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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Shrewsbury Town  
2 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Drummond 21, Edwards 30
 Hamshaw 17, Brown 42
Attendance: 5066 (842 from Mansfield)
Date: 5 August 2006


Martin Shaw at Gay Meadow

Mansfield Town made a very promising start to the new season with a hard fought 2-2 draw in their last ever visit to Gay Meadow this afternoon, but it could have been a victory if the defending from set pieces had been better. The Stags always looked lively going forward with Boulding, Hamshaw and Brown all impressive, but at the back there was real concern as the home side looked like scoring every time they pumped balls into the Stags box.

The Stags were playing in their away kit of dark blue for the first time in a league game, and handed league debuts to Johnny Mullins and Matt Hamshaw, while Carl Muggleton and Michael Boulding were given their first league starts in their second spells at the club. Coke got the nod ahead of Dawson in midfield, while there was no place on the bench for Reet.

Shrewsbury had Derek Asamoah, a man of the match performer when the Stags visited here two years ago, on the bench, while Ben Davies, who got Barker sent off at Field Mill while playing for Chester last year, made his debut. Davies was to get cries of “cheat” from the Stags fans every time he touched the ball.

Stags made a positive start and on 2 minutes, Barker headed down but Boulding shot into the side netting from a tight angle. On 8 minutes, Shrewsbury got more into the game and Herd fired wide from 20 yards for the home side. Two minutes later, the Stags were lucky when a ball crossed into their box was missed by Jelleyman but an unmarked home striker was fooled by the left back’s fortunate dummy. On 15 minutes, a clever free kick from Hamshaw on the right found Boulding on the edge of the box. The former tennis professional turned superbly but fired high and wide.

The Stags were ahead on 17 minutes. Brown ran from the halfway line and played Boulding in on the left. Boulding continued his run to the byeline and put in a superb cross across the face of the goal for the unmarked Hamshaw to fire home from close range at the far post. It was a terrific move and a great way to open the account for the season.

But on 21 minutes, all the good work was undone with shoddy defending from a corner. Ben Davies, the former Chester man, swung in a corner from the right and big defender Drummond rose high above the Stags defence to head the ball down and up into the roof of the net.

As we approached the half hour mark, 2 more corners caused panic in the Stags defence and from the second, Muggleton had to be alert to tip the ball over for another corner and from it, Shrewsbury were ahead as a cross from Sorvel was headed home by Edwards who beat Hjelde to the cross.

On 33 minutes, Barker headed on a cross that Hamshaw headed on to the roof of the net as the Stags tried to make an instant reply. On 35 minutes, Edwards got the better of Hjelde and tried to lob Muggleton from the edge of the box but the Stags keeper made a great save to palm the call away for a corner when it looked as though the chip had gone over him. On 40 minutes, there was another scare for the Stags as a free kick into the box was headed on and Edwards was a whisker away from reaching the ball at the far post.

The Stags were level on 42 minutes with another quality goal not unlike the first. Coke had the ball in the middle of the park. As he was tackled, the ball reached D’Laryea, whose forward ball picked out Barker perfectly. Barker made progress forward and, from the edge of the box on the left, flicked a ball towards goal which Brown met from 6 yards with some part of his body to power the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Two terrific goals for the Stags, two gift goals for the Shrews. As a pulsating half came to an end, the lively Brown nearly had another chance but missed his kick in the box. An entertaining first half and one in which the Stags played the better football, but poor defending from balls into the box held them back.

Half time 2-2

The Stags had a great chance to increase their lead on 50 minutes as Brown was clean through on the right but from a tight angle, he shot wide of the right post with Boulding totally unmarked in the middle. There was a close shave on 56 minutes as a cross came into the Stags box and Hjelde was beaten to a near post header. But Baptiste produced a magnificent clearance at the far post. On 59 minutes, a comedy of errors nearly cost the Stags dear. Hjelde tried to head a ball back to his keeper and Muggleton just got there first but his clearance only reached Davies. Davies composed himself and shot towards the net but Baptiste was able to clear the ball off the line.

Dawson came on for Coke on the hour and, almost immediately, a horrible mistake by D’Laryea in his own box gifted a chance to a Shrewsbury player but he shot wide. On 63 minutes, a great free kick from the Stags nearly saw them take the lead. Hamshaw’s ball to the far post was headed back by Barker into the path of Dawson whose shot was blocked. The resulting corner was headed back to Dawson on the edge of the box and this time, his fine shot was brilliantly saved. Three minutes later, a great cross from Jelleyman was headed inches wide of the right post by Mullins with the keeper rooted to the spot as the Stags two full backs nearly conjured a goal. A minute later, Mullins was in action at the other end putting in a brilliant challenge to block a shot from Edwards. Mullins was injured in the process and the gesticulations of Muggleton to the bench indicated that the full back would have to go off but he carried on after a short stoppage.

Derek Asamoah came on for his Shrewsbury debut after 71 minutes and a minute later, a shot from a Shrewsbury player was straight at Muggleton who saved but would have been disappointed to spill the ball; luckily for the Stags a defender was on hand to clear it.

Chances now dried up and on 80 minutes, Birchall replaced Brown and went on to the left side of midfield with Boulding going up front. There were no further chances for either side as the game petered out and both teams seemed happy to accept a point.

Overall a satisfactory start for the Stags who looked excellent going forward but the defending on crosses into the box was a major concern and cost the Stags the chance of victory. Several players caught the eye including Hamshaw, Brown, Barker and Jelleyman while Dawson did well as substitute, but my man of the match was shaded by the returning Michael Boulding.

Man of the match: Michael Boulding

Report by: Martin Shaw at Gay Meadow

Line Up:
Muggleton 6 No chance with the two goals. Spilled one shot, but otherwise ok.
Mullins 6 One brilliant tackle, and otherwise steady.
Hjelde 4 Poor game. Lost out on most headers and looked shaky throughout.
Baptiste 6 Did ok, but not his usual commanding self. One superb goal-line clearance rescued Hjelde.
Jelleyman 7 Pick of a poor defence. Also did well going forward.
Hamshaw 7 Some great crosses into the box, and showed intelligence moving forward. A good signing.
D'Laryea 6 Nice ball forward for the second goal, but didn't get a grip on the midfield as we would like.
Coke 6 Did ok moving forward, but didn't contribute enough.
Boulding 7 Great work for the first goal. Looked a threat throughout.
Barker 7 Regularly leant on by the defence, but did well for the second goal, and kept going throughout.
Brown 7 Great finish for the second goal. His pace caused the home side problems.
Sub Line Up:
Dawson (for Coke, 59) 7 Unlucky with two shots soon after coming on. Looked lively.
Birchall (for Brown, 80) -
Subs not used: White, Buxton, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
R Esson, D Hall, R Hope, S Burton, N Ashton, B Davies, S Drummond, D Edwards (90 D Williams) , N Sorvel, B Herd (71 D Asamoah) , K Langmead (79 M Symes) . Subs: C MacKenzie, G Cowan.
G Salisbury 6 Missed regular fouls on Barker but no major mistakes.

Season 06/07 Reports