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Season 03/04 Stagsnet Match Report
FA Cup Round 3
Mansfield Town  
0 - 2
Clarke sent off 40, Dimech sent off 72.
 Ian Moore 29, 73. Chaplow sent off 75.
Attendance: 8,290 (1406 from Burnley)
Date: 3rd January 2004

Martin Shaw & Jeff Barnes at Field Mill

Mansfield Town bowed out of the FA Cup in the third round this afternoon against classy Burnley from the First Division. Burnley were superb at times and fully deserved their victory in front of the biggest Field Mill crowd for 20 months. However one of the biggest talking points was the harsh sending off of Jamie Clarke in the first half. Two more players were sent off in the second half, though those decisions appeared to be correct.

The Stags supporters had heeded the warnings to arrive early and by 2.25 it was announced that the queue for the Upper Tier of the West Stand was being closed, as it approached capacity. This was confirmed later with the official attendance of 8,290, despite only 1406 coming from Burnley . Both the West Stand and North Stand were as full as allowed for a non-all-ticket game, and had Burnley taken up their full allocation, the crowd would have exceeded that which watched the Cheltenham and Carlisle games in the promotion season. There was a good atmosphere in the ground as kick off approached with good vocal support from the visitors as well.

The Stags made one change from the side that had drawn at Macclesfield with Disley coming in for Corden, in a slightly more defensive formation.

Burnley came out firing on all cylinders and the Stags looked as though they were in for a long and painful afternoon. Jamie Clarke made two good interceptions early on, and then the impressive Chadwick, who has played a lot for Manchester United, skinned Dimech, but wanted too much time and his shot was eventually deflected for a corner. Clarke made another fine tackle to stem the danger from the corner. On 6 minutes, Pilkington made a point blank save from Chadwick, following a cross from the right, as the Stags were being completely outplayed.

Mansfield had their first attack on 10 minutes, earning a corner which came to nothing, but back at the other end Ian Moore broke into the Stags box and shot inches wide of the far post, after Williamson did well not to drag him down and get himself sent off. On 17 minutes, Mansfield had their first penalty claim when Christie seemed to be brought down, but the referee gave the foul the other way. Burnley continued to break well against Mansfield’s square defence, and Hassell came to the rescue on 22 minutes with a last ditch tackle.

But a minute later the Stags had another claim for a penalty and this time it looked nailed on, as Mendes was brought down just inside the box, but the referee waved play on. Soon afterwards Christie was given offside when Mendes was running back from an offside position but Christie was clearly onside, and two more bad decisions from the ref followed, as the home fans became increasingly incensed with the incompetent officials.

Burnley took a deserved lead on 29 minutes. A cross from the left wing was met by a near post flicked header from Moore, which Pilkington fumbled onto the far post, and for a second it looked like Clarke would clear it, but the ball ended up in the net. More appalling refereeing followed on 35 minutes but this time it was the Stags to benefit. Hassell clearly brought down Blake in the box, but the penalty was not given as Prosser signalled that he had played the ball, which he clearly hadn’t. A minute later, Mansfield had their first effort on target as Christie’s header from a free kick was easily saved.

The game exploded on 40 minutes when, from another free kick into the Burnley box, Clarke collided with the keeper 12 yards from goal. Both players clearly seemed to be going for the ball, but the keeper stayed down and the referee adjudged that Clarke’s play had been dangerous. Clarke was red-carded, and Lawrence was then booked for arguing as the Stags players and crowd were further incensed. Disley was sacrificed as Buxton was brought on at left back and the Stags finished the half strongly as first Curtis shot wide, and then Day had the ball in the net from a corner but the whistle had gone, though no-one in the West Stand could see an infringement.

Half time 0-1

At half time the Stags fans were cheered up by news of Chesterfield losing 6-0 at Plymouth. Corden replaced Christie at the start of the second half and Mansfield immediately looked a more balanced side. On 48 minutes a great cross from Corden just eluded the onrushing players. Buxton produced a terrific tackle to prevent a shot at the other end, as the Stags still looked vulnerable to the quick break. But moments later Corden produced another fine cross and Lawrence did superbly to place a header on target but the Burnley keeper leapt to flick it over the bar. From the corner, Mendes got into a good position, but his shot was blocked. On 53 minutes, Burnley broke again and a shot was deflected which Pilkington did well to catch high under his own bar. Three minutes later, Lawrence collected a Hassell throw-in, shrugged off his marker and let fly from distance but it was straight at the keeper. There was then a bad injury to Burnley’s on-loan McEveley. You could tell it was a bad injury as you heard his shriek of pain as he went down off the ball.

Just after the hour Lawrence had another shot from distance but this time his volley his weak. A minute later, Buxton tried his luck from outside the box, but his curling effort was wide.

On 70 minutes the Stags produced their best move of the game when Lawrence beautifully picked out Corden, who in turn slid a great through ball to Williamson, who just didn’t seem to have the strength to get his shot away. Two minutes later and Mansfield were down to 9 men for the third time this season. Dimech was again exposed by a ball over the top and should have been favourite to win the ball, but Moore got goal-side and Dimech dragged him back just outside the box. It came as no surprise when the red card was shown, as it had to be. From the resultant free-kick, the impressive Blake shot low and hard, Pilkington couldn’t hold onto the shot, and Moore tucked in the rebound.

Burnley had a player sent off themselves a few minutes later when Chaplow, who had been booked moments earlier for a bad foul, kicked the ball away after a free kick was awarded to the Stags. It was a stupid action and he deserved the card. As the game entered the final 10 minutes, the Stags were still pushing forward and first Mendes had a shot deflected wide, then Corden shot into the side-netting, and then Mendes shot low and hard but the keeper saved well when it looked as though it might get between his legs.

Five minutes from time, Curle made a surprising change bringing on Artell in attack in place of the hard-working Curtis. The ploy seemed to be to add height and weight up front but with Larkin on the bench, one could have drawn the conclusion that he had been brought on to rough-up the keeper. However it was the visitors who came closest to scoring in the final minutes and Pilkington made a good save low at his near post from the impressive Blake.

The Stags have three further league games at Field Mill in January and only one away from home, and need to cement their position near the top with some impressive displays. This seems to present a good opportunity to further stake our promotion credentials. Jan Molby’s Kidderminster are the visitors next Saturday, without Andy White, but probably with Adam Murray, and they will hopefully have their minds on their replay against Wolves, as the Stags look for revenge for the injustice on the opening day of the season.

Man of the Match: Bobby Hassell

Report by: Martin Shaw & Jeff Barnes at Field Mill

Line Up:
Pilkington 6 Made some fine saves but did spill shots for both of the goals.
Hassell 8 Outstanding, especially after the first sending off. Covered lots of ground.
Day 7 Was not outclassed despite the quality of the opposition attack.
Dimech 5 Kept getting dragged out of position. Lost of his marker leading to up to his own dismissal.
Clarke 7 Played well in the first half until his shock dismissal.
Lawrence 6 One fine header from a difficult position. Also a few decent passes. But has not played well since the Wycombe game and needs to find greater consistency.
Curtis 7 Usual industrious performance. Very effective.
Williamson 6 Possibly a bit outclassed by the first division players.
Disley 6 Contributed very little. Correctly sacrificed after the first sending off.
Mendes 7 Had another good game. Looked most likely to score for the Stags. Always looking to shoot.
Christie 6 Didn’t look like creating much danger against a defence where skill was required more than muscle.
Sub Line Up:
Buxton (for Disley, 43) 7 Slotted in very well at left back. Continues to look a good prospect. One excellent goal-saving tackle
Corden (for Christie, 46) 7 Showed touches of class and had an immediate positive effect on the team. Maybe he should have started?
Artell (for Curtis, 85) - Surprisingly thrown on as an attacking option, with Larkin still on the bench.
Subs not used: JWhite, Larkin.
Opposition Line Up:
Jensen, May, McGregor, McEveley (Camara 59), Roche, Chadwick (Moore 79), Chaplow, Grant, Weller, Blake, Moore. Subs: West, Branch, Pilkington.
Phil Prosser (Gloucestershire) 4 Prosser the *osser. Curle can’t say it, but we can! Dreadful game from the man who wants to be the centre of attention.

Season 03/04 Reports