Greenacre 58, White 90

Saturday 4th August 2001

Pre-Season Friendly

Stags took on Jake King's Telford side, who had a top six finish in the Conference last season, in the latest pre-season friendly.  Bucks Head was looking vastly different had you been to the ground before, with two new stands at either end, a short terraced area along one side with a small temporary "main stand" and boards along the other side.  It will be a very nice ground when finished and the facilities at the back of the away stand put those at Field Mill, a much larger and more impressive stadium overall, to shame.  Stags began the game with potentially the starting eleven for next weeks league opener, with one possible exception being Andy White who played ahead of Shayne Bradley who it is believed will be fit for next weeks trip to Hartlepool.  Telford included ex-Stag Chris Perkins, who is on trial at the club.

On a perfect pitch the Stags began brightly and almost grabbed the lead in the 2nd minute.  An inch perfect cross by Tankard found Greenacre on the edge of the box and the striker finished clinically, however, the goal was ruled out for offside.  Telford had their first attack and forced a corner, however, after a clearance by Lawrence, Greenacre raced clear and seeing the keeper off his line attempted a lob but sadly he put it well wide.  Corden, having another impressive game on the left cut through the Telford defence but hit a weak shot wide, then a minute later Lawrence hit a stunning shot from the edge of the area which the keeper palmed away superbly.  On 20 minutes the Stags won a free kick on the edge of the area but Lawrence's shot was hit tamely at the keeper.  Reddington was harshly adjudged to have fouled McNiven on the edge of the Stags area but justice was done when the Stags defender blocked the subsequent free kick.  Andy White then chased a back pass and managed to charge down the keepers clearance, however, the ball spun back to the keeper.  Stags forced a corner on the half hour, the ball finding Tankard whose deft header was well controlled by Corden before he hit a powerful shot just over the bar.  Stags were well on top but continued to waste chances, White headed wide when he could have done a bit better then a great Lawrence through ball saw White hit the ball over with his left foot.  A rare attempt by Telford saw McNiven, the former York striker, power the ball high and wide whilst at the other end Disley almost lobbed the keeper after being found by an excellent Hassell pass.  As the half drew to a close Pilkington was forced to make a fine save, again from McNiven whose free kick was palmed away by the Stags keeper.

Half Time 0-0

The Stags would have been disappointed to go in at half time all square and soon set about opening the scoring.  Hassell hit a perfectly weighted pass which found White clear on the right, his fine cross sailed across the box but sadly was not met by a Stags striker - indeed had someone else crossed the ball it would have been perfect for White himself!!  Corden picked the ball up on the left and ran at the Telford defence, beating two before seeing his shot blocked and then more great work by Hassell saw his low cross fly across the face of the goal.  At last the Stags supremacy was rewarded by a goal, Disley cheekily back heeled the ball to Lawrence whose inch perfect cross found Greenacre who got to the ball ahead of the keeper and calmly flicked the ball into the net.  Telford responded immediately and again McNiven, Telford's best player, saw another shot tipped over by Pilkington.  Stags passing at times was superb, Hassell and Greenacre combined to almost break through again, then Disley shot over from 20 yards.  The only chance it seemed Telford would score would be from Stags over-confidence and Williamson gave the ball away in a dangerous position and was relieved when the Telford shot flew wide.  Greenacre then had two shots within a minute, the first hit straight at the keeper then just seconds later a snap shot flew just wide.  Greenacre then turned provider, putting Disley through only for the midfielder to be denied by a fine save.  Lawrence then hit another great pass to Greenacre but for once the Stags strikers touch deserted him when through on goal.  A rare mistake by Hassell gifted a chance to Telford but the shot was hit well wide, Bobby and skipper Les Robinson had a brief "chat" after the incident!!  On 90 minutes the Stags got the 2nd goal their play had thoroughly deserved as Hassell broke through on goal, saw his shot saved by the legs of the keeper but the ball broke to Andy White who side footed home.

Another very good pre-season performance against the sort of opposition the Stags will come up against week after week.  Most encouraging was the defence, very solid leaving Telford's only opportunities long range efforts.  Disley continued his excellent form and the two wingers, Lawrence and Corden, were excellent.  Greenacre looked very sharp and took his goal well.  Man of the match is again hard with so many good performances, but for his terrific pass to create the first goal, Liam Lawrence just gets the nod ahead of Hassell, Corden and Disley.

Stagsnet Man of the Match:  Liam Lawrence

Report and photographs by Paul Taylor & Rob Wheldon


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