{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 07/08 Stagsnet Match Report
FA Cup Round 4
Mansfield Town  
0 - 2
 Dong-Gook 17, Buxton 86 o.g.
Attendance: 6258 (1364 from Middlesbrough)
Date: 26 January 2008


by Martin Shaw

A superb, gutsy performance from Mansfield was not quite enough to cause an upset against Premiership Middlesbrough in FA Cup Round 4 on Saturday lunchtime. In front of a massive worldwide TV audience, many Stags players put in outstanding performances and for 20 minutes early in the second half, the performance had the national TV commentators absolutely purring.

The Stags were unchanged from the unfortunate defeat against Darlington. The biggest crowd since last season’s Carling Cup tie against Portsmouth were in high spirits from the off as the Stags started positively.

But it was the Premiership side who took the lead on 17 minutes. Carl Muggleton got stuck behind Lee Bell from a corner from the right and Wheater’s mis-hit shot unluckily bounced off Mullins into the path of Dong Gook Lee, who fired home from 6 yards. The next significant moment came on 27 minutes when Robert Huth left his studs in on Michael Boulding’s abdomen. Huth’s was booked, but every pundit who has commented on the game agreed it should have been a straight red. It proved to be important as Huth went on to have a dominant game.

On 35 minutes, Boulding made a fabulous run from wide right on the half-way line, and then from just outside the box fired a tremendous shot which Schwarzer tipped onto the crossbar and over for a corner. It was breathtaking stuff from Boulding and a great save. From the corner, Boulding rose to head a looping header which was destined to the top left corner before Schwarzer scooped the ball out with another terrific save. The Stags have been awful from corners all season, with barely an effort on goal so this was much better.

There was a hold-up on 41 minutes as balls with “MTFC For Sale” on them were fired onto the pitch from behind the Bishop Street stand.

It was an impressive half for the Stags, who were especially good down the right, but a little sloppy on the left.

Half time 0-1

The Stags were simply superb for the opening 15 minutes of the second half. On 50, a great move ended with Dawson shooting over the bar. A minute later, another great move as Hamshaw crossed for Boulding to fire wide. Huth had his hand in Boulding’s face on 57 minutes but the ref missed it. On 61 minutes, Dawson put in the cross of the season but no-one could get on the end of it. Then more “MTFC For Sale” balls were fired onto the ground, and this time it prompted the BBC cameras to pan onto the fans with shirts spelling Haslam Out. Another good move followed ending in a corner and then more fine play by the inspired Hamshaw. But we were missing a presence in the box.

Arnold and McAliskey replaced Bell and Brown on 73, and soon afterwards there was a great move involving Dawson, Arnold and Hamshaw. On 84, Arnold did well to play in Boulding who was two yards wide of the left post.

But on 86, the Stags conceded a second goal after a pathetic free kick from Dan Martin, who failed to get past the first man. Boro broke quickly and Boateng’s cross was heading for the far post when Buxton headed it into his own net, worried by the presence of Downing behind him. As it happened Downing was in an offside position when the cross was played and had Buxton missed the ball, Downing would have been offside. It is arguable, that Downing was interfering with play as he forced Buxton into heading the ball, and so possibly should have been offside anyway.

The game was a microcosm of the Stags recent problems, with the lack of an effective big bustling partner for Boulding and an obvious lack of balance down the left. Booth, Haslam, for goodness sake give Billy some backing.

And so onto the massive six pointer at Lincoln. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the Match: Matt Hamshaw

Report by: Martin Shaw

Line Up:
Muggleton 5 At fault for first goal.
Mullins 8 Superb at right back and linked brilliantly with Hamshaw.
Buxton 9 Outstanding performance.
Jelleyman 7 Did well in central defence.
Martin 6 Good in patches, but often caught out at left back and poor delivery from crosses.
Hamshaw 9 Outstanding on the right wing. Every game please Matty.
Bell 6 At least three terrible unforced mistakes, but fought hard.
Dawson 8 Great game.
D'Laryea 6 Out of position.
M.Boulding 9 Two fabulous efforts in the first half.
Brown 6 Did ok, but we need a lot more.
Sub Line Up:
Arnold (for Bell, 73) 8 Did really well. Let's have him on from the start on the left.
McAliskey (for Brown, 73) 6
Subs not used: White, Wood, Holmes.

Opposition Line Up:
Schwarzer, Pogatetz (Boateng 46), Huth, Wheater, Young, Cattermole, Arca, Rochemback, Johnson (Downing 65), Aliadiere, Lee (Mido 71). Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Riggott.
Steve Tanner 5 Clear mistake not sending off Huth. Otherwise did ok, but that was a key moment.

Season 07/08 Reports