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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
Dyer 9.
  Shaw 68
Attendance: 1513 (34 from Gateshead)
Date: 29 November 2011


Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Mansfield Town produced their best performance for 2 months at Field Mill last night but missed a host of glorious chances and were held 1-1 by Gateshead. Gateshead came in to the game unbeaten in 6 matches. The Stags had only won 1 of the last 8 league and cup games. The Stags were rampant in the first half which was terrific to watch. After Matt Green had missed the sitter of the season having gone around the keeper, Ross Dyer put the Stags in front on 9 minutes with a great finish after good work by Murray and Verma. Mansfield missed plenty of other chances in a one-sided first half with Freeman, Green again, Dyer and Lee Stevenson all going close. The Stags continued to dominate in the second half but after more golden chances went begging including from John Dempster and Meikle, Gateshead equalised with their first serious chance of the game as Jon Shaw headed home from a Sam Rents cross. It was a sickener for Mansfield and Gateshead then looked just as likely winners as Mansfield. Ross Dyer missed a glorious chance to win it on 80 minutes when he blazed over following superb work by Green, but at the other end Alan Marriott made a great double save on 86 minutes to preserve a point. Massive frustration not to pick up the 3 points, but a hugely encouraging display and the Stags need to build on this with a win against Braintree on Saturday.

Mansfield made 3 changes from the side that drew at Bath as Dempster, Murray and Stevenson came in for O’Neill, Bolland and Howell. The Stags lined up in what in my opinion was a 4-2-3-1 formation with Murray and Verma sitting behind Dyer, Stevenson and Meikle, who pushed forward behind Green. At the back, Sutton moved to right back, with Dempster and Thompson (both making their home debuts) in the centre of defence. Gateshead included former Stags Kyle Nix and Conference leading scorer Jon Shaw.

Mansfield missed an absolute sitter inside two minutes. A Gateshead backpass seemed to hold up in the wind allowing Green to latch on to it. He rounded the keeper and from the edge of the box in a central position, he inexplicably rolled his shot wide of the post. Field Mill reeled in a state of shock.

Incredibly, Green latched on to another underhit backpass on 5 minutes, but this time as he tried to round the keeper the keeper smothered the ball.

The Stags were in front on 9 minutes. Murray slipped and did an extraordinary dummy to himself, then chipped a lovely ball forward into the box where Verma knocked it down and Ross Dyer rifled home from 14 yards from an angle on the right. It was a splendid finish.

Great defending from Aman Verma on 13 minutes to deflect a Kyle Nix shot for a corner. From the resulting corner, Turnball shot wide.

The Stags nearly got their second fluke goal in 3 days on 15 minutes as Freeman made a good run down the left and his cross seemed to be heading just under the bar until it was superbly tipped over by the keeper.

On 26 minutes, a free kick from Verma bounced up and went just the wrong side of the post when it just needed a touch.

Then a good move by the Stags on 29 minutes, as Dyer tried to play Stevenson in, but it deflected out for a corner.

Good play from Stevenson on 31 minutes, as he slipped through for Green and Green under pressure fired over the bar.

More good play from Stevenson on 32 minutes, and Dyer put the ball over the bar from a difficult position.

Verma picked up a knock to his knee and was replaced by Bolland on 38 minutes. A shame as Verma had again looked good.

A great run by Green on 40 minutes, and he slid the ball inside to Stevenson who from a central position completely sliced his shot out for a throw-in.

A rare chance for Gateshead on 44 minutes as Turnball’s shot was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, centre half Ben Clark headed straight at Marriott.

The Stags players were applauded from the pitch at the break after an exciting performance.

Half time 1-0

A great piece of play from Green on 52 minutes as he got in a snapshot from 20 yards but a good save from keeper Alnwick.

Gateshead were now more in the game, and anxiety started to show amongst the home fans. But still Gateshead didn’t trouble Marriott.

On 58 minutes a scramble in the Gateshead box as Dyer’s cross was bundled in to the net by Meikle but it was with his arm, and he was also offside.

A good run from Meikle on 62 minutes, and his cross was just palmed away by Alnwick. Then on 63 minutes, good play from Green, out to Freeman but it came to nothing.

On 65 minutes, another glorious chance for the Stags. Freeman's free kick was met by Dyer and into the path of John Dempster who somehow fired over from close range.

Then a fantastic Stags move involving Dyer and Murray, and Meikle was just wide of the right post. A great effort.

Gateshead were level on 68 minutes completely against the run of play. Former Crawley and Hayes left back Sam Rents crossed from the left and Jon Shaw headed down and into the net from 6 yards.

It was a huge downer for Mansfield who had played so well but only had a slender lead. A minute later it could have been worse as sub Nathan Fisher sent a shot just over the bar.

On 71 minutes Stevenson found Green who went on a great run, turning the defenders inside and out, and sent a left footed shot just past the right post.

Briscoe replaced Stevenson on 73 minutes and the Stags reverted to 4-4-2 with Dyer alongside Green.

On 75 minutes, two great blocks by Dempster from Jon Shaw. And then a Nix corner was headed just wide by Shaw.

The Stags had yet another gilt-edged chance on 80 minutes. A superlative run by Green down the left and to the byeline, and he cut the ball back beautifully for Dyer, who fired over left footed from 8 yards. A very bad miss.

On 86 minutes, 2 great saves from Marriott as kept out Jon Shaw and James Marwood from close range.

On 89 minutes, a good ball forward from Murray and Green tried to get away from his marker but couldn’t.

On 90+2 Meikle clipped into the box, but Green was offside. And on 90+4 Green was offside again as Bolland tried to find him.

So a frustrating result, but a performance at least to cheer the fans up.

Man of the Match: Ross Dyer

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Quiet game then fantastic double save near the end.
Sutton 7 Good game at right back.
Thompson 7 Very solid on his home debut.
Dempster 7 Good game on his first start. Could have been a hero when he missed a chance in the second half.
Freeman 7 Hugely improved from Saturday. Did well and seemed to be all over the park. Nearly scored a fluke with a cross.
Verma 7 Very promising game again, until he had to go off with injury.
Murray 7 Good game.
Dyer 7 Benefitted enormously from the confidence of the early goal. Missed a great chance to win it and make himself a hero.
Stevenson 7 Powerful display pushing forward. Should be given a run in the side now in my opinion.
Meikle 7 Fine game, causing the Gateshead defence problems.
Green 7 Played extremely well with some superb runs, but his finishing let him down badly. With better finishing would have been my man of the match.
Sub Line Up:
Bolland (for Verma, 38) 6 Never really got into the game.
Briscoe (for Stevenson, 73) - Looked positive.
Subs not used: Redmond, O'Neill, Rodney.
Opposition Line Up:
Alnwick; Henderson (Carruthers 84), Curtis, Clark, Rents; Gate, Turnbull, Nix, Marwood; Shaw, Moore (Fisher 66). Subs not used: Deasy, Brittain, Gillies.
Rob Merchant (Staffordshire) 7 Good game.

Season 11/12 Reports