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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
1 - 2
 Chester City
Reet 51. Barker sent off 66.
 McNiven 54, Asamoah 69.
Attendance: 3219 (128 from Chester)
Date: 24 January 2006

The Stags began with the same side that beat Rochdale on Saturday. Simon Brown returned but could only find a place on the bench alongside fit again Callum Lloyd. Former Stags boss Keith Curle's Chester side included five former Stags players in the starting eleven, and Wayne Corden on the bench.

The first half was very similar to the game at the weekend, goal attempts were few and far between and overall it was a fairly even and dull opening 45 minutes. One of the few attempts at goal was in the opening minute from Derek Asamoah, who managed to find space on the right but hit a weak shot at Pressman. Lowe also managed to strike a fine volley which looked goal-bound but was blocked by Baptiste. At the other end Dawson shot from 20 yards when Barker was well placed to his left and Reet turned well inside the area only to fire his shot a few yards wide. On the half hour a mis-hit corner from Rundle was cleared only as far as Coke, but the out of form midfielder's shot flew well wide. On the stroke of half time an appalling error from Hjelde gifted Lowe the best chance of the half, but with only Pressman to beat he fired well over the bar. Half time came as a blessed relief to the supporters, it was pretty ordinary stuff.

Half Time: 0-0

Chester began on the attack almost immediately from the restart. A corner from the left was headed goalwards by Artell, but once again Baptiste was in the right place to head clear, Drummond's follow up was weak and Barker was able to completely clear the danger. However, the Stags took the lead with their first attack of the half, for once Rundle managed to get in a superb low cross and Reet, who looks a very fine prospect, stroked the ball past Gillet. The goal gave the Stags more confidence and at last the tempo increased. However, just three minutes after the goal, out of nowhere McNiven fired a superb right foot shot from 20 yards past Pressman to equalise. Immediately from the kick off, Dawson found himself completely clear but sadly his powerful shot was too high and flew over the bar. Enter the referee, after a minor scramble in the Stags goal mouth Hjelde and Drummond were yellow carded and moments later more cards were dished out to Curtis and Barker, Curtis for preventing a quick free kick by keeping hold of the ball, Barker for pushing Curtis - if a push is a yellow card then you have to wonder why there aren't 15 bookings a game, indeed later in the game a Chester player did precisely the same thing without even a word from the referee who by now had no control of the game. Just a minute later, Barker challenged Davies, making no contact with the Chester player who decided to writhe in agony. Although the Assistant gave the free kick, the referee very quickly gave Barker a second yellow card and sent him off. Not since Danson sent Greenacre off has there been such a soft dismissal of a Stags player at Field Mill. Reet was replaced by Russell, I suppose the idea was Russell is physically more suited to the lone striker role. Worse was to follow for the Stags, on 69 minutes a soft free kick, awarded against an astonished Coke, was put into the Stags area and headed home by Asamoah. Quite how Asamoah, who had been marked all evening by Hjelde, managed to get his head to the ball is a mystery. From then on it was all the home side, despite being down to ten men and despite continuing to be on the wrong end of the referee. Brown and Birchall were introduced for the very disappointing Uhlenbeek and Rundle and both made immediate impressions. Birchall desperately unlucky after a neat through ball by Brown saw the youngster fire a shot which Gillet managed to tip onto the underside of the bar. Then in stoppage time Dawson hit a terrific 20 yard shot which Gillet managed to scramble wide where Brown was just unable to apply a finishing touch.

So the Stags were beaten by two former old boys and a referee. Stags boss Peter Shirtliff later confirmed Barker said there was no contact and the referee "lost control of the game", Chester boss Curle admitted his side were fortunate to get that decision. However, as important as that incident was, it cannot disguise the fact that too many players underperformed. Hjelde looked uncomfortable all night, Uhlenbeek and Rundle provided one decent cross between them all night and Coke failed to impress in midfield. You cannot have as many players underperform and expect to win. On the plus side, Buxton and Baptiste were very solid, Jelleyman continued his good form and Dawson shone in midfield.

Man of the Match: Gareth Jelleyman

Report by: Rob Wheldon at Field Mill

Line Up:
Pressman 6 Had little to do but pick the ball out of the net twice
Buxton 7 Much improved display from Saturday
Baptiste 7 Defended well throughout
Hjelde 5 Poor distribution, often the big hoof, and painfully slow, helpless as Asamoah headed home the winner
Jelleyman 7 Did well again on the left
Uhlenbeek 4 Dreadful evening for Gus, nothing went right for him
Dawson 7 Pick of a very poor midfield, worked hard all night
Coke 4 Woeful for 90 minutes
Rundle 5 Was dreadful until the fine cross for Reet's goal
Barker 6 Battled hard, wrongly sent off
Reet 7 Looks a born finisher
Sub Line Up:
Russell (for Reet, 68) 6 Worked hard in lone striker role
Birchall (for Uhlenbeek, 74) 7 Very lively, unlucky not to score
Brown (for Rundle, 74) 7 Like Birchall, made a difference, must start on Saturday
Subs not used: White, Lloyd.
Opposition Line Up:
S Gillet, S McNiven, D Artell, L Dimech, C Regan, D Asamoah (78 S Vaughan) , T Curtis, S Drummond, B Davies, R Lowe (90 M Branch) , G Blundell (82 M Richardson). Subs: S Vaughan, W Corden, J Walker, M Richardson, M Branch
K Hill 4 Lost the game completely, dreadful decision to send Barker off

Season 05/06 Reports