Nationwide League Division III
|Mansfield Town||1 - 1||Carlisle United|
|Barrett 16||Dobie 35|
Martin Shaw at Field Mill.
Stags failed to live up to the expectation of their fans as they produced a performance that promised much early on, but fizzled away and rarely threatened a win. Stags looked good for the first 20 minutes and took a 1-0 lead and could easily have added to it. But after Carlisle equalised, Stags were generally quiet in front of goal, and the visitors looked a far better side than their bottom of the league position suggested.
Stags made on change from the side that had beaten Brighton, with Danny Bacon replacing Shayne Bradley who had picked up an ankle injury two days before the game. According to boss Dearden, Bradley may be fit for the game on Boxing Day. Carlisle included in their side former Notts County and Hull striker Duane Darby, and the highly rated Scott Dobie.
Stags made an all-action opening to the game and pinned the Cumbrians into their own half for the first 20 minutes. Stags pressure was rewarded on 16 minutes. A left-wing corner from Lee Williams was flicked on at the near post by Adam Barrett and the ball nestled high into the far corner of the net. It was the Stags first goal from a corner this season.
Stags were inches away from a two goal lead when a Pemberton free-kick from 18 yards was goal bound, but was flicked with the back of his leg by Greenacre just the wrong side of the post. It was agonisingly close, with the keeper well-beaten. Within a minute, Carlisle were level. The visitors broke clear down the left and the ball was fed out right to Dobie who fired into the bottom far corner of the net for a fine goal.
Stags now completely lost their way and Carlisle came close to taking the lead shortly afterwards with a free-kick that was well-handled by Mimms. Indeed the visitors had more chances before half-time to take the lead but found Mimms in great form.
The second half was a very poor affair indeed with barely a chance created at either end. Greenacre came close with a shot on the break that was well saved, and Stags had a couple of half chances from crosses. But Greenacre missed the best chance when he headed Hassell's perfect cross well wide from a good position. Substitute Boulding also had a shot well saved. Carlisle did not threaten Mimms goal at all.
In the end a disappointing result for Mansfield against a team widely tipped to be relegated this season. But in truth, Carlisle did not look like relegation material, and had a enough grit and skill to indicate that they should pull away from trouble, under the canny managership of Ian Atkins.
Finally thanks to Field Mill Safety Officer Barrie Maltby, who took 15 minutes before the game and 15 minutes at half-time, to show Rob Wheldon and myself the details of the attendance figure calculations. He also answered some other safety questions. We also spoke with his colleagues, plus an official from the Football Licensing Authority, and a police official. I left feeling completely assured that no fiddling of the figures was occurring, and also that the figures are indeed accurate.
Man of the Match - Bobby Mimms
Mimms 8 Didnt have a lot to do but dealt very effectively with everything
Robinson 6 Brought the ball out of defence well.
Hicks 7 Pick of the defence
Barrett 7 Goal capped a good display.
Williams 6 Quiet
Pemberton 5 Gave the ball away a few times; did not look as assured as usual
Hassell 5 Tentative in possession.
Blake 6 Average
Clarke 6 Fairly anonymous.
Greenacre 6 Kept going, but a couple of bad misses.
Bacon 5 Poor performance, too easily brushed off the ball
Boulding (for Bacon, 67 minutes) 6
Subs not used: Lindley, Asher, Disley, Corden.
Carlisle: Matt Glennon, Mark Birch, Lee Maddison, Stuart Whitehead, Mark Winstanley, Gordon Connelly, Julian Darby, Mick Galloway, Richard Prokas, Scott Dobie, Carl Heggs. Subs: Steve Soley (for Dobey, 90). Subs not used: Tony Hemmings, John Hore, Steve Halliday, John Inglis.
Referee: Richard Beeby