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Season 07/08 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
0 - 1
 Rotherham United
 Yates 70
Attendance: 5271 (917 from Rotherham)
Date: 26 April 2008


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

A freak goal coupled with wins for Dagenham and Notts County leaves Mansfield Town's football league status hanging by a thread. The Stags need Chester to lose their remaining two games (against Stockport on Tuesday and Macclesfield on Saturday) whilst the Stags would have to win at Dagenham on Saturday, to stay up. If Chester get a point on Tuesday, the Stags are down to the conference.

A draw for Mansfield would have ensured that they could overtake Dagenham next weekend, but on 70 minutes disaster struck as Yates struck a ball into the Mansfield sky from 40 yards, wide out on the touchline. Jason White watched the ball all the way and allowed it to fall under his crossbar and into the net. It was a ridiculous error by White and one that ultimately caused the defeat. In the games White has played, his error rate leading to goals has been way too high.

The real reason that the Stags will most likely be relegated is not of course Jason White though. It is owner Keith Haslam.

The game ended with around 90% of the home fans vociferously shouting for Haslam Out, while hordes of fans tried to get into boardroom to get up close and personal with Haslam himself. We later found out that Haslam had been punched by one person and then kicked in the head by another as he lay on the ground. He was taken to hospital for an MRI scan.

Before the game Mullins received the Player of the Season awards from SSA and CHAD, while Michael Boulding received the Player of the Season award from Ollerton Stags. Ryan Goward received the Jack Retter Trophy for young player of the year.

The Stags made two changes from the side that beat Shrewsbury. Buxton returned from suspension to replace the injured Baptiste (groin strain) thus removing Holland’s tricky decision of who to leave out from the defence, while Jelleyman returned from injury to replace Wood, with Briggs move across to right back.

In temperatures fully 15 degrees warmer than the previous Saturday, The Stags had the first meaningful attack when Louis’s cross shot flashed across the face of the goal. On 12 minutes Boulding and Louis played a great one-two and Boulding’s shot was tipped away by Warrington in the Millers goal, a great save. On 17 minutes, Jason White saved brilliantly from Tom Cahill after Mullins had been sold a kipper just 8 yards from goal.

Rotherham came within a whisker of opening the scoring on 24 minutes as Holmes shot with the outside of his left boot, just past the left post, with White nowhere.

On 40 minutes Nathan Arnold produced a good shot from just outside the box, which was well saved low down by Warrington. Moments later Hamshaw shot well over the bar. Right on half time, Louis and Boulding showed more good interplay, and Boulding’s shot was blocked.

At half time, with Dagenham losing 1-0, and Stags drawing, we were on track to only need a draw on the final day of the season.

Half time 0-0

In the first minute of the second half, Louis made a super run to the edge of the box, but couldn’t get his shot away. Two minutes later Boulding made a good run down the right, cut back inside and shot low at Warrington. On 54 minutes, Hamshaw produced a brilliant cross. It looked tailor-made for Louis but somehow he didn’t get on the end of it. News that Dagenham were 2-0 down was a huge boost.

On 66 minutes came the most puzzling substitution in living memory in my opinion. Holland replaced Louis with Brown. Louis had been playing well, linking well with Boulding and holding the ball well. Brown by contrast has looked out of form for months. On 69 minutes Tonge was completely unmarked in the box for the Millers, but fired over the bar.

Then on 70 minutes came the moment that ultimately meant the Stags cannot go to Dagenham needing a win to retain football league status. Rotherham sub Yates was 40 yards from goal, on the right touchline, when he launched the ball skywards. It went miles into the air. Jason White started back peddling, and as the ball came back down to earth he allowed it to go over his outstretched arms, and under the bar. There can’t be a defence for White. It was an horrible misjudgment and could not have been more costly.

A minute later, Boulding was wide from 6 yards from Arnold’s cross. Horlock replaced the out-of-form D’Laryea on 73 minutes.

Astonishingly Dagenham had pulled it back from 2-0 down to be 3-2 ahead and Darlington were down to 10 men. Stags fans were in despair, as in a few minutes it had gone completely wrong.

On 82 minutes Holmes’s shot was deflected over the bar, and on 86 minutes White made a brilliant save from Hudson’s shot.

The Stags were not doing enough going forward but on 89 minutes came a glorious chance for an equalizer that would surely have the most important goal in the club’s entire history. Hamshaw put in a good cross from the right, and Mullins flicked over the bar. Brown also headed wide from a good position. But as the Stags poured men forward Rotherham had two chances to score again as first Hudson fired over an open goal, and then when White had gone forward for a corner, Rotherham were unable to play the ball goalwards to an empty net.

The game ended and Stags fans knew their side was virtually gone. As the whistle went, attentions turned from large numbers of fans to Keith Haslam.

Man of the Match: Michael Boulding

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
White 4 It seems to be a mistake a game from Jason White that costs us a goal. This one was just too costly.
Briggs 6 Did ok, but not as influential as last week.
Buxton 6 Decent performance on his return.
Mullins 6 Defended well, one great tackle. Went up front near the end of missed a good chance.
Jelleyman 6 Did ok.
Hamshaw 7 Some fine crosses.
D'Laryea 5 Another poor performance. Where is the player from last season?
Dawson 5 He and D'Laryea never got any grip on the midfield.
Arnold 6 One good shot but otherwise too quiet.
Louis 7 Held the ball well throughout and looked lively. Ludicrously substituted by Paul Holland.
M.Boulding 7 Some great interplay with Louis. Good game.
Sub Line Up:
Brown (for Louis 66) 5 Absurd decision by Paul Holland. Brown contributed nothing, as per recent performances.
Horlock (for D'Laryea 73) -
Subs Not Used: Muggleton, Martin, Wood.
Opposition Line Up:
Warrington, Coughlan, Mills, Joseph, Green, Peter Holmes, Hudson, Danny Harrison, Tonge, Taylor (Derek Holmes 46), Cahill (Yates 55). Subs Not Used: Newsham, Oxley, Ross.
Iain Williamson (Berkshire) 5 Kept ignoring fouls on Boulding in the first half. Not a great game.

Season 07/08 Reports