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Season 07/08 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
2 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Lester 52, Ward 61
Attendance: 6300 (app 1400 from Mansfield)
Date: 22 December 2007


Martin Shaw at Saltergate

Mansfield Town fell to yet another away defeat at local rivals Chesterfield on Saturday lunchtime. There was nothing between the two teams in a competitive first half, but Jack Lester showed why he shouldn't be playing at League Two level with a clinical finish and as the Stags heads dropped Jamie Ward added a second. The Stags had plenty of the ball after that but a lack of firepower was blindingly obvious and even the sending off of former Stags defender Kevin Gray didn't enable the Stags to get back into the game. Overall it was a very disappointing second half for the Stags to leave the 1400 Stags fans as miserable as the heavy rain that heralded the end of the game.

After the game I met up with a FourFourTwo journalist who is writing an article about Chesterfield and Mansfield rivalry ("More than a game" will be the title of the article). His unbiased view of the game was that Mansfield didn't look a bottom of the table team, and in the first half there was nothing in it, but Lester's clinical finish was the difference as Mansfield missed similar chances, and while Mansfield heads were down Chesterfield added a second, before the game ended even again. He commented that he could see why the Spireites have won so few games while without Lester and agreed with my view that they are close to being a one-man-team.

Nathan Arnold returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Rory Boulding. Arnold played on the right of midfield, with Hamshaw on the left, and Brown joining Mickey Boulding up front.

The Stags started kicking away from their own fans. Within the first 15 seconds, Jelleyman made a horrible mistake allowing Lester in but the ball was cleared away. It was reminiscent of Jelleyman's mistake at Grimsby last week. The first chance of the game fell to Michael Boulding on 14 minutes as he turned and shot from the edge of the box. Seconds later, Brown put Arnold through on the right, but his first touch was poor and Gray was able to clear.

On 24 minutes, Brown was through but he was pushed wide right, and his cross-shot was just in front of Boulding.

Chesterfield's first chance came on 28 minutes. Baptiste needlessly conceded a corner. Ward powered in the corner and the Chesterfield number 2 headed wide.

Brown and Boulding were then caught offside in separate incidents and both were close calls.

Chesterfield's best chance came on 34 minutes as a ball over the top put Ward through but he shot wide under pressure from the defence.

Just before half time Hamshaw went on a fine run down the left, cut inside and sent a shot goalwards, though it was probably heading wide as it was blocked anyway.

The Stags had competed very well in the first half, in a very even game, with few clearcut chances. It certainly didn't look like a high-flying team against the bottom side.

Half time 0-0

A minute into the second half, Boulding was clean through, two yards ahead of the last defender but he feebly shot wide. His finishing from 1-on-1 situations has been poor and cost us dear in several games.

On 48 minutes, a corner from Hamshaw fell to D'Laryea on the edge of the box and he floated a shot wide of the right post. Straight to the other end and the Spireites were caling for a penalty but from our position it was difficult to tell. On 50 minutes, Lester put Ward in and he shot wide from the edge of the box.

But it was 1-0 on 52 minutes. Boulding lost the ball in the Chesterfield half, and a ball over the top found Buxton and Baptiste napping as Lester broke clear and fired past Muggleton. It was a clinical finish that we have been crying out for all season from the Stags.

The Stags had a great chance to equalise on 58 minutes as Hamshaw's corner led to a scramble and Brown's flick was just the wrong side of the post hitting the back stanchion.

But on 61 minutes it was 2-0. Winter played a ball out to the left to Ward, who cut inside Mullins and fired past Muggeton's right hand and in at the near post.

The Stags were under the cosh for a while and on 68 minutes there was a near miss as Lester flicked just wide.

On 69 minutes, Rory Boulding replaced Jelleyman as the Stags went three up front and three at the back.

On 72 minutes Lester had a goal disallowed as he rounded Muggleton and slotted home but the flag was long since raised. On 74 minutes, Kevin Gray went through Brown with a bad tackle in the middle of the pitch and was promptly shown the red card. Lester was immediately sacrificed having done his job.

Holmes replaced D'Laryea on 80 minutes. Hamshaw moved to the middle of midfield, Arnold to the right, Brown to the left, and Holmes and the Boulding brothers up front.

On 84, McIntosh replaced Dawson who picked up an injury shortly after a booking. The injury will probably keep Dawson out of the Peterborough game, while the booking will see a suspension that will keep him out of the Accrington game.

McIntosh's first touch was to fire a free kick over the bar. The Stags were having lots of possession without shots on target. On 88 minutes, a good move saw Holmes play in Hamshaw into the box. Hamshaw slid a shot just past the left post.

The game ended with the home fans chanting "You're going down, Mansfield's going down."

And so yet another disappointing away day for the Stags fans. Points are needed desperately and the Stags will need to continue the recent good home form with games against Peterborough and Accrington. Come on Mansfield!

Report by: Martin Shaw at Saltergate

Line Up:
Muggleton 7 Assured, no chance with the goals.
Mullins 7 Did well at right back.
Buxton 6 Worked hard as always.
Baptiste 6 Looks a little out of sorts.
Jelleyman 6 Seems to guarantee one howler per game these days. This time it came after 15 seconds. Played a bit better as the game went on.
Arnold 6 Wasn't able to provide a spark for the team.
D'Laryea 6 OK, but we need much more.
Dawson 6 Too quiet, and his frustration nearly boiled over.
Hamshaw 7 Showed real fight, and set pieces were slightly better than recently.
Brown 6 Worked hard but not his day.
M.Boulding 6 Missed yet another 1-on-1. Lester put his away.
Sub Line Up:
R.Boulding (for Jelleyman, 69) 6 Offered nothing new.
Holmes (for D'Laryea, 80) -
McIntosh (for Dawson, 84) -
Subs not used: White, Wood.
Opposition Line Up:
Roche, Picken, Kovacs, Gray, Robertson, Lowry, Winter, Leven, Bastians (Fletcher 46), Ward, Lester (Downes 77). Subs Not Used: Smith, O'Hare, Rooney.
A Hall, W Midlands 7 Handled the game well.

Season 07/08 Reports