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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
1 - 2
 Boston United
Conlon 30
 Talbot 18, Broughton 40. Thomas sent off 54.
Attendance: 2790 (238 from Boston)
Date: 17 March 2007

So five games unbeaten, talk of a play-off challenge and a visit of relegation haunted Boston United, who are in such a mess the club couldn’t afford a team coach to take the players to the game and only named three substitutes. As home bankers go, this one was right up there and bookies had stopped taking bets. Sadly for Stags fans, the afternoon demonstrated the all too familiar story of the players being able to lift themselves to beat the likes of MK Dons, Walsall and Lincoln but struggling against sides at the other end of the table. Boss Billy Dearden was forced into one change from the side which drew at Notts County, D’Laryea ruled out though injury was replaced by Conlon, with Brown moving to right wing, Hamshaw switching to left wing. United included former Stag Jamie Clarke.

It was a turgid opening, in fact, for a moment during the opening twenty minutes, staring at the disgraceful Bishop Street Stand and decaying brewery, I wished I was in the dentist waiting room about to have all my teeth pulled. On 18 minutes the visitors took the lead and at least the boredom was over-taken by that familiar feeling of football depression. A Clarke throw from the right was headed clear only as far as Talbot, whose excellent low shot looked a goal from the moment it left his foot, leaving White no chance. Surely this would wake the Stags from their slumber but alas the home side created little until out of the blue on the half hour they equalised. A superb cross from Jelleyman on the left was met with a powerful header by Conlon which smacked the underside of the bar and flew into the net. Now for show-time, surely players’ confidence would increase and the Stags would at last get a grip of the game. Sadly no, five minutes before half time Boston retook the lead with a superb goal. A perfect cross by Green from the left was met with an unstoppable header from Broughton and Boston were deservedly back in front, much to the delight of the woeful 200 travelling fans – had the Stags gone to Boston in the same situation, over 1,000 Mansfield fans would have made the short journey East. Half time was greeted with a chorus of boos from those remaining in their seats who had not already gone to the tea bar.

Half time 1-2

Although the Stags made no changes in personnel at half time, Mullins moved to centre half with Baptiste replacing him at right back. This change almost paid immediate dividends, Baptiste swapping passes with Dawson only to see his shot well saved by Marriott. With barely ten minutes of the half gone Boston were down to ten men, I have no idea why but the 4th official clearly saw something, called the referee over and following a lengthy consultation Thomas was dismissed. Rather than spark the Stags into life, the home side continued to struggle to find any sort of fluency, even a double change, with Boulding and Arnold replacing Gritton and Brown, failed to raise a flicker. In fact, Boston created the best chance of the opening half hour of the 2nd half, Farrell put in the clear on the left but White was on hand to save well. Sleath replaced Jelleyman on 74 minutes as the Stags switched to three at the back. Conlon then missed a great chance, his shot on the turn flying wide and then in the 4 minutes of injury time Hamshaw missed a sitter at the far post after Dawsons excellent cross evaded three Boston defenders.

In the end the Stags got what they deserved, and so did Boston. The visitors looked more hungry and at times just plain better footballers. Most disappointing was the lack of urgency, at times we passed the ball about between back players as if we were 5-0 up. The strikers were poor, the wide players ineffective and our creative players created nothing. This was probably the worst performance since Billy Dearden returned to the club and at a time when new deals are being discussed for the squad, the manager may well be having second thoughts about which ones are worthy of new deals. Looking at it from a glass half full perspective, Stephen Dawson was the Stags best player by some distance, his all action display was an example to those around him and he matched his effort with some excellent football. Jason White had another solid match and Baptiste did well at both centre half and right back. But there were far more negatives than positives from todays inept display – it was truly awful, not quite Palmer-esque, but not far off!!

Man of the Match: Stephen Dawson

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
White 7 No chance with either goal, one excellent save and good handling throughout.
Mullins 6 Did OK, occasionally careless in possession
Jelleyman 7 Superb cross for Conlons goal and had another good game
Baptiste 8 Pick of the defence again, excellent at right back in the 2nd half
Buxton 6 Defended OK but didn't look quite as assured as he has in recent times
Hamshaw 5 Not his best day, starved of the ball first half, created little in the 2nd and missed a sitter near the end of the game.
Hodge 4 Generally poor in the centre of midfield, too many wayward passes, he is better than he showed today.
Dawson 8 All action display, the only really creative player we had on the pitch
Brown 4 Totally anonymous in the 1st half, and not much better 2nd half
Conlon 5 Despite the goal, which was a great header, had a disappointing game overall
Gritton 4 Hugely disappointing game, his first touch was unusually very poor
Sub Line Up:
Boulding (for Brown, 65) 5 Barely had a touch and offered little
Arnold (for Gritton, 65) 5 Disappointing, made little impact and his first touch was poor
Sleath (for Jelleyman, 74) 6 One decent effort produced a good save
Subs Not Used: Muggleton, Hjelde.
Opposition Line Up:
Marriott, Greaves, Cryan, Thomas, Clarke, Farrell, Ellender, Green, Talbot (Cooksey 77), Broughton, Joynes (Galbraith 59). Subs Not Used: Stevens.
M Jones 5 Too whistle happy

Season 06/07 Reports