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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Morecambe  
1 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Mullin pen 71.
 
 Clements 86, Yussuf 90
Attendance: 1047 (77 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 26 January 2016

STAGS SHOW TRUE GRIT TO WIN FROM BEHIND

Martin Shaw at the Globe Arena

Mansfield Town came from behind to win 2-1 at Morecambe this evening in a performance that was full of grit and determination. After the previous two games in which Mansfield showed defensive frailty, perhaps the most pleasing aspect of tonight’s performance was the solidity at the back with really fine performances from the back four and from Jamie McGuire who sat in front of them. The first half saw a strong performance from the Stags, who were mostly on top, with Chris Beardsley playing particularly well in his first start because of injury since August 18th, winning lots of headers and providing more of an outlet to Matt Green, and Lee Collins looking very strong at left back including a terrific header away under pressure from Kevin Ellison. Beardsley could then have put the Stags in front on 54 minutes when his goalbound shot was deflected over the bar. But Morecambe made a triple substitution on 59 minutes and got on top for ten minutes culminating in a goal from a soft penalty. A cross from the right by sub Devitt, Ellison went down under a challenge from Nicky Hunt and the referee pointed to the spot. Mullin blasted the penalty into the right of the net as Shearer dived the right way but couldn’t reach it. The Stags brought on Yussuf for the now-tiring Beardsley. Yussuf could have equalised on 82 minutes as Green headed across and Yussuf volleyed over the bar. Two more changes on 83 minutes as Kavanagh and Jack Thomas came on to bring fresh impetus to going forward. And the changes worked perfectly. The Stags were deservedly level on 86 minutes as Collins crossed from the left, Yussuf headed goalwards, keeper Barry Roche could only half save it, allowing Chris Clements to stab the loose ball home more or less on the line. A good cross from Collins, a good header from Yussuf, and Clements showing determination to get there on the line. Then, a little bit reminiscent of the finale at Dagenham, it was now the Stags absolutely determined to go on and find a winner and they did just that on the stroke of 90 minutes. Kavanagh involved in the build-up, feeding Green on his left, who played a lovely ball forward to Collins who had forced his way into the area, took one touch and shot from 4 yards from a tight angle. The shot was half-blocked and Yussuf stabbed home from close range. Cue delirium for the Stags. Four minutes of stoppage time and Morecambe got nowhere near the Stags net, allowing the 77 delighted Stags fans to celebrate a victory that was huge in importance after being bullied out of the three points at Wimbledon and then such a poor performance at home to Luton. A neutral would probably say that a draw would have been a fair result but the Stags players really stood up tonight, and were just determined at the end there to go on and win it. These are the nights that we love football for, especially sweet after those previous two games.

After heavy morning rain, the pitch passed a 3pm inspection and was muddy in patches but in the end played pretty well. The wind, which was gusting ferociously in the afternoon, dropped significantly and didn’t really impact the game.

The Stags made four changes to the side that lost poorly to Luton. Two of the changes were obvious: loan signing Sean Kavanagh could not be risked at left back against a physical side like Morecambe after his lack of strength was exposed by Luton, so in came Lee Collins. Collins has not played at left back before for the Stags but has played in that position for other clubs. Kavanagh dropped to the bench where he could be expected to come on to influence on the left side of midfield later on. The other obvious change was Jamie McGuire coming in. A muddy, windy night in Morecambe against a physical side was made for McGuire. McGuire replaced Chapman. This was the first game of the season in league and cup that Chapman has not started. Two other changes: Matty Blair for Rose and Chris Beardsley for Lambe. It was Beardsley’s first start since the away game at Accrington on August 18, and his absence has been a big miss, since the Stags have not really had the ability to go to a plan B without him, where he would be a battering ram and winning headers. McGuire sat in front of the back four. Blair (right), Baxendale (centre) and Clements (left) were in front of McGuire, with Beardsley and Green up front in a 4-1-3-2 formation.

The Stags started on the front foot. A good break by Green down the right to win a corner after 2 minutes. Clements took the corner to the edge of the box, where McGuire volleyed over the bar via a deflection.

On 9 minutes, Green played the ball back to Hunt who dinked in a cross, Beardsley tried to head but it was just behind him so he couldn’t get any power on it. Seconds later the ball flew into the press box nearly taking me with it.

This was a dominant start from Mansfield, just what the doctor ordered.

A good tackle by McGuire on 11 minutes. Moments later a mistake from a Morecambe defender and Baxendale was nearly away but he over-ran the ball through to the keeper. Disappointing.

A good tackle by Hunt on 15 minutes as Morecambe broke from a Stags corner. Then Blair gave the ball away, Morecambe played the ball to the dangerous Ellison whose low shot from wide on the left was straight at Shearer.

Good defending from Collins on 17 minutes as he was nice and strong on Beeley as Beeley tried to get past him to the byline.

On 20 minutes, Beardsley did well to win the ball, inside to Clements, but it came to nothing.

On 23 minutes, Green won a free-kick on the left. Clements floated to the far post but it was just too high for Tafazolli, it skimmed off the top of his head and well wide.

On 25 minutes, a corner from Clements from the right, Tafazolli got a header in but it was well off target.

On 28 minutes, another Clements corner from the right, fell to Pearce after Morecambe’s clearance was blocked, he shot low but just wide of the left post.

The Stags were well on top and winning lots of set pieces. Beardsley was winning every header. Murray meanwhile spent some time with his arm around Kavanagh perhaps discussing how he could impact the game in the second half.

On 36 minutes, a great turn and a curling shot from Andrew Fleming from 20 yards out, well saved by Shearer, palming it away. It came out of nothing.

Two minutes later, Blair, otherwise anonymous, did well to track back and win the ball.

On 44 minutes, Pearce did well to stop Mullin on the left, but Mullin did get a cross in eventually, and a great header away from Collins under huge pressure from Ellison. You had to wonder whether Kavanagh would have had the strength to do that, and if not, it would have been 1-0.

A strong performance from the Stags in the first half, mostly on top, with Chris Beardsley playing particularly well and winning lots of headers, the Stags winning lots of set plays, and the defence looking much better with Lee Collins looking very strong at left back.

Half time 0-0

On 49 minutes, Fleming seemed to have a split second to shoot on the edge of the box, but Hunt quickly snuffed him out. The ball eventually came back into the middle and Shearer punched away. Straight to the other end, Green ran onto a long ball down the left, cut inside and fired into the side netting. Good play from Green to create a chance from that position.

Baxendale had not been doing enough, but on 54 minutes played a good ball forward to Clements, and on to Beardsley, who had time and space to shoot, took aim and his goalbound shot was deflected over the bar.

On 57 minutes, Shearer only just cleared from a Tafazolli backpass that was a little hard and bounced off him before he was able to clear.

Morecambe made a triple change on 59 minutes including bringing on Devitt, who had apparently been Morecambe’s main playmaker lately.

A good tackle by McGuire on 61 minutes as a Morecambe player was about to shoot. A minute later, a ball in from the right, was cleared by Tafazolli, as far as Fleming, whose shot bobbled through to Shearer.

On 66 minutes, another good tackle by Collins as Barkhuizen attempted to cross. A minute later, Ellison volleyed against the roof of the stand from 25 yards.

Morecambe had been on top since the substitutions and won a soft penalty on 71 minutes. A cross from the right by sub Devitt, Ellison went down under a challenge from Nicky Hunt and the referee pointed to the spot. Mullin blasted the penalty into the right of the net as Shearer dived the right way but couldn’t reach it. It was a real sickener for the Stags who had worked so hard to keep it tight at the back.

The Stags brought on Yussuf for the now-tiring Beardsley on 74 minutes.

On 75 minutes, Clements played a great ball to Baxendale on the left, but Baxendale lost it. A minute later, Baxendale crossed from the left, a defender missed it, it hit Green on the shoulder and ran through to the keeper. At least that was a bit better from Baxendale. Straight to the other end, Barkhuizen got passed Pearce and Hunt, and fired wide of the right post from the left.

On 78 minutes, good play from Yussuf to poke the ball forward to Green but Green was just offside.

Then on 80 minutes, a Clements corner, Collins was the first to get to it, meeting it with a right foot shot but he couldn’t get a good connection and it ran softly through to the keeper. Clever corner kick routine though.

Yussuf could have equalised on 82 minutes, a high ball into the box, Green headed across and Yussuf volleyed over the bar.

Two more changes on 83 minutes as Kavanagh and Jack Thomas came on for Blair and McGuire to bring fresh impetus to going forward. And the changes worked perfectly.

The Stags were deservedly level on 86 minutes as Collins crossed from the left, Yussuf headed goalwards, keeper Barry Roche could only half save it, allowing Chris Clements to stab the loose ball home more or less on the line. A good cross from Collins, a good header from Yussuf, and Clements showing determination to get there on the line. It was Clements’ 5th goal of a productive season.

Then, a little bit reminiscent of the finale at Dagenham, it was now the Stags absolutely determined to go on and find a winner and they did just that on the stroke of 90 minutes. Kavanagh involved in the build-up, feeding Green on his left, who played a lovely ball forward to Collins who had forced his way into the area, took one touch and shot from 4 yards from a tight angle. The shot was half-blocked and Yussuf stabbed home from close range. Cue delirium for the Stags.

Four minutes of stoppage time and Morecambe got nowhere near the Stags net allowing the Stags to celebrate an important victory. The Stags have bobbed in and around the play-offs all season and are back up to within a point of them, albeit having played more games than some other teams around us. We’ve got a chance, but some fans need to be patient and not go into meltdown each time we lose a game, calling for the manager and/or his assistants to be sacked, for players to leave the club, and so on. Let’s see where we can get to.

Man of the match: Lee Collins








Report by: Martin Shaw at the Globe Arena



Line Up:
(4-1-3-2)
Shearer 7 Had to make one good save. Good handling and punching. Went the right way for the penalty but couldn’t reach it.
Hunt 6.5 Some good tackles and defended well. Was gutted to concede the soft penalty.
Pearce 7.5 Defended solidly.
Tafazolli 7.5 Solid at the back.
Collins 9 Excellent performance at left back including good tackles and headers away. Capped his night by playing a part in the two goals.
McGuire 8 Some great tackles. Added a solidity to the side in a game that was made for him on a muddy, windy night in Morecambe against a physical side.
Blair 5.5 Brought in to provide some flair but was disappointingly anonymous. Did track back well on occasion though.
Baxendale 5.5 Didn’t really get into the game. A couple of good moments.
Clements 7.5 Real determination to score the first goal. Set pieces were of variable quality, some good. Good game overall.
Beardsley 8 Particularly good first half, winning lots of headers. Tired late on. Enables the Stags to have a plan B.
Green 7 Nice little ball in build-up to the winner. Made some good runs.
Sub Line Up:
Yussuf (for Beardsley, 74) 8 What an impact. Good header led to the first goal and scored the winner.
Kavanagh (for Blair, 83) - Involved in the build-up to the winner. I think we’ll see him in midfield from now on, where he looks like he can have a good impact.
J.Thomas (for McGuire, 83) - Some nice touches, driving forward.
Subs not used: Jensen, Chapman, Westcarr, Lambe.
Opposition Line Up:
(3-5-2): Roche; Edwards (Barkhuizen 59), Dugdale, Parrish; Beeley (capt), Kenyon (Goodall 59), Fleming, Molyneux (Devitt 59), Wilson; Mullin, Ellison. Subs not used: OHara, Miller, Doyle, Conlan.
Referee:
Nick Miller 6 Did ok. Penalty was soft.


Season 15/16 Reports