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Season 07/08 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
4 - 2
 Stockport County
McAliskey 3, McIntosh 9, Buxton 25, Boulding pen 32. Boulding missed pen 30.
 Proudlock 35, 42.
Attendance: 2747 (816 from Stockport)
Date: 1 September 2007

The Stags made two changes to the starting eleven from last week’s miserable defeat at Morecombe, in came new loan signing Lee Bullock with Danny Sleath missing out and under fire keeper Jason White was replaced by veteran Carl Muggleton. The Stags new other signing, Ian Holmes, replaced Danny Reet on the Stags subs bench. Alex-John Baptiste was still out injured. Stockport included former Owl Adam Proudlock up front.

It was the visitors who were first to threaten, Muggleton making a decent save down to his left. However, within three minutes the Stags were ahead. It was inevitable that former Stockport winger Matt Hamshaw would be involved, it was his right wing cross that was nodded back by Bullock to McAliskey who fired home from close range. Hamshaw was again in the thick of it as before the ten minute mark the Stags increased their lead. A trademark mazy run was ended by a clumsy challenge some 25 yards from goal. Hamshaw and McIntosh hovered over the ball and it was the Stags centre half who smashed a stunning left foot shot past the static County keeper. The referee, so far fairly anonymous, made the first of a string of strange decisions, booking Dawson for a challenge that was barely a free kick and certainly not worthy of a card. Moments later, Dawson chipped a delightful left foot through ball but Boulding was just beaten to it by County keeper Logan. It was pretty much all Mansfield, Stockport only rarely threatening on the break and on 25 minutes it was 3-0 to the home side. A right wing Hamshaw corner was nodded down by McIntosh and Stags skipper Jake Buxton drilled the ball past Logan. There should have been further disaster for the Hatters just five minutes later, Dawson burst through into the area, took the ball past Logan who tripped the Stags midfield. The penalty was awarded but Logan escaped the expected red card, referee McDermid issuing just a yellow. To make matters worse for the Stags, Boulding hit a fairly poor penalty low to Logan’s left which the keeper palmed away to safety. Incredibly though, within two minutes Boulding was given the chance to redeem himself from a second spot kick, this time the excellent Mullins was clearly tripped by Taylor with the Stockport defence all at sea. Boulding made no mistake with his second spot kick, blasting the ball to the opposite side high into the net. This was incredible action, rarely have I seen such a poor opposition defence. However, the action continued apace and before half time Stockport had cut the deficit in half. First Proudlock beat a hesitant Muggleton to pull one back and then, with McIntosh off the field having treatment to a head injury, Proudlock netted his second from close range. The Stags played the remaining minutes of the half with ten men with McIntosh in the dressing room having treatment to a facial injury.

Half Time: 4-2

McIntosh was unable to continue after half time, on came Dan Martin to the left of midfield, Bell moved to right back and Mullins, excellent at right back in the first half, moved to centre back. Surely defences had to be better in the second half? Well the early play wasn’t promising from the Stags, with Stockport clearly buoyed by the two late first half goals, looking for a third that would put them right back into the match. Within three minutes of the restart County were awarded a free kick just a yard outside the area in a central position. Tierney struck a perfect free kick which left Muggleton stranded but Stags skipper Jake Buxton had back-tracked onto his own goal-line and headed the ball clear – it was superb defending from Buxton. The Stags were under siege, Muggleton made a fine diving save from a header, and the home side survived a penalty appeal when Elding fell inside the area. As the half wore on the Stags settled and Hamshaw almost created a fifth goal to secure the points. Taking the ball across field from his own half way line, Hamshaw beat at least four Stockport players before finding Dawson through on goal, sadly his first time shot was well saved by Logan. This would have eased Stags fans nerves, which were put further on edge with 15 minutes to go when Lee Bell was shown a straight red card for a late challenge. It was clearly the referee’s interpretation that it was a two footed tackle and although Bell won the ball cleanly, he was dismissed. Boss Dearden made a quick change, bringing on Holmes for his debut for McAliskey who received well deserved applause from the home fans. The Stags defence were excellent in the last fifteen minutes and although there were a few nervy moments, the Stags held on for a very valuable victory.

This was an extraordinary match which had everything, six goals, two penalties, a red card, some rather odd refereeing and lots of goal-mouth action. Stockports defence was woeful for the first half hour, but credit must also go to the Stags who looked a pale shadow of the side that has performed so badly in the previous two league games. At the back McIntosh looked very solid before having to go off, Buxton scored and saved a certain goal, and although Muggleton hesitated for County’s first, he did look more assured than White. In midfield Bullock made a decent debut and Hamshaw was excellent in spells. Dawson was again energetic, won a penalty and did well at right back after Bell was sent off. The front two worked hard and deserved their goals. Man of the match though was a fairly straight forward choice for me, having won a penalty and played well at right back in the first half, John Mullins was outstanding as a centre half in the second period, a performance which must keep him in the side when Baptiste returns.

Man of the Match: John Mullins

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
Muggleton 6 Hesitant for the first goal, but otherwise solid
Mullins 9 Good at right back, outstanding at centre back in the 2nd half
McIntosh 7 Great free kick, decent in the air, head injury meant he did not appear for 2nd half
Buxton 7 Good goal and one outstanding goal-line clearance
Jelleyman 6 Did OK, though a few too many crosses came in from his side
Hamshaw 7 Brilliant in patches, one particularly superb run
Bell 7 Worked hard, sent off for late challenge
Dawson 8 Just needs to add goals to his all round excellent game, created a penalty, did well covering at right back
Bullock 6 Fairly quiet debut, but the Stags looked more balanced in midfield with his presence
M.Boulding 7 Worked hard for the team, took his second penalty confidently
McAliskey 7 Like Boulding, worked very hard and deserved the goal
Sub Line Up:
Martin (for McIntosh, 46) 6 Did OK on the left
Holmes (for McAliskey, 77) 6 Chased everything for the last ten minutes or so
Subs not used: White, Arnold, R.Boulding
Opposition Line Up:
Logan, Tierney, Owen, Williams, Briggs (Tansey 82), Elding, Taylor (Griffin 35), Blizzard, Pilkington, Proudlock, McNeil (Dicker 35). Subs Not Used: Adamson, Bowler.
Danny McDermid 4 Had a shocker

Season 07/08 Reports