Sunday, 12 May 2013

Mansfield Town XI 3 v SSAFA Derbyshire FC 3 - Charity Match

Sunday 12th May 2013
Charity match at Field Mill/OCS (a Football League ground)
Mansfield Town XI
Lindon Meikle 20, 26, Jake Green 58
SSAFA Derbyshire FC 3
Jim Cooper 37, 64, the unknown soldier 42
SSAFA won on penalties
Attendance 199
Left click pictures for larger images
Pre match publicity:
A strong Mansfield Town XI is set to take on SSAFA Derbyshire FC in this Sunday's charity match at One Call Stadium.
Captain Adam Murray as well as manager Paul Cox are set to start in the match, whilst the Stags XI squad also consists of first team stars Lindon Meikle, Ben Hutchinson and Anthony Howell.
First team coach Richard Cooper is also set to come out of retirement for the match (1pm kick off)
The squads are as follows:
Mansfield Town XI
Manager:  Mark Stevenson
Assistant Manager: Paul Nyland
XI from: Ryan Hopkins, Liam Marsden, Ross Lamb, Richard Cooper, Michael Merriman, Jason Gregory, Paul Cox, Joe Flint, Scott Merriman, Simon Murphy, Paul Broughton, Jack Thomas, Anthony Howell, Adam Murray, Ben Hutchinson, Lindon Meikle
SSAFA have sent us the surnames of their squad this afternoon:
SSAFA Derbyshire FC
Manager:  Kerion Debrouwer
XI from:  Fenn, Fidder, Cleaver, Riley, Booker, Holmes, Thorpe, Cooper, Bacon, Debrouwer, O'Donnell, Bettison, Howell, Hackett
The SSAFA Forces Help team were formed when Jack Hawksley, a young soldier from Pinxton, was seriously injured whilst serving in Afghanistan last year.
Jack’s injuries from the blast, which occurred just two days before he was due to complete his tour, were so severe that he needed two below-knee amputations.
Profits raised from this charity encounter will go directly towards the SSAFA, admission prices have been set at £3 Adults and £1 Senior Citizens/Under 16
Surely you need planning permission to build a wall like that!?
Match detail:
This afternoon, the Stags were 'managed' by an unlikely combo of their business development guru and head of media operations guy, while their groundsman was named as a player, along with the first team management duo of Paul Cox and his sidekick Richard Cooper. 
But they also fielded a healthy turn out of first team and reserve players and the game was slightly more competitive in the end, that one might have expected when perusing the line ups on the (not entirely accurate) team sheet prior to kick off.
Given that this game was for such a worthwhile cause, I'd anticipated a slightly larger attendance, but the ever reliable damp and miserable weather showed up again, which would have discouraged a lot of people from turning out, given that the only area of the ground that was open today, was the uncovered seats in the lower tier of the West Stand.
Lindon Meikle opens the scoring after 20 minutes
Lindon Meikle slotted home the Stags XI's opening goal from just inside the SSAFA box on twenty minutes and then added a second shortly afterwards, with a neat finish from 12 yards out.
Jim Cooper smashed home a great effort for the visiting side from 20 yards out on 37 minutes and the Nyland/Stevenson management duo on the bench, responded with a power trip moment and substituted both Richard Cooper and Paul Cox, though the latter had taken a bit of a knock shortly before the SSAFA side scored.
The match announcer credited James Thorpe with the goal, but he was only going by what the team sheet said. Just before half time, whoever was actually playing in the number 8 shirt, shot from outside the area and the ball ended up in the back of the net via a bobble in the goal mouth.
Ironically, Jim Cooper was credited with that strike, even though he was nowhere near the ball at the time.
HT 2-2
Jake Green, the Stags reserve player and brother of Matt, restored the Mansfield's lead, on 58 minutes, when the visitors keeper fumbled the wet ball over the goal line ... they all count.
Keiron Debrouwer played the ball across the face of the Stags goal on 64 minutes and when the defence failed to clear their lines, Cooper was on hand to grab his second goal of the afternoon, to make it 3-3. 
His strike was met with yet another incorrect tannoy announcement and a shout of "Great goal Coops!" from one of his mates in the stand.
Hmm, she looks familiar
Both teams had chances to win the game, but as the steady to heavy drizzle took hold for the remainder of the day (and probably the rest of the week, given the forecast), match referee Harry Hawkins blew for time and the the game finished at three apiece.
At this point a lot of the spectators headed for the exit, because they were unaware of the fact that the game was being played for a trophy.
FT - 3-3
No extra time was played and the game went straight to penalties.
The armed forces charity side did better in the shoot out than the Stags representative side and Keiron Debrouwer scored the decisive spot kick that won the game for the SSAFA side. Game over.
Ah, football. It's a good excuse to get out of the house and get some fresh air (and yet another soaking) isn't it.
The main thing today, was that the SSAFA team raised some money for a good cause while both teams had a bit of fun into the bargain.
I heard that this game is going to be an annual event. 
If that is the case, I hope a few more people turn up next year.