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)
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.
defences propensity to indulge in a spot of break dancing at the most
inappropriate of times ... not that Louis Briscoe minded
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.
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.
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.
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.
Marriott at full stretch in the Stags goal
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.
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.