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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
League 2
Mansfield Town  
1 - 0
Reet 40.
Attendance: 3018 (303 from Rochdale)
Date: 21 January 2006


Report by Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Danny Reet repaid a huge chunk of his enormous transfer fee (£25,000) at Field Mill today with the only goal of a tense encounter against Steve Parkin and Tony Ford’s Rochdale. It was Mansfield’s first 1-0 league win of the season. The goal came out of the blue, from a corner, in a first half that was possibly the dullest of the season. But after the break the Stags roared back with chance after chance after chance, and should have won by a much greater margin. Failure to convert chances led to a tense finale, but Mansfield held on, so that they are now nine points above the relegation zone. Rochdale failed to register a single shot on target.

Mansfield were forced into one change, with D'Laryea having been recalled by Man City, while Birchall moved to the subs bench, in coming Uhlenbeek and Rundle. D’Laryea however was at Field Mill for the game, and drove past me into the ground with his personalised number plate on his car. There was still no starting place for the fit-again Day, with Hjelde being on a good run of form. Rochdale, managed by former Stags Parkin and Ford (incidently Tony Ford’s new book, which I am currently reading, is very good), included loan signing John Doolan, who played under Parkin in the 90s at Field Mill when he was a very popular player.

The first noticeable thing was the terrible state of the Field Mill pitch. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that the players are currently training on the pitch, as recently seen on Central News. (Note the team has not played at home for three weeks.) This is a another direct effect of well documented lack of a training base. As reported in the CHAD last week, the Stags were thrown out of a decent facility at Forest Town Welfare after Mr Haslam’s reluctance to pay the money on time; meanwhile the training ground at Field Mill remains unused despite the SSA’s earlier offer to pay to have it made usable, and now we know why: Mr Haslam is hoping for a £100m jackpot if a casino is built on the land. Please go now Mr Haslam so that someone else can run the club who will give the team a chance of succeeding.

The first 15 minutes matched the state of the pitch: poor. The first half-chance of the game came on 16 minutes, Blair Sturrock showed good trickery and his cross was hooked over the bar by Gary Jones.

Rochdale were moving the ball around nicely and the Stags were distinctly second best. On 22 minutes, a brilliant Dale move saw Sturrock flick just wide after a great cross from Goodall. On 26 minutes, Hjelde produced a brilliant tackle on the edge of the box preventing a good chance for Rochdale.

But out of the blue, on 40 minutes, Mansfield took the lead. Rundle’s corner, from the West Stand/North Stand area of the ground, was poor, as six of his earlier corner kicks had been, and should have been cleared by Rochdale’s Ricky Lambert. But Lambert sliced his clearance up in the air, and as it dropped to Danny Reet 6 yards out, somehow there were no defenders anywhere near, and Reet turned to slice a shot into the net. In truth he couldn’t miss; but he was in the right place at the right time, a happy knack.

Within a minute Reet nearly scored again as he shot low towards the corner of the net, but Dale keeper Gilks got down quickly to hold it at full stretch.

Half-time arrived with the Stags fortunate to be in front, in what was a dire spectacle. However no doubt we would all settle for the same score at full-time. Not many performances to be proud of in the first half, and Hjelde stood out with some fine defending. Rochdale had knocked the ball around well, but not got a shot on target.

Half time 1-0

The second half started quietly, and on 52 minutes Pressman earned a roar from the crowd with a brilliant take from a corner (Dale’s first corner in fact). A minute later Uhlenbeek played Reet into the box with his back to goal. Reet turned but shot into side netting. Two minutes after that, Barker was through on the right, but with players free in the middle, his cross was dreadful and the move broke down. Three minutes after that, Reet had a great chance when he got clear in the box, but he pulled his left-footed shot wide of the left post.

On 63 minutes, Hjelde came to the rescue again with a great tackle to concede a corner. From the corner, Lambert’s cross was turned into the side netting by Sturrock. Three minutes later, Rochdale claimed a penalty but we had a perfect view and Buxton’s tackle was perfectly timed (despite Steve Parkin’s post-match whinge).

On 70 minutes, a free-kick from Rundle on the left was punched by the Dale keeper but only as far as Buxton, who had a more or less open goal from a tight angle, but his shot was cleared off the line. Moments later Hjelde sent a header wide at the far post after another Rundle free kick.

Russell came on after 73 minutes. I expected it to be for the disappointing Uhlenbeek, but it was a surprise as Reet was replaced. A minute later, the Stags put together a great move as Barker found Coke in the box, and the midfielder side-footed a right foot shot wide of the right post from a tight angle. It was a great chance.

Chances were coming thick and fast and within a minute, Barker played a ball inside from the left for Russell who touched the ball wide. Two minutes after that Uhlenbeek tried a cheeky lob from 30 yards which dipped onto the top of the net.

On 80 minutes, another fine move by Mansfield ended with Jelleyman's shot straight at the keeper. On 85 minutes Rundle at last put in a good corner, over the keeper, and Barker, at the far post, rose highest but headed over the bar. Another great chance had gone begging. Would the Stags pay for a string of missed chances?

On 88 minutes, Rochdale finally got into the Stags half and forced two corners. Jelleyman excelled himself to produce a shot-saving tackle on the edge of the box. The Stags broke back on 89 minutes and had a 3 on 1 situation with Barker finding Uhlenbeek but the chance broke down, and then a minute into stoppage time Barker shot straight at the keeper. Amazingly there was time for another great chance for the Stags as Dawson ran onto a ball over the top, from inside his own half, and was fully 10 yards ahead of the nearest defender, but inside of trying to go around the keeper, he fired hopelessly wide from the edge of the box. But the referee blew the final whistle seconds later and the Stags had earned a deserved 3 points on the back of a roaring second half display with a remarkable 12 good chances.

So a great second half display that should have brought several goals, but one scrappy goal was enough for a massive three points. How nice it is to win 1-0. Only last week manager Shirtliff made a comment about wanting to win some games 1-0. So onto Tuesday and Keith Curle brings his Chester side to Mansfield. With McNiven, Dimech, Artell, Curtis, Corden and Asamoah, this is an incredible 6 players released by Palmer last season, all of whom will be wanting to prove something. Even though Chester are on a truly dreadful run, to have so many players with a point to prove will provide the Stags with a tremendous challenge. Onwards and upwards as someone once said! Come on Mansfield.

Man of the match: Jon-Olav Hjelde

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Pressman 7 Very solid, plus some good handling including one brilliant take from a cross.
Buxton 5 Poor throughout; had a nightmare game.
Baptiste 7 Very good, as usual.
Hjelde 8 Easily the best player in a poor first half. Good second half as well.
Jelleyman 7 Defended well, and was positive going forward in the second half.
Uhlenbeek 5 Poor game throughout.
Dawson 7 Very quiet first half, but excellent in the second half. Should have scored in injury time though.
Coke 6 Did ok, but too quiet perhaps.
Rundle 5 At one point I remember commenting: has Rundle touched the ball in the last 30 minutes?
Barker 7 Fine game, held the ball up well, and powerful going forward.
Reet 7 Impressive home debut, and what more can you ask than to score the winning goal?
Sub Line Up:
Russell (for Reet, 73) 6 A couple of good runs forward, but he lost every single ball in the air at a time when we just needed to hold the ball.
Subs Not Used: White, Day, Birchall, Arnold.
Opposition Line Up:
Gilks, Brown, Griffiths, McArdle, Goodall, Cartwright, Doolan, Jones, Sturrock (Gallimore 83), Lambert, Dagnall (Moyo-Modise 70).
Subs Not Used: Cooksey, Warner, Boardman.
D Deadman (Cambridgeshire) 6 Did most things ok.

Season 05/06 Reports