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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
League 2
Boston United  
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
N'Guessan 25.
 Barker 70.
Attendance: 2314 (644 from Mansfield)
Date: 14 October 2006


Martin Shaw at York Street

A stirring second half recovery from Mansfield Town earned a point at York Street this afternoon. The Stags were booed off at half time after a lack-lustre showing coupled with mistakes by Sheehan and the recalled Muggleton gifted Boston a first half lead. But a penalty by Barker after 70 minutes was reward for a fine second half display which could easily have earned all three points. The ovation for the players at the end of the game was quite a contrast to the earlier booing. The point kept the Stags 3 points above Boston in the relegation scrap.

The Stags made two changes to the side that was held by Notts County. Muggleton came in for White in goal, after the young keeper’s recent suspect performances, while the suspended Hamshaw was replaced by Mullins. Mullins slotted in at right back, with Buxton shifting to centre half, Baptiste to central midfield, and Dawson to right midfield. Boston included former Stag Jamie Clarke in a midfield role.

The Stags conceded a free kick after just a minute when Jelleyman was harshly adjudged to have committed a foul, and Mullins had to clear the resulting cross off the line. On 5 minutes, the Stags had a chance when Reet did well to turn in the box and his low shot was saved by Andy Marriott by his near post. Chants of “Haslam out” rang out amongst many Stags fans, but the Stags supremo probably would not have heard them in the directors box 120 yards away behind the goal at the far end.

On 15 minutes, a cross from the right found Reet who was clattered from behind but still showed enough strength to head the ball across for Barker, who shot wide from a tight angle. On 22 minutes, the Stags conceded their fourth free kick around the box, which eventually fell to Elding who had a free shot which was easily saved by Muggleton.

But on 25 minutes it was 1-0 to Boston, and a stupid goal it was too. Sheehan, around 40 yards from his own goal, tried to pump a ball forward. It was charged down by N'Guessan and the ball rebounded towards the Mansfield goal. As N'Guessan chased after it, Muggleton hesitated and then raced from his area but was never going to get to it, and N'Guessan was able to chip the loose ball over the stranded keeper into an empty net from 22 yards. A very poor mistake by the Stags keeper, and a gift of a goal, out of nothing, for the home side.

The game became scrappy, and the Stags were rocked by the goal and looked very poor for the rest of the half. On 39 minutes, Sheehan who had taken an early knock, was replaced by Coke, as Jelleyman moved to left back and Coke to left midfield.

On 42 minutes, at last the Stags showed some urgency and substitute Coke cut in from wide on the right, with a great run, and his shot was deflected with keeper Marriott doing well to save to his left.

At the half time whistle, the Stags were booed off with calls of “rubbish” and “Shirtliff out” from many of the fans. It was surely to be an important second half for the under-pressure Stags manager.

Half time 1-0

The first chance of the second half fell to Boston when a cross from the right was headed well wide by former Stevenage striker Elding. The Stags at last started to get their game together and on 53 minutes Coke drove forward, passed to Mullins on the right and his good cross was headed behind for a corner. From the resulting corner, Dawson had a low shot from wide on the right but it was well saved by Marriott. Four minutes later another Stags corner led to Buxton having a shot which was saved by Marriott by his near post.

On the hour, Buxton was taken off, to a good reception, and replaced by Nathan Arnold. Baptiste moved to centre half, and Arnold to midfield. Another good move soon followed and Coke ran down the left before shooting , but Marriott saved easily.

On 64 minutes, a moment of controversy as Dawson broke though and was brought down 25 yards from goal. A clear foul but referee Kevin Friend decided that the defender was not the last man and only produced a yellow card. It was touch and go. The Stags were now applying real pressure and two minutes later Dawson was brought down again, this time on the edge of the box. Jelleyman sent a shot well over the bar to the fury of Stags fans behind the goal. Then brilliant skill from Reet earned a corner. But it wasted by Arnold, who was now taking all corners.

On 69 minutes, the Stags got another free kick, this time on the right. Jelleyman floated a ball into the box and Barker was held down by Boston centre half Ellender. Referee Friend immediately pointed to the spot to the joy of Stags fans. But joy immediately turned to trepidation as we remembered that the Stags have missed three this season. Dawson handed the ball to Barker. With fans shouting “just belt it”, the Stags striker did just that and blasted it high straight down the middle. Marriott got a hand to it but couldn’t possibly keep it out, and it smashed into the roof of the net. The away end exploded and Barker was soon engulfed amongst the fans, surrounded by all his teammates. It was a richly deserved equalizer, albeit a bit of a gift as it was an unnecessary foul in the box. Barker earned a yellow card for his celebration.

On 78 minutes, the ref awarded another foul for climbing on Barker, this time by Albrighton, but this time on the edge of the box. Ridiculously, the free kick was wasted as it was played sideways and hit the referee! Then Dawson hit a shot well over the bar. A minute later, there was a clear handball in the Boston box, spotted by Stags fans, but not by the referee. Two minutes after that, another Stags corner was taken short by Arnold, to Dawson whose clever cross was blocked for another corner. From this corner, D’Laryea had a shot from 20 yards which deflected and Marriott saved low down.

On 83 minutes the Stags came so close to a winner when first Coke and then Barker had headers at goal, but neither would go in. A minute later, the lively Arnold made a great run down the right, and crossed to the near post, but it was cleared behind for a corner.

The second half had been all about Mansfield, but on 86 minutes there was a scare as Boston created their only chance of the half. Dawson gave away a free kick, which was floated into the box and dreadful marking allowed a free header at goal, which Muggleton did well to tip over the bar.

The Stags finished strongly but were unable to create another chance and so the game ended in a draw. The players received a fine ovation at the final whistle.

So, a dreadful first half performance, but a very good second half performance. Overall therefore it was ok, and an away point is always acceptable. It was important not to lose, but without the mistakes by Sheehan and Muggleton it could have been so much better.

Man of the match: Danny Reet

Report by: Martin Shaw at York Street

Line Up:
Muggleton 6 Bad mistake for Boston’s goal, but made a fine save near the end to preserve a point.
Mullins 6 Did ok.
Hjelde 6 Defended ok.
Buxton 7 Defended well. Unlucky to be subbed, and earned a good reception when he went off.
Sheehan 5 Mistake led to first goal. Injured earlier on, and then subbed.
Dawson 7 Did well on the right in the second half.
Baptiste 6 Disappointing in midfield in first half. Defended well in the second half
D'Laryea 6 Average.
Jelleyman 5 Poor quality of passing and crossing throughout game.
Reet 7 Showed good strength throughout.
Barker 6 Earned the penalty when he was fouled, and converted it to boost his confidence.
Sub Line Up:
Coke (for Sheehan, 39) 7 Immediately injected fire when he came on. Played well.
Arnold (for Buxton, 60) 7 Very tricky and lively on the right wing. Showed good pace.
Subs Not Used: White, Lloyd, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
Marriott, Greaves, Albrighton, Ellender, Galbraith, N'Guessan, Talbot, Clarke (Rusk 79), Holland (Davidson 86), Tait, Elding (Farrell 73). Subs Not Used: Kirby, Cotton.
Kevin Friend 7 Did well to spot the penalty. Generally did well.

Season 06/07 Reports