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Season 08/09 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Burton Albion  
1 - 0
 Mansfield Town
McGrath 43
Attendance: 2871 (714 from Mansfield)
Date: 13 October 2008


by Martin Shaw

Mansfield Town's torrid time continued with defeat at Burton Albion on Tuesday night. It was the Stags first ever visit to Burton, but the 714 Stags fans were treated to a disappointing performance.

Billy McEwan dropped Alex Jeannin after his mistakes at Stevenage, with Blackwood moving to left back, and Somner returning to the starting line up in midfield. Moses returned from injury in place of the suspended Maxime Chanot. Jason Lee replaced Stallard up front - Stallard had been feeling ill. Paddy Gamble kept his place in goal despite a run of costly mistakes, and with new keeper David Knight signed on Monday who took his place on the bench. Burton included former Stags captain Jake Buxton in their defence.

The first half was fairly even with the Stags going close from Hurren's long range shot on 36 minutes and O'Connor's good run and shot a minute later, while Burton tested Gamble with several long range efforts. There was a key moment on 29 minutes when Arnold went down in the box. At first sight it looked a clear penalty. Repeated views on TV are inconclusive in my eyes even though the Setanta TV commentators felt there was no contact.

But Burton took the lead on 43 minutes when John McGrath was not closed down outside the box and he fired superbly past Gamble from 22 yards giving the keeper no chance.

Half time 1-0

The Stags were unfortunate to be behind at the break but the second half was hugely disappointing as the Stags failed to create a decent chance until 88 minutes when sub Robinson fired wide from a good position. Burton didn’t create much either, with Simpson’s shot deflecting inches wide off Moses on 64 minutes and D’Laryea clearing a header across the goalline on 66 minutes.

Jake Buxton played well for Burton against his old side, despite taking a lot of stick from many of the Stags fans. In the end, the Stags simply didn't have enough flair or creativity in midfield or up front, and at the moment it seems that if O'Connor doesn't fire then the Stags don't fire. Burton included a 45 year old keeper in Kevin Poole, but the Stags simply didn't test him, which was hugely disappointing. Defensively the Stags were competent but they urgently need a flair player in the middle.

Mansfield's slump is alarming. After the Salisbury game, just 2 weeks ago, we were third. Now after 3 defeats and taking off the 4 points deducted, we are just 2 points above the relegation zone. Astonishing. Things need to change quickly, starting with the return of Jefferson Louis and Simon Brown to Field Mill with Wrexham on Saturday. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the Match: Alan O'Hare

Report by: Martin Shaw

Line Up:
Gamble 7 Some good saves and no chance with the goal.
Silk 7 Continues to look assured at the back, against tricky wingers.
O'Hare 7 Defended well including one superb tackle near the end.
Moses 6 Defended ok
Blackwood 5 In a poor run of form.
Hurren 6 The pick of a poor midfield. At least tried a couple of shots.
D'Laryea 5 Poor
Somner 5 Anonymous
O'Connor 5 The Stags are relying too much on him, and if he doesn't perform then the Stags don't create. Tonight he didn't create.
Lee 5 Didn't do enough.
Arnold 5 Sloppy, gave the ball away too often and created little. Frustrating performance.
Sub Line Up:
Jeannin (for Somner, 55) 6 Did ok at the back
Stallard (for Lee, 67) 6 Was ill so couldn't start.
Robinson (for O'Connor, 79) 5 Lack of composure in front of goal was again evident as he badly missed the Stags only chance of the 2nd half.
Subs Not Used: Knight, Wood.
Opposition Line Up:
Poole, Corbett, Buxton, Stride (Bailey 72), Webster, Goodfellow, Simpson, McGrath, Gilroy, Pearson (Holmes 89), Morris (Harrad 76). Subs Not Used: Banim, Newby.
S Rushton (Lancashire) 6 A few mistakes, but generally not too bad.

Season 08/09 Reports