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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
2 - 1
 Morecambe
Blair 15, Pearce 24.
 
 Ellison 1. Shearer saved pens 34 and 84.
Attendance: 3090 (98 from Morecambe)
 
Date: 6 February 2016

SHEARER SAVES TWO PENS AS STAGS BEAT MORECAMBE AGAIN

Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

On a wild, windy and wet afternoon, Mansfield won an incredible game 2-1 against Morecambe, with goalkeeper Scott Shearer the hero, saving two penalties. Morecambe took the lead inside the first minute when a header away by Lee Collins hit Jamie Devitt and bounced into the path of Kevin Ellison who took full advantage and fired superbly into the bottom right cornerof the net. It was the 8th time in the last 10 home league games that Mansfield had conceded a goal in the opening 15 minutes, and Mansfield had not won any of those previous 7 games. But today was different with Mansfield scoring twice to be in front by 24 minutes. Firstly, Matty Blair scored when his goalbound shot took two deflections, firstly off Barkhuizen and then off central defender Dugdale to loop over keeper Barry Roche and into the net. A stroke of luck no doubt but Blair didn’t care as he scored his first goal for the club. He was also Mansfield’s 15th different scorer this season. And Mansfield were in front when Krystian Pearce lost his marker from a corner to thump a header home from Mal Benning’s corner. The second week in succession that a Benning corner from the right has created a goal. Morecambe’s first penalty came on 34 minutes when Tafazolli tugged at the shirt of Fleming. We called the shirt-pulling during commentary and it is also clear on the video. Tafazolli was booked. Shearer dived to his left to brilliantly save Miller’s penalty. The wind seemed to get even stronger in the second half with the Stags playing into it and the Stags had difficulty clearing their lines at times. Morecambe were awarded a second penalty on 84 minutes as Devitt’s cross from the left struck the arm of Jack Thomas. It was harsh but you do see them given as well as not given. Mullin this time stepped up having scored 11 days ago against Shearer from the spot, but this time Shearer saved with his legs as the home fans lifted the roof again. Shortly afterwards Adam Murray was sent from the dugout but his team held on for an important win, lifting the Stags to 5th place in the table. Murray paid credit after the game to analyst Sean O’Callaghan for his hard work researching Morecambe’s numerous previous penalties to help Shearer. But most credit has to go to Shearer himself for his heroics. Fellow historian Paul Taylor and I cannot recall a Stags keeper saving two penalties in a game before (apart from a shootout and apart from Alan Marriott in 2010 who twice saved a retaken penalty at Luton). Shearer has to be our man of the match, but word also for Jamie McGuire who was superb in front of the back four. Playing against a physical team like Morecambe brings out the best in McGuire as we also saw in the reverse fixture 11 days ago.

Mansfield made one change from the side that won at Crawley. Craig Westcarr came in to replace the suspended Matt Green. Lee Collins retained his place at right back with new loan signing Danny Alfei on the bench. Lambe replaced Rose on the bench. Heavy rain all morning meant the pitch was heavy in front of the West Stand but played superbly in the conditions. Great credit to Mez Merriman and his groundstaff, a wonderful effort to get the game on, when Notts County down the road had their game postponed.

Morecambe took the lead inside the first minute when a header away by Lee Collins hit Jamie Devitt and bounced into the path of Kevin Ellison who took full advantage and fired superbly into the bottom right corner of the net. The clock read 59 seconds as the ball hit the net. It was a shocking start yet again at home.

A minute later a Morecambe cross into the box was cleared.

The Stags had barely got out of their own half but won a corner on 10 minutes. Benning took it from the left, it was knocked goalwards by McGuire, blocked and a clearance hit Pearce and rebounded straight to keeper Roche.

On 15 minutes, Fleming shot goalwards, it deflected off McGuire straight to Shearer.

The Stags were level on 15 minutes. A Mansfield throw-in was headed away straight to Matty Blair who scored as his goalbound shot from 20 yards took two deflections, firstly off Barkhuizen and then off central defender Dugdale to loop over keeper Barry Roche and into the net. A stroke of luck no doubt but Blair didn’t care as he scored his first goal for the club and celebrated wildly in front of the West Stand.

On 17 minutes Westcarr showed good strength to force his way down the left, to the byline, where he crossed and Baxendale got a touch but couldn’t divert it in.

On 20 minutes, a ball into the Stags area was caught by the wind but the Stags just about cleared. Moments later a great run by Collins from deep in his own half but eventually the ball ran out of play.

On 22 minutes, Ellison fired at Shearer who did well to hold onto the ball.

Mansfield were in front on 24 minutes when Krystian Pearce lost his marker from a Benning corner from the right to thump a header home. The corner was hit with pace and Pearce just had to get his head on the end of it. A great goal and the result of plenty of hard work on the training ground. Pearce’s 3rd goal of the season.

Morecambe had a goal disallowed on 26 minutes. Devitt played the ball across the 6 yard box and Ellison poked in at the far post, but he was well offside. On 30 minutes, Ellison’s cross was just cleared by Mansfield.

Morecambe’s first penalty came on 34 minutes when Tafazolli tugged at the shirt of Fleming after a good turn by Fleming. We called the shirt-pulling during commentary and it is also clear on the video. Tafazolli was booked. Shearer dived to his left to brilliantly save Miller’s penalty.

On 43 minutes, great play by the Stags as Baxendale pushed forward and tried to find Westcarr, but it was cleared.

On 44 minutes the Stags nearly extended the lead. Clements made space for himself 30 yards from goal and fired a terrific shot towards the right corner of the net, but Roche made a fantastic diving save to push it away. What a goal it would have been!

An eventful first half with the Stags in front at the break.

Half time 2-1

The wind seemed to get even stronger in the second half with the Stags playing into it.

On 50 minutes, a shot from Baxendale from 12 yards was blocked.

A free kick for Morecambe on 53 minutes, 30 yards out to the right of centre. Ellison struck it well, straight at Shearer, who did well to hold it as the ball must have been wet.

On 55 minutes, a good break by Baxendale down the left, played the ball inside to Westcarr whose shot was blocked.

A free kick for the Stags wide on the right on 57 minutes. Benning took it with a low shot to the near post, and Roche parried it away. It was a good effort from Benning.

Murray made the first change on 59 minutes as Jack Thomas replaced Westcarr. The Stags now had one up front.

Baxendale burst forward on 60 minutes and dinked a cross-cum-shot goalwards but it was easily saved by Roche. A minute later at the other end, Shearer caught a corner from the left in the crowded box beautifully. A minute after that, Baxendale got past two defenders but lost out to the third defender.

On 64 minutes, Benning did well to cross from the left on the byline to Baxendale whose cross-cum-shot was just wide of the right post.

On 68 minutes, Devitt shot well wide from 25 yards.

Morecambe had the ball in the net again on 71 minutes but the whistle had long gone as Barkhuizen put the ball in, as Devitt crossed and it deflected off Ellison to Barkhuizen. Morecambe FC posted a “still” on their facebook page claiming Barkhuizen was onside but it is shown as Devitt crosses and not as the ball deflects off Ellison. I cannot tell definitively from the main camera footage if he is offside but it looks like he probably was. UPDATE - from the Morecambe FC footage which on their Player website, you can see that Barkhuizen is just a fraction offside as the ball deflects off Ellison.

Good play from Blair on 77 minutes as he nicked the ball off a Morecambe player, and fed Beardsley on the right and Beardsley shot over the angle of bar and post.

Murray made a second change on 78 minutes as Lambe replaced Beardsley. Mansfield now had no recognised strikers on the pitch.

On 79 minutes, Devitt’s curling cross from the left was scooped away by Shearer, Shearer possibly having been unsighted.

McGuire made a tremendous surging run to the Morecambe penalty area on 80 minutes. He lost possession but then chased back the Morecambe player to put him under pressure to exemplify his fighting spirit.

Morecambe were awarded a second penalty on 84 minutes as Devitt’s cross from the left struck the arm of Jack Thomas on the edge of the area. It was harsh but you do see them given as well as not given. Mullin this time stepped up having scored 11 days ago against Shearer from the spot, but this time Shearer saved with his left leg as he dived to his right, to bring the house down.

On 86 minutes, Baxendale crossed and Lambe was nearly able to turn it in. Moments later Adam Murray was sent from the touchline.

The home crowd were incensed further as a clear handball from Devitt went unnoticed by the officials.

Five minutes of stoppage time added on. On 90+2 minutes, Devitt’s high cross from the left, was headed back across the area by Dugdale, and Ellison headed over the bar. It was the last chance Morecambe had, and Mansfield held on for a big victory roared on by the crowd that was behind them all afternoon.

It was certainly an eventful game for referee Mark Heywood. We think he got the first penalty right, though the second one was harsh. Some of his other decision-making was mystifying though.

An action-packed afternoon with plenty of drama. Three wins on the trot for the Stags in 11 days. The Stags remarkable form against teams in the bottom half of the table continues. Now on to Oxford on Tuesday and Plymouth on Saturday. Let’s see if we can get something against the teams at the top. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Scott Shearer


Report by: Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill



Line Up:
(4-1-3-2)
Shearer 9.5 Hero with two penalty saves, the first time we believe that’s ever been done by a Mansfield keeper. Great handling in slippery and windy conditions.
Collins 6.5 Shaky start as his header away inadvertently led to the Morecambe goal. Defended solidly after that.
Pearce 8 Some good tackles. Scored from the corner.
Tafazolli 6.5 Solid performance. Gave away the first penalty when he did pull a shirt.
Benning 8 Assist for the second goal. Some good attacking play down the left.
McGuire 8.5 Superb in front of the back four and in his element against physical Morecambe.
Blair 8 Good game, capped by his first goal for Mansfield.
Clements 6.5 Quieter than some recent games but nearly scored a fantastic goal from long range.
Baxendale 7.5 Got the crowd off their seats with some great runs.
Beardsley 7 Battled well and covered a lot of ground.
Westcarr 6 One good piece of play down the left, but not involved enough.
Sub Line Up:
J.Thomas (for Westcarr, 59) - Perhaps unfortunate to concede the penalty. Covered the ground well.
Lambe (for Beardsley, 78) -
Subs not used: Jensen, Alfei, Kavangh, Chapman, Yussuf.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2): Roche; Parrish, Dugdale, Edwards, Conlan; Fleming, Goodall (Wildig 82), Barkhuizen (Molyneux 71), Devitt; Ellison, Miller (Mullin 71). Subs not used: O'Hara, Kenyon, Bailey, Doyle.
Referee:
Mark Heywood 6 Eventful game. We think he got the first penalty right, though the second one was harsh. Some of his other decision-making was mystifying though.


Season 15/16 Reports