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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
0 - 2
 Mansfield Town
 Barker 5, Arnold 62.
Attendance: 3808 (286 from Mansfield)
Date: 26 December 2006



286 Stags fans gathered together at a bitterly cold 96.6 TFM Darlington Arena, after making the trip up to the North East to witness the first game of Caretaker Manager, Paul Holland’s reign. I wondered which Mansfield Town would turn up today!! But, I guess all the squad are now fighting to save their jobs now that Peter Shirtliff had gone.

Dutch promised a few surprises in the starting line up and he did just that.

No place in the 16 for Danny Reet, is he staying or is he going? or Jon Olav Hjelde. Jason White in goal and a back 4 of Mullins, Buxton, John-Baptiste & Jelleyman. Midfield consisted of Hamshaw on the right wing, Brown on the left with Coke & D’Laryea in the middle. Mickey Boulding started up front, in my opinion his best position, with Captain Fanastic Richie Barker.

The Darlington squad had been hit by a flu bug before the game, with no less 7 first team players having to be sent home. They had tried to postpone the match. They eventually had to play four 16 years olds in their team.

The game started brightly with Stags looking hungry & taking the game right to Darlo.

Darlo were on a run of 5 successive defeats & were there for the taking.

Fast & free flowing game kicked into life when Darlo forced the first corner of the game with their first attack of the game in the 2nd minute. A very poor corner was easily cleared by the Stags.

A cheeky but adept defence splitting ball by Brown sent Barker cleared one on one with the Darlo keeper Stockdale, who missed his kick under pressure & Barker rounded him to fire into an empty net. 5 minutes gone & Stags 1-0 up!! The first goal I’d seen Stags score at this Stadium on my 4th visit here. Wow what a great feeling!! Stags fans went wild & were constantly singing throughout the game. Taunting the Darlo fans by singing “You’ve only got 1 drum!!”

In the 9th minute Buxton sent a ball right over the top of the midfield to a lively Mickey Boulding, who was halted by the panic stricken Darlo defence.

Stags won a free kick on the right wing, in the Darlo half in the 12th minute. This fired in long with pace by Hamshaw but was cleared easily.

2 minutes later M.Boulding was sent clear on the right hand side of the Darlo area & he forced a Stags corner. Hamshaw crossed it in deep & the ball pinged about in the area before going out for another corner, which came to nothing.

By this time Stags were well on top of the game & wave after wave of attacking football rained down on the Darlo goal.

In the 16th minute a right wing corner from Hamshaw was headed back across goal by Barker only for Coke’s header to force keeper, Stockdale into an excellent 1 handed fingertip save.

On 20 minutes Stags were forced into their first substitution, on came Nathan Arnold for a limping Hamshaw for a straight swap on the right wing.

Darlo won a free kick on their right hand wing in the Stags half. From the resulting free kick the ball was crossed in & Collins rose unchallenged to fire a powerful header of the Stags bar with White stranded on his line.

2 minutes later Stags forced yet another corner, taken by Arnold & headed narrowly over by Barker.

A long ball out of defence by Buxton sent Boulding free 1 on 1 with the keeper, who cleared easily.

Another defensive clearance this time by Jelleyman sent Arnold free on the right wing, which in turn sent Boulding free in the Darlo area & deflected out for a Stags corner, which came to nothing.

On 32 minutes Stags got a free kick 25 yards out central of the Darlo goal, Coke & D’Laryea played a quick 1-2 & set up Mullins to fire a left footed shot wide from 20 yards out.

5 minutes later Collins was booked for hauling down Boulding

On 40 minutes from a White drop kick & a Barker flick on Arnold fired in a snapshot on the Darlo goal

In the 1st minute of 2 added minutes at the end of the 1st half Boulding was sent through 1 on 1 with the keeper for the 3rd time, which didn’t prove lucky for him, as the keeper cleared with legs.

Stags should of & could have quite easily been 4 or 5 nil up at half time.



Darlo came out much the brighter side in the 2nd half. They had made a substitution at half time bringing on Duke in place of Albrighton, on loan from Boston United.

More or less straight from the kick off Stags had a great chance to increase their lead when Mullins crossed from the right for Coke to get a free headed on target, which looped up just under the Darlo bar.

In the 50th minute a dodgy, Pilkington like, clearance by Darlo keeper Stockdale went straight to Coke, who set Brown free on the left hand side. Brown wriggled past 2 defenders & crossed in for Barker to head narrowly wide.

Darlo had a period of sustained pressure on the Stags goal, which came to nothing.

Followed another free kick, after Boulding had been felled, Coke found Brown, who in turn played an excellent ball to Arnold in the Darlo area 10 yards out, he found the net from a tight angle & via the inside of the right hand post.

This prompted wild celebrations from the Stags fans, who launched into joyous cry of “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way, Oh what fun it is to see Mansfield win away”!!!!!!!!!
On 70 minutes Coke ran at the Darlo defence with not one, two but three step overs, a la Ronaldo, and fired in a venomous shot from 20 yards out only for keeper Stockdale to push it round the post.
On 74 minutes Beardsley replaced a very impressive Boulding
On 85 minutes from a right wing Nathan Arnold corner Beardsley headed narrowly wide
A minute later Duke was booked for a late challenge on Coke, from the 22 yard free kick Brown forced Stockdale into yet another save.
In 2nd half injury time Lloyd replaced Coke



Line Up:
White - 7 had nothing to do but kept a welcome clean sheet
Mullins – 8 great defensive display
Buxton – 8 very solid back in centre half role
John-Baptiste – 9 outstanding
Jelleyman – 8 solid performance
Hamshaw 7 – did well until he got injured
D’Laryea 7 – very quiet game
Coke 9 – ran the midfield & was immense
Brown – 9 outstanding on the left
M.Boulding – 9 in his favourite position up front & looked good
Barker – 9 lead by example & yet another goal
Sub Line Up:
Arnold (for Hamshaw 20) – 9 best game in a Stags shirt
Beardsley (for M.Boulding 74) – 7 struggled to get into the game
Lloyd (for Coke 90+2)
Subs not used: Muggleton, Wood.
Opposition Line Up:
Stockdale, Close, Collins, Albrighton (Duke 46), James, Griffith (Carlos Logan 58), Ngoma, Cummins, Smith, Reay, Johnson (Josh Wright 85). Subs Not Used: Norton, McLeod.
M Pike (Cumbria) – 7 good game

Season 06/07 Reports