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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
2 - 4
 Lincoln City
Reet 66, Barker 90+1 pen. Barker missed pen 43.
 Forrester 15 pen, 23, 29, 49 pen.
Attendance: 4,596 (902 from Lincoln)
Date: 26 August 2006


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Mansfield Town suffered a surprising defeat to Lincoln City in a bizarre game at Field Mill this afternoon as well-travelled striker Jamie Forrester scored his first ever hat-trick and then went on to get 4 goals. It was a terrible display from the Stags back four, who must look at themselves after this game, but the rest of the team really weren’t too bad and scored two goals of their own, missed a penalty and missed many other chances. The performance of the Stags defence has the alarm bells ringing loudly around Field Mill, and has to be addressed quickly if the promise of the side in terms of attacking prowess is not to be completely wasted.

Lincoln have recently been a bogie side for Mansfield. Indeed you have to go back to 2002 and the promotion season for the Stags last victory. However as the players warmed up it was immediately obvious that this was not a typical Lincoln side. Indeed the front two of Forrester and Stallard must be one of the shortest in the league. The 6 foot 10 inch average height of the side has gone and former Stags midfielder John Schofield seems to have completely changed the tactics as Lincoln’s new head coach. The Stags made one change from the side that had won at Huddersfield with keeper Muggleton replacing Jason White. Hjelde and Coke were still kept out by injury.

The first chance of the afternoon came on 5 minutes when Stallard’s shot was deflected wide. On nine minutes Boulding got to the byeline and cut a good ball back for Barker with his back to goal. Barker turned well but his snapshot was well saved low down by Alan Marriott.

But on 14 minutes, the visitors were awarded a penalty. A Lincoln player rolled the ball into the Stags box and Baptiste tripped Frecklington for an obvious foul. It was poor play from the normally excellent Baptiste. Forrester placed his kick with power into the right corner of the net and although it looked like Muggleton may have got a finger to it, he couldn’t keep it out. It really was a goal out of the blue as Lincoln had only once been anyway near the Stags goal.

Within a minute, Boulding, looking very lively, broke into the Imps’ box, but his shot was blocked by Marriott. A minute after that, Amoo shot wide from 25 yards for Lincoln. On 18 minutes, Brown got the ball 35 yards from goal. He turned and shot first time but Marriott saved above his head. A fine effort from Brown.

On 23 minutes it was 2-0 to Lincoln and a great goal from a great move. But it was terrible marking in the Stags box. Stallard was totally unmarked, but the ball fell to Forrester on the left of the box from Amoo's cross. Forrester turned inside the hapless Mullins and rifled in a brilliant shot into the far right corner of the net.

On 26 minutes, the Stags put together a fine move following a throw-in, which ended with Jelleyman firing wide from 20 yards.

But on 29 minutes, incredibly it was 3-0. Amoo was totally unmarked in the box but was unable to get in a shot, and instead got in a cross to the far post where Forrester, also totally unmarked, headed at goal. Muggleton pulled off a wonderful diving save on the line, but the rebound was pounced on by Forrester unmarked yet again, who fired low under the Stags keeper. This was schoolboy defending as three times in 10 seconds opponents were unmarked in the box. Simply not good enough.

Two minutes later, Baptiste allowed Frecklington a free shot from 20 yards, which was wide of the right post. A minute after that, Brown was through on goal but his close range shot was well saved by Marriott. Marriott made his only mistake of a superb afternoon for him when he came and missed a free kick on 35 minutes, but Dawson’s shot was deflected into the out of position keeper’s hands.

On 38 minutes, Brown was fouled on the edge of the box and Hamshaw's free kick was claimed by Marriott under the angle.

On 42 minutes, the ball pinged around the Imps box and Brown missed a good chance as Marriott again saved well. The ball fell to Boulding, who was tripped by Beevers for another obvious penalty. Barker stepped up but his side-footed effort was too close to Marriott who saved brilliantly diving to his left.

It was a fitting end to the half dominated by Marriott, Forrester and the inept Stags back-line.

Half time 0-3

I was a half-time substitute in the commentary box as Nigel Pinnick had to return home, and as a result apologies that I had fewer notes from the second half.

Brown was wide in the 46th minutes. But on 49 minutes it got worse for Mansfield as Lincoln were awarded a second clear penalty when Mullins brought down Mayo with a late challenge. Forrester rolled his penalty down the middle as Muggleton dived to his left.

On 52 minutes, Hamshaw put in a fine cross for Brown on the edge of the 6-yard box. Incredibly, Brown headed 10 yards wide. Then Boulding broke into the box on 56 but Marriott saved again. Then Boulding played a super one-two with Brown in the box but Boulding’s shot was blocked.

Hamshaw was replaced by Reet on 61 minutes, with Brown moving to right midfield. Two minutes later, Reet headed over the bar from Brown’s cross. Brown got in an excellent shot two minutes later, but Marriott was equal to it.

But on 66 minutes it was 1-4. Brown had a shot which was deflected into the path of Reet, who, looking suspiciously offside, rolled the ball under Marriott from 8 yards.

A minute after the goal, D’Laryea was sacrificed for a more attacker midfielder in Callum Lloyd. On 73 minutes, Mullins headed tamely wide from Dawson’s fine free kick. Baptiste and Stallard were immediately both shown yellow cards to squaring up in the box. Then Barker headed back a ball to Boulding whose header was cleared off the line, and shortly afterwards Brown shot over the bar. It was all Stags and hard to believe we were watching a team 4-1 down.

On 79 minutes, there was a scramble in the box and Dawson’s shot was brilliantly saved by Marriott. Then Reet had a powerful shot from the edge of the box that was blocked. On 85 minutes, Barker had a header saved at the foot of the post as the chances continued to come and go.

But on 91 minutes the Stags were awarded a second penalty as Brown’s cross was handled by Frecklington. Barker stepped up and blasted his shot down the right of the goal, this time giving Marriott no chance.

And so the Stags ended with some respectability in the scoreline. But had it not been for countless fine saves from Marriott, the Stags could have salvaged a draw. However the area of obvious concern is the back four which looked vulnerable and kept failing to mark tightly in the box. In the post match interviews, Peter Shirtliff said he needed to strengthen the squad but refused to elaborate exactly which positions. Quite clearly it has to be the defence!

Around 15 minutes after the end of the game, the entire press box and rest of the West Stand was evacuated due to a suspected gas leak. One wonders what would have happened, if this had happened say 15 minutes from time, with the Stags 4-1 down!!

Man of the match: Stephen Dawson

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Muggleton 6 Couldn't be faulted for any of the goals.
Mullins 5 Poor challenge for second penalty. Part of a dreadful defence.
Baptiste 5 Poor challenge for first penalty. Part of a dreadful defence.
Buxton 5 Poor. Didn't get close enough to his attackers.
Jelleyman 5 Poor.
Hamshaw 5 Not at his best, though harshly jeered by some fans.
D'Laryea 6 Did ok.
Dawson 7 At the centre of most of the Stags attacks. Positive, forceful and kept going.
Boulding 6 Started very well, and did well to earn first penalty, but faded a little.
Barker 6 His head went down after missing first penalty. Came close with a couple of headers, and buried second penalty well.
Brown 7 A real livewire. Created a lot, but finishing could have been better.
Sub Line Up:
Reet (for Hamshaw, 61) 7 Did well. Scored one and close with two others.
Lloyd (for D'Laryea, 67) -
Subs Not Used: White, Beardsley, Birchall.
Opposition Line Up:
Marriott, Mayo, Moses, Morgan, Frecklington, Beevers, Hughes, Kerr, Amoo, Stallard (Gritton 85), Forrester (Ryan 87). Subs Not Used: Rayner, Cryan, Semple.
R Beeby (Northamptonshire) 8 Excellent game. Got all 4 penalty decisions right.

Season 06/07 Reports