Monday, 26 December 2011

Mansfield Town 1 v York City 1 - BSBP

Monday 26th December 2011 - at Field Mill
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town (1) 1 - Matt Green 11
York City (0) 1 - Liam Henderson 62
Admission FREE, Programme £3
Attendance 3551 (941 from York)
Mansfield Town
1 Marriott,
6 Riley, 16 O'Neill, 30 Freeman, 31 Dempster, 11 Murray, 21 Howell, 34 Aman, 10 Green (sub 7 Briscoe 53 minutes), 15 Dyer, 24 Meikle
Unused subs -
23 Redmond, 22 Day, 8 Stevenson, 33 Kelly
York City

24 Ingham,
3 Meredith, 5 McGurk, 6 Parslow, 2 Oyebanjo, 4 Smith, 8 Kerr, 16 Fyfield (sub 10 Chambers 46 minutes), 26 McLaughlin, 11 Henderson (sub 7 Reed 75 minutes), 17 Blair
Unused subs -
14 Potts, 15 Boucaud, 20 Challinor
Prior to kick off today, a minutes silence was held in memory of Carol Bowskill and Emma Stamp, two fine women and loyal Stags fans through and through, who have sadly passed away recently.
Both were well known to a large number of the Field Mill faithful and well liked.
Carol sat behind me, in my usual seat at Mansfield in the Quarry Lane End and used to check out the pictures I was taking for this blog over my shoulder.
Heartfelt condolences to the partners, family and many friends of Carol and Emma, my thoughts are with you all at this sad time.
A lot of the larger than usual away following from York, were still getting into the ground at 3pm, due to queues at the turnstiles. They deserve a special mention for immaculately observing the silent tribute as a mark of respect, while many of them were still gaining admission the ground and looking for seats.The free admission wasn't a universal thing today, usual match day prices applied across the board, but I, for once in my life, was given a freebie by a kindly soul who obviously thought I deserved one ... and I'm not arguing!
At times, Field Mill was no place for the faint hearted this afternoon, early on we'd commented that it didn't look as though this game was destined to finish with eleven players from each side still on the pitch.
But in the event there were only four bookings, one for Mansfield and three for York, over the course of 90 minutes (plus 4 minutes of stoppage time).
The Stags were ahead on 11 minutes when Matt Green latched onto an under-hit back pass from David McGurk, rounded the City keeper Michael Ingham and fired home.
Green took a knock as he shot ... and though he was able to carry on after treatment, he only lasted until the 53rd minute, when Paul Cox was forced to withdraw the striker and send on Louis Briscoe.
The home side were on top during the first half, with both Ross Dyer and Lindon Meikle coming close to extending their lead, whilst York, at the other end, only had a miss-hit effort by Matty Blair from 18 yards out to show for their somewhat lacklustre efforts at the start to the game.
The Stags came out looking to increase their lead in the second half and Green set up Dyer who came agonisingly close from ten yards out.
Alas, that was Green's last action before he was withdrawn.
Minutes later Ingram blocked another Dyer effort, but from then on in, York started to find their rhythm and began to show their promotion credentials and play the sort of football that had encouraged 941 of their fans to travel down from Yorkshire.
On 62 minutes, Lanre Oyebanjo wildly miscued a shot on the Stags goal from 25 yards out, but the ball fell into the path of Liam Henderson who's effort was far more accurate and the score was level.
With Matt Green out of the game, Mansfield looked a bit toothless and void of ideas in the final third as the game entered the last ten minutes.
Having squandered the chances that could've had this game won inside the first hour, the Stags found themselves hanging on for a point at the end.
And they can be grateful that Luke O'Neill made a well timed last ditch tackle on Matty Blair as he cued up a shot just inside the box ... and that Alan Marriott, at full stretch, managed to pull off a fine fingertip save from Jamie Reed's blistering shot.
Either team could've won this game, neither side shied away from a single tackle and it was no holds barred stuff at times.One criticism I would make of the Stags players today, was that they failed to complete far too high a percentage of the passes they attempted and in the end they were fortunate that didn't prove to be their undoing.
That said, after the recent wet weather, the pitch did look a bit heavy in places and was cutting up. So maybe that made carrying out even the most basic of tasks slightly more difficult than usual.
Hmm, or perhaps I'm just being outrageously generous because it is the season to be jolly, n' all that festive forgiveness kinda vibe.
Usual service will be resumed next week ... Grrr!!!!
Mansfield have been drawing far too many games, today was their 12th draw of the season (in all competitions).
Two of which have been goalless, while the rest all finished one apiece.
Play off form?
Sadly not at present.
Prior to this afternoon's game, I said 4 points would be a great return for the Stags from the back to back holiday season fixtures against York City - today at Field Mill and New Years Day at Bootham Crescent - Well, I s'pose one could say they're still on target for that.
Aren't they Coxy!?

I see a lot of 'In John Radford We Trust' slogans around the Field Mill ground.
Well, I hope Mansfield Town aren't trusting the guy with producing the club calendar this year, or proof reading the programme ;-)