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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Pre-Season Friendly
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
 Milton Keynes Dons
Nathan Thomas 45.
 Powell 58.
Attendance: 1346 (38 from Milton Keynes)
Date: 21 July 2015


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town drew 1-1 with MK Dons at the One Call Stadium in the first home pre-season friendly. MK Dons were promoted to the Championship last season and Adam Murray had said before the game that he didn’t expect Mansfield to see much of the ball and it would be a game to focus on defending. As it turned out, Mansfield defended pretty well, closing down quickly and giving MK Dons no space or time on the ball, and yet Mansfield also saw a lot of the ball, creating more chances than MK Dons and deserving of at least the draw that resulted. Not that the result mattered, we know that from last season’s pre-season.

Mansfield took the lead on 45 minutes with an excellent curling strike from Nathan Thomas from the edge of the box. That came after Matt Green had had a goal disallowed for offside, though he showed he hasn’t lost his clinical finish in rounding the keeper and slotting home. MK Dons equalised on 58 minutes with a great turn of speed from Daniel Powell whose first shot was saved by Scott Shearer, but Powell knocked in the rebound. Mansfield should have won it with a glorious chance for Jack Thomas in the last 10 minutes which he put over the bar. Overall a great workout for the Stags and no surprise that Adam Murray was chuffed after the game with how it went.

It was the first sight of the new kit, and with the expected squad numbers on the back. I thought it looked smart. Adam Murray had switched the dugouts around, so the home dugout is nearer the North Stand. News before the game from Paul Broughton that the new scoreboard should be in place by the end of August, on the Bishop Street side, at the North stand end.

The Stags set up with Matt Green on his own up front, and a 5 man midfield behind him. Westcarr was on the right and Nathan Thomas on the left, with Jack Thomas in the most advanced role. The back four saw a return for Krystian Pearce, who had picked up an injury at Tamworth.

Stags team (4-5-1):

Scott Shearer;
Nicky Hunt, Lee Collins (captain), Krystian Pearce, Mal Benning;
Craig Westcarr, Adam Chapman, Chris Clements, Jack Thomas, Nathan Thomas;
Matt Green.

On 6 minutes, a short corner from Chapman to Nathan Thomas, whose crossed missed everyone. Two minutes later, the referee got in the way of a Jack Thomas crossfield ball, allowing a shot for Potter which was well wide from 20 yards.

On 13 minutes, Benning made a good run into the box on the left and shot from a tight angle, clutched by the keeper.

A bit of argy bargy and afters between Matt Green and Kyle McFadzean started on 15 minutes, and was to continue through the game. I looked up during the game to see if McFadzean had been playing for Alfreton at the time Green played against them for Mansfield, but he didn’t.

The Stags had a goal disallowed on 16 minutes. Green slipped the ball to Clements, who returned the ball into Green’s path. Green had got goalside of the defence, but was just half a yard offside, before he rounded keeper David Martin and slotted into the net. A typical Matt Green clinical finish, and great to see, but he was just offside. On first viewing of the video, I thought the video confirmed the offside. But on subsequent viewing, actually you can't tell because of a defender off screen on the right.

On 18 minutes, Church got through on the left, Lee Collins stood appealing instead of playing on, but he did very well to get in a tackle when he did play on.

Around the 23 minute mark a lovely passage of play from Mansfield knocking the ball around and holding on to it.

On 31 minutes, Nathan Thomas made a good run from the halfway line, but lost the ball in the area.

Carl Baker appealed for a penalty on 33 minutes as he went down under a challenge from Benning, but it looked half-hearted.

Collins dallied on the ball just outside his own area on 35 minutes and eventually lost the ball but was generously given a foul by the referee. Good defending from Krystian Pearce on 37 minutes as Carl Baker’s angled ball came into the area and Pearce stretched to clear for a corner. Then from the resulting corner from the left, Dean Lewington headed over the bar under pressure from the Stags defence.

On 39 minutes, Nathan Thomas shot just wide from 22 yards.

A lecture for Matt Green from the referee on 41 minutes for pushing McFadzean to the floor. Good play from Jordan Spence on 42 minutes as he played a 1-2 and got into the area on the right, but screwed his shot wide from 17 yards.

The Stags took the lead on 45 minutes. And a fine goal it was. Jack Thomas won the ball half way inside his own half with a good tackle, Westcarr played the ball down the line for Matt Green to run on to.Green got in a cross despite the attentions of Anthony Kay, over the head of Clements, who fed the ball back to Nathan Thomas. Nathan Thomas switched the ball from his left foot to his right foot, cutting inside the defender, and curling an excellent shot into the top right corner from the edge of the box.

On 45+1 minutes, Carl Baker got to the byeline, pulled the ball back into the middle, where Powell fired into the ground and up and over the bar. He should have scored.

A good half for Mansfield, defending well, limiting MK Dons to very few chances, while holding on to the ball well and scoring a fine goal as well as having another one just offside.

Half time 1-0

On 47 minutes, a long throw from Adam Chapman was headed on, but cleared, it came to Clements but his cross was also cleared.

On 50 minutes, Matt Green put McFadzean on his backside. A free kick to MK Dons and the referee gestured to Matt Green: no more.

Some great interplay between Nicky Hunt and Nathan Thomas on 52 minutes to earn a corner. The corner, taken by Benning from the right, was heading for Westcarr, but cleared.

Two minutes later, more lovely play as Benning switched the play from left to right to Hunt, and Hunt nearly put Westcarr in on goal.

On 57 minutes, a loose ball by Benning, the ball eventually came to Reeves who shot straight at Scott Shearer.

On 58 minutes, MK Dons equalised. Powell got away from Benning on the right with a great turn of pace, Powell’s first shot was parried by Shearer, back to him and he slotted the ball under the Stags keeper.

On 64 minutes, Benning’s ball forward to Matt Green, he provided a great knock-down to Westcarr, but Westcarr’s return pass to Green was overhit.

Mansfield started to make substitutions on 65 minutes. Lambe replaced Matt Green, who went off still complaining to the referee about McFadzean. Beardsley replaced Westcarr, And Trialist no.31 replaced Collins, slotting in to central defence.
***UPDATE: Trialist no.31 was later named as Joe Devera.

From this moment, the game inevitably started to get disjointed.

On 68 minutes, Lambe a good run into the box. At the other end, a minute later, Shearer was out quickly.

Another substitution on 71 minutes, as Dwyer replaced Nathan Thomas.

On 74 minutes, Carruthers curled a shot straight at Scott Shearer from 25 yards.

3 more changes on 75 minutes: McGuire for Chapman, Conor Green for Benning at left back, Fitzpatrick for Clements.

On 77 minutes, great defending from Krystian Pearce as MK Dons sub Dean Bowditch could have been through on goal. On 80 minutes, Bowditch shot well wide, with defenders blocking his view to goal.

A great chance for Mansfield on 81 minutes. A great ball swept in from Hunt, it was flicked back to Jack Thomas who had a clear sight of goal inside the area, but he shanked his left footed shot over the bar.

At the other end a minute later, Carl Baker cut inside and shot straight at Shearer, who held it well.

Great play from Jamie McGuire on 84 minutes to win the ball. On 86 minutes, Lambe cut inside from the left but the ball was taken off his toe as he was about to shoot.

The final substitution for Mansfield on 88 minutes as Corbin Shires replaced Hunt. Shires went to centre half and Trialist no.31 moved to right back.

A very good workout for Mansfield against the first team from Championship side MK Dons. Mansfield more than matched their opponents. At the back Pearce and Hunt really caught the eye with fine defending. Hunt and Benning got forward well. Benning defensively was a bit of a concern. Matt Green showed good pace up front, also holding the ball up and bringing others into play. In midfield, Clements had a decent game. Nathan Thomas continued to excite as he has in previous pre-season games. Overall, the team is shaping up well.

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

Line Up:
Scott Shearer;
Nicky Hunt, Lee Collins (captain), Krystian Pearce, Mal Benning;
Craig Westcarr, Adam Chapman, Chris Clements, Jack Thomas, Nathan Thomas;
Matt Green.
Sub Line Up:
Lambe (for Matt Green, 65 mins)
Beardsley (for Westcarr, 65 mins)
Trialist no.31 (for Collins, 65 mins) ***UPDATE: Trialist no.31 was later named as Joe Devera.
Dwyer (for Nathan Thomas, 71 mins)
McGuire (for Chapman, 75 mins)
Conor Green (for Benning, 75 mins)
Fitzpatrick (for Clements, 75 mins)
Shires (for Hunt, 88 mins)

Opposition Line Up:
Martin; Spence (Hodson 69), McFadzean (Walsh 69), Kay, Lewington; Potter (Bowditch 69), Carruthers; Baker, Reeves (Rasulo 80), Powell; Church (Jennings 80). Unused subs: Cropper, Tshimanga.
Gary Sutton

Season 15/16 Reports