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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Yeovil Town  
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 Lambe 90+10
Attendance: 2,954 (105 from Mansfield)
Date: 20 October 2015


Martin Shaw at Huish Park

A terrific header from 12 yards from Reggie Lambe deep into stoppage time gave Mansfield a victory that was just about deserved at Yeovil last night. Mainly due to a 6.5 minute stoppage to Yeovil keeper Artur Krysiak, 9 minutes of stoppage time had been indicated, and 9 minutes 40 seconds had already been played when Lambe headed home brilliantly from near the penalty spot after great play from Mitch Rose on the right. Rose picked up a loose ball 25 yards out, on the right touchline, shepherded by two defenders, got to the byline and managed to squeeze in a great cross that picked out Lambe, who had found a yard of space. Lambe was engulfed by the entire Stags team, including keeper Brian Jensen who ran three-quarters of the length of the field to join the celebrations. Moments later, at the final whistle, every Stags player went over to the 105 travelling Stags fans to shake the fans’ hands. It was a great end to the game after the devastating news before the game that Mal Benning would be out for months with a cruciate injury. Murray revealed after the game that the squad had been in shock at the news and that Benning had been in tears at the news. It was so cruel on Benning who was in the form of his life, including the League Two goal of the week two weeks running. Murray moved quickly by bringing in left back Blair Adams on loan from Notts County. Adams is surplus to requirements at Notts County in Ricardo Moniz’s enormous squad of well over 30 players and had been training with Notts County’s reserve team. Adams had a very fine debut, not putting a foot wrong at the back, though he did have an opportunity to emulate Benning 20 yards from goal and totally miscued his shot!!

The first half was even, with Yeovil having the best chance as Jeffers headed wide from inside the 6 yard box. But Mansfield gradually got on top in the second half and were dominant in the final 25 minutes of the game with a succession of chances, the best of which fell to Lambe who really should have scored on 72 minutes when he nicked the ball around the keeper, but from 5 yards he couldn’t beat a brilliant clearance off the line. Lambe more than made up for that miss, and another miss later, when he buried the winner in stoppage time.

Plenty of very good performances for the Stags, Lee Collins was excellent alongside Tafazolli who was again excellent, McGuire had a very solid game in front of the back four, but Blair Adams was my man of the match settling immediately at left back with his faultless defensive display.

For the first time that I have ever known, Mansfield stayed overnight for a midweek game. Exactly the right preparation and it is these “one per cent”s that can make a difference. Well done to the club for sanctioning it. What a contrast to last season when the team weren’t even allowed to stay overnight for a 3pm kick off at Dagenham, which was exactly the wrong preparation.

Mansfield strengthen the position in the top 7: three points above 8th place, two points behind 3rd. Mansfield have the equal best goal difference, while only Plymouth have conceded fewer goals. We are a whacking 16 points above the drop zone.

The Stags had never won at Yeovil before, albeit only having played there twice, both times a decade ago. So, we have now won this season at three places where we had never won before: Stevenage, Dagenham and Yeovil.

Lambe’s goal made him the 11th player to score for Mansfield this season.

Mansfield were forced into three changes from the sickening late defeat to Bristol Rovers. Benning was replaced by Blair Adams. Adams had played against Mansfield in the league game earlier this season. I asked him after the game if it was now strange now playing for Mansfield, but he told me “no, it’s just the life of a professional footballer”. Pearce, suspended for 3 games after the club did not appeal his red card, was replaced at centre half by Lee Collins. Hunt, suspended for 1 game, was replaced at right back by Mitch Rose, who has not played in that position for Mansfield even in pre-season. Brian Jensen was ok to play after being virtually knocked out on Saturday. It was a 4-2-3-1 formation with McGuire and Chapman behind Lambe, Jack Thomas and Westcarr in midfield.

It was a scrappy start to the game with no goalmouth action in the opening stages. On 9 minutes, a free kick from the halfway line by Adams was headed on by Tafazolli to Westcarr who couldn’t get in a shot. Straight to the other end, and a ball forward to Jeffers who was offside.

On 12 minutes, a good move from the Stags: Chapman’s free kick from the right found Adams on the left. He played it back into the middle, and it came to Rose who broke forward down the right and lofted a cross just wide of the left post.

On 14 minutes, Rose gave away a free kick level with the edge of the area on the left. McGuire headed away the free kick and eventually Adams headed behind for a corner. The corner from the left was a good one and somehow fizzed through everyone and out the other side.

A good move from Yeovil on 16 minutes and Bird fired powerfully over from 20 yards.

Adams was booked for a late challenge in the Yeovil half on 19 minutes.

A great chance for Yeovil to take the lead on 20 minutes. A deep cross from the right by Roberts high into the Stags six yard box. Surprisingly Jensen didn’t come for the cross and Jeffers was allowed a free header and headed wide. Jensen has been coming for those crosses all season.

On 21 minutes, Chapman dinked a ball forward for Green to run on to but it just skipped away from Green and keeper Krysiak was able to clear.

On 22 minutes, Rose was caught out of position, Dickson crossed from the left and Tafazolli cleared. Another mistake by Rose on 25 minutes as he needlessly gave away a free kick near the corner flag after misjudging a ball forward, but the free kick didn’t come to anything. On 27 minutes, another cross into the Stags 6 yard box from the left, again Jensen didn’t come for the cross but it was cleared. A minute later, a Yeovil long throw was cleared by Collins. Yeovil were getting on top.

On 31 minutes, a Chapman long throw was cleared to McGuire 25 yards out and he fired over the bar, McGuire was having a good half in front of the back four. On 36 minutes, Bird tee’ed up Sokolik who fired well over.

On 39 minutes, Westcarr’s ball forward nearly put Green in but the keeper was out of his area quickly and just able to clear.

Jeffers tried an ambitious attempt from well out on the left and it was a long way over the bar on 42 minutes.

Green was booked on 45+2 minutes though in the gloom on the far side of the ground, I couldn’t tell what it was for. (Update: from watching the match back again on DVD, Green was booked for a late challenge).

A very even first half. Blair Adams had settled in well. Collins was also doing well as was Tafazolli and McGuire. Rose had been caught out of position a few times and was struggling to settle in at right back. The best chance fell for Yeovil when Jeffers headed wide inside the six yard box. Surprisingly Jensen didn't come for the cross, nor for another later in the half.

Half time 0-0

On 49 minutes, Collins did well to hold off Bird. A minute later, Chapman clipped a ball over the top for Green whose first touch was great but he was then forced backwards by the defence to Jack Thomas who won a corner.

It was Jack Thomas’ last action as he was replaced by Matty Blair.

From the resulting corner from the right taken by Chapman, Collins headed back across goal and Lambe’s volley from close range was blocked for another corner.

Yussuf replaced Westcarr on 53 minutes. Stags changed shape to 4-1-3-2 with Yussuf and Green up front, and McGuire sitting behind the rest of the midfield.

A great challenge by Tafazolli on 54 minutes. On 55 minutes, a Yeovil corner from the right and a great punch away from Jensen. That was much more like the Jensen we’ve seen all season.

A good interception from Rose on 59 minutes. Rose had started the game frequently out of position but was now really growing into it.

Murray made his final substitution on 59 minutes with Clements replacing Chapman. A brave decision from Murray after Saturday’s events, but reflected his determination to try to go on and win the game.

Good defending from Adams on 61 minutes as a Yeovil ball came in from the left and Adams got something on it to clear it.

On 64 minutes, a throw in from the right by Rose was straight to a defender, but Yussuf nicked the ball off him and fired in a left footed shot along the ground but it didn’t have enough power and was easily saved.

On 67 minutes, Clements received a quick thrown-on from Rose, skipped past two defenders and curled a shot goalwards just over the bar with the aid of a deflection for a corner. The resulting corner came out to Adams 20 yards out from goal but he totally miscued his shot. After the game, Charlie Slater asked Adams if he’d seen Benning’s efforts from similar range. Adams laughed that he hadn’t seen them but had been told all about them!

The Stags were attacking with more purpose now and really getting on top.

On 71 minutes, a chance as Blair flicked on the edge of the box to Yussuf who was almost in but it was cleared.

A minute later, a golden opportunity to take the lead came as Lambe nicked a ball around the goalkeeper Krysiak but from 5 yards with only a defender on the line, Lambe allowed the defender to clear, albeit a brilliant clearance. Krysiak was already on the ground and indeed there was a full 6.5 minute stoppage before he was able to continue.

Another good chance for Mansfield came on 81 minutes. Adams’ ball into the box found Yussuf who turned and his shot was blocked. It was a good effort.

The Stags were completely on top. It was more like a 4-4-2 formation for Mansfield now with McGuire slightly further forward.

A rare half chance for Yeovil came on 84 minutes as Roberts crossed to the far post but the ball might have already been out of play before Dickson slid the ball back into the side netting.

Clements was booked for a clumsy challenge on 88 minutes. A minute later, a great tackle by Matty Blair by his own corner flag.

Nine minutes were added on, mainly due to the keeper injury.

On 90+4, a good header away by Adams from a dangerous cross.

McGuire was booked for a challenge on the halfway line on 90+6.

Lambe went close again on 90+8 minutes. He won the ball on the halfway line, got forward past one defender and his low shot was just past the left post. It was close.

A minute later, Green cut inside but his shot was blocked.

Moments later, Blair put in a poor cross but the ball came back to the halfway line where Mansfield won a free kick for a foul on McGuire. Clements’ high free kick to the edge of the area, was headed away to Rose, 25 yards out, on the right touchline. He was shepherded by two defenders, but did well to get to the byline and managed to squeeze in a great cross that picked out Lambe, who had found a yard of space near the penalty spot. Lambe headed home brilliantly into the bottom left corner of the net giving keeper Krysiak no chance of reaching it. Lambe was engulfed by the entire Stags team, including keeper Brian Jensen who ran three-quarters of the length of the field to join the celebrations. Moments later, at the final whistle, every Stags player went over to the 105 travelling Stags fans to shake the fans’ hands. After the game Adam Murray said the win was for Mal Benning. Hope you have a speedy recovery Mal.

On to Portsmouth on Saturday. I would expect Hunt to come back in to the side at right back, and if Mansfield can stay tight, with that second best defensive record in the league, then anything is possible. Come on Mansfield!

Man of the match: Blair Adams

Report by: Martin Shaw at Huish Park

Line Up:
Jensen 6 Great to see in the team after Saturday’s near knock-out. Uncharacteristically didn’t come for two crosses into his six-yard box in the first half, he’s been coming for those all season, but back to himself in the second half with a great punch.
Rose 6 Played at right back for the first time for Mansfield. Was caught out of position a lot in the first half, but improved greatly in the second half, and capped it with great play to set up the winner.
Collins 8 Very good game at the centre of defence alongside Tafazolli.
Tafazolli 8 Very good, with fine clearances and challenges.
Adams 8.5 Settled in immediately at left back with a faultless defensive display. Got forward quite a lot.
McGuire 7.5 Very solid game mostly in front of the back four.
Chapman 6.5 Some nice distribution and set pieces.
Lambe 8 Involved in a lot. Had three chances to score (one of which he certainly should have taken) before his great header made him the hero. His first goal of the season and he became the 11th player to score for Mansfield this season.
J.Thomas 6 Worked hard.
Westcarr 6 Quiet game.
Green 6 Showed great touch on one occasion. Nearly put in by balls forward a couple of times but the keeper was out quickly to clear.
Sub Line Up:
Blair (for J.Thomas, 50) 6 Great to see him get game time. One good tackle at the back. Will need time to get his sharpness going forward.
Yussuf (for Westcarr, 53) 6 A couple of shots, one of which was a good effort.
Clements (for Chapman, 59) 7 Great play to get into position to curl a shot just over with the aid of a deflection. Close to getting his starting position back.
Subs not used: Shearer, Marsden, N.Thomas, Beardsley.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2): Krysiak; Roberts, Sokolik, Arthurworrey (Lacey 78), Smith; Cornick, Laird, Sheehan, Dickson; Bird, Jeffers (Allen 78). Substitutes (not used): Dolan, Weale (gk), Fogden, Bassett.
Charles Breakspear 7 An easy game to handle, which he did well.

Season 15/16 Reports