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Mansfield Report

By: Trevor Hewson
Date: 15/02/2006

Ah Mansfield, I once nearly bought a house in Mansfield, the estate agent tried hard to explain away the 1st floor drug den but for some reason it didn’t quite seem homely enough.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Reports > Mansfield (a)

I then escaped to live in Nottingham for some years but have not until tonight had the pleasure of visiting Field Mill, one of those annoying localish grounds that you never manage to get to. Before I set off I wondered if the nearby bar was still called Early Doors and if Big Ron would be in there putting it in the mixer or something like that. It was, he wasn’t!

I’ve got a real problem with watching Town away this year, you used to travel away in the knowledge that you are probably in for a long miserable drive back having to justify the event by taking an interest in visiting a new ground or interesting pub. This season things are different, us dour miserablists have had to cope with the sheer look of joy on Maccas’ face at Peterborough when we broke the record or savouring the feeling of a warm summer's evening in London with no-one else getting or caring about the fact we were smiling because we’d beaten Barnet. The only thing to moan about this season has been the football but away from home even that sort of makes sense. I just don’t know what I should do: I guess be happy. We I’ll try!

After walking up to the ground I thought long and hard about saving my £15 and peering through the fence that looks onto the pitch; the view would have only been partially worse than Stockport but I’m a sheep so into Field Mill it was. It’s a bit of a bleak place with three disparate new stands and one of those decaying structures that makes The Main Stand look like the new Wembley. The construction directly behind the dug-outs and is so bad even the ball boy had to wear a hard hat.

Town lined up 4.4.2 style with Mendes partnering Reddy up front, Toner could probably count himself unlucky to be sub along with G Jones and JPK et al.

The opening exchanges were timid efforts: an early Town corner, a wild sliced shot from Dawson, a wilder slicier shot from Parky. After ten mins or so Mansfield made the first real push of the game, a bit of pinball in the Town box and a shot from Barker; two mins later, a bit more pinball another Barker shot, good save by Mildenhall to his right. Then just as the full moon peeked through the clouds over the shanty stand Newey dived into a challenge, missed horribly, the ball was pulled back to Barker who was one of a number of waiting Stags to fire in high and right of Mildenhall. Soft and silly do not come into it.

Town responded with a little more force, Cohen upended, Futch misses subsequent header, Bolland continued with the sliced shot theme.

Town were then lucky not to go further behind. Reet, (more of him later), escaped, one on one with the too far advanced Milds who saved the wrong choice of shot (a lob would have left the keeper stranded). Croft, Reddy & Parky then combined well to release the ever-willing Cohen who forced Pressman into the first real save he’d had to make. He was then tested shortly afterwards with a powerful header that went straight at him. All that exercise for the big lad, it looked like he might have to have a sit down, cheeks as red as his XXL shirt.

Dawson and Reet continued to petulantly endear themselves to the Town fans before some extravagant back-passes to Mildenhall caused unnecessary pressure on the town goal. This pressure immediately told with a firm but speculative shot from Coke going right through the Town 'keeper in a Williams-like way, the ball crept towards the line, the big man recovered and scooped it away, the Ref/Linesman combo gave a goal. Was it over? Not certain, looked tight to me but I’ll let those that were there make their own minds up.

Again Town responded with a crashing shot against the bar from Woodhouse. Right on half time Newey rounded off a sterling first half by picking up a daft booking for yet again diving into a tackle he was never going to make.

All in all an awful first half, no passing, no cohesion, no passion no support for Reddy, I could go on (and on).

The report continues in the Second Half.

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