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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
4 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Wright 51, Keates 62, 76, Gerrard 90+3.
Attendance: 5420 (651 from Mansfield)
Date: 30 September 2006


Martin Shaw at Bescot Stadium

Mansfield Town fell to a 4-0 defeat at leaders Walsall this afternoon. That result looked most unlikely at half time when the score of 0-0 pretty much reflected the number of chances, as well as goals. But in the second half the home team somehow managed to score 4 times from 5 chances and the Stags were well beaten in the end.

The Stags made two changes from the Darlington game: Coke came in for the suspended Dawson, while Reet was surprisingly dropped allowing a start in midfield for Callum Lloyd. With Lloyd slotting into midfield, the 4-5-1 formation was not to the taste of fans that I spoke to before the game. Walsall included Dean Keates in their side - Keates had played against the Stags for Kidderminster two seasons ago and missed a crucial penalty which would have put Mansfield 2-0 down in that game after Pilkington had brought down Beardsley, then playing for Kiddie. The Stags went on to win that game 3-1. Keates was to play a major part today scoring twice.

Before the game a moving speech by Matt Gadsby’s wife was read out by the PA announcer. It received a rousing reception. The collection for Gadsby today raised £1756. Gadsby of course played for both sides and died while playing Hinckley Town 3 weeks ago.

The Stags following was swelled by large numbers who came in tribute to Stags fan “Bruv” who died a couple of weeks ago. They sang “we love you Bruvvie” and “we are Bruvvie’s barmy army” throughout.

The first half was totally devoid of any excitement or chances. The Stags five-man midfield snuffed out any danger from the home side and prevented a single sniff of goal.

On 4 minutes, Barker’s weak header was straight at the keeper. On 6 minutes, Coke’s dreadful header into his own box nearly created a chance for the home team, but as a Walsall player went down, the referee waived away penalty appeals.

The game was terrible to watch, with little quality. On 18 minutes came a half chance for the Stags as Callum Lloyd drove over the bar from a cross by Hamshaw.

The only other action of note came on 37 minutes when Lloyd’s running at a defender earned a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Hamshaw wasted the free-kick as he had several earlier crosses.

Half time 0-0

It had been a half devoid of any entertainment, but manager Shirtliff would have been happy that his tactics had blunted the home side. D’Laryea had run the show with a fine performance.

But at half-time, home manager Richard Money made a change, taking off striker Hector Sam and bringing on another midfielder in Craig Pead, thus matching Mansfield’s 4-5-1 formation. After the game Money told BBC Radio WM that “Mansfield’s number 4” (D’Laryea) had been seeing far too much of the ball and he had to do something about it.

On 49 minutes, the Stags had the best chance of the game. Baptiste played in Barker who held the ball up well before feeding Lloyd who shot low and hard, only for keeper Clayton Ince to save well. Walsall broke to the other end and Fox forced a save from White, his first save of the game.

But the chance buoyed Walsall and moments later they scored. Substitute Pead had a shot from the left, White couldn’t hold onto it and right midfielder Wright swept the ball into the empty net from close range.

On 56 minutes the Stags came within a whisker of an equaliser. Coke was fouled on the edge of the area, in a central position. Sheehan took the free-kick which was perfectly placed but Ince made a fantastic save low down to keep the ball out of the right corner of the net.

Reet replaced Lloyd as the Stags reverted to 4-4-2, but on 62 minutes there was a personal disaster for Jason White which effectively killed the game. Walsall got a free kick 25 yards from goal on the left, awarded for a foul by Hjelde. It didn’t look a foul. Ironic because Hjelde had been fouling his man throughout the first half and getting away with it. Anyway, Keates took it left-footed. It seemed a comfortable save for White, but somehow it squirmed under his body and into the net. We simply can’t afford that sort of error.

Four minutes later, the Stags were nearly back in it. Barker got a great flick-on, to Reet who shot from a tight angle on the left just past the far post - a fine effort. Almost immediately, Nathan Arnold replaced Sheehan. Arnold went to right midfield, Hamshaw to left midfield, and Jelleyman to left back.

Arnold looked lively and on 74 minutes got in a shot wide of the right post.

But two minutes later it was 3-0. Wright crossed from the right and Keates, surely 5 foot nothing, rose unchallenged to head into the left corner of the net. Three goals from four chances in the match. Not bad if you can do it.

On 83 minutes, Hamshaw crossed from the left and Reet glanced a header just wide. Then on 89, Hamshaw picked up a ball on the left, and at last went direct for goal, but the impressive Ince saved well, low down. A minute later, Walsall crossed from the left and White was all over the place as Jelleyman cleared the loose ball.

But amazingly it was 4-0 in stoppage time. Keates took a free-kick wide on the right. He looked like he was aiming direct for goal, to complete his hat-trick, but Gerrard got a flick-on to score from close range.

So, a ridiculous second half as the Stags somehow conceded 4 times. 4-0 was not a realistic reflection of the scoreline, but the Stags need to improve quickly if they are to mount a promotion challenge. In fact, close inspection of the league table shows that we are just two points above the relegation zone. Another massive game coming up - Notts County at Field Mill next Saturday. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Jonathan D'Laryea

Report by: Martin Shaw at Bescot Stadium

Line Up:
White 5 Horrible mistake for the second goal. Poor second half.
Baptiste 6 Did ok at right full back.
Hjelde 7 Defended well. Unlucky to concede free kick which led to second goal.
Buxton 7 Defended well.
Sheehan 6 Generally did ok.
Hamshaw 5 Not positive enough going forward. Crossing was disappointing.
D'Laryea 7 Ran the show in the first half. Quieter second half.
Coke 5 Created little.
Lloyd 6 Did ok. Had a good shot, just before Walsall took the lead.
Jelleyman 6 Quiet game.
Barker 5 Won some good flick-ons, but otherwise nothing went his way.
Sub Line Up:
Reet (for Lloyd, 58) 7 Showed good strength as always and unlucky not to score.
Arnold (for Sheehan, 66) 7 Lively, did well.
Subs Not Used: Muggleton, Mullins, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
Ince, Westwood, Gerrard, Roper, Taylor, Wright (Bedeau 83), Dobson, Keates, Fox (Demontagnac 79), Butler, Sam (Pead 45). Subs Not Used: Bossu, Dann.
P Armstrong, Berkshire 6 Did ok.

Season 06/07 Reports