Mansfield Town - Review and Statistics of the season 1999/2000
by Martin Shaw
1999/2000 was another season for Mansfield Town of fluctuating fortunes.
New manager Billy Dearden arrived at the club in July with only 9 players, and hastily had to put together a makeshift side. He suffered a disastrous start to the season with a 6-0 defeat at Brightons new Withdean Stadium on the opening day of the season. This seemed to really knock the stuffing out the club and after the first five games Stags were already hot favourites for relegation with just one point.
But this was followed by an unbeaten run of 5 games including 3 victories, which lifted Stags up the table.
And so the season continued with inconsistent form, well-highlighted by 2 games in November where Stags lost 5-2 at Macclesfield and yet just 4 days later thrashed Lincoln at Field Mill by the same score.
The season really took off with a fabulous run of 26 points from 12 games between the end of November and the beginning of February, including 8 victories (half the total of 16 victories in the season).
The Stags found themselves in eighth position and just one place of the play-offs, but defeat at play-off rivals Peterborough followed by 2 home defeats seemed to kill of the challenge.
But back came Mansfield with 3 wins out of the next 4 games including a wonderful 3-2 win at leaders Rotherham, live on Sky TV.
With 9 games left, Stags again found themselves just one place off the play-off zone.
But the season ended badly starting with a 5-0 defeat at bottom club Chester, and a run of 8 games without a goal, including 6 successive defeats.
In the final game of the season, Stags finally scored a goal, to the great relief of the long suffering fans, but could still only manage a draw and thus ended the season with 2 points from the final 9 games.
The final tally of 56 points saw Stags in 17th position, 11 points and 9 places below the previous season.
It was of course a disappointing finale to the season, but the mere fact of a season with no relegation worries was a relief to many Stags fans who spent much of the early part of the season anxiously looking at the bottom of the table, with the trapdoor to the Conference looming.
The undoubted high point of the season was the magnificent 3-2 win at leaders Rotherham live on Sky TV. The performance was exhilarating and the quality of the goals left all Stags fans in dreamland. Chris Greenacres strike was for me, the clear Goal of the Season for the Stags (see below), closely followed by Darrell Clarkes goal in the same game which followed some sublime approach-play by the team.
Another high point was the revenge in beating Brighton at Field Mill after being so badly humiliated at Withdean Stadium on the opening day of the season. Then there was the hat-trick for Lee Peacock in a 3-1 win over Peterborough at Field Mill as the team picked up the first league win of the season. Stags had already beaten Nottingham Forest 1-0 in the second leg of the Worthington Cup first round in a fine display, though Mansfield did lose on aggregate.
The low point was clearly the humiliation at Brighton, but was closely followed by a diabolical defensive display at doomed Chester in a 5-0 defeat.
The run of more than 8 games (starting with the Chester game) without a goal a total of 12 hours and 29 minutes - was easily the worst in the clubs history. It was truly a depressing run.
Stags total of just 17 league goals away from Field Mill was the second worst in the Division, with only Southend worse, but strangely only 2 fewer than Champions Swansea.
The departure of fans' favourite Lee Peacock to Manchester City in October was a bitter, though inevitable blow. But young Chris Greenacre who came in the opposite direction proved to be a fine replacement.
A number of other youngsters were given the chance to shine by Dearden and took their chance well. Alistair Asher picked up two Player of the Season awards, and other youngsters such as Michael Sisson, Michael Boulding and the injury-jinxed pair of Bobby Hassell and Danny Bacon also shone on numerous occasions.
Tony Lormor again proved to be a dependable striker and deserved his CHAD Player of the Season award, ending up as the top scorer with 11 goals.
At the end of the season, manager Dearden released 6 players, with no major surprises, and it must be hoped that the redevelopment of Field Mill and the influx of some new players will lead to a push for promotion in 2000/2001 season.
Stags total of 17 league away goals was second worst in Division 3 (Southend 16, was worst), but only 2 fewer than Champions Swansea (19).
Stags failed to score in 20 league matches out of 46. Only Hull failed to score in more league games (21).
Stags run of more than 8 games (12 hours 29 minutes) without a goal, was easily the worst in their history.
Lee Williams was Stags only ever-present player. He was one of only 11 players in Division 3 to be ever present.
Stags used 35 players (not including non-playing substitutes). In Division 3, only Carlisle, Halifax and Leyton Orient used more players.
Player of the Season awards went to Alistair Asher (Stags Supporters Club and SOS) and Tony Lormor (CHAD).
Average Home League Attendance 2,593. Highest Home Peterborough 3,338. Lowest Home Barnet 1,960. (1998/99 average 2,963, a drop of 12.5%).
The lowest Division 3 attendance of the season was 1,541 for Macclesfield v. Stags.
Stags disciplinary record of 46 yellow and 1 red card was the best of all Division 3 clubs. Mark Blake picked up 11 of those bookings. Only 3 players in Division 3 picked up more bookings than Blake (each picking up 12 bookings).
My selection of goals of the season:
|1st||Chris Greenacre||v. Rotherham (A)|
|2nd||Darrell Clarke||v. Rotherham (A)|
|3rd||Michael Boulding||v. Shrewsbury (A)|
|4th||Lee Peacock||v. Peterborough (H) (second)|
|5th||Michael Sisson||v. York (A)|
(Division 3 unless stated)
|Brighton & Hove A.||A||0-6||-|
|Nottm Forest WC1||A||0-3||-|
|Nottm Forest WC1||H||1-0||Peacock|
|Peterborough Utd||H||3-1||Peacock 3|
|Shrewsbury Town||H||4-0||Peacock 2, Sisson, Lormor|
|Hartlepool United||H||2-3||Lormor, Hassell|
|Shrewsbury Town||A||2-1||Boulding, Lormor|
|Bristol City FAC1||A||2-3||Lormor (pen), Blake|
|Macclesfield Town||A||2-5||Clarke, Blake|
|Lincoln City||H||5-2||Bacon, Clarke 2, Greenacre 2|
|Bury AWS1||H||2-1||Lormor (pen), Roscoe|
|Chester City||H||2-1||OG, Boulding|
|Torquay United||H||4-3||Boulding 2, Clarke, Greenacre|
|Southend United||H||3-1||Bromby, Lormor (pen), Greenacre|
|Carlisle United||A||2-0||Lormor, Clarke|
|Brighton & Hove A.||H||1-0||Lormor (pen)|
|Leyton Orient||A||3-1||Clarke, OG, Greenacre|
|Rotherham United||A||3-2||Boulding, Greenacre, Clarke|
|Plymouth Argyle||H||2-2||Andrews, Bacon|
Player statistics 1999/2000
(includes League, FA Cup, Worthington Cup, Auto Windscreen Shield)
|Squad number||Player||Position||Apps (sub)||Goals||Bookings (sent off)|
|4||David Kerr||MF||11(9)||1 (1)|
Link to 1998/99 statistics