Saturday, 27 August 2011

Mansfield Town v Kettering Town - BSBP

The psychological barrier that's been preventing the Stags from scoring more than one goal per game is finally broken ;-) Rejoice!

Saturday 27th August 2011 - at Field Mill
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town (1) 3
Louis Briscoe 11, Matt Green 51, Ross Dyer 64
Kettering Town (0) 0
Admission Season Ticket
(not mine, hope you're having a nice holiday Mick),
Programme £3, Attendance 2,051 (112 from Kettering)
Left click photos to enlarge images

An academic, straight forward and fairly comfortable win for Mansfield this afternoon.
The performance was perhaps not as good as the one against Luton Town in midweek, but with the greatest of respect to Kettering Town ... the opposition were nowhere near as good as the Hatters either.
Not that the Poppies were without their moments mind you ... but Alan Marriott was equal to anything the visitors had to offer today ... and a few defensive lapses coupled with some slapstick finishing in front of goal from the Northants based side must've had their manager Morrell Maison going half crazy with despair, especially after his side's 5-1 capitulation at home to York City in midweek.
Kettering manager Morrell Maison lamented after the game about his
defences propensity to indulge in a spot of break dancing at the most
inappropriate of times ... not that Louis Briscoe minded

Incidentally, that home, is now Nene Park, where the now defunct Rushden & Diamonds used to play.
The Poppies vacated Rockingham Road at the end of last season.
When R&DFC went bust, Kettering made a great gesture by offering fans of the Irthlingborough club who had already paid up front for their 2011-12 season tickets and who subsequently lost their money, free season tickets to watch Kettering Town instead.
Kettering are also offering their own fans a number of admission price incentives in conjunction with their local newspaper ... hopefully their attendances will reflect the effort that has gone in to making the relocation as painless as possible on the pockets of their fan base.
I guess if a club has to vacate it's ground for whatever reason ... and lord knows there has been enough of that sort of upheaval in North Notts this last few years ... then it must be quite handy to have a ready made stadium like Nene Park standing empty just 8 miles up the road.
Kettering kicked off, but pretty soon the Stags had the ball and weren't in the mood to let their opponents have it back for the first ten minutes or so.
A sustained spell of pressure from the home side, culminated in the opening goal on 11 minutes, when Lindon Meikle provided the simplest of chances to open the scoring from close range.
Meikle combining with Ross Dyer, Louis Briscoe and Matt Green caused the visitors all manner of problems today, the latter in particular was on fire today.
Green is on loan from Oxford United until December.
On joining the Stags he said "I will be relentless in my work rate and I am hoping this move will be successful" ... well, you'd expect any new striker to say that wouldn't you?
But bloody hell, get him signed on permanent terms ASAP, if his application these last few games is anything to go by.
"No foul three! I'm watching!"

The Stags failed to build on their lead before half time ... and it was nearly their undoing, yet again, when Phil Ifil's free kick needed a top class save from Alan Marriott to keep his sides slender lead intact, in first half stoppage time.
The home side were in the ascendancy and definitely on top in this game, but Ifil's effort would have set the alarm bells ringing and served as a reminder that the best way to hold onto a single goal lead is to increase it.
On the stroke of half time, fingertip save by Alan
Marriott at full stretch in the Stags goal

Six minutes into the second half, Jean Paul Marna was shown a yellow card when he conceded a free kick for a challenge on Paul Futcher ... and then he laid on the floor with the referee stood over him for ages, before getting up to accept his punishment ... making a rather silly looking spectacle of himself into the bargain.
Ben Futcher 'limps' away while Jean Paul Marna has a long think
about picking on someone his own size in future.

The Kettering number 10's humiliation was compounded, when straight from the free kick, Ross Dyer flicked the ball on to Matt Green, who cleverly left George Taft for dead in the box, before firing the ball under Laurie Walker in the visitors goal, to break the single goal hoodoo and put the Stags firmly in control.On 64 minutes, Louis Bsiscoe played the ball into the path of Matt Green, who beat off the challenges from a couple of Poppies defenders, before putting in a cross for Ross Dyer who gleefully smashed home the third Mansfield goal of the afternoon.

A huddle in a puddle, 3-0 on 65 minutes

On 71 minutes Moses Ashikodi, almost got a goal back for the visitors when his thunderbolt of a shot cannoned back into play off the underside of Alan Marriott's crossbar. Unlike his namesake, this Moses wasn't about to lead his charges out of their plight today and they continued to wander around in a desert of space while, the Stags toyed with them for the remainder of the game.

For the third consecutive game, the Stags left the pitch after 90 (+3) minutes, to the sound of generous applause ringing in their ears. Just maybe some of those present don't think Paul Cox is the next David Holdsworth any more after all. Then again the fickleness gene is rampant amongst all football supporters. And though it's far too early to be talking about how good this Stags side could become and what might happen come the end of April ... if Kettering's Moses couldn't reach the promised land with his team this afternoon, well ... somebody might as well rise to the challenge.

Matt Green, cover star and man of the match.

Though it wasn't an especially good side the Stags beat this afternoon ... step by step, progress is being made. Onwards and upwards, as a former Mansfield Town manager was wont to say ... he was the last one to reach a play off final, by way of a completely unrelated and not tempting fate at all coincidence.Next up - I'm going to Stockport County for a noon kick off on Monday ... followed by a couple non BSBP grounds and teams before next weekend.

Stay tuned pop pickers!