Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Matlock Town 0 v Mansfield Town 0 - PSF

Wednesday 13th July 2016
Pre-Season Friendly
at Oxford Street, Rossington Main FC
Matlock Town 0
Mansfield Town 0
Admission £6 inc. programme
Left click images to enlarge
Brian Jensen
Matlock Town:
Ryan Musslewhite, Liam Marsden, Alex Pursehouse, Laurie Wilson (Kenan Layton 60), Adam Yates (Dwayne Wiley 46), Nico de Girolamo (Ashley Bartle 72), Jamie Yates ( Ben Partridge 46), Liam Needham, Marc Newsham (Jack Siddall 60), Jake Green. Andy Todd (Niall McManus 46)
Subs - Jordan Pierrepont
Mansfield Town first half:
Scott Shearer, Ryan Bennett, Krystian Pearce, George Taft, Mal Benning, CJ Hamilton, Adam Chapman, James Baxendale, Mitchell Rose, Trialist, Adi Yussuf
Mansfield Town second half:
Scott Shearer, Ryan Bennett, Krystian Pearce, George Taft, Mal Benning, Lee Collins, Kevan Hurst, Chris Clements, Ashley Hemmings, Danny Rose, Matt Green
Not only were Matlock Town using Rossington Main's ground for this hastily arranged pre-season friendly, they also borrowed the NCEL side's goalkeeper Ryan Musselwhite, who'd had a busy night against Doncaster Rovers just twenty four hours ago, to stand in for Phil Barnes, who was unavailable tonight through illness. The stattos among you will be interested that Ryan is the son of the Scunthorpe United custodian Paul Musselwhite, while the rest of you should show a little bit more gratitude sometimes, for these extra trinkets of knowledge that I bestow upon my loyal readership.
You'll all be glad I told you when that comes in useful at the next pub quiz you go to. And watch out for the the old (horse) chestnut of a trick question, asking if an Acorn is a seed, because it's not. It's a nut! And now it says so on t'internet, it must be true.
Two ex Mansfield players: Liam Marsden and the evergreen Andy Todd, featured for the Gladiators, while Jake Green, the younger brother of the Stags main striker Matt also started for the Derbyshire side in what was their first warm up match of the new term.
I remembering bickering with Toddy's dad in the stand at Worksop Town one night about the virtues of one of Eastwood Town's players and he turned to me and said: "When you get out of the house and go to as many football matches as I do every week, you'll be entitled to an opinion... oh, it's you!"
For the record part 1: it was a good natured squabble, not an out and out argument. For the record part 2: my opinion is irrelevant, I know absolutely 'nowt. Fell free to have a quick browse through this blog to find a stack of evidence to quantify this statement.
Personally, I was a bit disappointed that at least a few of the Stags youngsters who'd travelled up for the game didn't feature at some point (and I know that I'm not alone in feeling that way), but realise that with the new season approaching rapidly over the horizon, that it is more important that players first team players, such as new signing George Taft, get the playing time under their belts that they still need and that is Adam Murray's shout and his alone.
His methods are meticulous and he's not done so bad so far by sticking to his guns
At times the Stags looked lethargic, but in the aftermath of tonight's workout, the manager said he was: "chuffed to bits"... and in a post match interview for the club website, he detailed the level of fitness the players were up to and the expectations levels for their current performances.
Link to interview here.
Matlock made the running early on, with Marsden and Green both going close, but the Evo-Stik League side were then put on the back foot and though the Stags didn't exactly put them to the sword with a rapier like precision and ram home the territorial advantage they were enjoying as CJ Hamilton, James Baxendale and Adi Yussuf all tested, but were thwarted by the Rossington/Matlock keeper, while Krystian Pearce headed wide from a Mal Benning free kick.
Nico de Girolama looked impressive for the Gladiators tonight, he'll do well for themthis coming season.
Benning, for his part, looked composed and on tonight's showing is raring to go when the action starts for real next month.
After the break, I think it would be fair to say, with the greatest of respect to those charming people from Matlock... that Rossington's groundsman would only have had to give one half of the pitch a quick once over after the game, because the Stags pretty much camped out around the Gladiators goal area as they stroked the ball around on the best playing surface in non league football, albeit with the loving caress of non penetrative foreplay, as opposed to an hammer and tongs (tongues) damn good seeing to. But with Musselwhite chaperoning the Blues defence, Mansfield were never going to be allowed to get too fresh, despite their persistence and fancy chat up lines.
Kevan Hurst set up Danny Rose, but although he struck the ball firmly, his shot was straight at the keeper. And Musselwhite came to the rescue again when Benning released Matt Green with a defence splitting pass.
Amidst all of Mansfield's tippy tappy stuff around the periphery of the final third, the Gladiators pushed forward on the counter attack and Jack Siddall almost broke the deadlock, as his right wing cross crashed off Scott Shearer's crossbar.
Maybe a Matlock goal would've pre-empted a switch in tempo from the Stags, but either way, results are much of a muchness at the moment, until the fat lady sings and she isn't even clearing her throat yet.
In the last ten minutes of the game Matlock were hanging on and will have been pleased with both the draw and the heroics of their 'on loan' keeper.
Ash Hemmings knocked the ball forward to Matt Green, who turned on a sixpence (probably still legal tender around these parts) to make himself some space before thumping a shot against the left hand upright, that came back for Taft who hooked the ball over the bar from the rebound.
Hurst picked out Green moments later, but Musselwhite, who to my mind was 'man of the match' tonight, pulled off a great save to keep the Stags strikers header out.
Chris Clements set up Danny Rose with a clever back heel, but once again Musselwhite was alert to the danger and denied the Stags again.
Right at the death, Scott Hemmings almost claimed a win for the Stags,but he pulled his shot narrowly wide of the far post.
FT: Gladiators 0 v Stags 0
For the second night running, I feel compelled to pour lavish praise upon Rossington Main, for the top
quality of so many aspects of their football club and it's infrastructure.
Back in December, after the Stags U18's 1-0 lunchtime win v Grimsby Town, I made the short drive up to Oxford Street, when 'Rosso' entertained AFC Mansfield and wrote:
"Respect is due to the home club's chairman Carl Stokes and his crew at Rossington Main FC. It is an expensive time of year for most people, so today the admission price at Oxford Street was slashed to just £2 and the local public responded accordingly to this timely initiative, generating a crowd of 210.
There is also a collection taking place at the ground, for foodstuff for a local food bank charity, which looking at the tables full of donations, has also been a roaring success.
A lot of non league football teams pay lip service to being a 'community club', but Rossington are one of the few who genuinely are one and actually hit the nail right on the head in this respect. I applaud their continuing efforts wholeheartedly"
I reckon that December assessment just about sums things up at tonight's host club... and supporters from both Matlock and Mansfield echoed similar sentiments.
Keep right on Stokesy!