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Season 08/09 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
2 - 1
Ahmed 58, D’Laryea 90.
 Beavon pen 19.
Attendance: 1841 (58 from Weymouth)
Date: 20 December 2008

Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill


Mansfield Town won a hard-earned three points with a spirited second half display leading to a last minute winner by unlikely hero Jon D’Laryea. The Stags had gifted Weymouth a first half lead with yet another shocking defensive mix-up, involving Alan O’Hare and Paddy Gamble resulting in a penalty, although on close scrutiny of the match DVD it revealed Gamble not be at fault. But a flying header by Adnan Ahmed from a Nathan Arnold cross got the Stags back on level terms on 58 minutes, and then Gavin Hurren’s long throw was flicked on by substitute Jason Lee into the path of D’Laryea who side-footed home from 13 yards to send Field Mill into a frenzy of delight and relief.

Caretaker managers Moses and Stallard made two changes from the FA Trophy defeat with keeper Gamble returning from injury and therefore emergency loan sign signing Annerson no longer being available, while Ahmed replaced Somner in midfield. Moses and Stallard themselves were both still injured, so Hurren continued in central defence, and Sinclair and O’Connor continued their partnership up front. Weymouth included former Stags pocket rocket Ryan Williams, who seems to have lost none of his pace over the years and played so well against us three weeks ago at the Wessex Stadium.

On a damp, but mild afternoon the Stags made a positive start kicking towards the North Stand end. On 2 minutes, a great headed flick from O’Connor was into the path of Sinclair who lost control as he ran in on goal. On 5 minutes, a brilliant run down the right from Sinclair who cut the ball back to Arnold, who despite having time to control it, shot wildly over the bar. Weymouth’s first break came on 7 minutes with a great run down the left by Ryan Williams, but his cross was well cleared by D’Laryea. Moments later at the other end, a great run by Ahmed but his left-footed shot was wide of the mark. On 10 minutes, Gamble made an impressive catch, and moments later he saved from Beavon after a cross from the right. 13 minutes saw the first of many poor crosses from Jeannin, as he sent a free kick sailing behind for a goal-kick. Four minutes later, Silk excelled with a tackle in his own box.

But disaster struck on 19 minutes in predictable fashion. A Weymouth player headed the ball forwards from the edge of the centre circle, O’Hare attempted to shepherd the ball back to Gamble just inside his own box, but the ball was never going to reach Gamble and was going away from goal. O’Hare made a mess of his belated attempted clearance and brought Dubois, who not in possession of the ball, crashing to the ground. It was a clear penalty and a yellow card which could on another occasion have been a red. O’Hare had ample opportunity to clear the ball into the stand and was caught flat-footed. After the penalty was given, O’Hare shouted long and hard at his keeper for not coming for the ball, but in reality O’Hare was blame. Close scrutiny of the match DVD revealed Gambled not to be at fault. Beavon sent Gamble the wrong way to make it 1-0.

On 22 minutes Dubois beat Hurren on the right wing, cut inside and fired just past Gamble’s near post. On 24 minutes, a brilliant effort from O’Connor with a snap shot left footed from 20 yards just past the right post. Three minutes later, a brilliant pass from Silk down the right found Sinclair whose cross was cut out. A minute after that, Arnold found Sinclair again on the edge of the box, this time on the right. O’Connor turned well and shot left footed just wide of the left post. On 34 minutes a defender was climbing all over O’Connor in the box but the referee awarded nothing. On 37 minutes, Hurren gave the ball away on the half way line and Beavon chipped Gamble from 45 yards but it was just wide.

At half time the Stags were left to reflect on a gifted goal which changed the momentum of the half and inspired Weymouth to produce some fluent attacking football which caused the Stags some problems. However the booing of the Stags team as they left at half time was not warranted.

Half time 0-1

The second half saw the Stags come out in commanding mood immediately taking the game to their opponents with new found aggression. On 47 minutes a great ball from Arnold down the left was brilliantly controlled by O’Connor who won a corner. The resulting corner from Arnold sailed over the hapless Knowles in the Weymouth goal just missing the far post.

On 52 minutes Arnold played in O'Connor down the right and O’Connor’s cross was deflected by a Weymouth hand but calls for a penalty from the players and crowd were waived away, only after the referee had looked to his assistant.

Moments later another Arnold corner fell to O'Hare who dallied too long and the chance was gone. On 56 minutes, from a Jeannin corner from the right, O’Hare headed back and Hurren sliced his shot wide.

The Stags were playing attractive football with lots of possession but no-one seemed to have the confidence to attack the defence and shots were few and far between.

But on 58 minutes the Stags were level. Kay’s throw-in found O’Hare to D’Laryea, to O’Connor whose fine ball out to the right found Arnold. Arnold chipped a cross to the near post where Ahmed hurled himself at it to head the ball into the far corner giving the goalkeeper no chance.

The Stags were now roared on and put Weymouth under pressure. Sinclair nicked the ball past the keeper, went to the byeline and crossed for Ahmed whose close range shot was blocked. Second later, Ryan Williams went close when his low shot was saved by Gamble, luckily for the Stags Williams slipped as he was shooting. Ahmed’s fine ball forward found O’Connor who blazed over the bar as the action hotted up.

Weymouth didn’t seem to know whether they wanted to settle for point or try to win the game as some of the players like Williams continued to try to attack, whereas others took every opportunity to lie on the floor and waste time, whilst tended to by the second fattest physio in history.

Blackwood replaced Kay on 69, with Jeannin moving to left back, and Lee replaced O’Connor on 80. The Stags had a let-off on 82 as the assistant referee spotted a foul by Jeannin on Beavon and the referee gave a free kick outside the box. It looked inside the box, but the match DVD revealed the tackle to be outside the box and Beavon slipped inside it). Sandwith fired the free-kick straight into the arms of grateful Gamble.

Lee was winning every header, and the Stags made full use of it 15 seconds before the 90 minutes were up. Silk was about to take a throw-in but left it for Hurren. Hurren’s long throw from the right was flicked on by Lee and a defender simultaneously into the path of D'Laryea who side-footed home from 13 yards. Four minutes of stoppage time was immediately signalled and didn’t pass without incident as Gamble nearly gave the ball away in the 94th minute only to be awarded a fortunate free kick.

Full time was greeted by a celebratory sense of relief as the Stags moved off the 21 points that they had after just 12 games of the season.

Man of the match: Gary Silk

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Line Up:
Gamble 6 After studying the DVD, blameless for the goal and kept tidily for the rest of the game. Has a worrying tendency to dither on the ball, eg. in the 94th minute, causing the fans consternation.
Silk 8 Solid, reliable, won the ball well, distributed it well. Handled Ryan Williams really well and after Williams went off, he was able to get forward.
Hurren 6 Decent game in central defence; no mistakes. Finally allowed to go forward to take long throws near the end, and it paid off. Should be allowed to do this more often at home.
O'Hare 5 Shocker for the first goal. A tidy performance after that.
Kay 6 Blew hot and cold. Some good moments but some bad moments too.
Arnold 6 Fine cross for first goal, but inconsistent in control and distribution.
D'Laryea 6 Goal hero. Should take opportunity to shoot more often.
Ahmed 7 Diving header for first goal. Created other chances and had a shot blocked.
Jeannin 4 Wasted opportunity after opportunity for step pieces and crosses. Very poor.
O'Connor 8 Excellent first half with snap shots when not much else was happening.
Sinclair 6 Good pace but first touch let him down on some occasions.
Sub Line Up:
Blackwood (for Kay, 69) 5 Made no impact.
Lee (for O’Connor, 80) 7 Won every header, did exactly what was hoped for and luckily one header ran for D’Laryea.
Subs Not Used: Herriott, Somner, Kitchen.
Opposition Line Up:
Knowles, Doe, Bygrave, Gaia, Sandwith, McPhee, Robinson, Cutler, Williams (Coutts 72), Joseph-Dubois, Beavon. Subs Not Used: Mawer, Tribe, Webb, McKechnie.

T Harrington 6 No choice with the penalty. Did ok.

Season 08/09 Reports