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Season 17/18 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Lincoln City  
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 Rose 61
Attendance: 9563 (1459 from Mansfield)
Date: 16 September 2017


Martin Shaw at Sincil Bank

A header from substitute Danny Rose from a wonderful run and cross by Hayden White proved to be the winner for Mansfield in today’s early kick off against Lincoln. There have been games this season where the Stags have not got what they deserved, I’m thinking of the draw with Luton where the Stags played well enough to have won comfortably but were pegged back by two late goals and still missed an injury time penalty, and the defeat at Accrington in the injury time when Mansfield deserved a draw. Today, the Stags didn’t do enough to deserve victory but achieved it with a moment of high quality for the goal, and a fine defensive display with David Mirfin excellent, along with Krystian Pearce alongside him, White particularly impressive at right back, and Paul Digby putting in a terrific defensive midfield showing just in front of the back four. And behind them, Conrad Logan made some more fine saves after his superb performance against Wycombe. This was Lincoln’s first home defeat in one day short of a year! Lincoln played some decent football up to the final third but lacked a cutting edge and when they did get efforts in, Stags defenders were there to block them (Mirfin getting in several blocks) or Logan saved. A tremendous following of 1459 Stags fans, and there would have been more with a bigger allocation, enjoyed the result and the hard work of the players, in an impressive crowd of 9563. The Stags are up to 5th.

Steve Evans made three changes from the side that drew with Wycombe. Rhys Bennett was feeling unwell. Joel Byrom has a strained foot which will keep him out for 2-3 weeks. Jacob Mellis was dropped to the bench. In came Hayden White at right back, and Paul Digby and Alfie Potter in midfield. Digby came into a defensive midfield role, Potter played on the right, MacDonald on the left, and Butcher moved into the middle. Jimmy Spencer missed out from the bench as he had tweaked his back. For the second game running, Lee Angol was playing against his former club, having helped Lincoln in the Conference winning season last season, and he got a good reception from home fans.

Lincoln included Matt Green and Matt Rhead up front. Ollie Palmer and Luke Waterfall were on the bench. Nathan Arnold missed out through injury.

The game was played in sunshine and showers.

On 2 minutes, a good Lincoln break, and the ball was played in from the right, Digby did well to intercept the cross.

On 8 minutes, Hunt’s free kick into the area was cleared, Butcher clipped it back in,Hemmings headed up but it didn’t fall for a Stags player, then it fell for MacDonald whose shot from 23 yards was blocked.

Matt Rhead should have been booked on 11 minutes for deliberate handball. The referee gave a free kick but no yellow card.

On 13 minutes, a good run down the right by Green, Logan came out of the side of his area, Green got past him and pulled the ball back in to Knott whose shot was blocked by Mirfin with Logan still out of his goal. Review of the video footage suggests it hit Mirfin’s elbow and some referees might have given a penalty.

On 17 minutes, Green pulled the ball back to Bostwick who fired into the roof of the stand. A poor effort.

The atmosphere was tremendous.

A good passage of play by Lincoln on 21 minutes without creating any chance. Then a high ball in and Rhead got his head on it but it was away from goal.

Green was looking sharp for Lincoln in the early stages, mostly down the right, and on 23 minutes, he made a great run this time down the left wing and a there was great tackle by Potter.

Hemmings and Angol were getting some rough treatment from Raggett and Dickie. Then a clear foul on Angol was not given.

On 25 minutes, great play by MacDonald to win the ball but his ball forward was wasted.

Angol was fouled by Dickie on 27 minutes. Ironic applause from the Stags fans for the free kick being given. It was 29 yards out and in a central position. MacDonald fired in a low shot which was wide of the right post.

On 32 minutes, Farman’s long free kick entered the Stags box, Rhead headed down and a shot by Knott was blocked by Mirfin.

On 34 minutes, Green on the right again, his ball in came out to Knott whose shot was brilliantly blocked by Mirfin out for a corner. Knott put his head in his hands. The resulting corner from the left from Knott found Raggett who headed straight at Logan for a comfortable save.

Good play by Angol on 36 minutes to win a throw-in on the left but it didn’t come to anything.

Meanwhile at the other end, Bostwick put a dreadful ball out for a goal kick, the third time he’d done that from the player who was the subject of much discussion from the managers in mid-week.

A good header away by Digby under pressure from Rhead on 40 minutes. A minute later, good defending by White as Lincoln broke forward.

On 43 minutes, a ball through to Hemmings, but Hemmings lost control of the ball. Evans threw his hands up in anguish at the poor play from his newest striker. Hemmings was having a poor game.

On 44 minutes, a Lincoln free kick was cleared by Digby. It was knocked back in and Raggett’s soft header was easily saved by Logan.

On 45+1 minutes, the Stags created their own problems as White gifted the ball to Lincoln 20 yards from goal and Mirfin did well to block a shot, this time by Bostwick.

Lincoln were certainly the better side in the first half but the Stags stood firm with strong defending from Mirfin and Pearce, plus White and Hunt, and Digby in front of the back four. The Stags were creating precious little going forward with the Lincoln keeper not tested.

Half time 0-0

The Stags had to improve going forward in the second half and they immediately did.

On 47 minutes, a free kick in from Hunt, Hemmings flicked on and Pearce couldn’t quite get on the end of it.

A minute later, Digby did well to win the ball and set Angol away on a great run but he shot wide from 30 yards.

On 51 minutes, Potter cut inside and his ball across the area was just over Hemmings who was right in front of goal.

Rhead and Mirfin were having quite a wrestling match, with Mirfin giving as good as he got.

Lincoln were continuing to be caught offside a lot.

Danny Rose replaced Hemmings on 58 minutes. Hemmings had started the second half better but Rose deserved a chance.

Rose immediately won a free kick 35 yards out. MacDonald’s free kick chipped into the area was headed out to Potter who volleyed over.

On 60 minutes, Rhead was substituted by Lincoln. He got applause from Stags as well as Lincoln fans. He had been well marshalled by Mirfin though. Lincoln switched to a 4-5-1 formation with Green on his own up front.

The Stags took the lead on 61 minutes. The move started with a brilliant tackle by Mirfin on Green 25 yards from the Mansfield goal as Green was about to shoot, then a great tackle by Digby, then Rose squared the ball to White who embarked on a fabulous run from his own half, with tremendous pace getting to the byline and chipping a delightful cross into the middle. Rose got up highest to head home from close range with the goalkeeper under pressure from Angol.

On 63 minutes, Angol to MacDonald forward to Rose but the ball was just over him.

A fine save by Logan on 67 minutes. Sub Ginnelly cut inside on the left and his low shot was heading for the bottom left corner before Logan got down well with his right hand to push away. Really fine save.

Hunt was lucky to escape a yellow card on 70 minutes with a sliding tackle that sparked a melee on the touchline.

Great play between MacDonald and Rose on the left on 71 minutes but MacDonald wasted his cross.

On 72 minutes, Harry Anderson got past MacDonald and Hunt on the right and his low shot was saved by Logan. On 73 minutes, Knott turned past Digby 30 yards from goal. He hit an ambitious shot which cannoned into the roof of the stand.

On 77 minutes, Lincoln brought on Ollie Palmer to join Green up front as they reverted to 4-4-2.

The referee found his notebook on 79 minutes as he booked Bostwick for a foul on Digby.

On 80 minutes, a great tackle by Danny Rose on Ginnelly.

On 82 minutes, more great play between MacDonald and Rose on the left but MacDonald’s low cross shot was easily saved. Straight to the other end and a good clearance by White from a cross.

On 83 minutes, a good save by Logan following a Lincoln long throw by Sean Long from the right. The throw was headed away by Digby, but Knott got in a shot and Logan saved well. Moments later, more good defending by White on the right.

Paul Anderson replaced the hardworking MacDonald on 85 minutes.

On 86 minutes, a good header a way by Danny Rose in his own area and moments later he did well to win a free kick as fans continued to chant his name.

On 87 minutes, Butcher played the ball across and the keeper got there first before Angol.

Danny Rose created a chance for himself on 88 minutes breaking forward, after Butcher’s block from a Green shot rebounded to him inside his own half. He pushed into the Lincoln half and there was little on for him either side and so he took a shot from fully 30 yards which was only just over the bar with the keeper at full stretch.

Atkinson replaced Angol on the stroke of 90 minutes.

Four minutes of stoppage time were added on and the Stags wound the clock down very effectively for an important victory. Steve Evans cupped his hand to his ear at the full time whistle in response to plenty of abuse from the home fans.

A fine result for Mansfield. For Lincoln, Green had started well, with some good runs down the wing, but he and Rhead were caught offside countless times. A battling display from the Stags, standing up well to a strong physical side and giving as good as they got.

Man of the match: David Mirfin

Report by: Martin Shaw at Sincil Bank

Line Up:
Logan 7.5 Two really good saves, one of them excellent low to his right from Ginnelly. Mistake in the first half when he came out of his area and Green went past him, but got away with it thanks to Mirfin’s block.
White 8 Wonderful run and cross to set up the goal. Some great defending. One error when he gifted Bostwick a free shot. Very impressive on his return to the side.
Pearce 7.5 Very good alongside Mirfin.
Mirfin 9 Excellent. A total of four blocks on shots. Brilliant tackle also started the move for the goal.
Hunt 7 Good game at left back.
Digby 8 Terrific defensive midfield showing just in front of the back four with several clearances, tackles and interceptions.
Potter 6.5 A couple of good tackles. Volleyed one shot well over the bar. Worked hard.
Butcher 6 Quiet game.
MacDonald 7.5 Some great play down the left.
Hemmings 5.5 Poor first half. Started the second half better, but was rightly replaced by Rose on 58 mins.
Angol 6.5 Some good moments, and played a part in the goal putting pressure on the keeper. But not at his best.
Sub Line Up:
Rose (for Hemmings, 58 mins) 9 What an impact. Won a free kick within seconds of coming on, scored after 3 minutes, terrific run and shot just over the bar near the end. Also some good defensive work.
Anderson (for MacDonald, 85 mins) -
Atkinson (for Angol, 90 mins) -
Subs not used: Olejnik, Diamond, Mellis, Sterling-James.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2): Farman; Eardley, Dickie, Raggett, Habergham (Long, 77); Anderson (Palmer, 77), Woodyard, Bostwick, Knott; Rhead (Ginnelly, 60), Green. Subs not used: Vickers, Whitehouse, Waterfall, Maguire-Drew.
Rob Jones 7 Lenient but ended up handling game well.

Season 17/18 Reports