{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 08/09 Stagsnet Match Report
FACup 4th qual.rd
York City  
0 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 1976 (255 from Mansfield)
Date: 25 October 2008

Robbie Roffe at KitKat Crescent

Mansfield produced a solid overall performance in the 4th qualifying round of the FA Cup sponsored by E-On, to earn a confidence-boosting clean sheet, a 0-0 draw and a replay against York City on Tuesday at Field Mill.

The weather conditions meant that the Stags were kicking against the strong wind in the first half, which led to a good attacking first 45 minutes.

The first half was largely dominated by the Stags, who began very brightly indeed and dominated possession.

The first chance of the game came inside the first 7 minutes from a short corner. This led to Blackwood crossing to the near post, where a header was flicked on to Arnold, who controlled it down for Lee to have a shot from 8 yards out, but unfortunately the shot lacked sufficient accuracy and was blocked.

A few minutes later, a long ball was headed down by Lee in the direction of Arnold on the edge of the area. He showed decent strength to win the ball just inside the box and followed this up with a left footed shot on the turn which went just wide of the far post.

York had their first glimpse of goal 20 minutes in, when a cross cum shot from 25 yards out flashed wide of Gamble’s goal, and soon after had another half chance from a volley hit over from 30 yards.

Mansfield hit back with 2 chances in quick succession, firstly with D’Laryea shooting from the edge of the box, trying to pass it into the corner. His shot was deflected just wide. Possibly the better option would have been for him to go for power. Then Arnold got the ball centrally 30 yards out, who proceeded to knock the ball past his man nicely before hitting a tame shot straight at the keeper, when, again, the better option would probably have been to hit it with more venom.

Another half chance for the Stags was presented to Somner from a whipped cross into the box which found him free near the penalty spot. However he was caught in two minds, and, instead of shooting first time from 10 yards out, he tried to control the ball, but unfortunately his touch was too heavy and the danger was cleared.

York had their best and probably only real chance of the half a few minutes before half time, when a free kick was lofted into the book from halfway inside the Mansfield half to the back post, where David McBreen rose above the Mansfield defence to head the ball across goal. It seemed destined to be hitting the back of the net, before Gamble leapt across his line to get a hand on the ball and keep it out. It would have been very cruel if Mansfield had conceded at this stage, after a lively first half performance.

I noted that we looked a lot more threatening from set pieces than usual in the first half, with the presence and height of Lee and Sinclair winning many headers and all of the Mansfield wide players producing a number of decent balls into the box. Unfortunately the finishing of the Mansfield strikeforce was lacking on this occasion.

Half time 0-0

The second half was more of a battle for Mansfield, and chances were certainly at a premium for both sides.

Sodje latched onto a header from a long ball to hit a shot from the edge of the area fortunately close to Gamble, who saved fairly comfortably.

Otherwise it was a largely forgettable half in terms of chances, and only Arnold could get a shot or 2 in, one which was saved easily from 25 yards out, while another was hit high and wide from the edge of the box.

Both sides seemed content with the draw. I noted that York did not commit many men forward all the way through the whole game, which I felt was probably the main reason why chances did not come for either York, or indeed Mansfield on the break, and a stalemate ensued.

This was an improved performance from Mansfield, who defended impressively throughout with Moses and O’Hare leading the line very well, and Gamble being heard loud and clear instructing his defence very well indeed. The first half tactics were spot on from Billy Mc, and the Stags should really have been leading come half time. However York worked their way into it without ever really looking like scoring and Mansfield settled for a draw and clean sheet. Hopefully with the juicy prospect of a derby with the Spireites in Round 1, we can continue the good work into the replay on Tuesday. Up the Stags!

Man of the Match: Gary Silk

Report by: Robbie Roffe at KitKat Crescent

Line Up:
Gamble 7 Made one excellent save, but was otherwise fairly untroubled. Improving game on game.
Silk 8 Same as always, worked very hard and delivered consistently good crosses. Awareness and anticipation spot on.
Moses 7 Marshalled the defence excellently.
O'Hare 7 Defended solidly.
Jeannin 7 Very good in possession and whipped in some decent balls.
D'Laryea 6 Not bad, but still struggles going forward, hampering our attacking play.
Somner 7 Did pretty well, worked hard.
Blackwood 7 Looked better than recent games, linked well with Arnold and delivered some decent crosses in his time on the pitch. Came off with a nasty looking injury.
Arnold 7 Looked dangerous, touch was better. Finishing was unfortunately lacking though.
Lee 7 Won a lot of headers throughout and created chances from flick-ons. Missed a good chance in the first half.
Sinclair 7 Dangerous with the ball and from crosses, looks a good player.
Sub Line Up:
Hurren (for Blackwood, 44 mins) 6 Did well but never looked as threatening as Blackwood.
O'Connor (for Sinclair, 50 mins) 6 Always dangerous with the ball but didn’t really get into the game this time.
Subs not used: Knight, Wood, Chanot, Stallard, Robinson.
Opposition Line Up:
Ingham, Purkiss, Robinson (Russell 51 minutes), Kelly, McGurk, Parslow, Greaves, McBreen (Boyes 77 minutes), Farrell (Sodje 24 minutes), Wilkinson, Rusk. Subs: Mimms, Shepherd, McWilliams, Rothery.
Paul Tierney (Wigan)7 No really bad decisions, let the game flow well.

Season 08/09 Reports