STAGS WIN AT SHEFFIELD FC
Sheffield FC 1-4 Mansfield Town
Stags scorers: Mitchell, Vaughan, Mendes, Gaunt (trialist)
Report by The Bard:
"Stags youngsters too much for the oldest boys in town"
Mansfield Town put out a combination squad to face the oldest team in English football and in doing so gave very little away about the forthcoming season.
The first-half saw a far more muscular Craig Disley in confident mood as he displayed an edge that he sorely missed toward the end of last season. Faced with a far from agressive opposition it would have been nice to see Lee Williamson and Junior Mendez attack their opposite numbers and rule the roost over Sheffield FC. As it was they both these players never seemed to get in to top gear and show what they are capapble of - whether they were saving something in reserve for the Man City game this Saturday will be decided by the fans late on Saturday afternoon.
Sheffield never really looked as though they posed a threat to the Stags aprt from the odd moment when they caugh the back four on the hop. If the boys at the back, which included a very vociferous if less than accurate Vaughan are to contend for first team places, they will have to produce far better goods than on display tonight.
The second half was distinct from the first with the introduction of MacKenzie in midfield. In such company you may have expected him to stand head and shoulders above the rest - and he did. His first touch control was delicate and left the part-timers in dissarray on several occassions, without a doubt his 30 minutes on the pitch separated the two sides and stopped Sheffield developing any ideas of a comeback; even after they scored a deserved consolation goal.
Junior Mendes showed touches of flair, twisting an turning the Sheffield defence in ways they will not be used to and hopefully, neither will the Div3 defenders this season. That said, his uncomforting appearance of slouched shoulders and shaking head do not instill confidence in the fans.
The Stags ran out comfortable winners at 4-1 but will have to do much better against Kevin Keegan's men.
According to one insider the mood in the sqaud is far more settled than at the back end of last year, with the players now beleiving Curle has calmed his approach and is looking to utilise the skills at his disposal - it all remains to be seen if he can build the team we all want to see take division three by storm.
Latest | July 2003