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Season 07/08 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
1 - 3
 Lincoln City
Boulding pen 35
 Dodds 2, McIntosh og 36, Stallard 54.
Attendance: 3357 (620 from Lincoln)
Date: 18 August 2007


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

After the positive display at Brentford last Saturday, the Stags came crashing down this afternoon with a shocking second half display to gift Lincoln City 3 points at Field Mill this afternoon. The Stags were caught out by a goal inside two minutes, but generally played well in the first half, and thoroughly deserved a 35th minute equaliser when Boulding was brought down in the box and got up to convert the penalty. But within 30 seconds, sloppy defending allowed the Imps to retake the lead. A third goal, brilliantly executed by Stallard on 54 minutes, was followed by some of the worst football I can remember from a Stags team who looked totally inept and Lincoln could have added another three goals after that. Very depressing.

Mansfield returned to the same 11 that started at Brentford, after the changes in midweek for the Carling Cup tie. The new sponsor's logo was on the shirt, but to be honest from my position in the West Stand Upper Tier, you would need binoculars to read it. The game kicked off in light rain, and indeed the whole game was to be played in rain.

In the first minute Hamshaw curled a free kick in from the left which just needed a touch but skipped inches past the far post. But Lincoln went straight to the other end, and Dodds got ahead of a slow defence and fired past White from the edge of the box to make it 1-0. It was a shock to the system and a huge blow so early in the game.

On 13 minutes, McIntosh took a free kick from 22 yards and his fine left foot shot was tipped over the bar. A minute later McIntosh tried his luck again, this time from 35 yards and it skimmed along the turf and the keeper saved at the second attempt. On 16 minutes, a good move from the Stags and eventually Hamshaw flicked the ball on to Dawson whose effort was at the keeper. On 21 minutes, Hamshaw crossed from the right and Martin hit a first time right foot shot over the bar. On 25 minutes Hamshaw's corner from the right was flicked back by McIntosh at the far post and Martin blasted over the bar. Lincoln mounted a rare attack a minute later and a cross from N'Guessen was headed inches past his own post by McIntosh.

The Stags grabbed a well deserved equaliser on 35 minutes. Martin chipped a ball from the left into the box and Boulding was nudged. It was a clear foul. Boulding sent the resulting penalty down the right as the keeper dived the wrong way.

Astonishly the Stags were behind again within 30 seconds of the restart. N'Guessen turned Baptiste in knots down the left wing before crossing low towards the near post. With no Lincoln player in sight, McIntosh appeared to try to clear the ball but he and White got in each other's way and somehow the ball came off his leg and into the net.

On 38 minutes, a Lincoln player crossed from the right, and with Baptiste nowhere, N'Guessen headed across goal but the danger was somehow cleared. Baptiste looked flustered. On 41 minutes, Dawson cut inside from the left and shot into the side netting from 25 yards. Then N'Guessen skipped past Baptiste again and crossed. Incredibly White elected to leave the ball and it flew across the edge of the six yard box and away from danger. White was booed by some of the home crowd. On 44 minutes Dawson gave the ball away in midfield allowing a two on two at the back, but luckily for Dawson and the Stags, Stallard's ball for Forrester found Forrester offside.

The Stags went in half time 2-1 down. It was not a bad performance going forward, though defensively naive.

Half time 1-2

On 52 minutes N'Guessen, who scored against us for Boston last season, went on another fine run and played the ball to Stallard, who chipped the ball for Forrester who couldn't direct his header on goal. But a minute later the game was effectively ended as Lincoln made it 3-1. Bell gave the ball away in midfield. Forrester broke forward and played it to Stallard who curled a brilliant finish in off the right post. It was classic Stallard that we've seen so often in the past.

The game entered a phase of few chances as the Stags heads went down. On 68 minutes, Arnold and Sleath replaced Martin and Bell. I found the introduction of Sleath baffling.

On 70 minutes it should have been 4-1. A Lincoln goal-kick was flicked on to Forrester, who chipped over White but surprisingly it landed on the roof of the net. Three minutes later Forrester nearly scored again. This time it was a great effort as he beat the dispirited Baptiste and Buxton and shot just wide.

At last the Stags had a chance on 75 minutes as Boulding sent in a fabulous effort from 30 yards which was tipped around the post. But on 78 minutes lazy defending from the Stags allowed Green to have a free shot which Buxton brilliantly cleared off the line. A minute later Lincoln won the ball in midfield and N'Guessen broke superbly down the right and crossed, and this time it was Jelleyman who had to clear off the line. On 83, Lincoln pressed again and Stallard was foiled by White from close range, the rebound fell to Frecklington whose shot was deflected over the bar. This was just desperate from Mansfield. In stoppage time, Hamshaw's corner from the right found Sleath with a free header in the box. Unbelievably he headed it wide when it seemed easier to score.

A dreadful second half for the Stags - as bad as I can remember. A good performance is needed at new boys Morecambe next Saturday. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the Match: McAliskey

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
White 5 At fault for the second goal, and looked low on confidence, but the fans who booed him were a disgrace.
Baptiste 4 Had a complete nightmare at right back against N'Guessan. Head dropped even further after the third goal. I have never seen him play so badly.
Buxton 4 Very poor. Defended badly, awful passing, and didn't appear to show any leadership.
McIntosh 5 Poor. The pick of a shocking defence.
Jelleyman 4 Very poor.
Hamshaw 5 Crossing wasn't great. Gave the ball away too often as well.
Bell 5 Gave the ball away at crucial times, including for the third goal. Did win a few balls in the first half.
Dawson 6 Did ok, but things didn't run for him.
Martin 5 Contributed little.
M.Boulding 6 Quiet early on but won and converted penalty.
McAliskey 6 Won a few decent headers but no-one gambled to get onto the end of them. Just about man of the match.
Sub Line Up:
Arnold (for Martin, 68 mins) 6 Confidence player who came into a deflated side, and never looked like being dangerous.
Sleath (for Bell, 68 mins) 5 Still looks lightweight to me. Was never going to turn the game around. Missed a sitter in injury time.
Subs not used: Muggleton, Mullins, Reet.
Opposition Line Up:
Marriott, Green, Moses, Brown, Hand, N'Guessan, Dodds (Warlow 71), Frecklington (Kerr 89), Amoo, Forrester, Stallard (Ryan 87). Subs Not Used: Wright, Watt.
M Oliver 8 Had a decent game, got little wrong.

Season 07/08 Reports