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Season 07/08 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
2 - 1
Louis pen 50, Mullins 54.
 Marc Williams 77.
Attendance: 3435 (601 from Wrexham)
Date: 1 April 2008


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

An inspired spell of 30 minutes at the start of the second half was enough to earn Mansfield a win over fellow strugglers Wrexham on Tuesday night. It brought the Stags the first win at home since Boxing Day. The Stags were gifted a cheap, but clear penalty on 50 minutes and Jefferson Louis insisted on taking the kick despite Michael Boulding wanting to take it. Louis sent the keeper the wrong way to lift the roof off Field Mill, and just 4 minutes later great interplay between Hamshaw and Mullins ended with Mullins slipping a shot under the keeper from close range to make it 2-0. Buxton twice went close to extending the lead with headers from Hamshaw corners and there were other chances too as Wrexham looked demoralised. But there was a goal out of the blue on 77 minutes for the Welshmen as Nicholson’s shot was only parried by Muggleton to Marc Williams who reacted quickest to fire into an empty net. A nervy last 15 minutes followed but the Stags held on as a poor Wrexham side failed to create any chances.

So the Stags are now 4 points behind Notts County and 5 behind Dagenham. Dagenham have played a game more and play on Friday night at Accrington. Stags will be desperately hoping for a favour from Stanley.

But it is up to the Stags themselves and victory over Barnet on Saturday is obviously vital. The Stags have not won back to back games all season. Now is the time this must change.

The Stags were unchanged from Saturday. On the bench Rory Boulding replaced the ill Wainwright. There was a change in the director’s box with Keith Haslam making a return (see Latest News page). The Stags entered the pitch led by Sammy the Stag decked out in a flag of St George, in answer to the St David’s celebrations that preceded the reverse fixture at the Racecourse exactly a month ago.

The crowd was boosted by reduced admission and was more than double the gate of the last home match but one against Hereford, also played on a Tuesday night.

On a windy night it immediately became clear that the Stags were kicking straight into the wind and Muggleton’s goalkicks were not able to reach the halfway line.

The Stags had the first chance on 2 minutes when a fine cross from Hamshaw found Boulding whose header from 6 yards was held above his head by the keeper. At the other end, the dangerous Drewe Broughton shot just wide from long range. On 10 minutes, Broughton was free on the left but his weak shot was saved by Muggleton. From a Wrexham corner on 12 minutes, Neil Roberts was unmarked and headed just wide. The Stags were looking nervy and Wrexham were marginally the better of the sides.

On 20 minutes, Hamshaw broke into the box on the left but his weak shot was off target. Straight to the other end and Paul Hall sent a rasping drive over the bar from 20 yards after a fine move.

On 29 minutes Llewellyn had a free shot from the edge of the D and was a yard wide of the right post. Five minutes later a ball forward by D’Laryea found Boulding who couldn’t control it on the edge of the box with his back to goal, and it fell to Dawson who sent a snapshot, with no backlift, inches past the left post. It was the closest the Stags had come.

So the half ended goalless. The Stags received a warm reception and had improved as the half went on. On the plus side the Stags had battled well against a strong wind and would have it behind their backs in the second half.

Half time 0-0

Four minutes into the second half, a corner from the right by Hamshaw saw a Wrexham hand clearly touch the ball. The referee immediately pointed to the spot. Jefferson Louis grabbed the ball and wasn’t letting go of it as Boulding, Dawson and others tried to argue with him. After a long delay, Louis stepped up and rolled the ball down the left as the keeper dived the wrong way. After the recent critical penalty miss against Hereford, the crowd erupted.

Moments later, Hamshaw crossed from the right, but Boulding volleyed over.

But on 54 minutes it was 2-0. Dawson found Hamshaw on the edge of the box. Hamshaw played a lovely reverse pass forward into the path of Mullins who was clean through on goal. Mullins took a couple of paces forward and slipped his shot under the keeper from six yards.

On the hour, Hamshaw’s free kick from the left found its way through to the keeper when it just needed a touch to turn it in. A minute later, Hamshaw’s corner was perfect for Buxton who was unmarked but headed over the bar.

The Stags were totally dominant, and on 73 Buxton had another header from a Hamshaw corner but this time the keeper saved on the line.

Completely out of the blue on 77 minutes Wrexham pulled a goal back with what turned out to be their only chance of the half. A free kick on the right was played into Nicholson who turned to fire a low shot that Muggleton stretched to reach and could only parry into the path of Marc Williams, who fired into the empty net from 6 yards.

The goal changed the whole atmosphere as the Stags had looked so comfortable. But it was the Stags who came closest to scoring when Dawson’s shot was saved and Boulding’s shot from the rebound was blocked.

The Stags made three changes in the last few minutes, just to run the clock down, and despite four minutes of stoppage time, which became five, the Stags held on to secure the vital win.

Man of the Match: Johnny Mullins

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Muggleton 6 Another quiet game. Dealt with the few crosses he had to take very well.
Mullins 8 Got forward really well, great link play with Hamshaw, including for the goal.
Buxton 8 His best performance for a while. Defended superbly.
Baptiste 8 Outstanding at the back.
Jelleyman 7 Gave a the ball away a couple of times, but generally defended well.
Hamshaw 7 Excellent second half, with great corners and good crossing from open play. Quieter first half.
D'Laryea 7 Much improved performance, a rock in midfield.
Dawson 7 Hard working as always. Unlucky with one effort just past the post.
Arnold 6 Did ok.
M.Boulding 6 Nothing quite ran his way, as he so nearly got through on a few occasions.
Louis 8 Showed great strength, held onto the ball well. Was determined to take the penalty and made it count.
Sub Line Up:
Briggs (for Hamshaw, 87) -
R.Boulding (for Louis, 88) -
Horlock (for M.Boulding, 90+3) -
Subs not used: White, Brown.
Opposition Line Up:
Ward, Mike Williams, Gareth Evans, Bolland, Spender, Hall (Danny Williams 65), Llewellyn, Roberts (Proctor 64), Aiston, Nicholson, Broughton (Marc Williams 71). Subs Not Used: Hope, Done.
Nigel Miller (Durham) 7 Handled the game well. Gave a clear penalty though Wrexham were not happy about it.

Season 07/08 Reports