{ match reports }
 
Stagsnet wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
 Portsmouth
Green 26.
 
 Tafazolli OG 44. Shearer saved pen 21.
Attendance: 3980 (1192 from Portsmouth)
 
Date: 19 March 2016

STAGS DRAW WITH POMPEY IN PULSATING GAME

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

Mansfield Town and Portsmouth drew 1-1 in a pulsating game in a tremendous atmosphere at the One Call Stadium this afternoon. The Stags came into the game on the back of three 1-0 defeats and this performance lifted the fans even though it wasn’t quite enough to force a victory. Portsmouth could have been in front when they were awarded a penalty on 21 minutes. McNulty swivelled past Daniel Alfei, heading for the byline, Alfei hooked his leg around McNulty, got the end of his boot on the ball to make it slightly change direction, but got all of the man, and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. It was an unwise challenge from Alfei. McNulty stepped up himself and fired low towards the bottom right corner. Scott Shearer dived the right way and made a magnificent save with his left hand, pushing it away for a corner. Shearer’s third penalty save in the last 4 home games, after his two against Morecambe. The Stags were in front on 26 minutes, Stags debutant striker Mani Dieseruvwe controlled a long kick from Shearer, and laid perfectly into the path of Matt Green, who took one touch into the area before firing left footed, to the right of the keeper and into the net from 12 yards. Portsmouth equalised in bizarre circumstances on 44 minutes. Ben Davies’ corner from the right flew just over the head of Collins and hit the unsighted Tafazolli on the knee and rebounded into the net, from 3 yards. There was no Pompey player anywhere near. Collins will be disappointed that he didn’t head away, and Shearer might feel he should have come for it, as he had for some earlier crosses. It was gutting for the Stags to be pegged back in that manner just before half time. The second half was very even with neither side able to force a winner, though not for the lack of effort. The point was deserved by both sides. It was a spirited and more attacking performance from the Stags, with several players impressing, especially Mitch Rose who was our man of the match, new signing Mani Dieseruvwe, Collins in front of the back four, and Pearce in defence. But no-one played poorly.

The Stags drop to 13th, 7 points behind the play-offs with 9 games to go. It is the first time since the opening day of the season that the Stags have been in the bottom half of the table.

Mansfield made two changes to the side that lost at Bristol Rovers: new loan signing from Chesterfield Mani Dieseruvwe came straight into the side. Sean Kavanagh also came into the side, for his first start since his debut against Luton. Out went Matty Blair and Reggie Lambe. Lambe was absent for this and the next two games, called up to the Bermuda squad for the Caribbean Cup. It was a 4-1-3-2 formation, with Collins sitting in front of the back four as he did at Bristol Rovers. Rose, Clements and Kavanagh were in midfield. Dieseruvwe joined Green up front. Adam Murray had been trying to sign a Premier League U21 striker, but wasn’t able to do so in time for this game, though he is still hoping to do so before the next game. Portsmouth were without former Chesterfield midfielder Gary Roberts, who was sent off last week. From the game earlier in the season at Fratton Park, the Stags knew that danger would come from Portsmouth’s two over-lapping full-backs, Ben Davies on the right and Enda Stevens on the left.

It was an overcast, cool, dry day, with little wind. Portsmouth were backed by just under 1200 fans, who contributed to a cracking atmosphere.

On 6 minutes, a high ball into the Pompey area and Dieseruvwe was held back. The referee waved away appeals for a penalty. We thought it should have been a penalty.

On 9 minutes, a Kavanagh played a good ball forward form the halfway line to Green, whose first touch let him down. A minute later at the other end, a crossfield ball from the right by Pompey, and Bennett got the wrong side of Alfei but couldn’t get hold of the ball and it went out for a goalkick.

On 11 minutes, Rose did well to get past Stevens on the right and fizzed in a powerful cross/shot that keeper Fulton pushed away.

A good flick on by Dieseruvwe on 13 minutes from a ball forward, and Green was just unable to reach it as it went through to the keeper.

Good strong defending by Pearce on 15 minutes as Stevens found space on the left. Portsmouth had the first corner of the game on 16 minutes, the ball came out to Doyle whose shot was charged down by Collins on the edge of the box.

Good play by Rose on 17 minutes to win a free kick. Kavanagh’s free kick was into a good area but the keeper did well to punch away.

Portsmouth could have been in front when they were awarded a penalty on 21 minutes. McNulty swivelled past Daniel Alfei, heading for the byline, Alfei hooked his leg around McNulty, got the end of his boot on the ball to make it slightly change direction, but got all of the man, and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. It was an unwise challenge from Alfei. McNulty stepped up himself and fired low towards the bottom right corner. Scott Shearer dived the right way and made a magnificent save with his left hand, pushing it away for a corner. Shearer’s third penalty save in the last 4 home games, after his two against Morecambe. In between the Morecambe game and today, Dagenham’s Cureton fired wide from a penalty, while Plymouth’s Ryan Brunt scored a penalty against Shearer.

On 24 minutes, a good punch away from a corner by Shearer.

The Stags were in front on 26 minutes, Stags debutant striker Mani Dieseruvwe controlled a long kick from Shearer, and laid perfectly into the path of Matt Green, who took one touch into the area before firing left footed, to the right of the keeper and into the net from 12 yards. Green’s 12th goal of the season.

Dieseruvwe was booked on 28 minutes for a foul on Webster. Dieseruvwe didn’t seem to use his arm and just ran into Webster who went down clutching his face. The yellow card looked harsh.

Rose was booked on 30 minutes for not retreating from a free kick, as Stevens took the kick quickly, booting straight at Rose in a deliberate attempt to get him booked.

Green was booked a minute later for an innocuous foul in the centre circle. That also looked harsh, though it wasn’t his first foul. Three bookings in three minutes was madness from the referee in what was not a dirty game. But what was worse was that similar subsequent challenges from Portsmouth did not earn yellow cards, in a lack of consistency.

On 33 minutes, a half chance for Dieseruvwe in the box but he didn’t pull the trigger and instead laid the ball back. Whilst he did retain possession for the Stags he really should have had a shot when he had the chance.

A free kick for the Stags on 36 minutes, from 32 yards, right of centre. Kavanagh’s free kick was good and it reached Tafazolli, but Tafazolli was offside.

On 38 minutes, Rose fired just wide of the post from 30 yards after a long kick from Shearer had been knocked down.

Portsmouth equalised in bizarre circumstances on 44 minutes. Ben Davies’ corner from the right flew just over the head of Collins and hit the unsighted Tafazolli on the knee and rebounded into the net, from 3 yards. There was no Pompey player anywhere near. Collins will be disappointed that he didn’t head away, and Shearer might feel he should have come for it, as he had for some earlier crosses. It was gutting for the Stags to be pegged back in that manner just before half time.

On 45+1 minutes, a free kick from Kavanagh from 40 yards was met by Tafazolli who headed down but straight to the keeper. A minute later at the other end, a good tackle by Pearce as McNulty tried to get goalside in the area.

A terrific half of football but it was gutting for the Stags to be pegged back in bizarre circumstances just before the break after Shearer’s magnificent save and Green’s goal.

Half time 1-1

On 51 minutes, a good run by Stevens into the area on the left, but he scuffed his shot well wide. Straight to the other end and Dieseruvwe flicked on well to Green. Green went down but there was no appeal for a foul. On 57 minutes, Smith cut in from the left and scuffed a low shot straight at Shearer.

On 58 minutes, a great ball forward from Clements to Green, Green tried to square to Dieseruvwe, but it was cleared. Rose had been in acres of space calling for the ball.

The Stags should have had a free kick just outside the box on 62 minutes as Kavanagh’s cross clearly hit the hand of a Pompey player. But the referee waved away the appeals.

Moments later Green was clearly pushed in the back in the area. Again it looked like a clear penalty to us but the referee waved play on.

Blair replaced Kavanagh on 63 minutes.

Portsmouth went close to taking the lead on 65 minutes. Smith crossed from the right, following a short corner, Bennett was unmarked and tried to sweep the ball into the net, it hit Alfei and went wide. It was close and a let-off for the Stags.

The Stags fans were further incensed on 66 minutes as Dieseruvwe broke away on goal and was cynically hacked down by Stevens. Because there were covering players, the referee gave Stevens just a yellow, which was probably the correct decision. The free kick was taken by Clements, Tafazolli headed towards goal and the keeper plucked it out of the air.

On 68 minutes, Alfei’s high cross from the right was met by Blair whose volley hit a defender. A minute later, Clements crossed and Green couldn’t get any power on his header which was straight to the keeper.

Rose tried his luck again from 30 yards on 71 minutes with a low shot which the keeper just pushed around the post for a corner. From the resulting corner from the left, Collins headed towards goal, Green headed on and the keeper grabbed under his bar. On 73 minutes at the other end from a Pompey corner, Smith scuffed a shot straight at Shearer.

On 77 minutes, Doyle was allowed time to shoot from 30 yards. It seemed to catch Shearer’s unaware perhaps swerving, Shearer was able to parry it and it went just wide of the right post.

Jack Thomas replaced Green on 83 minutes. Green had been booked in the first half and had just given away a free kick so the management team were probably trying to protect him from a second yellow from an inconsistent referee.

Thomas was straight into the action as he played the ball to Blair on the left, Blair put in a low cross which Dieseruvwe couldn’t quite get on the end of.

Daniel replaced Rose on 86 minutes. Rose had had a terrific game.

On 90 minutes, Clements tried a shot from 25 yards which was blocked. Eventually the ball came out to Benning on the left who miscued a volley, which had the keeper backpedalling as it spun onto the roof of the net.

Six minutes of injury but no further goalscoring chances. The Stags fans stood and applauded their team as they came off.

A fair result in an entertaining game. The Stags drop to 13th, 7 points behind the play-offs with 9 games to go. On to the next game at 8th placed Wycombe on Good Friday followed by a game against run-away leaders Northampton on Easter Monday.

Man of the match: Mitch Rose


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



Line Up:
(4-1-3-2)
Shearer 7 Another magnificent penalty save. Came for some crosses and may feel he should have come for the corner which led to the own goal.
Alfei 6 Unnecessary challenge to concede the penalty.
Pearce 7.5 Some good tackles.
Tafazolli 7 Defended well. Hard to know if he could have done much about the own goal.
Benning 7 Solid game.
Collins 7 Good game in front of the back four. Maybe should have headed away the corner for the own goal.
Rose 8 Terrific game in an offensive role.
Clements 7 Some goal ball play. One fantastic ball forward for Green.
Kavanagh 6 Some good free kicks.
Dieseruvwe 7.5 Good link play with Green including a fine assist for the goal.
Green 7 Took his goal well.
Sub Line Up:
Blair (for Kavanagh, 63) - Lively. One volley hit a defender and one good cross.
J.Thomas (for Green, 83) -
Daniel (for Rose, 86) -
Subs not used: Jensen, Chapman, Beardsley, Baxendale.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-2-3-1): Fulton; Davies, Webster, Burgess, Stevens; Doyle, Hollands; Naismith (Chaplin 85), McNulty (McGurk 70), Bennett (Tollitt 67); Smith. Subs not used: Bass, Barton, Clarke, Evans.
Referee:
Carl Boyeson 4 Absolute stinker. Managed the game very poorly and made some terrible decisions.


Season 15/16 Reports