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Season 02/03 Stagsnet Match Report
Nationwide League Division 2
Mansfield Town  
0 - 0
 Wycombe Wanderers
Attendance: 4,811 (433 from Wycombe)
Date: 11th January 2003

The Stags were again without Player of the Year Bobby Hassell who hadn't recovered in time from a calf injury. Matt Gadsby continued at right back. However, the Stags were boosted by the return of Andy White who partnered Iyseden Christie in attack and Colin Larkin who was on the bench.

The Stags created the games first meaningful chance in the 3rd minute when a brilliant cross field pass by Corden found Lawrence in space on the right. Lawrence's first low cross was cleared but Curtis gave Lawrence the ball back and his cross fell to White whose shot was deflected over the bar. However, Wycombe countered from the corner and Roberts was clean through but denied by a great save from the legs of Stags keeper Kevin Pilkington. A minute later the Stags were given a free kick on the edge of the area which Curtis struck low through the wall but was easily saved. Lawrence, highly prominant in the opening minutes then neatly cut inside before chipping a great shot which was tipped over the bar. Christie got his head to Corden's corner but couldn't direct it on target. The Stags were on top but again Wycombe created another great chance on the break, Curle was beaten in the area by Rogers but again Pilkington was up to the job, palming away the small strikers powerful shot. A well rehearsed corner routine gave the Stags another chance just past the half way mark of the half, Corden played a short ball to Christie who returned the ball to Corden and the Stags winger saw his powerful shot beaten away. Corden again was involved as Lawrence volleyed over his fine cross on the half hour and moments later Lawrence cut inside only to see his low shot hit the inside of the post and fall to a Wycombe defender who cleared. It was Lawrence again who had the Stags last chance of the half, again he cut inside and with just the keeper to beat his left foot shot lacked power and was easily saved. At the other end a short back-pass from the otherwise impeccable Day lead to Pilkington just winning a 50-50 challenge with Rogers - Pilkington took a slight knock from the challenge but did not require treatment. A good half of football, with Adam Eaton again excellent at left back and both wingers involved throughout.

Half Time 0-0

The Stags were dealt a blow at half time as player-manager Keith Curle failed to re-appear, Jamie Clarke came on a t right back with the excellent Matt Gadsby moving to centre half. The Stags continued to dominate possession and Corden tested the Wycombe keeper again after some fine skill on the left had made him some space, his powerful left foot shot tipped past the post. Just past the hour the impressive Lawrence was then replaced by Larkin, the young Stags winger did appear to be limping a little as he came off, which can be the only reason for his substitution. Corden was again involved in the next Stags chance, this time his right wing cross was headed wide by an un-marked Disley. Larkin then broke free on the right and his dangerous low cross was hammered away for a corner. Williamson replaced Disley on 71 minutes and immediately created a chance for himself, his low right foot shot tipped past the post by the busy Wycombe keeper. The Stags pressed forwards with Pilkington a virtual spectator and Williamson was again involved in the next Stags chance, threading a neat ball to Christie who could only shoot wide into the side netting. With 5 minutes remaining Curtis tried his luck from long range, but though his shot was well struck it flew wide of the target. The Stags final chance to claim what would have been a deserved win was when the excellent Corden hit a perfect cross which White somehow failed to head home, indeed the tall striker missed the ball completely.

Overall this was another excellent performance by the Stags which deserved 3 points. Although Wycombe created two good chances in the 1st half on the counter, the Stags easily handled their direct approach and Kevin Pilkington was a spectator for most of the 2nd half. The loss of Keith Curle at half time could have been a big blow, but Matt Gadsby was brilliant at the centre of the Stags defence. Adam Eaton continued his impressive run of form and both wide men were creative and involved throughout. The strikers didn't really make the most of the chances created for them and perhaps this is an area the manager needs to address soon. Man of the Match isn't easy, with several outstanding candidates, not least Corden, Lawrence and Eaton. However, for me Gadsby was excellent in the 1st half at right back and showed his invaluable versatility by doing a superb job at centre half, so good in fact I doubt anyone noticed Curle was missing.

Man of the Match: Matt Gadsby

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
Pilkington 8 - Two great saves and in very good form at present
Gadsby 9 - Good at right back, even better at centre half
Day 8 - Another excellent performance
Curle 7 - Was beaten once in the area but otherwise very solid
Eaton 9 - Excellent throughout - top priority is to get his loan extended
Lawrence 8 - At his best in the 1st half, one great chip and some fine crossing
Curtis 7 - Did a good job as a holding midfield player
Disley 6 - Struggling a little at the moment - missed another good chance
Corden 9 - Was magic at times and his crossing was excellent
Christie 6 - Quiet for the most part and missed a couple of decent chances
AWhite 6 - Struggled to hold the ball up and should have headed the Stags in front near the end
Sub Line Up:
J.Clarke (for Curle, 45) 7 - Steady performance at right back
Larkin (for Lawrence, 61) 7 - Again his pace caused problems
Williamson (for Disley, 71) 7 - Was involved as soon as he got on
Subs not used: JWhite, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
Talia, Thomson, Johnson, Ryan, Senda, Rogers, Bulman, Simpson, Brown, Faulconbridge, Roberts. Subs: McCarthy, Currie, Harris, Lee, Cook.
L.Mason - 6 - OK considering the appalling standard of recent officials

Season 02/03 Reports