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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
2 - 1
 Milton Keynes Dons
Barker 29, Boulding 37
 Wilbraham 10
Attendance: 4033 (621 from MK)
Date: 8 August 2006

The Stags turned in a strong display to beat one of the League's favourites in an excellent encounter at Field Mill. The night was also marked by a curious display from referee Kevin Wright, who booked Stephen Dawson twice but didn't send him off!! The Stags made one change from the side which drew at Shrewsbury at the weekend, Stephen Dawson deservedly regaining his place in the side ahead of Giles Coke, one change was also made on the bench, Danny Reet replacing Chris Beardsley.

The home side were slow off the blocks and the Dons long ball style caused several anxious moments in the Stags defence. Indeed, when the opening goal came it really was no surprise, a hoof from the keeper, one nice touch on the edge of the box and an excellent finish from Wilbrahim. However, the goal seemed to give the Stags the kick they needed and for the vast majority of the half it was they who were the better side. Neat, incisive passing football created two goals at Shrewsbury and two more came in this opening half, the second of which was simply outstanding. Barker scored the equaliser just before the half hour after a period of Stags pressure, neatly firing a low shot past Bankole. But the best was to come, a stunning move of real pace ended with Brown knocking a perfect ball into the area for Boulding to finish neatly.

Half Time 2-1

As the players entered the pitch to start the 2nd half the wind had picked up and the rain lashed down making conditions very difficult. This made the Dons long ball game rather impotent, time and time again they found the ball blowing back at themselves and the Stags were defending much more solidly. Indeed, although the visitors dominated possession in the opening 20 minutes of the half, it was the Stags who looked more of a threat in the final third. Brown was denied a superb chance to increase the Stags lead when wrongly flagged offside when clean through and towards the end as the Dons threw players forward, Dawson was clearly fouled inside the area only to see Mr Wright give nothing. Moments later, Mr Wright turned into Mr Wrong. He'd already booked Dawson in the first half for a late challenge, then with a couple of minutes remaining Dawson questioned another poor decision and was booked again. We were all waiting for the red card, but it never came. Moments later Dawson was subbed. This capped quite a night for the Stags midfielder on his return to the side, for he was the Stags best player by some distance.

Overall this was a great victory for the Stags who undoubtedly were no real match physically for the Dons, but who clearly had the better footballers. If you want to watch long ball rubbish this season, then Milton Keynes is the place to go on this evidence. Hopefully, the Stags will soon come up against like minded sides who don't follow the mantra that only long ball gets you out of League 2. Brown terrorised the Dons defence all evening, Boulding caused problems on the left and again combined well with Jelleyman, who had another fine game. After initial problems, Baptiste and Hjelde defended the long ball well and Muggleton made a couple of superb saves. For his all action display and despite being booked twice, Dawson was my man of the match.

Man of the Match: Stephen Dawson

Report by: Rob Wheldon at Field Mill

Line Up:
Muggleton 8 Pretty faultless again
Mullins 7 Defended solidly
Hjelde 7 Nervy start, improved as the match wore on
Baptiste 7 Like Hjelde, struggled at the start but got much better
Jelleyman 8 Another fine game for Jelleyman, some excellent no nonesense defending
Hamshaw 6 Fairly quiet and his set piece delivery wasn't the best
D'Laryea 6 Struggled at times, occasionally caught in possession
Dawson 9 All action display, has real pace and quality on the ball
Boulding 7 Took his goal well, tired in the 2nd half but a good game
Barker 7 Lead the line well and took his goal neatly
Brown 8 His pace really caused the Dons defence problems, as it will every defence this season
Sub Line Up:
Birchall (for Boulding, 65) 6 Spoiled some good work by being careless in possession
Lloyd (for Dawson, 90)
Subs not used: White, Buxton, Reet.
Opposition Line Up:
A Bankole, D Lewington, D Diallo, C Morgan (83 G Edds) , L Crooks, L Dyer (55 S Taylor) , P Mitchell (56 G Smith) , A Wilbraham, J McGovern, C Platt, I McLeod. Subs not used: M Baker, S O'Hanlon.
K Wright 4 Capped a poor evening by booking Dawson twice and not sending him off

Season 06/07 Reports