{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 07/08 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
0 - 1
 Hereford United
Boulding missed pen 90
 Easton 7
Attendance: 1606 (205 from Hereford)
Date: 11 March 2008

by Colin Holmes at Field Mill

It was a damp, cold night at Field Mill with a strong wind blowing across the width of the pitch. Both teams came in to the game hoping for 3 points for different reasons, for Mansfield it could see them leave the relegation zone, and for Hereford it could see them leapfrog Darlington in to an automatic promotion spot, unfortunately for The Stags, it was the latter that occurred on the night as fans saw Paul Holland's first game as manager end in a 1 - 0 defeat in a game where the scoreline didn't reflect matchplay.

Paul Holland made 2 changes to the side, Keith Briggs out by injury saw Jon D'Laryea come in for a start, and Jefferson Louis was dropped to the bench for Nathan Arnold to start just behind Michael Boulding.

The game started brightly for the Stags, dominating most of the first half in terms of possession and shots on and off target, but it was Hereford who took a 7th minute lead through Clint Easton with a delightful curling free kick leaving Muggleton with no chance. The Stags, shooting towards the Quarry Lane end after Hereford opted for this after winning the toss, were largely on top for the majority of the first half and it was a pleasing performance and long range shots from Hamshaw and Arnold were well saved by Hereford's keeper. The Stags managed to keep the ball on the ground a lot and showed signs of the good passing football everybody loves. All was going well until Buxton slid in on a challenge on Hereford's giant defender, Dean Beckwith, and Mr Thorpe, tonight’s referee bought out his first yellow card. The resulting free kick saw Herefords second chance of the game after Easton narrowly nodded it over from close range. Soon after this Muggleton signalled to the bench he would need to come off and on came Jason White for his first appearance in 2008. Hereford soon broke clear after this and Baptiste bought down the last man and worries were for a red, but luckily just a yellow was shown. The resulting free kick, a similar distance from goal was taken but sent over by C Easton. Just before half time Stags had a couple of half chance, Mullins heading just over from one of Mansfield's 14 corners, and a long ball from Jason White was lacking control from Michael Boulding and cleared for another corner, taken by Hamshaw to Baptiste who glanced his header over and then the half time whistle was blown to a round of applause.

Interestingly Hereford came back out after only 10 mins of the break and did some warm up and running exercises. Shortly after the restart, and Paul Holland retook up his standing position in front of the dugout where he remained for the whole game, Arnold’s blistering trickery and pace saw him break through, only to be hauled down by Dean Beckwith, the ref produced his 3rd yellow of the game, the resulting free kick from Hamshaw hits the Hereford wall much to the disappointment of the field mill crowd. Soon after the Stags continued to be the dominating team and a corner from Hamshaw saw Mullins glance his head just over, Stags continued to press and Boulding had a good chance but his shot was straight at the Hereford keeper. It was after this point the Stags seem to go in to decline and the bright football seen in the previous 60 minutes was levelled out more as Hereford played a lot of fancy flick-ons and runs down either side and through the middle but never really got a good shot on. Arnold had a good chance after 70, when he took on 2 Hereford players, and shot only to see a fantastic save from Brown. The tables were immediately turned and Will Atkinson was called upon with a fantastic tackle to deny Simon Johnson getting clear for a one 2 one with White. Johnson was subbed after and Kris Taylor came on, and it seemed Hereford were playing a 451 formation. Shortly after Jon D'Laryea was bought off and Rory Boulding came on and went to partner his brother up front and Arnold dropped back to midfield. Immediately after the substitution Buxton made a terrible mistake leaving Jason White having to take on Herefords striker and clear the ball up field. Both teams continued to have half chances, but much of the second half belonged to the centre of the pitch. Late on in the game Stags made their 3rd and final substitution, Jelleyman going on and Jefferson Louis coming to a huge round of applause, as the Stags went to a 343 formation. With the added height in the team now, here was a lot of hope for the corner won for Mansfield, but this was well headed clear, and the resulting shot went along way above the goal. Dawson had a long range effort sent just wide and Louis failed to convert a late chance. The attendance of 1606 (205 away) was announced, the lowest for a long time, and was followed by chants of "haslam out". The 4th official showed for minutes of added time, and fans started to pour out of field mill, with probably only about 800 people left in the ground, Michael Boulding (correction by Martin - it was Atkinson who was brought down) was lightly bought down but the resulting penalty was given much to the delight of the Stags fans. As M Boulding lined up to take the penalty, Brown pointed cockily to his left, Boulding slotted the ball there and Brown was able to top a great day with a penalty save, and the resulting fumble after resulted in a near miss but no goal and this is how the game ended, in defeat, but a promising display in difficult conditions. Again fans huddled round the corner of the pitch to applaud the players and management off the pitch and was hardly a boo to be heard anywhere. This defeat means the Stags now only have 1 point from their last 9 home matches, and now the Stags are 5 points adrift of safety as the Blue Square conference is knocking on the door.

Report by: Colin Holmes

Line Up:
Muggleton 6 - Made a good save, no chance with goal, subbed early
Mullins 8 - Got forward well and looked solid at back, Stags best player tonight
Jelleyman 6 - Very quiet game from the left back, did little wrong, nor of merit
Baptiste 7 - Looked composed, some good headers and clearance passes
Buxton 5 - Some sloppy heading and largely outrun, seemed prone to losing out on tackles
Dawson 7 - Solid in the centre, got about the pitch well
D'Laryea 6 - Still looks a bit off full fitness and had a quiet game
Hamshaw 7 - Alot of effort, hardest working player on the night, his end product just lacked severely letting him down.
Atkinson 5 - Poor positional sense and his inability to do more than stick on the wing let him down
Arnold 6 - Showed good pace and skill, but was outmuscled of the ball a lot and quietened down when he dropped to midfield
M Boulding 7 - Close contender for MOM, some good opportunities and got in some great positions, unlucky not to of converted a throughball tonight.
Sub Line Up:
White (for Muggleton, 34) 6 - Really had very little to do, on a positive his kicking looks a lot better than what we used to see from him
R.Boulding (for D'Laryea, 71) 6 - Tried to get involved with a lot of running around but he didn’t make much of a change
Louis (for Jelleyman, 81) - Bought on to late to make an impact
Subs not used: Martin, Wood.
Opposition Line Up:
Brown, McClenahan, Beckwith, McCombe, Rose, Easton, Smith, Diagouraga, Johnson (Benjamin 85), Robinson (Taylor 67), Hooper. Subs Not Used: Ingham, Threlfall, Gleeson.
Mike Thorpe 6 - I thought all the cards were fair, no dodgy decisions, a very average game.

Season 07/08 Reports