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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
2 - 1
 Chester City
Brown 27, Baptiste 81
 Maylett 9
Attendance: 2,366 (89 from Chester)
Date: 6 March 2007


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Mansfield Town made it three wins in a row with a 2-1 success over Chester City at Field Mill on Tuesday night. The win enabled the Stags to leapfrog both Chester themselves and local rivals Notts County. Jon-Olav Hjelde and Jason White were at fault for gifting Chester the lead on 9 minutes, but a brilliant pass from Barry Conlon and a great finish from Simon Brown levelled for the Stags on 27 minutes. An Alex John-Baptiste header from Matt Hamshaw's corner on 81 minutes won it for the Stags. It was the not the greatest performance from the Stags who struggled to get a grip of the midfield and generally looked nervy at the back. Jason White made a couple of really fine saves, but in my opinion his reluctance to dominate his six yard box from crosses caused the defence to be nervy. The Stags are, at last, into the top half of the table, and 9 points behind the play-offs. Realistically 8 wins would be required from the final 10 games to take the Stags into the top 7. Come on Mansfield!

To hear Stagsworld commentary of the Stags goals, by Nigel Pinnick and Martin Shaw, click here

Before the game, Stags chairman James Derry announced on Mansfield 103.2 that if the side reach the play-offs this season, he will pay for a holiday for them in Barbados this summer.

Mansfield made one change from the side that won at Lincoln on Saturday, as skipper Jake Buxton was ruled out with a knee injury. He was replaced in central defence by Jon Hjelde. Gareth Jelleyman was the surprising choice as replacement captain. Martin Gritton returned to the 16 on the bench after not being allowed to play on Saturday at his parent club. Chester included Laurence Wilson who was on loan at Field Mill last season, but Dave Artell was ruled out by injury.

Chester made the better start and inside the first minute Laurence Wilson cut inside from the left and put in a great shot which was parried well by Jason White. The Stags looked poor early on but on 7 minutes Simon Brown tried a snapshot from 25 yards. It was powerful and swerving and Danby only saved at the second attempt.

But on 9 minutes the Stags were behind thanks to a dreadful mistake. On the edge of his own box, Hjelde panicked as White hesitated coming out for the ball, and the big Norwegian flicked the ball out to the right wing instead of thumping it into the stand. With White now in no-man’s-land, Brad Maylett pounced on the loose ball and fired a superb shot from a tight angle into the empty net. This was Maylett’s debut on loan from Boston, for whom he has previously scored at Field Mill in the 3-2 Stags win when Callum Lloyd scored one, at the end of the 2004-2005 season.

On 11 minutes, another long range effort tested Chester keeper Danby. This time, Hodge teed up Dawson whose powerful shot from 22 yards was poked up into the air by the keeper.

Chester continued to look the better side and created half chances, but the Stags started to improve around the 20 minute mark and on 25 minutes Brown broke free on the right but his low cross was behind the Stags onrushing forwards. Then Arnold made a fine run down the right but rather like his outstanding run at Lincoln on Saturday, he failed to pass to the totally unmarked Dawson in the centre, and he was dispossessed. On 26 minutes, as the Stags built up a head of steam, Arnold’s free kick was headed over by Conlon.

Then on 27 minutes the Stags equalised, thanks to the pass of the season from Barry Conlon. Conlon had his back to goal on the centre spot. He turned and chipped a ball over the top for Brown. Brown, on the edge of the box controlled it brilliantly, took a couple of touches, and fired under keeper Danby for a really fine finish. It was back to his best from last season in terms of finishing from Simon Brown, but the goal was all about the magnificent pass from Conlon.

It was the end of the scoring chances in the first half but the Stags had come back well from a poor start and were the better side for the final 25 minutes of the half. As the players left the field at half time, Conlon remonstrated with the referee who had failed to give him adequate protection from the Chester side who had cynically tried to rile and foul him throughout in an obvious attempt to get him wound up and sent off, as he was at the Deva Stadium a few weeks ago. Paul Holland also spoke to the referee, presumably about the same thing.

Half time 1-1

In the first minute of the second half, Dawson shot weakly at goal and yet again keeper Danby fumbled but got away with it.

On 53 minutes, Mullins did well to keep the ball in play on the right and crossed for Hodge who was teeing up a volley but the ball was just nicked away from him. As the ball was played back into the middle, keeper Danby was in no-man’s-land as a scramble ensued and Arnold suddenly had a free shot at goal but he couldn’t get it past the last defender who blocked the glorious chance.

On 57 minutes, a Chester ball from the right found Laurence Wilson, who sent in a brilliant left footed shot towards the top corner that was met by a wonderful flying save by White. It was one of the saves of the season by White who, generally, in my opinion, had a poor night.

Hamshaw replaced Arnold on the hour. Hamshaw got another good reception just as he got on Saturday. He immediately put over a great cross which Conlon so nearly got on the end of. Moments later at the other end there was a horrible moment as the nervy Hjelde left a ball forward by Chester and White only just managed to reach it before a Chester striker and clear upfield.

On 70 minutes Hamshaw made a fine run to the byeline and his cross was just cleared. But it was already becoming clear that Hamshaw was lifting the whole Stags team who were now starting to get on top. Michael Boulding replaced Hodge. Chester had a couple of quick corners that sailed into the 6 yard box, and White was horribly rooted to his line as the Stags looked so nervous at the back.

On 74 minutes, Hamshaw put in a fine corner from which Conlon looped a header onto the top of the goal.

But from another fine Hamshaw corner, the Stags finally got the winner on 81 minutes. Baptiste met the ball with a header that went in off the underside of the crossbar and just crossed the line before bouncing out again.

Gritton immediately replaced Conlon. Then Hamshaw went on a brilliant run and his cross-cum-shot fizzed across the Chester box, when it just needed a deflection to find the net.

As the game when into 3 minutes of stoppage time, Dawson had a free shot blocked, and Hamshaw went down in the box but no penalty was given.

So the Stags easily held on for the third win on the trot. And so onto the big local derby at Meadow Lane. It should be a great occasion with around 3000 Stags fans, considerably more than at Field Mill for the game last night.

Man of the match: Matt Hamshaw

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
White 6 A couple of outstanding saves, but did not dominate his area, and was rooted to his line too often. Partly to blame for Chester's goal.
Mullins 6 Not at his best. The defence was shaky.
Baptiste 7 Got the winner, and pick of the defence.
Hjelde 5 Too many mistakes, including for the Chester goal.
Jelleyman 6 Captain for the night.
Arnold 6 Showed good pace throughout but not the end product.
D'Laryea 7 Pick of a weak midfield. Played his normal battling game.
Dawson 6 Some good runs forward, but not enough guile.
Hodge 6 Disappointing after two such good performances. Did very little.
Conlon 7 Wonderful pass to set up the first goal - the pass of the season. Not given enough protection by the ref as Chester cynically tried to wind him up again.
Brown 6 Took his goal beautifully. Too many wayward passes.
Sub Line Up:
Hamshaw (for Arnold 60) 9 Simply outstanding for 30 minutes.
M.Boulding (for Hodge 70) 6
Gritton (for Conlon, 82) -
Subs not used: Muggleton, Charlton.
Opposition Line Up:
Danby, Marples, Bolland, Hessey, Sandwith, Hand, Bennett, Linwood, Wilson, Brownlie (Steele 61), Maylett (Meechan 77). Subs Not Used: Allen, Kearney, Vaughan.
E Ilderton (Tyne & Wear) 5 Poor. Allowed the Chester defence to mug Conlon all night, and allowed Hjelde to get away with too fouls as well.

Season 06/07 Reports