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Season 03/04 Stagsnet Match Report
Nationwide League Division 3
Mansfield Town  
5 - 3
Mendes 30, Corden 36, 44, Lawrence 63, 88.
 Connell 21, 78, Seddon 58.
Attendance: 4,145 (167 from Bury)
Date: 16th September 2003

Martin Shaw at Field Mill

A terrific night of entertainment at Field Mill as Mansfield smashed in another 5 goals to make it 13 in the last 3 home games. This was a close encounter as the Stags looked nervy at times in the second half and a Bury fightback always looked possible.

The Stags were unchanged with Disley keeping his place in a 4-4-1-1 formation. Mansfield made a good start and after Lawrence had gone down when it looked a possible penalty, the Stags had 3 great chances early on with Wayne Corden involved in everything. He played in one great cross which found Disley but Disley’s shot was straight at the keeper when he seemed certain to score. Then Corden made 2 good chances for himself but was unable to score. Out of the blue, Bury took an undeserved lead when a cross from the right was well headed in by Connell from 8 yards. It was poor defending from Day who was outjumped.

But the Stags continued to play excellent flowing football and stormed back with 3 goals in the final 15 minutes of the half. First there was a really pleasing goal as Mendes showed his prowess in the air, outjumping his marker to head home at the far post after a fine Lawrence cross. Then Corden scored with 2 super finishes. Firstly after more great play from Lawrence, the ball looped up in the air and Corden hit a terrific volley into the net despite facing the wrong way. And then after a great move involving what seemed like most of the Stags team, a Hassell cross eluded Mendes but fell nicely for Corden to smash it in from 12 yards. In between the two Corden goals, Pilkington made a crucial save when he did well to keep out a shot from close range with his legs after a quick breakaway.

Half time 3-1

The second half started more quietly and Bury were back in it after poor defending from Artell allowed Seddon a chance to strike from 25 yards, and he struck a great shot that gave Pilkington no chance. Artell was in fact injured in the process and was replaced by John-Baptiste, with Beardsley also replacing Disley at the same time. The Stags were looking a little shaky as Bury looked very dangerous on the break but within 5 minutes Lawrence scored. Mendes played a neat ball into Lawrence’s path and Lawrence fired in low off the right hand post. This settled the Stags down and the game seemed relatively safe at 4-2. Lawrence nearly gave away a stupid goal with a dreadful back-pass but Pilkington rescued him, but then Bury made it 4-3 after 78 minutes with another long range shot, this time from 30 yards by Connell after the Stags midfield backed off him and allowed him to shoot.

Mansfield were now very nervy and for 10 minutes they were hanging on even though Bury failed to make clearcut chances. But on 88 minutes Lawrence brought the house down with his second of the night to cap a great display. After MacKenzie had a shot charged down, the ball fell to Beardsley who slammed a left foot shot against the bar. The ball rebounded to Lawrence on the edge of the box and he beat two defenders before hammering the ball into the roof of the net.

So another great display of free-flowing attacking football from Mansfield earned another important 3 points. Lawrence and Corden were both outstanding, though whereas Corden was quieter in the second half, Lawrence kept it up with an all-action display for 90 minutes. The defence showed some worrying lapses but I’ll take 5-3 every time.

Man of the match: Liam Lawrence.

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:

Pilkington 6 One fine save with his legs. No chance with the 3 goals.
Hassell 7 Linked up really well with Lawrence and defended ok.
Day 5 Disappointingly outjumped for the first goal. Not at his best
Artell 5 Not as solid as usual, and could have done better for the second goal.
Vaughan 6 Reasonably solid at left back.
Lawrence 9 All over the pitch. Outstanding. Two good goals. Nearly blotted his copybook with absurd back pass.
Curtis 7 Fought well in midfield.
MacKenzie 7 Some fine play moving forward though possibly at fault in build up to third Bury goal.
Corden 8 Fantastic first half. Two great goals. Didn’t see much of the ball in the second half.
Disley 7 Did well with flick-ons. Much better than at Oxford.
Mendes 7 Great header for the first goal. Great pace as usual and showed lots of skill too.
Sub Line Up:
Beardsley (for Disley, 59) 6 Looked a bit low on confidence until he struck the bar, and Lawrence followed up to score.
John-Baptiste (for Artell, 59) 7 Defended very well after the defence had looked shaky before he came on.
Subs not used: JWhite, Clarke, Mitchell.
Opposition Line Up:
Garner, Unsworth, Woodthorpe, Swailes, Strong, Connell, Duxbury, O’Shaughnessy, Singh, Preece, Thornley
Subs: Seddon, Porter, O’Neil, Gunby, Kennedy
M Atkinson 7 Handled the game well.

Season 03/04 Reports