Saturday 22nd September 2001

Nationwide League Division 3

Attendance:  3, 857

The Stags were missing strikers Shayne Bradley and Danny Bacon but Craig Disley was fit to take his place after taking a knock in the midweek defeat at Halifax.  There was a Stags debut for on loan striker Jason White, the former Northampton and Rotherham striker started the game ahead of youngster Andy White.  Experienced striker Steve Torpey lead the Scunny attack with former Bradford star Peter Beagrie out on the wing.  There was an element of dread when it was known that the referee was Mr Leake, surely the worst referee in the country, and he wasn't to disappoint!!

Scunthorpe started brightly and Pemberton had to be sharp to cut out a Beagrie cross and minutes later a low shot by Jackson flew wide of Pilkington's post.  It took the Stags 14 minutes to register their first attempt on goal as Lawrence cut in from the left and fired well wide.  On 21 minutes the Stags had the best chance of the match, some fine one touch passing between Williamson and Disley found Greenacre inside the area, his astute defence splitting pass found White but he sliced his shot well wide.  Buoyed by that attack the Stags again threatened when Lawrence got to the byline, pulled the ball back to Greenacre who saw his shot blocked and the rebound claimed eventually by Evans, the Iron keeper after an initial fumble.  Just past the half hour came the first real howler from the referee, Martin Carruthers put in his bid for Olympic selection with an incredible dive on the edge of the Stags area, as the whistle went the Stags fans thought the referee was about to book Carruthers but unbelievably he gave the free kick - the fact that there was no Stags player even close to Carruthers when he fell clearly never entered Mr Leaks's mind.  Though Dawson hit a good free kick Kevin Pilkington made a fine save to his left and the danger was cleared.  On 40 minutes Williamson had to be lively to prevent Brough striking on goal after the tricky Scunny winger had beaten several Stags defenders.  Greenacre fired over from 20 yards after being found by Lawrence then a quick free kick saw Hassell also shoot over.  In the one additional minute of added time the Stags missed by far the best chance of the match, Disley had found Greenacre in the Iron area and after his shot was blocked the ball fell back to Disley he rounded keeper Evans and cut the ball back to Lawrence who also had his shot blocked, the ball then fell to Hassell who from 18 yards blazed just wide.

Half-time:  0-0

Scunny brought on Hodges for the dangerous Brough, quite a surprise really.  The Iron were again quickest off the blocks and Dawson's cross evaded everyone before being cleared by Corden.  The Scunny left back was then rather fortunate just to see a Yellow Card when he was very late on Disley.  On 52 minutes Beagrie showed he could be an aerial threat heading just over the bar but then hit a woeful shot after Carruthers, who managed to stay on his feet for more than 5 seconds, had found him in space.  On the hour the Stags broke free after a Scunny corner, the ball found Disley but the Stags midfielder was clearly still struggling from the effects of the Dawson tackle and did not have the pace to get clear of the last defender.  Pemberton, having another excellent match at left back, was found by Corden and his excellent low cross was about to be slotted home by Greenacre only for Thom to clear.  On 72 minutes Scunny almost took the lead, Torpey nodding back to Kell whose header hit the outside of the post with Pilkington beaten.  Five minutes later the Stags thoughtNot offside - officials get it wrong again!! they had won the game, Disley was released on the left of the Stags area, pulled the ball across to Greenacre who fired home.  However, to the Stags players horror the Assistant had his flag raised for offside, presumably against Greenacre.  This seems harsh for a couple of reasons as the screen capture shows (taken a split second AFTER Disley had played the ball), Greenacre was clearly at worst level with Disley as he played the ball and secondly Greenacre had timed his run perfectly and was also at worst level with the last defender.  Officials are supposed to give the benefit of the doubt to strikers, clearly this set of officials were incompetent.  The final 15 minutes or so were end to end but with neither side finding that cutting edge to claim the points.  In the end a point each was probably a fair result.

Not the greatest game you'll ever see but incident packed nonetheless.  The Stags gave the ball away far too easily but again at times the fluency of some of the attacks was a joy to watch.  Jason White struggled throughout but clearly needs matches to gain sharpness, however, it would have been nice to have seen Andy White for the last 15 minutes or so.  Pilkington had a fine game in the Stags goal and Williamson was again the pick of the midfield.  However, Martin Pemberton was the Stags biggest threat out wide, going on countless runs outside of Corden.  He also defended very well and is therefore Man of the Match.

Man of the Match:  Martin Pemberton

Report by Rob Wheldon

Pilkington 7 One great save and good handling throughout.
Hassell  6 Had a tough battle with Beagrie and he just about held his own
Pemberton 8 Another fine match, got forward well and was our biggest threat out wide
Robinson  7 Solid and reliable as ever
Reddington 7 Also had a tough time with Torpey but did well
Disley 6 Struggled more than of late, passes went astray but the usual 100% from Dis
Corden 6 Starved of the ball but looked a class act when he had it
Lawrence 5 Was reluctant to attack and his crossing was wayward
Williamson 7 Once again the pick of the midfield
White (J) 5 Missed good chance and touch was poor, but did give a physical presence
Greenacre  6 Not his best game but very unlucky to have goal disallowed
Subs Not Used:  Tankard, Asher, White (A), Barrett, Bingham

Iron Line-Up:  Evans, Bradshaw, Dawson, Thom, Jackson, Stanton, Brough (Hodges 45), Beagrie, Kell, Carruthers (Quailey 78), Torpey.  Subs not used: Barwick, Wilcox, Bennion

Bookings: Stags:  Hassell (75)  Iron:  Dawson (48)

Referee:  A Leake - 4 (Incredibly inept performance)

Your Choice of Man of the Match

Reddington 31%

Pemberton 21% Williamson 19%