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Season 08/09 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
3 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Murray 41, Knight-Percival 45+2, 86.
Attendance: 914 (156 from Mansfield)
Date: 31 March 2009


Martin Shaw, Jeff Barnes and Simon Chamberlain at the Glassworld Stadium

Mansfield Town were outfought, outplayed in every department and bullied by Histon on Tuesday night as the home side wracked up a comfortable 3-0 win, which could have been greater. The Stags were poor throughout the side with only Ryan Williams, Gary Silk and keeper Marriott coming out with much credit. After the game Histon boss Steve Fallon said it was Histon’s best performance of the season. The Stags meanwhile put in easily their worst display under David Holdsworth and showed disappointing ability to deal with Histon’s fast, accurate, and direct style. Histon were clever in playing for throw-ins in the Mansfield half and full back Gwillim probably launched about 25 well directed throw-ins into the Stags box. It was not pretty to watch but it was pretty effective and we wouldn’t bet against Histon winning the play-offs. From a Mansfield viewpoint, it was thoroughly horrible to watch.

Stags made two changes with O’Hare coming in at left back for Mayo, apparently to give more height at the back, and O’Connor replacing Briscoe.

In the opening minutes, Arnold made a great run for Mansfield which came to nothing, as he failed to feed Silk. On 9 minutes, a Histon free kick found a player unmarked at the far post, who headed across goal for Barker who was also unmarked and headed wide. Dreadful marking. On 15 minutes, Marriott failed to collect a cross under pressure from Murray, who took the ball of him, turned and his shot was cleared. On 18 minutes, Murray’s shot was palmed away at full stretch by Marriott and O’Hare was on hand to clear. Then a good block by Garner prevented Simpson opening the scoring.

Marriott went to kick from his hands on 28 minutes and as the referee turned away, Marriott was barged and miskicked. The referee missed it, while the linesman ignored it. To rub salt into the wounds, D’Laryea was fouled seconds later and to our astonishment the referee gave a free kick to Histon in a dangerous position which fortunately came to nothing as Gwillim’s kick was straight at Marriott. On 31 minutes, a Histon long throw from Gwillim fell to Murray whose shot was blocked well.A minute later a carbon copy as Gwillim’s long throw fell to Murray whose shot was saved.

On 40 minutes came the defining moment of the game. Williams played a fine ball through for Arnold to make a great run from inside his own half, and he got forward to just outside the box with only the keeper to beat. But his shot was straight at the keeper at an easy height.

Within a minute Histon had an identical chance and buried it. Murray was through and from just outside the box, he planted his shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net giving Marriott no chance. After the game, Moses blamed himself for allowing Murray though.

Three minutes later, Williams played a super ball into the path of Duffy whose volley was well wide of the right post off the outside of his right boot. A minute into stoppage time, Murray played a great ball for Midson down the right and his cross was blocked.

Two minutes into stoppage it was 2-0 and the game was effectively over. A great ball in from the right was superbly met by the glancing header of Knight-Percival which flew into the top left corner.

We had created two chances in the first half and were bullied off the ball by Histon who were very effective and deserved their 2-0 half time lead.

Half time 2-0

Clare replaced Duffy and Briscoe replaced O’Connor 10 minutes into the second half. Three minutes later, a rare chance for the Stags as Arnold’s shot was blocked for a corner. On 66 minutes, a good break by Arnold and Briscoe had a shot that was blocked.

Meanwhile at the other end it was raining long throws as Gwillim launched missile after missile into the Stags box. On 70 minutes, from one of those long throws, Marriott missed it and Murray blazed over the bar. A minute later, Knight-Percival sent a shot that was heading towards the post and Marriott made a great save. From a corner, Histon had another shot. The Stags simply had no answer and were unable to prevent throw-ins being conceded and set pieces coming into the box. Histon dominance was simply embarrassing. Stags fans couldn’t wait for the final whistle and had started to drift away.

It was 3-0 on 86 minutes. Following a corner, a cross from the right was powerfully headed home by Knight-Percival off the underside of the bar. A minute later, Marriott saved from Midson’s low shot. At the other end, a rare chance for Mansfield as D’Laryea slashed a shot hopelessly wide. Another chance fell to Williams when a ball from the right found him in space and he spooned it over. Williams held his head in his hands. In stoppage time, Clare went down in the box, the referee put the whistle to his mouth but decided against awarding a penalty. In truth it could have given us a consolation goal we didn’t deserve.

Man of the match: Ryan Williams

Report by: Martin Shaw, Jeff Barnes and Simon Chamberlain at the Glassworld Stadium

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Made a few good saves. Did drop one cross in first half under pressure. Not at fault for any of the goals.
Silk 7 Coped well under pressure from Knight-Percival.
Moses 5 Difficult evening. At fault for one of the goals.
Garner 6 Won some good headers.
O’Hare 5 Not a left back and it showed. A lot of balls came in from his side.
Arnold 5 Had a couple of excellent runs, but wasted both. Missed crucial chance just before Histon took the lead.
D'Laryea 4 Largely anonymous. We never got a hold of the midfield. Didn’t look like a leader tonight.
MacKenzie 4 Weak. Poor passing and not competitive.
Williams 7 Several good runs, responsible for all the chances and half-chances we had.
O’Connor 4 Ineffective. Contributed nothing.
Duffy 6 Never given a sniff. Crowded out.
Sub Line Up:
Clare (for Duffy, 55) 6 Came on in a no-win situation. No support and no service. What could he do?
Briscoe (for O’Connor, 55) 6 Had a go. Tried to bulldoze his way through but found himself surrounded by defenders.
Subs Not Used: White, Havern, Woodhouse.
Opposition Line Up:
Naisbitt, Oyebanjo, Langston, Ada, Gwillim, Barker, Mitchell-King, Simpson (Andrews 88), Knight-Percival, Murray, Midson (Roache 89).
Subs Not Used: Welch, Pope, Bygrave.
Scott Rushton (Lancashire) 4 Terrible.

Season 08/09 Reports