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Season 06/07 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
1 - 2
Hjelde 45+2
 Murray 9, Dodds 90
Attendance: 2023 (243 from Rochdale)
Date: 14 April 2007

Martin Shaw and Svante Bernhard at Field Mill


Mansfield Town fell to their fourth consecutive home defeat against Rochdale this afternoon. It was the first time since September 2002 that the Stags had lost four on the trot at home. It was also the first time in 13 years that Dale had won at Field Mill. The Stags did enough to earn a point, but a last minute header by Dodds took the points for the visitors. The Stags had earlier fought back from an early goal with an equaliser by Hjelde just before half time. The early Rochdale goal saw the returning Muggleton caught hopelessly out of position as he was lobbed by Glenn Murray from the edge of the box. Conlon headed against a post for Mansfield before Hjelde knocked in a loose ball following a corner from Hamshaw just before half time. The second half was scrappy with few chances for either side and seemed to be heading for a draw until the last minute when a cross from the right was headed into the net by Louis Dodds.

Stags stand-in skipper Gareth Jelleyman was injured in the pre-match warm up and dropped out of the announced starting eleven, with an Achilles tendon injury. He will miss the remainder of the season. Youth team captain Ashley Kitchen, who had been announced as a sub, was brought into the side in the hour before kick off, and went to right back, a position we later found out he had never played before! Mullins moved to left back, while Hjelde returned from injury at centre half. Keeper Jason White was dropped after his clanger at London Road, replaced by Muggleton for the first time since December. Stephen Dawson also returned from injury despite pulling up in training on Friday, though he was not 100% fit. Dawson was the captain - he told the assembled media after the game that he had asked the manager for the armband when Jellyeman dropped out! Michael Boulding was restored to the forward line after his plea in the press during the week for a game up front. Rochdale had Adam Rundle on the bench. He was to appear in the second half, but had little impact. Danny Reet, on loan at Spotland, was not allowed to play, but was spotted in the West Stand in a Dale sweatshirt.

On a sunny and hot day, the Stags were behind after just 9 minutes. A long ball forward from the back by Dale saw Glenn Murray chasing onto the ball but he looked 2 yards offside. No flag went up, and and Muggleton came out of his area to try to claim the ball but misjudged it hopelessly allowing Murray to chip over him into an empty net. It was a good finish by Murray, but this was a carbon copy of Muggleton's clanger at Boston earlier in the season when N'Guessan scored. After the game, Kitchen in fact admitted that he had played Murray onside.

On 16 minutes the Stags were nearly level. Hamshaw floated a free kick from 25 yards out wide on the right, to the far post, where Conlon headed against the far post, while Hjelde's effort from the rebound was scrambled away. Dan Westwell’s excellent photos of the incident showed that Hjelde’s effort was actually cleared away by the hand of Glenn Murray, so in fact it should have been a penalty.

Hamshaw then put in another good cross on 23 minutes which Conlon headed straight at the keeper.

On 44 minutes Michael Boulding should have scored. He was clean through in a one on one situation with the keeper. His best option looked to be a lob over the keeper, but he elected to shoot low, and his effort was straight into the keeper's legs. It was a terrible miss.

But the Stags were level two minutes into stoppage time. Hamshaw's right wing corner was headed by Conlon and it rebounded to Hjelde, who had time to control the ball and stab it under the keeper from 5 yards. It was a great time to score.

Half time 1-1

On 52 minutes, young Kitchen demonstrated a long throw. It was headed on by Conlon, but Lloyd's resulting effort was blocked. A long throw, with Conlon on the end of them, could be a useful weapon.

On 62 minutes Arnold replaced Hamshaw. Hamshaw looked unhappy to be taken off, but in truth he had not contributed enough from open play, though had played a few decent set pieces. As he sat on the bench, he as given a huge bag of ice so he may also have picked up an injury. Four minutes later Dale had a rare chance when Poole shot wide from near the penalty spot. Then Conlon and Dawson put Michael Boulding through, but the ball got stuck under his feet just as he should have been about to shoot. Again it was poor work from the striker.

On 75 minutes, Rory Boulding replaced Lloyd and went up front, with Michael Boulding moving to left midfield, and Hodge to the centre of midfield. With neither side looking like getting a winner, Gritton replaced the limping Dawson on 88 minutes, as Rory Boulding moved position so soon after coming on, moving into midfield.

But disaster struck on the stroke of 90 minutes as Rochdale stole an undeserved winner. Brown was allowed to cross from the right, to the near post where Louis Dodds got in front of Hjelde and glanced a header across Muggleton and inside the far post. There was no time for the Stags to fight back, as the Stags extended their run to seven games without a win. The Stags didn't do enough to earn a win here against yet more ordinary opposition, but were deserving of a point.

The next game is at Swindon next Saturday - a game where Mansfield will want to ruin a possible Swindon promotion party. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the Match: Ashley Kitchen

Report by: Martin Shaw and Svante Bernhard at Field Mill

Line Up:
Muggleton 5 Left himself stranded for first goal, a poor mistake. OK after that.
Kitchen 8 Excellent debut at right back, good defending, good distribution, and showed he had a good long throw.
Baptiste 7 As usual he defended very well.
Hjelde 8 Excellent game, with fine challenges and blocks, and got his second goal for the club.
Mullins 7 Did well out of position at left back.
Hamshaw 6 Some good set pieces, but contributed little from open play.
Lloyd 6 Didn't get a grip of the midfield.
Dawson 7 Decent performance despite being injured.
Hodge 5 Awful; his worst game in a Stags shirt.
Conlon 7 Unlucky to head against the post; won some good headers and some good passes.
M.Boulding 5 Nothing came off for Boulding, and missed a great chance.
Sub Line Up:
Arnold (for Hamshaw, 62 mins) 6 Looked lively initially but no end product.
R.Boulding (for Lloyd, 75) -
Gritton (for Dawson, 88) -
Subs not used: White, Sleath.
Opposition Line Up:
Gilks, Ramsden, Goodall, McArdle, Perkins (Bates 84), Thompson (Rundle 63), Crooks, Brown, Poole, Dagnall (Dodds 73), Murray. Subs Not Used: Rigby, Flitcroft.
Paul Melin (Surrey) 5 Handled the game ok, but he and his assistant Mr Hendley made a terrible error for the first goal.

Season 06/07 Reports