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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
3 - 2
 Dagenham & Redbridge
Blair 54, Yussuf 67, Green 84. Pearce sent off 82.
 
 Hawkins 42, Cureton 86. Cureton missed pen 83
Attendance: 2822 (129 from Dagenham)
 
Date: 20 February 2016

STAGS DO DOUBLE OVER DAGENHAM IN ANOTHER INCREDIBLE FINISH

Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town did the double over Dagenham this afternoon, in a game that was every bit as incredible as the 4-3 victory at Victoria Road earlier in the season. Mansfield were a goal down to a well-worked goal at half-time, but came roaring back in the second half with a more penetrating display. Matty Blair equalised with a terrific shot on 54 minutes, and Adi Yussuf scored after a good run from 40 yards out, on 67 minutes. The final 10 minutes though was incredible. On 82 minutes, Yussuf and Green broke 2-on-1 on the defence and Green should have made it 3-1. Straight to the other end, Krystian Pearce brought Jamie Cureton down a yard outside the box. The referee however gave a penalty and sent Pearce off. Cureton sent Shearer the wrong way but missed the target. Within a minute, Mansfield had made it 3-1 with another 2-on-1 break as Blair fed Green who this time slid his shot into the bottom corner. But just two minutes later, on 86 minutes, it was 3-2 as Dikamona’s cross from the right was pulled back from the byline to Cureton who scored from 2 yards. And on 89 minutes, Dagenham were nearly level as a close range header was saved by Scott Shearer. A brilliant reaction save. A breathless end to the game, as the Stags hung on in four minutes of stoppage time. Incredible drama.

Mansfield are back up to 5th and the dream of the play-offs is still very much on. We think that 72 points is probably needed for a play-off place. So Mansfield would need 6 wins and 3 draws from the remaining 13 games to achieve that. The Stags have been ruthless in beating bottom half sides this season and still have 6 games left against bottom half sides. On to Newport next week, one of those bottom half sides. Come on Mansfield!

Before the game, there was a minute’s silence for Johnny Miller, who died on Thursday. Miller was an exciting winger who was a key player in our Division 3 winning season in 1976/77 and our only season in the second tier of English football in 1977/78. RIP Johnny.

New rain covers for the area in front of the West Stand that is most susceptible to waterlogging helped to ensure the game went ahead. No home game off for 15 months due to waterlogging or a frozen pitch is a great performance from groundsman Michael Mez Merriman and his team. The pitch was in good condition, though a little muddy in front of the West Stand.

Mansfield made two changes to the side that lost at Plymouth. Jamie McGuire was rested. He has a slight tear in his cartilage that requires surgery but he wants to delay that until the end of the season so as to give his all for the club. He’ll therefore have to be rested at intervals. James Baxendale also missed out. In came Adam Chapman after a break, and Danny Alfei who came in for his first start. In the first half, it was 3 at the back, with Alfei and Benning as wingbacks, Chapman and Clements in central midfield, and Blair floating behind Beardsley and Green. In the second half, Alfei pushed onto the right wing, with Blair on the left wing, in a 4-4-2 formation, with Collins at right back. Dagenham arrived bottom of the league, but with a reasonable away record and having not won a single game at home. They left on the bench their two best players, in our opinion, 40 year old Jamie Cureton, who can’t play every game now, and winger Jodi Jones. They both came on in the second half and had an impact.

Alfei was straight into the action on 2 minutes, with a chance to shoot from 30 yards, but instead he clipped a ball into the area and it was cleared. A robust tackle from Tafazolli a minute later was perfectly timed, and needed to be. Pearce was penalised for a foul on Chambers, 30 yards from goal in a central position on 5 minutes. Muldoon curled the free kick just wide of the left post.

Alfei found himself 30 yards from goal again on 11 minutes and this time he fired in a powerful shot, which the keeper saved above his head.

On 16 minutes, the Stags went close as a free kick from the left by Clements was flicked on by Tafazolli and went just wide of the right post. A minute later, a great ball by Clements to Blair on the right, Blair clipped the ball back into the middle where Beardsley headed tamely at the keeper.

On 19 minutes, a great run by Blair down the left, but no-one kept up to him, he crossed and no-one was there. A minute later at the other end, Labadie pushed forward, and there was a good tackle by Tafazolli to clear. Moments later, Widdowson got past Alfei on the left and put in a good low cross that was through everyone.

On 26 minutes, Alfei was tripped 26 yards from goal, to the right of centre. Benning took the free kick towards the right corner of the net, and the keeper tipped it wide. Moments later, Blair crossed from the right and Tafazolli headed well wide.

Dagenham had a spell of pressure, which was relieved with good play from Green to win a free kick.

On 32 minutes, Blair cut inside from the left, and his right footed shot was deflected just over the bar for a corner. A minute later, Chapman’s corner from the left found Tafazolli who was in space but headed over the bar, though the whistle had gone for a free kick. On 38 minutes, Benning’s cross was easily caught by the keeper.

On 39 minutes, Chambers shot at goal from 20 yards and Shearer did well to push away. Moments later, Beardsley gave away a free kick 35 yards from the Stags goal on the right. Tafazolli did well to head the free kick away.

Dagenham took the lead on 42 minutes. McClure broke forward, Widdowson overlapped on the left, Widdowson crossed low to the far post where Hawkins knocked into the net. It was a well-worked goal.

A sloppy first half from the Stags. There were plenty of poor crosses from open play including from Alfei and Benning, and poor corners too from Benning. The Stags had plenty of possession but Dagenham were effective at clearing.

Half time 0-1

A change in formation for the second half, as Alfei pushed onto the right wing, with Blair on the left wing, in a 4-4-2, with Collins at right back.

On 47 minutes, Alfei put in a good cross from the byline, which Blair was just unable to turn goalwards as the keeper cleared. It was better cross from Alfei.

On 48 minutes, Pearce laid off to Alfei whose left footed shot from 20 yards stung the keeper’s hands as he pushed the ball up into the air. As the ball dropped down, there was a foul on the keeper. Two minutes later at the other end Hawkins laid off to McClure whose low shot from a tight angle was straight at Shearer.

Yussuf replaced Beardsley on 51 minutes.

On 52 minutes, Benning set Blair away down the left, he put the ball, but there was no-one there.

The Stags were level on 54 minutes. Benning’s free kick from the halfway line was headed across the edge of the area by Tafazolli to Blair who smashed home from the edge of the box, in off the right post. It was a fantastic strike.

On 56 minutes, Benning to Blair, just inside the area on the left, his low shot was goalbound and blocked for a corner. At the other end two minutes later, Passley crossed from the right, it deflected off Benning and was going underneath the crossbar, where Shearer did well to tip it over.

On 61 minutes, Yussuf laid off to Alfei, who shot over the bar left footed from 25 yards. Straight to the other end, McClure got down the left, and fired in a low shot from a tight angle which Shearer pushed behind for a corner. Moments later back at the other end again, Yussuf played a good lay-off to Blair, who made a good run down the left, and his cross was put behind for a corner.

The Stags went close on 63 minutes, as Benning dinked a cross in from deep, Pearce headed towards the top left corner of the net, where the keeper pushed away as Green attacked the ball.

The Stags were ramping up the pressure. On 64 minutes, Blair played the ball across to Clements whose left footed shot from 16 yards was blocked. Moments later, a Stags long throw-in from Chapman was headed back by Tafazolli to Clements who had another shot blocked from 8 yards. Then Benning fired from distance and it bobbled just wide of the right post.

The Stag made it 2-1 on 67 minutes. A ball forward from Clements from the halfway line, Blair would have been offside but left the ball, allowing Yussuf to run on to it from 40 yards out, he powered into the area, cut inside from the right, and shot under the keeper into the net. A wonderful moment for Yussuf, and his 5th goal of the season.

Dagenham had a good spell following Mansfield’s goal. On 69 minutes, a great tackle by Pearce as Dagenham broke.

Clements and Benning played a 1-2 on 75 minutes, and Clements was brought down for a free kick, 21 yards from goal, to the left of centre. Benning took the free kick, which was heading just wide of the right post, and the keeper tipped it further wide. On 77 minutes, Blair got down the left, played in to Yussuf, who turned and his shot was blocked for a corner. Chapman took the corner from the left and Collins got in a great header towards the top right corner, where the keeper made a tremendous save to tip it away.

On 82 minutes, Yussuf hunted the ball down off a defender, and he and Green broke 2-on-1 on the defence. Yussuf played to Green who should have made it 3-1 but fired wide of the left post.

Straight to the other end, and Krystian Pearce brought Jamie Cureton down on the edge of the box but it didn’t look inside the box. Video evidence confirms it was a yard outside the box. The referee however gave a penalty and sent Pearce off. Pearce did deny a goalscoring opportunity, so the red card was a reasonable decision. Cureton sent Shearer the wrong way but missed the target, firing just wide of the angle.

Within a minute, on 84 minutes, Mansfield had made it 3-1 with another 2-on-1 break. Yussuf nicked the ball off Worrall, Blair broke forward and squared to Green who this time slid his shot into the bottom corner. Incredible stuff, but there were more twists to come.

Just two minutes later, on 86 minutes, it was 3-2 as Dikamona’s cross from the right was pulled back from the byline by Widdowson to Cureton who scored from 2 yards.

Lambe replaced Green on 87 minutes.

On 89 minutes, Dagenham were nearly level as Jodi Jones crossed from the left and a close range header from Chambers was saved point blank by Scott Shearer with his left leg. A brilliant reaction save. But where was the defence?

Yussuf was booked on 90+3. But the Stags hung on in four minutes of stoppage time. A second home won on the trot, but coming in dramatic circumstances.

Man of the match: Matty Blair


Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill



Line Up:
(3-2-2-1-2)
Shearer 8 Match-winning save from point blank range after 89 minutes. Very solid.
Collins 7 Solid. One good header which was brilliantly saved.
Pearce 6.5 Solid and one good header on target. Conceded penalty and sent off.
Tafazolli 7 Defended well. Missed one particularly good chance at the other end.
Alfei 7 Mixed quality of crossing. Got in a couple of shots on target. Decent first start.
Benning 7 A couple of good shots. Some poor corners. Defended ok.
Chapman 7 Good corners created chance for Tafazolli and Collins.
Clements 7.5 Some good moments. Excellent ball forward for Yussuf to run on to for the second goal.
Blair 8.5 Great goal and assist for Green’s goal. Got down the wing on several occasions. His best game for the club.
Beardsley 5.5 One tame header straight at the keeper. Didn’t really get into the game.
Green 7 Scored crucial third goal, but should have scored moments earlier. Poor first half.
Sub Line Up:
Yussuf (for Beardsley, 51) 7.5 Fine goal. Some good lay-offs.
Lambe (for Green, 87) -
Subs not used: Jensen, J.Thomas, Kavanagh, McGuire, Baxendale.
Opposition Line Up:
(3-2-3-2): O’Brien; Hyam, Dikamona, Worrall; Passley (Jones 79), Widdowson; Labadie, Muldoon (Richards 71), Chambers; McClure (Cureton 71), Hawkins. Subs not used: Cousins, Doidge, Hemmings, Hoyte.
Referee:
Seb Stockbridge 6 The officials got the penalty badly wrong as it was a yard outside the area. The red card was probably right. Generally handled the game well otherwise.


Season 15/16 Reports