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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Lincoln City  
1 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Forrester 74.
 Conlon pen 14, Arnold 50.
Attendance: 5,316 (1040 from Mansfield)
Date: 3 March 2007


Martin Shaw at Sincil Bank

Mansfield Town put in another excellent performance this afternoon to beat local rivals and high flyers Lincoln City. The Stags were on top throughout most of the game and deserved a 2-0 lead, but were made to sweat in the last 15 minutes to hold on after Jamie Forrester had pulled a goal back, and the Stags failed to kill off the game despite playing against 10 men. It was fitting revenge for the Stags who had been on the end of a 4-2 defeat at Field Mill earlier in the season when Forrester had netted 4 times. The entire Stags team was outstanding making Lincoln look worse than ordinary.

Mansfield made one change from the side that beat Wycombe, and that was an enforced change, with Arnold replacing Gritton, who was not allowed to play against his parent club. Arnold came into the right side of midfield with Brown up front. Hamshaw made a welcome return to the bench after his recent tragedy. Lincoln included Forrester, who always does well against us, and N’Guessen up front. N’Guessen scored against the Stags earlier in the season for Boston, following a Carl Muggleton mistake.

The promised rain never arrived; indeed the weather was glorious. Which is more than we can say for the pitch which resembled a pudding in places.

Mansfield started well including winning an early corner. But the first good chance fell to Lincoln on 7 minutes, when the wonderfully named Ryan Amoo had a decent shot that was deflected just over the bar. On 9 minutes a fine cross from Arnold was fisted away by Lincoln keeper Marriott, and moments later Arnold shot just over the bar from 25 yards.

But on 13 minutes the Stags won a penalty. Brown broke clear of his marker Beevers on the right and charged towards goal. As Brown looked as though he was about to pull the trigger, Beevers pulled him down from behind. It looked a stonewall penalty to me, and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Beevers was the last defender but for some reason was only shown a yellow card. Conlon won the battle with Brown to take the kick, and side footed the ball just to the left of centre as Marriott dived the wrong way. Had the keeper dived the right way, we would have seen a different outcome.

There was a warning for the Stags on 21 minutes as Hughes weaved his way into Mansfield’s box, beating several defenders before firing just over the bar. Two minutes later the Stags won a free kick 30 yards out. Hodge took it and it was a sweet strike but straight at Marriott.

A fine Stags move on 26 minutes ended with Brown’s shot from 30 yards going out for a throw-in! But it was terrific football. On 31 minutes, Lincoln had claims for a penalty but the referee waived play on. It certainly did not look like a penalty as Buxton made a good challenge.

On 42 minutes, Dawson had a shot from 25 yards which was fumbled by Marriott. It was disappointing that Brown hadn’t anticipated and followed the ball in.

It was a fine half of football from the Stags. All the players had been terrific with Baptiste particularly outstanding. It was blood and thunder stuff with tackles flying in, and above all was fine entertainment.

Half time 0-1

On 47 minutes Arnold set off on a remarkable run from his own half, down the right and all the way into the Imps box. However he elected to shoot himself rather than square for Dawson who was completely unmarked. Arnold’s shot was saved by Marriott. It was a disappointing end to the move, but quite outstanding from the pacey winger.

However on 50 minutes it was 2-0. Hodge’s forward ball was brilliantly controlled by Brown, who made progress down the left, and centred for Arnold who was unmarked in the middle. Arnold’s low shot from around 8 yards crept just inside the left post despite the keeper getting a hand to it.

On 60 minutes, another great move from Mansfield. Dawson threaded in Brown, who did well to cut inside from the left, and went for the near post but shot into the side netting. He should have tested the keeper.

But a minute later came a key moment. Arnold charged into the Lincoln half and was brought down from behind by Beevers. Beevers was shown a yellow and then red, to follow his yellow for the penalty. It was even arguable that Beevers was the last man again, and could on another day have had two straight reds.

On 64 minutes, Arnold was through but allowed himself to be tackled. Then Lincoln brought on Spencer Weir-Daley for N'Guessan. Given Weir-Daley’s impressive performances on loan from Forest, it was surprising he hadn’t started.

On 67 minutes, Brown headed just wide from a Jelleyman cross, as the Stags were completely on top. On 73 minutes, Arnold was substituted to a standing ovation for an exciting display. He was replaced by Hamshaw who received a truly rousing reception from the 1040 Stags fans.

But on 74 minutes, Lincoln were back in it, completely against the run of play. The ball was played out to Warlow on the left, who crossed for Forrester to fire in from 8 yards. It was poor defending on a day when the defence had been superb so far.

On 76 minutes, Jelleyman put Brown through on the right. Brown cut inside but shot at the keeper. On 80 minutes, White saved comfortably from Hughes who cut in and shot from 25-yards. On 87 minutes, Mullins limped off to be replaced by Hjelde as Baptiste moved to right back.

The Stags were having break after break as Lincoln pushed players forward and left themselves exposed at the back, but the Stags were unable to punish them. Michael Boulding replaced Conlon in the 89th minute.

Fine play from Hodge saw him play a 1-2 with Jelleyman but his right-footed shot lacked power and was straight at Marriott. Then Boulding shot tamely at Marriott as the Stags continued to attack on the break. Eventually the referee ended the game after 5 nervous minutes of injury time to a fabulous reception from the 1000 Stags fans who celebrated a rare win over the Imps. The immediate challenge now is to overtake Notts County, which can be achieved with a win over Chester on Tuesday. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Alex John-Baptiste

Report by: Martin Shaw at Sincil Bank

Line Up:
White 8 Super handling and a few fine saves.
Mullins 7 Did well, though Dearden was unhappy that the cross for Lincoln’s goal was not prevented.
Baptiste 9 Faultless for the entire 90 minutes.
Buxton 8 Excellent in central defence.
Jelleyman 7 Defended well, and pushed forward well.
Arnold 8 His pace caused Lincoln problems throughout and took his goal well. Made one of the best runs I can remember, but spoiled it by shooting instead of passing.
D'Laryea 8 Superb in a defensive midfield role.
Dawson 7 Did really well pushing forward.
Hodge 7 Another good performance. Has got no right foot, but really doesn’t need one with a left foot like that.
Conlon 7 Won lots of good headers and led the line well.
Brown 8 Won the penalty, and set up the second goal. His best performance in recent matches.
Sub Line Up:
Hamshaw (for Arnold, 73) - Standing ovation welcomed him back.
Hjelde (for Mullins, 87) -
M.Boulding (for Conlon, 89) -
Subs Not Used: Muggleton, Reet.
Opposition Line Up:
Marriott, Eaden, Beevers, Moses, Green (Ryan 90), Amoo, Kerr, Frecklington (Warlow 71), Hughes, N'Guessan (Weir-Daley 64), Forrester. Subs Not Used: Clarke, Watt.
D Foster (Tyne & Wear)

Season 06/07 Reports