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22/10/2016 | PDW | Luton Town 1 Mansfield Town 1

PDW's match report: Luton Town 1-1 Mansfield Town

A very dull match to replicate the dull weather. The highlight of the day being the final whistle that and oh the fact I have just been followed on Twitter by a lady whose bio says cryptically “Sex Addict”, I like her already.

On the bright side, that’s one less tiresome fourth division football match I won't have to waste my time watching in my life. Watching the giants from NG18 time waste isn’t something I wish to spend my spare time doing.Too many teams play to not to lose than try to win and far, too many games only get going with twenty or thirty minutes left. Most sports are more watchable these days, pity Football bucks that trend.

It was certainly a clash of styles. Actually style is far too much a compliment to give Mansfield, you will see better and entertaining football down the park tomorrow morning, then they produced. Their fans as witty as ever “1-0 to the England” and chanting “ Yellow” despite the fact they were wearing a white kit. Given the choice between living in war torn Syria and Mansfield, I know which one I would pick me dooks and it wouldn’t be the latter.

A match where we didn’t get going until the double change which saw the arrival of Ruddock and Vassell. Personally I thought it needed a change at half time, then another one 15 minutes later if it wasn’t working still. Yes, Hylton is a big loss. I did wondered what the plan was when he was unavailable. The answer is isn’t one, not one that currently works. When he misses games in future with injury, it’s probably best to play him, but get someone to push him around in a wheelchair. Perhaps not ideal, but worth a pop.

Mansfield tried to kill any flow to the match and the referee should have clamped down harder on time wasting. However it was not the referee’s fault, that we let Mansfield players have two free headers in our box for their goal. It was not the referee’s fault, that the movement in front of the defenders was static, meaning we went sideways, backwards to retain possession, only to lose it the first forward pass. This was repeated regularly until the last twenty minutes.

At least then we had some much needed urgency to our play, McGeehan dropped drop to give Rea and Cuthbert, an option and drove forward, admittedly some of his play wasn’t great, but at least he was trying to make something happen. His goal was excellent, a controlled strike low into the far corner. We had time to get a winner, but apart from a couple of attempts thereafter, Shearer pushing away Cuthbert’s curler and Marriott very unlucky to see a strike whistle just past the far post.

In summary, we conceded a soft goal. Spent most of the game huffing and puffing around, improved, scored but didn’t exactly battle the Mansfield goal. A game we could have won but didn’t, but at least we didn’t lose. Best to move and not speak about it again really.

There was one change to the side which beat Orient. Hylton banned so Gray came in. Jones changed with the system, starting with a 4-3-2-1, in homage to Ted Rogers presumably, but soon went back to a diamond with Cook supporting Marriott. It was noticeable, how far advanced O’Donnell played. It was also noticeable how O’Donnell stood off Benning, to cross, which lead to the corner for their goal. Dear James Justin, please get fit soon. Warmest Regards.

The goalkeeper and back four remained unchanged. Rea in the holding role, McGeehan and Gray just in front, then Gilliead on the right, Cook left and Marriott up front on his own. Marriott hard well, but unless he brought a step ladder he had no chance to reach a couple of Walton hoofs against two towering blocks in Pearce and Howkins.The players weren't used to that system,looked unbalanced, a bit lost and we didn't have any rhythm to our first half performance.

Mansfield, Mansfield, Mansfield. What can you say? If you like alehouse football where Gaelic Football meets WWF, please visit Field Mill soon, you are in for a treat. They are known for their physical, direct approach, but have taken it to a new high. Baldy Murray has banned mobile phones, but if I had to watch them every week, I would be calling The Samartians. Not sure which is worse the type of football they play or the town itself. I do actually, it’s the town.

They are well organised, defensively strong, but didn’t create much although Green is a good striker at this level, Clements in a better footballing team would shine and Benning can stick a good cross in.

If you like watching football , when one team time wastes and the other team passes the ball sideways and backwards in their own half, and loses it as soon as they get enter the opposition’s half. It was great. If not, it was rather mind numbing fare.

We had a few good moves, Gilliead, again looking like a Rolls Royce in a garage full of Skodas with Marriott, Cook, displayed a couple of exceptional control and touches bringing down an aerial passes. But it was also another first half of football, where we didn’t test the goalkeeper and concede a sloppy goal. Two free headers from a set piece is basic fundamental stuff in this awful, horrible division. For all the good football we can at times, gets wiped out when unable to deal with such situations.

Being a lightweight team, young team we do struggle and get bullied by the more physical sides. With Mansfield sitting deep after their early goal, we struggled to pass through them. Without the necessary tempo, we are a fairly predictable team to play against. On our day, when the movement and passing is spot on, we look brilliant; those days don’t come around very often, sadly.

Our first god move come down the right, early pass by O’Donnell into Gilliead, in turn found Cook breaking infield, but looped his left foot over Shearer’s bar.

Mansfield switched the ball over to their left Benning came forward O’Donnell stopped and let him cross the ball, it was in a decent area, but Sheehan flicked the ball behind. Hurst took the corner, Bennett won the first header and Green the second flicking it into the net from close range.

We looked stunned. No idea why as Mansfield scoring against us from a set piece you didn’t need to Mystic Meg to foresee that coming. Mansfield pressed forward, encouraged by the goal, winning a lot of knock downs and second balls, Collins picked up most things, they thumped the ball forward for Hoban and Green to chase or got the ball wide to Bennett and Benning. Rose’ centre half cleared by Cuthbert (the only man in our defence who appears to know how to deal with a cross currently) and Hurst could only help it over.

Gilliead and O’Donnell combined well down our right, low pass slipped through to Marriott despite having two efforts couldn’t score past the wall of white shirts. Lovely vision by Gilliead, played the ball between Benning and Pearce, but Marriott couldn’t get to it, before Shearer pounced to collect.

A hoof downfield by Shearer, O’Donnell didn’t jump at either Hoban or ball, Cuthbert dealt with it and told O’Donnell in fairly simple Scottish what he thought of O’Donnell’s effort. Along the lines "I say Stephen old boy, could you jump please?" Bennett’s cross found Clement, his snapshot charged down for a corner. Benning swung across the set piece ball dropped for Clement, a well struck shot but Walton fielded it moving to his left.

For some reason, Mansfield decided to sit back and declare on one. So slowly we were more in control of the ball, not the game. Gilliead rolled a pass to Marriott taking aim on his left foot, stopped by the out stretched leg of Collins.

From that corner, summed up the laugh out loud quality of this division. The idea was a sound one, in fairness. A short corner routine by Gilliead and Cook, found O’Donnell unmarked just outside the box, a poor strike, which the ball bobbled to Pearce who took an almighty swing at and merely touched the ball behind.

As O’Donnell got the wrong side of Collins from a Hurst corner, he galloped impressively up the wing, but with no Luton player rushing to join him, he eventually run into the Mansfield defence.

Marriott dropping deep to receive the ball, lovely reverse pass to Cook carrying the ball forward, before cutting inside and sending a drive, inches wide of the far post. Marriott and Cook linked up, Collins caught Cook, play continued, no advantage as Gray had to combat Benning and Pearce. McGeehan turned but got fouled by Clements, but again nothing.

Clements found Benning centred for Green unbalanced could only knock his header over. Rea brought the ball forward, pass into Cook, nudged into McGeehan; he looked up, elected to shoot over. O’Donnell was unmarked, in which case the hot was the correct option.

TBC...

Comments

  • Posts: 350
    PDW's match report: Luton Town 1-1 Mansfield Town Pt 2...

    Half time and we could only be grateful from small mercies. Mansfield came out early for the second half; we didn’t change the starting eleven. We needed to pass the ball quicker and up the tempo, Mansfield pressed our well in the first half, but the players need to think on their feet, they can’t rely on instructions from Jones and his coaching staff all the time.

    Marriott took advantage of Pearce’s slip; get his shot off early which touched off Collins. A fine run by Gilliead down the left running directly at Bennett, which isn’t something we didn’t do in the first half, a clever pass fed Gray, sending curling shot over. We forced a number of corners, but they didn’t produce much incident from.

    Mansfield changed their formation, they sent on another giraffe in Iacovitti at the back and brought on Thomas, so went a very defensive 5-4-1, actually thinking about it they barely got into our half in the second half. Green in splendid isolation following Hoban’s withdrawn.

    But whilst we were still going absolutely nowhere fast. If only passing the ball back ways and sideways won points, we would be Champions already.

    Cuthbert had a blocked header from Sheehan’s inswinging corner. Thomas was booked after his arrival, he broke forward , Cook tracking back didn’t get much on the ball it must be said, we broke forward Thomas absolutely nailed Gray on the touchline. A merited caution. Marriott got the ball from Iacovitti, switched it Sheehan, excellent arcing cross in Pearce headed behind.

    Gilliead was often taking two Mansfield defenders on; he is very good at running with the ball, a fine reverse pass to Potts who, wonders will never cease, was in the opposition box (I REPEAT DANIEL POTTS WAS IN A FORWARD POSITION), needless to say his pass was poor and knocked behind by Thomas.

    Gray’s cross headed back powerfully and accurate by the now head bandaged Rea, Sheehan unmarked in front of goal. He couldn’t miss. But he did, skanking his effort horribly. For a player with sublime technical ability it was very poor.

    Jones then remembered you could change the starting team. Potts and Cook off, Ruddock and Vassell on. Ruddock isn’t in good form, but the crowd were lifted (well, as much as you can be lifted watching dross) as we all know he can produce moments of magic. Vassell is rampant, apparently, and he helped the situation by running for hopeless causes and at last we were making Mansfield work to hold onto their lead.

    Sheehan went to left back, Rea centre back, McGeehan and Gray in midfield, with Ruddock and Gilliead on the flanks. It was a 4-2-4 formation and suddenly we had a spark about our play which was missing for the opening 70 minutes. More like the type of urgency and tempo you require. It was required earlier. But better late than never.

    Rea penalised for a foul on Rose. It wasn’t even soft; Rea must have breathed on Rose the wrong way. Clements from a central position whipped in his free kick, but Walton was alert and collected the ball to his left.

    Rose who did a fine McGeehan impression at Orient by walking off oh so slowly. The referee booked Rose. Too late the time wasting started over an hour ago.McGeehan tried to get on the ball and make something happen. Gilliead apart, we hadn’t run at Mansfield, but now Gray did, a splendid solo run before being blocked by Iacavotti.

    Mansfield having a nose bleed, as they were in our half. Benning into Green, finding CJ Hamilton on the left, who didn’t get where he is today by playing poor crosses into the box. Ruddock of all people nodded away. Perhaps he should play centre back again. Which he where he made his debut for us at Staines. I miss the F.A. Trophy. There I have said it.

    Ruddock popped up at the other end, driving McGeehan ‘s pass at Pearce, McGeehan picked up the loose ball and drove it into the far corner with consummate aplomb. We still had time to win the game; thirteen minutes left plus added time (which was five minutes).

    Lee replaced Gray, thought it a bit strange as Gray was finally having a say in the game but maybe Jones wanted to make sure we didn’t do anything silly and Lee can hold the position in midfield. Not to leave us outnumbered if they broke.

    Sheehan’s corner was only cleared as far as Gilliead on the edge of the box, the ball deflected off Collins, didn’t drop to Vassell but Cuthbert free, sent a curling effort, which Shearer saved well to his left. A good height, but a fine save. Clements passed the ball to Gilliead, square pass to McGeehan in a similar position to where he scored, dragged this shot wide.

    Vassell running hard down the right wing and into the box, Pearce belted the cross behind. Lee battled well against Howkins to win a corner. Howkins sat down and was told to get up, who knew he still had use of both his legs. The brave little soldier. Gilliead’s corner was played in deep, Shearer denied Rea twice. Then a good tackle by Lee on Hamilton, the pass into Ruddock, Marriott turned and flashed a shot inches wide.

    So a good twenty minutes and fine strike to equalise doesn’t disguise a pretty turgid opening seventy minutes. We are on an unbeaten run, which is good but we aren’t winning many games. At least Hylton is back next week; we are almost a one man team currently. Notts County did the double over us last season whilst being painfully average, Sheridan is there now, so would expect them to be much better with him in charge.

    Luton - Christian Walton 6.5, Stephen O'Donnell 6, Scott Cuthbert 8, Alan Sheehan 7, Dan Potts 6.5 (Pelly Ruddock 6.5), Glenn Rea 7, Jake Gray 6.25 (Olly Lee), Cameron McGeehan 7.25, Alex Gilliead 7.5, Jordan Cook 6.25 (Isaac Vassell 6.5), Jack Marriott 6.75.

    Game changers not used - Jonathan Smith, Johnny Mullins, Craig Mackail-Smith, Craig King. Booked - Lee.

    Stags: Scott Shearer, Rhys Bennett, Malvind Benning, Lee Collins, Krystian Pearce, Chris Clements, Pat Hoban (Jack Thomas), Matt Green, Kevan Hurst (Alex Iacovitti), Kyle Howkins, Mitchell Rose (CJ Hamilton).

    Football manager's post match interviews. Appreciate they are meaningless tish and fibsy, but are more entertaining than the matches themslves. Karl Robinson deserves an oscar for his performance of a dying Swan. Majestic and heart breaking stuff. He had lost a football match and perhaps his job, not his actual life - do listen to it, it's hilarously funny. Think of people suffering all around the world, being killed in wars, having life threatening injuries, living in poverty (but enough about my betting woes) etc and he is verging on tears having lost a football game. It's pathetic. Nathan Jones' insight "We showed positive intent" Yes, dear most teams at 1-0 down at home tend to. But best of all, take a bow Darren Sarll of Stevenage who came out with this pearl of wisdom "Carlisle are not 15 points better than us". The League table begs to differ.
    It's funny, the way people seem to think by not admitting their failings it's a strength, but it's actually a weakness. Once they learn they will become better people. Hark at me, a poor man's Jerry Springer.
  • Brilliant, by far the most intelligent, amusing and simply correct appraisal of a match to be found on this site.
  • Super stuff. Echoes other reports I've read
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