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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
4 - 1
 Mansfield Town
D Williams 49, McEvilly 53, Walters 61, Mark Jones 87
 Barker pen 41
Attendance: 3421 (140 from Mansfield)
Date: 6 December 2005

by Ben Superstag at The Racecourse Ground

Although the scoreline suggested that the Stags were hammered, nothing could be further from the truth on a cold Tuesday night in North Wales.

In fact for the majority of the match Mansfield were on top in this encounter. Early on in the game some fine flowing football from the Stags saw them have some good opportunities to go ahead, D'Laryea's shot was saved by the Wrexham keeper Ingham who could only push the ball away to Adam Birchall who charged in and forced the keeper to make another good save at the feet of Birchall, but the pressure hadn't gone as the ball was still in the air and Richie Barker seized on the opportunity to try and make it 10 goals in 12 appearances only for Ingham to make another fine save and push the ball out for a corner. The ever lively Lee McEvilly then broke through the Mansfield back line and raced towards goal only for Peers to bring him down and leave him in a heap on the floor, the calls for a penalty fell on deaf ears with the referee as he deemed Peers to have won the ball. Wrexham continued to pile on the pressure at this stage and it took a great block from Alex-John Baptiste to prevent them from going a goal to the good, with Lee McEvilly again powering the ball into him.

Mansfield eventually settled down and started to make some good passing moves, Adam Birchall worked tirelessly in the first half for Mansfield and create chance after chance, some neat football between him and Barker, allowed Uhlenbeek to break down the right wing but Uhlenbeek’s cross was a poor one and was easily cleared.

Then a mistake by the defender, Williams allowed Richie Barker to slip into the box goal side of the defender who continuously tugged away at Barkers shirt, the ball was rolled back to Dawson who neatly curled the ball into the back of the net but as he wheeled away celebrating the referee had already pointed to the spot which I thought was slightly harsh on the Stags and also on Dawson as it gave Wrexham a chance of preventing the goal to keep the scores level.
However, Richie Barker calmly stepped up and slotted the ball home to make it 1-0.

Then, just before the break a string of passes allowed Richie Barker to race towards goal from the left wing, after skipping over the defender who committed himself by diving in, the Stags were a man up with Uhlenbeek and Birchall already in the box with the two defenders, Barker carried on his run into the box but the pass he produced was a terrible one and the ball calmly rolled out of play when it looked much easier to score, much to the frustration of Uhlenbeek and Birchall not to mention the travelling Stags fans. All in all Mansfield gave a good account of themselves in the first half producing some nice football.

HT 0-1

The question everybody should be asking is, 'just what did Shirtliff say to his players at half time?' The players looked like they had never met each other before in their lives, they were clueless to say the least.

5 minutes after the restart Wrexham were level, Alex-John Baptiste deflected the ball out for a corner and the resulting corner landed on the head of the unmarked Danny Williams on the edge of the box, his towering header beat the keeper after hitting the post and rolling in. The Stags then crumbled before our very eyes, no spirit, no passion, no idea!

4 minutes later Mansfield were a goal down, some neat play on the edge of the box allowed Lee McEvilly to unleash a thunderbolt which the stretching Pressman could do nothing about and the ball safely nestled in the back of the net. From the restart Mansfield almost immediately replied when Rhys Day's header in the box was saved by Ingham.

Then Shirtliff made some puzzling changes by taking off Dawson, who had been one of the better players all night and replacing him with a defender, Jake Buxton who slotted in at centre back which allowed Baptiste to push into midfield. Minutes after this change the game was basically dead and buried, some lazy defending from Mansfield allowed Walters to again break through the Mansfield back line, with Rhys Day charging towards him, Walters showed composure and slotted the ball home to the left of Kevin Pressman. 3-1 to a Wrexham side who were not at all any better than Mansfield, with the difference being between the two teams that Wrexham took their chances.

The 63rd minute saw the introduction of Simon Brown who was welcomed back after being injured for the previous games at Stockport and Grays, he was brought on for yet again one of the game’s better players which was Adam Birchall. Mansfield again began to dominate the game again and had a number of chances with Richie Barker firing over and also shooting into the side netting.

Late on in the game, Mansfield had appeals for another penalty turned down, Simon Brown’s energetic run from near the half way line after skipping past several Wrexham players ended in him being brought down in the box but the referee Andy Hall again ruled out the appeal. On loan Alan Russell had already been introduced into the game by this time coming on for Peers and was unlucky not to score but a fine last ditch tackle by Lawrence resulted in another Mansfield corner.

Then in the 87th minute, Wrexham breached the Mansfield back four yet again with Jones breaking through and he produced a delicate chip over the head of Kevin Pressman to make it 4-1.

The scoreline was harsh on the Stags who matched Wrexham throughout the game but Wrexham were clinical with their chances and it is they who take the 3 points.

Man of the match: Adam Birchall

Report by: Ben Superstag at The Racecourse Ground

Line Up:
K Pressman 6 - Little he could do about any of the goals and generally did nothing all night.
G Peers 6 - Not his best game at right back, needs to improve.
R Day 7 - Some good defensive clearances, unlucky not to score
A Baptiste 6 - Well below par, very unlike himself.
G Jelleyman 6 - Didn't really have an effect on the game
A Birchall 8 - Worked tirelessly in the first half, created all Mansfield's chances.
K Dawson 7 - Worked well in the first half, unlucky to have his goal ruled out.
G Coke 6 - Another mediocre game.
G Uhlenbeek 6 - Not a happy return for Gus.
J D'Laryea 6 - Average at best.
R Barker 6 - Scored but wasn't worth his goal.
Sub Line Up:
Buxton (for Dawson, 56)
Brown (for Birchall, 63)
Russell (for Peers, 75)
Subs not used: White, Rundle.
Opposition Line Up:
M Ingham, D Bayliss, D Williams, D Lawrence, L Roche, M Crowell, D Ferguson, M Jones (88 P Warhurst) , A Smith, L McEvilly (84 D Bennett) , J Walters
Subs not used: M Jones, S Spender, M Williams
A Hall

Season 05/06 Reports