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Season 03/04 Stagsnet Match Report
Nationwide League Division 3
Mansfield Town  
2 - 0
 York City
Artell 31, Beardsley 76
Attendance: 4,914 (362 from York)
Date: 11th October 2003

The Stags were dealt a major injury blow prior to kick off when striker Junior Mendes was ruled out after sustaining an injury in training. Also ruled out was the injured Bobby Hassell and the suspended duo Rhys Day and Iyseden Christie. Chris Beardsley and Colin Larkin came in for Christie and Mendes whilst Dave Artell replaced Day. Wayne Corden was preferred to Craig Disley whilst Lee Williamson and Alex John-Baptiste were on the bench. The Stags were trying to win a fourth consecutive game for the first time in over eight and a half years.

The game began brightly, with both sides prepared to play football and a referee willing to give the game a chance – indeed it was a very open and attractive opening which saw both sides probe and prod without creating any real chances. It was the Stags who had the first real attempt on goal after Artell headed a Lawrence corner onto the post with some Stags players claiming the ball had crossed the line. Larkin was then found in a bit of space by Mackenzie, but his shot was easily saved from 18 yards – in fact Larkin had the chance to have got closer to goal but it did appear he was just a little short of match fitness. Mackenzie himself had the next strike on goal after some excellent work from Corden on the left, his low shot flew just wide. York’s first real attempt on goal came after Artell was rather harshly adjudged to have fouled on the edge of the area – it looked like he made a perfect header. A neat free kick routine saw the ball played to the left to Ward who’s low shot was well saved by Pilkington. The best move of the game saw the Stags string together several excellent passes before Corden put in a perfect cross which Beardsley headed wide. The Stags did deservedly take the lead just past the half hour when Beardsley’s near post header was saved by York keeper Ovendale but the rebound fell straight to Artell who side footed home from just 3 yards out. York had a rather optimistic appeal for a penalty as Nogan fell theatrically in the area after a challenge by Dimech, in fact, Nogan was fortunate not to be cautioned. At the other end Wood was cautioned after cynically scything down Jamie Clarke who produced a real turn of pace to gain fully 40 yards before being halted. Corden’s free kick was easily saved by Ovendale. The Stags had pretty much dominated the opening half and deserved the lead.

Half Time 1-0

The 2nd half opened scrappily but Beardsley should have extended the Stags lead but the young striker missed the target from just a few yards out – looked from my position like a defender blocked his shot, but in truth he should have buried the chance. This miss signalled York’s best spell of the match as the Stags, for the first time in the game, began to lose the midfield battle. Pilkington palmed away a long range effort and Dimech defended well after strong work by Parkin almost gave the Minsermen an equaliser. Meanwhile, Larkin was set clear by a perfect pass from Lawrence but he never looked composed and in the end his shot was easily dealt with by Ovendale. Corden, looking dangerous on the left, was very surprisingly replaced by Williamson. The Stags were to extend their lead with just 15 minutes remaining. Sub Williamson picked the ball up and curled a fine shot which Ovendale palmed round the post for a corner. Lawrence’s corner was headed back across goal by Artell where Beardsley was on hand to score his first senior goal. Larkin was replaced by Disley. York sub Parkin then produced a fine piece of individual skill on the edge of the Stags area, his half volley beat Pilkington but rebounded back off the cross bar where it was cleared by Artell. The Stags could have added a third near the end as Beardsley connected well with Liam Lawrence’s fine pass, but looked in agony as his shot flew just wide.

The Stags were deserving and comfortable winners, with many excellent displays throughout the side. Jamie Clarke continued his excellent form at right back, whilst Liam Lawrence ahead of him showed his class throughout and Chris Beardsley had a fine game in attack and thoroughly deserved his goal, though he may have had a hat-trick. However, man of the match was between the extremely impressive Tom Curtis and Dave Artell. Curtis is in excellent form at present and is showing the qualities the manager expected from him when he brought him to the club. He was just pipped for me by the outstanding Artell, who not only defended impeccably but scored and set the other up.

Man of the Match: Dave Artell

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
Pilkington 7 Flawless display, one fine save and perfect handling throughout
Clarke 7 Continued his excellent form of late
Vaughan 7 Some very solid tackling though again his distribution wasn’t always top drawer
Dimech 7 Very reliable and very solid – especially good at bringing the ball out of defence
Artell 9 Terrific game at both ends of the pitch – didn’t lose a header the whole game
Lawrence 8 Good game from Liam, high energy and fine passing only let down by a few wayward efforts at goal
Corden 7 Great when in possession, not given the ball enough as usual and very harshly subbed
Curtis 9 Dynamic midfield display, did the simple things superbly, won lots of ball and generally was quite outstanding
Mackenzie 8 Fine display of passing and turning attack into defence – in good form
Beardsley 8 High effort and got his reward though did also miss a couple of other excellent chances
Larkin 6 Very rusty but never gave up
Sub Line Up:
Williamson (for Corden, 71) 7 - Did well in an unfamiliar role
Disley (for Larkin, 79) 6 - Looked sharp in attack
Subs not used: JWhite, John-Baptiste, Buxton
Opposition Line Up:
Ovendale, Cooper, Wood, Brass (Wise 12), Hope, Merris, Ward, Dunning, Dove (Parkin 61), Nogan, Crowe (George 77)
N.Miller, Durham - 8 Refereed using common sense and in an unfussy manner

Season 03/04 Reports