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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Hartlepool United  
2 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Porter 77, 90+2
Attendance: 3899 (188 from Mansfield)
Date: 12 September 2006

Dan Westwell at Victoria Park.

The Stags made one change from the team who thumped Hereford United 4-1 at Field Mill on Saturday. Simon Brown’s dead leg keeping him out of the 16. Adam Birchall came into the starting 11 and took his place on the left side of midfield, with Micky Boulding partnering Richie Barker up front. The bench was identical with the same five players taking up their positions.

The Stags started brightly and Barker should’ve scored inside the first two minutes. He was found with his back to goal but hit his shot weakly at Konstantopoulos.

Mansfield’s passing was sublime at times but without causing Hartlepool any real danger. Barker came up against a brick wall in Michael Nelson and rarely won any headers all night. At the other end Jake Buxton was absolutely fantastic at the back for Mansfield and won everything in the air. Indeed whenever Buxton wasn’t around, Alex John-Baptiste cleared up.

Hartlepool started to dominate the game midway through the first half & Peter Shirtliff was not happy. In fact this was the most animated Shirtliff has ever been on the touchline and he had to be led back to his dugout by the 4th official on one occasion.

Things weren’t going right for the Stags, Barker couldn’t seem to win a header against Nelson & Boulding was reduced to two shots from 20 yards which Konstantopoulos gathered comfortably.

Shirtliff continued to scream at his team from the touchline & was clearly not happy with the first half effort his boys were putting in. He was justified in his actions when a rasping drive from James Brown thumped Jason White’s right hand post and flew back into play.

Hartlepool continued to press and the only chance created by the Stags was the shot from Boulding; the defence certainly earning their money for the rest of the first half.

Mansfield started brightly as the second half got underway, with Shirtliff’s voice still ringing in their ears no doubt. Boulding broke through and went close and a shot from Sheehan from 35 yards in the first two minutes showing their intentions. Coke replaced Dawson soon after & his shot went close from 30 yards as well.

The ball was played on the floor more by both teams in the second half, which made for a better game. The biggest cheer of the night up until then was on the hour when fans favourite Joel Porter was brought on by Danny Wilson. A minute later a shocking decision by referee Haywood when Birchall went down under a challenge by Darren Williams, who was booked, saw Stags have a free kick from a dangerous 20 yards which was wasted as it was blasted into the wall by Sheehan.

A dangerous clash of heads between Barker and Liddle saw Barkers forehead split open and he was taken off, looking very unsteady on his feet, to be replaced by Reet.

This seemed to inspire Hartlepool & Porter showed the best skill of the night as he hooked the ball over Baptiste with his right foot and volleyed with his left foot, identical to Gascoigne v Hendry in Euro 96, but White equalled that with a brilliant point blank save.

The inevitable then happened as fans favourite Porter then scored as he slotted the ball into White’s left hand post & Victoria Park erupted. Reet should’ve had a penalty as he was flattened in the box but again the referee got it wrong.

Beardsley replaced Boulding as Shirtliff went for the point but it was to no avail as in injury time Porter bagged his second with a sublime 20-yard chip, which went over White and into the net.

It was an awful night as Stags crashed to a disappointing defeat at the hands of a very ordinary looking Hartlepool United.

Special mention to Jake Buxton who was superb throughout and has been player of the month by a long shot.

Report by: Dan Westwell

Line Up:
White 7 One superb save, and an outstanding double save in the first half, but didn’t have much else to do
Mullins 6 Steady game at right back
Baptiste 7 Cleared up nicely and was reliable as ever
Buxton 9 Absolute class. Won over 30 headers in the first half alone & brought the ball out of the defence on numerous occasions. Best player of the night for the Stags once again
Sheehan 7 Again showed his class with several vital interceptions.
Hamshaw 6 Disappointed with him as he has the skill to do a lot better than this.
Dawson 5 Never really got into the game & frustrated his manager who took him off early.
D’Laryea 7 Did ok and was the pick of a poor midfield.
Birchall 5 Didn’t really get involved. Unsure why Reet wasn’t started instead.
Boulding 5 Didn’t really get into the game due to Hartlepool’s defence of Nelson & Clark who were superb.
Barker 6 Didn’t get a look in, spent most of the night in Nelson’s pocket before going off injured. Could be a doubt for Saturday.
Sub Line Up:
Coke (for Dawson, 53) 5 Didn’t really get involved
Beardsley (for Barker, 67) 5 Not given time to shine.
Reet (for Boulding, 79) 6 Worked hard and should’ve had a penalty
Subs not used: Muggleton, Lloyd.
Opposition Line Up:
Konstantopoulos, Williams, Nelson, Clark, Liddle, Gibb, Boland (59 Strachan), Sweeney, Robson, Daly (62 Porter), Brown (87 E.Williams).
Subs not used: Provett, Bullock.
M Haywood 4 – Some really strange decisions which affected both teams. It’s referees like this who spoil games at this level.

Season 06/07 Reports