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Season 16/17 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Notts County  
0 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 11,328 (3,485 from Mansfield)
Date: 14 January 2017


Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Meadow Lane

Mansfield Town drew 0-0 at Notts County this afternoon in a disappointing and slightly frustrating game. Notts County had lost 10 games on the trot but had a new owner and a new manager this week which had given the club a massive lift,and by all accounts this performance was a big improvement on what they have been serving up. Mansfield created the best chances of the game with Ben Whiteman’s deflected shot looping over the keeper Adam Collin and forcing a tremendous save as the keeper clawed the ball away from behind him, Rhys Bennett then heading wide from the resulting corner. Then Yoann Arquin missed a sitter from close range early in the second half, somehow poking wide from debutant Hayden’s White perfect cross. And in stoppage time, CJ Hamilton forced his way into the area and his goalbound shot was flicked on by Hoban and drew a save from keeper Collin and the ball ricocheted around without falling to a Stags shirt. Notts County really only came close once when O’Connor cut inside from the left and his on-target shot was deflected just wide of the right post. Stags keeper Jake Kean did not have a save to make and kept his fourth clean sheet in 4 games. The Stags defence looked pretty solid throughout, with new loan signing Hayden White impressing at right back, and skipper Lee Collins immaculate in front of the back four. Ben Whiteman had a good game on the right of midfield though faded a bit as the game went on. But ultimately the Stags came away feeling disappointed not to have done enough to win the game. Notts County will be pleased with the spirit shown under the new manager and got a rousing reception from their fans at the end of the game. Cheltenham’s win later in the afternoon however sent Notts into the relegation zone. The Stags end the day still 6 points outside the play-offs.

The Stags were backed by a fantastic following of 3,485, Mansfield’s largest away following for 10 years since the game here at Meadow Lane in March 2007 when Mansfield brought 4,047 fans, also for a 0-0 draw.

Mansfield made one change from the side that played the last league game, against Crewe 7 days ago, with Hayden White coming in for his debut in place of the injured Kyle Howkins. White slotted in at right back, with Rhys Bennett moving to centre half. So no room in the starting XI for Hoban and Baxendale, the heroes from Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy win over Oldham. And Chris Clements and Mitch Rose missed out from the 18 man squad. White, Pearce and Arquin were playing against their former club.

Notts County were taken over by local businessman Alan Hardy during the week and he immediately appointed Kevin Nolan as manager. Notts County had lost 10 games on the trot but you always expect a positive impact from the appointment of a new manager, and that’s what happened today.

It was a beautiful sunny day in Nottingham. A crackling atmosphere as the game started.

On 4 minutes, a free kick for the Stags 45 yards out. Byrom floated a great free kick into the area, and Bennett headed onto the roof of the net. But the offside flag was up.

Arquin twice got to the byline, once on the left, once on the right, but wasted his crosses.

On 11 minutes, great play from Whiteman to get past his man on the right touchline, and played a good ball down the line for Arquin, who again got to the byline, and again wasted his cross putting it into the keeper’s arms.

On 18 minutes, a ball into the Stags box nearly created something for Notts, but the Stags cleared. Two minutes later, Tootle crossed from the right, and Forte sent in a shot that was off target, but blocked anyway.

The Notts County fans seemed buoyed by their team having a good passage of play.

On 23 minutes, Hamilton won a corner on the left. From Byrom’s excellent corner, Bennett rose and headed wide. Moments later, Benning got forward but put in a poor cross that was over Arquin.

On 25 minutes, a corner from Byrom didn’t beat the first man, but came back to Byrom, he put the ball back into the middle and it fell to Bennett who had a chance to shoot but completely missed his kick.

The Stags were so close to going in front on 33 minutes. Whiteman pushed forward with a great run into the area, and his shot deflected up and seemed to be heading over the keeper and into the net, but keeper Collin arced backwards and clawed it away. A fantastic save. The ball came to Hamilton, whose shot was blocked for a corner. From the resulting corner, taken by Byrom from the left, Bennett got up well and headed just wide.

On 38 minutes, Stead made a shocking challenge on Bennett and astonishingly despite giving a free kick the referee didn’t produce a card of any colour.

A closely fought battling first half from both sides with Stags having the best chances for Whiteman (deflected) and Bennett. Both fans gave their team a good reception at half time.

Half time 0-0

On 50 minutes, Notts County had their best chance of the game. O’Connor’s short corner from the left was played back to him, he cut inside onto his right foot and his shot, which was on target, deflected just wide of the right post.

Straight to the other, on 51 minutes, and Mansfield missed a sitter. Hayden White took advantage of a defensive mistake and fizzed in a low cross across the edge of the six-yard box, just in front of Green to Arquin at the far post who somehow put it wide of the left post. It had to go in, but somehow didn’t. After the game, boss Steve Evans said Arquin wouldn’t sleep for 2 days thinking about it.

On 60 minutes, Milson crossed from the left, Kean punched as far as the edge of the area straight to Campbell who failed to control the ball and Benning cleared. Kean could have tried to catch it, but was probably concerned about Bennett standing right in front of him and possibly spilling it as he landed.

Immediately from that, Whiteman played a long ball forward, Green did well to cut inside and his shot was blocked. A minute later, a free kick from Byrom into the area, Collins got in a header, which was not on target, and came back to Hamilton whose shot was deflected off Pearce and wide. A minute after that, Hamilton broke forward to the edge of the area, his cross-shot across goal seemed to be heading for Green but was just cleared for a corner. From the corner, Pearce headed well off target.

On 67 minutes, Tootle fired over from 30 yards.

On 72 minutes, a high ball forward from the Stags, keeper Collin came out and tried to head away, but didn’t get there, but Green couldn’t get hold of the loose ball with the goal gaping as he was crowded out by defenders. A minute later at the other end, O’Connor shot wide of the left post from 25 yards.

Hoban replaced Green, and Danny Rose replaced Arquin on 75 minutes. It was a statement of intent from Steve Evans, clearly not settling for a draw.

A free kick for Notts on 77 minutes, 23 yards out, to the right of centre, O’Connor fired over the bar.

On 83 minutes, Danny Rose pushed forward and was brought down. At last the referee remembered he had cards in his pocket as he produced a yellow. Byrom’s free kick from 33 yards was punched away by the keeper.

Baxendale replaced Byrom on 87 minutes.

On 90+2 minutes, Hamilton was brought down 35 yards from goal on the left hand side. From the resulting free kick, Hoban went down in the area and clearly thought he should have had a penalty but nothing was given (from the video, it’s impossible to tell if there was a foul).

Then on 90+4 minutes, Hamilton forced his way into the area and his goalbound shot was flicked on by Hoban and drew a save from keeper Collin and the ball ricocheted around without falling to a Stags shirt.

Seconds later the final whistle went and several Stags players put their heads in their hands. The Stags players were clearly disappointed not to win. Notts County fans meanwhile were clearly happy with the improvement in their team and getting their first point for 11 games.

Man of the match: Lee Collins

Report by: Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Meadow Lane

Line Up:
Kean 6 Another clean sheet, his fourth out of 4. Didn’t have a save to make.
White 7 Impressed on his debut, slotting in well, and provided a great cross for Arquin’s miss.
Bennett 7 Three headers just off target. Defended well at centre half.
Pearce 7 Solid at centre half.
Benning 6.5 Some poor crosses. Defended solidly.
Collins 8 Immaculate in front of the back four.
Whiteman 7.5 Good game on the right of midfield though faded a bit as the game went on. Nearly the hero with his deflected shot.
Byrom 7.5 Mostly great delivery from set pieces, several onto the head of Stags players.
Hamilton 7 Looked dangerous when he had the ball. Won several free kicks and corners.
Green 6 One good piece of play when he cut inside and had a shot blocked. Frustrating afternoon.
Arquin 5.5 Bad miss in the second half. Got to the byline three times in the first and put in a poor cross each time.
Sub Line Up:
Hoban (for Green, 75 mins) -
D.Rose (for Arquin, 75 mins) -
Baxendale (for Byrom, 87 mins) -
Subs not used: Shearer, McGuire, J.Thomas, Hemmings.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-2-3-1): Collin; Tootle, Audel, Duffy, Dickinson; O'Connor, Milsom; Campbell (Smith 89), Thompson, Forte; Stead. Subs not used: Loach, Hollis, Snijders, Hewitt, Osborne, Aborah.
Darren Bond 6 Should have booked Stead in the first half. Did ok.

Season 16/17 Reports