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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
0 - 0
 Grays Athletic
Attendance: 2,726 (8 (eight) from Grays)
Date: 5 December 2009

Video highlights of the Grays game here.
Audio highlights of StagsPlayer commentary of the Grays game here.
Nigel Pinnick talks to Harry and Jay - winners of a competition through Football in the Community, during Saturday afternoon's StagsPlayer broadcast here.
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Martin Shaw and Neil Shaw at Field Mill


For the second time this season Mansfield created a hatful of chances against Grays Athletic and for the second time failed to win the game thanks to an inspired goalkeeping display. Down in Essex it was on-loan keeper Butcher who kept the Stags out with some amazing saves as the Stags created over 20 chances. Today it was Stuart Robinson who saved Rob Duffy’s penalty and went on to make a string of amazing saves in the final 30 minutes including tipping Hotchkiss’s shot onto the bar, as the Stags somehow couldn’t score. Even when the keeper couldn’t save them, other chances went begging as Duffy hit the underside of the bar and Briscoe headed the rebound over an empty net. The second half was like the Alamo and the failure to win was terribly deflating for everyone, but there were plenty of positives to take from the performance. The Stags now only have 3 league games in the next 6 weeks! So much for the busy Christmas period.

The first chance of the game fell on 10 minutes as Burgess pulled a shot well wide and Perry nearly got on the end of it but not quite. The Stags came close on 17 minutes as Challinor screwed a left foot shot just wide of the right post after a good move involving Burgess and Perry. Then on 21 minutes, Challinor’s long throw was headed on by Duffy but cleared. Briscoe fired wide of the left post on 25 minutes after good interplay with Perry and Hotchkiss. At the other end, James fired a tame shot at Marriott on 26 minutes after pinball in the Stags box. A minute later, Bradley Hudson-Odoi made a good run down the left, cut inside and shot straight at Marriott. Good play by Briscoe on 35 minutes, down the right then cutting along the byeline before pulling it back for Duffy, but Duffy dallied too long and the chance was gone. Perry played in Briscoe on the edge of the box on 36 minutes, and Briscoe fired over the bar left footed. A chance for Perry on 37 minutes as Challinor’s long throw was headed on by Duffy and the keeper fluffed it but Perry couldn’t stab the loose ball into the net, instead it was cleared by a defender.

The game should have seen a red card on 42 minutes as Challinor was elbowed in the head by Harley Dean, but the referee only produced a yellow. It was an odd incident as the referee initially didn’t even give the foul until he realised that Challinor was hurt. Grays had a chance on 45 minutes as Richard Graham fired in a shot on target from inside the box, but it hit Jones and was cleared. In stoppage time, Burgess’s free kick from the right was headed over his own bar by a defender.

Half time 0-0

Challinor was unable to continue in the second half after the incident on 42 minutes and was replaced by Somner. On 46 minutes, Duffy’s ball in from the right was put over his own bar by a defender. On 48 minutes, great hilarity around the stadium as a Grays player hoofed the ball onto the top of the Bishop Street stand and the ball went down the hole in the roof of the stand. Cissoko shot into the side netting on 54 minutes from a tight angle.

On 55 minutes the Stags were awarded a penalty. Burgess fed Silk who threaded a ball forward into the path of Briscoe. Briscoe went down under a challenge in the box. Video evidence shows the Stags had a huge slice of luck as it clearly was not a foul. After a full 90 seconds of Grays players arguing the decision (with some justification), Duffy stepped up and sent his penalty slightly to the right of centre, but keeper Robinson made a good save, parrying the ball up in the air and clearing at the second attempt. Duffy kicked the post in annoyance.

On 59 minutes, Duffy so nearly made amends with a brilliant effort. His shot from 20 yards cannoned down off the underside of the bar with the keeper beaten. From the video evidence it’s impossible to conclude if the ball crossed the line - it may have done, it was certainly very close. Duffy claimed the goal but to no avail. As the ball bounced back up again Briscoe headed it over the bar when he should have headed into the empty net with the keeper on the floor.

On 61 minutes, Somner lifted a ball into the box, Duffy headed it down into the path of Perry, who swung his right foot at it but didn’t make a decent connection and the ball rolled through to the keeper. A let-off for the Stags on 66 minutes as substitute Bingham shot a couple of inches past the left post from outside the box with Marriott motionless.

Morris replaced Briscoe on 72 minutes.

On 79 minutes, an agonising moment as Hotchkiss curled a superb 20 yards shot goalwards, arrowing towards the top left corner, but keeper Robinson tipped it onto the crossbar. Williams replaced Duffy a minute later. Then two incredible point blank saves from Robinson, first from Morris and then from the rebound from Burgess. Both were inside the 6 yard box. A minute later, Morris got into the box again and his goalbound shot went through the keepers legs, but was cleared by a defender. Straight away, Perry headed over from Burgess’s cross. At the other end, a great tackle from Luke Jones to deny Hudson-Odoi. On 86 minutes, the Stags had a shout for a penalty as a defender tried to shepherd the ball out for a goalkick, Hotchkiss got ahead of the defender, and the defender seemed to haul the Stags midfielder down. Hotchkiss couldn’t believe the foul wasn’t given. From the video evidence, it would have been harsh if it had been awarded. On 87 minutes, a great ball in from the right by Silk and somehow Morris sliding in at the far post missed it. On 89 minutes, Burgess took a free kick from the edge of the box, wide on the right. His first effort hit was blocked but it came back to him and his second effort was saved by the keeper.

In stoppage time, Grays could have snatched an outrageous winner. Bingham broke down the left and crossed for Agombar in yards of space just 6 yards out. But Agombar’s shot was shanked and hit Heckingbottom. It was the last meaningful action of the game. A few boos from idiots at the end of the game, but most fans could only stand in frustration that so many chances for the Stags hadn’t been rewarded.

Man of the match: Ollie Hotchkiss

Report by: Martin Shaw and Neil Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 6 Quiet afternoon; the only saves were straight at him.
Silk 7 Rugged, solid in the tackle. Attacked well in the second half.
Jones 6 Did ok, one excellent tackle near the end.
Brough 7 Good game throughout.
Heckingbottom 6 Defended ok. Exposed for lack of pace a couple of times especially in the first half.
Briscoe 6 Caused some danger and did win the penalty. Headed over an empty net after Duffy hit the bar.
Hotchkiss 7 Pick of the midfield. Unlucky with shot tipped onto the bar.
Challinor 6 Fairly quiet. Elbowed in the face and had to go off at half time.
Burgess 6 Some good quality in the first half, with a sweet left foot, but went missing in the second half.
Duffy 6 First miss from the spot for Mansfield. Nearly redeemed himself with great effort against the bar.
Perry 5 Didn’t look fit, and had a couple of poor efforts on goal.
Sub Line Up:
Somner (for Challinor, 46 mins) 7 Made a difference. Sensible football, and passed it well.
Morris (for Briscoe, 72) - Ran at the defenders and looked promising.
Williams (for Duffy, 80) - Put in some great crosses.
Subs Not Used: Sandercombe, Armstrong.
Opposition Line Up:
Robinson, Mawer, Hoyte, Crowther, Bunce, Graham, Cissoko, James, Harley Dean, Hudson-Odoi (Agumbar 89), Rnkovic (Bingham 64). Subs Not Used: Edwards, Logombe, Braham-Barrett.
D Bond 5 Should have sent Dean off for elbow on Challinor. Also his linesman got it wrong in flagging for a penalty for the Stags.

Season 0910 Reports