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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
 Barnet
Dieseruvwe 30.
 
 Akinde 6.
Attendance: 2573 (139 from Barnet)
 
Date: 23 April 2016

STAGS AND BARNET DRAW AS MANI NETS HIS FIRST

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town and Barnet drew 1-1 in a tight game at Field Mill this afternoon that will mostly be remembered for a first goal in a Stags shirt for on-loan striker Mani Dieseruvwe. It was a goal Dieseruvwe deserved for his unselfish support work during his loan spell so far. The Stags were behind on 6 minutes as Michael Gash lobbed a high ball forward into the Stags box, Tafazolli and Collins between them allowed the ball to bounce, Shearer came out of his goal, and as the ball bounced up John Akinde was in between all three of them to head over Shearer and into the net. An absolute horror show for the defence. The Stags struggled with balls lobbed forward to Akinde in the game at The Hive when fortunately injury restricted him to just being a substitute, and this was a terrible start. It could have been 2-0 two minutes later as Sam Muggleton (son of former Stags keeper Carl Muggleton) had a shot inside the box that was well-blocked by Mal Benning. The Stags were level on 30 minutes as Matty Blair pulled the ball back to Dieseruvwe who took a touch to steady himself and then curled a nice finish into the top right of the net from 15 yards. Two minutes later, the Stags should have been in front, Dieseruvwe’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked to Blair on the right, Blair curled a terrific cross to Jack Thomas beyond the far post, who headed back across goal into the path of Matt Green who headed over from 3 yards. Green held his head in his hands. Before half time, Lee Collins crossed from the right and Adam Chapman headed just wide of the right post from 12 yards. Barnet could have retaken the lead when impressive sub Luke Gambin, who scored an own goal in the game at The Hive, cut inside from the left and brought a good save with his legs from Shearer. At the other end, Green had a chance to lob the ball over the keeper from a tight angle but could only find the side netting. Bondz N’Gala headed a whisker wide from a corner for Barnet on 74 minutes, and two minutes later at the other end, Chapman thundered a free kick from 22 yards towards the roof of the net and keeper Stephens superbly tipped it over. Honours even then, and honours just about even in terms of good goalscoring chances. Both managers thought their teams should have won it, but in my opinion a draw was a fair result. A difficult game for Mansfield against the immense physical presence of John Akinde who was superb. Barnet played for set pieces, and Mansfield did well not to concede many free kicks, but Barnet launched long throw after long throw into the Stags box, using not one, not two, but three long throw specialists. The Stags generally stood up to that well with the defence having a good game apart from the goal and N’Gala’s second half header from the corner. Akinde is the sort of player who could really benefit the Stags next season to play alongside Matt Green. There is no better big striker in League Two than Akinde. The final play-off place is now virtually certain to be taken by AFC Wimbledon after their fifth straight win. The Stags moved up a place to 11th, and could finish 8th with good results in the final two games of the season - that has to be the aim now.

Mansfield came into the game chasing a fourth straight win, a feat they last achieved two years ago. After the pulsating 5-0 win over Notts County and impressive 3-2 win at Exeter, the number of home fans was down by nearly a half today compared to last Saturday (4616 home fans last week, 2434 home fans this week, albeit a very small number of those home fans last week were probably Notts County fans). It was the third lowest attendance of the season at the One Call Stadium.

Mansfield made two changes from the side that won at Exeter. James Baxendale came in for Reggie Lambe to freshen things up after the tiring schedule, and Mani Dieseruvwe returned to the starting line up in place of Mitch Rose to switch from a 4-1-4-1 formation at Exeter to two up front in this game. Clements and Alfei were not in the 18 after their hamstring injuries. Colin Daniel continued at right back. Chapman played in front of the back four. Blair (right), Baxendale (centre) and Jack Thomas (left), started behind Dieseruvwe and Green. Pearce was back from suspension on the bench. It was sunny but cold for late April.

This was Barnet’s first visit to Field Mill since April 2008 when the Stags led 2-0 but could only draw 2-2 and the loss of two points was critical in the Stags’ relegation to the Conference. I can remember the sinking feeling as if it was yesterday.

Mansfield won two corners in the opening minutes.

But Barnet were ahead on 6 minutes as Michael Gash lobbed a high ball forward into the Stags box, Tafazolli and Collins between them allowed the ball to bounce, Shearer came out of his goal, and as the ball bounced up John Akinde was in between all three of them to head over Shearer and into the net. An absolute horror show for the defence. The Stags struggled with balls lobbed forward to Akinde in the game at The Hive when fortunately injury restricted him to just being a substitute, and this was a terrible start.

It could have been 2-0 on 8 minutes. A ball into the Stags area after it seemed like Lee Collins had been fouled but the referee waved play on, and Sam Muggleton had a shot inside the box that was well-blocked by Mal Benning. Benning did well to spot the danger.

On 13 minutes, Blair did well, and played the ball back to Jack Thomas who curled a cross-shot from the left past the right post.

On 16 minutes, Akinde fired in a low shot from 30 yards that was just wide of the left post, though Shearer had it covered all the way.

A good break by the Stags on 18 minutes as Blair got to the byline and pulled the ball back but it was cleared.

The Stags were level on 30 minutes as Benning’s cross from the left bounced off Dieseruvwe to Blair, level with the edge of the 6-yard box on the left, Blair pulled the ball back to Dieseruvwe who took a touch to steady himself and then curled a nice finish into the top right of the net from 15 yards.

Two minutes later, the Stags should have been in front. Dieseruvwe’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked to Blair on the right, Blair curled a terrific cross to Jack Thomas beyond the far post, who headed back across goal into the path of Matt Green who headed over from 3 yards. Green held his head in his hands.

On 34 minutes, Yiadom fired a left footed shot over the bar from the edge of the area.

Two minutes after that, Daniel cut inside from the right and fired in a low left footed shot from 30 yards which was just wide of the right post, though the keeper had it covered. On 38 minutes, Dieseruvwe took two players on and sent in a good cross from the right which was just cleared.

On 39 minutes, Lee Collins crossed from the right and Adam Chapman headed just wide of the right post from 12 yards with the keeper at full stretch.

Half time and the two teams deservedly level. Barnet had looked dangerous going forward after their goal with Akinde in particular a handful. Muggleton’s long throws were dangerous. The Stags equalised with their first decent chance, and could have gone ahead in the last 15 minutes of the half. Both teams were guilty of wasting possession.

Half time 1-1

A change in the referee at the break. Andy Haines was unable to continue due to injury and was replaced by his assistant (linesman) Karl Evans.

On 52 minutes, a free kick for the Stags from the right. Benning sent in a powerful cross which the keeper flapped at but did enough to push away.

Pearce replaced Baxendale on 54 minutes. Collins moved to right back, with Pearce slotting back in at centre half, and Daniel moving to left midfield. That would have been the defensive line-up I would have started with, but Daniel had done pretty well.

Both keepers were launching kicks that went through to the opposition keeper in scrappy start to the half.

On 58 minutes, Green went down just inside the area. The referee put his whistle to his mouth and then waved play on. I think it would have been a soft penalty.

Barnet could have retaken the lead on 62 minutes when impressive sub Luke Gambin, who scored an own goal in the game at The Hive, cut inside from the left and brought a good save with his legs from Shearer.

Two chances for the Stags in a minute. Firstly, on 65 minutes, Benning crossed from deep on the left and Green headed wide at the far post, partly put off by N’Gala who was in front of him and who looked like he would head it away. Then on 66 minutes, Green had a chance to lob the ball over the keeper from a tight angle but could only find the side netting, after Collins had played the ball forward.

On 68 minutes, Green got down the left, the keeper came out of his goal, but Green wasn’t able to get a shot in, and then when he pulled the ball back the Stags lost possession.

Lambe replaced Dieseruvwe on 69 minutes. Lambe went into a forward role.

N’Gala headed a whisker wide from a corner from the left by Gambin on 74 minutes. It was so close.

Two minutes later at the other end, Chapman thundered a free kick from 22 yards towards the roof of the net and keeper Stephens superbly tipped it over. Chapman close to superb goals in successive home games.

On 78 minutes, a good move from the stags and Daniel fired just wide from 22 yards. A minute later, Michael Gash fired over the bar from 30 yards.

Yussuf replaced Daniel on 83 minutes. Yussuf’s first minutes since his ludicrous 5 match suspension after urinating at Plymouth.

Gash had a shot blocked by Tafazolli. Then on 88 minutes, Yussuf got down the left, his shot was blocked, it came to Lambe, whose shot was deflected towards the right corner of the net and as it spun and bounced, the keeper pushed it aside for a corner. On 89 minutes, Yiadom shot over the bar from 25 yards. On 90 minutes, the ball came off Benning, and nearly rebounded to Green but the keeper just claimed.

Barnet had the final chance to win the game on 90+4 minutes. Akinde played the ball back to Gambin who made a yard for himself to shoot, from wide on the left 12 yards out, and fired in a shot that Shearer pushed behind for a corner, though video evidence shows it was already heading just wide.

A fair result. Not too much to write home about, but a good day for Mani Dieseruvwe and it was important the Stags didn’t lose to keep the revival going after that poor run in March. Tafazolli and Collins did well at the back aside from the goal which was a poor one to concede and aside from one header by N’Gala from a corner, and then Pearce did well when he came on as substitute, with Chapman impressive in front of the back four.

Man of the match: Adam Chapman


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



Line Up:
(4-1-3-2)
Shearer 6 Mistakes have been very rare from Shearer this season but he was caught in no-man’s land with the goal. Two good saves from Gambin, one with his legs.
Daniel 7 Did pretty well at right back, out of position.
Collins 6 Did well against tough opposition but jointly at fault for the goal.
Tafazolli 6 At fault for the goal, but otherwise had a very solid game.
Benning 7 Defended solidly. Some poor distribution.
Chapman 7 Good game. One terrific free-kick which was superbly saved
Blair 7 Very good first half: assist for the goal, terrific cross to Jack Thomas in the build-up to Green’s header from close range. Quite second half.
Baxendale 5 Didn’t really feature.
J.Thomas 6 Set up a great chance for Green with a header across goal. Quiet second half.
Dieseruvwe 7 Nice finish for the goal.
Green 6 Frustrating afternoon with a header over from 3 yards, a lob over the keeper into the side netting and another header wide.
Sub Line Up:
Pearce (for Baxendale, 54) 7 Good return to the side.
Lambe (for Dieseruvwe, 69) - One shot that troubled the keeper.
Yussuf (for Daniel, 83) -
Subs not used: Jensen, Rose, McGuire, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2): Stephens; Pearson, N’Gala, Dembele, Johnson; Yiadom, Togwell, Randall (Taylor 55), Muggleton (Gambin 55); Gash, Akinde. Subs not used: Nelson, Batt, Alie, Fonguck, Kyei.
Referee:
Andy Haines (1st half), Karl Evans (2nd half) 7 Generally good. Didn’t have many contentious decisions to deal with.


Season 15/16 Reports