{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 02/03 Stagsnet Match Report
Division 2
Colchester United  
1 - 0
 Mansfield Town
McGleish 88
Attendance: 3,247 (approx 350 from Mansfield, my estimate: 250 standing and 100 seated)
Date: 14th February 2003

Stags were beaten by a late goal from Scott McGleish here in Colchester this evening, just a minute after Adam Eaton had struck the post with a screamer from 25 yards. It was tough luck on Stags in a game where a draw would have been the only fair result. It was a result that was hard to stomach for the 350 or so Stags fans that braved the sub-zero conditions, as the Essex club leapfrogged the Stags in the table.

Keith Welch, signed on a match-by-match basis, replaced the injured Kevin Pilkington in the Stags goal. Otherwise the Stags were unchanged from the team that had started against Notts County. Iyseden Christie returned to the bench after injury, having scored 4 goals in the game between the sides at Field Mill. There was no place on the bench for Bobby Hassell, who when asked in the tea bar why he was not in the team or on the bench, shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know. Colchester included former Barnet striker Scott McGleish in their side. I commented before that game that he always seems to score against us.

Stags had the better of the opening exchanges and created the better chances in the opening 20 minutes. In the opening couplke of minutes, Andy White put in teasing cross which the keeper had to turn over the bar. Then he created a couple of chances for himself. First he shot just wide of the far post. Then he had a superb shot from 20 yards which the keeper tipped over the bar. He was also brought down right on the edge of the box, leading to a booking for a U’s defender who may have been the last man. From the resulting free-kick, Corden struck a powerful effort which curled away from the far post, instead of curling inside it.

The home side started to look dangerous on the break and Welch did well with 2 or 3 good saves. Stags defence was looking very solid with Eaton superb and left back, and Day especially solid in the middle. Stags were tough tackling in midfield with Curtis chasing down everything and Williamson looking sharp. But there was a lucky escape when McGleish broke into the box, cut inside Eaton on the right hand side of the box, and smacked a left footed shot against the underside of the bar, with Welch beaten.

Half time 0-0

The second half was less lively than the first and Stags rarely looked in danger. Christie made a welcome return from injury, though it was surprising to see him replace Andy White, who had had a better game than the very quiet Junior Mendes. Then Disley replaced Lawrence. Lawrence has been in superb form for several months, but wasn’t at his best tonight. Williamson moved the right and Disley slotted into the middle and looked very impressive. Chances were now few and far between, though Christie had a shot charged down, Corden had a wicked cross which was sliced inches past the far post by a defender, and Corden had a shot which went through the keeper’s hands and somehow the ball rolled just past the post.

The game had 0-0 written all over it. Then came the minute of play that determined the outcome. First, on 87 minutes, Adam Eaton picked up a loose ball 25 yards from goal, and smacked a superb shot against the angle of bar and post with the keeper beaten. As we were wondering how it didn’t go in, the U’s broke to the far end. It was quite tricky to see what happened from our position at the far end of the ground, but it seemed that Ben Doane lost possession to Gareth Williams. Williams managed to get in a shot from the left hand side of the box, which Welch parried but couldn’t hold. In a scramble to get to the ball, McGleish was first to it and headed it into the roof of the net. It was difficult to tell from the far end whether the Stags new keeper was at fault. It was a sickening blow.

Stags pushed forward, but there was only 2 minutes left, plus just 2 minutes of stoppage time, and they couldn’t create any more chances.

The home fans celebrated gleefully their first win at Layer Road for 4 months, as Stags fans just tried to come to terms with the injustice of it.

This was a massive win for Colchester, as they leapt out of the bottom 4, and was a bitter blow for Mansfield. Stags defended well apart from one late mistake, and were tigerish in midfield. Overall it was a pleasing display defensively and in midfield. Stags will be desperate to get something from a tricky trip to Loftus Road next weekend.

Man of the Match: Adam Eaton.

Report by: Martin Shaw at Layer Road

Line Up:
Welch 7 Made some good saves and one great punch from a dangerous cross.
Doane 6 Did ok. Was probably at fault for the winning goal.
Gadsby 7 Good display, looked very solid.
Day 7 Looked very good
Eaton 8 Excellent performance, virtually faultless, and so unlucky not to score a winner.
Lawrence 5 Created little and twice gave the ball away in very dangerous positions. Not his best game after a great run of form.
Curtis 7 Played well in defensive midfield role.
Williamson 7 Tigerish in the tackle. Starting to get back to his best.
Corden 7 A few dangerous moments from him especially in the second half.
Mendes 5 Very quiet. Disappointing.
AWhite 7 Very lively in the first. Created some good chances from himself and won a free-kick right on the edge of the box. Surprisingly substituted.
Sub Line Up:
Christie (for AWhite, 54 mins) 6 Got into a couple of good positions but couldn’t make it count.
Disley 7 (for Lawrence, 66 mins) 7 Looked very good in a central midfield role.
Curle (for Gadsby, 72 mins) 6 Showed good experience.
Subs not used: JWhite, Mitchell.
Opposition Line Up:
1 Simon Brown
18 Liam Chilvers
5 Scott Fitzgerald
3 Joe Keith
25 Sam Stockley
19 Alan White
10 Kemal Izzet
6 Thomas Pinault
20 Mick Stockwell
9 Scott McGleish
11 Dean Morgan

K Duguid for M Stockwell (43)
G Williams for D Morgan (57)
Substitutes not used
31 Richard McKinney
17 Bobby Bowry
21 Mvondo Atangana

I.Williamson 7 Hardly noticed, hence had a good game.

Season 02/03 Reports