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Season 08/09 Stagsnet Match Report
FACup 4th qual.rd replay
Mansfield Town  
1 - 0
 York City
Somner 51
Attendance: 2004 (224 from York)
Date: 28 October 2008

The Stags made two changes to the side which drew at York on Saturday, Chanot for O'Hare (ill), Hurren for Blackwood (ankle injury). At last, two of the Stags promising youngsters, Goward and Burrell found a place on the bench, sadly despite a shocking first half performance, neither were given their long overdue chance.

On a freezing cold night, there was little in the first half to keep the home fans warm. In fact, it took the home side 46 minutes to register their first attempt on goal, a long range shot that flew ten yards wide but which drew ironic cheers from the home faithful. Before that, it was the visitors who looked the more likely to break the deadlock, though thanks to solid defending from the home side in the main they were restricted to long range efforts which failed to trouble Gamble. The relief of the half time whistle was met with a chorus of boos from a large number of home fans - it was a dreadful first half devoid of goal mouth incident and the home side failed to register a single shot on target. Put simply, it wasn't good enough.

Half Time: 0-0

However, clearly the manager had given his lacklustre side a rollocking at half time, for the timid, shot shy side were a changed outfit and within the first three minutes of the 2nd half had mustered three shots on goal - O'Connor providing the spark the side had lacked in the opening half, heading over in the opening minute of the half, and then setting up Hurren who had his goal bound effort blocked. Indeed, it was the 4th shot of the half which gave the Stags the lead, Arnold did superbly on the right and eventually found Somner 20 yards out who hit a great strike low to the keepers left. The Stags continued to play the better football and continued to shoot, it was a refreshing change but you do have to wonder why it took so long. York brough on Sodje to try an pep up their own faltering attack but he failed to make the sort of imact he did in the first Blue Square Premier meeting of the sides this season. The Stags continued to fire in shots from all angles, though most were from long range and failed to trouble Ingham in the York goal. As the half wore on, York pressed forwards looking for an equaliser. This left space for Stags counter attacks and Arnold was cynically upended whilst breaking through the York defence, McGurk picking up the mandatory yellow card from the referee who, unlike most before him this season, was having a fine game. York almost snatched an equaliser when a mis-hit shot found Sodje completely unmarked inside the Stags area, he was played onside by Chanot who was re-entering the field from the touchline, but the substitute could only lift the ball over the bar. It was the closest York came to a goal and the Stags should have secured the win in the final minute of normal time, Silk, again superb, played in O'Connor down the right, his excellent low cross found Arnold in front of goal with just the keeper to beat, his first time shot was well struck but straight at Ingham who saved well. In fact, it wasn't to be Arnolds night, as with York pushing forwards he again broke free, beat the keeper to the ball but his lob dropped just inches wide of the upright. There was one last moment of danger in the final minute of added time, an almighty scramble on the edge of the Stags area saw the commanding presence of Moses fire the ball clear for the final action of the game.

So a dreadful first half but a much better second half. The introduction of O'Connor certainly made a difference, as hopefully did a half time rollocking from the manager as the first half performance was completely unacceptable, as were the managers post match comments, he will not make any friends at all by criticising supporters - Carlton Palmer made the same mistake and eventually unless he tries to get fans on his side, there will only be one outcome. Surely the manager has been in the game long enough to know that if you serve rubbish, fans will have their say? That aside, there were some positives to come from the game, Gary Silk, player of the year by a mile so far this season, was once again excellent. Adie Moses did an excellent job at the centre of the defence and Nathan Arnold and Aaron O'Connor did provide a threat in the 2nd half that simply wasn't there in the first half. Overall, a poor game, but now all fans can look forward to the Round One clash with our local rivals over the M1.

Man of the Match: Gary Silk

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
Gamble 6 Quiet game, but what he did was good
Silk 8 Yet another excellent display
Moses 8 Like Silk, defended superbly
Chanot 6 Did OK, as did the whole defence
Jeannin 6 One mistake almost proved costly, but otherwise continued his improved form
D'Laryea 6 Like the rest of the midfield, dreadful in the 1st half, better in the 2nd
Somner 6 Goal lifted what was otherwise an inoccuous performance
Hurren 5 Careless in possession, not his best
Arnold 6 Real mixed bag, at times poor, at others a real threat
Lee 5 Ineffective, gave away too many daft free kicks
Sinclair 5 Like Lee, offered very little, subbed at half time
Sub Line Up:
O'Connor (for Sinclair, 46) 8 Provided the spark the side needed
Stallard (for Lee, 87) 6
Subs not used: Knight, Wood, Goward, Burrell, Robinson.
Opposition Line Up:
Ingham, Purkiss, Robinson, McGurk, Parslow, Greaves, McBreen (Boyes 63), Russell (Shepherd 75), Wilkinson, Rusk, Rothery (Sodje 50). Subs not used: Mimms, Henderson, McWilliams, Kelly.
R. Merchant 8 The best we've seen this season

Season 08/09 Reports