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Season 08/09 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Stevenage Boro  
3 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Morison pen 45+3, Cole 64, Bostwick 80
 Hurren 56, O'Connor 59. Chanot sent off 82.
Attendance: 1,517 (approx 150 from Mansfield)
Date: 7 October 2008


Martin Shaw at Broadhall Way

Mansfield Town were beaten 3-2 at Stevenage on Tuesday night. After a quiet opening 45 minutes, the Stags conceded a dubious penalty in stoppage time at the end of the first half. But two great goals early in the second half, from Hurren and O'Connor, put the Stags in front, only for a wonderful individual effort from Cole to bring the home side level. A terrible error by Paddy Gamble gifted the win to Stevenage on 80 minutes, though O'Connor missed a great chance to level on 87 minutes. The second half was fantastic entertainment for fans watching at home live on TV.

Billy McEwan went with a 4-3-3 formation with D'Laryea, Hurren and Blackwood in the middle, and O'Connor, Stallard and Arnold up front.

There was a nasty moment for the Stags after a minute when Gamble needlessly fumbled a cross behind for a corner. O'Hare put in a great block after 6 minutes from Cole, and O'Hare made two more good early tackles. O'Connor found Stallard in the box after 17 minutes but Stallard's first touch was poor and the ball was taken off his toe. O'Connor fired wide from 25 yards after 27 minutes, and Cole fired over at the other end on 29. The Stags had a close shave on 38 minutes when Cole crossed from the right, the towering Luke Oliver headed back across goal and Morison's flick was straight at Gamble. On 45 minutes, Gamble made a good save low to his right from Morison.

But 3 minutes into stoppage time, the Stags conceded a penalty. Jeannin gave the ball away on the halfway line prompting McEwan to throw his water bottle down in disgust. Stevenage swept the ball forward and Chanot tussled with Cole in the box. The referee pointed to the spot after a long pause. TV replays showed it was a bad decision as Cole slipped in the area. Morison powered the penalty straight down the middle.

Half time 1-0

It had not been the most exciting half of football but the Stags had played the ball around neatly, but failed to create any clearcut chances.

McEwan was sent to the stand at half time for protesting about the penalty. The Stags were level after 56 minutes with a fabulous strike from Hurren. He got the ball 28 yards out, strode a couple of yards forward, and as play opened up and no-one challenged him, he fired a great shot inside the left post.

Three minutes later the Stags were 2-1 up. Arnold found O'Connor running through on goal with a great flick. I initially thought O'Connor might be a yard offside but TV evidence later showed he was onside. O'Connor fired a powerful shot through the keeper's legs from a similar position to his goal at Salisbury.

But after 64 minutes, Stevenage were level with a magnificent goal from Mitchell Cole. A great turn and run was capped with a blockbuster of a shot from the egde of the box, wide on the left, giving Gamble no chance.

Somner replaced Jeannin after 67 minutes with Blackwood moving to left back, then Lee replaced Stallard. Bostwick headed over for Stevenage after 72 minutes, and on 77 minutes after a good move involving O'Connor and Lee, Hurren fired over.

But disaster struck on 80 minutes. Chanot was adjudged to have fouled Cole wide on the right, and was booked for protesting. McMahon whipped in a free kick straight at Gamble. Gamble dropped it at the feet of Bostwick who fired in from 2 yards. It was another catastrophic error from Gamble, which was to cost the game. This simply cannot be allowed to continue.

Chanot then picked up his second yellow in two minutes for a foul and was off. Hurren moved into defence. Morison fired just wide after 85 minutes.

But on 88 minutes the Stags missed a glorious chance to claim a deserved point. Lee headed across goal, the Stevenage defence hesitated, allowing O'Connor a free strike from 6 yards, but inexplicably he fired wide. Deep into stoppage time, Gamble made a fine double save, but it did not redeem his earlier error.

So defeat for the Stags, in a game where they should have got at least a point. It has been a dreadful week.

Man of the Match: Alan O'Hare

Audio commentary from Radio Nottingham of Stags goals here

Report by: Martin Shaw at Broadhall Way

Line Up:
Gamble 4 Patience is running out on the match-losing errors.
Silk 7 Another impressive performance from the right back.
O'Hare 7 Some great tackles and blocks.
Chanot 7 Looks a classy player. Unlucky with the penalty and a bit unlucky with the sending off.
Jeannin 5 Gave the ball away just before the penalty, and made other mistakes too.
D'Laryea 6 Did ok.
Hurren 6 Great strike for the goal.
Blackwood 5 Not involved enough.
O'Connor 6 Great strike for the goal, but missed a sitter late on.
Stallard 5 Didn't get eneough service, but not his best game.
Arnold 6 Great flick-on for the second goal. Some nice runs and movement.
Sub Line Up:
Somner (for Jeannin, 67)
Lee (for Stallard, 70)
Robinson (for Arnold, 90)
Subs Not Used: Herriott, Wood.
Opposition Line Up:
Day, Bostwick, Henry, Oliver, Laird, Cole, Mills, Wilson (Anaclet 14), McMahon, Black, Morison. Subs Not Used: Bayes, Albrighton, Thomas, Vincenti.
G Sutton (Lincolnshire) 5 Got the penalty decision wrong and harshly sent off Chanot.

Season 08/09 Reports