HARTLEPOOL UNITED

1-1

MANSFIELD TOWN

Clark 77   Greenacre 7

Saturday 11th August 2001

Nationwide League Division 3

Attendance:  3, 534

As expected Stags striker Shayne Bradley failed a fitness test and so Andy White came in for his first start for the first team.  Allen Tankard was also making his Stags debut and Les Robinson was playing his 700th career match.  Apart from the two experienced players, this was again a very young Stags side, containing 5 players under 20.  Former Stags striker Tony Lormor and midfielder Darrell Clarke both had to be content with a place on the Hartlepool substitutes bench.  

The Stags started very well and could have taken the lead in the 4th minute, Andy White rising well to meet a Lawrence corner, but putting his header over the bar.  The Stags bright start was rewarded on 7 minutes with a goal.  Corden broke free on the left and after a great run put in a low cross which a diving Greenacre headed home.  The home side tried to fight back instantly, Tankard forced into conceding a corner which Pilkington did well to tip away, from the next corner Disley headed away well.  Stags then threatened again after a great clearance from Robinson the ball was helped on by Lawrence to White who neatly chipped the ball over the defender and hit a half volley which Pool keeper Hollund saved well.  White was harshly penalised for pushing on the edge of his own box and the Stags almost paid a hefty price when former Sheffield Wednesday striker Richie Humphreys broke free only to screw his shot well wide.  Disley then misplaced a pass and Henderson fired wide when through on goal and Pilkington saved comfortably after Reddington had fouled Henderson on the edge of the box.  Pool threatened again just before half time but Reddington produced a great clearance.  Just a minute later Hassell was caught asleep and Humphreys was left with a great chance to put in a killer cross, however, he badly sliced his attempted ball out for a goal kick.  Just before half time Greenacre latched on to a Robinson long clearance but saw his long range effort easily saved.

Half Time:  0-1

The 2nd half began quietly and the Stags were first to force an attempt on goal, Hassell striking straight at the keeper from 20 yards.  Stags then produced one of their best moves of the match as Disley and Williamson combined to release Corden on the left, his great ball found White who cut inside but saw his shot well blocked.  Pilkington then almost fumbled a long range effort, but managed to grab the ball just before Henderson pounced.  Another Corden cross gave the Stags the next chance, White again putting a glancing header over the bar.  The Stags best move of the match came on 73 minutes when a quick Lawrence free kick found Greenacre who turned well and put in perfect low cross only for no Stags player to connect.  Hartlepool were pushing the Stags deeper and deeper but rarely threatened Pilkington, indeed the keeper hadn't had to make a save of any sorts in the opening 25 minutes of the 2nd half.  However, that was to change as Hartlepool grabbed an equaliser, which on balance of play they probably deserved.  Mark Tinkler received the ball on the Stags right hand side and cut in from the goal-line, he then played a neat low pass to Clark who fired the ball past the helpless Pilkington.  The remaining minutes were a rather cautious affair with neither side wanting to lose what they had though Greenacre almost latched on to a Reddington long ball right at the death.

All in all a good point for the Stags and overall a decent performance against a strong Hartlepool side who will be up there again this season.  Boss Bill Dearden will have been concerned with the lapses which saw the Stags give possession away too often in dangerous areas, however, he would have been pleased with the outstanding efforts of Andy White on his full debut.  Craig Disley and Lee Williamson performed well in the centre of the Stags midfield, but just pipping White to the man of the match award was Stuart Reddington, a colossus at the back.

Man of the Match:  Stuart Reddington

Report by Rob Wheldon

LINE-UP & STAGS RATINGS

Stags:  Pilkington 7, Hassell 6, Tankard 7, Robinson 7, Reddington 9, Lawrence 6, Williamson 7, Disley 7, Corden 7, Greenacre 7, White 8.  Subs Not Used:  Asher, Pemberton, Bingham, Bacon, Williams

Pool:  Hollund, Barron, Bass, Westwood (Sharp 83), Lee, Widdrington, Stephenson, Tinkler, Clark, Humphreys, Henderson (Lormor 68).  Subs not used:  Clarke D, Arnison, Williams

Cautions:  Lawrence 46

Referee:  G. Salisbury (Preston) - 9

Your Choice of Man of the Match Reddington (38%) Greenacre (17%)