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Season 15/16 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
5 - 0
 Notts County
Green 6, 60, Chapman 57, Lambe 67, Rose 83.
Attendance: 6357 (1741 from Notts County)
Date: 16 April 2016


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town produced a stunning second half performance to completely blow away Notts County with four goals in 26 minutes as the Stags cruised to a 5-0 win. The second half probably was the best 45 minutes since Mansfield returned to the Football League three years ago. The Stags led 1-0 at half time thanks to a fine Matt Green strike, but it was the second half onslaught that will have the Stags fans talking about this game for a long time. Adam Chapman made it 2-0 on 57 minutes with a free kick that travelled like an exocet missile into the top right corner, and brought back memories of his goals in the Conference-winning season. Matt Green scored his second just 3 minutes later capitalising on a defensive mix-up to fire under the keeper. Then, perhaps the best of the lot, as Matty Blair embarked on a sensational run from his own half down the right and his cross put the goal on a plate for Reggie Lambe who swept home from close range. The fans wanted five and they got it on 83 minutes as Mitch Rose scored from close range after Matty Blair’s shot had been parried by the keeper. The full time whistle brought a reception the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Stags won the Conference. This win was the biggest win in 44 league and cup games against Notts County, and the first time the Stags have done the double over Notts County since 2004/05. The attendance of 6,357 was the biggest at the One Call Stadium since that Conference-winning day against Wrexham in April 2013 when 6,394 were packed in. This was a great day to be a Mansfield Town fan.

The Stags gained ground on the teams from 8th downwards, but 7th placed Wimbledon’s late winner kept them 6 points ahead of the Stags.

Mansfield made one change from the side that started at Carlisle, as Mal Benning came in for Colin Daniel, who was suffering back spasms but fit enough for the bench. The formation was unchanged with Chapman in front of the back four, and Jack Thomas in an attacking midfield role behind the front two. Notts County were without Blair Adams, who spent time on loan at Mansfield earlier in the season, out with an ankle injury. Notts County came into the game on an upsurge in form, after successive home wins.

It was sunny day in Mansfield, though there were a couple of squally showers in the second half and a brief snow storm. It was surprisingly cold for mid-April. There was a strong wind which Notts County had behind them in the first half, but which dropped in the second half.

The Stags were off to a positive start. On 2 minutes, a good move as Lambe crossed from the left, Blair stabbed goalwards, then Green fired at goal and it went over the bar, possibly via a deflection, but the referee gave a goal-kick.

The Stags were ahead on 6 minutes. Benning crossed from the left, and it fell to Green, who controlled and fired into the right corner of the net from 16 yards with the outside of his right boot on the half volley. Super finish from Green.

Notts County had barely been in the Stags half until winning a corner on 9 minutes. The corner was half-cleared and then Jon Stead volleyed over the roof of the Quarry Lane Stand and out of the ground.

On 12 minutes, Liam Noble crossed from the left, and Jack Thomas did well to clear for a corner.

Notts had plenty of possession without creating chances.

On 23 minutes, a ball in to Izale McLeod who sent a weak effort straight at Scott Shearer.

On 33 minutes, Wes Atkinson stepped inside the Stags defence on the edge of the box but totally miscued his shot wide. Two minutes, a Noble free kick from the left and McLeod headed well over the bar. On 38 minutes, McLeod created a yard for himself on the edge of the box, and his shot was well-blocked by Chapman. Then on 40 minutes, Aborah played a good ball forward to Noble on the edge of the box, who created a yard of space, and fired just wide of the left post. On 43 minutes, a ball over the top of the Stags defence, McLeod was not offside and miscued his effort well wide from a tight angle on the right. It summed an abysmal half for the hapless McLeod.

The Stags went into the break 1-0 ahead after the fine early goal form Green, but Notts County had dominated possession after that without creating many chances and not getting any on target. The Stags had however been pinned back as Notts County made use of a strong wind behind them, which was to drop before the second half. The Stags had too often lumped balls forward straight back to Notts County conceding possession and heaping pressure on themselves. Aborah and Noble were good for Notts County in midfield.

Half time 1-0

The Stags couldn’t afford to set off in the second half as they finished the first. Notts County surprisingly changed shape to three at the back at the start of the second half.

On 47 minutes, Edwards brought down Green for a free kick, which probably warranted a yellow card but the referee let him off. Chapman took the resulting free kick, from the right, and Green could only head it up the air, where it was caught by the keeper. Moments later, Stead fouled Blair, and he did go in the referee’s notebook.

On 50 minutes, a long throw from Chapman, came out to Blair, whose shot was saved, though the whistle had already gone.

This was better from Mansfield.

Rose replaced Dieseruvwe on 53 minutes. Dieseruvwe had had a decent game when he’d got the ball to his feet.

On 54 minutes, Stead got to the byline on the left, and Benning did really well to head his cross away. A minute later, Hewitt crossed from the right, and McLeod headed wide of the left post.

The Stags made it 2-0 on 57 minutes. Jack Thomas was brought down just outside the area, level with the edge of the area on the left. It looked a soft free kick. Chapman took the free kick and sent an exocet missile into the top right corner. Magnificent from Chapman, rekindling memories of his stunner against Grimsby here just over 3 years ago. Field Mill erupted.

At the other end, good skill from Stead, but he shot straight at Shearer on the volley.

It was 3-0 on 60 minutes. Green capitalised on a defensive mistake by Mike Edwards who gifted him the ball, and Green moved forward before firing under the keeper from 16 yards. The roof almost came off.

On 62 minutes, Atkinson tried a shot from 20 yards, well-blocked by Benning.

It was 4-0 on 67 minutes. Blair made a sensational run from inside his own half, down the right, past Aborah, and supplied an inch-perfect cross, across the edge of the six yard box, to Lambe who swept into the net from 5 yards. Just fantastic from Blair, and a cracking goal.

On 69 minutes, Jack Thomas fired in a shot from the edge of the box which was blocked.

McGuire replaced Lambe on 78 minutes.

A snow shower engulfed Field Mill.

On 80 minutes, a Notts ball into the Stags area, and just as Atkinson was about to shoot, Tafazolli did well to block for a corner.

Blair set off on another run from his own, this time down the left, but this time was halted for a throw-in, on 81 minutes.

The Stags made it 5 (five)-0 on 83 minutes. Blair’s shot from 16 yards was parried by the keeper, either Rose or Green could have stabbed into the empty, and Rose did so from close range.

Before the game restarted, on 84 minutes, Baxendale replaced the very good Jack Thomas.

On 86 minutes, the Stags fans chanted “Slater Slater what’s the score” very loudly, in reference to BBC Radio Nottingham’s Notts County correspondent Colin Slater.

On 89 minutes, Shearer did well to push away Noble’s free kick from 24 yards, out for a corner. A minute later, a Notts cross from the right went through everyone with no-one attacking it.

Benning had a chance for glory on 90+2 minutes, with a free-kick from the right, level with the edge of the area. He bent a powerful shot just over the left post. It was worth a try.

Long before the final whistle most Notts County fans had left. At full time, the Stags players formed a huddle with the manager, before breaking to enjoy the rapturous reception from every one of the home fans who had stayed to cheer them off.

This was Mansfield’s biggest win since returning since returning to the Football League, and the biggest since the 8-1 demolition of Barrow in February 2013. It was also Notts County’s heaviest defeat of the season.

Adam Murray reflected correctly that his team deserved this result, after some encouraging performances recently.

Meanwhile a bizarre interview with Notts County’s third manager so far this season, Mark Cooper, who claimed Mansfield could have won 10-0 and his side didn’t have a shot on target. Neither was correct. If he’s going to go out of his way to further embarrass his team, he should get his statements correct.

Man of the match: Matty Blair/Adam Chapman

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Line Up:
Shearer 7 Good save from Noble’s free kick and a couple of other shots straight at him.
Alfei 7 Good game.
Collins 7 Solid.
Tafazolli 8 Particularly good first half when Notts had a lot of possession.
Benning 8 Very good game. One really good header away and good block.
Chapman 8.5 Magnificent goal. One good block.
Blair 8.5 Sensational run and cross for the fourth goal, and shot blocked in build-up to the fifth goal. All this after not the best first half with some poor crossing.
Lambe 7 In the right place for his goal. Good early cross in the opening minutes to set the tone.
J.Thomas 8 Very good game throughout, including the first half when others weren’t so good.
Dieseruvwe 6.5 Decent game when he’d got the ball to his feet.
Green 8 Two well-taken goals to take his tally for the season to 16.
Sub Line Up:
Rose (for Dieseruvwe, 53) 7 Scored his second goal for the club.
McGuire (for Lambe, 78) -
Baxendale (for J.Thomas, 84) -
Subs not used: Jensen, Daniel, Beardsley, Yussuf.
Opposition Line Up:
(1st half 4-1-3-2, 2nd half 3-5-2): Loach; Hewitt, Edwards (Amevor 73), Hollis, Audel; Aborah; Noble, Valencic, Atkinson; Stead (Gibson 63), McLeod (Campbell 63). Subs not used: Carroll, Smith, Sarpong, Wilding.
Geoff Eltringham 7 Generally handled the game well, though lenient in not booking Edwards.

Season 15/16 Reports