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Season 18/19 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 Bishop 36
Attendance: 1355 (144 from Mansfield)
Date: 23 October 2018


Martin Shaw at the Globe Arena

Mansfield Town ended their run of six consecutive away draws with an important 1-0 win at Morecambe this evening, thanks to a super goal from Neal Bishop. Otis Khan’s corner from the right came to Bishop just outside the area on 36 minutes, Bishop chested down and smacked a cracking shot into the bottom left corner of the net. It was a goal worthy of winning the game and the highlight of a man of the match performance from Bishop, who was returning from a one match suspension. Mansfield were deserved winners on a windy evening on the Lancashire coast. The Stags could have won by more. Mal Benning’s cross-shot from the left hit the inside of the post and rebounded into the keeper’s arms on 11 minutes, Matt Preston headed over from a lovely Khan cross on 13 minutes, Danny Rose had three chances in 3 minutes at the end of the first half but didn’t hit the target with any of them. Into the second half, and the Stags had a number of shots from around the edge of the area through Bishop, Rose, Khan, Walker and then Rose again that were either close or brought a save from the keeper, while CJ Hamilton had countless runs down the right into the area but didn’t make the most of opportunities to set up a chance or have a shot. At the other end, the Stags defence was solid with chances few and far between for the home side. Bobby Olejnik made a good save from A-Jay Leitch-Smith, Jordan Cranston sent a deflected shot just wide, Liam Mandeville fired over, Vadaine Oliver headed over and Leitch-Smith sent another curling shot just wide, but that was about it, and the Stags held on through 7 minutes of injury time for the victory, which was a huge relief to the travelling 144 fans who have previously seen the Stags concede late equalisers three times this season. Overall a decent performance, with the Stags working so hard, epitomised by great work rate from Tyler Walker and Danny Rose up front, while both wing-backs Hamilton and Benning covered huge distances getting forward and back.

The Stags are now unbeaten in 10 away games, which equals the club record set in the Conference in 2011, and is the club record in the Football League. The Stags are 4 points behind the play-offs with 2 games in hand. Second-placed MK Dons are the visitors to the One Call Stadium on Saturday.

The Stags made two changes from the side that drew at Swindon. Neal Bishop returned from suspension, while Will Atkinson was suspended for one game. Tyler Walker returned to the side. Timi Elsnik dropped to the bench. CJ Hamilton reverted to right wing-back. Craig Davies, Alex MacDonald and Hayden White remained out through injury. Morecambe made one change from the side that was unfortunate to lose to Colchester on Saturday. I had watched extended highlights of that game, and they should have won it. 19 year old Ben Hedley came in for his first league start in midfield, in pace of Aaron Wildig. Morecambe were also without influential midfielder Andrew Tutte. Former Stags striker Vadaine Oliver was up front.

Conditions were difficult with a strong wind, though the pitch was better than it has been on many previous occasions to the Globe Arena.

The Stags had the wind in their faces in the first half.

On 2 minutes, Hamilton’s low cross was deflected across the face of goal and no-one could get on the end of it. At the other end on 7 minutes, A-Jay Leitch-Smith fired in a shot that looked to be on target but was blocked almost at source.

The Stags hit the post on 11 minutes. Khan chipped the ball diagonally forward to his left and Mal Benning volleyed a cross-shot with his in-step over the keeper and against the inside of the right post. The ball rebounded into the keeper’s arms.

On 13 minutes, Preston headed over from a lovely Khan floated free kick. At the other end on 16 minutes, Ellison fed Oliver on the right and Oliver smashed a cross-shot wide of the left post. On 19 minutes, young debutant Hedley crossed and Olejnik had to push it over his bar. Then on 21 minutes, Zak Mills sent in a super low ball from the right through the corridor of uncertainty and fortunately for the Stags no-one got a touch on it.

Olejnik made a good save from Leitch-Smith on 24 minutes as the striker fired a low shot from the edge of the area and the keeper got down well. On 29 minutes, Khan gave away an unnecessary free kick 23 yards from his own goal. Mandeville sent the resulting free kick over the bar.

On 31 minutes, Walker got into the area on the left and sent in a dangerous low cross with the outside of his right boot but it was cleared before Khan could get to it. On 34 minutes, Mandeville’s corner flicked off a Stags head just wide of the post.

Jordan Cranston went close on 34 minutes as he sent a deflected shot just wide, following a corner.

The Stags went ahead thanks to a super goal from Bishop. Khan’s corner from the right came to Bishop just outside the area on 36 minutes, Bishop chested down and smacked a cracking shot into the bottom left corner of the net. It was a goal worthy of winning the game and the highlight of a man of the match performance from Bishop, who was returning from a one match suspension. A note on the winning of the corner itself. After the game Morecambe boss Jim Bentley bemoaned that it should not have been a corner having watched it back on the video. He’s right. From the video, Walker crosses, it is blocked by Conlon, and then comes off Walker again before going out. It should have been a goal-kick.

On 42 minutes,Walker laid off to Khan, who shot straight at Roche.

The first of Rose’s three chances in a few minutes came on 43 minutes. Mellis played the ball down the line, Hamilton made a great run to the byline on the right, crossed a low ball in and Rose knocked over the bar from close range under pressure from Mills. The look on Rose’s face suggested he knew he should have got it on target. A minute later, Walker found Benning who put a great cross in from the left, and Rose headed just wide.

On 44 minutes, Liam Mandeville fired over the bar from just 16 yards after being set up by Leitch-Smith. From the video, Preston gave Mandeville too much space to shoot.

On 45+1 minutes, a super flowing move from the Stags involving Rose, Walker and Khan, ended with Rose toe-poking a low shot wide of the right post from the edge of the area.

The Stags deservedly ahead at the break thanks to Bishop’s super strike. The Stags had started well, with Benning hitting the post, then Morecambe had a good spell, bringing a good save from Olejnik, but the Stags ended the half on top, with Rose having three chances.

Half time 0-1

It was now drizzling with rain. The Stags had the wind behind them for the second half.

On 46 minutes, Benning, 35 yards out, took aim and fired a low shot wide of the right post. A minute later at the other end, Oliver rose above Pearce to head over from Mandeville’s free kick from 35 yards out on the right. Another free kick for Morecambe on 49 minutes, just 26 yards from goal in a central position. The wall did its job blocking Cranston’s shot.

On 54 minutes, Hamilton did well on the right, eventually the ball fell to Bishop who sent a rising shot just wide from 20 yards. On 57 minutes, a great ball from Mellis to find Hamilton and another great run from Hamilton all the way into the area, but he just over-ran the ball.

On 59 minutes, Leitch-Smith sent another curling shot just wide from 25 yards.

On 62 minutes, Rose sent a good strike from 30 yards just wide. On 64 minutes, Ellison’s ball in from the left eventually fell fortunately for Olejnik.

On 66 minutes, Khan’s low shot from 20 yards was straight at keeper Roche. The Stags went close again a minute later. Hamilton played inside to Walker who fired in a good shot which Roche pushed away.

On 68 minutes, a chance for the Stags as Walker’s shot was blocked, then Walker played the ball across the area but no-one could get on it. Straight to the other end, and Ellison headed over from Mandeville’s cross.

On 72 minutes, Pearce committed a foul on the halfway line. Khan and Conlon got involved in pushing and shoving sparking a melee. Eventually all three players were booked. Pearce was a bit unlucky. Khan and Conlon were rightly booked.

Soon afterwards, Rose shot low straight at Roche. Then a great tackle from Bishop which summed up his performance.

Elsnik replaced Mellis on 79 minutes. Mellis had had a decent game.

Preston was rightly booked for time-wasting on 82 minutes.

Butcher replaced Khan on 83 minutes.

Another shot from Rose on 84 minutes, as Butcher found him, and his low shot was unconventionally saved by Roche with his legs, possibly slightly wrong-footed.

On 86 minutes, a good run from Hamilton, and his cross came off a defender for a corner. Then another good run from Hamilton on 88 minutes, he cut inside and shot well wide.

A chance for Morecambe on 89 minutes, but sub Oates miscued in the area on the right as he had a chance to lob over the onrushing Olejnik.

6 minutes were added on. The referee had already been indicating that the Stags had been time-wasting. On 90+3 minutes a good clearance from Hamilton.

Graham replaced Walker on 90+6 minutes. The final whistle after 7 minutes of stoppage time brought relief.

So the Stags finally win away from home and break the run of away draws. This was Mansfield’s fourth consecutive win away to Morecambe.

Man of the match: Neal Bishop

Report by: Martin Shaw at the Globe Arena

Line Up:
Olejnik 7 Only called upon to make one save, which he did well from Leitch-Smith.
Preston 6.5 Gave Mandeville too much time to shoot in the first half. Headed over the bar from a cross. Some poor distribution. Otherwise very solid as the defence continues to impress.
Pearce 7 Allowed Oliver to rise above him for a header over the bar. Otherwise very solid as the defence continues to impress.
Sweeney 7 Solid as the defence continues to impress.
Hamilton 8 Covered huge distances getting forward and back. Created chances for Rose, Bishop, and Walker and one for himself. Given the number of great runs he made, he should have made even more chances. Some good defensive work.
Mellis 7 Some nice balls to set Hamilton away down the right.
Bishop 8.5 Scored a goal worthy of winning the game. Man of the match performance.
Khan 6.5 Created chances for Benning and Preston. Two shots which were on target but didn’t cause the keeper enough problems.
Benning 7 Cross-shot from the left hit the inside of the post and rebounded into the keeper’s arms. Great cross for Rose’s header. Covered a lot of ground.
Walker 7 Great work rate. Good shot brought a good save. Some good approach play and a couple of good crosses.
Rose 7 Six efforts at goal, the last of which brought an unconventional save from the keeper. Great work rate including holding the ball up.
Sub Line Up:
Elsnik (for Mellis, 79 mins) -
Butcher (for Khan, 83 mins) -
Graham (for Walker, 90+6 mins) -
Subs not used: Logan, Gibbens, Sterling-James, Jason Law.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2). Roche; Mills, Yarney, Lavelle, Conlan; Mandeville, Hedley (sub Oates, 65), Cranston, Ellison (sub Piggott, 80); Leitch-Smith, Oliver. Subs not used: Halstead, Mendes-Gomes, Thompson, Oswell, Brownsword.
Robert Lewis 7 Handled the game well.

Season 18/19 Reports