Saturday, 21 January 2012

Mansfield Town 3 v Hayes & Yeading United 2 - BSBP

Saturday 21st January 2012, at Field Mill
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town (1) 3
Ross Dyer 38, Matt Green 67, Ben Hutchinson 90 pen
Hayes & Yeading (1) 2
Julian Owusu 31, Louis Soares 55
Admission £15, Programme £3
Attendance 1872 (inc. 26 visiting supporters)
Mansfield Town:
1 Marriott, 3 Kendrick, 16 O'Neill, 17 Sutton, 31 Dempster,
11 Murray, 35 Roberts (Howell 90+3mins), 10 Green, 15 Dyer (Hutchinson 63mins), 19 Smith, 24 Meikle (7 Briscoe 79mins)
Unused Subs - 23 Redmond, 6 Riley
Hayes & Yeading United:
40 Pentney, 3 Moutaouakil, 4 Hand, 5 Cadmore, 18 Pele (not *that* one, obviously!), 38 Rose (27 Collins 46mins), 7 Soares,
20 Lee (25 Ajala 75mins), 6 Owusu (33 Bassele 83mins),
11 Wishart, 39 Walsh
Unused Subs - 31 Beasant, 26 Legg
200 blue West Stand lower tier seats, have gone missing

Driving away from Field Mill, I heard people talking on the car radio, about a 'thrilling' match between Mansfield and Hayes & Yeading.
Hmm, I'd been to the Stags game too, but though I would concede the game had elements of drama about it, given that they had come from behind twice and won the game with a penalty kick in the final minute, the actual quality of the spectacle I had just witnessed wasn't exactly what I would have called 'thrilling'.
Granted, the north wind howling down the pitch, which still chilled me to the bone up at the very back of the Quarry Lane End, made controlled passing football and aesthetically pleasing geometrical movement, nigh on impossible ... but Mansfield made bloody hard work of beating their relegation threatened visitors.
Luke O'Neill steps up ...
and hits this free kick so hard it smashed a seat to pieces in the Quarry Lane End

I'm delighted that in spite of all of the above, Paul Cox's team still won ... after all 'I AM A MANSFIELD TOWN SUPPORTER' and I was up out of my seat, punching the air and cheering the winning goal as much as anybody else.
But let's put the record straight here ... that heartfelt rejoicing, was as much of an outpouring of relief as it was a triumphant celebration.
This was an ugly, horses for courses win.
And though quite possibly, the Stags were even the better side for the last fifteen minutes or so, in no way, shape or form were they 'thrilling'.
Three points is three points though.
But I can't help feeling, that a point apiece would've been a fairer outcome.
Hayes and Yeading for their part, have some big, strong players, but they aren't an overly physical or long ball team and those guys can obviously knock the ball around on the deck.
They took the lead on 31 minutes from what was possibly their first attack of the game, when Jamie Hand found Julian Osuwu with a powerfully struck low cross which evaded the Stags defence and gave the visitors number 6 a close range chance to tap home.
Before then, the Stags had created several chances but they had been completely void of any bite in front of goal.
Ross Dyer fired home an equaliser from the edge of the box after Matt Green had set him up from a Gary Roberts free kick.
Carl Pentney then pulled off a great save from a Gary Roberts free kick, before Roberts cleared a Dwane Lee header off the line at the other end.
After the interval, the Middlesex side were back in front when Louis Soares fired home from the edge of the box, sans any defensive attention and in yards of space.
Pentney pulled off another excellent save from Joe Kendrick, but was beaten on 67 minutes by Matt Green after Adam Smith's persistence and refusal to give up chasing the ball had created the chance for him.
Welcome back from your loan spell at Aldershot Town Adam, good work ;-)
Mansfield, attacking the North Stand, picked up a bit of momentum towards the end of the game and actually put a few passes together, but the visitors still gave them a couple of scares and even hit the post on 72 minutes when Tom Cadmore almost put them back in front.
Just when it looked like a 2-2 draw was on the cards, Daniel Wishart brought Gary Roberts down in the visitors penalty area in the very last minute.
And the Stags recent signing Ben Hutchinson, put away the resulting spot kick to give Mansfield a much needed (but no frills) victory.
I don't want to sound too critical, because in the end Mansfield Town won.
The conditions dominated proceedings this afternoon and in truth it wasn't a very good game to watch.
In fairness Hayes & Yeading United, they can justifiably feel unlucky to have lost right at the end.
But even though they probably deserved a point, that's the way it goes sometimes.
The saving grace of the game, through my 'desperate to find something positive to say about the Stags' biased eyes, was the tireless running, passing and work rate of Gary Roberts and his captain Adam Murray in midfield.
A few other players, I'm not naming names, they'll know who they are, will have to do better than that at Kenilworth Road on Wednesday.
A lot better.
A scrappy win on a horrible afternoon, but they all count.
It wasn't 'thrilling' though.
Luton Town have an FA Trophy replay against Hinckley United on Monday night.
Hopefully it will be played in strength sapping, hideous weather conditions and go to extra time and loads of penalties, so the Hatters are well and truly knackered before Wednesday night.
Are the Stags out of the running for a place in the play offs?
Not mathematically, so lets not get too despondent about a lacklustre performance this afternoon, even though if we're being honest, we know they rode their luck a bit.
All aboard for Kenilworth Road ... COME - ON - YOU - STAGS!!!
It only takes a camera to change his mind