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Season 08/09 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
 Cambridge United
O’Hare 52.
 Brown 32.
Attendance: 3,171 (526 from Cambridge)
Date: 20 September 2008

Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill


Mansfield Town drew 1-1 at home to Cambridge United on Saturday, to end the sequence of 5 home wins. But against an impressive Cambridge outfit, the manner of the performance especially in the second half continued to give room for optimism that this can be a successful season. The Stags had fallen behind to a fine goal in the first half, but came out all guns blazing in the second and deservedly equalised through Alan O’Hare’s header and could have gone on to win the game with a little more composure in front of goal.

Pre-match chunter around the Mill was all about the rumours surrounding ineligible players, and the threat of a points deduction created an air of uncertainty for the first time since the new owners were on board. This wasn’t helped by walking past Aaron O’Connor on Nottingham Road 35 minutes before kick off as we made our way to the ground. However it transpired that O’Connor was unfit, having not trained during the week. Fortunately Jason Lee was fit to return to the starting eleven, with Robinson dropping to the bench.

The game kicked off in glorious sunshine with a healthy following of over 500 from Cambridge, taking the crowd to over 3000 for the first time this season. The Cambridge fans stood throughout the game, despite a request over the tannoy for them to sit down, which was not enforced as it never seems to be when a large away following visits Field Mill.

On 3 minutes, Blackwood fired well over the bar following a free kick. Two minutes later, Blackwood wasted a free kick when his delivery went straight out of play. Brilliant link up play between Blackwood and Jeannin on 9 minutes, led to a great Jeannin cross which was headed up in the air by Somner. Then on 11 minutes, Blackwood put in a fine cross, which Lee headed powerfully over the bar after rising well. On 13 minutes, Somner was booked for a foul right in front of the Cambridge dugout, which saw Cambridge boss Brabin, a former bouncer, furious with the challenge. On 20 minutes, Stallard made a great turn and shot just inside the box, but it was straight at the keeper. On 25 minutes, Jardin’s free kick from the left found McEvilly unmarked in the box and he headed just wide. On 27 minutes, Somner committed another foul and was lucky to escape with a long lecture from the ref who could so easily have produced a second yellow card.

Cambridge took the lead on 32 minutes. A long throw-in from the left by Tonkin was headed away by Jason Lee but straight into the path of Dan Brown who was unmarked 16 yards out to thump the ball through a crowd of players into the net, giving Gamble no chance. It was a terrific strike. It was the first time the Stags had been behind at Field Mill this season. After the game, McEwan said he was disappointed that no-one had picked Brown up. It was noticeable that on every set piece after the goal, Somner marked Brown on the edge of the box.

On 34 minutes, Jeannin put in a great cross from the left but it was headed away. The Stags had a chance to equalise on 43 minutes when Stallard put in Lee, who set himself for a shot but it was deflected and the keeper was able to stretch and keep it out.

Half time 0-1

The Stags came out fired up for the second half. On 48 minutes, Arnold’s free kick from the left was headed wide by Stallard from a difficult angle.

Mansfield were level on 52 minutes. The Stags were awarded a free kick on the right touchline 5 yards outside the box. Blackwood’s delivery was perfect to the far post where O’Hare rose majestically to head home.

On 55 minutes, another long throw from Tonkin eventually fell for McEvilly who scuffed his shot narrowly wide of the right post with Gamble stranded.

On 69 minutes Blackwood unforgivably gave the ball away in the centre, and Holroyd broke forward to shoot wide. On 72 minutes, McEvilly rounded Gamble and walked the ball into the net but was half a yard offside. A minute later, the Stags put together a great move ending with D’Laryea trying to place a curling shot which was easily saved. Two minutes after that Jeannin did well on the left to play in Stallard, but the striker got the ball stuck under his foot and was unable to shoot. Moments later, Moses did well to head away at the other end. On 79, good link up play between Silk and Arnold on the right, and from Silk’s cross Lee headed wide. On 85 minutes, Jardin’s free kick was headed towards the top of the net by McEvilly but Gamble saved easily just under his own bar. Two minutes later, Lee fired just over the bar with his left foot from a difficult position.

Two minutes into stoppage great play from Stallard and Silk eventually found D’Laryea who blazed a good chance over the bar left footed from the edge of the box. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Cambridge had half-hearted appeals for a penalty waved away and manager Brabin kicked the dugout in anger.

It was last meaningful action of a terrific second half. The Stags fought back well from a one goal deficit and deserved the point, if not all three. Despite the disappointment of the winning sequence at home being ended, this was still an encouraging display against one of the best sides in the division It is now crucial to follow this up with points from the next two away games, starting at lowly Altrincham on Tuesday night.

Man of the match: Gary Silk

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Line Up:
Gamble 5 Not a lot to do, well protected by his defence. But showed hesitancy on a couple of occasions where the luck was on his side.
Silk 8 Very good game. Strong, some timely tackles, looked very assured against a very tricky opponent in Jardin.
Moses 7 Some good clearances. Decent game.
O’Hare 8 Some great defensive headers. Took his goal expertly.
Jeannin 7 Several good crosses and defended well too.
Arnold 6 Played too deep in first half, but more attacking in the second half and caused problems. Some good tracking back.
Somner 7 Good game. Slightly fortunate not to be sent off in first half, but settled very well after that and played well.
D’Laryea 6 Very deep in the first half. Missed great chance to be the hero in stoppage time, blazing a shot over the bar.
Blackwood 6 Some good crosses included an excellent one for the goal, but some bad ones too. Didn’t attack the defence enough.
Lee 6 Continues to win lots of balls in the air, but a shame nothing was converted. Several chances didn’t quite go for him.
Stallard 6 Didn’t get enough support in the first half. Only got one chance in the game.
Sub Line Up:
Subs Not Used: Herriot, Shaw, Hurren, McGhee, Robinson.
Opposition Line Up:
Potter, Tonkin, Hatswell, Bolland, Gleeson, Jardim, Carden, Brown (Crow 76), Challinor, McEvilly, Holroyd. Subs Not Used: Coulson, Convery, Jones, Drench.
M Brown, Hull 4 Terrible. Did his best to spoil an entertaining game. Conned by lots of Cambridge play-acting.

Season 08/09 Reports