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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Bristol Rovers  
2 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Igoe 13, Walker 16.
Attendance: 5253 (277 from Mansfield)
Date: 25 March 2006


Report by Martin Shaw, Jeff Barnes and Nigel Harris at the Memorial Ground

Mansfield’s eight game unbeaten run came to a soggy end at a rain-lashed Bristol Rovers this afternoon. The Stags were 2-0 down after 16 minutes and never looked like getting back into the game with a woeful first half display, despite a slightly better second half showing.

The Stags made one change from the team that had beaten Northampton and Boston, with Day replacing the injured Baptiste who was out with tendonitis. Rundle took Day’s place on the bench. Rovers included Craig Disley in their team.

The heavy rain forced most of the traveling Stags fans into the marquee behind the goal, instead of the usual terrace down the side of the pitch. The game got off to a quiet start and two early Stags corners taken by Uhlenbeek were easily cleared. On 8 minutes Jelleyman slid through in the wet conditions to floor a Rovers attacker giving an early sign that keeping your footing would be difficult as the rain started to stand on the pitch.

On 13 minutes, the home side took the lead. Agogo held the ball up, and played a ball out to the right wing. The ball was crossed into the middle, where Hjelde’s weak header only found Igoe 16 yards out. Igoe fired a powerful shot inside the left post which Pressman couldn’t keep out despite getting a hand to it.

Just 3 minutes later and it was 2-0. The Stags lost possession in the Rovers half. Igoe carried the ball forward and threaded a ball forward. Agogo was in a offside position but motionless, and with the Stags defenders also static and just raising their arms, Walker took advantage to burst through, round Pressman and fired into the empty net, though Day, diving at the ball feet first, only just failed to clear.

Just a minute later, Pressman made a good save, parrying a shot from Haldane from 22 yards, behind for a corner. Rovers then had a spell of 4 corners in a row.

On 22 minutes, Uhlenbeek was fouled 22 yards out, presenting a shooting chance for Barker. But instead, he pushed his free-kick wide to Jelleyman, completely unmarked, but allowed himself to be closed down and lost possession without getting the bal into the box.

On 25 minutes, Day was booked for a foul as Rovers broke. The resulting free-kick was sent high and wide to the right of goal.

The Stags had their first sniff of a chance on 31 minutes as Reet chased a through ball but it skidded on the wet surface and keeper Shearer got there first. On 36 minutes, Uhlenbeek got a deep cross into the box, which Shearer caught just ahead of the in-rushing Barker. Two minutes later, we noted that the Stags had control of the ball in the Rovers box for the first time in the entire match - 38 minutes gone. Dawson controlled the ball, but Uhlenbeek crossed over the bar. On 41 minutes, Stags briefly threatened as Reet won a free-kick on the right edge of the box. Wilson’s kick was headed clear by a diving header as Day tried to get on the end of it.

Mansfield nearly conceded a comedy third on 44 minutes. D’Laryea played a back-pass to Pressman. Pressman muffed his clearance and it only reached Haldane 6 yards out. With Pressman flat out on the soggy turf, Haldane could only fire straight between his thighs for an amazing miss.

The Stags bossed the two minutes of stoppage time with no great penetration as Dawson fed Jelleyman whose cross was too long for Reet, but at least it gave us a smidgen of hope for better things as we headed for the Bovril. The Stags first half display was dreadful, with the midfield seemingly still on the coach not wanting to get wet or muddy.

Half time 2-0

On 47 minutes, Wilson had a shot from a free kick low wide of the right post. On 49 minutes, Buxton was beaten by Agogo but the striker’s shot was weak to Pressman’s feet. Two minutes later, the Stags at last played some good flowing football, but it ended with Buxton’s weak shot.

On 59 minutes, Day and Agogo tangled just outside the box. The referee gave a free-kick against Day and gave him a final warning. A good piece of refereeing, as a more fussy ref could have sent Day off.

On 60 minutes, there was the now-obligatory substitution of Brown on for Reet, with Coke also replacing Uhlenbeek. Meanwhile Buxton changed to wet weather tyres!

A minute later, Pressman had to make a good save, low down to his left from another Agogo shot. At the other end Coke showed some trickery but couldn’t get himself a shooting chance as he danced around the edge of the box looking for an opening.

On 64 minutes the Stags had their best chance as Barker had a shot from 12 yards which Shearer parried well. A minute later, Agogo burst through but dived as he went past Day, and it was well-spotted by the referee. Then Day’s weak header presented Agogo with a chance from outside the box with Pressman out of position. But Agogo sent his shot high and wide.

On 69 minutes, Brown lost possession, and in a fit of rage, hacked down Disley and was lucky to only be booked. On 72 minutes, the Stags had their first two corners of the half, and Day headed over from the second.

On 76 minutes, Agogo’s pace troubled the Stags as he got down the left and crossed for Walker, who headed wide. Birchall then came on for ineffective Wilson.

On 86 minutes, Dawson’s corner from the right was headed wide by Barker. A minute later, Haldane jinked into the box past Buxton, Pressman parried his shot and Gibb fired wide of the left post from 18 yards.

As the game went into stoppage time, Brown won a free-kick 22 yards out in a central position. Barker chose to shoot on this occasion, but his effort was wide of the right post.

And so the game ended in disappointment for the Stags, and there was a nice touch as Disley came over to applaud the visiting supporters. Disley in fact was probably the best player on the pitch given the conditions and worked tirelessly. This was only the second time this season that Rovers have won by more than one goal and is a true reflection on a bad day for the Stags. Only Buxton, Day and Hjelde came out with much credit for Mansfield on a day when the pitch made football virtually impossible. Unfortunately for the Stags, Rovers scored their goals before the pitch deteriorated and from then on, it was always going to be difficult to recover. Talk of the play-offs is surely over … though if we win the next 7 we’ll still make it! Come on Mansfield.

Man of the match: Rhys Day

Report by: Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at the Memorial ground

Line Up:
Pressman 6 Made some good saves, but one bad mistake, albeit in difficult conditions.
Buxton 7 Did ok and tried to push forward when he could.
Day 7 Very strong in the air. Good to see him back after a long absence.
Hjelde 7 Did well alongside Day.
Jelleyman 6 Dived in too often, and didn’t do well going forward.
Uhlenbeek 6 Got dragged inside too much but did at least get some crosses in.
D'Laryea 5 Poor today, didn’t adjust to the conditions well.
Dawson 6 Put himself about a bit, but was again guilty of giving the ball away.
Wilson 6 Didn’t link with Jelleyman, as the Stags got no width on the left.
Barker 6 Battled as usual, with poor service, until late in the game.
Reet 6 Industrious but didn’t shine.
Sub Line Up:
Coke (for Uhlenbeek, 60) 6 Looked lively when he came on. Should have come on earlier.
Brown (for Reet, 60) 6 Some good running but no end product.
Birchall (for Wilson, 76) - Barely touched the ball.
Subs Not Used: White, Rundle.
Opposition Line Up:
S Shearer, A Lescott, C Hinton, S Elliott, C Carruthers, L Haldane, J Hunt, C Disley, S Igoe, J Agogo (83 A Gibb) , R Walker
Subs: M Horsell, C Edwards, J Bass, C Lines.
M Russell 8 Very good. Sensible performance, taking conditions into account

Season 05/06 Reports