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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Notts County  
0 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 10,034 (4,047 from Mansfield)
Date: 10 March 2007


Martin Shaw at Meadow Lane

Mansfield Town fantastic travelling support of over 4000 fans were rewarded with a battling performance in a 0-0 draw at Meadow Lane this afternoon to extend the unbeaten run to 5 games. Both sides had one goal correctly disallowed, but the Stags had a blatant penalty claim turned down. However a draw was probably a fair result.

Before the game, a plane circled Meadow Lane with a banner proclaiming 'MTFC for Sale. Haslam Out'. It was an extraordinary sight as it flew around between 2pm and 3pm and then flew away at kick-off. Meanwhile nearly twice as many Stags fans turned up to the game as turned up to the home game with Chester on Tuesday, a clear message to Keith Haslam that there are so many Stags fans who simply refuse to put money into his pocket (by attending home games) as long as he remains at the club. Chairman James Derry’s comments after the game that he took the plane stunt with a pinch of salt, and that he wished the money spent on the plane had been put into the club instead, suggested that it was a misguided comment, or he just “doesn’t get it”. To clarify: the majority of Mansfield Town fans want Keith Haslam to leave the club, and will not rest until he does so.

Mansfield made three changes from the win over Chester, with skipper Buxton returning whilst still not 100% fit in place of Hjelde, Hamshaw starting in place of Arnold, and Gritton replacing Conlon, who had gone home to Ireland due to personal reasons. Notts included former Stag Junior Mendes, but were without the suspended former pineapple head Jason Lee.

Notts County were kicking towards the largest away following of Stags fans for a league game since records began, and on 3 minutes Mullins slipped, allowing Mendes to send in a powerful left footed shot which White just managed to hold. In the opening 15 minutes, Mendes was at the centre of most of the meaningful action and looked really “up-for-it”.

But on 15 minutes, the Stags fans thought their side had taken the lead. Brown's cross from the left was headed goalwards by Gritton, and Hamshaw headed the ball home from close range. It looked a good goal from the far end of the ground, but apparently Hamshaw was indeed two yards offside.

On 19 minutes, Dawson’s shot was headed away, and seconds later Gritton headed over from Hamshaw’s cross.

On 28 minutes, there was another offside goal, this time for County. This time we had a perfect view of the incident and again the correct decision was made. A header by Edwards was saved by White, who was clattered into by Hunt. It was a blatant foul. White dropped the ball and Hunt put it into the net but by the time he did so the whistle had already gone, so there was no heart-in-the-mouth moment. Buxton foolishly got involved and pushed Hunt away, and was fortunate to only receive a yellow card, as did Hunt.

On 34 minutes, Brown was caught offside from a Baptiste through ball. Brown carried on going and shot wide from 30 yards. A minute later, exactly the same thing happened as Brown was offside again, this time from D’Laryea’s through-ball, and again he sent a shot goalwards. Not surprisingly Brown was booked. One can only imagine what Billy said to Brown at half-time!

On 41 minutes, Hamshaw made a great run into the box on the right, and appeared to be brought down just inside the box. The referee waved away appeals but just as he was gesturing, Dawson also went down in the box, tackled from behind by Alan White. This time it was a blatant penalty but again the referee refused to give it. Dawson stayed down injured for some time but the damage to the Stags was greater.

On 44 minutes, Pipe too easily got past Jelleyman on the right wing, and his cross was met by Dudfield’s flicked header which sailed just past the far post, and Edwards was also close to deflecting it in. A close shave for Mansfield.

Half time 0-0

On 46 minutes, Notts full back McCann shot over the bar from the edge of the box. A minute later, Baptiste put in a really great tackle to prevent a shot. Even from 75 yards away, the Stags fans could appreciate the magnificence of the tackle.

On 54 minutes, Hodge made a great run, right to the edge of the box, and his shot was deflected just wide. Two corners followed, and from the second, the ball fell to Dawson just 12 yards out. He had plenty of time, but blasted his shot well wide. It was a bad miss.

Brown was caught offside 4 more times in quick succession around the hour mark as some fans started to lose patience with him.

On 64 minutes, a Notts corner was punched to the edge of the box by Jason White, and a shot was sent back towards the top left corner of the net by Smith, but Buxton jumped up to skim the ball off his head and over the bar. Fine play from the Stags skipper. From the resulting corner, there was a big scramble, which was eventually cleared.

Brown finally broke the offside trap on 65 minutes and was through one-on-one against keeper Deeney. Deeney came out and Brown’s shot cannoned off the keeper’s legs. It was a bad miss by Brown, and turned out to be the best chance of the game.

On 67 minutes, another great tackle by Baptiste denied Mendes as he was about to shoot. A minute later Brown was replaced by Michael Boulding, who went straight up front in a straight swap. Then a minute after that Parkinson crossed into the Stags box from the left and Mendes got in front of White and a defender and headed over an empty net. It was poor goalkeeping by White who otherwise had a good game. Mendes was immediately replaced by N'Toya to joy from the Stags fans, as he had been by far Notts’ most dangerous player.

On 75 minutes, Arnold replaced Dawson. Arnold went to left midfield, with Hodge moving to the middle. Dawson had been injured in the first half, and was apparently still feeling the effects. On 78 minutes, Gritton headed down for Boulding, whose shot from the edge of the box was blocked. On 84 minutes, Gritton ran at goal but his weak shot was at the keeper.

On 87 minutes, Reet replaced the injured D'Laryea, as Boulding moved back into midfield.

There were no further chances and the game ended goalless. This was a gritty and battling performance from the Stags, with impressive displays from the defenders. With relegation fears clearly behind us, we can afford to look up towards the play-offs. The Stags realistically will not make it, but the gap is down to 8 points thanks to Wycombe’s defeat and if the Stags can beat both Boston and Macclesfield at home, the gap may be reduced even further. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Alex John-Baptiste

Report by: Martin Shaw at Meadow Lane

Line Up:
White 7 Comfortable afternoon, but handling was very good and commanded his box well.
Mullins 7 Defended well and pushed forward effectively on occasion.
Buxton 8 Very good in defence, despite not being 100% fit.
Baptiste 9 Outstanding, never put a foot wrong.
Jelleyman 7 Defended well, and dealt well with some tricky balls forward.
Hamshaw 7 Did well when on the ball, but the Stags couldn't get him into the game quite enough.
D'Laryea 7 Solid in holding role.
Dawson 7 Pushed forward effectively. Denied a blatant penalty.
Hodge 6 Showed good poise on the ball. Not as creative as he has been.
Brown 6 Caught offside far too often (at least 6 times) and missed a good chance, but County were frightened of his pace.
Gritton 6 Did ok, but not at his best. Struggled to get into the game.
Sub Line Up:
M.Boulding (for Brown, 68) 7 Nearly got through on a couple of occasions.
Arnold (for Dawson, 75) -
Reet (for D'Laryea, 87) -
Subs Not Used: Muggleton, Hjelde.
Opposition Line Up:
Deeney, Pipe, White, Hunt, McCann, Ross (Silk 52), Edwards, Smith, Parkinson, Dudfield, Mendes (N'Toya 70). Subs Not Used: Pilkington, Somner, Martin.
N Miller (Co Durham) 6 Generally handled the game well, but denied the Stags a blatant penalty.

Season 06/07 Reports