{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
2 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Yakubu 45+1, Gross 53.
 Barker 84.
Attendance: 1790 (198 from Mansfield)
Date: 16 December 2006


Martin Shaw and Nicole Shaw at Underhill

In a near carbon copy of the Bury game last week, Mansfield Town lost again against very poor opposition. This time the opponents were Barnet. Once again the Stags totally dominated the opening half, including striking the post inside the opening minute, but went in a goal down at the break. Then a second goal for Barnet gave the home side confidence and the Stags looked down and out until a late Richie Barker goal gave the Stags hope. But the Stags failed to create any chances after Barker’s goal and went down to a feeble defeat.

The Stags made 3 changes: White for Muggleton in goal, Mullins for the injured Buxton, and Beardsley for Michael Boulding. Barnet were without loanee Adam Birchall as the Stags refused to allow him to play.

For the first half, it was difficult to watch the game from our position as the sun was low, bright and straight into our eyes.

In the opening 30 seconds, Hamshaw got the ball on the left inside the box, and curled a great right-footed shot against the post. Soon afterwards, Hamshaw put in a cross-cum-shot which sailed just wide. Then Beardsley shot from a tight angle hopelessly wide.

The Stags were the better side in the opening stages and on 19 minutes Beardsley turned in the box and shot towards the near post from the right but keeper Lee Harrison made a good save. On 24, Hamshaw threaded a ball through for Beardsley but as he shot the flag was raised for offside. Beardsley’s shot was saved anyway.

On 30 minutes, Coke received the ball from a throw-in but fired high and wide. A minute later, a surging run from Mullins ended when his cross for cleared for a corner. From the corner by Hamshaw, Mullins got a free header which seemed a certain goal until Harrison palmed the ball away. On 34 minutes, from another Stags corner, Hjelde knocked the ball back to Coke who took aim and fired low and hard just wide. I wrote in my notes: are we going to pay for these missed chances?

After 36 minutes a chance for Barnet, their first of the game. Sinclair shot low and hard but White got down well to save to his right. Four minutes later Viera made a good run into the box but White made a great save with his legs.

Two minutes into stoppage time Barnet took a undeserved lead from a corner. Yakubu rose above the static Mansfield defence for an unchallenged header into the right corner of the net.

At half time we wondered how on earth we could be behind.

Half time Barnet 1 Mansfield 0

In the opening minute of the second half Beardsley, on the edge of the box, played the ball to the right to Brown who shot first time from a tight angle at the Barnet keeper. On 48 minutes Barnet nearly scored when a cross from the right by Graham just evaded Viera in the centre. 2 minutes later another good move from Barnet’s Jason Puncheon as he beat Mullins and crossed for Sinclair who headed over.

On 53 minutes Barnet made it 2-0. A mistake by Baptiste as he headed the ball backwards, then Coke missed his kick and Warhurst’s overhead kick allowed Gross to nip in and finish clinically past White from the edge of the box.

The Stags got a chance to fight back 2 minutes later. A long kick by White was knocked down by Barker and D’Laryea fired out of the stadium. At the other enda a minute later, the Stags defence was asleep when Viera controlled a ball over the top but, in acres of space, he shot and White saved well.

On 64 minutes Reet replaced Beardsley but astonishingly Reet went to the right side of midfield. On 66 minutes Hendon made a good run down the right and his deep cross was met by a volley by Puncheon which was well saved low down by White. On 71 minutes a rare chance for Mansfield as Brown made a good run down the left before cutting in and his shot was deflected just wide. 3 minutes later Jelleyman sprayed a ball from the left to Reet who controlled the ball well before firing well over. Then good play from Brown on the left but his low cross was well cleared. Moments later Barker headed over from another cross.

At this stage the Mansfield fans were in full cry with Christmas songs about Mr Haslam including, to the tune of “We wish you a merry Christmas”: We all hate Keith Haslam ‘cos he is a cook (nb. one letter missing). The Barnet fans also joined in with chants of “Haslam out”.

On 80 minutes Sinclair had a free shot in the box for Barnet but it was blocked. Lloyd replaced Coke after 84 minutes.

A minute later the Stags reduced the deficit. Hamshaw’s free kick from the right was headed home by Barker. 5 minutes left and we seemed set for a grandstand finish but it wasn’t to be as the Stags pushed Hjelde up front and proceed to lump high balls forward which were meat and drink for Barnet’s big back line. There was only one further chance and it fell to the home side as Sinclair fired over from the edge of the box.

So a hugely disappointing result and second half display. We are now very much in a relegation scrap. Only 3 players emerged from this game with credit. Jason White played well, making a few good saves. Simon Brown battled well and made some good runs. But my man of the match was Giles Coke, who did well throughout, putting himself about and looked most likely to create something for the Stags.

Man of the match: Giles Coke

Report by: Martin Shaw and Nicole Shaw at Underhill

Line Up:
White 7 A few good saves. Did well on his return to the side.
Mullins 6 OK
Hjelde 6 Defended strongly. Pushed up front in vain in last 10 minutes.
Baptiste 5 An error in the lead up to the second goal. Is he distracted?
Jelleyman 6 Quiet game.
Brown 7 Very lively on the right wing.
D'Laryea 5 Didn't do enough.
Coke 7 Competed very well and looked creative. Mistake in the lead-up to the second goal blotted his copybook.
Hamshaw 5 Great effort in the first minute, but gave the ball away too cheaply.
Beardsley 6 Started well and unlucky with one effort. Faded after that.
Barker 5 Looks out of touch, but took his goal well when the chance came along.
Sub Line Up:
Reet (for Beardsley, 64) - Played in right midfield. Very odd decision by the manager to play him there.
Lloyd (for Coke, 83) -
Subs Not Used: Muggleton, Arnold, Charlton.
Opposition Line Up:
Harrison, Hendon, King, Yakubu, Gross, Bailey, Sinclair, Puncheon, Graham, Warhurst, Vieira (Cogan 79). Subs Not Used: Flitney, Charles, Devera, Nicolau.
S Bratt (West Midlands) 8 Handled the game very well.

Season 06/07 Reports