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An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 17/18 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield  
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 
 Benning 67
Attendance: 7976 (2617 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 14 April 2018

BENNING GOAL SEALS STAGS WIN OVER SPIREITES

Martin Shaw at the Proact Stadium

Mansfield Town picked up a massively important win in the big local derby at Chesterfield this lunchtime thanks to a terrific goal from Mal Benning midway through the second half. It was a deserved win for the Stags who shaded the game overall. The 2,600 Stags fans created a magnificent atmosphere to roar their team onto victory and send the sorry Spireites spiralling down towards the Vanarama National League, a fate which seems highly likely now. Mansfield were off to a fast start with an attack inside the first 40 seconds, and then creating a good chance on 3 minutes when a shot from Benning was parried by keeper Ramsdale to Alfie Potter who side-footed wide from 15 yards. The Stags should have taken the lead on 20 minutes. Benning was involved again, cutting past Zavon Hines before curling a superb low cross into the middle where Danny Rose slid the ball towards the net having escaped his marker. It looked a certain goal but keeper Ramsdale somehow saved with his legs. Brilliant defending from Potter at the other end denied Chesterfield a goal on 27 minutes. Kristian Dennis headed down creating a chance for Laurence Maguire to bundle the ball goalwards from 12 yards, Logan was out quickly to block the effort, but the loose ball ran into the path of Hines who would have had an empty net to aim at but Potter slid in with a goal saving challenge to put Hines off and the ball skewed wide. Then on 41 minutes, Dennis cut inside Zander Diamond in the area and fired a low shot towards the net from 14 yards but Logan saved well with his legs despite diving the wrong way. Overall the Stags shaded the first half, though both sides had two good chances. Mansfield took the lead on 67 minutes with a terrific goal. Potter played the ball forward to sub CJ Hamilton, Hamilton turned and laid the ball perfectly into the path of Benning who collected the ball a couple of yards outside the area on the left, took one touch forward, and fired low across the keeper into the right corner of the net from 14 yards. This was Benning back at his best and a wonderful moment as the Stags players slid onto their knees in celebration right in front of the Stags fans. Three minutes later, a great move from the Stags as Benning played forward and a shot from Rose was deflected over the bar. From the resulting corner, MacDonald crossed from the left and Rhys Bennett headed just wide. Chesterfield were close to equalising on 79 minutes as sub Louis Dodds shot from 18 yards and it was deflected by Dennis just wide of the left post. Chesterfield changed tactics and started launching long ball after long ball into the Stags box, but the Stags defence stood firm and headed everything away. A bizarre moment in the third moment of stoppage time as Louis Reed was shown a red card by referee Darren Drysdale for bringing down Danny Rose as the last man with Rose having a clear run through on goal. Reed accepted his fate and was walking off, before the referee spotted that his linesman had the offside flag up against Rose, so Drysdale correctly rescinded the card and Reed was able to continue. It didn’t matter as Rhys Bennett headed away the final long ball into the box and the Stags fans could celebrate wildly. Wonderful celebrations and magnificent scenes at the end of the game, as the Chesterfield fans couldn’t get out of the ground quickly enough. It was Mansfield’s first win since the win at Exeter in February, and the first win for new manager David Flitcroft in his 9th game in charge. Later on in the afternoon Coventry won at Crawley, whilst Swindon and Lincoln lost. So Mansfield are one point behind Coventry, and Coventry have a game in hand. Mansfield are level with Lincoln, but Lincoln have two games in hand. Lincoln are at home to Wycombe on Tuesday and we could do with a favour from Wycombe to repay us for the favour we did for them four years ago. Coventry are at home to Stevenage on Friday. It still looks like Mansfield will need to win all of the remaining three games to have a chance of getting into the play-offs. But for today, it was all about local bragging rights.

Mansfield made four changes to the side that drew at Stevenage. In came Benning for Hunt at left back. Tough on Hunt who set up the goal at Stevenage and played well. But it proved to be an inspired choice. Benning back from suspension. Diamond came in for Bennett at centre half, and he took back the captaincy from Pearce. Diamond was hauled off after 30 minutes later Saturday. He had of course scored that massive equaliser in the game between the sides earlier in the season. Potter came in for Hamilton. Mellis came in for Byrom. It was a 4-4-2 formation, with Atkinson in front of the back four, Potter on the right, Mellis on the left and MacDonald in the middle. The four players left out all dropped to the bench. Not included in the 18 were Digby and Anderson among others.

It was a lovely sunny day in North Derbyshire. The Stags fans had one and a half sides of the ground and were in magnificent voice before kick off, and afterwards.

Mansfield were off to a fast start with an attack inside the first 40 seconds, as Potter played forward to Rose just inside the area, but the ball ricocheted to the keeper.

A good chance for Mansfield on 3 minutes as a bouncing shot from Benning was parried by keeper Ramsdale to Potter who side-footed wide from 15 yards.

At the other end on 4 minutes Kellett clipped a ball forward towards Dennis but it ran through to Logan.

On 5 minutes, Benning laid off to Hemmings who cut inside and sent a tame effort wide of the left post from 30 yards. Two minutes later, White won a free kick on the right, with Hines lucky not to be booked. Benning’s free kick didn’t beat the first man.

On 9 minutes Hemmings surged forward down the right and was chopped down outside the area on the right. The referee didn’t give a foul.

On 10 minutes, Pearce lost the ball to Kristian Dennis, and Brown sent a low shot well wide of the right post.

A frantic opening ten minutes with the Stags on top, having started on the front foot.

The Stags should have taken the lead on 20 minutes. Benning was involved again, cutting past Zavon Hines before curling a superb low cross into the middle where Danny Rose slid the ball towards the net having escaped his marker. It looked a certain goal but keeper Ramsdale somehow saved with his legs.

Brilliant defending from Potter at the other end denied Chesterfield a goal on 27 minutes. Kristian Dennis headed down creating a chance for Laurence Maguire to bundle the ball goalwards from 12 yards, Logan was out quickly to block the effort, but the loose ball ran into the path of Hines who would have had an empty net to aim at but Potter slid in with a goal saving challenge to put Hines off and the ball skewed wide.

A Chesterfield fan ran onto the pitch after 29 minutes, towards the Stags fans where he was wrestled to the ground by police and stewards. As he was led away he spat at the Stags fans. Disgusting behaviour. Spitting is classed as common assault so he can expect to be charged for both invading the pitch and assault.

The Stags were forced into a change on 32 minutes. White had been injured in the incident which saw Maguire and Hines have a chance on 27 minutes, and he had to be replaced, as Bennett came on at right back.

Referee Drysdale was lenient with his cards, letting Kellett off for deliberate handball on 33 minutes, and then Mellis off for a deliberate foul on Kellett a minute later.

On 35 minutes, the whistle went for a foul, Dennis lifted the ball over the bar after the whistle was gone for a foul. Brown was booked for the foul, but not Dennis. The referee was again consistent, because when Hemmings put the ball into the net a few minutes later at the other end after the whistle had gone, he was also not yellow-carded.

Then on 41 minutes, Dennis cut inside Zander Diamond in the area and fired a low shot towards the net from 14 yards but Logan saved well with his legs despite diving the wrong way. A minute later, Reed’s 25 yards shot was tame and deflected to Logan.

Overall the Stags shaded the first half, though both sides had two good chances.

Half time 0-0

On 48 minutes, a free kick for the Stags near the corner flag on the right. Benning’s free kick to the far post found Diamond but he couldn’t get on top of it and it skimmed away for a goal kick.

On 51 minutes, Kellett turned and shot tamely wide from 25 yards. Then Brown pushed forward into the area, but great defending from Pearce to hold him off and shepherd out for a goal kick.

CJ Hamilton replaced Mellis on 53 minutes. Mellis had done ok, but Hamilton would bring a better balance on the left as well as natural pace.

The Stags were launching too many long balls forward.

On 57 minutes, Benning crossed from the left and it was just cleared as Hemmings was about to shoot.

MacDonald was booked for a foul on 61 minutes.

On 63 minutes, Dennis crossed from the left for the Spireites and Diamond did well to clear. That came from a Stags attack where Hamilton’s poor cross conceded possession.

Mansfield took the lead on 67 minutes with a terrific goal. Potter played the ball forward to sub CJ Hamilton, Hamilton turned and laid the ball perfectly into the path of Benning who collected the ball a couple of yards outside the area on the left, took one touch forward, and fired low across the keeper into the right corner of the net from 14 yards. The shot took the smallest of deflections off a defender, but would have probably gone in anyway. This was Benning back at his best and a wonderful moment as the Stags players slid onto their knees in celebration right in front of the Stags fans.

Hemmings was booked for a trip on Talbot on 68 minutes.

On 70 minutes, a great move from the Stags as Benning played forward and a shot from Rose was deflected over the bar. From the resulting corner, MacDonald crossed from the left and Rhys Bennett headed just wide. The video shows however it was the defender that knocked it wide and it should have been a corner.

Then on 74 minutes, Potter cut inside and his shot was blocked. At the other end on 78 minutes, good defending from Bennett to block O’Grady’s shot. From the resulting corner, Pearce blocked McCourt’s shot.

Chesterfield were close to equalising on 79 minutes as sub Louis Dodds shot from 18 yards and it was deflected by Dennis just wide of the left post.

Pearce was down injured and Mansfield put the ball out for a throw-in. Rather than give the ball back to Mansfield, Chesterfield played on. Rather than get on my high horse about it, we can’t complain because Mansfield did the same recently. Poor sportsmanship.

On 82 minutes, Bennett got in a great block on a Dodds shot.

Chesterfield had changed tactics and started launching long ball after long ball into the Stags box, but the Stags defence stood firm and headed everything away.

On 84 minutes, an error from Logan as he came for a cross from a free kick and didn’t get there, the Stags cleared and when Dennis recycled into the middle, Logan did claim.

King replaced Hemmings on 85 minutes.

On 89 minutes, a long free kick was cleared to McCourt who volleyed over the bar from 22 yards.

A bizarre moment in the third moment of stoppage time as Louis Reed was shown a red card by referee Darren Drysdale for bringing down Danny Rose as the last man with Rose having a clear run through on goal. Reed accepted his fate and was walking off, before the referee spotted that his linesman had the offside flag up against Rose, so Drysdale correctly rescinded the card and Reed was able to continue.

It didn’t matter as Rhys Bennett headed away the final long ball into the box and the Stags fans could celebrate wildly.

Wonderful celebrations and magnificent scenes at the end of the game, as the Chesterfield fans couldn’t get out of the ground quickly enough. The Stags have hammered a real nail into Chesterfield’s coffin. Highly unlikely that the Spireites can avoid relegation now. But can Mansfield get into the play-offs? We’ll need to keep on winning. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Mal Benning

Report by: Martin Shaw at the Proact Stadium



Line Up:
(4-4-2)
Logan 7.5 Great save from Dennis with his legs when diving the wrong way. Good save from Maguire. One mistake when he came for a free kick and didn’t get it.
White - Off injured after 32 minutes. Had started the game well.
Pearce 8 One mistake in the first half, but some great defending and blocks.
Diamond 7.5 Allowed Dennis to get past him and get in a shot which Logan saved very well. But otherwise did very well on his return to the side.
Benning 9 What a return to the side after suspension and what a return to form in such a crucial game. Terrific goal, surging into the box and firing into the right corner of the net. Great cross for Rose’s chance. Shot parried for Potter’s chance.
Atkinson 7 Solid game in midfield.
Potter 7 Brilliant goal-saving defending to deny Hines a free shot at an empty net. Missed a great chance early on.
MacDonald 6.5 Worked hard. One good cross.
Mellis 6 Did ok in left sided midfield role.
Rose 6 Should have scored after 20 minutes with a glorious chance in front of goal.
Hemmings 6 One tame shot. Did ok.
Sub Line Up:
Bennett (for White, 32 mins) 8 Slotted in a very well at right back. Some very good blocks.
Hamilton (for Mellis, 53 mins) 7 Important assist for the goal, laying the ball perfectly into Benning’s path. One terrible cross which led to a Chesterfield chance at the other end.
King (for Hemmings, 85 mins) -
Subs not used: Olejnik, Hunt, Byrom, Angol.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; Talbot, Maguire, Evatt, Smith; Reid, Weir (McCourt 73); Brown (Dodds 69), Kellett, Hines (O’Grady 59), Dennis. Subs not used: Anyon, Rowley, Barry, Nelson.
Referee:
Darren Drysdale 7 Generous with his cards, but got most things about right.


Season 17/18 Reports