Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Mansfield Town 1 v Nuneaton Town 0 - BSBP

Tuesday 26th March 2013, at Field Mill (One Call Stadium),
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town (0) 1
Louis Briscoe 67
Nuneaton Town (0) 0
Admission £18 (West Stand Upper), Programme £3,
Attendance 2384 (82 Nuneaton fans)
Mansfield Subs -
Richie Sutton for James Jennings 59
Louis Briscoe for Colin 'Junior' Daniel 62
Matt Rhead for Lee Stevenson 63
Nuneaton Subs-
Wesley York for Adam Walker 85
Andy Brown for Louis Moult 85

It's now ten wins in a row for the Stags following tonight's narrow 1-0 home win.
They could (and should) have been four goals ahead by the break. But a win is a win and I'm not going to be greedy.
The last time I saw Nuneaton Town in action, they were winning promotion to the BSBPremier, in the BSBNorth Play Off Final, at the Northolme, Gainsborough.
Tonight they arrived at Field Mill, sitting uncomfortably close to the bottom end of the table and battling against relegation, amongst the likes of AFC Telford United, Ebbsfleet United, Barrow and (at a push) Lincoln City, the latter of whom eased their own worries with a 3-0 away win at Braintree Town tonight.
Nuneaton have however, chalked up an unbeaten run of five consecutive games prior to their visit to 'in form' Mansfield Town, since narrowly losing by a single goal, to current BSBP leaders Kidderminster Harriers on February 26th.
But this is the only end of the BSBP table I'm interested in.
And Nuneaton's fans won't want to look at what this result has done to their league position anyway.
Following two inspections earlier today, the pitch got the thumbs up in the afternoon, thanks to the efforts of an army of fans who'd turned out to shift the snow yesterday to help make it playable. And though it had the look of a 'heavy going' racecourse in places, the surface held up really well, in spite of a few 'lumpy, bumpy' patches.
Nuneaton's fans must've been tempted to shovel all the snow back on again as the game progressed, because their side only had a solitary effort on goal on target all night, which Alan Marriott saved comfortably from Adam Walker. Though they did also have a couple of efforts that cleared the bar, including a thumping Neil Cartwright shot, that deflected over off of John Dempster.
Luke Jones came close for the Stags, but his effort came back off the crossbar.
And Matt Green must've wondered what more he had to do to get on the score sheet tonight; he hit the post from a yard out, then knocked the ball wide from the rebound. Came close to beating Lee Burge twice in one onto one situations. Was thwarted by a sublime challenge, from behind, by Delroy Gordon, as he homed in on goal and was odds on to score ... and to rub it in even more, Green even had a penalty saved and a goal chalked off when the linesman raised his flag for offside.
The Bishop Street bonfire pest strikes again
The visitors would've been grateful to have gone in level at the break, but as the second half passed by, you had to wonder if this was going to be one of those night's when Mansfield would have to settle for a goalless draw (or worse) as Nuneaton carried on living a charmed life and their keeper Lee Burge kept the Stags at bay at frequent intervals.
James Jennings had to go off after taking a knock, with Richie Sutton coming on in his place and then just after the hour, Stags boss Paul Cox made two more substitutions, introducing Louis Briscoe and Matt Rhead for Colin Daniel and Lee Stevenson ... and the change reaped dividends almost immediately. 
In his first foray into the Nuneaton box, Rhead was fouled by the visitors captain Gavin Cowan and the referee pointed to the spot, but Burge got down well to his right to keep Green's spot kick out.
But on 67 minutes, Briscoe broke the deadlock, when his free kick from outside the box found the back of the net via a slight deflection.
It was the very least that Mansfield deserved for their efforts.
In the closing stages of the game, Adam Chapman found Matt Rhead with a long throw into the box, Rhead flicked the ball on to Matt Green and the Stags top scorer finally beat a very determined Lee Burge. But the effort was ruled out.
Friend's of mine who were in line with the incident, say it was a harsh decision, but never mind eh!? I'm sure these things balance themselves out.
The referee's next action, was to blow the final whistle. The Stags had won again, Kidderminster had drawn their game (at home to Woking). The BSBP table is looking better each and every game and the 'promised land' of glamorous away trips to Accrington Stanley, Barnet, Fleetwood and Rochdale edges, tantalisingly, ever more closer.
FT - Mansfield Town 1 v Nuneaton Town 0
Next up: Wrap up warm, dig out the thermals and get yourself along to the Recreation Ground, Scrooby Road, Bircotes, DN11 8JT, for the NMU19L Division 2 fixture between Harworth Colliery Under 19s and Dunkirk Under 19s, where 4th placed Harworth are looking to leapfrog over their 2nd placed visitors in the table and avenge the 3-1 reversal they suffered at the Ron Steel Sports Ground at the beginning of last month. Kick off is scheduled for 7.45pm ...and you know that you're very tempted to be there too.