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Season 18/19 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
0 - 1
 Yeovil Town
Preston sent off 90.
 Green 19
Attendance: 4374 (132 from Yeovil)
Date: 12 January 2019


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

Mansfield Town lost at home to lowly Yeovil Town this afternoon, Mansfield’s second defeat in succession after just one defeat in the first 24 games of the season. Yeovil arrived at the One Call Stadium without a win in their previous 10 games but played well here, causing Mansfield problems with pace on the break, pressing the Stags, and then defending resolutely in the second half. The Stags were lacking quality going forward in a disappointing performance. Jordan Green scored Yeovil’s goal, firing under Mansfield’s debutant goalkeeper Jordan Smith on 19 minutes, having controlled the ball really well from a fine crossfield pass. Mansfield’s best chance was a powerful shot from Danny Rose somehow blocked on the line by keeper Nathan Baxter on 74 minutes, and there were several near misses, but Yeovil deserved their victory. For the second week running, the Stags had a player sent off, this time Matt Preston, for two yellow cards, firstly pulling Zoko back, and then a late challenge in the last minute. A bad day for Mansfield, and today’s game emphasised that Mansfield are in desperate need of a further central defender and another striker. The Stags will be looking to bounce back at home to Crawley on Tuesday, when Neal Bishop will be available again after suspension.

Mansfield made three changes from the side that lost at Carlisle. Goalkeeper Jordan Smith, signed on Thursday on loan from Nottingham Forest until the end of the season, replaced Conrad Logan. We were surprised by the change as Logan has performed well since Bobby Olejnik’s injury, and in our opinion not been responsible for any goals conceded in that time. Neal Bishop was suspended for one game after his sending off at Carlisle. In came Will Atkinson into central midfield. Finally Otis Khan came in for a rare start since his injury, to play against his former club, and replaced Timi Elsnik. Alistair Smith came into the 18 on the bench in place of Bishop. It was a young bench with Jordan Graham, Alistair Smith and Jason Law on it.

Yeovil had gone 10 games without a win. Under pressure manager Darren Way made four changes from their last game, including bringing in new loan signings Josh Grant from Chelsea and Alex Dobre from Bournemouth. Grant is Chelsea’s U21 captain and I saw him play against Peterborough in the Checkatrade Trophy on Wednesday. Former Stags strikers Alex Fisher and Yoann Arquin were on the bench. Fisher was to come on late in the game.

It was a windy day. Yeovil had the wind behind them in the first half, Mansfield had it in the second half.

Loan keeper Jordan Smith’s first touch, in the second minute, was a shanked clearance, which he got away in.

On 3 minutes, Pearce fouled Zoko just outside the area to the left of centre. Tom James fired the resulting kick powerfully over the bar.

Then on 5 minutes, Mellis gave the ball away on the edge of his own area, and D’Almeida sent a shot just over the bar. Mellis had also lost the ball on the halfway line in the build-up to the chance. Yeovil’s tactic was to press Mansfield and try to win the ball as Mansfield tried to play the ball out from the back.

Relief for the Stags on 9 minutes when Jordan Green went down in the Stags area and the referee waved away appeals for a penalty. Dickinson punted a long high ball forward, Pearce let it bounce, and Green nipped in behind him to be through 1-on-1 with keeper Smith. Smith went for the ball and didn’t get it, Green went down and the referee gave a goal kick. From the pitchside video, it’s hard to tell if there is contact from Smith on Green. From the main camera footage, Green chested the ball past Smith but it’s impossible to tell if there was contact between Smith and Green. The referee was probably equally unsure so couldn’t give the penalty or penalise Green for diving.

A good sliding challenge by Atkinson to win the ball on 13 minutes.

Yeovil were on top, having taken the game to Mansfield.

The Stags created a good chance on 18 minutes. Smith bowled the ball out to Benning who played a great ball down the line, which Hamilton ran on and powered into the box to be 1-on-1 with the keeper Baxter from a tight angle on the left. Hamilton tried to fire under the keeper, but Baxter saved, the ball ran loose to Benning who smashed a shot over the bar.

Yeovil took the lead on 19 minutes. Carl Dickinson played a great crossfield ball which Jordan Green controlled superbly just outside the area having got in behind Sweeney, and then fired powerfully under Smith from 16 yards.

D’Almeida was nearly though on goal on 24 minutes but the ball just ran away from him and Smith gathered at his feet.

On 25 minutes, Khan’s corner, was headed back across goal by Pearce, and Hamilton volleyed well over the bar.

On 26 minutes, a great ball forward from Mellis to Walker who fired a shot towards the near post from the right and keeper Baxter made a good save pushing it wide.

A minute later at the other end, D’Almeida pulled a shot well wide from 25 yards.

Great skill from Khan on 31 minutes, and he set White away on the right, but White’s cross was too easily taken by the keeper.

Mellis fired in a good shot from 25 yards on 32 minutes which the keeper tipped over the bar though it seemed to be going over anyway.

Mellis did well to win the ball on 41 minutes, and the Stags won a corner. From Khan’s corner from the left, Preston headed well over the bar.

Khan played a great ball forward to Hamilton on 44 minutes and Hamilton was well-tackled by Gafaiti just outside the area, with no appeals for a foul from the players as Hamilton went down.

Sweeney was booked for pulling Green back by his shirt on 45+2 minutes. James took the resulting free kick from 32 yards out, and Smith pushed his shot wide.

A very disappointing half from Mansfield, who didn’t get going at all. Yeovil troubled Mansfield going forward several times with pace, and were deservedly ahead at the break.

Half time 0-1

Rose replaced Khan at the start of the second half. It was now a 3-4-3 formation, with Walker (right), Rose and Hamilton (left) up front.

The Stags now had the wind behind them.

On 50 minutes, pinball in Yeovil box following Benning’s free kick from 40 yards, Preston’s header across goal was cleared, then Rose headed back across and goal and eventually Sweeney headed wide.

Yeovil were already time-wasting and were warned by the referee on 51 minutes.

Preston was booked on 56 minutes for pulling back Zoko after a clever turn from Zoko.

Following the resulting free kick, the Stags survived a triple chance for Yeovil on 56 minutes. Firstly keeper Smith made a great save coming out to block from Green, then Jake Gray chipped against the bar, and finally D’Almeida’s half volley was blocked by Preston for a corner.

Jordan Graham replaced White on 57 minutes. Graham went up front on the left, as Hamilton switched to right wing back, still in a 3-4-3 formation.

On 59 minutes, Yeovil keeper Baxter had to claw away a header back from one of his own defenders Warren for a corner. Following the corner from the right, Rose miscued a shot into the ground straight at Baxter.

Yeovil broke on 61 minutes, and Dobre shot wide from the left. A let-off. Then a minute later, D’Almeida headed over the bar from Dobre’s cross.

Elsnik replaced Atkinson on 63 minutes.

On 64 minutes, Rose volleyed well wide from Benning’s corner.

Yeovil broke quickly again on 66 minutes, and once again Dobre fired well wide from a good position on the left.

On 67 minutes, Elsnik’s shot was blocked. Seconds later, Mellis pulled the ball back from the byline, it was cleared to Jordan Graham, whose shot was deflected over the bar.

Elsnik’s shirt was blatantly pulled on 69 minutes, ignored by the referee and linesman. Terrible officiating.

Rose put in a good cross from the left on 70 minutes which nearly reached Walker but not quite and was put behind for a corner.

The Stags were so close to equalising on 72 minutes. The ball pinged around the Yeovil box, Hamilton’s shot was blocked by keeper Baxter, it ran loose to Rose who fired in a powerful shot from 8 yards which had goal written all over it but Baxter somehow kept it out on the line. An incredible save.

Seconds later Walker headed into the net from a cross from the right by Hamilton which was flicked on by Graham, but the offside flag was up quickly and correctly. Walker was definitely offside when Graham flicked it on, confirmed from the video. I think he was also offside when the initial cross came in too but that can’t be confirmed from either video angle.

A minute later Mellis’s ball forward was left by Walker for Jordan Graham who had a free shot at goal but miscued straight at the keeper. It was a great opportunity.

Straight to the other end and Green got into the area and his shot was well blocked by a combination of Pearce and Preston, with Zoko slipping as he tried to knock in the rebound.

Moments later, on 74 minutes Benning’s little ball forward to Graham whose effort was deflected over the bar. Then from Elsnik’s corner, Rose headed over the bar having lost his marker.

On 79 minutes, Elsnik’s free kick came out to Walker who shot well wide.

The Stags went close on 81 minutes. Graham played a good ball to Walker, whose powerful shot was parried by the keeper, it rebounded off a defender and fell kindly again for the keeper when it could have gone anywhere.

Benning was blatantly fouled just outside the area on the left on 84 minutes, again waved away by the hapless referee.

Yeovil sub Brown shot straight at Smith from 20 yards on 85 minutes.

On 86 minutes, Rose got a good connection from the right which was on target but blocked.

Preston was booked again on 90 minutes, for a late tackle. His second booking of the game and a red card. (Amendment to original comment and thanks to halifaxstag for the amendment: Preston is on 7 yellow cards for the season and hence three bookings away from a further two game suspension. Meanwhile Bishop and Sweeney are on 8 yellow cards, and are two bookings away from a two game suspension.)

Six minutes were added by the referee, after Yeovil had done so much time wasting. But the Stags could not fashion another chance.

Man of the match: Mal Benning

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

Line Up:
Smith 6 Good save from Green in the second half. The shot for the goal went underneath him but was hit with power.
Preston 5.5 Picked up two bookings to get himself sent off, the second of which was for an unwise late tackle. Will miss the Crawley game, where White will probably move to central defence.
Pearce 6 Misjudged a high ball forward as Green had a shout for a penalty early on.
Sweeney 6 Did ok. Allowed Green to get in behind him for the goal.
White 5.5 Not at his best.
Mellis 6.5 A few decent pieces of play, including setting up chances for Walker and Graham.
Atkinson 5.5 A couple of good challenges but didn’t dictate the game.
Khan 5.5 Two good corners and a good ball to set Hamilton away. Otherwise didn’t do enough.
Benning 7 Creative and some accurate passing. Man of the match.
Walker 6 Two decent shots saved by the keeper and a header disallowed for offside.
Hamilton 5.5 Disappointing. 1-on-1 saved by the keeper. Created little.
Sub Line Up:
Rose (for Khan, 45 mins) 6 One shot remarkably saved on the line. A header over bar and another on-target shot blocked.
Graham (for White, 57 mins) - Missed a very good chance.
Elsnik (for Atkinson, 63 mins) - Did well.
Subs not used: Logan, Law, Alistair Smith, Butcher.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-1-2-3): Baxter; Grant, Warren, Gafaiti, Dickinson; James; Gray (Fisher 83), D'Almeida; Green, Zoko (Mugabi 88), Dobre (Browne 72). Subs not used: Nelson, Santos, Rogers, Arquin.
Carl Boyeson 5 Terrible.

Season 18/19 Reports