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Season 03/04 Stagsnet Match Report
Nationwide League Division 3
Mansfield Town  
3 - 3
 Huddersfield Town
Day 45(+2), Artell 62, Disley 90(+1)
 Schofield 14, Stead 30, 63
Attendance: 5,828 (1044 from Huddersfield)
Date: 22nd November 2003

The Stags went into this vital match on the back of four successive victories and fielded the same side that won with some ease at bottom club Carlisle last weekend, the only change being on the bench where Iyseden Christie replaced Chris Beardsley. The Terriers were without Andy Booth but highly rated striker Jon Stead, apparently the subject of a £1m transfer bid, started in attack.

Huddersfield began on top, their confidence clearly boosted by the win over Hull last weekend. Most of the away sides moves came through the excellent Tony Carss and with Stead playing a lone striker role with Schofield just behind in a midfield role, the visitors dominated the midfield area. It was no real surprise when the Terriers took the lead, but the goal was a disaster for Stags keeper Kevin Pilkington. Having received the ball to his feet, rather than launch the ball upfield, Pilkinton tried to side foot the ball to Williamson, who was covering the left back position whilst Vaughan was off the field receiving attention to a head injury, but his pass only found Schofield who brilliantly lobbed the stranded Stags keeper. Mendes had the Stags first real chance, but his low shot from just outside the area was easy for Senior in the Terriers goal. The Stags were pushing forwards desperately searching for the equaliser when they were hit by a swift counter attack to fall further behind. Schofield broke down the right following a fine ball out of defence by Hughes, the Stags defence were struggling to get back and Stead was completely un-marked in the centre. Schofield timed his pass perfectly and Stead rounded Pilkington to score at the near post. The goal saw a row erupt between Dave Artell and Lee Williamson, both players had to be seperated by Tom Curtis and both were spoken to by the referee. Larkin, still looking out of touch, found a bit of space on the edge of the area after being found by Hassell, but his shot wasn't well struck and was saved by Senior. At the other end Stead, looking a real threat, hit a first time shot into the side netting but it was the Stags who ended the half the stronger and grabbed a vital goal right on the stroke of half time. The second of two corners inside stoppage time saw Lawrence curl the cross into the area where Rhys Day was on hand to power the ball off the keeper's right hand post and into the net. The goal was what the Stags had deserved, but the half time lead was no more than the visitors deserved.

Half Time: 1-2

The Stags made a change at half time, Wayne Corden was replaced by Iyseden Christie as the Stags played three up front with Lawrence playing a more central role in a midfield three. The Stags clearly had a bit of a rollocking at half time as the fast tempo so often witnessed at Field Mill returned and the Stags almost totally dominated the opening 20 minutes of the 2nd half. Within seconds of the restart Christie forced Senior to save low at his feet and then the striker headed over from a Lawrence cross. A rare attack from Huddersfield saw Stead's shot rebound off the outside of the post but most of the action was at the other end. The Stags found the equaliser their attacking play had deserved when Artell swivelled round to fire home from close range after a right wing corner had fallen to him at the far post. However, Stags fans joy was short lived as in the next attack Huddersfield retook the lead. A break on the right saw Schofield put in a perfect cross which Stead headed past Pilkington. All the stuffing seemed to be knocked out of the Stags as the tempo dropped, though it has to be said the Terriers keeper Senior was allowed to get away with constant time wasting and wasn't once spoken to by the referee. The Stags replaced Williamson with Disley and he provided the spark the Stags badly needed. Mendes turned well inside the area and hit a powerful shot which was brilliantly turned away by Senior. Sadly, the Stags striker, having a superb match, was injured and struggled on for a while but was eventually relaced by Mackenzie as the game drew to a close. However, Mackenzie had barely been on the pitch a minute when his curling effort brought out another excellent save from Senior. As the game entered injury time it looked as though the Stags were to fall to a second home defeat of the season. But a dramatic late equaliser earnt the Stags a point that overall they had deserved. Christie, marginally on-side, broke clear on the left and fired in a low cross which evaded Senior and fell to Disley who tapped home from just a couple of yards out.

Huddersfield deserved their lead in the 1st half, but the Stags were the better side in the 2nd and a draw was undoubtedly a fair result. Worrying for the Stags is that a defence which has looked so solid recently was found a little wanting at times and even more worrying is the form of Colin Larkin who again looked a little off the pace. Junior Mendes produced another excellent display, as did Tom Curtis whilst Iyseden Christie reminded us of the player he could be with a splendid 2nd half performance. For outstanding commitment, great skill and explosive pace, Junior Mendes was my Man of the Match.

Man of the Match: Junior Mendes

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
Pilkington 5 Howler for the first goal but great save prevented the Stags going 3-0 down
Hassell 6 A few stray passes and poor crossing marred an otherwise good display
Artell 7 Defended well and scored but maybe caught out for pace for Huddersfields 2nd goal
Day 7 Like Artell, defended well and also scored, but was also outpaced by Stead
Vaughan 7 Solid performance
Lawrence 6 Wandered too much and his shooting wasn't the best - great effort as always though
Williamson 5 Poor game from Lee, lucky not to have been taken off at half time
Curtis 8 Another high class midfield display, tackled well and used the ball effectively
Corden 5 Rarely involved and always double marked
Mendes 8 Outstanding performance, livewire, all over the pitch and only a stunning save prevented a goal
Larkin 5 Still to recapture any sort of form
Sub Line Up:
Christie (for Corden, 46) 8 When he plays like this it makes some of his displays this season all the more puzzling
Disley (for Williamson, 70) 7 In the right place to get the equaliser
MacKenzie (for Mendes, 85) 6 Only on for a short period
Subs not used: JWhite, Dimech.
Opposition Line Up:
Senior, Hughes, Clarke, Scott, Brown, Lloyd, Fowler, Worthington, Carss, Stead, Schofield. Subs: Onibuje, Martin, Mattis, Sodje, Edwards.
G Laws (Tyne & Wear) 6 - average

Season 03/04 Reports