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Season 08/09 Stagsnet Match Report
FACup Round 1
3 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Winter 32, 58, Ward 51.
 Arnold 78
Attendance: 6612 (1664 from Mansfield)
Date: 8 November 2008

The Stags were knocked out of the FA Cup after an entertaining local derby at a crumbling Saltergate in front of over 6,500 fans. The Stags made 5 changes from the side beaten on penalties at York in the Setanta Shield in midweek. In came Silk for Wood, fit again Moses replaced Chanot, D'Laryea replaced Hurren and Somner replaced O'Connor.

The Stags had the first real chance of the game after a tight opening ten minutes. Arnold was released by Ahmed on the left and put in a superb low cross which Sinclair should have converted, however the on-loan Forest striker slid his shot just wide. The game began to open up and flowed from end to end, Ward nearly capitalising on a long through-ball and an Assitant nowhere near in line, Silk did well but Ward still managed to poke in a shot which flew just wide. The Stags were keeping possession well, but failed to really test the Spireites keeper and were made to suffer for the lack of creativity on 32 minutes when the home side took a rather undeserved lead. A tangle between Downes and D'Laryea saw the Spireites given a rather generous free kick some 30 yards from goal. Winter hit a rather speculative low shot towards goal which Gamble somehow managed to miss and the ball hit the back of the net - it was poor goalkeeping and far from the first time the young keeper has cost the Stags goal. Despite the setback, the Stags continued to enjoy the lion share of the possession and Sinclair again appeared slow to latch on to a Lee flick, Arnold was on hand to fire the ball goalwards but it was deflected wide. Indeed, Arnold was having a fine game and was the Stags main threat in what was an entertaining 45 minutes, best illustrated by the ovation the Stags got from the 1600 visiting supporters at half time.

Half-Time 1-0

The opening few minutes of the 2nd half saw the Stags continue where they left the opening half, controlling possession but generally failing to find that creative final ball, Jeannin was a particular culprit, numerous crosses were overhit giving the strikers no chance to get to the ball and in the opening few minutes of the 2nd half he had a free kick in an excellent position but curled it softly into the home keepers grateful arms. With the Stags pushing for the equaliser they were hit with the sucker punch on 51 minutes. Kerry broke clear on the left and knocked in a fine ball which Ward met to crisply finish past Gamble. There was time for Jeannin to waste another free kick before the home side put the tie beyond the Stags on the 58th minute. Another speculative long range effort from Winter, this time from open play, somehow beat Gamble - this time the keeper appeared unsighted and dived far to late, but he should not be beaten by a low shot from over 35 yards. Though the Stags could have got their heads down and been completely embarrassed, to their credit they continued to play good football and were finally rewarded with a goal, Arnold beat two men on the left before firing an accurate low shot past Carson in the Spireite goal. In fact, Arnold nearly added a second 5 minutes from time, this time his curling effort flew wide.

Overall this was a good display from the Stags and Chesterfield were extremely fortunate to run out winners as comfortably as they did. As the end of game stats show, the visitors had more possession and more shots though in Ward and Lester, Chesterfield undoubtledly had the more effective strikers. In fact, Lee and Sinclair were disappointing as the Stags continue to struggle with McEwans 4-3-3 formation. In the last 20 minutes, when the Stags were playing more 4-2-4, the side looked vastly more competent. On the negative side it was another error, possibly two, from young keeper Gamble which ultimately cost the Stags the game. He is making far too many costly errors and a new, experienced keeper is an absolute must. Jeannin had a poor day, his delivery from set pieces was truly appalling, in fact, I don't recall one single cross which even came close to a Stags player, most ran away for goal kicks. On the positive side, Jon D'Laryea had a fine game in midfield, Gary Silk continues to be the most consistent player we have and the two centre halves, whilst lacking in pace, certainly look a solid duo. However, the most positive news was the performance of Nathan Arnold, often so frustrating, he showed today what he is capable of. He was far and away the Stags most dangerous player and fully deserved his goal - more of this please Nathan!!

Man of the Match: Nathan Arnold

Report by: Rob & Tom Wheldon

Line Up:
Gamble 4 Costly error for the first goal, possibly at fault for the 3rd goal
Silk 8 Another excellent performance, if only we had a few more like him!!
Jeannin 4 Woeful delivery, truly dreadful, overhit almost every cross and very shaky defensively
O'Hare 7 Very solid and has a good understanding with Moses
Moses 7 Did well in the air, not really anything he or O'Hare could have done about any of the goals
Arnold 9 Best I've seen from him this season, did well in possession, looked a real threat and scored a fine goal
D'Laryea 8 Battled well in midfield, looked very sharp and at his best
Somner 6 Fairly quiet, a real tryer though
Ahmed 7 Did OK on the ball though his final ball was lacking at times
Sinclair 5 Ineffective throughout
Lee 5 Like Sinclair, ineffective and the only headers he won were in his own area
Sub Line Up:
Stallard (for Lee, 62) 5 First touch was poor and added nothing to the attack
O'Connor (for Somner, 74) 6 Lively but ultimately also created little
Subs Not Used: Herriott, Wood, Kay, Chanot, Hurren.
Opposition Line Up:
Carson, Gray, Page, Downes, Austin, Lowry (Niven 70), Winter, Kerry, Goodall (Robertson 79), Ward, Lester. Subs Not Used: Lee, Picken, Currie, Harsley, Teixeira.
Carl Boyeson 8 Barely made a mistake, unlike one of his Assistants!!

Season 08/09 Reports