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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Lincoln City  
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
McCallum 76.
 Green 87.
Attendance: 2944 (981 from Mansfield)
Date: 18 October 2011


by Martin Shaw and Neil Shaw at Sincil Bank

Despite a late equaliser from Matt Green, Mansfield Town were disappointed to leave Sincil Bank with just a point on Tuesday night against a Lincoln side that was low on confidence and quality. Lincoln were gifted the lead thanks to dreadful defending from Martin Riley on 76 minutes, though the chance was finished very well by Gavin McCallum. The Stags equalised on 87 minutes when Connor’s brilliant cross was converted by Green. But the Stags had enough chances to win despite not playing well, with Meikle very unluckily hitting the inside of the post, Green heading an easy chance straight at the keeper, and Connor getting into good positions several times but unable to finish. Lincoln keeper Joe Anyon was the clear man of the match for some outstanding saves, including one which was reminiscent of Gordon Banks as he tipped Sutton’s header away down low at his right post and Sutton slid the rebound just past the post. An improved performance from Mansfield after the terrible showing against Southport, but still room to get a lot better, and a good performance tonight would undoubtedly have seen the points returning to Nottinghamshire.

Mansfield made 5 changes, with Kendrick returning for the injured Naylor, and Riley in for the injured Futcher in defence; Bolland replacing Worthington in the middle for his first start, and Meikle for Todd, and Connor for Briscoe. It was Alan Marriott’s first return to Lincoln as a player since he left.

On 4 minutes, a dipping volley from Murray was over the bar from the edge of the box. Then Murray had a great effort on 12 minutes with a half volley from 35 yards. At the other end on 13 minutes, a miscue from Marriott that he got away with.

A great block from Riley on 23 minutes as he blocked off a great burst forward from Sinclair. From the resulting corner, a cross from Fuseini, and McCallum’s header was well saved by Marriott with his legs. Then on 25 minutes, Nicolau’s cross from the left was headed over by an unmarked Cunningham. Lincoln were growing in confidence and this was a great spell.

On 30 minutes, Meikle broke into the box but lost his balance and his effort went wide. Then a great cross from the left by Connor on 35 minutes and Green headed a great chance straight at the keeper. But the Stags were so unlucky on 38 minutes when Meikle cut in from the left and fired a great shot against the inside of the right post. It rolled more or less along the goalline and away. A magnificent effort.

Not a bad performance from Mansfield, starting the game well, then being under the cosh midway through the half, and finishing the half in the ascendancy.

Half time 0-0

Poor defending from Sutton on 46 minutes as he gave the ball to McCallum, who pulled a shot wide of the right post. A minute later, Meikle crossed from the left and it was spilled by the keeper but Lincoln escaped. Then a great clearance from O’Neill on 48 minutes as he trapped and then volleyed the ball away. There appeared to be a handball by a Lincoln player on 50 minutes as they broke forward but with Sutton appealing there was no whistle and a Lincoln player shot wide of the right post.

The Stags were within a whisker of taking the lead on 58 minutes. O’Neill’s free kick from the right and Connor got his leg on the end of it but could only deflect it onto the top of the net. Another good chance on 62, as Kendrick’s cross from the left came to Dyer at the right post, but as he was leaning back he fired over the bar. At the other end, a free kick for Lincoln, was poorly palmed away by Marriott, but then a Lincoln cross was overhit and the Stags escaped.

On 68 minutes, O’Neill’s cross was spilled by Anyon but Lincoln just cleared. Soon afterwards, Mansfield were so close to breaking the deadlock. O’Neill’s free kick from the right was met firmly by Sutton who headed the ball down towards the bottom left corner of the net. Anyon somehow got down and scooped the ball away, a la Gordon Banks, and onto the post. The ball came back out to Sutton who stabbed the rebound inches wide. On 70 minutes, great tracking back from Murray and a great challenge as Power was about to shoot.

But Lincoln were gifted the lead thanks to dreadful defending from Martin Riley on 76 minutes. Keeper Anyon belted a long clearance from the left flank all the way to the edge of the Stags area. Riley got his headed clearance all wrong and the ball looped into the air and Gavin McCallum volleyed the loose ball past Marriott into the bottom right corner for a fine finish.

Briscoe immediately replaced Dyer. On 78 minutes O’Neill slipped while taking a corner and the ball trickled away from the corner flag. Sadly it was missed by the video camera.

Paul Connor out-muscled the defence on 80 minutes, on the left but fired over the bar. On 84 minutes, a good cross from Kendrick from the left and Anyon got a hand on it to keep it away from Meikle at the far post.

The Stags equalised on 87 minutes. Bolland found Connor on the left and he slid a brilliant cross across the edge of the 6 yard box where Green slid in to fire home from 3 yards at the right post.

Todd replaced Meikle on 90+1. The final whistle brought the Stags players with hands on hips in frustration, despite the late equaliser.

Man of the Match: Paul Connor

Report by: Martin Shaw and Neil Shaw at Sincil Bank

Line Up:
Marriott 6 Made one good save with his feet, but did not look as confident as usual.
O'Neill 7 Pick of the defence. Good crossing and some good surging runs.
Sutton 5 Weak clearances, not assertive at the back.
Riley 5 Gifted the chance to Lincoln for their goal.
Kendrick 6 Solid.
Dyer 5 Anonymous. Really does look out of position on the right. One decent run which ended with poor cross.
Bolland 5 Also anonymous. Improved as the game went on, but never got a grip of the midfield.
Murray 6 Worked very hard, despite being in the wars. One or two decent passes but no killer passes. Two shots at the keeper in the first half.
Meikle 6.5 Worked very hard. So unlucky not to score when he fired against the inside of the post. But created little apart from that
Green 6 Does not loo k as sharp as earlier in the season. And should have scored with header in the first half. But in the right place at the right time with the equaliser.
Connor 7.5 Deserved a goal and was close on several occasions. Great cross for the equaliser, and another great cross which Green headed at the keeper.
Sub Line Up:
Briscoe (for Dyer, 78) -
Todd (for Meikle, 90+1) -.
Subs Not Used: Redmond, Day, Worthington.
Opposition Line Up:
Anyon, Nutter, Watts, Sinclair, Nelson, Power, Fuseini (Christophe 53), Nicolau, Cunningham (Thomas 85), McCallum, Smith (Perry 83). Subs not used: Draper, Hone.
Peter Bankes 7 Decent game but should have sent Lincoln player off for a foul which was straight through Bolland..

Season 11/12 Reports