Saturday, 25 July 2015

Mansfield Town 1 v Leicester City 1 - PSF

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Saturday 25th July 2015
PSF at the One Call Stadium (Field Mill)
Mansfield Town (1) 1  Matt Green pen 26
Leicester City (1) 1 David Nugent 10
Admission £7. Programme £2 (for both home friendlies)
Attendance 4273 inc. 1608 in the away end
 Mansfield Town
Shearer, Chapman (McGuire 77), Pearce, Clements (Jack Thomas 67), Green (Westcarr HT), Benning, Rose, Nathan Thomas (Beardsley 69), Hunt (Marsden 62), Lambe (Trialist 59), Collins (Tafazolli 77).
Leicester City
Schwarzer (Schmeichel HT), De Laet, Chilwell, Hammond, Barmby, Lawrence, Simpson, Moore, Okazaki, Kramaric, Nugent.
Line up after ten substitutions in the 63rd minute:
Schmeichel; Wasyl, Huth, Fuchs; Albrighton, Drinkwater, King, Mahrez, Schlupp; Ulloa, Vardy.
Leicester man cometh!
Claudio Ranieri's Foxes brought a decent away following to the One Call Stadium this afternoon, and with so many Stags fans taking advantage of the £7 admission price, affording them the opportunity to run the rule over Adam Murray's newly assembled squad, against Premier League opposition, it made for a lively atmosphere inside the ground, in spite of the Quarry Lane End being closed for the afternoon.
Talk before the game revolved around two questions:
1) Why don't a few more of these supporters turn out more often for league games against less glamorous opponents?
2) Are Notts County really charging £24 for tickets for their League 2 (Division 4) game against Mansfield Town next month.
The answer to question two is: yes.
Question two therefore becomes the answer to question one.
David Nugent has scored in every single game I have ever seen him play in (Birmingham City take note of the forthcoming fixtures listed to the right of this page) and sure enough, he kept that run intact this afternoon.
He didn't hit his shot from 20 yards out very cleanly after ten minutes, but with the aid of an unsighted keeper, a slight deflection and the presence of his lucky talisman sat up in the upper tier of the West Stand, Leicester were in front from their first venture forward. D'oh!
Within two minutes of giving the visitors the lead, Nugent was yellow carded for clattering into Mitchell Rose while the busy Stags midfielder was on the ground and  caught him in the face with his boot. Rose for his part joined Nugent in the book for kicking out in retaliation.
Hmm, try the match billing on for size guys: Pre Season FRIENDLY.
Rose was in the wars again in the twenty seventh minute when Dean Hammond chopped him down inside the penalty area.
Matt Green dutifully stepped forward, sent Mark Schwarzer the wrong way and put Mansfield on level terms in front of the Foxes travelling support.
It's a goal! Matt Green 26 minutes.
Just before the break, the visitors survived a real scare, when Chris Clements beat Schwarzer with a fierce dipping shot, but saw his effort crash back off the crossbar.
So with honours even at half time, the Stags left the pitch to the sound of generous applause.
They had gone toe to toe with their Premier League opponents, refused to be bullied and showed a lot of good movement on, off and with the ball.
HT: 1-1
The Stags withdrew Matt Green at half time and replaced him with Craig Westcarr, while both teams sent on substitute goalkeepers.
The home side came out of the blocks like an express train and were soon laying siege to Leicester's replacement keeper Kasper Schmeichel's goal.
Apparently the Foxes second half keeper, is the son of a footballer who has played for both Manchester United and City... I'll hazard a guess at Denis Law, because the bloke is the spitting image of him.
Krystian Pearce saw his effort pushed away for a corner by Schmeichel, who then turned a thumping 25 yard shot Nathan Thomas drive onto the post, when the ball found it's way out to the former Motherwell winger.
The Stags were in full flow at this time, but Leicester disrupted the continuity of the game just after the hour, with a lengthy delay while they substituted all ten outfield players. You have to fel a modicum of sympathy for match day announcers at times like these.
Malvin Benning unleashed a free kickthat was half cleared as far a Craig Westcarr who was denied from clinching a win for the Stags by Denis Law's lad late in the game.
FT: Mansfield Town 1 v Leicester City 1
OK, they were only pre-season games, but the Stags have now put in decent back to back shifts against a Championship and Premier League side inside the space of a week.
I am crap at predictions, but cautiously optimistic that Adam Murray's side will finish above/around mid table and will avoid a nail-biting flirtation with the trapdoor to oblivion this time around.
Time will tell!