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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
0 - 0
 Peterborough United
Attendance: 3891 (374 from Peterborough)
Date: 17 December 2005

The Stags made one enforced change from the side victorious at Rushden last Saturday. Simon Brown, who came off at half time with a hamstring problem failed to recover in time so on-loan Alan Russell stepped in to replace him. On a bitterly cold afternoon there was little to cheer the lower than expected crowd.

The first chance of the game fell to top scorer Barker, his looping header at the far post was just too high and flew over the bar after a great cross from Uhlenbeek. In the visitors first meaningful attack the Stags had to be grateful for some excellent defending from Jake Buxton, quickly becoming one of the most consistent performers in the Stags side. He was in the right place to block a goal-bound shot and then had the presence of mind to follow up his block with a perfectly timed challenge to clear for a corner. Pressman, not for the last time in the game, claimed the subsequent corner well. Coke, probably the pick of the Stags midfield in the first half, warmed up the home fans with a typically skilful run, sadly for him his low left foot shot drifted about a yard wide of the keepers right hand post. Just before the break the Stags got a big let off, Day's clearance fell only to Crow whose right foot shot hit the inside of the post and flew clear. In the next attack Pressman produced an excellent one handed save to deny the Posh striker. After a foul on Rundle, a neat training ground move which saw the kick shifted to the right, found Barker firing well over from 20 yards, it was not the Stags skippers best afternoon. The final attack of the game went to the visitors, a corner from the left found Willcock unmarked but he headed straight at Pressman who palmed the ball down and grabbed the rebound. All in all pretty disappointing stuff from the Stags, who were probably fortunate to go in all square.

Half-Time 0-0

Home fans would have hoped for an improved 2nd half display, but sadly the Stags were finding the strong, direct approach from the visitors difficult to handle. Nevertheless, in Baptiste the Stags had the best player on the pitch and often he came to the Stags rescue with several fine interceptions. Indeed, chances were few and far between, Russell fired wide after good work from the under-used Rundle whilst at the other end Pressman produced the save of the match when he denied Semple from point blank range, it was a terrific save, one which was almost ruined when he fumbled the ball and only just managed to claw it back before it crossed the line. Benjamin was introduced to add even more power to the visitors side and he could have secured the points after being allowed to get away with one of the more blatant shirt pulling. Running onto a through ball Baptiste appeared to have outpaced Benjamin, who then pulled his shirt so hard it ended up over his head. Luckily for the Stags, and the referee, Benjamin squandered the chance. The Stags almost grabbed what would have been an undeserved winner with the final attack of the game. Posh failed to clear a free kick, the ball fell to Buxton who's shot was blocked only as far as sub Birchall, his right foot effort from 15 yards flew over the bar.

This was a poor match between a physically strong Posh side and a Mansfield side which clearly missed the pace of Brown. Defensively the Stags were pretty solid but Uhlenbeek struggled and Barker had one of those days where little went right for him. Coke and Rundle, two very talented players, drifted in and out of the match and for all his promise, Russell has yet to deliver. On the positive note Kevin Pressman had an excellent match, Jake Buxton continued his fine form and Alex John-Baptiste showed that with a little more composure on the ball he could easily play at a much higher level.

Man of the Match: Alex John-Baptiste

Report by: Rob Wheldon at Field Mill

Line Up:
Pressman 7 Good handling and vital saves
Buxton 7 Continued his good form, very solid
Baptiste 8 His pace dug the Stags out of several holes
Day 6 Good in the air, but gave the ball away too often
Jelleyman 6 Did OK but didn't support Rundle enough
Uhlenbeek 5 Looked rusty
Coke 7 Looked the Stags most likely player to score
D'Laryea 6 Battled hard
Rundle 6 Rarely involved
Russell 6 Some good touches, looks a good player but needs a goal
Barker 5 Not his day, worked hard but often his touches went astray
Sub Line Up:
Birchall (for Uhlenbeek, 66) 6 Lively but missed an excellent chance
Dawson (for Russell, 77) 6 Probably could have come on earlier
Subs not used: White, Peers, Hjelde.
Opposition Line Up:
M Tyler, D Holden, M Arber, S Burton, S St. Ledger, R Semple, J Hand, S Huke (86 A Boucaud) , J Day, D Crow (90 J Quinn) , C Willock (67 T Benjamin).
Subs not used: C Plummer, A Newton.
M Thorpe 4 - Shocker

Season 05/06 Reports