Saturday, 4 November 2017

Shaw Lane A.F.C. 1 v Mansfield Town 3 - FA Cup R1

Saturday 4th November 2017
FA Cup First Round
at Sheerien Park, Athersley
Shaw Lane A.F.C. (1) 1
Lee Bennett 41
Mansfield Town (1) 3
Krystian Pearce 34
Danny Rose 73, 78
Admission £10. Attendance 1,576 inc. 560 away fans
#LetsdoitforDan read the hashtag on the cover of this afternoon's match day programme on an afternoon when the collection buckets were past round on behalf of the Daniel Wilkinson Foundation.
For the benefit of those of you who don't know, Daniel Wilkinson was a young footballer, aged just 24, who collapsed while playing for Shaw Lane AFC in an away game at Brighouse Town in September of last year, and tragically passed away as a consequence, having suffered from a cardiac arrest, caused by an underlying heart condition called Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC).
The full details of this harrowing story, as reported on the BBC website can be found by left clicking HERE
Subsequently a trust fund was set up in Dan's memory, to raise awareness of SCD (Sudden Cardiac Death) in the young... and to provide vital funding for equipment such as defibrillators, CPR training and heart screening for players at grassroots football clubs.
More information about the Dan Wilkinson Foundation can be viewed HERE and if any of you missed the bucket collection prior to kick off, or didn't realise what the fundraising effort was in aid of and would like to chip in retrospectively, you can make a donation online via this link:
Having taken our place at the back of the temporary stand, erected for the visiting supporters from Mansfield, it was time for a pause and some reflective thought about Dan Wilkinson's tragic fate, before the team's entered the field and the afternoon's main event got underway.
Following a tentative start to the game, the Stags almost went in front after twenty minutes, when their keeper Conrad Logan went route one, launching a lengthy punt from one end of the pitch to the other and when the Ducks defender Kiearan Lugsden misjudged the bounce of the ball, it left Kane Hemmings a free shot at the Shaw Lane goal, that Jon Stewart did well to block and when Danny Rose got to the rebound at full stretch he shot against the post.
Ryan Serrant saw a clear path through the Stags defence and set off towards their goal, but as he picked up his pace, the Ducks number three he appeared to tweak his hamstring and hobbled for a few more steps in pursuit of the ball, but couldn't get any power behind his shot as a consequence when he reached it.
It was obvious that Shaw Lane were fired up for this game and were eager to chase down every ball and not allow there visitors to settle on the ball, but such close attention led to David Norris giving away a free kick, halfway inside his own half.
Joel Byrom fed the ball to Alex MacDonald who took it in his stride and powered forward to the dead ball line and crossed intothe six yard box, where the hosts defence could only scramble the ball away  to Krystian Pearce, who got his foot above the ball and spanked it into the bottom right hand corner from right next to the penalty spot. 
Maybe Shaw Lane would feel demoralised and let their heads drop, now that their Football League opponents had broken the deadlock... but then again, maybe they wouldn't!
Nicky Walker tested Logan with a header that the Stags keeper held onto
Paul Clayton's goal bound shot rebounded off of Zander Diamond, as the Stags captain made a last ditch block,  but as Mansfield frantically tried to clear their lines, Pearce could only help the ball out  to Nicky Walker who swept it across the face of the Stags goal to where Lee Bennett got a good touch, to turn the ball past Logan from close range four minutes before the break.
The celebrating home crowd were almost had even more to cheer about just before the break, when Walker whipped an angled shot in from twelve yards that Bennett touched against the post, the Stags cleared the immediate danger at the expense of a corner. that Clayton got his head to, but could only steer the ball over the bar.
As the team went in on level terms at the break, Mansfield Town fans who also keep an eye on the local non league scene in their area,will have been aware that in recent times: Paul Clayton has turned out for Alfreton Town, Nicky Walker was at Clipstone... and Jon Stewart, an experienced Football League keeper was briefly at Worksop Town, where I am reliably informed (thanks Andy Boyfield) that he left the Tigers saying that he was packing up playing football to become a HGV driver.
HT: Ducks 1 v Stags 1
By all accounts our entourage in the top corner of the stand featured on the live TV broadcast that BT Sports were showing of the game, the text I received was "Just seen you and your Chuckle Brother mate on the telly at the match", followed by "Oh hang on, it's not the football, the kids have got the Muppet Show on instead!!!"
Well, what d'ya know!? The bears a comedian!
The Stags came out for the second half and went straight on the attack, when Rose, playing just a few streets away from his Barnsley home, dinked the ball over the Shaw Lane defence for CJ Hamilton to run onto, but Stewart did well to block the Mansfield number twenty two's attempted lob.
Not to be outdone, Shaw Lane, who were proving to be a tough nut for the Stags to crack, upped the ante as well and when Paerce had to resort to fouling Clayton on his approach to Logans's goal, before he got any closer to it , but Alex Byrne fires the resulting free kick over the bar at the 'Rec Inn' end of the ground.
Jacob Mellis combined with Bennett and Hamilton before breaking into the Shaw Lane penalty are through the left channel and was sent tumbling to the ground when Serrant caught his heels and conceded a penalty.
Jonathan Stewart penalty save
Mellis took the responsibility on himself and struck the ball firmly and on target, but Stewart got across to his right and made a save as the pall arrived at waist height.
"Oi! Stewart! Haven't you got a ****ing lorry that needs driving or something!?"
Apparently not.
But Shaw Lane, with their penalty saving goalkeeper, a new record attendance and a whole load of plaudits for how they and Athersley Recreation stalwarts like the legendary Peter Goodlad (if ever any guy had an apt name, he's yer man) had run today's event with military precision and a welcoming smile on their collective faces, had had their fun now and it was time for the full time side toadopt a professional approach and get the job done.
Cue Danny Rose
Danny Rose heads Mansfield back in front.
Slightly obscured by amber pyro smoke.
In the seventy third minute, Benning got away on the left flank and delivered a great ball towards the back post, that Rose met with a towering header, seeing off the challenge of two defenders and powering the ball into the top corner of the net, just underneath the crossbar.
And five minutes later, Rose struck again, when MacDonald lifted the ball sideways to him across the goal area from his right, the Stags newest cult hero, took a step backwards, pivoted on the spot and hooked the kind of scissor kick that you'd only usually see the likes of Roy Race executing for Melchester Rovers, past Stewart to put the game beyond Shaw Lane's reach.
Steve Evans slowed the game down and disrupted any notions that the home side had of mounting a late salvage mission by making three substitutes late in the game, including two in stoppage time.
The Ducks kept plugging away, and it needs to be said that Craig Elliott's side did themselves and their club proud this afternoon, but by now it looked as though if there were any more goals to come in this absorbing game, then it would be the visiting side who would be scoring them... and to be fair, Shaw Lane didn't deserve to be on the end of a thrashing.
FT: Shaw Lane A.F.C 1 v Mansfield Town 3
Having hung around after the game to meet someone, I got caught in the backlog of traffic in the Athersley North estate, as people tried to get back onto the A61... and with the local police all clearing off for even more weekend overtime, at the Barnsley v Birmingham City game, without leaving a single officer to help with the congestion, it was well after kick off time elsewhere, before I edged onto the A road, hoping that eventually, one of the fed up drivers approaching from my right would take pity on me and let me in... so I headed home instead, having watched two different Mansfield Town sides win in FA tournaments in the past nineteen hours.