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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Mansfield Town  
4 - 0
 Sheffield Wednesday
Barker pen 23, 84, Dawson 77, D'Laryea 88
Attendance: 3665 (1644 from Sheffield Wednesday)
Date: 26 Jul 06

CHAD report:
Four star Stags destroy Wednesday
STUNNING Stags continued their fine pre-season form with an impressive 4-0 thumping of Championship side Sheffield Wednesday at Field Mill on Wednesday.
A first-half penalty from prolific striker Richie Barker and a three goal blitz from Stephen Dawson, Barker and Jonathan D'Laryea late in the second half capped an excellent all-round team performance by Peter Shirtliff's fast-improving Mansfield side.
Wednesday began the game well with some slick possession football and should have taken the lead inside the first two minutes, when an unmarked Steve Maclean fired a header wide from 12 yards after an excellent cross by the impressive Chris Brunt.
But they failed to capitalise on their early possession and determined Stags began to play their way back into the game with some crunching midfield tackles and neat passing moves.
Mansfield went close on 13 minutes when hit-man Barker headed over a neat right-wing cross from John Mullins, and three minutes later when Gareth Jelleyman forced Chris Adamson into a good diving safe.
But Stags' pressure eventually paid off in the 22nd minute when Matt Hamshaw was pushed in the box by Madjid Bougherra after a deep cross from the surging Mullins.
And clinical Barker cooly steered home the resulting penalty to give the League Two outfit a deserved 1-0 lead.
Stags should have added to their lead when tricky winger Michael Boulding, who was a constant threat down the left side, steered a Giles Coke cross straight at the keeper from six yards out on 37 minutes
Below-par Wednesday briefly rallied close to half-time and nearly equalised after a long range piledriver by playmaker Brunt forced Carl Muggleton into a sprawling save low to his left on 41 minutes.
The Owls started the second-half strongly and were unlucky not to draw level on 47 minutes when a Lee Bullen strike from 25 yards whistled narrowly past the post with Muggleton rooted to the spot.
Dangerous Brunt again went close for Wednesday when he fired a 30-yard cracker straight at Muggleton.
But as in the first-half, the visitors rapidly ran out of steam as the more committed and tough-tackling Mansfield midfield again took firm control.
Stags began to surge forward and went agonisingly close to doubling their lead when the pacey Simon Brown saw his powerful low shot tipped inches past the post on 56 minutes.
The gripping friendly entered a quite spell on the hour mark after a string of substitutions by both teams disrupted the flow of the game.
But Stags, who showed much more desire and belief than their more famous opponents, settled the quicker after the break and nearly doubled their fragile lead on 68 minutes, when a Brown shot was ruled out for offside after a fluid five-man build up through midfield.
Stags were again denied on 75 minutes when Dawson crashed a drive against the left post and Hawshaw dragged the rebound wide following a blunder by the nervy Adamson.
But any fears that Mansfield would let their slender lead slip were wiped out in style on 78 minutes when a defence-splitting pass by the classy Hamshaw was drilled home from 26-yards by Brown.
However, instead of sitting back on their lead fast-flowing Stags powered forward in search of a third goal to the delight of the raptourous home fans.
And the Stags supporters didn't have long to wait after another defensive blunder saw Hamshaw, who tormented his former club all night long, pick out the on-rushing Barker at the far post, to find the back of the net with a powerful header.
The rout was completed on two minutes from time when substitute Callum Lloyd surged into the Wednesday box and picked out the industrious D'Laryea, who fired home to make it 4-0.
Speaking after the game, delighted boss Peter Shirtliff praised his side's showing.
He said: "I think Sheffield Wednesday had a lot of jetlag but we played extremely well. It was a great performance.
"Matthew Hamshaw played really well, he is a good player and a great addition to the team. I have targeted him all summer and managed to convince him that we can do something good here."
And Shirtliff has now called on his squad to take their excellent form and team spirit into the new season.
He added: "The team showed fantastic spirit and it is important that we keep that sort of spirit going throughout the whole season. If we can do that then I am convinced we can achieve something here.
"If we keep together as a group and keep working hard then I am certain we can improve on last season."
MAN OF THE MATCH: Richie Barker.
Stagsnet report was due to be written by "Eyeball Ball" but he lost it due to PC problems!

Report by:

Line Up:
Sub Line Up:
Buxton (for Hjelde, 63 mins)
Birchall (for Boulding, 66 mins)
Dawson (for Coke, 69 mins)
Reet (for Brown, 82 mins)
Lloyd (for Hamshaw, 85 mins)
Beardsley (for Barker, 85 mins)
Opposition Line Up:
Wednesday (4-4-2): Adamson, Simek, Coughlan, Bougherra, Bullen; Brunt, Lunt, Folly, O'Brien; MacLean, Burton. Subs: O'Donnell, Spurr, McArdle, Whelan, McAllister, Boden.
R Shoebridge

Season 06/07 Reports