|Nationwide League Division 3|
|23rd September 2000|
|Greenacre 21, 84||Shilton 45|
|Boulding 82||Lormor 74|
|Corden 86||Henderson 78|
|Attendance: 2, 135|
|Rob Wheldon at Field Mill|
Stags boss Billy Dearden surprisingly left Bobby Hassell on the bench for today's home clash with Hartlepool United. Alistair Asher retained his place at right back, despite indifferent form this season and Stuart Hicks was passed fit despite injury during the midweek 2-0 Worthington Cup defeat at Premiership Southampton. It was a quick return back to Field Mill for Tony Lormor who lead the Hartlepool attack. After the mauling at Chesterfield the crowd was, not surprisingly, the Stags lowest of the season at Field Mill.
Stags began very brightly and soon threatened the visitors goal, Chris Greenacre firing wide from the edge of the box, and Darrell Clarke forcing a decent save from 'Pool keeper Williams. Once the ball was played to feet the Stags looked dangerous and it was no surprise when the Stags took the lead on 20 minutes and once again it was Chris Greenacre latching on to a fine cross from Danny Bacon. Stags looked comfortable though ex-Stags Tony Lormor would have been disappointed when a snap shot from 6 yards was toe-poked well wide. On the rare occasions the away side threatened either the aerial ability of Stuart Hicks or the fine handling of Bobby Mimms came to the Stags rescue. However disaster struck right on half time when having superbly cut off a dangerous through ball Alistair Asher then gave the ball away to a 'Pool midfielder, the cross found Tony Lormor who neatly headed back for the unmarked Shilton to calmly tuck away the equaliser.
The goal on the stroke of half-time clearly knocked the stuffing out of the home side and their followed a half hour spell that the players, management and supporters of the club would rather forget. The ball was needlessly given away on numerous occasions and a 'Pool goal became ever more inevitable. Sadly for Alistair Asher it was another one of his errors that gave 'Pool the lead. Looking as though he was going to clear the ball, Asher completely missed his kick leaving Tony Lormor clean through, the big striker's calm finish beat Mimms low to his left. Stags were dealt a further blow when Hicks had to be replaced by Andrews. Stags defensive frailties again raised their head as the visitors took a 3-1 lead, though there was more than a touch of controversy about the goal. Mark Blake was clearly fouled when trying to head the ball in the centre circle, the 'Pool player managed to head the ball over the Stags defence and Henderson ran through to beat Mimms, though the keeper did manage to get a hand to the ball. It was desperate stuff and the time had come for a change. Stags boss Billy Dearden made a double change, replacing Asher with Williamson and Williams with Boulding. Though there was only around 10 minutes to go, this changed the whole match and lead to a quite unbelievable conclusion to the game. First Boulding breathed life into the Stags performance when after picking the ball up on the touch line to the left of the goal, using his pace he cut past three defenders and fired a left foot drive off the keepers right hand post and into the net. Stags then should have had a penalty when Bacon was hacked to the ground right in front of the referee. However, it wasn't to matter as just a minute later Boulding again danced free on the left, his pace cutting the tiring 'Pool defence apart, and delivered a perfect cross which was missed by Bacon but converted by Greenacre, his 8th of the season. Scenes of great joy in the home end followed, but unbelievably the best was yet to come for the home crowd. With just a couple of minutes remaining Wayne Corden collected the ball on the right hand side of the 'Pool box, he looked to be going nowhere but then cut back on to his left foot and smashed an unstoppable drive from 20 yards past 'Pool keeper Williams. An amazing conclusion which would have left the 'Pool fans as disconsolate as the Stags fans were delirious.
A decent first half performance marred by a bad Asher error was followed by a very poor opening 30 minutes of the second half. After going 3-1 behind the game looked dead and buried but the introduction of the pacey Michael Boulding completely turned the game on its head. His goal gave the Stags the belief they could snatch something from the game and as the Stags poured forward Boulding again provided the service for the equaliser. Wayne Corden had a quiet game, but his goal was worthy of winning any match. Blake did well in the middle, though after a good first half, Clarke was very quiet in the second. Alistair Asher made two bad errors but the booing by a small, but noisy section of the crowd was unnecessary, unwanted and distasteful. Hopefully those guilty of the booing were the same fans that left with 10 minutes to go!! A much needed three points were gained because of the incredible substitute appearance of Michael Boulding, for just 10 minutes work he wins my Man of the Match award.
Man of the Match: Michael Boulding
|Expected Line Up||Rating||Remarks|
|Mimms||7||Safe handling throughout|
|Asher||5||Two very costly errors|
|Robinson||6||Busy but would be better at right back|
|Hicks||7||Again so powerful in the air - a rock|
|Fortune||6||Had his moments but looked nervous at times|
|Corden||6||Did very little for 88 minutes, then scored a fantastic winner|
|Williams||5||Gave the ball away too often - not a good day for him|
|Blake||8||Tough tackling display|
|Clarke||6||Good first half but missing for large periods in the 2nd|
|Bacon||7||Worked tirelessly and showed some terrific skill at times|
|Greenacre||8||Two more goals and overall had another great match|
|Andrews||7||for Hicks - Very solid display after replacing Hicks|
|Boulding||9||for Williams - Changed the match completely - we won because of his introduction|
|Williamson||6||for Asher - On for a short time, but did well enough in possession|
|Unused: Pilkington, Hassell|