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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
0 - 0
 Lincoln City
Attendance: 4946 (1345 from Lincoln)
Date: 2 January 2006

Prior to kick-off fans had learned that former Stags player and Imps boss Keith Alexander had been placed on leave, another former Stag Jon Schofield took charge of the visitors. The Stags were again without Simon Brown and Richie Barker, though the latter did find a place on the bench. Youngster Nathan Arnold continued up front with on-loan striker Alan Russell. Jon Olav Hjelde came in for the suspended Gareth Jelleyman, which saw Baptiste move to right back and Buxton to left back. For the Imps, the return of Simon Yeo was probably over-shadowed by the news of Alexander's removal, though also in their starting line-up was former Stags loanee Marvin Robinson.

In front of a crowd of just under 5,000 it was the visitors in the form of Yeo who had the first strike on goal, a tame effort from 25 yards which Pressman gathered with ease. However, the Stags first effort almost resulted in a goal. Dawson put in a fine cross from the right, Rundle's goal-bound effort was blocked by the chest of an Imps defender and Russell, under pressure from Marriott and a defender, blazed over the rebound from 8 yards. Imps keeper Marriott sustained a head injury in the incident which lead to a long stoppage, but eventually he was OK to carry on. Arnold tried his luck from 25 yards, not a bad idea considering the keeper still looked groggy, but Marriott gathered the shot with ease. Meanwhile, Kevin Pressman leapt like a salmon to palm away an excellent free kick from 20 yards. Hughes, the Imps left winger, had already had an entry into dive of the season, when just before the break he eventually got the booking his earlier antics had deserved, a late challenge on Baptiste incurring the wrath of the otherwise rather lenient man in black.

Half-Time 0-0

The Stags had the first good chance of the second half. Rundle broke well on the left, cut the ball back to Russell who badly scuffed his shot, but the ball fell to Dawson, who slipped to the floor just before he was about to fire home and as a result could only stab a tame effort wide. Lincoln fans had a rather hopeful shout for a penalty waved away when Day clearly won a challenge with Yeo, forcing the ball wide for a corner. To a great evation, Barker, still suffering from a back problem, replaced the ineffective Russell just before the hour. His introduction, and a few minutes later the introduction of Birchall for Arnold signalled a much needed improvement in the Stags performance. However, Robinson almost capitalised on a splendid corner which for once evaded Pressman, just failing to make contact and instead ending up in the net himself. Uhlenbeek replaced Dawson with just over 15 minutes to go as the Stags looked for the three points which would have lifted them above their visitors. However, it was the Imps who almost took the lead, a fine Keates free kick was brilliantly saved by Pressman, but the ball fell to Yeo who from the angle hit the outside of the post. For the last ten minutes it was pretty much all Mansfield, Uhlenbeek catching the eye with several fine crosses, one of which was almost headed home by Barker on the far post.

Overall this was a poor spectacle, Lincoln's style is not easy on the eye, but with the Stags struggling for form, they too reverted to high, hopeful balls far too often. Indeed at times there appeared competition between the two sets of fans who could shout "hoof" more often!! Robinson looked a much better player than he ever did in Amber and troubled Hjelde on numerous occasions. On the left Buxton and Rundle never really got it together and too often the final ball was of poor quality. When the ball did reach the strikers, Russell failed to hold the ball for any length of time. On a more positive note, D'Laryea did well in the centre of the park, Pressman made two excellent saves and Baptiste continued his good run of form with a fine game in an unaccustomed right back role. Both Birchall and Uhlenbeek impressed when they came on but just failed to deliver that final blow. A draw was probably just about a fair result, but with a little more quality in the side, it could easily have been a much needed victory.

Man of the Match: Alex John-Baptiste

Report by: Rob Wheldon at Field Mill

Line Up:
K Pressman 7 A couple of excellent saves capped another fine display
A Baptiste 8 Excellent at right back, got forward well too
J Hjelde 5 Troubled by Robinson, lucky to escape without a yellow card
R Day 6 Not at his best, but solid enough
J Buxton 6 Again let down by his distribution, though his defending was fine
S Dawson 6 Fairly quiet, though one terrific cross which almost lead to a goal
G Coke 6 Game passed him by a little
J D'Laryea 7 Pick of the midfield, battled hard
A Rundle 6 Got into good positions, but failed to deliver the killer ball & poor set piece delivery
N Arnold 6 Lively without ever looking a threat
A Russell 5 Often clumsy in possession, a poor game from Alan
Sub Line Up:
Barker (for Russell, 56) 6 Good to see him back, at least provided a physical presence up front
Birchall (for Arnold, 60) 7 Very lively, must be close to starting at Newcastle
Uhlenbeek (for Dawson, 73) 7 Provided the best crosses of the match in the short spell he was on
Subs not used: White, Talbot.
Opposition Line Up:
A Marriott, P Mayo, J McCombe, G McAuley, C Cryan, D Keates, L Foster, S Kerr, S Yeo, M Robinson, J Hughes (77 L Mettam)
Subs not used: D Asamoah, L Frecklington, O Ryan, N Brown.
C Oliver - 5 - Not great!!

Season 05/06 Reports