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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Carlisle United  
1 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Miller 90+4.
 Daniel 21, Lambe 62.
Attendance: 4426 (156 from Mansfield)
Date: 9 April 2016


Martin Shaw at Brunton Park

After a run of 2 points from 7 games, Mansfield Town deservedly won 2-1 at Carlisle United this afternoon in an entertaining game. There was an early scare for the Stags when Alex Gilliead hit the outside of the post for Carlisle but Mansfield went close through Matty Blair and then Carlisle keeper Gillespie made a great save from a header from his own defender Ellis under pressure from Matt Green. Then Adam Chapman, Reggie Lambe, and Mani Dieseruvwe all had shots, before Colin Daniel finally gave the Stags a deserved lead on 21 minutes, smashing home from 10 yards after Tafazolli did well to head down a Chapman corner. Carlisle went close to equalising before the break as Jabo Ibehre poked wide from close range, just scraping the outside of the post, and Chapman did superbly to clear off the line from Tom Miller. Miller might have been shown a red card for a bad challenge on Dieseruvwe but despite Mansfield players surrounding the referee, Miller escaped with a yellow. Carlisle had plenty of possession in the second half but rarely looked like equalising and the Stags increased the lead on 62 minutes when Reggie Lambe, who had a fine game, got the ball onto his left foot in the area on the right, and sent a low shot inside the near post, beating the keeper who was probably unsighted. The Stags could have had a penalty on 73 minutes when Lambe was tripped in the area after turning a defender inside out, but the referee waved away the appeals. After the game, Lambe confirmed to me that he was definitely tripped, as I thought. Ryan Tafazolli could have made it 3-0 on 79 minutes when his volley from a corner was saved low down by the keeper. Moments earlier, Mal Benning, on as a sub, made a brilliant tackle to deny Derek Asamoah. Carlisle finally created some clearcut chances towards the end of the 90 minutes as Shearer saved with his legs from Gilliead on 85 minutes, then Hallam Hope’s shot deflected wide off Tafazolli, and on 90+2 minutes Grainger’s shot was blocked by Chapman on the line and somehow spun wide. Carlisle got a consolation goal in the final minute of stoppage time as Miller scrambled in following a Grainger cross.

A good performance from the Stags, as it had been at Hartlepool last Saturday, but the difference this time was no silly mistakes at the back as the Stags were noticeably more careful in not committing fouls, and the Stags also had the rub of the green a couple of times. Good performances throughout the team, with Scott Shearer catching most things that came into the box, the full backs Dan Alfei and Colin Daniel and then Daniel’s replacement Mal Benning doing well, Tafazolli dominant in central defence with Collins solid alongside him. Adam Chapman had a good game, with two goal-line clearances and some good balls forward. Reggie Lambe had a good game and deserved his goal, while Jack Thomas was impressive in central midfield. It was Mansfield’s first win over a team in the top half of the table this season. The Stags are six points behind the play-offs with five games to go. Hopefully this victory can be a springboard into a good end to the season to give the club some momentum, and next up a local derby with Notts County next week which will be an important game for local bragging rights.

Mansfield made three changes from the side that lost at Hartlepool. Pearce was suspended, Clements was out with a hamstring injury, and Benning was rested after a recent disappointing run of form (the Northampton game excepted) in order to give him time out of the limelight. Injury meant Benning would be back on the pitch as substitute though here and he returned with a fine performance. Into the starting XI came Dan Alfei, Reggie Lambe, and Colin Daniel. The Stags started in a 4-1-3-2 formation with Daniel at left back, Chapman in front of the back four, and Blair (right), Jack Thomas (centre) and Lambe (left), behind Dieseruvwe and Green. Yussuf was back in the 18 after his unjust 5 game suspension. Corbin Shires travelled with the squad but was not in the 18. Adam Murray said before the game that there was a virus and some sickness in the squad, but didn’t reveal which players had suffered.

Carlisle made one change from the side that I watched beat Hartlepool on Tuesday in a dour performance, with Charlie Wyke replacing Stacey. Former Stag Michael Raynes was at centre half, while Derek Asamoah was on the bench.

The two managers, Keith Curle and Adam Murray, were both facing their former clubs. Last January, in the game here, Mansfield went bottom of the Football League with defeat and Matty Blair was booed by the home fans as he was carried off with an injury that kept him out for 9 months. I don’t know about anyone else, but I certainly wanted to exorcise the memory of that day.

The Stags were on the attack in the opening seconds as Lambe and Green played a one-two down the left, but Lambe’s cross from the byline was cleared. On 4 minutes, a shot from Gilliead was blocked by Chapman.

Carlisle went close on 7 minutes, as Gilliead cut inside from the left, past Chapman who slipped, and fired a good effort against the outside of the left post from the edge of the area.

On 12 minutes, Dieseruvwe kept the ball in play on the right, his attempted cross was deflected to the lively Jack Thomas. Thomas ran around the defence on the right towards the byline, and from his pull-back, an attempted clearance hit Matty Blair and rebounded inches past the right post. So close.

Moments later, the Stags went close again as Alfei crossed from the right, Green and defender Ellis went for the same ball, and it came off Ellis’s head towards the right corner of the net, and keeper Gillespie made a great diving save to push it around the post. From the resulting corner, taken by the Lambe from the right, Lambe found Chapman in space on the edge of the area on the near side, but he fired well wide.

On 20 minutes, a brilliant run from Lambe past several defenders, after Jack Thomas had won the ball on the halfway line, he got into the area, his shot was blocked, it came out to Dieseruvwe whose shot from 20 yards was also blocked.

The Stags were deservedly in front on 21 minutes, from the resulting corner from the right, taken by Chapman who floated it in high. Tafazolli headed it goalwards, Miller tried to head away under pressure from Collins, only as far as Daniel who smashed in from 10 yards, via a possible deflection off Ibehre, though it was probably going in anyway.

On 26 minutes, a rare free kick for Carlisle in the Stags half (just about the only one in the entire game), and it didn’t even look like a foul to me. Grainger took the free kick, from 23 yards out, and Shearer pushed it away. It was turned back into the middle where Jason Kennedy was flagged offside as he hooked the ball wide anyway.

Straight to the other end and the Stags had the ball in the net but the whistle had already gone for offside. Jack Thomas clipped a ball forward, and Green superbly volleyed a chip over the keeper into the net.

Carlisle went close on 29 minutes, as Kennedy broke down the right and put in a low cross to the near post where Ibehre swept just wide of the right post from 3 yards. On 32 minutes, Comley got past Alfei on the left and fired in a powerful shot that Shearer pushed away for a corner with a good save.

From the resulting corner, there was a header goalwards by Miller, and Chapman did superbly to clear off the line.

Before the game restarted, Daniel and Green somehow fell over each other and both needed treatment. From review of the video though, Daniel had already been hurt seconds earlier as Chapman cleared off the line. A few minutes later on 38 minutes, Daniel was unable to continue with what looked like a back injury and he was replaced by Benning.

On 38 minutes, Comley fired in a low shot from the edge of the box that was blocked.

A minute later, Miller was late with a challenge which appeared to be off the ground on Dieseruvwe. The Stags players surrounded the referee, incensed at the challenge but the referee only produced a yellow card for Miller. Dieseruvwe spent the rest of the game being booed by the home fans and called “cheat” for having the temerity to get in the way of a flying challenge!

On 43 minutes, a short corner taken by Carlisle on the right was crossed by Grainger to the far post, headed back across goal by Ellis, and Ibehre prodded just wide, the ball scraping the post on the way.

On 45 minutes, a good turn and run from the halfway line by Dieseruvwe, he found Blair on his right but Blair’s poor low cross was cleared. Three minutes of stoppage time was added on and in the final minute, Blair made a great run down the right to earn a corner but the corner was cleared.

A very entertaining half with Daniel deservedly putting the Stags in front but Carlisle came back strongly with a few near misses. There were particularly good first half performances from Jack Thomas and Lambe and several good clearances from Tafazolli.

Half time 0-1

Rose replaced Dieseruvwe on 50 minutes. Rose slotted in midfield in a 4-1-4-1 formation.

On 51 minutes, Gilliead cut inside from the left and fired in a low shot from 20 yards which Shearer saved comfortably low down. A minute later, a great ball forward by Chapman set Green away down the left and he won a throw in. But shortly afterwards, a bad minute for Chapman with two mistakes inside 60 seconds but he got away with both.

On 55 minutes, Blair made a great run from the halfway line after Raynes had given the ball away. Blair got right into the area and his shot was blocked for a corner.

On 59 minutes, the Stags had a free kick from exactly the same position as the first goal against Northampton, on the right. Chapman took it, curling away from goal and it came to nothing. I’m sure it could have been more dangerous had Benning taken it, curling in towards the goal.

On 60 minutes, Carlisle made a change bringing on Hallam Hope for Ellis. Hope had won the game on Tuesday for Carlisle with a deflected shot.

On 61 minutes, great play by Lambe on the left with a Cruyff-turn. He played the ball inside for Green and Green’s 30 yard shot was wide of the right post.

The Stags made it 2-0 on 62 minutes. Blair squared to Rose 28 yards from goal in the middle, Rose played a short pass to Lambe on the right, 25 yards out. Lambe got the ball to the edge of the area, onto his left foot and his low shot beat the keeper on his near post, probably unsighted by a couple of defenders.

Former Stags striker Derek Asamoah replaced Ibehre on 68 minutes.

On 72 minutes, Gilliead got down the right and his low cross was nicely taken by Shearer. Soon afterwards Gilliead played the ball forward to Hope and as Hope shot from close range, Shearer was out quickly to block. Good alert keeping from Shearer.

The Stags could have had a penalty on 73 minutes I thought. Green on the left, squared to Lambe. Tricky play by Lambe as he turned Grainger inside out and it looked to me like Lambe was tripped but the referee waved away appeals for a penalty. After the game, Lambe confirmed to me that he was tripped.

McGuire replaced Jack Thomas on 75 minutes. Thomas had played well and got a good reception from the Stags fans.

A chance for Carlisle on 76 minutes as a ball was played forwards for Asamoah in the box but he was dispossessed by a brilliant tackle from Benning.

On 78 minutes, Rose tee’d up Lambe 23 yards from goal and he sent a left footed shot over the bar. Straight to the other end and Gilliead got down the right and his cross was again well caught by Shearer. Assured stuff from the Stags keeper.

On 79 minutes, Rose shot from 24 yards and it was deflected wide of the right post. Rose’s reaction suggested he thought it was going in. From the corner from the right taken by Chapman, Tafazolli lost his marker and volleyed goalwards with his right foot but it lacked power and the keeper saved at his right post.

On 82 minutes, a high cross from Grainger from the right was floated in and no-one got a touch as it sailed out for a goal-kick.

On 85 minutes, a low shot from Gilliead from the right from a tight angle and Shearer did well to block with his leg.

On 90 minutes, Hope’s shot from 12 yards deflected off Tafazolli for a corner. Moments later, a shot by Stacey from the edge of the box was blocked well by Blair. Four minutes of stoppage time were added on. On 90+2 minutes, a Carlisle corner came out to Grainger whose shot hit Chapman on the line and out for another corner. I’m not sure Chapman knew much about it but he was in the right place. From the resulting corner, Stacey chipped over the bar.

In the final minute of stoppage time, Carlisle grabbed a consolation goal as a cross from the right by Grainger was headed down by Wyke and scrambled in by Miller from 3 yards.

No time for Carlisle to get anywhere near the Stags box again, and the Stags had their first win against a top half-of-the-table team this season.

Man of the match: Reggie Lambe

Report by: Martin Shaw at Brunton Park

Line Up:
Shearer 8 Assured. Some good takes from low crosses and some good saves.
Alfei 7 Good game.
Collins 7 Very solid.
Tafazolli 8 Dominant. Several good headers away. Header helped set up the goal for Daniel.
Daniel 7 Scored and did well at left back, but had to go off with an injury.
Chapman 7 Two clearances off the line, one of them excellent. Good corners, one leading to the Daniel goal, and one to a good chance for Tafazolli.
Blair 7 A couple of great runs. In the right place to so nearly claim a lucky goal rebounding off him.
J.Thomas 7 Lively.
Lambe 8 Scored, could have had a penalty, and plenty of other good play.
Dieseruvwe 6.5 A couple of good pieces of play.
Green 6.5 Worked hard as usual.
Sub Line Up:
Benning (for Daniel, 38) 7.5 One brilliant tackle. Did well as first half substitute, having been left out of the side.
Rose (for Dieseruvwe, 50) 6 Did ok.
McGuire (for J.Thomas, 75) -
Subs not used: Jensen, Baxendale, Beardsley, Yussuf.
Opposition Line Up:
Gillespie, Miller, Ellis (Hope 60), Raynes, Gillesphey, Grainger, Kennedy (Stacey 74), Comley, Gilliead, Ibehre (Asamoah 68), Wyke. Subs not used: Hanford, Joyce, Atkinson, Sweeney.
David Webb 6 Handled the game pretty well generally. Could have given the Stags a penalty for a trip on Lambe, and generous to Miller who committed a dangerous foul, but kept the game moving.

Season 15/16 Reports