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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Stevenage Borough  
3 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Odubade 52, 68, Drury 73. Odubade missed pen 88.
 Shaw 39. Jones sent off 87.
Attendance: 1753 (138 from Mansfield)
Date: 9 February 2010


Martin Shaw at Broadhall Way

Mansfield Town put in a fine display at Stevenage Borough on Tuesday night, but still came away on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. The Stags were very good value for a 1-0 lead at half-time thanks to John Shaw's excellent left footed strike, after the same player had struck the bar with a similar great left-footed effort, and also Gary Mills had struck the post with a low bobbling free-kick. But Stevenage equalised through a lucky deflected shot, and then added two fine strikes to make it 3-1. Stevenage were bizarrely awarded a late penalty and Luke Jones sent off for what looked like nothing, but Marriott saved the penalty, and then Stags sub Blair Sturrock incredibly hit the inside of the left post, the ball spun along the goalline and out for a goalkick past the right post. It just wasn't Mansfield's night.

Stags made an incredible six changes from the team that started the dreadful performance against Gateshead, in coming: Andy Nicholas (new signing at left back), Gary Mills (back after a long absence through lack of form), Kyle Nix (who had been out injured since October), Jon Challinor, Kyle Perry and Jon Shaw (first start).

Stevenage had the first chance on four minutes, as Beardsley turned Nix just outside the box and fired wide. Challinor had the first chance for the Stag on 10 minutes with a shot. On 17 minutes, the Stags were so unlucky not to take the lead when Jon Shaw sent a fabulous dipping left foot shot crashing against the crossbar.

The was a huge melee on 25 minutes as several players squared up on the halfway line after Jon Ashton shoved Perry over. Perry and Duffy were booked for Mansfield, along with two Stevenage players Beardsley and Ashton. Mills was lucky to escape without a booking. At this stage, it seemed inevitable that the game would see at least one red card, and it seemed certain that Kyle Perry would be involved somehow after what happened at Field Mill earlier in the season.

The Stags struck the home woodwork again on 30 minutes. A free kick from the left wing was taken by Mills and it bobbled towards goal and somehow bounced back off the post. The ball eventually came back to Mills, and he surged into the box and appeared to be brought down, but the referee waved away appeals. A minute later, Nix was booked after a flare-up with the master of all wind-up merchants former Stag Chris Beardsley. A good move by the Stags on 37 minutes ended with Challinor’s shot at the keeper.

But the Stags took a deserved lead on 39 minutes. Jon Shaw picked up a flick-on on the left 4 yards outside the box and turned and fired a brilliant shot into the right corner of the net. It reminded me of Mitchell Cole’s goal for Borough in the game here last season. Shaw made a beeline for the Stags bench and did a special celebration with physio Jason Truscott, who had recently helped him back to full fitness.

On 45 minutes, the aforementioned Cole fired wide from 19 yards, unmarked.

The Stags went in at half time, well deserving the lead.

Half time 0-1

On 49 minutes, Challinor found a yard, but chipped wide.

Stevenage were level on 52 minutes. Stags protested against the awarding of a free kick against debutante Nicholas near the corner flag on the right wing. The free kick was swung in, cleared to the edge of the box and Odubade smashed a shot goalwards. It looked to be heading for a routine save for Marriott but took a deflection off Luke Jones and someone else and ended up in the left hand side of the net. A real sickener for the Stags. Mills was booked for protesting, presumably against the foul that led to the free kick.

Mills fired over the bar on 55 minutes, and Nicholas was then booked for a nothing foul.

The home side were ahead on 68 minutes. A move down the right saw a low shot by Beardsley which was cleared off the line by Shaw. But it came out to Odubade who fired home into the bottom left corner of the net with a fine finish giving Marriott no chance.

It was 3-1 on 73 minutes. Sub Adam Drury had been on less than a minute when he picked up the ball on the right of the penalty area, and curled a brilliant shot past Marriott’s outstretched arms into the left of the net. It was a wonder goal.

The Stags were unlucky on 78 minutes when Perry chipped a fine left foot effort inches wide of the left post from outside the box.

A massive long throw from Andy Nicholas into the six yard box on 80 minutes, that was caught by keeper Chris Day amid a sea of players. Stevenage had a goal disallowed on 81 minutes after Drury waltzed into the box before he was tackled and David Bridges fired into the net, but referee pulled play back for a foul.

On 87 minutes, a bizarre incident as Odubade broke free of the defence to chase a long ball to the edge of the box. Odubade put the ball past the onrushing Marriott and Luke Jones, it then seemed that Marriott and Jones collided as Odubade hit his effort wide. But the linesman indicated that Jones had impeded Odubade, and Jones was sent off and the penalty awarded. Odebade’s penalty was low but without power and Marriott got down quickly to his right to make a fine save, then gathering it at the second attempt as Odubade tried to gather the rebound.

Briscoe nearly broke through on 89 minutes, and three minutes into stoppage time somehow the ball didn’t go in for Mansfield. Sub Blair Sturrock stabbed a ball forward from inside the box, it crept past keeper Chris Day, hit the inside of the left post, and span along the goal-line before going past the right post and out for a goal-kick as Perry tried to squeeze it in at the far post. You wouldn't have believed it was possible.

So a hugely disappointing defeat, but a decent display that deserved more.

After the postmatch interviews, I managed to collar Stevenage boss Graham Westley to ask him if he had a copy of the Mansfield v Stevenage DVD from earlier in the season, a DVD that I am missing. He was extremely pleasant, told me he had been looking for it at the weekend to have a look at it, couldn't find it, because it was probably mixed up with his kids' DVDs, but promised to have a good look for me, and took my phone number.

Man of the match: Jon Shaw

Report by: Martin Shaw at Broadhall Way

Line Up:
Marriott 7 No chance with the 3 goals. Fine penalty save.
Silk 6 Did ok.
Foster 7 Defended well.
Jones 6 Also defended solidly. Inexplicably sent off.
Nicholas 7 Impressive debut, some good challenges. Demonstrated long throw in second half - even longer than Challinor.
Mills 7 Decent first game for a while. Really got stuck in. His bobbling free kick hit post, and possibly brought down for a penalty.
Nix 6 Rusty to start with in his first game since October.
Challinor 6 Did ok.
Shaw 8 Fine goal, and struck bar with another fine effort.
Duffy 8 Won every header in attack and in defence.
Perry 6 Had one good effort just past the post, but didn’t create enough danger.
Sub Line Up:
Williams (for Challinor, 72) - Didn’t really take on makeshift right back Ashton.
Sturrock (for Duffy, 77) - Showed some very neat touches. So unlucky to hit the inside of the post. Worth a start at Tamworth perhaps.
Briscoe (for Shaw, 78) - Like on Saturday, he again looked out of sorts on one run when he lost the ball.
Subs not used: Collett, Brough.
Opposition Line Up:
Day, Ashton, Bostwick, Roberts, Laird, Odubade, Byrom, Long, Cole (Bridges 80), Beardsley (Boylan 90), Sills (Drury 72). Subs Not Used: Bayes, Albrighton.
Ian Smedley (Derbyshire) 5 Inexplicably sent Jones off.

Season 0910 Reports