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Season 11/12 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
 York City
Green 10.
 Henderson 63.
Attendance: 3551 (931 from York)
Date: 26 December 2011


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Mansfield Town were pegged back by York City in an entertaining and fully committed battle at Field Mill this afternoon. The Stags took an early lead through Matt Green with his 15th goal of the season, latching onto a bad backpass from David McGurk to round the keeper and slot home on 10 minutes. The Stags were the better side in the first half with most of the possession without creating clearcut chances. Mansfield had two glorious chances to open up a two goal lead in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but Ross Dyer missed both and the Stags were made to pay when York equalised on 63 minutes as Henderson fired home clinically after a scuffed shot fell to him. It was a bit unfortunate for Mansfield as for the second game running a loose ball fell kindly for the opposition. After that it was York who looked the more likely winners and it took a great save from Marriott to tip a Jamie Reed shot over the bar on 80 minutes, and then Chris Smith headed a chance wide in the last minute of stoppage time. A fair result, but the Stags drop further behind the play-off places and are now 7 points adrift. It is clear that the Stags are badly missing another goalscorer alongside Matt Green, and it is to be hoped that Ben Hutchinson, who should sign on New Years Day, will be a missing piece of the jigsaw.

Mansfield made two changes from the side that lost at Southport with Martin Riley coming in for the suspended Sutton, and Aman Verma coming in for Briscoe who had a virus but was fit enough for the bench. John Thompson was out and is going for a scan on his neck/shoulder in what is feared to be a secondary injury from his assault at Ilkeston. The Stags played a 4-4-2 formation, with Dyer and Green up front, Verma on the right of midfield and Meikle on the left. York were without leading scorer Jason Walker. Former Stags defender Chris Smith was the York captain, and playing in front of the defence. Former Stag Jon Challinor was on the bench. York lined up in a 5-3-2 formation, and switched to 4-4-2 in the second half.

The pitch was in surprisingly poor condition and was bobbly and cut up as players slipped around throughout the game.

The Stags were ahead on 10 minutes as central defender David McGurk attempted a backpass to keeper Ingham but dropped it short. Green raced onto it, rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into the empty net. It was a similar chance for Green to the one he missed early on against Gateshead in the last home game but one. Green stayed down injured after the goal. From studying the DVD, it looked like he got clattered by defender Parslow as he put the ball into the net, and the injury was probably not helped by most of the Mansfield team then celebrating on top of him. He played on but finally went off injured early in the second half.

A Verma free kick on 15 minutes bobbled into the box, and eventually Dyer was able to turn and shoot but wide of the left post.

On 23 minutes, a half chance for Green, but Green was unable to get in a shot, and the ball came to Verma who chipped it lamely into the keeper’s hands, when the keeper was well off his line. The ball was straight to the other end and Matt Blair was through on goal with time to shoot but it was straight at Marriott.

On 29 minutes, a long range effort from Meikle was high and wide.

A half shout for a penalty from the Stags on 42 as Green went down, but it did not look like a penalty.

A good ovation for the Stags at half time and a deserved lead. The Stags had more of the possession, and looked the better side. There were plenty of tasty challenges flying in, but few chances for either side.

Half time 1-0

In the second half, Meikle moved the right of midfield, with Howell on the left, and Verma and Murray in the middle.

Great play from Green on 52 minutes as he got to the byeline on the right and pulled the ball back for Dyer, and with the keeper on the floor and the goal at his mercy, Dyer side-footed wide of the left post from 6 yards.

On 53 minutes, Green was replaced by Briscoe. Briscoe went to the right of midfield, with Meikle going up front alongside Dyer. We immediately worried where another goal would come from in Green’s absence.

However another great chance for Dyer on 55 minutes. Superb play from Meikle as he carried the ball from the halfway line down the middle and played in Dyer on his left. Dyer was through on goal and his shot was saved by the keeper’s legs. He did well to get his shot on target, but he should have scored from one of his two chances in three minutes.

Nearly a bizarre equaliser for York on 57 minutes as left back Meredith’s cross seemed to be heading for the top corner until Marriott clawed it away.

But York were level on 63 minutes. Right back Oyebanjo’s shot from 25 yards was scuffed but fell kindly for Henderson who fired past Marriott with a fine shot from just inside the box. Mansfield players appealed in vain for offside against Henderson. The match DVD is inconclusive on whether it was offside. It was tough luck on Mansfield who conceded a similar goal against Southport in the last match when a poor free kick fell kindly for Lever who hooked in the loose ball.

York were right back in the game but chances continued to be few and far between.

In fact the next chance didn’t come until 80 minutes. Matt Blair seemed to be through on goal and was just about to pull the trigger when O’Neill made a great tackle to prevent the shot inside his own box, and the rebound fell for sub Jamie Reed whose shot seemed to be heading for the top corner but Marriott produced a great save to tip it over.

No more chances for either side until the final minute of stoppage time when a York long throw was headed just wide of the left post by Chris Smith.

At the final whistle, most Stags fans applauded their team off for a performance that was high on endeavour but faded in the second half. York had rejunvenated their line-up with second half substitutions and it was a bit baffling that the Stags only used one substitute when fresh legs might have been welcome.

Man of the Match: Lindon Meikle, by a short hair from the four defenders.

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at Field Mill

Line Up:
Marriott 7 Two fine saves, tipping over one cross that looked to be heading in, and then tipping over a shot on 80 minutes. Otherwise not really tested.
O’Neill 7 Defended well and made some good challenges including an outstanding tackle on 80 minutes. Did give the ball away a couple of times, but on one occasion won it back.
Riley 7 Impressive return to the side. Made some important last ditch challenges.
Dempster 7 Played well, and also made some important challenges.
Freeman 7 Generally defended well.
Verma 5.5 Disappointing set pieces, and contributed little from open play.
Howell 5 Poor game.
Murray 6 Ran himself into the ground, but gave the ball away a few times and created little.
Meikle 7 Good game, really gave it a go, but end product lacked a bit in quality. One fine piece of play to set up Dyer for a 1-on-1.
Green 7 Took his goal well and was sharp to get there. Brilliant piece of play to set up chance for Dyer. When he went off, our chances of scoring diminished hugely.
Dyer 6 Didn’t get the ball to his feet enough, but when he did he missed two glorious chances. Won lots of headers but we couldn’t make anything of them.
Sub Line Up:
Briscoe (for Green, 53) 5.5 Couldn’t get into the game.
Subs not used: Redmond, Day, Kelly, Stevenson.
Opposition Line Up:
Ingham; Oyebanjo, McGurk, Parslow, Fyfield (Chambers, 46), Meredith; Smith, Kerr, McLaughlin; Henderson (Reed 75), Blair. Subs not used: Potts, Boucaud, Challinor.
Jeremy Simpson (Lancs) 5 Poor. Looked in danger of losing the game in the first half.

Season 11/12 Reports