{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
2 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Baynes 28, Mangan 58. Sent off: Smith 90+2.
 Speight 48
Attendance: 2689 (105 from Mansfield)
Date: 2 February 2010

Jake Stone at the Racecourse Ground

Mansfield Town went down by two goals to one to an in-form Wrexham side, however still managing to put in a hardworking display and at times play some very nice football. Wrexham took the lead on 28 minutes as Wes Baynes put the home side in front before being pegged back just after half time in an equaliser which was deserved. Wrexham eventually got the winner through new hotshot signing Andy Mangan as he smashed home a loose ball from a corner.

David Holdsworth went into this second away game in four days by sticking with the same side that had previously put in a magnificent second half display at Forest Green Rovers. Previously the game had been in doubt with the pitch being cleared of snow by 20 Wrexham fans on Monday and Tuesday however then the rain came and a waterlogged pitch was now the worry of the day. The all clear was given by a local referee at around 1pm however the match referee, Andy Halliday, arrived at around 5.30pm when most of, if not all of the Mansfield fans were on their way there. Luckily he passed the pitch as fit to play on and it was game on!

It was a lively start to the game as both teams started brightly, however it has to be said Wrexham came into their own after the first 10 minutes and early match nerves were out of the way. The Red Dragons looked quick and dangerous on the counter and early on they showed what they were capable of by hitting the bar twice. Once through a free kick given away around 25 yards out, it was smashed to the centre of the goal but still left Marriott having to back peddle and tip it onto the bar and out for a corner. The resulting corner was poor however and that was the trend from Wrexham as the Stags towering defence dealt with their set pieces in the first half pretty much at ease.

On 28 minutes however the deadlock was broken. Christian Smith picked up the ball just inside the Mansfield half and again Wrexham were looking to hit the Stags on the break which they had looked quite effective at. Smith played an absolutely delicious ball past Armstrong and into the line of the pacy Baynes. Just as he looked to have gone too narrow for the show and was shaping for a cross he smashed the ball across goal which looked to have deceived Marriott and in it went through the Mansfields keepers legs, a great finish by all accounts.

Mansfield pushed on for an equaliser and picked up the pace for the remaining minutes in the first half to no avail and they went inside at half time as they had on Saturday v FGR, 1-0 down.

HT - Wrexham 1-0 Mansfield

Challinor came off at half-time for Louis Briscoe in what seemed quite a positive substitution. The second half started off exactly in the same manner as the first with both teams looking to gain an advantage earlier on, fortunately it was Mansfield who looked the more dangerous this time. Speight was showing some fantastic touches and Duffy winning almost everything fed up front at head height. It didn't take long for Mansfield to get right back in the game; on 48 minutes Mansfield gained a throw in, in a great area however the throw in 'specialist' was taken off. Not to worry however, Craig Armstrong stepped up to the plate and lived up to his surname by delivering a powerful throw to the front post, Silvio Spann looked to have handled it and as the shouts went up of handball from the away end they soon turned into cheers as Jake Speight nipped in front of his marker to head in from 6 yards.

Unfortunately the lead didn't last too long at all for the Stags. Wrexham were once again looking dangerous and as Mangan showed his pace on a long ball forward he battled with Jones and looked as if he had pushed the Mansfield centre back over, Jones knocked the ball out for a corner and didn't gain the free-kick which looked deserved. Wrexham swung the ball in and it looked to be deep and the danger not so high however it was headed back across goal and with the ball bouncing around the Stags area Andy Mangan was in the right place at the right time smash the ball home from around 8 yards leaving Marriott with no chance whatsoever. A really soft goal to concede and it really should've been put into touch long before it fell to a Wrexham man.

Chances came and went for both sides with nobody able to take advantage of the possession and good positions they had got themselves into. Kyle Perry and Ollie Hotchkiss came on for Brough and Williams in DH's last throw of the dice and a final push. Duffy and Speight still worked hard up front however Perry was guilty of missing some good opportunities when put through on goal. Speight made a great run down the wing in his new wide position before being clattered by the elbow of Wrexham defender Westwood, it certainly looked nasty but whether it was deliberate or not only he will know, the linesman who was only 5 yards away from the incident decided it wasn't and only a yellow card was given out, astonishing. It was either an accident therefore no card or a deliberate elbow and a sending off, the officials seemed to find some common ground in between however.

Speight was again in the thick of it as he was played through on late on and he looked to have touched the ball round the keeper before being brought down to the floor. From my angle it looked as if the keeper got enough of the ball however Holdsworth claimed after the match it was
a penalty, it certainly will be interesting to watch it over again on the video.

The home side then sat back and looked happy with the 2-1 lead, Saunders made 3 substitutions in a row with all them certainly taking their
time to come off the pitch. The Stags felt the timewasting was unjust and the next time the Wrexham keeper held onto the ball they were actually counting down for the referee, amazingly the count reached 13 and he was still not hurried! The last major action and refereeing decision came on 92 minutes as Christian Smith laid on the floor looking to waste just a little more time, eventually the referee had come to his senses and gave Smith a yellow card which happened to be his second and off he went! The decision proved to be right as Smith walked off the pitch with no limp or ounce of hurt in sight.

All in all a draw would've been a fair result from a match played out by two very different sides but who looked very much equal on the night. There can certainly be no moaning over the players performances tonight.

Report by: Jake Stone at the Racecourse Ground

Line Up:
Alan Marriott 7 Didn't do that much wrong, made a fantastic save from a free kick
Gary Silk - 8 Was a rock throughout and barely made any mistakes
Luke Foster - 6 Won most headers and made some good tackles
Luke Jones - 6 Did OK, gave away a lot of corners however including the one for the second goal
Craig Armstrong - 5 Bypassed for their first goal, passing was a bit wayward at times
Jake Speight - 8 Showed some great touches and got another goal
Matt Somner - 6 Got stuck in however gave away a few free kicks and got booked
Michael Brough - 6 Anonymous
Jon Challinor - 6 See above, made no real impact and taken off at half time.
Ryan Williams - 7 Looked dangerous at times and his set pieces were decent
Rob Duffy - 7 Won loads of headers and his touches were very neat, good display and worked well with Speight
Sub Line Up:
Briscoe (for Challinor, 46)
Perry (for Williams, 72)
Hotchkiss (for Brough, 73)
Subs Not Used: Collett, Istead.
Opposition Line Up:
Russell, Spann, Westwood, Assoumani, Mike Williams, McCluskey (Obeng 79), Fleming, Smith, Holden (Jones 86), Baynes, Mangan (Anoruo 82). Subs Not Used: Maxwell, Wolfenden.
Andy Halliday (North Yorkshire)

Season 0910 Reports