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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
2 - 2
 Accrington Stanley
Hamshaw 57, Boulding 81. Barker missed pen 28. Sheehan missed pen 54.
 Mullin 15, 85.
Attendance: 3088 (140 from Accrington)
Date: 23 September 2006


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

In a bizarre and hugely entertaining game at Field Mill today, Mansfield Town missed two penalties, had a goal disallowed, hit the woodwork twice, had numerous other close efforts, scored twice in the second half, and could only draw 2-2 with Accrington Stanley. On another day the Stags could easily have won 5-2, but you really can’t afford to be so wasteful, especially from spotkicks, with Barker missing his second penalty of the season, and so-called dead-ball specialist Sheehan also missing from the spot. Accrington looked a poor side, often in disarray at the back, and only shone in short spells with the outstanding Gary Roberts giving the Stags back four several headaches. The Stags came from a goal down to lead 2-1 when Boulding scored after 81 minutes. But Mullin equalised with a soft goal and incredibly Accrington nearly stole the points when they hit the post in stoppage time.

Peter Shirtliff sprung a couple of surprises (to me at least) by leaving on-loan Alan Sheehan on the bench with Jelleyman keeping his place, and Beardsley starting his first league game for 13 months at the expense of Danny Reet. Accrington were short on household names though we knew enough about Gary Roberts to be wary of nippy striker.

The game got off to a scrappy start and the first notable action was on 9 minutes when Mullin received a very high challenge from Proctor. Mullin was down for a while and had to be replaced later in the half. On 10 minutes Beardsley had the first chance when he mis-hit a shot wide of the right post from 22 yards.

On 13 minutes there was controversy as the Stags were denied a goal by an offside flag. Dawson’s cross into the box was headed into his own net by defender Richardson, with Barker standing in an offside position. The point was that Barker was never close to the ball, and the Stags striker complained long and bitterly about the decision. The goal should have stood in my opinion.

Two minutes later, the Stags were punished for poor defending. Jelleyman missed a clearance, Todd passed to Roberts inside box on the right side, and Roberts whipped a cross to the six yard box where Mullin headed in. Bad defending by the entire defence in their own box.

On 17 minutes, Barker did well to head a ball back across the box but the danger was cleared, then a minute later Hamshaw’s superb corner was headed powerfully goalwards by Barker, but the ball hit the keeper and rebounded to safety.

On 20 minutes, Hamshaw’s fine cross was headed back across goal by Coke, and Beardsley somehow headed wide from six yards when it seemed easier to score.

The Stags were awarded a penalty on 28 minutes. Beardsley beat Edwards in the box and as the defender went to ground he handled. It was a clear penalty. Barker’s penalty was low and straight down the middle, giving Dunbavin a opportunity to save with his legs as he dived to is left. It was reminiscent of Kevin Hitchcock’s saves at Wembley with his Size 10½ boots. What was lacking from Barker was a bit of height on his shot which would have given the keeper no chance.

On 31 minutes, another fine corner from Hamshaw found Mullins whose shot was cleared off the line. Mullins was soon replaced due to his earlier injury. Baptiste moved to right back, with Sheehan coming on into central defence.

Coke curled a “Kenny Dalgleish”-type effort wide on 35 minutes, and then Jelleyman’s shot was blocked on the edge of the box. Great defending from Baptiste robbed the dangerous Roberts on 42 minutes, and a minute later Baptiste was involved at the other end with great interplay with Coke, before Coke fired just wide from a tight angle.

In injury time, Hamshaw put in an excellent free-kick, Buxton powered a free header goalwards and Dunbavin somehow kept the ball out.

The end of the half was greeted by boos from the home fans, which didn’t really reflect some of Mansfield’s good football and chances created. How different it would have looked but for the disallowed goal and missed penalty.

Half time 0-1

On 46 minutes, poor marking from Mansfield allowed Doherty to find Gary Roberts who had a free shot at White. Boulding replaced Coke on the left side of midfield on 50 minutes. Coke had picked up a knock in the first half.

The Stags earned a second penalty on 54 minutes. Again it was Beardsley who earned the spot-kick. Beardsley was clattered by both the keeper and a defender in the box. Barker looked to Sheehan who agreed to take over responsibility. This was an interesting change of thinking by Barker, who having missed against Lincoln still took another kick in the same game. The on-loan defender stepped forward and his low left footed kick was well saved by Dunbavin. Field Mill was stunned. It was a fine save by the keeper, but it was not a convincing penalty by a supposed dead-ball specialist.

Moments later, yet another fabulous corner from Hamshaw corner was met firmly by Barker who headed against the bar.

But on 57 minutes, there was a relief and joy, and at last a slice of luck for the home side. Hamshaw took a free kick from wide on the left. It was obviously intended as a cross but it went through everyone and nestled in the far corner of the net. The atmosphere immediately changed and groans changed to cheers.

But Stags’ bad luck returned with two incidents in a minute after 63 minutes. First D’Laryea’s goalbound shot was blocked by his own teammate, Dawson. Then from another fine Hamshaw corner, Baptiste fired a shot against the right post.

Reet replaced Beardsley on 65. But Accrington created two chances from nowhere almost immediately. First the impressive Roberts’ corner was headed into the ground by Harris, and as the ball bounced up, it looked like it would deceive White, but the Stags keeper did well to turn it over the bar. Then Craney's 20 yard shot was inches wide of the left post.

Hamshaw's master class of deliveries from restarts continued on 68 minutes when his free kick was headed goalwards by Reet but the keeper superbly tipped the ball over.

On 78 minutes there was a let-off for Mansfield when Roberts somehow headed wide from Bocu’s cross. Roberts was in the six-yard box, unmarked.

On 81 minutes, it seemed that the Stags would still win the game despite everything that had happened. D’Laryea played a ball forward for Boulding who raced away to dink a beautiful finish over the keeper and into the net. Field Mill simply erupted with relief.

But instead of consolidating their lead, the Stags found themselves under pressure from Accrington who had offered so little for the previous 80 minutes. First White had to save from a Roberts free kick from 25 yards, and then the visitors equalized on 85 minutes in a moment as sickening as any I can remember for a long time. Todd lofted the ball a high ball from 50 yards into the Stags box. Buxton was beaten to the header and Mullin flicked a header past White from 6 yards. White was in fact caught in no-mans land and will be disappointed with the goal.

Incredibly, a minute into stoppage time, Accrington hit the post through Edwards, with a low shot from 10 yards.

So a game that the Stags should have won by 3 or 4 goals could have ended with an absurd Accrington win. As the game finished, to the immense frustration for home players and fans, there was a surprise as Barker went straight down the tunnel without acknowledging the fans. This was very unusual behaviour from the Stags striker who looked disconsolate.

With just 10 points from 10 games, the Stags are far too close to the relegation zone for comfort. A win over Darlington on Tuesday looks essential to stop the slide. In fact, the Stags have won just 2 of their last 16 league games, taking into account the end of last season as well. This is nowhere near good enough. With two missed penalties, two efforts against the woodwork, several efforts cleared off the line, and a wrongly disallowed goal, this can only be seen as a freak result. But the Stags cannot just blame it on bad luck, and if you miss two penalties, you must expect to pay for it.

Man of the match: Matt Hamshaw

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
White 6 Fairly quiet game. A couple of reasonable saves, but maybe partly at fault for the second goal.
Mullins 6 Did ok before getting injured.
Baptiste 5 Did ok pushing forward from right full back position, but defensively not at his best.
Buxton 5 Appeared to be at fault for the second goal.
Jelleyman 5 At fault for the first goal.
Hamshaw 8 Excellent delivery from all 10 Stags corners and about 5 free kicks. Deserved a bit of luck for his goal.
D'Laryea 7 Good performance, including fine pass for the second goal.
Dawson 7 Did well pushing forward from midfield
Coke 6 Did ok on left side of midfield.
Beardsley 6 Won two penalties, which should have been sufficient to earn the three points, but looked lightweight.
Barker 5 Poor penalty. Looked disconsolate at the end.
Sub Line Up:
Sheehan (for Mullins, 33) 5 Missed penalty. Did not look impressive at centre half.
Boulding (for Coke, 50) 7 Great finish for second goal. Did well.
Reet (for Beardsley, 65) 6 Put himself about very well.
Subs Not Used: Muggleton, Lloyd.
Opposition Line Up:
Dunbavin, Cavanagh (Mangan 76), Edwards, Williams, Richardson, Todd, Proctor (Harris 61), Craney, Doherty (Boco 57), Mullin, Roberts.
Subs Not Used: Elliot, Welch.
M Clattenburg (Co Durham) 5 Should not have disallowed own goal for offside. Otherwise did ok

Season 06/07 Reports