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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
 Stockport County
Hamshaw 84
 Briggs 24
Attendance: 3,856 (537 from Stockport)
Date: 12 August 2006


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

A late goal by Matt Hamshaw rescued a point for the Stags against relegation near-certainties Stockport County at Field Mill this afternoon. The Stags lacked bite all afternoon with no-one having a particularly good game, and after conceding a dreadful goal in the first half, it took Hamshaw's lucky strike to earn the point. Indeed Hamshaw could then have won the game very late on but his rasping shot hit the post. Despite this afternoon's setback, the Stags are still unbeaten and satisfactorily placed after 3 games.

The Stags were unchanged from the win over the Franchise XI. Hamshaw was playing against the team he left in the summer. Dawson was not suspended, and indeed will not be now after Shirtliff revealed that the referee has now decided that it was Hamshaw who picked up the second booking against the Franchise XI, and not Dawson. Very convenient for both the referee and Dawson. Perhaps Graham Poll should have tried this trick.

The Hatters included Bramble, who has scored a winner against the Stags in the past for Southend, while on the bench was Rob Clare who Carlton Palmer thought he had signed at the start of last season after the pair had shaken hands on a deal.

The game was played in a chilly stiff breeze, blowing from the North Stand End, and behind Stockport in the first half.

In the opening 10 minutes, County were on top without creating any good chances. The first chance came on 15 minutes and against the run of play as Barker played a ball to Jelleyman on the left. The Stags full-back whipped a fine ball back into the middle but just too high for the advancing Barker who couldn’t direct it goalwards.

On 17 minutes, the Stags were awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the box. Boulding took the free-kick left footed, low and hard. It deflected off the wall into the path of Brown, whose close range shot was blocked. Then Dawson scuffed a shot wide from the rebound. On 20 minutes, The Stags were nearly ahead. Hamshaw’s corner to the near post was headed on and Stockport midfielder Dinning managed to head the ball inches over his own bar.

On 21 minutes, Hjelde had to come off and sat in front of the Bishop Street stand with an ice-pack on his leg. He was replaced by Buxton, on for his first game of the season.

But on 25 minutes, County were ahead. Ashley Williams took a free kick from near the halfway line. It sailed on the wind into the Stags box, where Baptiste completely misjudged the flight at the far post and Glenn Murray headed the ball back across the box for Keith Briggs who was completely unmarked to head past Muggleton from 6 yards. Following the shocking goals conceded at Shrewsbury this was another one the Mansfield defence will be very unhappy with.

On 34 minutes, a silly free-kick was given away by Baptiste on the edge of the box. The free-kick by Dinning was deflected over the Mansfield bar. Dawson was booked for a late tackle on 38 minutes. There was real danger in the Stags box on 43 minutes when Michael Rose’s cross from the left just evaded Glenn Murray at the far post. In stoppage time, a ball over the Stockport defence ended with half chances for Brown and Boulding but neither could convert. Moments later Baptiste was booked for backchat to cap an awful half for the young defensive maestro.

A very poor half for the Stags. The frustrating thing was that County were so obviously poor, but the Stags did nowhere near enough to break them down.

Half time 0-1

On 48 minutes, Brown played D’Laryea in on the left; he took a few steps forward and put in a good shot, but it was well saved by James Spencer in the County goal. From the resulting corner Stags players furiously claimed a handball. I couldn’t really see the incident but after the game Shirtliff said that a defender had used both hands to take the ball of Baptiste’s head.

On 54 minutes, Brown picked up the ball 25 yards out, and shimmied past a defender but his left footed shot was hide and wide. Two minutes later, Boulding, who had been too quiet, was replaced by Birchall. The Stags were totally in control now, with sustained pressure, and Dawson soon fired wide. Then on 61 minutes Hamshaw was wide of the right post with a shot using the outside of his right boot. Moments later the Stags had a great opportunity. Dawson made a great run on the left, turned on the byeline and crossed with his right foot right onto the head of Mullins who headed wide when totally unmarked.

Birchall had a shot deflected wide of 66 minutes. On 69 minutes the Stags put together a great move, as Hamshaw played a one-two with Barker, and fired just wide, again with the outside of his right boot.

On 73 minutes, County sub Liam Dickinson got away from Buxton and the Stags defender brought him down. Fortunately, with Baptiste covering, Buxton was not last man and he escaped with a yellow card. County’s first chance of the second half arrived on 75 minutes as Griffin fired wide.

A minute later, at the other end, Mullins had a fine shot on the turn, but James Spencer made a wonderful save. On 79 minutes, another Stockport chance as Griffin challenged for a ball in the box with Baptiste, and Baptiste’s clearance rebounded off Griffin and just wide. Two minutes later, a very poor mistake by Baptiste as he lost the ball to sub Dickinson, but Jelleyman cleared the resulting cross.

But on 85 minutes came the deserved equaliser. Hamshaw made a brilliant run, and played a one-two with Brown before sending a weak shot goalwards. Incredibly it somehow squirmed past the keeper and just over the line. Field Mill erupted and Hamshaw cupped his hands to his ears at the Stockport fans.

Five minutes left. It had been all Stags in the second half, but was there long enough left to get the winner? Beardsley came on for Brown on 88 minutes for his first appearance since breaking his leg last August. On 89 minutes, the impressive Dawson put in a brilliant shot following a Beardsley flick-on but the keeper pulled off a wonderful save.

From the resulting corner, Hamshaw cut inside from the right and hit the right post with a great shot. Oh no! If there was going to be a winner, that was it. Bad luck Matty. Very average for 85 minutes, but now on fire and brimming with confidence.

Two minutes into stoppage time, Baptiste ran forward from inside his own half. The defence seemed to part for him, and he belted a shot from fully 30 yards over the bar.

And so the game ended in a draw. A real case of two points dropped against a poor Stockport side. Stockport will feel they defended well but they offered nothing in midfield or going forward, and the Stags lacked enough invention today to break them down. We were expecting much more from Brown, Boulding and indeed Hamshaw, to create chances, but none were on good form today. However we should be grateful that Hamshaw’s weak shot crept in for the equaliser, or it could have been worse. At least the Stags remain unbeaten. And so onto Grimsby on Friday. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Stephen Dawson

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Muggleton 6 One fumble but otherwise solid. Quiet afternoon.
Mullins 7 Did well at right back and going forward. Should have scored with easy header in first half.
Hjelde 6 Did ok, before going off with an injury.
Baptiste 5 Nightmare afternoon. At fault for the goal, and made other mistakes too.
Jelleyman 7 Good game.
Hamshaw 6 Came alive in the last 6 minutes with the fortuitous goal and then a great shot against a post. Average before that.
D'Laryea 6 Quiet.
Dawson 7 Pick of the midfield. Very industrious and created most danger.
Boulding 6 Disappointing
Barker 6 Didn't really get any good chances. Held the ball up ok.
Brown 6 Failed to spark.
Sub Line Up:
Buxton (for Hjelde, 21) 6 Caught out once but otherwise ok.
Birchall (for Boulding, 56) 5 Nothing going his way at the moment.
Beardsley (for Brown, 88) -
Subs Not Used: White, Lloyd.
Opposition Line Up:
Spencer, Williams, Robinson, Owen, Rose, Dinning, Taylor, Briggs (Raynes 45), Murray (Dickinson 63), Griffin, Bramble (Clare 77). Subs Not Used: Le Fondre, Deasy.
P Melin (Surrey) 7 Largely unnoticed. Stags were unhappy he missed a possible penalty.

Season 06/07 Reports