{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
0 - 1
 Leyton Orient
 Lockwood pen 75
Attendance: 4763 (698 from Orient)
Date: 15 April 2006


Report by Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Mansfield Town were unlucky to be beaten at home by Leyton Orient on Saturday afternoon. Orient failed to muster a meaningful chance in the entire 90 minutes but were gifted a penalty by a clumsy challenge from Jake Buxton. Richard Barker missed some great chances for the Stags, who were generally very impressive against a team in an automatic promotion place. A win would have taken the Stags within 4 points of the play-offs but, as it is, the Stags can look forward to a top-half finish with more performances like this.

Mansfield were unchanged from the side that earned a draw at Lincoln. Scorer Russell was still on the bench along with 30-minute man super Simon Brown. Orient included former Stags near-legend Wayne Corden on his second return to Field Mill in two months and Gary Alexander who always seems to score against us. These were two teams bang in form: both having lost just once in 11 games. The players were all wearing arm-bands for the anniversary of Hillsborough disaster. There was a larger than normal crowd thanks to the Fill-the-Mill campaign allowing some kids in for free.

The Stags made the better start and on 6 minutes, following a short corner involving Uhlenbeek and Rundle, D’Laryea shot wide. Three minutes later the ball bobbled around the O’s box and Rundle had a shot deflected for a corner. Orient had a rare attack on 13 minutes with a free-kick from 30 yards which was rolled square to Corden who shot left footed two yards wide of the right post.

On 16 minutes, Reet put in a fine cross from the right, but Barker couldn’t quite get on the end of it. Two minutes later, Uhlenbeek tried a pot-shot from 25-yards straight at the keeper.

The best chance of the half came on 25 minutes. Uhlenbeek played a fine pass to Rundle, who looked marginally offside near the byeline. Rundle crossed and found Barker unmarked three yards out. It came quickly at Barker who stuck out a leg and volleyed over the bar, when it seemed easier to score. On 34 minutes, Coke slipped on the ball and injured himself but played on after treatment. Coke had started the game really well and one 40 yards pass sprayed out to Uhlenbeek on the right wing was memorable.

On 37 minutes, Baptiste made a very rare mistake, needlessly giving away a corner, and in trying to keep the ball in, running down the tunnel near the Quarry Lane stand and nearly out of the stadium. From the corner, Zakuani headed wide.

On 40 minutes, Barker had his second chance to score. Rundle took a free-kick 35 yards out wide of the left and floated a great ball to the far post where Barker rose well and headed back past the other post.

Half time 0-0

Orient had come slightly back into the game in the last 15 minutes of the first half but the Stags were clearly the better side and deserved to be ahead with the better chances created and a fine performance.

Seven minutes into the second half, Hjelde put in a goal-saving tackle in his own box as an Orient player bore down on goal. Brilliant stuff from the Norwegian who may now stay an extra season at Field Mill after previously having said he would definitely return home at the end of the season.

Brown came on for Reet three minutes earlier than expected. Then on 59 minutes Connor put in a great cross to the far post, where Alexander for the only time in the game escaped from Baptiste but missed his header. On 65 minutes, Coke was subject of a bad foul in the middle of the pitch, and many players piled in including Uhlenbeek. The home crowd bayed for a red card for the Orient man, but no-one was even booked, and Uhlenbeek can count himself lucky. Incredibly the ref awarded a bounce-up.

On 71 minutes Brown shot well wide of the left post from 25 yards. A minute later the Stags had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock. Orient defender Simpson played a clearance against Barker as Barker ran forward. The ball rebounded towards the Orient goal and Barker chased after it. With Brown completely free and screaming for the ball to his right, Barker chose to go on his own and fired a shot inches over the bar with only the keeper to beat. A very bad miss.

Three minutes later, the Stags paid for that miss, and how. Buxton brought down Donny Barnard in the box for a clear penalty. If Corden had stepped forward we would have had some hope of a save, but Matthew Lockwood is the best penalty taker in the country and never misses. He didn’t miss, firing powerfully into the left hand corner of the net.

Two minutes later, tempers flared again; this time there were two bookings, for Connor and Baptiste.

Russell replaced Rundle and Dawson replaced Uhlenbeek on 80 minutes. Corden, who had a very quiet game for Orient, fired well wide from 25 yards.

On 83 minutes, Russell took a free kick from 25 yards, but couldn’t reproduce his heroics of last week and his shot hit the ball, but it rebounded forward to barker who challenged the keeper for a loose ball, but an offside flag was raised.

The Stags last chance came in the second minute of stoppage time. Brown chased a ball forward and got there before keeper Garner. The ball fell to the unmarked Russell, on the angle of the penalty box on the right. But with an open net he side-footed wide of the left post. It was a tricky chance.

And so the Stags fell to a disappointing defeat. But this was a good performance and one that didn’t deserve a defeat. Orient were virtually non-existent as an attacking force and I’m still trying to work out how they won without creating a meaningful chance. But that’s what happened and the Stags paid for missing good chances. The Stags have had some significant luck in the last two home games, and today it ran out. But there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves as the team head for Barnet on Monday afternoon. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Giles Coke

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Pressman 6 His quietest afternoon of the season.
Buxton 5 Not at his best and will be disappointed to give away the penalty.
Baptiste 7 Played well and kept Gary Alexander in his pocket.
Hjelde 7 Also had a good game, mostly shepherding Connor, but also dealing well with Alexander.
Wilson 7 Good game, and dangerous going forward.
Uhlenbeek 7 Looked potent on the right. Unlucky to be subbed.
D'Laryea 7 Never gave the Orient midfield a sniff in his defensive midfield role.
Coke 7 Sprayed the ball around nicely, and pushed the team forward well.
Rundle 6 Did ok on the left and put a few good crosses in.
Barker 6 Played ok but missed 2 gilt-edged chances
Reet 5 Disappointing today; caught offside too often in the first half. But a player of his promise needs encouragement rather than barracking.
Sub Line Up:
Brown (for Reet, 58) 7 Very lively for his usual 30 minutes.
Russell (for Rundle, 80) - Had a free-kick blocked, and missed an open net, ableit a very difficult chance.
Dawson (for Uhlenbeek, 80) -
Subs Not Used: White, Day.
Opposition Line Up:
Garner, Lockwood, Zakuani (Tann 34), Mackie, Barnard, Keith (Demetriou 90), Simpson, Easton, Corden, Alexander (Steele 74), Connor. Subs Not Used: Morris, Ibehre.
C Boyeson (E Yorkshire) 5 Poor game generally. Dealt poorly with two incidents where players got into scraps.

Season 05/06 Reports