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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
1 - 2
 Macclesfield Town
Mullins 68.
 Miles 53, McNeil 65.
Attendance: 2414 (222 from Macclesfield)
Date: 23 March 2007

The Stags fell to a second successive home defeat to clubs fighting against relegation. Hampered by injuries to key players, it was another disappointing performance which only highlighted the shallowness of the Stags squad and the ridiculous folly of owner Keith Haslams decision to axe the Reserve side several seasons ago. Injuries to Buxton and D'Laryea meant starts for Hjelde and Sleath. For the visitors former Stag Adam Murray lined up in the Macc midfield. Prior to the match another protest against Haslam was held by around 200 supporters outside the ground, many more had decided to boycott the match, the eventual gate was below 2,500.

Had Simon Brown converted a great chance inside 7 minutes then the night could have turned out differently. A long ball by Mullins set Brown free but his first touch took the ball too close to the keeper and his shot was blocked. This was the highlight of an otherwise poor half of football. The only other incidents worthy of note were Hjelde's booking for persistent fouling (it wasn't deliberate ref, he really is that slow) and a laughable penalty claim against Baptiste. A chorus of boos greeted the half time whistle, although personally I was pleased that the misery was over for at least 15 more minutes.

Half time: 0-0

The second half was better, the Stags began the half strongly and forced a succession of corners. However, just as it looked like the home side would grab an advantage, a weak header from Jelleyman allowed McNeil to set Miles up for the opener. Manager Dearden made a tactical switch on the hour, Gritton replacing youngster Sleath, Brown switched to right wing as the sub partnered Conlon in attack. However, again slightly against the run of play, the visitors extended their lead. White twice saved efforts on goal from Miles but was unable to do anything about McNeils powerful shot after the second rebound. Conlon then missed a great chance after the industrious Dawson planted a perfect cross onto his head, the striker missing the target by a couple of yards. However, the Stags were back in the game on 68 minutes when Mullins powerfully headed home a Brown right wing corner. For the last 20 minutes the Stags were virtually camped inside the Macc half, forcing numerous corners but the best chances were squandered, Brown hit the side netting and Baptiste had a goal bound effort blocked after an excellent run into the Macc area. One suspects Richie Barker may have bagged a couple in the second half but the Stags current frontline has very little potency at the moment.

In truth this was a game the Stags could and should have won, despite the below par performance. There were very few good performances and only Baptiste, Dawson and Mullins can be exempt from any criticism for their displays. Whilst Baptiste was excellent all evening and Dawson his usual all action self, my man of the match was Mullins, he attacked well down the right and scored a fine goal.

Despite a good last half hour, it was another poor display overall and the message is as clear now as it was at the start of the season, the squad has some talent, but is paper thin. Sort it Haslam, or let someone else come in and do what you have failed to do for over a decade.

Man of the Match: John Mullins

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
White 6 Mixed evening. A couple of flaps, completely missed one cross, no chance with either goal and some fine saves too
Mullins 7 Great header for the goal and defended well too
Baptiste 7 Particularly impressive when taking the ball into the opponents half - needs to do that more
Hjelde 5 Gave away numerous free kicks and looked very, very rusty
Jelleyman 5 Had a decent game until a bad mistake lead to the Silkmens first goal
Hamshaw 6 Good in patches but is much better on the right
Sleath 6 Did OK, particularly when on the ball
Dawson 7 A couple of outstanding crosses and was once again the Stags most creative force
Arnold 6 A few bright moments but generally quiet
Conlon 5 Very poor, won few headers and posed no real threat
Brown 6 His pace worried the Macc defence, but his finishing was poor
Sub Line Up:
Gritton (for Sleath, 59) 6
M.Boulding (for Arnold, 83) 6
R.Boulding (for Hjelde, 87) 6
Opposition Line Up:
Lee, Jennings (Benjamin 45), Swailes, Scott, McIntyre, Regan, Hadfield, Miles (Wiles 85), Murray (Holgate 74), Murphy, McNeil. Subs Not Used: Tipton, Rankin.
A Marriner 5 As officious as they come

Season 06/07 Reports