Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Mansfield Town 1 v AFC Telford United 1 - BSBP

Tuesday 20th September, at Field Mill
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town (0) 1 (Matt Green 72)
AFC Telford United (0) 1 (Chris Sharp 86)
Admission £15, Programme £3,
Attendance 2,481 (110 from Telford)
Tonight the Stags were just four minutes away from a victory that would've seen them top the Blue Square Bet Premier division ... but in fairness, AFC Telford deserved something from this end to end game, in which both sides had their chances to secure a win.
Highly entertaining stuff ... and the fact that the only disappointing aspect of the game was that the Stags narrowly missed out on going top of the table, shows how high the bar has been raised as regards expectations at Field Mill this season.
There's been plenty of 'adverse' publicity surrounding certain aspects of the club off the pitch this last week or so, but the general consensus of opinion amongst the supporters about 'that stuff' seems to be a universal 'so effing what!?'
A strange choice of goalkeepers kit to wear against Mansfield
The referee didn't seem to mind though

The fans are genuinely unconcerned about where certain people at the club have come from.
As long as they're doing their best for MTFC, that is all that matters.
If, of course, they end up not being in the best interests of the football club, then ... and only then, let the people decide ... and I'm damn sure they will in due course, one way or the other.
I'd be very surprised if more than a very small percentage of them read the Sun newspaper anyway, let alone believe a single word that it's muck raking editors print.
The truth is, they're far more interested in the hope and potential that is unfolding before their eyes (disbelieving eyes in a lot of cases) and dreaming about what might lay ahead.
Onwards and upwards innit!?
Besides, given the never ending series of unfortunate events and OTT soap opera script scenarios that the Stags have been embroiled in for the last few years, you would need to unleash something fairly monumental in size on the faithful, to stir even a cursory raise of the odd eyebrow or two these days.
Telford really impressed me tonight, it would have been awesome to see the Stags recording a sixth win on the trot, but Andy Sinton's side hadn't just come to be a peripheral statistic in Mansfield's ever impressive run of results.
They passed the ball around well and took the game to the Stags ... a lot of teams are going to take the Bath City route and defend in numbers when they visit Field Mill this season, but United's desire to play an opening and attacking game made for a much more entertaining game.
It did look as though Mansfield would be awarded a penalty on 25 minutes when Ross Dyer crashed to the ground under a heavy challenge from Dan Preston. But it wasn't to be, the referee waved play on.
Just before half time Matt Green set up Ross Dyer who narrowly missed the target from close range with a header when it looked easier to score.
HT 0-0
The second half saw both teams carry on in the same vain ... it was a busy night for goalkeepers and defenders.
The game must've been very pleasing on the eye for any neutral spectator present ... as for those willing their respective teams on, it was real edge of the seat stuff.
Both sets of fans got behind their teams and created a great atmosphere.
Lindon Meikle, fresh from his wonder goal at the weekend, had run at the Telford defence with purpose all night, but he was sacrificed (metaphorically not literally you understand) on 66 minutes to make way for Adam Smith in a tactical switch.
Smith must've been really chomping at the bit on the bench, because he came straight out the blocks like a man possessed.
He created a chance for Ben Futcher and almost scored himself, as Telford had to change things around to contain his threat.
On 72 minutes Matt Green (who else) charged into the visitors box, using his strength to hold off a couple of challenges and knocked the ball calmly past Ryan Young to open the scoring.
The new Field Mill cult hero has his own song now:
Posh Spice is a slapper
She likes to flick her bean
And when she's shagging Beckham
She dreams of Matty Green
Very tasteful ... I'm sure you'll agree
In Sunday's Non League Paper, Stuart Hammonds wrote a great two page spread on Matt Green, he's obviously going to be in demand when his loan period runs out ... let's hope the Stags can secure his services full time before then.
With four minutes remaining Chris Sharp broke away and ran into the Stags penalty area, he beat Alan Marriott and the visitors were level.
Joe Kendrick and Louis Briscoe both went close as the Stags tried to regain the lead they had held on to for 12 minutes, but it wasn't to be.
Though it was agonising to see two points dropped so late in the game, it had been an excellent advert for BSBP tonight, with both sides playing their part ... and AFC Telford United deserved to go away with their share of the spoils. That doesn't mean they bloody well had to though, dit it!?
The Stags unbeaten run now stands at 8 consecutive games ... no small feat in a division where clubs like the mid table Bucks can turn up at Field Mill and demonstrate just how much strength in depth and how many quality sides there are in the 'conference'.

Tomorrow night ... North Nottinghamshire's finest, Harworth CI Under 19's take on Radford FC at Scrooby Lane, kick off is at 7.45, you'd be mad to miss it!