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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Dagenham and Redbridge  
3 - 4
 Mansfield Town
McClure 9, Chambers 30, 32.
 Benning 6, Green 37 (pen), Pearce 81, Yussuf 86.
Attendance: 1,597 (193 from Mansfield)
Date: 3 October 2015


Martin Shaw at Chigwell Construction stadium, Victoria Road.

In an absolutely incredible game at Victoria Road, Mansfield Town came from 3-1 down to beat Dagenham 4-3 with two goals in the final ten minutes. It was a totally deserved victory and as Daggers manager Wayne Burnett simply said to Adam Murray afterwards: “you were better than us”. The first half was quite even and it could have been 6-6 at the break, instead of 3-2 to the home side. But the second half was different as Mansfield produced 45 minutes of almost complete domination, indeed one of the most dominant halves of football by the Stags that I can remember, apart from two great shots by Jamie Cureton on the break. Mansfield’s first and last goals are worth a special mention. The first goal was a sensational volley from just outside the box by Mal Benning on 6 minutes, and with his wrong foot, his right foot, as well. Mansfield’s winner, on 86 minutes, was the first goal in a Mansfield shirt by Adi Yussuf and what a time to get it, showing tremendous composure after a little stepover bamboozled the defender and Yussuf slid the ball under the keeper from 7 yards from the right hand side. It was a wonderful moment for Yussuf and for everyone associated with the club. All in all, magnificent entertainment.

Mansfield are up to 6th, and just two points behind the automatic promotion places. Despite today’s three goals conceded by Mansfield, still only Wycombe in League Two have conceded fewer goals.

The game created quite a few interesting stats, and I’ve listed them here.

- This was the first time Mansfield have won at Dagenham, indeed it’s the first time Mansfield have scored at Dagenham.
- Today is the first time Mansfield have come from two goals down to win a game since October 2011, when we came from 2-0 down to beat Alfreton 3-2 at home, with goals from Green, Meikle and Todd.
- Matt Green's penalty scored today came after 92 league games without scoring a penalty (since Clucas vs Hartlepool in October 2013).
- Bizarrely today is Mansfield's first win during the month of October for three years, since October 2012 in our promotion season.
- Back-to-back away wins for Mansfield for the first time since April 2014 (Morecambe and that Hartlepool game).
- The first time Mansfield have scored four goals away since 4-2 at Hartlepool in March 2014.
- Mansfield’s last 4-3 away win was in November 2005 at Rotherham in the FA Cup, with two late goals from Richie Barker.
- Mansfield have won four away games this season, one more than the whole of last season.

Not surprisingly, Mansfield were unchanged from the side that won at Stevenage. Mansfield started with a 4-2-3-1 formation with McGuire and Chapman in front of the back four. Mitch Rose returned from suspension to a place on the sub’s bench. It was a lovely sunny day, after the early morning fog had cleared. Adam Murray commented pre-match that the grass was slightly longer than he had expected. A surprise in the Dagenham side with the outstanding Jamie Cureton on the bench, as he had been in the last game.

Stags were ahead on just 6 minutes. A ball dinked forward from Chapman, Green headed up, it was headed out by Obileye under pressure from Westcarr, to Benning on the edge of the D, and he smashed an unstoppable right foot volley into the top left corner of the net. What a goal and right in front of the Stags fans. His second goal of the season and the first wasn’t bad either.

On 9 minutes, Hunt crossed from the right and Jack Thomas headed straight at the keeper from 16 yards.

Straight to the other end and Dagenham equalised as Chambers fed McClure, Pearce stood off McClure and allowed him a shot at goal from the edge of the area to the left of centre. It was low and nestled into the bottom right corner of the net with Jensen unsighted. There was an inquest at the back and the goal came as something of a shock.

Mansfield should have been back in front on 12 minutes. Chapman curled in a free kick from the left about 25 yards from the goalline. Tafazolli lost his marker in the middle and had a free header from 7 yards which he headed over. He told me afterwards he couldn’t believe he missed it.

On 14 minutes, Westcarr did well to battle and win the ball, played it back to Chapman, and back to Westcarr, who curled in a right footed cross and Green acrobatically fired over.

A bizarre moment came on 20 minutes as Jodi Jones crossed from the right, McGuire tried to clear, with no Dagenham player anywhere near, and sliced his clearance on to the bar. The ball fell to Hemmings who squared to Chambers who missed it completely.

On 23 minutes, Chapman played a good ball down the line to Benning, Benning drove in a hard low cross which Green met but couldn’t divert goalwards.

Mansfield came even closer on 28 minutes. Benning’s free kick from the left was met by Tafazolli who headed down powerfully and keeper Liam O’Brien made an incredible save low to his left. It was almost Gordon Banks-esque. Tafazolli said to me afterwards he couldn’t believe the keeper kept it out.

It was 2-1 to Dagenham on 30 minutes. Boucaud slid the ball forward for Chambers, Chambers cut back inside Tafazolli on to his left foot and guided past Jensen into the bottom left corner.

Worse was to follow for the shell shocked Stags defence just 2 minutes later. Connors played a long ball over the top down the right, Chambers outpaced Tafazolli and poked the ball past Jensen as Jensen came out of his goal. Mansfield’s defence had been so mean all season conceding just 6 goals in 10 games but had now conceded 3 here in 32 minutes.

On 35 minutes, Green squared to Chapman fully 30 yards out and Chapman fired a blockbuster wide of the right post.

The Stags pulled a goal back to make it 3-2 on 37 minutes. Westcarr dinked a ball forward to Green in the area, Green turned inside two defenders, Connors and Dikamona, and was tripped by a combination of both defenders, for a clear penalty, right in front of the referee. Green took the spot kick and it crept under the keeper who got a touch on it.

Before the game restarted, Mansfield made a change as Jack Thomas was sacrificed to allow Murray to go two up front and bring on Adi Yussuf. It was now a 4-1-3-2 formation with McGuire sitting in front of the back four. The change was going to be made even before the Stags got the penalty.

On 45 minutes, great play by Yussuf by the corner flag on the right followed by a great cross which Westcarr headed over from a good position.

On 45+2 minutes, a free kick in from the right by Chambers, and Hemmings headed over from a good position. A minute later at the other end, Westcarr squared to McGuire who found himself in space 25 yards out and fired wide.

Moments later, the Stags went close to equalising. Green chested down, turned, and fired in a great shot from 25 yards which the keeper tipped wide.

It was a remarkable first half which could have finished 6-6.

Half time 3-2

At the start of the second half, Cureton replaced McClure. After the game, the Stags management were surprised that Cureton hadn’t started such is his quality. I can only think that at the age of 40, he’s not able to play 90 minutes, or at least more than two lots of 45 minutes in four days.

On 48 minutes, Yussuf turned, squared to Lambe, who controlled and his shot was well saved down to his right by the keeper. From the resulting corner, taken by Benning from the left, Tafazolli rose above the defence and headed goalwards but it was cleared.

The Stags were looking so dangerous.

The Stags had a goal disallowed on 52 minutes. A long throw from the right by Chapman was headed on by Tafazolli, touched on and Green swept in. It was ruled out for offside, presumably against Green.

On 53 minutes, Yussuf got into the area, Green took the ball on and Westcarr???. Yussuf was brought down just outside the box, Benning took the free kick from 27 yards out, further out than the foul occurred, just to the right of centre, and fired over. On 59 minutes, Chapman floated a free kick into the box from 40 yards out, Pearce headed the ball up and the keeper claimed under his bar. On 60 minutes, Green ran forward and fired well over from 25 yards. On 65 minutes, a free kick from Benning from the right, Tafazolli got his head on it again and headed wide.

The Stags were winning everything in the air in the Dagenham box and the Dagenham commentators in the box behind me simply couldn’t believe Dagenham’s inability to win a header at the back. Mansfield were dominating completely, indeed Dagenham had literally hardly been in Mansfield’s half in the first half of the second half.

Dagenham finally got the ball into the Mansfield half on 69 minutes. A ball over the top, Tafazolli didn’t deal with it, Chambers found Cureton who curled in a great shot which brought an equally great save from Jensen tipping it over. On 72 minutes, Chapman played the ball forward to Westcarr who miscued a shot wide from 25 yards. Another very rare Dagenham attack came on 75 minutes as Cureton broke into the box and Pearce did well to rob him.

Nathan Thomas replaced Westcarr on 75 minutes.

A second chance for Cureton came on 79 minutes. A free kick was sent over the top, Cureton got on to the end of it and lobbed over Jensen. Time seemed to stand still as I thought it was going to nestle in the top corner but it missed by a whisker on the right. It was a brilliant effort by Cureton.

Mansfield got the goal their utter domination deserved on 81 minutes. Chapman’s corner from the right, Pearce attacked it at the far post and powered a header into the net. It had been coming all half and at last a goal for Mansfield from their aerial domination in the Dagenham box.

On 83 minutes, Kane Ferdinand got into the area and his shot was blocked by Tafazolli. Then, a minute later, good skill by Nathan Thomas as he got past two defenders into the box but it was cleared by a third defender.

Mansfield took the lead on 86 minutes and what a goal from Adi Yussuf. Green battled for the ball with Dikamona, both players went down, Yussuf picked up the loose ball and showed tremendous composure after a little stepover that bamboozled Obileye, and slid the ball under the keeper from 7 yards from the right hand side. (Note that the goal was scored after 85:03 and so should by recorded as 86 minutes and not 85 as in some places.)

Collins replaced Green on 89 minutes.

Dagenham had their one chance to equalise on 89 minutes. A corner from the left was punched clear by Jensen. It was crossed back in and skimmed off the forehead of a Dagenham player from 6 yards.

Just three minutes were added on. In the last of those three minutes, Hemmings headed goalwards but easily saved by Jensen on his line. The referee blew his whistle three minutes and 10 seconds into stoppage time despite the fact that Nathan Thomas had been down injured for 50 seconds during stoppage time, but Mansfield certainly weren’t complaining and were left to celebrate a memorable victory.

Man of the match: Mal Benning/Adi Yussuf

Report by: Martin Shaw at Chigwell Construction stadium, Victoria Road.

Line Up:
Jensen 7 Wonderful save from Cureton which was critical at 3-2 down. Solid punch near the end. I didn’t think he was at fault for the goals. Static for the first but probably unsighted.
Hunt 6 Ok.
Pearce 6.5 Picked a great time to score his first Stags goal with a thumping header. Stood off McClure and allowed him a shot for the first Daggers goal.
Tafazolli 6 Got in five headers in the Daggers box, very unlucky to be thwarted by one magnificent save, should have scored with one other. Will feel he could have done better for the second and third Daggers goals.
Benning 7.5 Sensational goal. Several good balls in to the box from open play and set pieces.
McGuire 6 Ok.
Chapman 7 Some good passing, and good balls into the box, including the corner for Pearce’s goal.
Lambe 6 Considering Mansfield were on the front foot so much, he was involved in relatively little.
J.Thomas 6 Was sacrificed to allow Murray to go two up front. Was not playing badly.
Westcarr 6.5 Set up a few chances.
Green 7 Great play to win the penalty which he converted. Great effort just before half time which was well saved.
Sub Line Up:
Yussuf (for J.Thomas, 38) 7.5 The hero with the later winner which showed tremendous composure. Great play just before half time to get in a good cross. Brought down just outside the box for a free kick. Looked so much sharper than of late.
N.Thomas (for Westcarr, 75) - One good run with good skill past two defenders before the ball was cleared. Hit a lady spectator in the crowd in the warm-up and was quick to go up and apologise.
Collins (for Green, 89) -
Subs not used: Shearer, Rose, Blair, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-2-3-1) O’Brien; Connors, Dikamona, Obileye, Widdowson; Boucaud, Ferdinand; Jones (Doidge 69), Chambers, Hemmings; McClure (Cureton 46). Unused subs: Cousins, Nosworthy, Raymond, Hamalainen, Hoyte.
Brendan Malone 7 Got the major incidents right.

Season 15/16 Reports