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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Peterborough United  
2 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Mackail-Smith 87, White 89.
Attendance: 4,276 (314 from Mansfield)
Date: 9 April 2007


Martin Shaw at London Road

Mansfield Town slipped to a fourth defeat in six winless games, at London Road this afternoon against a Peterborough side just outside the play-off zone. The Stags defended well for 87 minutes, but then a terrible error by keeper Jason White allowed a shot from a tight ankle by Craig Mackail-Smith to sneak in at his near post, and, two minutes after that, calamitous defending gifted the home side a second goal. The Stags have scored only two goals in those six matches, as the season has collapsed, and thank goodness for the run of three wins before that which has steered the side to complete safety.

The Stags started with a 4-5-1 formation with Conlon on his own up front. In midfield Brown was on the right, Michael Boulding on the left, Lloyd in a defensive midfield role, and Hodge and Hamshaw in the centre. At the back, Charlton was at left back, with Jelleyman retaining the captaincy in central defence against his former club.

Peterborough started with the impressive former Conference pairing of Craig Mackail-Smith (who scored 15 goals for promoted Dagenham earlier this season) and George Boyd up front.

On a sunny and warm afternoon, the Stags turned out in a mixture of the home and away kit, with amber shirts and white shorts.

The first half was largely devoid of chances as the Stags back four looked pretty impressive. A highlight was when Jelleyman produced a terrific last ditch tackle to deny Mackail-Smith as he surged into the box. On 25 minutes, there was a rare clearcut chance when Ben Futcher, surely 7-feet tall, rose above the Stags defence from a corner and headed over the bar. Three minutes later Hamshaw broke on the right but his fine cross was missed by both Conlon and Brown. It seemed to me that had Conlon been playing with another striker such as Gritton, then one of the strikers would have probably got on the end of the cross but Brown is not a natural striker.

In the final minute of the half, left-back Charlton allowed a good cross from the right by Newton, which was headed over the bar by Mackail-Smith from just two yards out. Jason White had had a good game up till this point but I felt he should have claimed this cross.

Half time 0-0

At the start of the second half, Charlton and Brown were unable to continue due to injury, and were replaced by Rory Boulding and Na Na Arnold, as R.Boulding went up front and Arnold moved to right wing back, in a 3-5-2 formation.

The defence had been rock solid in the first half but going to a 3 man defence unsettled the team and Peterborough had many more chances in the second half, while the Stags created little at the other end. It was hard to understand why Billy Dearden didn’t bring on youth team central defender Ashley Kitchen to preserve his four-man back line.

Jelleyman produced another fine challenge on the hour to block a shot by Posh sub Crow. Then on 67 minutes Jason White produced a great save to deny the tricky Boyd who shot from close range.

Gritton replaced Lloyd on 72 minutes, as Mansfield went with a highly surprising 3-4-3 formation. On 83 minutes, Hodge had a powerful shot from the edge of the box blocked following a corner.

But there was disaster on 87 minutes. Mackail-Smith picked up a ball on the left after Crow had shanked a shot across the goal. As Mackail-Smith prepared to shoot I thought to myself `ok you can shoot from there`, but incredibly his low drive from such a tight angle found its way into the net at White’s near post. It was a horrible moment. White looked crest-fallen, skipper Jelleyman put his head in his hands. 87 minutes of fine tight defending was thrown away in one moment.

The Stags defence now fell apart, allowing Newton a free shot from the right which White saved brilliantly, high to his left. But moments later sub Day crossed from the right and Alan White was one of three Posh players unmarked in the centre and he headed into the net. It was a dreadful end to the game for a defence that had done so well.

So 87 minutes of good defending, but three shocking minutes for the keeper and defence cost the game. The Stags produced little going forward and two goals from the last 6 games is a big worry. A morale boosting performance and victory at Field Mill against Rochdale next Saturday is now much needed. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the Match: Alex John-Baptiste

Report by: Martin Shaw at London Road

Line Up:
White 6 Had a fine game until that horrendous error which caused the defeat.
Mullins 8 Defended very well throughout.
Baptiste 9 Excellent as always. The pick of an impressive defence.
Jelleyman 8 The captaincy seems to be bringing out the best out in him. A super display at centre half.
Charlton 6 Did ok in a solid back four in the first half. Went off injured at half time.
Brown 6 Did ok in the first half. Also went off injured at half time.
Lloyd 7 Did well defensively.
Hamshaw 6 Disappointing corners and set pieces.
Hodge 6 Quiet game; would like to see more from him.
M.Boulding 6 Did well in the first half, but completely anonymous in the second half.
Conlon 5 Disappointing.
Sub Line Up:
R.Boulding (for Charlton, 46) 6 Failed to deliver much attacking threat.
Arnold (for Brown, 46) 6 One great run from his own
Gritton (for Lloyd, 72) -
Subs Not Used: Muggleton, Kitchen.
Opposition Line Up:
Tyler, White, Futcher, Blackett, Newton, Strachan, Butcher (Crow 59), Gain, Low (Day 69), Mackail-Smith, Boyd (Blanchett 90). Subs Not Used: Jalal, Morgan.
K Hill (Hertfordshire).

Season 06/07 Reports