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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
FA Cup Round 1
Mansfield Town  
1 - 0
 Accrington Stanley
Barker pen 43
Attendance: 2909 (171 from Accrington)
Date: 11 November 2006

It's always a relief when it's FA Cup time, gone are the pressures of league points and in return is a game where you can relax a little more, knowing defeat won't have you racing home to view the league table to see how far we've slipped down. After not playing them for decades, it was time for another visit for Accrington Stanley less than a month after a 2-2 draw which saw the Stags miss two penalties. The E.ON FA Cup, catchy title and proof if ever it was needed that football just aint what it used to be - E.ON are apparently the UK's largest integrated power and gas company, never heard of them personally, which just might be the point. To local matters, the natives are unhappy, not just with the usual goings on at Field Mill, but also the news that Chief Executive Keith Haslam had agreed a deal with Hartlepool to sell the Stags captain and leading scorer Richie Barker for £80k, despite the player and manager not wanting the move. By kick-off, a loud and constant chorus of disenchantment flooded from the Quarry Lane End, spreading slowly to the West Stand. Throughout the whole game chants of "Haslam Out", "Where's the money gone" and "80 Grand, you're having a laugh" rang out from both home stands. The songs of disenchantment were mixed with songs in support of Richie Barker and the Stags team.

Anyway, to the match, the Stags made two changes from the side beaten at Bristol Rovers a week earlier, Reet and Dawson dropping to the bench to be replaced by Boulding and Beardsley. The game kicked off in very blustery conditions with the Stags kicking towards the sparsely populated North Stand. It was the home side who began brightly, within the first two minutes the Stanley goal was threatened, first Boulding found space on the left and his cross was only parried by Dunbavin but fortunately fell to a defender who hacked it away. Moments later, Barker was released on the right after a neat pass from D'Laryea but his cross was overhit. Mullins was next to have an attempt at goal, Dunabvin saving after the Stags full back had got on the end of a right wing free kick from Hamshaw. The subsequent corner was headed only as far as Barker who's goal-bound volley hit Welch full in the face, the more optimistic Stags fans were calling for a penalty!! Beardsley found some space on the right but his shot was sliced into the stands and almost beheaded some Stanley fans on the front row who were too busy with their cheer sticks to be paying attention. Muggleton, pretty much a spectator for the opening half hour, was forced into an excellent save, diving full length to palm away a 20 yard strike from Craney. As it seemed the half would end goal-less, the Stags were awarded a penalty for hand-ball, I certainly didn't see the infringement, but there were appeals from Stags players and the referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot. Barker blasted the ball home. The visitors almost equalised on the stroke of half time, a long range effort from Ventre swerved viciously and Muggleton produced an outstanding save, diving to his left, to keep the Stags goal in-tact.

Half Time: 1-0

The second half was very scrappy, the high winds making it hard to play decent football, though Boulding almost increased the Stags lead after a nice turn and shot which was well saved. Mullin missed a great chance just short of the hour, firing a powerful shot from the right past Muggletons right hand post. Beardsley forced a sharp save from Dunbavin, his first touch from Mullins right wing cross was excellent but he just didn't get enough power in the final effort. The Stags replaced Boulding with Dawson as the visitors, for the first time in the game, began to pile on the pressure. However, excellent defending, notably by Baptiste, kept the chances to a minimum. Reet replaced the tiring Beardsley and had a decent opportunity within a minute, he looked clear for an instant after beating the offside trap, but took a little too long in possession before winning a corner. From the corner the ball fell again to Reet on the edge of the area, but he just couldn't get a shot away. As the game entered extra time, Simon Brown made his long awaited return from injury, replacing Hamshaw.

So a strange day, not often you hear almost constant singing at Field Mill these days and it certainly added to the atmosphere. On the pitch both sides tried to play football in very blustery conditions and certainly the first half was an enjoyable affair. Coupled with the news that the Spireites had lost at home to Basingstoke, most Stags fans would have left the ground happy, though many remained on the old training pitch to continue their protests against Haslam. As for man of the match, the sponsors gave it Richie Barker, probably another dig at Haslam, but for me there were only two real contenders, Baptiste was excellent at the back but for his outstanding save just after his side had gone ahead, Carl Muggleton wins the award for me.

Man of the Match: Carl Muggleton

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
Muggleton 9 Two outstanding saves and excellent handling
Mullins 7 Solid defensively
Hjelde 7 Strong in the air
Baptiste 8 Excellent marking the lively Mullin
Jelleyman 6 Did OK defensively, crossing wasn't as good as usual
Hamshaw 6 Decent game but didn't threaten enough
D'Laryea 6 Excellent workrate but again his distribution occasionally let him down
Coke 5 Pretty anonymous
Boulding 7 One good chance and did OK on the left, though he did wander to the centre quite a bit
Beardsley 7 Worked tirelessly though some of his shooting was wayward
Barker 7 Took his penalty well, fairly quiet game overall
Sub Line Up:
Dawson (for Boulding, 73) 6 On crunching challenge within a minute of coming on announced his return
Reet(for Beardsley, 79) 6 Did OK
Brown (for Hamshaw, 90) 6 Great to see him back
Subs not used: White, Buxton.
Opposition Line Up:
Dunbavin, Richardson, Welch, Edwards, Ventre (McGivern, 56), Doherty, Craney, Harris, Todd, Mangan, Mullin. Subs not used: Dubourdeau, Brown, Bains, Byrom
R Lewis 5 A bit fussy

Season 06/07 Reports