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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Grimsby Town  
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Bore 73.
 Hamshaw 51.
Attendance: 4604 (approx 800 from Mansfield)
Date: 18 August 2006

The Stags began with one change from the side held to a disappointing draw against Stockport last weekend. Jon Olav Hjelde was ruled out with a hamstring strain, in stepped the versatile Jake Buxton as cover. On the Mariners bench was popular former Stags player, youth team manager, assistant manager and manager Stuart Watkiss. He witnessed probably one of the most one sided matches he’ll see this season, yet somehow the Stags, who were magnificent, left Cleethorpes with just one point. Much of that can be blamed on poor finishing, with Richie Barker a major culprit but it also has to be said that from the first minute the Stags barely had a decision go there way with the word homer clearly invented with tonight’s whistle blower in mind.

The first half was total Stags dominance, however, chances were spurned and the Stags were almost made to pay for their profligacy when Grimsby’s first shot on target almost saw them take the lead. From the kick off it was the Stags who took immediate control of the game, with most of the opening 20 minutes played inside the Mariners half. The first chance came and went as Boulding knocked in a low dangerous cross from the left but sadly no Stags striker was on hand for what would have been a simple tap in – instead the ball drifted out for a goal kick. More Stags pressure and again Boulding on the left was instigator, this time the Mariners keeper dropped the ball but just managed to kick it away whilst prone on the floor before Brown could pounce. Muggleton was feeling very much alone but the Stags continued to miss chances and the worst of the half was to come mid-way through. For the third time Boulding and Jelleyman combined well and the former Grimsby man swung in a perfect cross which somehow an unmarked Barker headed wide. Jelleyman was next to test Barnes, a terrific left foot shot from 20 yards being acrobatically tipped over for the Stags umpteenth corner of the half. Sadly, scoring from set pieces is not something we are renowned for and another corner went to waste. By now the Stags fans were fearing the worst, a completely one sided half yet nothing to show for it and as the half came to a close Grimsby managed to get into the Stags half. In fact, they then created the clearest chance of the half, Muggleton making a splendid save at the feet of Bolland. Throughout the half the home side were getting much the better from the referee, however, there was much delight in the away end as a Mullins clearance hit the referee in the head and knocked him over. Sadly for the visitors, this didn’t bring them anymore luck with the official, who continued to blatantly favour the home side throughout the match.

Half Time 0-0

Hard to know what to say to the side at half time, they had been by far the better side, so probably same again but stick the ball in the net this time!! That didn’t take long, five minutes into the half the goal the Stags thoroughly deserved came – Hamshaw calmly finishing after the ball had bounced around inside the Mariners area. Just a minute later Stags fans thought it was two. With the offside flag clearly not raised, Brown raced through and tucked the ball past the keeper, however, the latest flag I have ever seen was raised and the goal was disallowed, much to the disbelief of Brown. Hard to say from our view behind the goal, but it must have been extremely tight. Muggleton was tested for the second time when Newey raced through, the Stags stopper blocking the shot well. For the first time the game was taking a more even look, and indeed, the home side enjoyed their first spell of pressure. Stags boss Peter Shirtliff replaced the tiring Boulding with Birchall and Jelleyman became the first player booked – this despite numerous fouls from the home side in the opening hour going unpunished – we said before the booking that there was little doubt that as soon as a Stags player commits a foul he’ll be booked, and so it proved. Brown, who must have been flagged offside half a dozen times, was replaced by Reet. However, within minutes of the change the home side drew level, a neat move saw a left wing cross find Bore, his header crashed onto the underside of the bar and flew away to safety. However, the Assistant flagged that the ball had crossed the line, only Buxton appeared to argue with the Assistant’s decision and from the opposite end of the ground it was impossible for us to tell if it had crossed the line. A minute after the set back the Stags should have been back in front, Barker was released by the brilliant Dawson, but hit a weak shot straight at Barnes. Indeed, it wasn’t Barker’s night as just minutes later Dawson again picked a perfect pass, this time Barker took too long and keeper managed to claw away from the big strikers feet. Even then, as the game was drawing to a close, the Stags still managed to miss one more great chance. Dawson, magnificent for 89 minutes, raced through the Mariners defence and with just the keeper to beat somehow placed the ball just wide of the goal. It was a desperate moment, for three points was absolutely what the Stags deserved.

So a terrific performance from the Stags but marred by poor finishing. On another night this would have been 3 or 4-1 but really bad misses from Barker (three) and at the end from Dawson meant the Stags left with just a point. Many positives, Muggleton was faultless all evening (although he didn’t have the busiest of nights), Baptiste was excellent as were both full-backs and Buxton did a sound job as replacement for Hjelde. The midfield kept possession better than they did on Saturday but it was a poor night for Barker and Brown. However, the Stags best player was, despite his miss at the end, Stephen Dawson. His distribution was first class, he tackled back and got involved with the frequent Stags attacks, he was absolutely everywhere.

Man of the Match: Stephen Dawson

Report by: Rob Wheldon at Blundell Park

Line Up:
Muggleton 8 Two good saves and good handling throughout
Mullins 8 Barely put a foot wrong
Jelleyman 8 Continued his excellent form
Baptiste 8 Excellent, cleared it when required, used the ball well too
Buxton 7 Did a solid job as stand-in for Hjelde
Hamshaw 7 Another goal and another good display, though I can’t help feeling we’ve not yet seen his very best
Boulding 7 Tired again after a good first half, prone to playing in field too much
Dawson 9 Would have been 10 but for his miss, all action display
D’Laryea 8 Fine display in the holding role
Barker 4 Very poor evening for the skipper, missed three gilt edged chances
Brown 5 Offside too often, the Assistant couldn’t have been wrong all the time
Sub Line Up:
Birchall (for Boulding, 62) 6 Never really got going
Reet (for Brown, 70) 6 Can’t recall him touching the ball
Subs not used: White, Beardsley, Lloyd.
Opposition Line Up:
P Barnes, J McDermott (71 G Croft) , J Whittle, M McIntosh, T Newey, P Bore (74 G Harkins) , P Bolland, C Toner, P Beagrie, I Rankin, G Jones (87 B Futcher). Subs: R Murray, D North.
R Olivier 3 Very one sided

Season 06/07 Reports