Saturday, 25 August 2012

Mansfield Town 1 v Hyde 0 - BSBP

Saturday 25th August 2012
at Field Mill (AKA The One Call Stadium)
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town (1) 1
Matt Green 7
Hyde (0) 0
Admission - £18 upper tier seat
Programme - £3
Attendance - 2,203 (inc. 64 Hyde fans)
Mansfield Town:
1 Alan Marriott, 2 Richie Sutton, 4 John Dempster, 5 Luke Jones, 7 Lindon Meikle, 10 Matt Green (12 Nick Wright 90 mins), 11 Louis Briscoe (19 Jamie Hand 81 mins), 13 Anthony Howell, 16 Matt Rhead (8 Jake Speight 64), 18 Gary Roberts, 31 Colin Daniel
Unused Subs - 14 Chris Clements, 17 Lee Beevers
12 Ashley Frith, 2 John Brizell, 3 Adam Griffen, 5 Luke Ashworth, 6 Alex Brown (14 Daniel Douglas-Pringle 74 mins), 8 Callum Byrne (18 Grant Spencer 86 mins), 9 Scott Spencer, 10 Phil Jevons, 15 Robbie Williams, 17 Matthew Cassidy (21 Liam Comsett 57 mins), 20 Matthew Blinkhorn
Unused Subs - 1 David Carnell, 16 Kelvin Lomax
*Note* David Carnell was named as goalkeeper by Hyde on the original team sheet, but he got injured during the warm up and was subsequently replaced by Ashley Frith.
Plus points today:
1) The Stags kept a clean sheet for the first time this season.
2) Three points, is three points.
3) Colin Daniel looks like a great signing for Mansfield Town.
4) Err ... I'll get back to you on that, when I've had a looooooong think about it.
It all started so well for the Stags, when Matt Green ran into the box and made himself the time and space to fire the ball past debutant keeper Ashley Frith in the seventh minute.
With just under half an hour gone, Lindon Meikle, who'd had a busy and productive first half, chasing everything to good effect, should have doubled Mansfield's lead, but he shot over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
With all due respect, Hyde are not one of the better teams that will visit Field Mill this season. But the Stags were making hard work of getting hold of the game and ramming home their first half superiority.
They had created enough chances to have given themselves a bit of breathing space before the break, but struggled to find the finishing touches.
No doubt the surface water on the pitch from several torrential downpours throughout the afternoon wasn't helping matters.
Also, I did hear somebody suggest that the added burden of expectancy this season, to go for promotion, weighed heavily on the team's shoulders, especially at home games.
Though I'll acknowledge that Field Mill/the One Call Stadium does have a disproportionate amount of critics and moaners, in recent times I've noticed that the crowd have been far more patient and understanding than in previous years, as they've had to take on board a huge slice of realism in the face of the trials and tribulations that Mansfield Town Football Club has been through.
That said, there were a few audible murmurings of discontent, as the natives began to get restless, when the team, who's chairman has publicly stated will be promoted as champions this season, began to misfire.
Save for one or two stand out performances, most notably that of Colin Daniel, Mansfield weren't very good in the second half.
Hyde for their part were were very slightly better, in spells, but only just.
Lindon Meikle looked good on the eye, but his hard work and ability do all the skilful stuff to get out of difficult situations, came unstuck when it came to delivering the final ball.
I'm not doubting his ability or work rate, he'd run through brick walls all afternoon for the cause, but sometimes he does all the eye-catching stuff, but then frustrates people by not executing a short, simple pass at the end of it.
Lindon's improving all the time though and he'll only get better when he irons out a couple of little flaws in his game.
Colin 'Junior' Daniel - Man of the match

Jake Speight and Matt Green looked like they were going to score between them, when Ashley Frith struggled to deal with the wet ball and a frantic goal line scramble ensued, but Hyde managed to clear their lines.
An example of just how wet it was, came during the first half, when two Hyde throw ins, slipped out of their player's hands, dropped onto the pitch and were awarded the other way ... unfortunate, but amusing and worthy of some piss taking never the less.
Hyde's away support

Right at the end, with the Stags still unable to make any further inroads into the Hyde rearguard, on an afternoon where the Stags faithful were having to content themselves with the fact that 'a win is a win, regardless of the performance', especially in the the second half, Hyde almost dealt them a sucker punch.
Adam Griffin crossed into the box and Matt Blinkhorn was a whisker away from equalising.
And Phil Jevons released Scott Spencer in the box, but Colin Daniel arrived in the nick of time to clear the danger, with Alan Marriott charging off his line.
During injury time Alan Marriott was booked for time wasting and Paul Cox ran the clock down by sending Nick Wright on for Matt Green in the 92nd minute, as the Stags just about made it over the finishing line with their 7th minute lead still intact.
Hyde manger and former Stags player Scott McNiven

I've no doubt that it was probably even harder than it looked to play neat, passing football on such a water sodden surface, so in conclusion:
Not a good game to watch, but 3 points for the Stags, two wins in a row, slow n' steady progress up the BSBP table and sometimes you just have to accept that an ugly win, is better than an entertaining draw or loss when valuable league points are at stake.
It's early days yet ... and though it'd be premature to start sounding the alarm bells after just four league games, there are obviously a few issues that need addressing ASAP.
Rumours abound that there could be a 'big' signing arriving at Mansfield Town imminently, but whether or not that is true still remains to be seen. So I won't comment on that 'news' or how much difference I think the player in question might make, until it's conformed.
Rumours are rife on certain message-boards and forums, but this is neither the time or the place.
After the game Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I thought the first half maybe could have been out of sight with some of the chances we created.
"You've got to give credit to Hyde - they're a good side and made us work extremely hard defensively second half. It was a proper football match.
"In this league there's no-one who's got a divine right to go and walk away with a result and Hyde proved that today."