The Stags were without inspirational skipper Les Robinson through injury, though he was able to collect all the Player of the Season awards, from the Chad, SOS, Mansfield 103.2 and SSC - a deserved clean sweep for Robbo (right) and what a pity he had to miss his first game of the season. Also picking up awards were Jamie Clarke who collected the Jack Retter Trophy as Youth Team Player of the Year and Craig Disley who picked up a well deserved Mansfield 103.2 Young Player of the Year Award. Mark Blake replaced the injured Robinson in an otherwise unchanged side from the one that beat Darlington 4 days earlier. After a good start Scunthorpe had faded away and were no longer in contention for a play-off place, meaning neither side had anything to play for. However, both sides played their part in an entertaining match.
Stags fluent football continued from where it had finished, and frankly the form the side have shown at the end of the season makes it all the more frustrating as the side are clearly capable of at least a top seven place. First into the action was Mark Blake, almost celebrating his return to the side with a header from Williamson's excellent cross which just flew wide. Craig Disley was next to have a pop at the Scunthorpe goal, but his 25 yard effort flew over the bar. As the Stags neat passing game continued the clear cut chances failed to materialise though Shayne Bradley fired over after turning well inside the penalty area. Another fine cross from Williamson evaded visiting keeper Evans but the angle was too acute for Bradley who could only fire into the side netting. At the other end, Pilkington was relatively untroubled, though a long range effort from Steve Torpey did force him into action near the half time mark. Greenacre almost latched on to a terrific Lawrence through ball, Evans just getting their ahead of the striker, then Lawrence himself had a 20 yard free kick seemingly charged down by the hand of a Scunthorpe defender.
Half Time 0-0
The Stags almost took the lead immediately after the restart. A long ball was chased by Bradley and his challenge on Evans forced the keeper into a mistake, however, sadly for the home side Williamson was unable to convert the rebound which fell straight to his feet. Again the Stags controlled possession for long spells without really creating that clear cut chance and the game entered a quiet phase, with the highlight being some extraordinary refereeing which seemed to level itself out between the two sides. As the half wore on Scunthorpe threatened more and Pilkington was forced into a fine save from Carruthers. The Stags brought on big Andy White for Shayne Bradley and moments later Alistair Asher, seemingly struggling with a hamstring strain, was replaced by Lee Williams. However, the most important substitution of the game was made when Chris Greenacre was replaced by Michael Boulding, Greenacre given a deserved standing ovation for his efforts this season. No sooner had the livewire Boulding been introduced that he had scored the winner, neatly finishing a poor Torpey back pass.
So the Stags 4th successive home win leaves the fans far more optimistic about next season then was the case just a few weeks ago. In the last 8 games or so the Stags have shown that with a couple of experienced additions in the summer, the Stags have a squad very capable of promotion next season.
Man of the Match: Craig Disley
Attendance: 2, 938
Stags: Pilkington, Reddington, Blake, Asher (Williams 67), Jervis, Lawrence, Hassell, Williamson, Disley, Greenacre (Boulding 85), Bradley (White 65). Subs Not Used: Andrews, Mimms
Scunny: Evans, Stanton, Wilcox, Thom, Graves, Harsley, Sparrow, Dawson (Ridley 46), Quailey (Rapley 65), Carruthers, Torpey. Subs Not Used: Calvo-Garcia, Larusson, Brough
Referee: A. Kaye (Wakefield)
|Video (mpeg) footage (right click then choose "save as"):||Mick Boulding scores the late winner|