IMPRESSIVE STAGS BEAT STRONG MAN CITY SIDE
Mansfield Town (1) 2 Manchester City (1) 1
Larkin 32 (volley)
Anelka pen 40 (after a foul by Hassell on Fowler)
Corden pen 57 (after a handball from a Day effort after MacKenzie cross)
Att: 6,653 (1,846 from Man City)
The Stags defeated full strength Premiership side Manchester City at Field Mill this afternoon. In front of over 6,500 fans on a balmy summer afternoon the Stags turned in a superb display, in both halves of the pitch and thoroughly deserved the 2-1 victory.
The match marked the debut of David Seaman in City's goal but it was the Stags who were thankful to skipper Kevin Pilkington for a couple of fine saves at the hands of Annelka, though the former Arsenal striker was guilty of being offside on numerous occasions. Indeed, the Stags defenders, notably Baptiste, handled the multi-million pound strikeforce very well. Seaman was forced to save from Williamson's 15 yard effort, but he fumbled the ball though Mendes was unable to steer the rebound past the England keeper. It was the Stags who took the lead after Larkin brilliantly volleyed home from the left hand side of the area after splendid work down the right by Hassell. City were handed a lifeline on half time when Fowler poked the ball through Hassell's legs near the bye-line but then fell theatrically - amazingly the referee pointed to the spot and Annelka converted. City completely changed their line-up for the 2nd half, though a testament to the strength of their squad is that many of the replacements were full internationals. The home side continued to dominate and got their reward as a handball inside the area lead to a Stags penalty which was converted by Corden. The Stags should have had a second penalty soon afterwards as Wiekens handled but to the amazement of the crowd the referee pointed to his chest.
A fine performance by the Stags, in all areas, but most notably in defence where Baptiste, Day, Hassell and Clarke all looked very solid. Kevin Pilkington was once again in sparkling form and looked almost unbeatable whilst Colin Larkin and Iyseden Christie proved that they could be a real menace in Div 3 next season. Yes it was just a friendly, but the manner of the performance was extremely encouraging. Two years ago the Stags beat Sunderland in a pre-season game and went on to win promotion - such was the high level of performance that most Stags fans will now think a repeat of this is very possible.
Pilkington, Hassell, Day, John-Baptiste, Clarke, Lawrence, Curtis, Williamson, Mendes
Artell, for John-Baptiste, 34
Corden, for Mendes, 46
MacKenzie, for Curtis, 50
Disley, for Williamson, 50
Beardsley, for Christie, 58
Mitchell, for Larkin, 58
Williamson, for Hassell, 73
JWhite, for Pilkington, 77
Curtis, for Lawrence, 81
Pictures & Report by Rob Wheldon
Latest | July 2003