{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Johnstone`s Paint Trophy Northern Section Quarter Final
1 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Smith 75
Attendance: 2059 (131 from Mansfield)
Date: 28 November 2006



On the back of a poor team performance at Rochdale last Saturday, Stags headed north up the A1 to a resurgent Darlington FC, under the new management of Dave Penney, who has 100% record in the games that he has been in change of since arriving at the 96.6 TFM Darlington Arena.

Stags boss Peter Shirtliff rang the changes tonight. Out of the starting line up went the injured duo of Johnny Mullins and Richie Barker along with Matthew Hamshaw (dropped to the bench), Gareth Jelleyman, Giles Coke (dropped to the bench) and Danny Reet (dropped to the bench).

In came Jake Buxton to right back, Asa Charlton to left back, Callum Lloyd to central midfield, Nathan Arnold to right wing, Simon Brown and Chris Beardsley up front. Rory Boulding and Chris Wood made the bench.

On an appalling threadbare pitch, with both goalmouths looking like mud baths the game ebbed and flowed freely, with Darlo creating the first real chance of note in the 2nd minute when Wainwright crossed from the right for the Bald Eagle Barry Conlon to head firmly wide of Muggleton’s left hand post and out for a goal kick.

Both sides were playing some neat football, fast flowing and on the ground. In the 6th minute greyhound Joachim was onto a through ball in lightening fashion, beating the offside trap and 1 on 1 with Muggleton, who thwarted him with a very adept smothering save.

Stags first real chance came in the 9th minute, when Buxton sent a tempting right wing cross into the Darlo area, but it evaded everyone including Mickey Boulding at the far post.

The 131 Stags away support were in a good voice and were getting right behind their team. Much to my amusement chanted “Big ground no fans” to the church mice Darlo fans opposite.

Nathan Arnold should have done better, in the 13th minute, when he found himself 1 on 1 with Darlo keeper, Sam Russell following a great through ball from D’Laryea, which was dummied by Beardsley. Resulting in him firing his first time shot straight at the keeper.

Stags survived a big scare 2 minutes later when livewire right winger Neil Wainwright dispossessed Asa Charlton and smashed his shot against the outside of Muggleton’s left hand post and out for a throw in.

The only booking of the game came in the 17th minute when Simon Brown slid into the Darlo right back when clearly he had won the ball cleanly. But, the referee saw it differently.

Darlo and Stags traded corners and free kicks but nothing came to fruition.

Alex John-Baptiste, Captain for the night was outstanding throughout the 1st half, not only with his own defending but having to regularly cover for Asa Charlton, who was getting caught out of position far too often. Baptiste came to Stags rescue in the 41st minute when a Darlo breakaway led to Conlon being 1 on 1 with him, only to defend his ground stoutly. This led the Stags fans to burst into the chant of “You’ll never beat Baptiste”


The 2nd half started with no substitutions being made by either side.

In the 48th minute Stags had the first shot on target in this half when a long throw in from Buxton was flicked on by Beardsley, who was leading the front line very well in Barker’s absence, to Simon Brown, who squared the ball to Mickey Boulding, who could only fire his shot straight at the Darlo keeper.

In the 61st minute great run and shot by Darlo right winger Neil Wainwright was adeptly cleared off the line by Buxton and out for a corner.

Darlo made a double substituition on 63 minutes bringing on journeymen Alun Armstrong and Martin Smith on for Conlon and Logan respectively. This was followed 2 minutes later by Stags first substitution, off went Simon Brown and replaced by Rory Boulding, who with his first touch forced a corner on the right hand side, which came to nothing.

The game flowed from end to end with both teams cancelling each other out and seemed like the game was going to go to a penalty shootout, with the clock on the very impressive Darlo scoreboard reaching the 70th minute mark.

All of a sudden the game changed with another mazy run from Darlo livewire right winger Wainwright, his shot was cleared by the Stags defence to Martin Smith, who was fully 35 yards centrally away from goal. Smith unleashed an amazing left footed half volley, which flew into Muggleton’s top right hand corner like a thunderbolt.

Shirtliff made 2 other changes in the 80th and 83rd minute, bringing on Danny Reet in place of the impressive Chris Beardsley and Chris Wood on for Callum Lloyd.

Chris Wood was very lucky not to give away a penalty when he made an untimely challenge in the box, which looked an obvious penalty to the whole ground, except the referee, who waved play on.

The game petered out and sadly the Stags did not look like scoring. But, overall this was a far better performance than what the travelling Stags fans saw at Rochdale on Saturday.



Line Up:
Muggleton – 7 very nearly kept a welcome clean sheet, but couldn’t do anything about the goal.
Buxton – 6 solid performance, adapted well when pushed into central midfield late on.
Hjelde – 5 ok performance against 2 pacy centre forwards
Baptiste – 7 covered for Asa Charlton a lot and did his job well too
Charlton – 3 very poor, got caught out of position too many times and looked a fish out of water
Arnold – 6 used his pace well but still a bit light-weight
D'Laryea – 6 solid as ever his hard work always goes unnoticed
Lloyd – 5 did well in the midfield battle for supremacy
M.Boulding – 5 could have done better offensively
Brown – 6 harried and caused the Darlo defence to be on their toes
Beardsley – 8 lead the line excellently tonight, so much so Richie Barker was hardly missed – well done Chris
Sub Line Up:
R.Boulding (for Brown, 65) 6 – used his pace well and caused Darlo defence a few problems
Reet (for Beardsley, 80) 4 – didn’t really get in the game but did put himself about.
Wood (for Lloyd, 82) – 3 another fish out of water
Subs not used: Coke, Hamshaw.
Opposition Line Up:
Russell, Duke, Collins, Close, James, Wainwright, Ngoma, Cummins, Carlos Logan (Smith 63), Joachim (Johnson 72), Conlon (Armstrong 63).
Subs Not Used: Stockdale, Clarke.
C Oliver, Northumberland - 6 let the game flow but let a lot of things go

Season 06/07 Reports