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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
4 - 1
 Braintree Town
Dempster 24, Green 49, 67, Meikle 60.
 Wright 8.
Attendance: 1790 (52 from Braintree)
Date: 3 December 2011

by Shaun Knight Devon Stag

After Aman Verma had recovered from the knock he picked up in midweek the Stags were able to name an unchanged side for the visit of Braintree Town at a blustery Field Mill.

The Stags had the first real chance of the match when after two minutes Lindon Meikle's fine effort looked to be deflected wide for a corner but a goal kick was given.

A couple of minutes later an excellent Meikle cross just evaded Stevenson and Verma after good play by Green.

Then on eight minutes Braintree scored with their first attack of the match when Andy Yiadom's cross into the box was missed by Sean Marks but came to Ben Wright who had fired home with a good finish to give Marriott no chance.

On the quarter of an hour mark Adam Murray played in Green who outpaced the defender before squaring the ball to Murray whose shot was tipped around the post for a corner by the goalkeeper.

Marks then turned and outpaced John Thompson with ease but his shot was easily saved by Marriott.

The Stags were level though after good trickery from John Dempster won a corner. An excellent delivery from Verma was then headed in by Dempster for 1-1.

Meikle's shot was blocked by a defender and then after good play by Meikle and Murray had set up Verma his cross into the box towards Dempster, saw him looked to be pushed over in the penalty area, but no penalty given.

An excellent Sutton cross after Murray and Stevenson had combined, saw Dyer's knockback unable to find a Stags player. Braintree had already strated timewasting by this point!

The Stags then had a couple of half chances through Meikle and Green before a terrible error from Dempster, who stood on the ball. Marks' effort was well saved by Marriott for a corner.

On the 45th minute mark Green looked to be brought down in the penalty area after a Murray through header but again no penalty was given by the very poor referee.

Thompson was booked for the Stags after telling the referee how poor his performanve has been after giving a free-kick against Dempster. Wright's resultant free-kick went just over the bar.

As the half-time whistle blew the Stags players surrounded the referee and Paul Cox also raced on to the pitch to make his feelings known.

Half-time: 1-1

After an excellent start to the second half Verma's corner was powerfully headed goalwards by Stevenson and fell kindly for Green who rifled it into the top corner in the 49th minue for 2-1.

A minute later Jai Reason tried an audacious chip over Marriott from just inside the Stags half but was comfortably saved by Marriott.

Stevenson's shot was then deflected wide for a corner after Green's lay-off. Verma's corner was flicked on by Dyer but was cleared.

The Stags extended their lead on the hour mark afater another excellent cross by Sutton was deflected by a Braintree defender and Meikle went in bravely to challenge the keeper to score for 3-1.

The Stags were now flying and after excellent play by Murray, Meikle's cross just eluded everyone.

In the 67th minute Meikle's cross was fumbled by the goalkeeper, which allowed Green an easy tap-in for 4-1.

It could have been 5-1 a minute later when Verma's free-kick was met by an excellent header from Dyer which was superbly saved by goalkeeper Natahan McDonald.

Meikle then put in an inviting cross which was just too far ahead of Green.

Freeman was then booked for the Stags before Rodney (wearing very bright green boots!) replaced Meikle. Murray then played an excellent pass out to Rodney, who failed to get in a cross.

Briscoe replaced Dyer before Murray looked to pick a back injury in a challenge, but he was up to send a ball through to Green but it hit his heels. Bolland then replaced Stevenson in the last notable acrion of the match.

So, overall this was a fantastic performance from the Stags with great performances from Meikle, Dempster, Verma and Green in particular but my man of the match has to go to Adam Murray. He was absolutely outstanding and he wants us to win so much. He just bleeds Mansfield Town Football Club. An awesome performance.
Let's hope that the Stags can cointinue their recent upturn in form against Grimsby on Tuesday night and against Droylsden next Saturday in the FA Trophy.

Report by: Shaun Knight Devon Stag

Line Up:
Player ratings by Shaun Knight Devon Stag
Marriott 6 Little to do.
Sutton 7 Put in some excellent crosses, and solid defending.
Thompson 5 Poor. Had my heart in my mouth every time he touched the ball. Two or 3 backpasses nearly left short.
Dempster 8 Scored, and solid defending throughout.
Freeman 7 Solid.
Meikle 8 Put in some excellent crosses. Had Braintree defence scared throughout.
Murray 9 The driving force - he just bleeds Mansfield Town. Awesome today.
Verma 8 Excellent delivery from set pieces and battled hard.
Stevenson 7 A couple of lung-busting runs and involved in most attacks.
Dyer 7 Won several flick-ons and also battled hard.
Green 7 Two good poacher's goals, and his pace worried Braintree all afternoon.
Sub Line Up:
Rodney for Meikle (75 mins) -
Briscoe for Dyer (81 mins) -
Bolland for Stevenson (87 mins) -
Subs not used: Redmond, O'Neill.
Opposition Line Up:
McDonald, Johnson, Wells, Stevens, Thomas, Yiadom, Symons, Quinton, Reason, Marks, Wright (Chilaka 76). Subs not used: Jones, Peters, O'Connor, Pooley.
Peter Bankes (Merseyside) 5 Very poor first half, should have given Stags a couple of penalties. Nothing to do in second half.

Season 11/12 Reports