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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
0 - 2
 Wake 5, 48
Attendance: 7261 (74 from Gateshead)
Date: 6 February 2010

Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill


Mansfield Town produced a diabolical display in front of the biggest Field Mill crowd for years to lose 2-0 at home to lowly Gateshead. The Stags owners had come up with the innovative idea to let fans in to the game for whatever they wanted to pay and it produced an astonishing crowd of 7,261 with the gates closed and some fans having to be turned away. The performance by the players was a huge slap in the face for the owners who were banking on decent entertainment which would woo back a proportion of the fans to future home games. The Stags started badly allowing debutante Brian Wake to run at them unchallenged and gave him a free shot which took a lucky deflection to beat Alan Marriott after 5 minutes. It was Gateshead who were on top for the rest of the half as Mansfield players failed to turn up, and Wake missed two more chances and Winn a further one as Marriott pulled off two fine saves to keep it at 1-0 at half time. It was the worst half of football the Stags had produced at Field Mill for ages. Three minutes into the second half, more calamitous defending allowed Wake through to make it 2-0 with a good finish. The Stags had one or two decent passages of play but were unable to make the breakthrough as the visiting keeper made some great saves though not until the closing minutes when it was already too late. So a horrendous defeat and in the circumstances, one of the most disappointing for a long time.

Manager Holdsworth made two changes with Hotchkiss and Briscoe replacing Challinor and Brough. Gateshead were unable to include Daryl Clare or Paul Heckingbottom, recent signings from Mansfield.

The kick off was delayed for 15 minutes due to crowd congestion as the North Stand had to be opened up for home fans as well as the visiting 72 Gateshead fans.

In foggy conditions, but with a crackling atmosphere generated by the large crowd, Gateshead created the first chance in the opening minute as Carl Jones headed wide from a free kick. Field Mill was stunned on 5 minutes as the visitors took the lead. Brian Wake collected the ball on the halfway line, and ran at the Mansfield defence, who made no attempt to close him down and allowed him a shot from 22 yards. It was on target though looked to be covered by Marriott but took a wicked deflection off Craig Armstrong and flew past the outstretched keeper’s arms into the bottom left corner of the net.

Mansfield’s first chance came when Silk crossed from the right and Duffy’s first time shot was straight at the keeper. The referee pulled play back for a foul on Silk but had Duffy’s shot gone in the goal would have stood. Midway through the half, Speight who had continually been caught offside, switched places with Briscoe: Speight moving to the right and Briscoe to the middle.

Gateshead should have made it 2-0 on 30 minutes. A long throw found its way to Wake three yards from goal in plenty of space. Wake got the ball stuck under his foot and couldn’t get a shot in, allowing Mansfield an amazing escape. Two minutes later, Wake was through on goal and his shot from point blank range was fantastically saved by Marriott. On 40 minutes, Marriott made another great save. This time Peter Winn cut inside from the left and was allowed a free shot which was low and on target, but Marriott spread himself and blocked it with his legs.

Mansfield finally put together a decent move on 45 minutes as Duffy headed down to Speight, who with his back to goal, turned well and his shot was blocked through to the keeper. Two minutes into stoppage time, Somner pushed forward to the edge of the box before his shot was blocked.

The players came off at half time to a chorus of boos. It had been truly awful from the Stags who were fortunate to be only one down. At half time we desperately hoped for a second half turnaround like at Forest Green a week ago.

Half time 0-1

Challinor and Perry replaced the dreadful Hotchkiss and Briscoe at the start of the second half. Hotchkiss had been injured towards the end of the first half, and we saw him limping after the game.

Just as we hoped Mansfield would come out roaring, Gateshead got a second goal on 48 minutes. A mix up in the Stags defence as Luke Foster allowed a long goal kick to bounce and Wake accepted the gift, moving forward, and firing a fine effort past Marriott into the net. A very good finish, but terrible defending.

A minute later, Peter Winn put the ball through Silk’s legs before shooting wide of the left post. On 52 minutes, Challinor crossed the right and a Gateshead defender slid the ball just past his own post. It was the closest Mansfield had come. On 56 minutes, Challinor’s long throw was cleared to the edge of the box where Ryan Williams fired a powerful shot a yard over the bar from a central position. On 59 minutes, Challinor’s speculative effort was deflected just over the bar.

Jon Shaw replaced Duffy on 68 minutes. A dangerous cross by Ryan Williams was cleared on 69 minutes, and a minute later Perry headed over from a good position from Williams’ free kick.

On 79 minutes, a rare good move from Mansfield as Somner fed Speight who fed the ball out to Williams on the left, who crossed back into the middle and Speight headed wide.

On 83 minutes, a glorious treble chance for Mansfield as Speight's close range shot was blocked by keeper Paul Farman, who then tipped Gary Silk's shot onto the bar, and Kyle Perry's follow up shot was scrambled away. On 85 minutes, Williams’ free kick was headed away, and on 89 minutes Williams’ cross from the left was volleyed over by Challinor from a difficult position. A minute into stoppage time, Perry’s shot was blocked. Then in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Challinor's long throw was headed on by Foster and Shaw’s header was saved from point blank range, and from the resulting corner, the Heed keeper made a fantastic save from Luke Jones' powerful header. But it was all far too little far too late.

By the final whistle there were only about 3000 fans left in the ground, and the players left the field to another chorus of boos.

So a huge disappointment for everyone apart from the 72 fans from Gateshead. A massive improvement will be needed for the trip to Stevenage on Tuesday.

Footnote: The crowd of 7,261 was the biggest at Field Mill since 7,682 watched the Stags beat Notts County 3-1 on 16 Oct 2004.

Man of the match: Alan Marriott

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Two great saves prevented further embarrassment
Silk 7 Some meaty challenges, never gave up.
Foster 4 Afforded Gateshead strikers too much space.
Jones 4 As for Foster.
Armstrong 6 OK
Briscoe 4 Totally and utterly dreadful. Headless chicken. Continually lost the ball.
Somner 5 Poor, gave the ball away too often, though did win some challenges.
Hotchkiss 4 Totally anonymous, barely touching the ball, and looked very slow as he was beaten to the ball repeatedly.
Williams 5 Poor day at the office. Distribution let him down badly..
Speight 4 Brainlessly caught offside repeatedly. Did improve latterly
Duffy 5 Did win headers but they were going to nobody.
Sub Line Up:
Challinor (for Hotchkiss, 46) 6 Drastically improved the midfield, which wasn’t difficult. Put his foot on the ball, showed some spirit and brains.
Perry (for Briscoe, 46) 4 Totally ineffective.
Shaw (for Duffy, 68) -
Subs not used: Collett, Brough.
Opposition Line Up:
Farman, Robinson, Curtis, Jones, Williams, Sinclair (McDermott 67), Winn, Gate, Wake, Armstrong (Francis 68), Ferrell. Subs Not Used: Provett, Baxter, Bains.
Andy Hendley (West Midlands) 7 Did well.

Season 0910 Reports