MANSFIELD TOWN

2-1

LINCOLN CITY

Greenacre 28, Corden 86   Cameron 56

Saturday 8th September 2001

Nationwide League Division 3

Attendance:  3,878

Stags were forced into their first change to the starting 11 this season when Allen Tankard failed a fitness test, Martin Pemberton stepped into his left back place.  Also missing was Danny Bacon meaning the Stags had only two strikers, top scorer Greenacre and youngster Andy White, to choose from.  The Imps were without influential defender Stuart Bimson who was ruled out of the game with a calf strain but did include ex-Stags midfielder  Ben Sedgemore and former Forest winger Kingsley Black.

In a scintillating opening half hour the Stags should have been 4 or 5 ahead.  As early as the 3rd minute Disley saw his header from a Lawrence cross headed off the line with most Stags fans already celebrating a goal.  The Imps made a rare appearance in the Stags half and Pilkington's hesitance to claim the ball gave a chance to Thorpe who fired well wide.  Lawrence then had a shot blocked but Williamson's terrific follow-up flew just wide.  The Imps were then grateful for more last ditch defending when Greenacre lobbed Pettinger only to see the ball acrobatically cleared off the line.  A minute later Lawrence's free kick was headed over by Disley.  Just as it seemed as though the Stags would fail to break through top scorer Chris Greenacre blasted home his sixth of the season.  Lawrence chipped the ball into the box and White neatly side footed down for Greenacre to half volley past Pettinger.  On fire Greenacre almost added a second when his first time lob from 35 yards flew just over with the keeper scrambling back.  On the stroke of half time Pemberton was booked for a mis-timed tackle and the resultant free kick beat everyone except Pilkington who gathered low to his right.  The Stags would have been disappointed that their total dominance only resulted in a 1-0 half time scoreline.

Half Time:  1-0

Imps boss Alan Buckley made two changes at half time, replacing the ineffective Battersby with Cameron and Gain with his son Adam.  In the opening minute of the half the Stags almost got the vital 2nd.  White leapt well to head on Corden's cross and Greenacre's shot was well saved.  A trademark Corden run saw the winger cut inside but he mis-hit the shot wide.  Then the Stags were hit with the sucker punch, Corden fires home the winnera seemingly harmless ball through the middle evaded both Stags central defenders and substitute Cameron powered his way through and struck and unstoppable right foot shot past Pilkington, incredibly the Imps first shot on target.  The goal knocked the stuffing out of the home side and for a fifteen minute spell the visitors were on top.  Pilkington saved well from Thorpe and then Finnigan shot well wide when found at the far post.  However, the Stags soon regained their composure and began to pass to the high standard of the opening half.  Disley could have done better but chipped the ball wide when Pettinger failed to claim a Williamson through ball.  Then on 70 minutes the Stags incredibly had yet another effort cleared off the line, this time White's shot was cleared by the left hand post.  More good work by the impressive Williamson saw Lawrence fire wide.  As the game appeared to be drifting into a draw Wayne Corden lit up the match.  Picking the ball up on the left their seemed to be no danger, he cut inside then some dazzling skill created the opportunity for the shot and the winger hit a stunning low right foot shot which curled past Pettinger and into the bottom left of the net.  Lincoln poured forwards and were given a boost when the referee found 4 minutes injury time despite a physio not entering the field once during the half.  Pilkington made a fine save at the near post but then blotted his copy book when dropping a cross, the Stags grateful to Reddington who headed clear.  The Stags almost finished the game off when Greenacre almost met a Lawrence pass, Pettinger just beating the Stags striker to the ball.  The final whistle was greeted by relief of all the home fans as the Stags were hanging on to a win that could have been far more comfortable.

A superb game of football with two sides intent on keeping the ball on the grass, quite a change to the Imps style in seasons gone by.  The Stags totally dominated the first half and should have been further ahead than the 1-0 scoreline.  The Imps equaliser unsettled the Stags and lead to a 15 minute spell where the visitors were on top but then the Stags regained their form and Wayne Corden's goal was good enough to win any game anywhere.  "It was a great advert for our league" said boss Bill Dearden after the game, "they couldn't have argued if we'd been three or four up at half time and you won't get a better game in the 1st division".  When asked about the form of winger Wayne Corden the Stags boss said "I wouldn't like to play right back against him, he's in great form".  Man of the match is very tough, but Greenacre was outstanding in the 1st half and so wins the award despite competition from the excellent Williamson and Corden's wonder strike.

Man of the Match:  Chris Greenacre

Report by Rob Wheldon

Click here for a report by Richard Evans     

LINE-UPS & STAGS RATINGS

Stags:   Pilkington 7, Hassell 7, Pemberton 7, Robinson 7, Reddington 7, Lawrence 7, Williamson 9, Disley 7, Corden 8, Greenacre 9, White 7.  Subs (Not used) Asher, Jervis, Williams, Bingham, Clarke(J)

Imps:  Pettinger, Barnett (Walker 90), Holmes, Morgan, Mayo, Black, Sedgemore, Finnigan, Gain (Buckley 46), Battersby (Cameron 46), Thorpe.  Subs Not Used:  Brown,  Marriott

YOUR MAN OF THE MATCH

Corden 36%

Williamson 33%

Greenacre 11%