Mansfield Town 0 Wycombe Wanderers 4

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 08 January 2008
Would-be FA Cup giantkillers Mansfield were torn apart by hat-trick hero Scott McGleish as Wycombe stretched their unbeaten run to six matches and maintained their promotion challenge.

In total contrast, the Stags' fifth defeat in six league matches left them firmly rooted in the bottom two and facing a tough battle to avoid relegation from the Football League.

The Stags squandered a gilt-edged chance to snatch a shock lead after just 90 seconds. Wycombe keeper Rab Douglas completely misjudged a long goal-kick from his opposite number Carl Muggleton, which was carried forward by the gale force wind.

As the ball broke free Simon Brown poked the ball towards an empty net from the edge of the area, but it bounced narrowly wide with Ian Holmes just failing to get a vital touch at the far post.

The struggling home side paid the price for their profligacy when Wycombe grabbed the lead in bizarre fashion in the fifth minute.

The Stags failed to clear a Russell Martin corner and Scott McGleish's looping header held up in the strong wind and somehow dropped under the bar and into the net with keeper Muggleton stood watching and expecting the ball to sail well over.

Sergio Torres tested the home keeper from 20 yards three minutes later, but this time Muggleton gathered the low drive.

At the other end Douglas again spilled the ball, this time from a Lee Bell free-kick, but the Stags failed to take the gift chance for a second time.

The difficult weather conditions were making life difficult for both keepers and when Muggleton was caught out of position, Tommy Doherty should have doubled Wycombe's lead but lobbed narrowly wide from the edge of the area.

That goalmouth action came in the 12th minute, but the next chance did not come until nine minutes before half-time, when John Sutton headed a deep Martin free-kick high and wide.

In the 42nd minute a quick interchange of passes allowed Stephen Dawson to race clear, but the Mansfield midfielder was just beaten to the ball outside the area by the on-rushing keeper.

At the other end McGleish's first-time volley was straight at Muggleton as the game finally sprung back into life just before the interval.

The Stags swapped formation at half-time, reverting from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2, in a bid to rescue the game, but it was Wycombe, now backed by the increasingly strong gale, who maintained their dominance.

And they were rewarded with a second goal in the 58th minute and again it had a touch of good fortune about it.

Torres' low drive was parried by Muggleton, but when McGleish pulled the ball back across the six-yard area the unlucky Gareth Jelleyman deflected the ball into his own net.

The Stags rallied in torrential rain and hail, forcing four quick corners, but their best chance was hooked wide by Holmes from ten yards.

And when Wycombe broke again they secured victory, McGleish firing across Muggleton and into the bottom corner after good work by Torres.

Three minutes the same players combined and McGleish fired into the other bottom corner from 16 yards with the home defence wide open to complete his treble and Mansfield's misery.

Mansfield Town Match Reports


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