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Stagsnet wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Barnet  
1 - 3
 Mansfield Town
Akinde pen 77. Clarke sent off 38.
 
 Lambe 31, Green 60, Gambin OG 88. Clements sent off 83.
Attendance: 1775 (299 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 28 November 2015

SUPER STAGS WIN AT BARNET

Martin Shaw at The Hive

Mansfield Town bounced back from Tuesday’s defeat to Exeter with a fine performance in North-West London this afternoon to deservedly beat Barnet 3-1. The Stags were very impressive in the first half and had chances to take the lead, the best of which was a one-on-one for Craig Westcarr with the keeper, but the keeper saved. Mansfield were deservedly in front on 31 minutes with a fine goal. A good touch from Chris Clements to win the ball, then a lovely chipped cross by Matt Green with the outside of his right boot to Clements who had moved out to the left. Clements headed down perfectly into the path of Reggie Lambe who lifted the ball over the keeper into the right corner of the net from 8 yards for a clinical finish. The Stags were helped on 38 minutes when Josh Clarke was sent off after he brought down Lambe for a clear second yellow. It was so clear that even Martin Allen, the Barnet manager, just a few yards to my left, didn’t protest. Mansfield deservedly increased the lead on 60 minutes. Clements played a little ball forward to Westcarr 28 yards from goal. Westcarr slid a magnificent ball forward perfectly into the path of Matt Green who took one touch and fired home left footed from the edge of the box. It was classic Matt Green, and magnificent service from Westcarr. Green’s 7th goal of the season, the same number of goals as our two leading scorers last season (Bingham and Oliver). Barnet hadn’t really been in the game at all, but had brought on substitute John Akinde, who I would have expected to be their most dangerous player. And with the wind behind them, Barnet started lobbing balls over the Stags defence and causing problems. On 74 minutes, a let-off for the Stags as Akinde headed a high ball forward over the advancing Brian Jensen and just wide of the gaping goal. Three minutes later, Akinde brought Barnet back into the game, winning a penalty as he headed to the byline and Jensen brought him down. Given Akinde could go nowhere but out for a goal-kick, in my opinion this was a rare mistake by Jensen. Akinde sent the penalty to the left as Jensen went the wrong way. Jensen made a fantastic save on 82 minutes to atone for his error pushing away a great shot. A minute later, the numbers were evened up as Chris Clements picked up a second yellow for a foul. No complaints about that booking but his first was unfair as he was booked for time wasting right in front of me when I don’t think he knew that the referee had said the ball had gone out of play. Jensen had to make another good save on 85 minutes, tipping away a cross from Batt that looked to be heading in. The Stags needed a third goal and got it on 88 minutes thanks to some brilliant skill from sub Matty Blair, though the Stags had a stroke of luck because it should have been given offside. Blair brilliantly beat two men on the byline and pulled back to Green. Green turned and shot, the keeper saved, Blair got a touch on it and the ball came off defender Luke Gambin and into his own net. Blair was a yard offside when Green shot, so it was a stroke of luck. But a great moment for Matty Blair who is still coming back from his long term injury. There was still time for Jensen to make another great save, his third of the game.

Overall a very fine performance from Mansfield, who were clearly the better side for most of the game, apart from a 15 minute spell when Barnet were lobbing balls forward with the wind behind them for John Akinde to cause havoc. Some very good performances throughout the Stags side, in fact everyone played well. Clements was excellent before his sending off and is my man of the match, just pipping Blair Adams, Chapman and Lambe.

Mansfield have now played 9 of the bottom 10 teams in League Two and have beaten all 9 teams. Ruthless efficiency from Adam Murray’s men. Only three games to go until the midpoint of the season, and the Stags are still in the play-off zone, as we have been for most of the season. What a season this is, and could turn out to be.

This was Mansfield’s first visit to The Hive. Three changes for Mansfield: Lee Collins in at right back for Nathan Thomas with Mitch Rose switching to midfield, Clements for McGuire, and Westcarr for Jack Thomas. It started as a 4-4-1-1 formation with Westcarr just behind Green. Chris Beardsley was back from injury on bench, great news as his physical presence has been missed in some situations.

Barnet had John Akinde on the bench. A real threat not starting, due to a tight hamstring. Sam Muggleton, son of former Stags keeper Carl Muggleton, was on the bench, and came on in the second half. Barnet had a good home record of 5 wins so far this season.

The Stags were wearing the new third kit of light blue and chocolate brown for the first time, and it looked very smart. I expect we’ll wear it again at Cambridge, Newport and Oxford.


It was a windy afternoon. The Stags won the toss and elected to play with the wind behind them in the first half with the intention of getting in front by half time.

On 9 minutes, Blair Adams embarked on a run from the halfway line to the edge of the area, but his right foot shot lacked power and was straight through to the keeper. Moments later a ball forward for Green, and it nearly fell for Westcarr but was just cleared. On 10 minutes, Westcarr played in Lambe, but Lambe volleyed high and wide, left-footed. It was a real chance.

It was a good start from the Stags. And it should have been 1-0 on 12 minutes. Westcarr was clean through on goal with just the keeper to beat, he fired a low shot but the keeper pushed it away. Westcarr has to be doing better from that position. On 14 minutes Westcarr had a chance to square for Rose who was in acres of space on the right, but instead he turned to his left, and it came to nothing.

A bad mistake from Rose on 19 minutes as he lost the ball near the corner of his own area. A cross came in from the left and the Stags cleared it.

On 21 minutes, a great move from Mansfield, Westcarr crossed and Green couldn’t quite get a header in. It went out for a corner.

On 24 minutes, Green chased a defender running towards his own goal with the ball, Green showed good strength but Barnet were able to clear. On 28 minutes, a great ball from Chapman out to Rose on the right. Rose chested down nicely but then lost the ball.

Barnet had claims for a penalty on 30 minutes. A high ball bounced up and seemed to hit Pearce on the arm in the area. Martin Allen, the Barnet manager, wanted a penalty, but the referee probably decided that it just hit Pearce, which it did.

Mansfield were deservedly in front on 31 minutes with a fine goal. A good touch from Chris Clements to win the ball, then a lovely chipped cross by Matt Green with the outside of his right boot to Clements who had moved out to the left. Clements headed down perfectly into the path of Reggie Lambe who lifted the ball over the keeper into the right corner of the net from 8 yards for a clinical finish. The Stags players were able to celebrate right in front of the 299 Stags fans in the main stand.

A great move from the Stags on 35 minutes, ended with a fine shot from Clements from 25 yards, heading for the top left of the net, and the keeper pushed it away for a corner. From the resulting corner, Tafazolli and Collins just failed to reach the ball.

The Stags were helped on 38 minutes when Josh Clarke was sent off after he brought down Lambe for a clear second yellow. It was so clear that even Martin Allen, the Barnet manager, just a few yards to my left, didn’t protest.

On 42 minutes, Westcarr played the ball forward to Green, Green rounded the keeper with a clever turn but defender Nelson was able to clear. A minute later, a good ball to Westcarr who got to the byline, but he played a poor ball into the middle.

On 45 minutes, a corner by Adams from the right was just cleared, though the referee gave a foul anyway.

A lucky escape for Barnet on 45+2 minutes. Westcarr chased down a backpass, the keeper cleared the ball straight into Westcarr, and as it hit him it rebounded straight back to the keeper.

The Stags very impressive in the first half and probably should have been more than 1-0 ahead.

Half time 0-1

On 47 minutes, a half chance for Barnet as Gambin cut past Rose on the byline, but the Stags cleared.

Pearce was booked for bringing down Aaron McLean 28 yards from goal on 51 minutes. McLean took the free kick himself and it was deflected wide. Three minutes later, McLean took another free kick, this time from 40 yards out, and scuffed it well wide.

Dangerman John Akinde replaced Stacey for Barnet on 57 minutes. Martin Allen explained that Akinde has been suffering from a tight hamstring.

Mansfield’s first change came with Matty Blair replacing Mitch Rose on 59 minutes.

And the move that followed saw the Stags extend the lead. Clements played a little ball forward to Westcarr 28 yards from goal. Westcarr slid a magnificent ball forward perfectly into the path of Matt Green who took one touch and fired home left footed from the edge of the box. It was classic Matt Green, and magnificent service from Westcarr.

On 61 minutes Akinde squared for Gash, Jensen was out quickly and saved in a one-on-one. Great stuff from the Beast, but a poor first touch from Gash gave the Stags keeper a chance.

Sam Muggleton, son of former Stags keeper Carl Muggleton, came on for Nicky Bailey for Barnet on 62 minutes.

On 65 minutes, Clements was booked. I was close to the action at virtually pitch level and I thought it was particularly unfair as I don’t think Clements knew that the referee had said the ball had gone out of play. The referee booked him for time wasting.

On 68 minutes, a half chance for Barnet as McLean’s shot from 14 yards was blocked by Pearce.

McGuire replaced Westcarr on 68 minutes.

A claim from Akinde for handball in the Stags box on 70 minutes, but from the video it McGuire’s chest. A minute later at the other end, Clements scuffed a shot well wide from 25 yards.

On 72 minutes, Green was through in a one-on-one with the keeper, the keeper was out quickly and saved well from Green’s shot. The ball came to Lambe whose shot was blocked.

On 74 minutes, a real let-off for the Stags as Akinde got on the end of a high ball forward and headed over the advancing Brian Jensen and just wide of the gaping goal.

On 75 minutes, a shot from Clements was deflected for a corner.

On 77 minutes, Akinde brought Barnet back into the game, winning a penalty as he headed to the byline and Jensen brought him down. Given Akinde could go nowhere but out for a goal-kick, in my opinion this was a rare mistake by Jensen. Akinde sent the penalty to the left as Jensen went the wrong way.

On 79 minutes, Lambe made a good run, cut inside onto his right foot, and curled a shot onto the roof of the net. It was a good effort.

Barnet were lofting balls over the top in the wind and causing the Stags a lot of problems. On 82 minutes, one such ball over the top for Akinde, but great defending from Pearce to put out for a corner. The resulting corner came out to Johnson who fired in a great shot and Jensen made a fantastic save to atone for his error on the penalty, by pushing it away.

On 83 minutes, the numbers were evened up as Chris Clements picked up a second yellow for a foul. No complaints about that booking though it looked like he was fouled himself seconds earlier. Clements would undoubtedly have been annoyed with himself for this yellow card when he’d already been booked.

Jensen had to make another good save on 85 minutes, tipping away a cross from Batt that looked to be heading into the top corner.

The Stags needed a third goal and got it on 88 minutes thanks to some brilliant skill from sub Matty Blair, though the Stags had a stroke of luck because it should have been given offside. Blair brilliantly beat two men on the byline and pulled back to Green. Green turned and shot, the keeper saved, Blair got a touch on it and the ball came off defender Luke Gambin and into his own net. Blair was a yard offside when Green shot, so it was a stroke of luck. But a great moment for Matty Blair who is still coming back from his long term injury.

Beardsley replaced Green on 90 minutes. Great to see him back from his shin injury. I had a chat with him at Northampton and he was very frustrated that every time he thought he was getting back from the injury, it re-occurs. For example he came on as sub at Stevenage but the injury got worse. Hopefully he’ll be fine this time.

On 90+5 minutes, another great save from Jensen, as Batt cut inside from the left and Jensen brilliantly tipped over his shot.

So a really good win for the Stags and thoroughly deserved. A two week break now before the game against Leyton Orient, and in fact only two games before Christmas. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Chris Clements

Footnote: 20 league games gone, so given the inclusion of cup games, we're pretty much half way through the season.
Time to look at my average player ratings based on all league+cup games this season (top 5 players):
Clements 7.43, Tafazolli 7.39, Pearce 7.33, Jenson 7.21, Adams 7.17
Note: only ratings for players starting a game are included. ie.sub appearances not included.
Thanks to Pete Wright for calculations.



Report by: Martin Shaw at The Hive



Line Up:
(4-4-1-1)
Jensen 7 Made four good saves in the second half, but made a mistake for the penalty in my opinion.
Collins 7 Solid game. Unspectacular but did the job with no mistakes. Tended not to get forward.
Pearce 7.5 Some great defending, especially against the threat of Akinde. Will have had heart in his mouth when ball bounced up and hit his hand in the area.
Tafazolli 7.5 Good game. No mistakes.
Adams 8 Especially good first half. And got forward well.
Rose 6.5 A couple of mistakes.
Chapman 8 One or two very good balls. Controlled the game from the back.
Clements 8.5 Excellent game. Plenty of creativity to create chances. Will have been annoyed with himself for his second yellow card.
Lambe 8 Very good game. Fine goal, another fine effort onto roof of net, induced second yellow card for Josh Clarke.
Westcarr 7 Lovely ball for Green’s goal. Chased down keeper and nearly got reward. Good play to set up early Lambe chance. Should have done better when through one-on-one.
Green 7.5 Scored with trademark finish. Shot saved in build-up to OG. Nice ball in build-up to first goal.
Sub Line Up:
Blair (for Rose, 59) 7.5 Brilliant skill for the third goal, albeit fortunate not to be given offside.
McGuire (for Westcarr, 68) -
Beardsley (for Green, 90) -
Subs not used: Shearer, Yussuf, J.Thomas, N.Thomas.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2): Stephens; Clarke, Nelson, N'Gala, Johnson; Stacey (Akinde 57), Bailey (Muggleton 61), Weston, Gambin; Gash (Batt 73), McLean. Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle (GK), Hoyte, Togwell, Champion.
Referee:
Trevor Kettle 7 Got the penalty right and the decision not to give Jensen a card. Got the two yellows for Clarke right, and the second yellow for Clements in my opinion, but not the first yellow for Clements.


Season 15/16 Reports