Nationwide League Division 3
12th September 2000

Mansfield Town


Hull City

Clarke 73  Brightwell 64
Attendance: 2,629 
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
Stags fans who were expecting another crushing victory following the 5-1beating of Halifax, were given a rude awakening by lowly Hull City at Field Mill. However the smart money had suggested anything but an easy victory, since it was clear from reports that, despite not yet registering their first victory of the season, Hull were in a false position towards the foot of the table. And so it proved, as the sides tussled for a hard-fought draw that was clearly the right result in a very even encounter.  Mansfield were unchanged, with Darrell Clarke returning from suspension but only to claim a place on the bench. Hull included Steve Harper at left-wing back.  I decided to take my place for this game in the new stand at the Quarry Lane End, rather than the North Stand, to see what the view was like, as from November, this will no longer be possible for Stags fans. The stand was fuller than on Saturday and hence the crowd of 2,629 was slightly up from Saturday. Once again the North Stand was virtually full.

Stags nearly gained an early lead when following a back pass, goalkeeper Bracey`s clearance struck the on-rushing Bacon and rebounded along the edge of the penalty area. Bacon chased after the ball and seemed to be first to it, but just as he about to fire the ball into the empty net, he was barged to the ground by the Hull defender, clearly making no effort to play the ball. From my position just a few yards away, it was a clear penalty but the referee must have decided it was a fair shoulder charge. Either way it was a let off for the Tigers.  Stags continued to do most of the pressing. Greenacre was unlucky when his header from a corner bounced down into the ground but straight into the hands of keeper Bracey and then Mark Blake struck a fabulous volley from 20 yards that fizzed inches wide of the far post. Finally Lee Williams had a snap shot from 12 yards following a corner that sailed an inch past the post and cannoned off the back stanchion. Hull created only a few half-chances during the first half and Stags were unlucky not to be ahead by half-time.

Half-time 0-0

The second half saw Hull come much more into the game without creating many clear-cut chances. But that all changed on 64 minutes. A free-kick out on the left from Steve Harper was knocked back by Marcelle to a completely unmarked David Brightwell just 6 yards from goal. He had time to pick his spot but fired straight towards Bobby Mimms. Unfortunately for the Stags, Stuart Hicks tried to charge the ball down but only succeeded in deflecting the ball up and over Mimms and into the net. It was a fortunate goal for the Tigers but the marking in the box was appalling and deserved to concede a goal.  Darrell Clarke, returning from suspension, had replaced Mark Blake who had to have stitches in a cut head, and it was Clarke who equalised on 72 minutes. Greenacre got the ball on the bye-line and easily turned his marker to lay the ball back for Clarke who struck the ball low and hard with his left foot under the body of Lee Bracey from 15 yards. It was another good goal for Clarkey, and his fourth of the season.

I felt this would set the Stags up for a grandstand finish to try and claim all three points but in fact it was the visitors who finished the game more strongly. On 80 minutes, substitute John Eyre, a tormenter of Stags in previous years, was brought on and forced two terrific saves from Mimms in the dying minutes. For one, Mimms tipped a high shot around the left hand post and then just 15 seconds before the final whistle, Mimms got down low to his right to tip the ball past the post. It was a close call for the Stags but it would have been rough justice had Hull claimed the points in a game where a draw was clearly the right result.

So Stags can longer claim to be the top scorers in the division, and have been overtaken by Chesterfield. Stags have a chance to put that right on Saturday at Saltergate, but will have to return to the form of the first 20 minutes and last 20 minutes of the game against Halifax to have any hope of overturning the current leaders on the division.  Overall a satisfactory result for both sides, but Stags need to capitalise with more victories in home games if they are to avoid a season battling in the bottom half of the table.

Man of the Match:   Bobby Mimms


Line Up Rating Remarks
Mimms 8 Two excellent saves near the end
Lomas 6 Partnership with Willow never came off tonight
Robinson 8 His best game for the Stags, very solid at the back
Hicks 7 Another powerful performance
Fortune 7 An improved display and made one great attacking run
Corden 7 Skillful at times and neat passing
Williams 6 Not his best game, some poor crossing when in good positions
Blake 6 Struggled after being injured and replaced by Clarke
Hassell 8 Another classy display in the defensive midfield role
Bacon 6 Worked his socks off but got no change from the Hull central defenders
Greenacre 7 Created Clarkey's goal but given little decent service
Clarke 7 for Blake, took his chance well and looks in great form - should start on Saturday
Boulding 6 for Bacon, one good run but could have been brought on a little earlier

Williamson, Andrews, Pilkington