|Nationwide League Division 3|
|10th March 2001|
|Lawrence 24||Potter 56|
|Attendance: 2, 405|
Rob Wheldon at Field Mill
The Stags welcomed struggling York City to Field Mill on Saturday without injured central defenders Adam Barrett and Stuart Hicks and midfielders Darrell Clarke and Martin Pemberton. Additionally Shayne Barrett had a foot injury and was also missing. Bobby Hassell returned from suspension and Liam Lawrence made his long awaited first start for the first team. Michael Boulding partnered Chris Greenacre in attack.
The Stags dominated the opening half and as early as the 3rd minute Boulding's pace had given the Stags an early chance from a corner and Liam Lawrence had hit a fine free kick narrowly wide of Fettis' goal. Just before the quarter hour Disley found Boulding whose pace again took him past the York defence, a good early low cross was hacked over the bar by Bower. Corden's clever corner found Lawrence on the edge of the box but his shot flew wide. A rare York attack saw Asher head clear as the Stags were caught at the back, Agnew's follow up shot was well wide of Mimms' goal. On 20 minutes Greenacre found Lawrence in space, the young midfielder took the ball on about 10 yards then let fly, Fettis pulling off a fine save to push the ball wide. Just a few minutes later the Stags took a deserved lead, Asher neatly putting Lawrence through who calmly slotted the ball past the York keeper, his first Stags goal and one his early play had certainly deserved. Just after the half hour Boulding again sprinted free from a wide position, this time on the right, but his well hit shot flew wide. As the half drew to a close the Stags were denied a penalty when Greenacre was brought down, the referee seemed to go to blow his whistle, but then looked at his assistant for some reason and then did nothing, the delight of the York supporters said it all really - a very poor decision and one which ultimately proved very important.
Half Time 1-0
The 2nd half was totally different to the opening half, the Stags passing had collapsed and the visitors were well and truly on top. Warning signs were clear from the opening minute when Asher did well to clear under his own bar from Cooper's cross-shot. On 55 minutes former Lincoln striker Colin Alcide was introduced and this change had an immediate effect, the striker's first touch being to put through Potter who finished neatly with his left foot. Just three minutes later and the Minstermen were ahead, this time Alcide himself prodding home after Mimms had hesitated on his line. The match had turned complete circle, the Stags seemed unable to control possession at all and were guilty of poor passing throughout. Stags were about to make a change when York grabbed a third and deciding goal. Again poor defending let Nogan in for a simple finish and the game was over. Williamson replaced Williams and a couple of minutes later Bacon replaced Corden but this had little effect and indeed York were still the likelier scorers right until the end of the game.
A promising 1st half display was followed by the worst performance of the season, and indeed for many years, in the 2nd half. The passion and determination left the players on the pitch and the bench appeared powerless to improve the situation. Appalling defensive lapses and dozens of misplaced passes typified a lacklustre performance of epic proportion. The Stags probably still need 6 more points to be certain of safety, on the 2nd half form nothing is guaranteed.
Man of the Match: Liam Lawrence
|Not Used: Pilkington, White, Jervis|