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Season 03/04 Stagsnet Match Report
Nationwide League Division 3
Mansfield Town  
0 - 1
 Yeovil Town
 Jackson 42
Attendance: 5,270 (445 from Yeovil)
Date: 20th September 2003

Mansfield fell to their first home league defeat of the season this afternoon as league newcomers Yeovil Town earned a 1-0 win with a clever display that nullified the Stags fast-flowing football.

The Stags were down to the bare bones with Williamson and Christie still suspended, and Artell added to the injury list after the Bury game. Hassell picked up an injury in training and was also missing. Jamie Clarke and Alex John-Baptiste came in for Hassell and Artell. Vaughan, Disley and Curtis were said to be carrying injuries and it was to show as the Stags couldn’t reproduce the 100-miles-an-hour football from recent games at Field Mill.

Mansfield were under the cosh in the opening 15 minutes and it took some good saves from Pilkington to keep the Stags in the game. But the Stags fought back and a Lawrence cross found Corden at the far post. Corden composed himself and sent a fine left foot volley just wide into the side netting. On the half hour the Stags were so unlucky not to take the lead when Mendes broke clear after great work by Lawrence to win the ball in midfield. Mendes strode forward with a great run and shot across the keeper and against the far post. The ball rebounded out just wide of Disley who was unmarked but unable to pounce. Just two minutes later, Mendes was gifted an easier chance. He was still down in the box after a penalty claim had been rejected, when a Yeovil defender inexplicably headed the ball straight to him. Mendes turned and tried to take the ball around the keeper and was soon crowded out, the chance then having gone. Had he shot first time it should have been a goal.

At the other end Pilkington made a magnificent save, when from a point blank range shot from about 12 yards, he tipped it away for a corner. But almost immediately Yeovil were in front when the Stags didn’t clear the corner and seemed half asleep as the ball was played back in for former Worksop striker Kirk Jackson to sidefoot home unmarked.

Half time 0-1

Yeovil started the second half strongly without creating chances. The Stags were being stopped from playing their free-flowing football and were constantly being harried by the hard-working visitors. However on the hour the Stags were again unlucky not to score when Curtis hit a superb, powerful volley from outside the box with his left foot, but it was straight at the keeper.

It looked like the Stags were going to be thwarted, but in the last 10 minutes the Stags stepped up a gear and were unlucky with some near misses. Firstly MacKenzie struck a low left footed volley that hit the back stanchion of the goal but it had gone just wide when some fans thought it had gone in. Then Lawrence struck a powerful shot from 22 yards that the keeper failed to hold, but just managed to grab as Beardsley tried to pounce. Then finally a low ball was played into substitute Mitchell, whose near post flick was unluckily just wide.

In injury time, Keith Curle sent on his son Thomas Curle for his debut. In explaining the decision to have his son on the bench, Keith Curle said after the game that he was short of left sided players and his son fitted the bill.

A disappointing result for the Stags. The performance was generally poor with the ball given away too often and little flair going forward. Bobby Hassell was badly missed as it didn’t allow Lawrence to be at his most creative, and several players looked jaded. However there were still enough chances to have picked up a point and the Stags were out of luck with a few near misses. Yeovil looked a strong side and seem likely to be in the promotion shake-up. If the Stags can get back to the form of recent matches, they could be there with them.

Man of the match: Kevin Pilkington.

Report by: Martin Shaw at Field Mill

Line Up:
Pilkington 8 Pulled off two stunning saves in the first half to keep the Stags in it. Little to do in the second half. Kicking was dreadful, again.
Clarke 6 Defended ok. Distribution was poor. Harshly booed when he was substituted.
Day 7 Started poorly in the first 15 minutes but got much better after that and defended well.
John-Baptiste 8 Defended very coolly and looked like a touch of class.
Vaughan 6 Defended ok, but tended to give the ball away too often. Appeared to be carrying an injury, but battled on well.
Lawrence 6 Couldn’t reproduce his magic from the Bury game. Badly missed Hassell to work with down the right side. Spent too much time complaining to his colleagues.
Curtis 7 Fought hard in midfield. Unlucky with a rocket volley that was straight at the keeper.
MacKenzie 6 Showed some good fighting spirit. Unable to provide inspiration for the team.
Corden 6 Wasn’t given enough of the ball and looked disspirited at times.
Disley 6 Unable to do much in terms of creating anything. Not fully fit and withdrawn at half time.
Mendes 7 Worked hard again. Very unlucky when his shot his the post. Should have done better when a backpass played him in.
Sub Line Up:
Beardsley (for Disley, 46) 6 Did ok.
Mitchell (for Clarke, 80) - Unlucky with one snapshot just wide, but not really on for enough time to make a difference.
TCurle (for Vaughan, 90+2) - The manager’s son on his for his debut as a left-sided player. Didn’t touch the ball.
Subs not used: JWhite, Buxton.
Opposition Line Up:
Weale, Lockwood, Bull, Pluck, Way, Johnson, O'Brien, Williams, Crittenden, Gall, Jackson
Subs: Stansfield, Rodrigues, Collis, Gosling, Terry
K.Friend, Leicestershire 5 Never seemed in control of the game. Booking of Vaughan was particularly bizarre.

Season 03/04 Reports