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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
1 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Hatch 10
 Coke sent off 53, Reet sent off 71.
Attendance: 2,784 (292 from Mansfield)
Date: 17 April 2006


Martin Shaw at Underhill

Mansfield Town fell to a second 1-0 defeat in 48 hours against a London side, this time in controversial circumstances at Underhill. Barnet took the lead after 10 minutes, but it was the second half sendings-off of Coke and Reet that incensed the Mansfield fans. Coke's second yellow was stupid and deserved, but Reet was unlucky to get a straight red for a challenge that was nowhere near as bad as one by Hessenthaler on Rundle in the first half, that didn't even receive a yellow card. However the controversy should not paper over what was a poor performance from the Stags against a very poor Barnet side.

Mansfield made two changes from the side that played against Leyton Orient, with Russell in for Reet, and Dawson for Uhlenbeek. The game was played in sunshine and the Stags were kicking down the hill in the first half.

On 3 minutes, Dawson broke down the right and crossed for Coke, who was completely unmarked. Coke had time to control it but instead headed weakly over the bar. Four minutes later Kandol broke down the right for the Bees, and passed back to Sinclair who fired weakly wide of the post.

On 9 minutes the Stags had a goal disallowed. Dawson crossed for Barker, who controlled the ball and fired past Flitney in the Barnet goal, but Barker was a yard offside. From our position on the terrace along the side of the pitch, we had a good view.

The Barnet goal came on 10 minutes. A corner from the right, was headed up in the air by Liam Hatch 12 yards out. As it came down, Buxton, on the edge of the 6 yard box, headed it out, but only as far as Hatch who had moved 3 yards to his right to power a half-volley through about six players and into the net, giving Pressman no chance. Amazingly for a forward, this was Hatch’s first goal of the season, after 29 appearances.

The Stags had a golden chance to equalise on 13 minutes. Dawson played Rundle through. It was a perfectly timed run by Rundle to avoid the offside, but in a one-on-one with the keeper, he could only fire at the keeper as he was closed down.

Just to the right of the Stags fans, Hessenthaler then slid in with a crunching late foul on Rundle by the touchline. Rundle was fired into the air and it seemed the most blatant yellow or even red card, but amazingly the referee gave a throw-in. It was a possible leg-breaker, and it took Rundle some time to recover. Two minutes later and in just the same spot, Simon King came in with a similar challenge on Buxton. King was booked. This was rough stuff from the home side.

On 24 minutes, there was a moment that was to provide significant as Coke was booked for complaining about a foul given against him, in front of the Stags fans. Given what had gone on earlier, it seemed like the referee had his priorities all wrong with leg-breaking lunges flying around.

On 30 minutes, a cross from the right, was headed at goal by Hatch again and cleared off the line by Hjelde. The clearance hit a Barnet player and rebounded wide of the post. Two minutes later, a Barnet free kick from the right was pumped high into the Stags box and Hatch leapt above the Stags defence to head wide.

The Stags were not handling crosses into the box at all well and looked vulnerable.

On 34 minutes, the Stags came within a whisker of scoring in an amazing incident. Rundle played ball forwards, Russell chased down the keeper and as Flitney tried to clear it, it rebounded off Russell and headed towards goal. Dawson and Hessenthaler went towards the ball as it headed to the goalline. Dawson got something on it as well as Hessenthaler, but just as it was about to cross the line, Charles cleared it. There were calls for a goal, but we had a good view and it was on the line, not over the line. On 40 minutes, with Rundle off the pitch, Coke took a free-kick from 20 yards to the left of centre. But his kick was floated straight into Flitney’s hands.

On 44 minutes, the Stags had a let-off. Hatch chased a long high ball towards Pressman. As the two players leapt for the ball just inside the box, the tall Hatch appeared to head the ball over the Stags keeper and then ran around Pressman before firing into an empty net. It looked a goal, but the referee incensed the home players by giving a foul against Hatch, who was booked. Afterwards it seemed that foul was given for a handball by Hatch. Video evidence later proved the referee had actually made a very good decision.

At half time, we reflected that Barnet seemed more up for the game than the Stags. The Stags were reverting to hoofing the ball upfield and not trying to play football.

Half time 0-0

On 53 minutes, Coke picked up a second yellow, when both he and Barry Fuller went in hard, but Coke reacted badly and was always going to be booked. Stupidity by the Stags youngster. Fuller was also booked.

On 57 minutes, Shirtliff reacted to the sending-off by sending on Lloyd and Reet for Rundle and Russell.

There was not much goal-mouth action but Barnet seemed to want the game more and this was then typified by Hatch dispossessing Buxton right in front of the Stags fans and then Dawson allowing himself to be chased down. Stags fans were not impressed.

On 71 minutes, Reet was shown a straight red. He challenged Bailey for the ball and seemed to win a clean tackle. Bailey stayed down and to the amazement of everyone in the ground, the referee produced a red card. It was nowhere near as bad a challenge as that by Hessenthaler on Rundle in the first half, that didn't even warrant a yellow card. It was the final piece of poor refereeing by the worst referee of the season. Unless there is a successful appeal against the red card, Reet’s season is over with three games left.

Before the game restarted, Shirtliff sent on Uhlenbeek for Dawson. Two minutes later, a great cross by Uhlenbeek was headed behind by a defender just in front of Barker.

Pressman was put under pressure by a back-pass on 76 minutes. His clearance hit Kandol but flew wide. A minute later the Stags had a lucky let-off. Hjelde dawdled and lost the ball to allow Bailey in with a one-on-one against Pressman but his side-footed effort hit the left post. It was a bad mistake by Hjelde in an otherwise good game by the Norwegian.

Hessenthaler was then booked. This should have been his second yellow, but of course was not.

There was more bad defending by the Stags on 81 minutes. Wilson played a back-pass to Pressman, who lost the ball to Sinclair and crossed to Kandol who headed over from a tight angle. On 86 minutes, Fuller had a shot deflected by Hjelde for a corner.

But on 88 minutes came the moment when the Stags should have been level. Buxton put in a great cross from the right which found Barker having escaped his defender 8 yards out. But Barker headed inches wide of the right post. Two minutes later an Uhlenbeek cross was scrambled away and despite 5 minutes of stoppage time, the Stags chance had gone.

Mansfield showed more character when they were down to 9 men and for that reason the response of the visiting fans at the end was more favourable than it might otherwise have been. The Stags were poor against poor opposition and didn’t have enough quality in any areas of the pitch.

Mansfield are now just 7 points above the relegation zone having played a game more, though with 52 points and a better goal difference than those below then, we may have enough points to escape. Especially given that a lot of the teams below the Stags are playing each other. But two defeats in two days is a very disappointing return when just on Friday we were dreaming of the play-offs.

Man of the Match: Jon-Olav Hjelde

Report by: Martin Shaw at Underhill

Line Up:
Pressman 5 Two mistakes in the second half could have cost a goal.
Buxton 7 Good game, especially going forward. But his header which led to the goal was poor. Picked up a knock when all subs had been used and battled on manfully.
Baptiste 6 Not at his best.
Hjelde 7 My man of the match.
Wilson 6 Never got going. Struggled against Hatch and Sinclair.
Dawson 6 Should have scored in first half. Never got a grip of the game.
D'Laryea 6 Slightly anonymous.
Coke 5 Disappointing after playing well on Saturday. Very stupid to retaliate and get himself a second yellow.
Rundle 6 Poor crossing, and never created much.
Barker 6 Missed a great chance near the end to rescue a point.
Russell 5 Disappointing on his first start for a long time.
Sub Line Up:
Lloyd (for Rundle, 57) 6
Reet (for Russell, 57) - Appeared very unlucky to get a straight red.
Uhlenbeek (for Dawson, 73) - Did ok.
Subs Not Used: White, Day.
Opposition Line Up:
Flitney, Hendon, Warhurst, Charles, King, Bailey, Hessenthaler (Batt 90), Sinclair (Vernazza 82), Fuller, Hatch, Kandol. Subs Not Used: Reed, Gross, Roache.
K Wright (Cambridgeshire) 4 Got almost all decisions wrong all afternoon.

Season 05/06 Reports