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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
The Emirates FA Cup - Round One replay
Oldham Athletic  
2 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Philliskirk 70, Poleon 78
Attendance: 1893 (188 from Mansfield)
Date: 17 November 2015


Martin Shaw at Boundary Park

Mansfield Town were knocked out the FA Cup by League One Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park. Mansfield were much the better side for the opening 65 minutes, playing some good football and having some good chances to take the lead. But failure to take those chances was costly as Oldham took the lead on 70 minutes and then added another on 78 minutes, a beauty from Poleon from the edge of the box. So Oldham through to face Sheffield United in the next round, but much to be positive about for Mansfield and the 188 Stags fans showed their appreciation of the performance with applause at the end of the game, a game which was played in atrocious weather with driving rain throughout and a strong wind. Adam Murray had made six changes from the side that lost at Northampton and several of the players coming in played very well, most notably Nathan Thomas who made several surging runs, Jack Thomas who was very lively in central midfield, and Krystian Pearce who was back in central defence and looked rock solid alongside the equally impressive Tafazolli. The fifth game without a goal for Mansfield is of course a real concern. It looked like Matt Green’s goal drought would be over when he was quick to pounce on a lazy backpass on 23 minutes but keeper Coleman did really well to get to the ball at the same time as Green and force Green’s shot from close range over the bar. On 47 minutes, a lovely ball from Tafazolli to Blair who put Green in on goal again but Green’s close range shot was brilliantly blocked by James Wilson. Green had a third chance of a one-on-one on 50 minutes but didn’t pull the trigger and was then outnumbered by defenders. I’ve got confidence that Green will end his goal drought soon and he will have been encouraged by the 188 Stags fans who got right behind him especially after that chance on 50 minutes, chanting “Green will tear you apart”. It was great support from the Stags fans.

Back to the league on Saturday with the visit of Hartlepool to the One Call Stadium. A big game as Mansfield try to get back on the goals trail and preserve their position in the top 7.

Adam Murray made six changes from the side that lost at Northampton: Scott Shearer came in for Brian Jensen in goal. His first game since the League Cup tie at Sheffield Wednesday. Pearce returned in place of Nicky Hunt. Collins moved to right back. Blair came in for Rose on the right, Nathan Thomas came in for Lambe on the left. McGuire came in for Clements, who was suspended for one game after picking up five bookings. Jack Thomas came in for Westcarr. It started as a 4-2-3-1 formation with McGuire and Chapman behind Blair, Jack Thomas and Nathan Thomas, but was changed to a 4-1-4-1 formation inside the first 15 minutes with McGuire in front of the back four, and Chapman and Jack Thomas in central midfield. Blair Adams was able to play having completed a loan move until January 19. Fitzpatrick replaced Clements in the 18.

Mansfield had the wind and driving rain behind them in the first half.

On 6 minutes, the Stags won a free kick 33 yards out. Chapman took it and drove it into the wall. The ball was recycled back into the box by McGuire to Nathan Thomas who fired over from 10 yards on the left. A real opportunity for Nathan Thomas.

On 11 minutes, another free kick from Chapman, this time from 40 yards out, and this time he curled it straight through to the keeper.

A minute later at the other end, Matty Blair did well to hold off Poleon, but Higdon nicked the ball away and skipped through but overran the ball to Scott Shearer.

The formation, having started at 4-2-3-1 had now switched to 4-1-4-1.

On 16 minutes, Blair Adams pushed forward well, and eventually Nathan Thomas burst through towards the byline, and his cross was put behind for a corner.

The Stags were within a whisker of the lead on 23 minutes. Brian Wilson played a lazy and loose backpass without looking towards his own goal, keeper Coleman had moved to one side, Green chased after it and so did the keeper, they got to the ball at the same time and the keeper got a touch which forced Green’s shot from close range over the bar. Green would certainly have scored with a tap in had the keeper not got there. An Oldham defender immediately rushed in to congratulate the keeper.

Jack Thomas was lectured by the referee on 26 minutes after it looked like he was fouled during a run forwards but the referee gave nothing and Jack Thomas then chased after the referee to complain.

The Stags were having most of the play and looking the better side.

On 29 minutes a cross from Yeates, James Wilson skimmed a header towards the bottom right corner, and Shearer saved well. A minute later, more good play from Yeates as he got down the left and put in a good cross which Jack Thomas did well to put behind for a corner. From the corner, Shearer unconvincingly pushed away.

On 35 minutes a good ball forward to Green to run onto on the left, he cut inside but his lay-off was wasteful.

On 38 minutes, Pearce did well to head back to Shearer from a cross from the right.

Great play by Nathan Thomas down the left beating several men on 40 minutes, he did brilliantly to hold onto the ball. Eventually the ball was recycled to Blair whose shot from distance was blocked.

A good move from the Stags on 44 minutes, Jack Thomas squirted the ball forward giving Blair half a chance inside the area but he couldn’t turn the ball goalwards.

A good half from Mansfield, certainly the better side. The best chance fell for Green after a bad backpass.

Half time 0-0

The wind was now even stronger than the first half and was behind Oldham, with rain driving across the ground.

On 47 minutes, a lovely ball from Tafazolli to Blair out on the right, who put Green in on goal again but Green’s close range shot was brilliantly blocked by James Wilson. As with his chance on 23 minutes, Green didn’t do much wrong but was thwarted by great defending.

Green had a third chance of a one-on-one on 50 minutes. A ball over the top put him in but he didn’t pull the trigger and was then outnumbered by defenders. Whereas for the first two chances I didn’t think Green did much wrong, this time a fully confident Green would have got a shot in on goal. I’ve got confidence that Green will end his goal drought soon and he will have been encouraged by the 188 Stags fans who immediately got right behind him, chanting “Green will tear you apart”. It was great support from the Stags fans for a player who needs it at the moment.

On 54 minutes, Shearer was out quickly to clear a ball that had come over the top.

Quick thinking from Green on 57 minutes as he quickly took a free kick on the halfway line to Nathan Thomas, Thomas surged forward into the box but was eventually stopped.

Tafazolli was booked for a foul in the back on 62 minutes. The resulting free kick from 35 yards by Yeates was chipped onto the roof of the net with Shearer watching it all the way.

On 64 minutes, Nathan Thomas surged into the box, he was held off by a defender and went down. He wanted a penalty by the referee gave nothing, and from the video it looked a good tackle.

Rose replaced Blair on 65 minutes.

A great tackle by McGuire on the touchline on 67 minutes though he then played the ball into touch. A minute later, an even better tackle by Pearce on Poleon as Poleon broke into the box on the left, and the ball went out for a corner. From the resulting corner, to beyond the far post, Philliskirk headed back across goal, Jack Thomas cleared away off the line, then a shot from Brian Wilson from 10 yards was blocked by a combination of McGuire and Shearer’s legs on the line.

Oldham were finally having a spell on top and they went in front on 70 minutes. Yeates crossed in from the left, Tafazolli jumped but couldn’t reach it, Philliskirk controlled beautifully and fired home from 10 yards despite pressure from Adams and then Pearce.

On 72 minutes a great run by Nathan Thomas, he played the ball to Rose on the right and Rose was fouled for a free kick. Adams took the free kick but it was cleared.

Yussuf replaced Jack Thomas on 76 minutes. Jack Thomas had played well. Yussuf went up front with Green in a 4-4-2 formation.

Oldham made it 2-0 on 78 minutes, and it was a beauty from Poleon from the edge of the box. A high ball from the halfway line looked like it would go out for a goalkick, the way the wind and pitch had been playing. But it didn’t, Yeates chased after it after Collins clearly thought it was going to go out, Yeates pulled it back to Philliskirk on the edge of the box, Philliskirk squared to Poleon, and Poleon curled a shot into the top right corner of the net giving Shearer no chance. It was scarcely plausible that Mansfield could be 2-0 down having been so much on top for so long, but they were.

McGuire was booked for a foul on the halfway line on 80 minutes.

On 87 minutes, yet another surging run from Nathan Thomas into the box, but he ran out of space surrounded by three defenders.

Four minutes of stoppage time were added. On 90+1 minutes, Kelly hit a speculative effort from 35 yards just over the bar.

Full time, and the Stags fans applauded their side for a good performance, but failure to take chances was very costly.

Man of the match: Nathan Thomas

Report by: Martin Shaw at Boundary Park

Line Up:
(4-2-3-1 initially, but mostly 4-1-4-1)
Shearer 6.5 No chance with the goals. One punch away was unconvincing. Otherwise made a couple of decent saves.
Collins 6.5 Solid game switching to right back. Was caught out in the build-up to the second goal when he thought the ball was going out of play.
Pearce 7 Back in the side in central defence and looked rock solid. Some good challenges.
Tafazolli 7 Solid game. Great ball in the build-up to Green’s second chance. The ball into Philliskirk for the second goal was over his head. His booking took him to 4 and thus a suspension if he gets booked again in the next 3 games before the cut-off of 30 November.
Adams 6.5 Pushed forward well on occasions. Did ok.
McGuire 7 Very solid game in front of the back four.
Blair 6.5 Nice set up for Green’s second chance. Did ok.
Chapman 6.5 Did ok without creating much going forward.
J.Thomas 7.5 Very lively in central midfield and did well defensively too.
N.Thomas 8 Six surging runs into the box, and was frequently surrounded by about three defenders. Put a good early chance over the bar.
Green 6.5 Had three chances running at goal. Whereas for the first two chances I didn’t think he did much wrong and was thwarted by good keeping/defending, the third chance where he didn’t get a shot away suggested he’s low on confidence.
Sub Line Up:
Rose (for Blair, 65) -
Yussuf (for J.Thomas, 76) -
Subs not used: Jensen, Hunt, Westcarr, Lambe, Fitzpatrick.
Opposition Line Up:
Coleman, Eckersley, B.Wilson, J.Wilson, Mills, Kelly, Dieng, Yeates, Philliskirk, Poleon (Fuller 80), Higdon (Rasulo 60). Subs not used: Renshaw, Brown, Winchester, Vassell, Byrnes.
Lee Collins 7 Handled the game well. Seemed to miss an obvious foul on Jack Thomas.

Season 15/16 Reports