|Worthington Cup 2nd Round 2nd Leg|
|26th September 2000|
|Clarke 55||Rosler 32|
|Soltvedt 44, 65|
|Attendance: 3, 528|
|Rob Wheldon at Field Mill|
Stags made two changes from the side that won the dramatic home victory over Hartlepool at the weekend. In came Michael Boulding, Danny Bacon switched to the bench and John Andrews replaced John Fortune. Despite rumours to the contrary, Matt Le Tissier started for Southampton, one of the few Englishmen in a very cosmopolitan Southampton side.
Stags began quite brightly and strung together a few nice moves down the right hand side, however, Williams twice got into good positions but was let down by poor crossing. However, the Stags bright start soon faded and the visitors began stamping their Premiership class on the tie. Mimms twice denied Rosler but was powerless when the Saints deservedly took the lead on 32 minutes, Rosler firing home from the right hand side of the box after good work by Dodd. As he shot Rosler and Hicks collided and the Stags defender took exception to Rosler's reaction, however, the referee intervened to prevent a potential clash. Just before half-time the tie was effectively over when Soltvedt made it two. Blake gave the ball away in midfield, a rare error in an otherwise good performance, and the ball found its way to Soltvedt, his shot cannoned off the underside of the bar and fell to Rosler but his header was cleared off the line by Hicks, however, sadly for the Stags the ball fell again to Soltvedt who this time powered the ball past Mimms.
Stags began the 2nd half much better and at last managed to get behind the strong Saints back line, in particular Michael Boulding made some terrific runs and outpaced the otherwise impressive Richards on numerous occasions. In the 55th minute the Stags got the goal their good start to the half had deserved, Darrell Clarke's goal-bound shot deflecting off a Saints defender and beating Jones. This was the signal for the Stags best spell of the game, Blake hit the post with a fine header and Boulding twice got behind the Saints defence only to see his low crosses cleared. Saints then made certain of progression to the next round when Soltvedt turned neatly to fire past Mimms from just 8 yards after the Stags had been undone by a piece of Le Tissier magic. Nevertheless, when many feared the floodgates would open, the Stags remained in the match, prompted by the impressive runs of Boulding and the much improved form of Asher on the right the Stags still looked as though they could cause the visitors problems. The late introduction of Hassell (much too late it has to be said) also gave the Saints something to think about, one superb defence splitting pass put Boulding in but Jones saved well.
All in all a decent performance, though the difference in class between the two sides was evident, especially in the first half. It has to be remembered that Southampton are currently 8th in the Premiership, three full divisions ahead of the Stags, and with that in mind the showing in the 2nd half by the home side was impressive. Darrell Clarke had a good game in midfield and Alistair Asher came back superbly from his poor display on Saturday. However, it was the pace of Michael Boulding that caused the Saints the most problems and therefore he wins the Man of the Match award.
Man of the Match: Michael Boulding
|Mimms||7||One stunning save and great handling throughout|
|Asher||7||Terrific come back after Saturday's disappointment|
|Robinson||6||Caught by the pace of the Saints counters but used the ball well|
|Hicks||6||Playing against Premiership strikers made a tough night for Hicksy|
|Andrews||6||Did well in the 2nd half but given a bit of a roasting in the 1st|
|Corden||6||Still looked great on the ball but not involved enough|
|Williams||5||Some poor crossing and another poor game for Lee|
|Blake||7||Battled hard in the middle|
|Clarke||7||Very busy and involved often, scored the Stags goal to cap off a good nights work|
|Boulding||8||His pace worried Dean Richards, a high class Premiership defender - was excellent and fully deserved his recall|
|Greenacre||7||Little reward for a tireless display|
|Bacon||6||for Andrews - Decent touches|
|Hassell||7||for Corden - One defence splitting pass again proved he should be in the first eleven|
|Williamson||6||for Williams - found it tough against the quality opposition|
|Unused: Pilkington, Disley|