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Season 16/17 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League Trophy - Checkatrade Trophy
Mansfield Town  
0 - 2
 Doncaster Rovers
 Beestin 72, Calder 86
Attendance: 1461 (337 from Doncaster)
Date: 30 August 2016


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town were beaten 2-0 by Doncaster Rovers in the first game in the controversial Checkatrade Trophy. I’ve written extensively why I think this tournament is flawed and I won’t bore you again with that. The Stags made 7 changes from the team that won so well at Leyton Orient and put in a decent performance in a very even first half which had very few chances for either side. But the Stags had to change things as Jamie McGuire and Kyle Howkins both limped off, and in the final half hour there was no doubt that Doncaster were the better side and ended up deserved 2-0 winners. After the game, Murray explained that he had told his players to stay out of tackles after the injuries to McGuire and Howkins as he couldn’t risk any more injuries. That may have contributed to Doncaster getting on top in the final stages. Doncaster took the lead on 72 minutes when debutant Alfie Beestin fired into the bottom left corner with a good strike. Then on 86 minutes, Calder stabbed in from close range after Doncaster broke with men over and Mandeville crossed low from the right. The injury to Howkins looked like it might be a bad one though there was no confirmation of details after the game. He will be a miss if it keeps him out for a while though one positive tonight was that George Taft got 90 minutes under his belt and looked good in a 3 man central defence. Some of the Stags approach play was decent but the Stags didn’t work the Doncaster keeper who didn’t have a proper save to make. The Stags best chances of the evening were a low cross shot from CJ Hamilton that fizzed just past the post after a great ball from Adam Chapman, a shot from Danny Rose into the side netting, a header wide from Danny Rose, and a towering header from George Taft that was just wide. Back to the league on Saturday and the visit of Cambridge. Before then, the transfer window closes tomorrow. I wouldn’t be surprised if Adam Murray brings in a young full back from a Premier League or Championship club if he can find a suitable player as the Stags are light in that area and it is a long time until the transfer window re-opens in January.

The Stags made 7 changes from the side that beat Leyton Orient as Adam Murray shuffled his pack to rest as many players as he could under the rules of the competition. Scott Shearer replaced Jensen. George Taft came in for Benning. Jamie McGuire replaced Collins. CJ Hamilton replaced Mitch Rose. Ashley Hemmings replaced Hurst. James Baxendale replaced Henderson. Danny Rose replaced Green. Danny Rose was in the middle of a 3 game suspension but could play in this game under the disciplinary rules of the competition which mean that players are only suspended from this tournament for yellows and reds picked up in this tournament. So Danny Rose’s 3rd game of his suspension will be on Saturday against Cambridge. He came in for Matt Green who was obviously going to be rested from this game. The Stags played 3 at the back: Howkins on the right, Taft in the middle, Pearce on the left. Bennett and CJ Hamilton played as wingbacks. McGuire and Chapman were in central midfield. Hemmings and Baxendale were behind Danny Rose.

Doncaster also made 7 changes. Matty Blair, who joined Doncaster from Mansfield in the summer, played at right wing back, as Doncaster also employed three at the back, and wingbacks.

A small crowd, as expected, given the general dissatisfaction with the tournament, and the priority given to it by Mansfield, and indeed it seems pretty much all the clubs in League One and League Two. It will be astonishing if the format is the same next year.

On 4 minutes, Chapman tried a shot from 30 yards out, straight at the keeper.

Doncaster has the better of the opening stages and on 8 minutes some trickery from the opponents in the area and Calder sent a cross-shot across the face of goal.

Not much goalmouth action, but on 20 minutes great play from the Stags. Chapman played a brilliant from the centre out to Hamilton on the left. Hamilton got past his defender and sent a low cross-shot just wide of the right post. Exhilarating football that got the small crowd excited.

On 24 minutes, more good play by Hamilton on the left, and he pulled the ball back to Hemmings but Hemmings completely missed his shot. A minute later, a good ball down the right to Danny Rose, who fired into the side netting.

On 33 minutes, Matty Blair got down the right, and put in a cross which deflected off Hamilton and hit the outside of the post and away for a corner, though it never looked like going in.

Bad news for the Stags as McGuire, who had been hobbling around for a few minutes finally limped off on 42 minutes. He was replaced by Hurst in a change Adam Murray would rather not have had to make. Moments before McGuire finally went down and had to go off, Scott Shearer went down as the physio came on, seemingly to treat a spurious injury, and Krystian Pearce ran down the tunnel at great speed to go to the toilet!

On 45+2 minutes, Hemmings shot from 22 yards straight at the keeper.

Then on 45+4 minutes, Hurst sent in a free kick, Danny Rose threw himself at it and headed wide.

0-0 at the break. An even first half. Neither keeper had to make a difficult save, but some nice approach play from the Stags.

On 53 minutes, a change for the Stags as Pat Hoban replaced James Baxendale. Good to see Hoban back and available. The Stags switched to two up front as Hoban joined Danny Rose up front.

More bad news for Mansfield on 58 minutes as Kyle Howkins limped off. He stretched and did really well to block a cross from Williams that looked destined to reach Beestin, but clearly hurt himself in the process. He was replaced by Lee Collins. Collins seemed to slot in at left back, with Taft and Pearce in the middle, and Bennett dropping back to right back.

On 62 minutes, a chance for Doncaster, Mandeville played the ball across the face of goal from the right, and the Stags somehow cleared as Williams couldn’t turn it goalwards from close range.

A comedy moment on 63 minutes, Chapman played the ball down the right, Bennett controlled on his chest and proceeded to fall on his backside.

Then really good play on 64 minutes as Collins played a 1-2 with Chapman before unleashing a powerful shot just over the bar from 25 yards. You don’t see Lee Collins with many shots from outside the area.

On 66 minutes, Blair went forward down the right and got into the area but his low cross was wasted, straight at Shearer.

Doncaster broke the deadlock on 72 minutes. Debutant Alfie Beestin fired into the bottom left corner with a good strike from outside the area.

On 77 minutes, another shot on target from Doncaster, a rarity from either side on the night, but it was straight at Shearer from the edge of the box.

On 78 minutes, Hemmings crossed from the left but it was cleared for a corner.

On 83 minutes, Bennett cut inside from the right onto his left foot and fired well wide.

Doncaster sealed the game on 86 minutes, as Calder stabbed in from close range after they broke with men over and Mandeville crossed low from the right.

The Stags were close to a consolation on 90+2 minutes as Hurst’s corner from the right was met by a towering header from Taft, just wide of the right post.

So a deserved win for Doncaster. Disappointment for the Stags with those two injuries. We’ll await news of how bad they are. The Stags have two more games in the round robin stage of this fundamentally flawed tournament, away to Port Vale and away to Derby U23.

Man of the match: Krystian Pearce

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

Line Up:
Shearer 6 No chance with the goals and no shots to save.
Howkins 6 Solid as ever. Really disappointing to see him limp off.
Taft 6 Good for him to get 90 minutes, which might set him up as a replacement for Howkins on Saturday.
Pearce 8 Played very well.
Bennett 6 Did ok as wingback, then switched to right back.
McGuire 6 Limped off early in the second half.
Chapman 7 Good game. Some delicious passes.
Hamilton 7 Some good runs in the first half, went close with a cross-shot, and found Hemmings with another cross.
Hemmings 5 Poor game.
Baxendale 5 Not involved enough.
D.Rose 6.5 A couple of reasonable first half efforts.
Sub Line Up:
Hurst (for McGuire, 42 mins) 7 A couple of good free-kicks/corners.
Hoban (for Baxendale, 53 mins) -
Collins (for Howkins, 58 mins) -
Subs not used: Jensen, Benning, M. Rose, Hakeem.
Opposition Line Up:
(3-5-2): Etheridge; Fielding, Wright, Evina; Blair (Amos 70), Calder, Houghton, Middleton, Beestin; Williams (Pugh 70), Mandeville. Subs not used: Marosi, Butler, Longbottom, James.
Neil Swarbrick 7 Premier League referee who handled the game well.

Season 16/17 Reports