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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
0 - 3
 Reet 6, 75, Whaley 10
Attendance: 4147 (216 from Bury)
Date: 11 November 2005

The Stags made two changes from the side victorious at Rotherham 6 days earlier. Suspended Gus Uhlenbeek was replaced by Adam Birchall on the right with Jonathan D'Laryea returning in place of Stephen Dawson, who must have been disappointed to drop to the bench after a good performance a week earlier. Former Stag Matt Tipton was on the bench for Bury.

The Stags looked edgy from the opening minutes, Talbot mis-kicking a back-pass which Reet looked likely to run onto but the excellent Baptiste covered superbly and turned the ball away. However, the Stags reprive was short lived as a cross from the right was headed home by Reet though manager Peter Shirtliff will be asking questions about the marking. It was to get even worse for the Stags just a couple of minutes later, this time there was an element of fortune about the goal as Whaley's shot was deflected past the stranded Pressman, but in truth the Stags defenders had backed off the Bury midfielder and gave him ample time to shoot on goal. Birchall did well on the right, cut in towards goal but Edwards saved well from the young wingers crisp low shot. Indeed, it was Birchall who was providing the bulk of the Stags early attacks and after neat work from Brown again he found Edwards too good as his shot was saved. Bury had a clear chance to go three up just moments later, a low cross evaded the entire Stags defence but thankfull Matis decided to side foot his shot which Pressman saved easily. The Stags were restricted to a few long range efforts for the remainder of the half, but just before the break the home side almost pulled a goal back. Buxton fired a long ball across the area, Edwards, not the tallest keeper in the league, spilled the cross but from an acute angle Barker's shot was cleared off the line. A disappointing half and whilst the Stags put together a few decent attacks, at times the defence was a shambles.

Half Time: 0-2

The Stags began the second half very brightly but in this key period of the game the home side faltered in the final third, Rundle in particular had several chances to put in a killer cross, but each time overhit his crosses. At the other end Bury were still looking dangerous, twice within a couple of minutes shots from the left hand side of the area flew past Pressman's left hand post. Peers replaced the struggling Talbot and with his first touch fired a 25 yard shot which hit the roof of the Quarry Lane End. Barker finally got onto the end of a Rundle cross but was unable to head the ball on target and the Stags were dealt a further blow when Brown limped off to be replaced by Littlejohn. The game could, and should, have changed on 72 minutes. Barker worked some space inside the Bury area and was clearly tripped, quite how referee Mathieson missed the foul is anyone's guess, but as penalties go, this was as clear as you could get. This would have made for an interesting final 15 minutes, but instead just a couple of minutes later Bury killed the game off, more hesitant defending allowed Reet to fire a superb shot over Pressman and into the top corner. The Stags final chance fell to Barker, who hit a crisp shot from Rundle's left wing cross, but as he had been all game, Edwards was in the right place to make a splendid save.

This was a bitterly disappointing performance, coming on the back of two big wins at Field Mill and two fine away wins at Cheltenham and Rotherham. Defensively the Stags were very weak, often Baptiste was the last man and had it not been for his pace the scoreline could have been much worse. Although most of the side had below par evenings, the Stags were especially weak down the left hand side and Hjelde's lack of pace certainly caused a few very nervy moments. Bury dominated central midfield, where both D'Laryea and Coke were disappointing. On a more positive note, Adam Birchall did a good job on the right, well backed up by Buxton and Baptiste himself was the outstanding player on the pitch. The defeat has certainly given Peter Shirtliff something to contemplate and clearly there are a few areas which require urgent attention, probably with the use of loan players.

Man of the Match: Alex-John Baptiste

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
K Pressman 5 Not at fault for the goals, though still remains hesitant under crosses
J Buxton 6 Did OK at both left and right back
J Talbot 4 Exposed many times, a poor evening for Jason
J Hjelde 5 Although his passing was good, his immobility caused problems, gave away too many free kicks
A Baptiste 8 Everywhere again, pacey and almost always in the right place
A Birchall 6 Lively at times, has good touch but nothing came off for him in the final third
G Coke 5 Given sponsors MoM, I have no idea why
J D'Laryea 5 Careless in possession and both he and Coke clearly lost the midfield battle
A Rundle 4 Probably his worst game for the club, his crossing was very poor
S Brown 5 Very quiet and a few very wild shots
R Barker 6 Should have had a penalty and had the Stags best attempts
Sub Line Up:
Peers (for Talbot, 63) 6 Did OK, but perhaps culpable for the 3rd goal
Littlejohn (for Brown, 71) 6 Quite bright when he came on, but the game was already over
Subs not used: White, Day, Dawson.
Opposition Line Up:
N Edwards, T Kennedy, C Woodthorpe, D Challinor, P Scott, D Buchanan, D Mattis, D Flitcroft (57 T Youngs) , S Whaley (90 D Quigley) , N Adams, D Reet (78 M Tipton).
Subs: C Dootson, J Fitzgerald.
S Mathieson 4 Missed the clearest penalty you are ever likely to see

Season 05/06 Reports