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Season 10/11 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Andrews 37. Mangan sent off 45+1.
 Connor 18
Attendance: 2505 (133 from Mansfield)
Date: 27 November 2010


Martin Shaw at The Racecourse Ground

Mansfield Town were held 1-1 at Wrexham despite playing the whole second half against 10 men after home striker Andy Mangan had been sent off at the end of the first half. On a tricky surface, with a covering of snow and icy in places, the Stags took the lead after 18 minutes with a fine finish by Paul Connor from an incisive Adam Murray pass. Wrexham were level on 37 minutes from a corner that should never have been given, but the Stags marking was poor as Marvin Andrews headed home. After Mangan was sent off, the Stags dominated the second half and missed a number of chances, with Danny Mitchley missing the best chance after a great run beating two defenders but shooting wide from a great position. At the end of the game, the home fans cheered while Stags players held their heads in their hands. This was a decent performance from the Stags but in the end it was two points dropped considering the domination in the second half.

Mansfield brought in Danny Mitchley for his first start, replacing midfielder Tyrone Thompson in a 4-4-2 formation. Using a yellow ball on a pitch with a thin covering of snow made conditions very tricky, on a bitterly cold afternoon in North Wales.

Wrexham had a goal disallowed after a minute as Tolley fired in from the edge of the box, but the linesman’s flag was already raised. The Stags struggled to adapt to the conditions in the opening minutes and frequently gave the ball away. On 9 minutes, a Wrexham free kick from wide on the right was taken from Keates and it flicked off Connor and heading towards the bottom right hand corner of the net before Pilkington got down low and pushed it on to the post. Pilkington did well to save it as he couldn’t have had much time to react, but was lucky that the loose ball was not scrambled into the net.

The opening 15 minutes was riddled with mistakes on the slippery surface with both sets of players giving the ball away frequently.

But Mansfield took the lead on 18 minutes with the first bit of quality in the game. Briscoe played the ball in from the right hand side to Murray in the middle who showed terrific vision to thread a delicious ball forward to Connor just inside the box who turned and with just the keeper to beat, fired a left footed shot into the bottom left corner as the keeper dived the wrong way. It was a bit like a penalty with Connor choosing his spot and the keeper diving the wrong way. The home side claimed Connor was offside but he seemed to be level with the last defender.

The Stags were lucky not to concede a penalty on 24 minutes with a moment of stupidity by Adam Smith as he pushed Obeng in the box, not seen by the referee and also by the linesman who appeared to be looking straight at the incident from only a few yards away.

A chance for Wrexham on 36 minutes as a free kick from the left was headed just wide flicking off a defender on the way.

Wrexham were level on 37 minutes. Wrexham were awarded a corner when it was clearly a Mansfield goal kick. Mansfield players protested but the corner from the right hand side by Keates was headed on by Morrell into the path of Marvin Andrews who headed home from 7 yards. Istead continued to argue with the referee. But disappointing defending from Mansfield, the third set piece of the afternoon from which the home side could have scored.

The dangerous Mangan headed straight at Pilkington on 43 minutes from Obeng’s deflected cross. Mansfield were nearly handed a freak goal on 44 minutes as Cook’s low right-footed shot from outside the box was fumbled by the keeper and ended up creeping just past the right post.

The game exploded in stoppage time at the end of the half as Adam Smith and Mangan challenged for a 50:50 ball in the middle of the park. Smith got up and appeared to be pleading his innocence as the referee came over and we thought the referee was about to wave a yellow card at Smith but instead he gave Mangan a straight red. It looked a very harsh decision at the time, though after the game Duncan Russell said that Smith had said it was a malicious challenge by Mangan. The home fans were in uproar. Later studying of the footage from S4C TV showed that Mangan’s challenge was two-footed and merited the red card.

Half time 1-1

The Stags have been down to 10 men five times this season and generally not coped well, so here was an opportunity to put the home side under pressure and take advantage of the extra man.

On 50 minutes, Mitchley crossed from the right and Briscoe headed back across goal but the ball was cleared. Mitchley was in the action again on 57 minutes as Sandwith’s ball down the left found him on the left wing. He cut inside and fired in a low shot that was saved by the keeper at his near post.

On 64 minutes came the moment when the Stags should have won the game. Mitchley embarked on an incredible run beating 2 players as he cut in from the right and got the ball on to his left foot on the edge of the box. But with just the keeper to beat, he fired inches wide of the right post. It was a bad miss from a brilliant run.

On 66 minutes, Briscoe crossed from the right and Connor headed the ball goalwards but it was deflected wide by Andrews. It was so close and the Stags were now totally dominant.

On 70 minutes, Grand gave the ball away in his own half and substitute Pogba, only just on, was soon bearing down on goal but his touch was terrible and the ball ran away from him allowing Pilkington to come out and claim it. Had Pogba been on for longer, he may have been more used to the conditions and punished the Stags. This turned out to be Wrexham’s only half chance of the second half.

On 72 minutes, Istead tried a powerful shot which was heading wide before it was deflected even further wide. Mansfield made a double substitution on 77 minutes as Medley and Duffy replaced Adam Smith and Connor. Duffy was soon in the action on 79 minutes when his shot was blocked and it came back to Grand who fluffed wide from a very good position, just three yards out.

The Stags were awarded a free kick from a good position 28 yards out but Medley sent his right footed shot into the wall. Then on 90 minutes, Medley chested the ball down to Mitchley who sliced horribly and miles wide - a terrible finish. Wrexham survived 4 minutes of stoppage time and were given a rousing reception by the home fans for holding out, while several Mansfield players including Cook and Day held their heads in their hands knowing that we should have picked up the three points having totally dominated against 10 men.

Man of the Match: hard to choose as several played well with no-one outstanding. Just goes to Mitchley for creating much danger, but he needs to find his shooting boots.

Report by: Martin Shaw at The Racecourse Ground

Line Up:
Pilkington 7 Almost a spectator in the second half; one good save in the first half, comfortable throughout, and came out quickly to thwart a couple of attacks.
Cook 7 Solid at right back. Nearly scored when his shot embarrased the keeper who fumbled it around the post.
Day 6 Did ok
Grand 6 Nearly gifted sub Pogba the winner.
Sandwith 6 Did ok at left back.
Briscoe 7 Some great runs, but final ball was often disappointing.
Murray 7 Terrific vision for the pass forward that created Connor's goal. Decent game.
Istead 7 Terrier-like in midfield.
Adam Smith 6 Did ok on the left. Lucky the officials did not see his push on Obeng in the box in the first half.
Mitchley 7 Some great running, but didn't have his shooting boots on and missed several chances, including one great chance after a fabulous run.
Connor 7 Cool finish for his goal. Led the line well.
Sub Line Up:
Medley (for Adam Smith, 77) - Right footed free kick straight into the wall, and then had another shot blocked.
Duffy (for Connor, 77) - Also had a shot blocked.
Subs Not Used: Collett, Naylor, Stonehouse.
Opposition Line Up:
Maxwell, Obeng, Andrews, Creighton, Sinclair, Keates, Tolley (Knight-Percival 78), Blackburn, Mangan, Taylor (Pogba 58), Morrell. Subs Not Used: Brown, Williams, Cieslewicz.
Dean Mohareb (Cheshire) 4 Even worse than he was at Halifax. Consistently bad decision making. Awful.

Season 10/11 Reports