{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 08/09 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
2 - 2
Williams 47, O'Connor 79
 Bond 52 pen, Rogan 90+4.
Attendance: 2122 (150 from Barrow)
Date: 11 April 2009


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Mansfield Town were denied victory in a rip-roaring second half at Field Mill by Barrow's 94th minute equaliser, which was quickly followed by the sending off of Stags keeper Alan Marriott. After a quiet first half, the game burst into life after 47 minutes, when Ryan Williams fired in a fantastic goal. Fed by a good ball from Daryl Clare, Williams cut in from the left, and shot powerfully, right footed, into the far corner of the net from 20 yards. Barrow were level from the penalty spot on 54 minutes when Scott Garner was harshly adjudged to have handballed. From studying the match DVD, Garner was around a yard from Lee McEvilly, who headed the ball on, and hence it could not have been deliberate. The second similar harsh decision against Garner on consecutive Saturdays. Five minutes later, Mansfield were denied a blatant penalty when O'Connor was tripped in the box, but the appalling referee booked O'Connor for diving. The match DVD confirms a blatant trip. O'Connor then put the Stags in front on 79 minutes. Marriott's long kick was headed on by Clare on the edge of the box and O'Connor ran on to it and fired in through the keeper leg's from close range. But Hotchkiss gave away a silly free-kick 20 yards out on 94 minutes. Sheridan's free-kick was tipped onto the crossbar by Marriott, but Rogan headed in the rebound. From studying the match DVD, what happened next was that Barrow defender Jones rubbed Marriott's face and hair as the Stags keeper lay on the ground. Marriott kicked out at Jones and, as Barrow defender McNulty said something, Marriott got up and headbutted him. Marriott had to go, and the ref duly showed him the red card. A disappointing end to a tremendous game.

Mansfield were unchanged from the side that beat Ebbsfleet though young Higginson replaced the ill MacKenzie on the bench. Barrow included former Stags left back Jelleyman.

The opening few minutes were all Barrow who showed good movement and passing and were clearly determined to take home some points. Mansfield’s first attack came on 7 minutes when Ryan Williams’ cross from the left was headed over his own bar by Jones. From the resulting corner by Williams, Duffy headed just over the bar. On 11 minutes, Marriott did well to come out of his box and head clear. A minute later, Williams was in the action again running down the left cutting inside and his cross was just wide of the right post as Briscoe was unable to turn it in.

After a period with little goal mouth action, Williams’ free kick on 26 minutes was headed back across goal by Duffy but cleared by the Barrow defence. Then on 29 minutes, Briscoe’s cross low to the near post was well saved by the keeper. A minute later, Williams’ great run down the left wing was followed by a cross that was in front of the attackers as no-one gambled on it. Briscoe retrieved the ball on the far side and crossed it back into the middle for Duffy to head wide off a defender. There was a chance for Barrow on 33 minutes when McGill’s shot from the edge of the box seemed to be on target before it was blocked.

Duffy went off injured on 39 minutes to be replaced by O’Connor. A minute into stoppage time, a great punch by Marriott from a cross when it seemed that McEvilly would get on the end of it.

A slightly disappointing half with barely a save by either keeper. Barrow’s big strong outfit more than held their own.

Half time 0-0

In the first minute of the second half, Barrow had a chance as Bond shot well over the bar.

But a minute later, the Stags were in front. Clare laid a neat ball out from the centre to the left wing where Williams cut inside and a Woodhouse run took defenders with him allowing Williams to shoot from 20 yards into the far corner of the net. A fantastic goal, one of the best of the season.

It was so nearly 2-0 on 51 minutes. Briscoe ran down the right and found Clare who cut inside and crossed left footed. It seemed an easy header for O’Connor but inexplicably he ducked and let it go over him, perhaps thinking the cross was going in. Moments later at the other end, Barrow had a corner from which their fans behind the goal and their players claimed a hand ball. Moments later, the referee perhaps thinking he had made a mistake with that one, did award Barrow a penalty in the softest of circumstances. Jelleyman’s throw-in from the left was headed on by McEvilly and hit Garner’s hand standing just a yard behind him. It couldn’t possibly have been deliberate but the referee awarded a penalty. Bond stepped up to take the kick and sent it into the left side of the net as Marriott dived the other way.

Minutes later, Briscoe had a chance to restore the lead but his weak effort was straight at the keeper. On 58 minutes, Briscoe came even closer to scoring. He powered through with a great run and his shot beat the keeper but cannoned back off the left post into he path of Williams who sent the follow up well wide from a good position. On 59 minutes, Stags were denied a blatant penalty when O’Connor was tripped in the box. Astonishingly the referee decided it was a dive and booked O’Connor. Just a minute later, McEvilly smacked Hodgkiss in the face but only received a yellow card. The referee had completely lost the plot and Stags’ fans chanted “you don’t know what you’re doing”. O’Connor did well to get a shot on target from a tight angle on 63 minutes but the keeper saved well.

On 68 minutes, brilliant play by Clare as his curling shot was tipped onto the underside of the bar by the keeper and then from the rebound, O’Connor’s header was tipped over. Four minutes later, another great chance for the Stags with a great run from O’Connor and a great cross and Williams’ header was goal bound but somehow the keeper got down low to save it. It was fantastic stuff from the Stags who were all over Barrow at this stage. Barrow had a rare chance on 78 minutes when Brown shot wide of the right post from the edge of the box.

But on 79 minutes, the Stags deservedly re-took the lead. Marriott’s free kick from just outside his penalty area was flicked on by Clare to O’Connor who ran on to it and shot first time through the keeper’s legs from close range.

Hotchkiss showed his inexperience allowing a ball to bounce inside his own box instead of hacking it away and was then booked for a bad foul. As the Stags tried to wind down the clock, a couple of Stags corners saw only 3 yellow shirts in the box. Daryl Clare received a standing ovation when he was substituted by Arnold on 89 minutes.

To general astonishment the referee added on 5 minutes of extra time and disaster struck in the fourth of those minutes. Hotchkiss again showed his inexperience to give away a free kick 20 yards from goal. Joint manager Sheridan took the free kick left footed and with Marriott perhaps standing too far to the right as the ball headed to the left hand corner, the Stags’ keeper could only get his finger tips to it and tip it on to the bar. The ball rebounded to substitute Rogan who headed into the empty net. In the subsequent melee, Marriott was send off as I’ve already described. Barrow players made various rude gesticulations to the home fans in the west stand as they celebrated unfortunately none of which were captured on the match DVD. All of which left a sour taste in the mouth. The conduct of various Barrow players was disgusting. It is to be hoped that these players will not grace the Blue Square Premier next season but sadly they already have nearly enough points to survive.

So the Stags dropped two points in late disappointment. However it was terrific entertainment, and lots of positive aspects for Mansfield. Not long to recover before the next game, on Monday afternoon at Northwich, who have had a resurgence in results, but will still be relegated. Come on Mansfield!

Podcast of Stagsworld commentary,
1st half --->
2nd half---->

Man of the match: Daryl Clare

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 6 Perhaps too far to the right on the free kick that led to the equaliser. Lost his composure after that goal and rightly sent off. The first time he has blotted his Stags copybook after an outstanding three months.
Havern 6 OK at right back.
Moses 6 Did ok. Solid.
Garner 6 Unlucky to concede penalty, could not have been deliberate.
Woodhouse 7 . Defended with real fight. Another good game for the new captain. Good run to distract defenders for Williams’ goal
Briscoe 7 Another good game. Some powerful runs. So unlucky not to score with fine effort against the post.
Somner 7 Good game in the middle.
Hotchkiss 5 Showed inexperience to give away free kick for the equaliser. Gave away too many balls unnecessarily.
Williams 8 Fantastic goal. Some great runs all afternoon.
Duffy 6 Did ok before going off injured.
Clare 8 Terrific game. Involved in both goals.
Sub Line Up:
O'Connor (for Duffy, 39) 8 Very lively. Scored a good goal, and clearly brought down in the box.
Arnold (for Clare, 89) -
White (for Williams, 90+5) - Sending off of Marriott will now give him a chance.
Subs Not Used: O'Hare, Higginson.
Opposition Line Up:
Deasy, Jelleyman (Logan 53), McNulty, Jones, Spender, Brown, Sheridan, Bond, McGill, Walker (Hunt 81), McEvilly (Rogan 81). Subs Not Used: Martin, Kerr.
Joe Simpson (England) 0 Some awful decisions. Got both penalty decisions wrong. Some other bizarre decisions. Did get the Marriott sending off right.

Season 08/09 Reports