tie at Rotherham.

This was an excellent performance from the Stags who were solid in defence with Hjelde and Baptiste looking a terrific central defensive partnership, and just one goal conceded in the last four league games is a good indication of the Stags improving fortunes under Shirtliff’s, so far temporary, stewardship. The Stags were also potent going forward with fine crossing from Rundle and Uhlenbeek, and Brown and Barker’s hot form continuing in front of goal (both having scored in the last 3 games).

Man of Match: Jon-Olav Hjelde

Report by: Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Whaddon Road

Line Up:
Pressman 6 Not tested much but was nearly punished for dropping a cross in the second half, ironically a rare occasion that he came off his line.
Buxton 7 Defended well but distribution could have been better.
Baptiste 8 Excellent performance on the ground and in the air.
Hjelde 8 Another excellent performance, impeccable in the air and read the game well.
Jelleyman 6 Did ok, but absolute madness to head-butt a player in injury time and get sent off.
Uhlenbeek 8 Some super crossing and defended well.
D’Laryea 7 Intelligent play in the second half, after a dodgy first half. Looks strong.
Coke 7 Won some great 50:50 balls but also gave the ball away too often early on.
Rundle 8 Wonderful crossing, especially for the first goal. Also did his defensive duties well, a failing earlier in his Stags career.
Brown 8 A constant thorn in Cheltenham’s side. Richly deserved his goal which was very well taken.
Barker 7 Indefatigable. In the right place for his goal. Led the line well throughout, and won so many balls in the air.
Sub Line Up:
Subs Not Used: White, Day, Dawson, Birchall, Littlejohn.
Opposition Line Up:
Higgs, Wilson, Townsend, Duff, Armstrong, Melligan, Connolly (Gill 72), Bird, McCann (Victory 30), Spencer (Bradshaw 64), Odejayi.
Subs Not Used: Caines, Brown.
S Tanner 7 Handled the game well, such that he was hardly noticed until injury time, when he had no choice but to dismiss Jelleyman.

Season 05/06 Reports