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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
2 - 1
Conlon 14, Gritton 57.
 Roper 9.
Attendance: 3737 (985 from Walsall)
Date: 20 January 2007



Following the disappointing league defeat at Accrington Stanley in midweek, Manager Billy Dearden was forced into one change from his starting line up, in came Simon Brown, in the right wing, for the injured Giles Coke. Matty Hamshaw switched to the left wing & there were home debuts for our new potent & lively strike force of Barry Conlon & Martin Gritton, who have already shown pride & passion in wearing the amber & blue of Mansfield Town.

Stags kicked off attacking the Quarry Lane End after losing the toss. The early stages of the game were end to end & frenetic. It also started with massive shouts of “Haslam Out” from a large section of Stags fans situated right by the Directors Box.

Stags to the game to Walsall & in the 3rd minute Black Country born Simon Brown, whose friends are all Saddlers fans & have been texting him & winding him up all week, was fouled on the right hand side of the Walsall penalty area. The resulting free kick taken by Hamshaw came to nothing.

Wave after wave of Stags attacks rained down on the Walsall, but the end result came to nothing. Conlon & Gritton showed great signs of holding the ball up well in attack & Hamshaw & Brown were causing the Walsall defence a great deal of unease.

Against the run of play Walsall forced the first corner of the game on their right in the 9th minute. From the resulting in swinging corner the Stags defence failed to clear the ball properly, shades of the 1st minute at Accy, the ball fell to Ian Roper, who prodded the ball home from 6 yards out to give Walsall an undeserved 1-0 lead. Why oh why can’t we defend set-pieces?
In the 12th minute the excellent & fired up Brown won a brilliant tackle on the halfway line & played the ball over the top of the Walsall leaving the onrushing Conlon 1 on 1 with keeper Clayton Ince with the goal at his mercy Conlon fired straight at the keepers legs, much to his disappointment.

However, Conlon disappointment was short lived when in the 14th minute midfield general Dawson fired in a low cross from the left hand side of the penalty area to Conlon, who fired the ball high into the Walsall net for his third goal in 3 games & sent the Stags fans wild with joy. Who needs Barker when we’ve got our own BOGOF deal (Buy One Get One Free) with Conlon & Gritton?!!!

A snap shot volley from Hamshaw in the 20th minute from 20 yards out just flew wide of the Walsall goal.

I had to ask myself are we playing the League leaders here, who have only lost twice in the league all season? Stags were making Walsall look very ordinary.

Following another Stags free kick in the 23rd minute, taken the Stags right wing by Hamshaw & swung in dangerously Baptiste tried to head the ball was clattered by keeper Ince & needed treatment for what seemed like a back injury.

2 minutes later Irish Terrier Dawson ran through the Walsall midfield & was upended 35 yards out. Hamshaw swung in the resulting free kick, which was missed by everyone & forced keeper Ince into a full length 2 handed save to push the ball round the post & out for a corner. Hamshaw fired in the corner, which was met full on the volley by Conlon & high wide.

By this stage Stags were running the show & a great ball by Conlon to Brown in the 29th minute, into the area & was brought down by the Walsall defender, but the referee waved away the penalty appeals.

Much to my amusement the Stags fans seated near to the Directors Box started singing “Haslam, Haslam gizza song” followed by “Haslam, whats the price!!”

In the 37th minute the injured Baptiste was replaced by Jon Olav Hjelde

Shortly afterwards the now infamous Mansfield Stewards were up to their heavy handed tricks again resulting in a photographer being ejected from the ground. The spine tingling response from the whole of the West Stand & QLE vocalising their full support the photographer, as he was led away was amazing.

In the 44th minute Mullins was booked for a late challenge on the halfway line.

In the 1ST minute of 2 minutes of injury time livewire Brown crossed from the right & Conlon volleyed narrowly wide. Conlon could have quite easily had a first half hat trick



Right at the start of the 2nd half Mullins was injured defending his own goal & needed treatment to continue, but he couldn’t carry on & was replaced by Callum Lloyd in the 52nd minute, who had to slot in at right back, as there wasn’t another defender on the subs bench.

Following a poor defensive Walsall clearance Brown fired in a hopeful cross to Gritton, who challenged keeper Ince, in my opinion unfairly. The ball ran loose & Gritton was able to score on his home debut, just like he had done a week ago, on his away debut at Hereford United.

YYYYYYYEEEEEEESSSSSSS (a la Swedan Stag on the Messageboard Score thread) GOAL!!!! STAG 2 SADDLERS 1

Stags were now making Walsall look very ordinary & were stifling their attacks with ease

Simon Brown picked up yet another booking in the 71st minute, despite recently serving a 1 match suspension.

A great long drop kick from Jason White was flicked on by Conlon to Gritton, who lobbed the onrushing keeper & just wide of the post.

In the 84th minute Mickey Boulding replaced Hamshaw on the left wing.

Deep into injury time following a shot by Hector Sam Captain Marvel Buxton managed to make an amazing goal line clearance & concede a corner. The corner came to nothing & a very vital 3 points were in the bag for the Stags.

Much to my amusement following the full time whistle Walsall No 10 Hector Sam ripped his shirt off & started kicking it in frustration right in front of the jubilant Stags fans.



Line Up:
White – 8 very commanding possibly at fault for the Walsall goal
Mullins – 7 did ok until he had to go off injured
Baptiste – 7 did well until had to go off injured
Buxton – 8 very solid performance & vital clearance at the death
Jelleyman - 8 stuck to his job well
Brown – 9 Back to his best & was the M.O.T.M
D’Laryea – 7 very quiet game
Dawson – 9 Totally Immense
Hamshaw – 8 Great game & showed his fighting spirit
Gritton – 8 Held the ball up well & fortunate to score.
Conlon – 9 Bargain buy who needs Barker!! Should have had a least 4 goals.
Sub Line Up:
Hjelde (for Baptiste, 37) – 8 solid performance
Lloyd (for Mullins, 52) – 7 did a good job in a makeshift role
M.Boulding (for Hamshaw, 84) -
Subs Not Used: Muggleton, Arnold.

Opposition Line Up:
Ince, Taylor, Roper, Dann, Westwood, Fox (Bedeau 81), Dobson, Pead, Wright (Keates 60), Cederqvist (Sam 46), Butler. Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Bossu.
P Miller (Bedfordshire) – 7 ok performance

Season 06/07 Reports