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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Bristol Rovers  
1 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Disley 87
Attendance: 5044 (212 from Mansfield)
Date: 04 November 2006


Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at the Memorial Ground

A very poor game between two sides who were very ordinary on the day, was settled by Mansfield old-boy Craig Disley who got away from his marker to head home after 87 minutes. It was Disley's first goal of the season. The Stags had defended well up to that point, looking solid and well organised, whilst not really seriously tested. The first half was dire, but the introduction of Michael Boulding at half time, injected some pace into the Stags side as he continually got behind the defence, and he came close to putting the Stags in front from a one-on-one with the keeper which was well saved.

Sheehan failed to recover from injury, so Jelleyman played at left back. Dawson returned from injury. Michael Boulding inexplicably didn't make the starting eleven, with Coke taking the left midfield berth. Simon Brown didn't make the bench, suffering from a dead leg. Lloyd was on the bench. This ground would bring back happy memories for both Coke and Lloyd, as Coke made his league debut here and Lloyd scored his first league goal, both in the 4-4 draw in 2005.

The game was played throughout in bright sunshine, which made watching from the terrace very difficult as we were looking into a low sun in the first half. The game also marked the return of the fluorescant yellow ball.

The first half was low on action. After 8 minutes Hjelde did well to clear as Disley burst through. Dawson tried a shot on 10 minutes from 30 yards which was weak and straight at the keeper. On 18 Reet picked up a head injury and eventually re-appeared with a Barker-esque headband. He was to go off at half time.

Already it was clear that the Stags had no width on the left, with Coke continually drifting in to the middle to the annoyance of the Stags fans. The game was poor and there was more interest in the songs of a large proportion of the Stags fans who chanted "Haslam out", "We are the minority", and "If you all hate Haslam clap your hands", to name but a few songs.

On 24 minutes, Reet showed great strength on the right wing to get in a super cross which was cleared. On 32, Reet had the ball in the net with an effort similar to Lampard's at Barcelona on Tuesday, but sadly the offside flag had long since been raised. Reet was booked on 38 minutes for hanging on to the ball after another offside.

A minute before the break, Rovers had their first proper effort on goal when Elliott headed straight at Muggleton from a corner. Coke had a shot blocked on 45, and three minutes into stoppage time Mansfield had the best chance of the half. Hamshaw's throw-in fell to Mullins who fired over from 8 yards.

Half time 0-0

Boulding replaced the injured Reet at the start of the second half. On 48 minutes, Boulding was brought down on the edge of the box after a good run. Defender Elliott was booked and would have been red-carded if another defender hadn't been close by. Hamshaw sent the free kick disappointingly wide. Two minutes later Boulding broke through again and defender Anthony made a superb challenge for a throw-in. Moments later Hamshaw crossed for Barker, who got in a header as the keeper came and missed it, but the Stags striker could not direct it on target.

On 53 minutes, Jelleyman's ball over the top put Boulding through for the third time in 5 minutes. This time he shot right-footed and keeper Phillips saved very well to his left. It was a save that earned him the Rovers man of the match award and kept his side on level terms. After the game, Stags boss Shirtliff was critical of Boulding for not getting closer to goal before shooting.

On 54 minutes, Hamshaw crossed and Barker rose above the defence and headed down but straight at the keeper. On the hour, Muggleton made a howler as he dropped a routine cross and he was lucky to get away with it as Walker couldn't get a shot in. Lloyd replaced the ineffective Coke on 63, but a minute later Muggleton made amends by getting down by the right post to save from Igoe's shot. On 66 minutes, right in front of the Stags fans and in his own box, Mullins pulled the shirt of a Rovers player, but fortunately the officials didn't spot it. On 71 minutes, Haldane, on as a sub, and accurately described as a "ponce" by a Bath City fan standing near us, shot weakly straight at Muggleton from 20 yards.

The Stags put together a fine move on 73 minutes, involving Barker, Hamshaw and Boulding, which ended with Lloyd shooting at the keeper.

On 86 minutes Shirtliff replaced Hamshaw by Buxton, thus going to five in defence. But it back-fired as Rovers scored within a minute. Igoe took a free-kick from 35 yards, floating it into the Stags box, and Disley got behind his marker (? Baptiste - to be confirmed) to guide a free header past Muggleton from 6 yards. It was a sickening moment.

The Stags were unable to mount a late assault and so went down to their first defeat since September. In truth the game had nil-nil written all over it, and it could have been so different if Boulding had taken his chance, or indeed if he had played from the start. But one lapse in the Stags defence cost the defeat.

Man of the Match: Johnny Mullins

Report by: Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at the Memorial Ground

Line Up:
Muggleton 6 Did ok including one great punch, but one howler nearly cost a goal.
Mullins 7 Defended well, and good distribution.
Hjelde 6 Decent game.
Baptiste 7 Excellent defending throughout. Possibly at fault for the goal (need to see video).
Jelleyman 6 Did ok at left back.
Hamshaw 6 A couple of good crosses.
D'Laryea 7 Competed well throughout.
Dawson 6 Did ok but not at his best.
Coke 5 Very poor. Contributed nothing.
Barker 6 Had a couple of half chances. Did ok.
Reet 6 Showed good strength and one outstanding run and cross.
Sub Line Up:
M.Boulding (for Reet, 46) 7 Showed great pace and caused Bristol lots of problems. But should have scored when through one-on-one.
Lloyd (for Coke, 63) 6 Never really got into the game, though had one shot at the keeper.
Buxton (for Hamshaw, 86) - The goal was conceded within a minute of him coming on. Not his fault.
Subs not used: White, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
Phillips, Ryan Green, Anthony, Elliott, Carruthers, Igoe, Campbell, Disley, Sandell (Haldane 53), Richard Walker, Easter (Rigg 53). Subs Not Used: Mike Green, Hinton, Lescott.
C Penton (Sussex) 7 Handled the game well.

Season 06/07 Reports