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Season 05/06 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
0 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 3105 (459 from Mansfield)
Date: 29 April 2006

Report by Ben Mason

The final away game of the season and all the talk about relegation was finally laid to rest as The Stags battled out a 0-0 draw on the patchy surface of Gigg Lane. Manager Peter Shirtliff made 3 changes to his team from the previous weekend which saw Simon Brown end his season with his Hernia operation taking place, which gave youngster Nathan Arnold the chance for a starting place and to show Shirtliff what he is able to do. Giles Coke was drafted back in to replace Gus Uhlenbeek who took his seat on the bench and Jake Buxton who returned for this game playing with a cracked bone in his foot replaced Jon Olav Hjelde who has a Hamstring injury.

The game itself was very poor, it lacked free flowing football and at times it was hard to watch, they seemed to switch off as they now have nothing to play for. Jason White who retained his first team place was almost immediately called into action having to save a close range header from ex-Stag Matthew Tipton. A few minutes later Barker had a good chance at the other end, Wilson crossed the ball in and Barker got a firm header on the ball only to see Kasper Schmeichel claim the ball with a good save after diving to his right. Tipton again had the chance but failed to capitalise as his header sailed wide of the post.

Soon after, a rare moment of madness from the “Makelele of Mansfield Town”, Jonathan D’Laryea, saw the shot-shy midfielder have an effort turned round the post by the Shakers Keeper. The odd Bury attack was easily handled by the back pair of Alex John-Baptiste and Rhys Day who were looking solid, also the fact that Jason White was commanding his area were 3 big pluses for the day. A surging run through the middle of the park by Giles Coke enabled Callum Lloyd to slip into the box, but his shot on target was straight in the middle of the goal and straight at Schmeichel who made easy work of saving the tame effort. The first half was disappointing for both sides and vast improvements were needed, whilst the travelling fans hoped Shirty would work some of the magic in his half time team talk that saw us demolish Boston and take the lead after going behind against Notts County.

Half time 0-0

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. The second half was barely an improvement of the first half as The Stags ended their away trips with a whimper. The introduction of Gus Uhlenbeek provided some brief inspiration for the Stags as he replaced the highly disappointing Giles Coke, whose head seems to be in the clouds at the moment probably all to do with the speculation surrounding him and his trip to Premiership bound Reading. Whether it materialises or not we’ll have to see during the Pre-Season, but for the moment he remains a player of MTFC and somebody should really tell him this.

10 minutes into the second half Stephen Dawson scuffed his shot of goal low and wide as the Stags produced the first effort of the half. A free kick from Laurence Wilson again forced the save from Schmeichel who along with Jason White was in danger of getting frost bite as the game was played in the centre of the park for the vast majority of the game. With the game withering down to the inevitable scoreline, Bury replaced Striker Matthew Tipton with Tom Youngs in a bid to make something of the game. It wasn’t long before Youngs was making a nuisance of himself, a quick free kick enabled Youngs a sight of goal and as he was about to pull the trigger, John-Baptiste showed us again why he is so highly rated as he threw his body in front of the ball to help Jason White keep his clean sheet in tact. Schmeichel was unable to catch a corner from Mansfield and punched clear but the ball fell at the feet of Adam Birchall whose shot was again saved by the Bury keeper. A last roll of the dice from Stags in the 90th minute brought a brilliant save again when Barker’s header was tightly tucked up in Kasper’s arms. All in all it was a disappointing end to the season’s travels, a season of highs and lows, ranging from the brilliant 4-3 win at Rotherham to the 4-0 drubbing at Darlington. And of course not forgetting our magical trip to St. James’ Park.

Things can only get better and roll on next Season!

Man of the Match – Alex John-Baptiste

Report by: Ben Mason

Line Up:
White – 7 Good game, looks a good prospect for the future.
Buxton – 5 Didn’t look very comfortable, unfortunately his bad form continues.
Baptiste – 9 Absolutely outstanding yet again, we’ll be lucky if he’s at the Mill next season.
Day – 8 Alongside Baptiste he showed Shirtliff why he is worthy of a new contract.
Wilson – 6 Anonymous game at left back, I think he’s better suited to midfield.
Dawson – 6 Didn’t really have an impact on the game.
D'Laryea – 7 Helped his back line by tidying up in midfield.
Coke – 5 Very disappointing yet again.
Lloyd - 6 I don’t think left wing suits him, he tended to drift infield quite a bit.
Arnold – 6 Good running, but little impact.
Barker – 6 Quiet game for the captain.
Sub Line Up:
Uhlenbeek (for Coke, 52) – 7 Lifted the team briefly.
Birchall (for Arnold, 61) -
Russell (for Lloyd, 83) -
Subs not used: Pressman, Jacobs.
Opposition Line Up:
K Schmeichel, C Brass, D Challinor, J Fitzgerald, C Woodthorpe, I Ross, D Flitcroft, B Barry-Murphy, L Gobern, J Daly (58 M Pugh) , M Tipton (73 T Youngs). Subs: T Kennedy, D Mattis, P Scott.
A Bates

Season 05/06 Reports