Nationwide League Division 3
20th February 2001

Hull City

2-1 

Mansfield Town

Francis 30 Corden 34
Rowe (pen) 69
Attendance: 7, 248

Rob Wheldon at Boothferry Park

Stags were once again without any central defenders for the clash with crisis club Hull City, once again boss Billy Dearden had decided against bringing in any central defensive cover on loan - surprising when Hull boasted giant striker Kevin Francis in their ranks.  Asher and Robinson continued at centre back whilst the only change from the match on Saturday was that Clarke replaced Disley.  Hull were without former Stags Steve Harper who had abandoned ship and moved to Darlington a few days earlier.  The game was played in front of a large vociferous home support, indicative of the fact that the next day a very important decision was to be made about the future of the club.

Stags should have taken the lead in the opening minutes when Shayne Bradley ran on to a Blake through ball only to see Hull keeper Musslewhite save with his feet.  Moments later Hull had their first attempt on goal and inevitably the danger came from a Francis header, Mimms forced to tip over from 8 yards.  More chaos was created in the Stags area on ten minutes but two Hull players went for the same cross and the ball dropped gently to Mimms.  Stags lack of height at the back, as many suspected, was proving to be an early weakness and with keeper Mimms seemingly unable to rescue the situation Hull looked likely to score from these situations.  So it proved on the half hour when Francis ghosted in unmarked to head home Phillpott's left wing cross.  Stags were at the time of the goal down to ten men as Clarke was off the pitch receiving treatment, in the end he couldn't continue and was replaced by Disley.  However, the home side's lead didn't last long and the excellent Corden was responsible for a terrific equaliser.  Given a free kick on the edge of the Hull box Corden neatly flighted the ball over the assembling wall and with keeper Musslewhite unsighted and unmoved the ball hit the back of the net - an excellent quick free kick and really perhaps justice as the Stags had contributed to a decent opening half.  A rare Robinson error let in Rowe but the speedy striker saw his shot go wide.  Near the end of the half more exciting Corden wing play saw Bradley head the winger's cross over the bar.  Stags forced a succession of corners but despite an excellent near post flick by Hassell were unable to capitalise on the pressure.

Half Time 1-1

The opening 20 minutes or so of the second half were evenly contested in a midfield battle.  Neither keeper was tested and the closest either side came to a goal was when Mann hit the side netting after a fine run at goal.  The whole match was virtually decided on 69 minutes when Hassell fouled Rowe in the area.  Whilst it certainly looked the correct decision to give the penalty the subsequent decision to send off Hassell was extraordinarily harsh and the referee was quite clearly influenced by the home fans baying for blood.  Indeed, once more the officials were totally inept.  Rowe sent Mimms the wrong way with the kick to put Hull back in front.  Stags introduced Boulding and Lawrence late on but despite a couple of long range efforts from Boulding it was really too little too late.  Stags poured forward near the end but desperate Hull defending kept the visitors at bay as Hull claimed their 4th successive victory.

A reasonable performance by the Stags, though the marking was non-existent for Hull's opener it was always going to be tough defending against a player a good foot taller than the Stags defence.  The sending off of Hassell was extremely harsh, though it has to be said it was a needless challenge as Mimms had narrowed the angle well.  Robinson and Asher had decent games in the middle of the defence, and both full backs did their jobs well until Hassell's dismissal.  The midfield were disappointing, Clarke never got into the match prior to his injury and then Disley was too careless in possession, Blake had little effect on the game throughout, neither did Williams on the right.  The one shining light in the Stags midfield was Wayne Corden, now in excellent form and possibly had his best league game for the Stags.

Man of the Match - Wayne Corden

 

Line Up Rating Remarks
Mimms 6 Couple of good saves but hardly commanded his area
Hassell 6 Having a decent game until he was harshly sent off - rash challenge though
Pemberton 7 Solid display
Robinson 7 One rare error in an otherwise excellent display
Asher 7 Some excellent tackling and defending all night
Williams 6 Disappointing - created little
Corden 8 Some excellent wing play, great goal and the Stags only real threat
Blake 6 Worked hard but nothing came off for him
Clarke 6 Injured before he could stamp any authority on the game
Bradley 6 Two decent chances but still looks short on fitness
Greenacre 6 A quiet evening, had little service but lacked his usual sharpness
Subs:
Disley 6 for Clarke, 30 - Too many stray passes but competed well
Boulding 6 for Bradley,  - Should have come on earlier, looked sharp
Lawrence 6 for Williams, - Like Boulding should have come on much earlier, like from the start - again impressive!!
Not Used:  Pilkington, Jervis