Friday, 20 July 2012

Gainsborough Trinity 0 v Mansfield Town 0 - Pre Season Friendly

Friday 20th July 2012, at the Northolme
Pre Season Friendly
Gainsborough Trinity 0
Mansfield Town 0
Admission £6, No programme issued
Gainsborough Trinity:
Budtz, Roma, Ridley (Wilde 56), Waterfall, Young, Leary, D’Laryea, R. Williams, Clarke (J. Williams 76), Connor (Stamp 63), Yates (Hawkridge 54).
Mansfield Town:
Marriott, Beevers (Sutton 68), Jones, Pilkington, Sam Benjamin (trialist), Hand ( Howell 62), Clements (Roberts 72), Tolley, Stevenson (Meikle 46), Rhead (Dyer 62), Green (Wright 68).
Friday night football, arranged thus, because the Mansfield Town chairman is going to be busy for the rest of the weekend, tying the knot with the clubs CEO Carolyn Still, at a ceremony in Barnby Moor, near East Retford (my invite must be delayed in the post ... eh guys!?).
Worksop Town were originally meant to be hosting the Stags tonight, but they had to pull out of that arrangement, because the Tigers don't actually own their own ground (they're tenants to Worksop Parramore FC, of the NCEL Premier Division) and after arranging the game, found out that the Windsor Food Services Stadium (AKA Sandy Lane) wasn't actually available on today's date.
However, it all worked out OK in the end for Mansfield, because it meant they got to play against last season's Blue Square Bet North play off finalists, instead of a mid table Evo-Stik side.
So all's well that ends well.
It was good to see Steve Hymas and Andy Saunders, two of the recently departed Stags directors, who are bankrolling the newly formed CMFL (North) club, AFC Mansfield, present at the Northolme, to give their support to their first love ... The Stags.
The side Mickey Taylor has assembled at the new club, look, on paper at least, to be odds on favourites to win their league this season.
But obviously a few of the more established clubs at that level, will be wanting to put that theory to the test and there are bound to be a few interesting encounters along the way.
I'll definitely be going down to Forest Town a few times this season, to see how it all unfolds for them.
Good luck to everyone involved with the new venture.
But, you've got no chance when you visit Harworth!
But I digress ... It wasn't actually a dirty game tonight, but neither side were especially bashful at times, about going in firmly, but (borderline) fairly.
Though goalmouth action and slick passing football wasn't exactly on the menu, on this damp and drizzly night in the Wild West of Lincolnshire, you couldn't accuse the players of not being committed.
Possibly, the surface rain on the lush grass, gave one or two of the heavier tackles an element of 'exaggerated acceleration' and made them look worse than they were intended ... but either way, there was definitely the potential for this game to turn 'a little bit feisty' on a couple of occasions. But it never spilt over into actual confrontation.
Matt Rhead (Mansfield) v Luke Waterfall (Trinity), had quite an intriguing contest throughout the night, both on and off the ball.
For those of you watching in black and white ... Trinity are in all yellow,
while the Stags are wearing navy shirts and white shorts.

Trinity's vastly experienced centre half, Michael Leary, was involved in both teams best goal scoring opportunities, which both came in the second half.
When the Stags Matt Green, cued up an angled shot on goal from 10 yards out, Leary managed to have a crafty tug at his shoulder on the ref's blind side, that caused Green to lose his footing at the vital moment. One of the oldest tricks in the book, but also one of the most effective too ;-)
And at the other end, inside the final 5 minutes, Leary smashed the ball narrowly over the bar from ten yards out.
Anthony Howell also had a decent effort on target for the Stags from outside the box, but Greg Young managed to block it and deflected the ball over the bar.
Gary Roberts, a second half substitute for the Stags, got himself yellow carded, for making the sort of challenge that isn't in keeping with the protocol of pre season warm up matches.
He's a fiercely competitive player and no mistake, but, err ... there's a time and a place for that kind of stuff ... and Friday night, in a friendly at the Northolme, doesn't tick either of those boxes.
On the whole, the visitors had started the game in a lively fashion and pegged Trinity back for around twenty minutes, without actually causing them too many problems.
But then, all too often, they seemed to adopt a long ball, direct approach. Which the home sides defence was dealing with pretty effectively.
Lindon Meikle came close to scoring a late winner for the Stags, against the run of play, but it deflected wide off a Trinity defender, again ... on the ref's blind side and he awarded a goal kick.
Trinity, to their credit, tried to keep the ball down and played a passing game ... they certainly finished the stronger of the two sides and were perhaps a bit unfortunate not to nick the result in the end.
The 'Holy Blues' certainly gave Mansfield a game tonight and a few things to think about, especially in the second half.
Lee Stevenson of Mansfield had to go off, half way through the game, after getting hurt following an accidental knock.
An ambulance was called when, by all accounts, he had coughed up some blood.
And it was decided that it would be common sense for him to get it checked out at hospital, as a precautionary measure.
Hopefully he's feeling OK very soon.

Full time 0-0

Next up: Hucknall Town v Mansfield Town XI, Monday 23rd July