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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Wycombe Wanderers  
2 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Mooney 54, Oakes 77.
 Hjelde 26, Barker 32.
Attendance: 5041 (184 from Mansfield)
Date: 11 February 2006


Martin Shaw at The Causeway Stadium

Mansfield Town produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance this afternoon to come away with a point from the Causeway Stadium against Wycombe. But it could have been so much more, after a good first half performance saw them 2-0 ahead at the break, and deservedly so, after goals from Hjelde, his first for the club, and a Barker free-kick. But the Stags were on the back foot throughout the second half and were consistently second to the ball allowing Wycombe to apply significant pressure, and score twice to earn a draw. In the end a draw was a fair result. Both teams will be happy with their performance in one half of the game, but not the other. Wins for Rushden and Stockport now leave Mansfield in serious danger near the trapdoor.

Mansfield made one change from the side that drew with Macclesfield: Hjelde returning from suspension in place of the injured Baptiste. Uhlenbeek started against the club he played for last season, whilst Birchall, who scored against the Stags in this fixture last season, was on the bench. Laurence Wilson, on loan from Everton, was also on the bench. Wycombe included Easter, who had already scored three times against the Stags this season.

The game was played on a bumpy pitch, the result of regular rugby matches at the home of Wasps.

The Stags had the first chance when Uhlenbeek did well to play in Barker, who fed Rundle with his back to goal, but the winger’s shot was over the bar. On 7 minutes the Stags had another good move, started by D’Laryea, which ended with Rundle firing over and wide from outside the box. On 13 minutes, Bowditch got to the byeline on the left and crossed into the middle but Jelleyman did well to clear for a corner. Two minutes later, Easter got goalside of the defence, and his snapsot was parried by Pressman for a corner.

On 17 minutes, the Stags had a huge stroke of luck as Wycombe had a goal disallowed. Mooney had too much space to cross from the right and he found Bowditch totally unmarked at the far post who put the ball in the net from close range. It looked a goal all the way, but to the huge relief of the Stags, the linesman raised his flag.

On 23 minutes, Reet was put through, but was offside. The Stags striker carried on and chipped over the keeper into the net, and was rightly booked. On 25 minutes Rundle made a great run down the right and crossed for Reet, whose shot from a tight angle was blocked for a corner.

From the resulting corner, it was 1-0. The corner was taken from the right by Rundle, Hjelde flicked a header from the nearpost that ended up in the net at the far post. From our position at the opposite end, it seemed that it may have gone in off a defender, but I’ll need to see the video to be sure.

On 31 minutes, Coke made a great run through the middle. He was tripped by Williamson just outside the box and the referee awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Stags players furiously claimed a penalty but it wasn’t given, and the defender was not sent off as he was not quite the last man. Barker took the free-kick and drilled a daisy-cutter through a gap in the wall and into the bottom right corner of the net. It was justice for the Stags after the foul on Coke.

On 35 minutes, Rundle shot from 25 yards and although it was going wide, the keeper tipped it round the post for a corner. From the corner Barker sent an overhead-kick over the bar. On 39 and 40 minutes Uhlenbeek had two efforts but both were hopelessly weak and straight at the keeper. In stoppage time, a ball fell to Easter in the box, but his free shot was straight at Pressman.

So the Stags went in deservedly 2-0 ahead, thanks to some fine attacking football and a confident defensive display.

Half time 0-2

At the start of the second half , Birchall replaced Reet, who seemed to have taken a kick in the first half.

On 47 minutes, Jacobs produced a good tackle, to prevent Bowditch from shooting. Wycombe made a change on 53 minutes as the long-haired Torres replaced Bowditch, to jeers of “Where’s your caravan” from some Stags fans. But Torres was to turn the game on its head with a commanding display.

On 54 minutes, Wycombe reduced the deficit. Betsy was allowed to cross from the right, to the far post where Mooney rose above Jacobs in the Stags defence to head past Pressman into the left side of the net.

Moments later Birchall was booked for diving; just about the only bad decision by the referee in the game.
On 62 minutes, after a string of Wycombe corners, Williamson's low shot was flicked at goal by Easter who saw his effort smack against the crossbar. A let-off for the Stags.

Wilson replaced Rundle for his Stags debut on 63 minutes. Since Wilson is a left-back or left-sided midfield player, presumably this was to strengthen the Stags defensively.

The Stags were now under huge pressure and eventually on 77 minutes, the Stags cracked and Wycombe were level. The Stags had been losing the ball too easily and lost it again, before Betsy sent a low cross from the right which found its way to the far post, and with Jacobs nowhere to be seen, sub Steffen Oakes had a free shot and fired under Pressman from 10 yards.

Dawson then replaced the disappointing Uhlenbeek.

On 82 minutes, Wycombe nearly won it. Mooney took a free kick from 25 yards and Pressman produced a terrific save, diving at full stretch. A minute later Pressman made another great save. Stonebridge shot unmarked from the edge of the box and Pressman tipped it around the post. A minute later, the Stags had their first meaningful attack of the entire half as Jelleyman crossed and D’Laryea dummied, but the ball eventually ran through to the keeper. A minute after that, Wilson showed great pace and incredibly outpaced the rather fast Danny Senda, to earn a corner.

But there were no further chances and after three minutes of stoppage the game ended 2-2. Neither side could be truly happy with that. To me it felt like two points dropped after being 2-0 ahead, whereas Wycombe failed to break their 6 game winless run. Some good performances, notably from Hjelde and Buxton in central defence, and from Pressman in goal, with late saves that preserved the point. And so onto two games in the next 7 days, as Grimsby and Wrexham come to Field Mill. It is vital that the Stags pick up one victory from those two games.

Man of the Match: Jon-Olav Hjelde

Report by: Martin Shaw at The Causeway Stadium

Line Up:
Pressman 8 Some outstanding saves in the second half.
Jacobs 7 Looked quite accomplished, but was outjumped by Mooney for the first goal.
Hjelde 8 Great game. Also scored his first Stags goal.
Buxton 8 Performed very well indeed and won several crucial tackles.
Jelleyman 6 Too many crosses came in from the right wing. Did make a couple of good tackles.
Uhlenbeek 6 Disappointing against his old club.
D'Laryea 7 Did well in central midfield
Coke 6 One good run that led to the foul that resulted in the second goal, but disappointing in second half
Rundle 7 Some good efforts in the first half.
Barker 7 Held the ball up expertly throughout.
Reet 6 Didn't get much change from the defence, and took a knock before being withdrawn
Sub Line Up:
Birchall (for Reet, 46) 7 Tried to be positive against his former club.
Wilson (for Rundle, 63) 7 Showeed great pace, outpacing the very quick Senda. Looked promising.
Dawson (for Uhlenbeek, 79) -
Subs not used: White, Lloyd.
Opposition Line Up:
Talia, Senda, Johnson, Williamson, Easton, Betsy, Burnell (Oakes 22), Bloomfield, Easter (Stonebridge 73), Mooney, Bowditch (Torres 51).
Subs Not Used: Williams, Martin.
P Mellin (Surrey) 7 Generally handled the game well; a couple of surprising decisions.

Season 05/06 Reports