{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 07/08 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Wycombe Wanderers  
1 - 2
 Mansfield Town
McGleish 42
 Boulding pen 7. Louis 89.
Attendance: 5963 (194 from Mansfield)
Date: 9 February 2008


Martin Shaw and Svante Bernhard at Adams Park

Mansfield Town grabbed a sensational last minute victory for the second away game on the trot at Wycombe Wanderers this afternoon. It was the Stags’ 4th away win in succession and their first ever at Wycombe. Michael Boulding put Mansfield ahead early in the game from the penalty spot after Jefferson Louis had been tugged down. Scott McGleish equalised for the Chairboys on 42 minutes, but on 89 minutes Jefferson Louis powered his way into the Wycombe box and slotted the ball under the keeper to send the Stags fans wild with delight. It was a remarkable turnaround for the Stags following their 4-0 drubbing by Wycombe at Field Mill just a month ago. The win took the Stags out of the relegation zone for the first time in 2 months and now it is time to pick up back to back wins for the first time this season with the visit of league new boys Morecambe on Tuesday.

On a gloriously sunny afternoon at Adams Park, Billy Dearden gave full debuts to Will Atkinson and Jefferson Louis, replacing D’Laryea and the suspended Brown, while Dan Martin replaced Wood. Jelleyman joined Buxton in central defence with Mullins reverting to right back. Atkinson played on the left hand side of midfield bringing much needed balance to the side. To show how the other half live (and by this we mean any team not owned by Keith Haslam), Wycombe had strength in depth with striker Leon Knight on the bench while former Celtic and Forest midfield star Neil Lennon made his home debut.

The Stags made a positive start and in the seventh minute, won a penalty when Boulding flicked a header into the path of Louis. Louis muscled his way past former Rochdale defender Gary Holt. Holt wrestled the Stags striker to the ground as he powered towards the net and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Given that Louis was about to shoot, and the defender was was the last man as Louis started to fall, it was astonishing that the referee did not brandish a red card to Holt, indeed he did not even produce a yellow. Had the Stags not gone on to win the game, this could have proved a critical point as the home side should have been playing 82 minutes with 10 men. Nevertheless, Boulding stepped up and confidently fired his penalty into the right corner of the net as the keeper dived the wrong way. It was Boulding’s 19th goal of the season.

On 14 minutes, Muggleton had virtually his first touch when he did superbly to punch away a cross under severe pressure. However, it was a rare attack for Wycombe as the Stags were outstanding for the opening 25 minutes.

But on 25 minutes, the Stags had an escape when Buxton missed a cross from the right allowing former Stags left back Craig Woodman a free shot at goal from 18 yards. Fortunately, his shot was just over the bar. This signalled a 10 minute spell when the home side got up a head of steam and the Stags were hanging on grimly.

Mansfield appeared to have weathered the storm with a quiet 5 minute spell but Wycombe equalised out of the blue on 42 minutes and inevitably it was that man McGleish who provided it. Woodman crossed from the by-line on the left and McGleish was unmarked 6 yards out. His header looked as though it would loop over the bar and Carl Muggleton didn’t move a muscle but somehow the ball went in off the underside of the bar. It was an astonishing moment of déjà vu given McGleish’s ludicrous first goal at Field Mill a month ago. It was a sickener for the Stags who appeared to have soaked up the pressure and looked like they would go to the interval one goal to the good.

Half time 1-1

The second half started quietly, but on 53 minutes Hamshaw’s corner found Mullins who headed goalwards but it was weak and straight at the keeper. This was Hamshaw’s only decent cross of the afternoon. A minute later, Boulding sent a snapshot wide from 25 yards after a run similar to his one against Middlesbrough. Soon afterwards, Wycombe came close when Sergio Torres found himself unmarked in the box but shot feebly wide from the penalty spot.

On 61 minutes, the Stags had a huge escape as Woodman’s cross from the left byeline was headed against the bar by John Sutton. It turned out to be Sutton’s last touch as he was replaced by Leon Knight, but remarkably it turned out to be the home side’s last clearcut chance of the game as Wycombe’s ploy of playing two midgets up front backfired.

The Stags had a glorious chance to go in front on 78 minutes with a 4 on 2 break but Boulding’s pass for Hamshaw found the winger a yard offside as he fired into the net from close range. It was a shame and should have been a goal but for bad timing between Boulding and Hamshaw.

D’Laryea replaced Hamshaw after 81 minutes as the Stags tried to hold on to what they had by putting on a more defensive midfielder, but after 89 minutes it was the Stags who stole victory. The ball was played forward by Dawson into the path of Louis who strode forward pushing the ball slightly to the right before slotting it under the keeper from 12 yards to send the Mansfield fans crazy. Louis raced half the length of the field to celebrate with most of his teammates chasing him and finally piling in on top of him.

Four minutes of stoppage time was added on and after 2 minutes of those, the Stags should have added a third goal as Boulding played a one-two with Louis and Boulding raced towards goal before shooting high and wide from 20 yards. But amid tremendous tension, Wycombe failed to get near the Mansfield net and the Stags held on for another vital away victory, their fourth on the trot which is the best run on the road since 7 on the trot in 1991.

And so on to another vital game against Morecambe on Tuesday.

Man of the match: Jefferson Louis

Report by: Martin Shaw and Svante Bernhard at Adams Park

Line Up:
Player ratings by Martin Shaw, Svante Bernhard and sw19Stag
Muggleton 7 Had a surprisingly quiet afternoon, but did what he had to do very efficiently.
Mullins 7 Defended well.
Buxton 7 Early mistake gifted Woodman a chance, but defended well after that.
Jelleyman 7 Did well in central defence.
Martin 6 Did ok at left back.
Hamshaw 6 Crossing was just awful, but he worked really hard tracked back very well.
Bell 6 OK.
Dawson 6 Did ok but the Stags never really got a grip of the midfield, not surprising against Lennon, Torres and Doherty.
Atkinson 7 Gave balance to left side of midfield. Looked very promising.
M.Boulding 8 Linked well with Louis and looked lively.
Louis 8 Won the penalty with sheer strength and took his goal superbly.
Sub Line Up:
D’Laryea (for Hamshaw, 81) - .
Subs Not Used: White, Wood, Arnold, Holmes.
Opposition Line Up:
Fielding, Martin, McCracken, Johnson (Williamson 88), Woodman, Torres (Bloomfield 62), Holt, Lennon, Doherty, Sutton (Knight 63), McGleish. Subs Not Used: Young, Boucaud.
Roger East (Wilts) 5 Dreadful error not sending off defender for penalty, but otherwise handled the game well.

Season 07/08 Reports