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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League Cup - Capital One Cup Round 1
Sheffield Wednesday  
4 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Joao 13, Semedo 19, Lee 53, Sougou 84.
 Tafazolli 45.
Attendance: 14,021 (1,236 from Mansfield)
Date: 11 August 2015


Martin Shaw at Hillsborough

Mansfield were beaten 4-1 by Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in the first round of the League Cup. Sheffield Wednesday were too good for Mansfield, as might have been expected of a good Championship club, but some aspects of Mansfield’s defeat were disappointing. In particular, Mansfield were very poor in almost every way in the opening 37 minutes of the game, with some terrible defending and simply not getting into the game at all. Time after time, Wednesday got down the wings and were able to get crosses in, and the opening two goals saw schoolboy defending as free headers were allowed in the box. However from 37 minutes onwards, the Stags were much better, and pushed forward when they could. Ryan Tafazolli, Mansfield’s only defender on the night who had a good game, pulled a goal back with a header from a corner just before the break to make it 2-1. Either side of that goal, on 44 and 49 minutes, Chris Beardsley could have scored with decent headers on target. But Sheffield Wednesday scored again to make it 3-1 on 53 minutes. Mansfield didn’t give up and had more chances to get back into the game as Beardsley again, Yussuf and Lambe all had good chances, Beardsley’s clipping the post. But the game ended as it begun with more sloppy defending allowing Sheffield Wednesday a 4th goal on 84 minutes, as yet again a cross was allowed in and again a player was unmarked to score inside the box. Even in League Two defending like this will be punished and the full-backs have to up their game to stop crosses coming in. Tafazolli was the standout defender tonight, while alongside him 17 year old Corbin Shires had a tough full debut, and the rested Krystian Pearce will surely come back into the side on Friday at Notts County.

Adam Murray made four changes to the side that drew with Carlisle in the opening league game, resting players ahead of Friday night’s game against Notts County. Shires replaced Pearce. It was Shires’ first start in a competitive game against the team he supported. Jack Thomas replaced Rose. Westcarr replaced Lambe. Beardsley replaced Green. It was Beardsley’s second debut in his return to the club. It was a 4-1-4-1 formation with Beardsley on his own up front, Westcarr and Nathan Thomas on the wings, and Chapman behind the rest of the midfield.

Wednesday made 9 changes to the side that dispatched Bristol City in the Championship on the opening day.

It was Mansfield’s first game at this magnificent stadium since 1979. The pitch was much bigger than Field Mill, which would give plenty of opportunities to the home side to expose the Stags down the wings.

Inside the first minute, Lucas Joao made a good run down the left leaving Hunt in his wake and put in a low cross across the face of goal.

On 4 minutes, Chapman crossed the far post, Shires got in a header but was penalised for a foul.

On 6 minutes, good covering from Nathan Thomas to put a dangerous ball out for a throw. A minute later, Lopez fired high over the bar and into the Stags fans behind the goal.

Sheffield Wednesday took the lead on 13 minutes. Benning brought down Sougou to concede a free kick on the right. The free kick by Lopez was whipped in and Joao got away from Shires and Hunt for a powerful unmarked header which beat Shearer.

It was 2-0 on 19 minutes. Sougou was allowed to get in a cross from the right on the byline, and Semedo ghosted in and leapt above Shires and Hunt for effectively another free header into the net.

On 24 minutes, a loose pass from a Wednesday player gave Nathan Thomas a chance to run at goal, but he slipped over just outside the box.

At the other end a minute later, a cross from the right and Tafazolli did well to stretch and put behind for a corner. It was already proving a difficult night for Benning with Wednesday getting a lot of joy down the right.

A ball over the top from Wednesday on 28 minutes, and Shearer was out quickly to head away, though the offside flag was belatedly raised.

On 32 minutes, Sougou shot from 30 yards, straight at Shearer.

Tafazolli did well on 34 minutes to stop Lee getting in a cross, putting behind for a corner.

On 35 minutes, a Lee cross from the right again, and Joao got above Shires but headed over the bar.

On 37 minutes, a great run of at least 60 yards by Jack Thomas finally gave the Mansfield fans something to cheer about and brought them to life. It sparked the first period of the game where the Stags held the ball for a little while.

A great tackle by Tafazolli just inside his own half on 38 minutes.

A decent move from Mansfield on 39 minutes as Tafazolli broke forward and found Nathan Thomas who curled a shot over. The Stags were at last getting into the game.

On 41 minutes, Joao broke forward and a good interception by Shires.

On 42 minutes, Sougou ran down the right, and pulled back to Joao who low shot was easily saved by Shearer. The space Wednesday were getting down their right was far too much.

On 44 minutes, a great Stags move, and Jack Thomas’s cross was perfect for Chris Beardsley who got in a fine header that was brilliantly tipped away by the keeper Joe Wildsmith for a corner.

From the corner, the Stags had a goal. Chapman took the corner from the left, and Tafazolli bundled the ball in from two yards. It was a reward for Tafazolli for a superb first half performance when those around him were struggling.

The home club had shown a replay of their two goals straight away on the enormous big screen, which is apparently new this season, but then didn’t show Tafazolli’s goal! Though it was shown in the half time highlights package.

The Stags had done well to get back into the game after a very poor opening 37 minutes. The defensive form of the two full-backs was a worry.

Half time 2-1

Mansfield switched to a 4-4-2 formation with Westcarr up front, and Jack Thomas on the right of midfield.

On 49 minutes, Jack Thomas made a good run down the right, crossed, and Beardsley got a header on target, blocked by Lees for a corner.

Just as Mansfield were really back in the game, Sheffield Wednesday made it 3-1 on 53 minutes. A ball was slipped forward through the Stags defence for Lee in a 1-on-1 with Shearer and Lee slid the ball under the keeper.

Liam Palmer got past Benning on the right on 54 minutes, and crossed to the far post, where a volley from Matias was wide of the right post.

Poor play from Nathan Thomas on 56 minutes as he gave the ball away 30 yards from goal with a square pass, but Matias fired wide from the edge of the box.

Nathan Thomas was immediately replaced by James Caton. A debut for the winger on loan from Shrewsbury (who had played in the Stags’ pre-season game at Solihull).

On 59 minutes, a double change for the Stags as Yussuf replaced Westcarr and Lambe replaced Jack Thomas. It remained a 4-4-2 formation with Beardsley and Yussuf up front, and Lambe and Caton on the right and left wing respectively.

A couple of nice early touches for Caton.

A tremendous last ditch tackle from Shires on 68 minutes on Joao as he ran at goal.

On 69 minutes, Caton’s ball in to Lambe, who laid back to Chapman and Chapman fired over the bar.

On 71 minutes, a fine move from the Stags ended with Hunt in to Beardsley but Beardsley miscued his shot.

A minute later, great play by Lambe on the right and a ball forward to Yussuf and with quick feet he got in a left-footed shot, and the keeper stretched to his left and got a hand on it. Not a bad effort from Yussuf, and a good save from Wednesday keeper Joe Wildsmith, making his debut.

The Stags went very close to making it 3-2 on 75 minutes. A great cross right footed from Caton on the left, Beardsley headed back across goal and it just clipped the left post.

The hugely impressive Joao went off to a richly deserved rapturous reception on 75 minutes.

On 77 minutes, Clements fed Lambe who dragged a left footed shot wide of the left post from 14 yards.

It was 4-1 on 84 minutes. Helan got past Hunt on the left and crossed from the byline, and Sougou was left unmarked with Shires the closest to him, to side-foot into the roof of the net from 12 yards.

Beardsley was booked for a late challenge on 89 minutes.

On 90+2 minutes, the Wednesday defence gave the ball away in their own half, but Clements was too tired to take advantage.

A very disappointing night defensively for Mansfield with far too many crosses allowed in and then a lack of marking in the middle. Not from Tafazolli though, who put in a commanding performance and was comfortably my man of the match for the Stags.

Man of the match: Ryan Tafazolli

Report by: Martin Shaw at Hillsborough

Line Up:
Shearer 6 I didn’t think he could be blamed for any of the goals. Alert and out quickly a couple of times.
Hunt 4 Crosses came in too easily from the left, starting inside the first minute. And, with Shires, allowed free headers for the first and second goals.
Shires 4 Tough full debut against Championship players. Naive defending from crosses allowing too many free headers at goal. Did put in a couple of fine challenges. Had a loan spell at Non League step 4 last season after impressing hugely in the Stags youth team. Might benefit from a spell at Non League step 2 (Conference North), but while Collins remains injured that can’t really happen.
Tafazolli 8.5 Commanding performance with a number of great tackles and interceptions. The 4 goals conceded didn’t reflect his performance.
Benning 5 Defensively poor against high class players. Crosses came in too easily from the right.
Chapman 6 Did ok.
Westcarr 6 Quiet game.
Clements 7 Took a long time to get into the game, but some neat stuff after that. Ran out of steam in the closing minutes.
J.Thomas 7 Wonderful run on 37 minutes sparked Mansfield into life. Two great crosses for Beardsley headers.
N.Thomas 5.5 Some good covering at the back. One shot wide. Slipped when he had a chance to run at goal. Terrible ball given away in dangerous position hastened his substitution.
Beardsley 7 Three decent headers, two on target, one of which brought a brilliant save, and one which clipped the post.
Sub Line Up:
Caton (for N.Thomas, 57) - Some nice early touches and a great cross for Beardsley’s header.
Yussuf (for Westcarr, 59) - One good effort brought a good save from the keeper.
Lambe (for J.Thomas, 59) - One fine piece of skill to set up a chance for Yussuf.
Subs not used: Jensen, Marsden, McGuire, Rose.

Opposition Line Up:
Wildsmith; Palmer, Sasso, Lees, Wiggins; Lee, Lopez (Hutchinson 57), Semedo, Sougou, Lavery (Matias 51), Joao (Helan 75). Substitutes not used: Dawson, Nuhiu, McGugan, Wallace.
Mark Brown 7 Handled the game well.

Season 15/16 Reports