REET AND CLEAN SHEET EARN THE POINTS
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Darlington
Attendance: 2794 (286 from Darlington)
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
Mansfield Town kept their first clean sheet of the season in the league last night to claim a vital three points at home to Darlington. The only goal of the game was scored by Danny Reet after an hour when he turned and shot superbly from six yards underneath the goalkeeper after good interplay between Sheehan and Jelleyman. In truth it was a dull game but the Stags won't mind that after a cracking game against Accrington on Saturday when there were chances galore but two points dropped.
Mansfield Town 1, Darlington 0
By Ray Simpson, The Journal
Darlington's five game unbeaten run in the league came to a dreadfully-disappointing end at Field Mill last night.
Quakers were a pale shadow of the team which battled so well at Reading last week in the Carling Cup and it was clear from early on in this game that they were way below their best.
Darlington haven't won at Field Mill for seven years and the result was a foregone conclusion when Danny Reet broke the deadlock for Mansfield on the hour.
Darlington coach Neil Maddison, who conducted the post-match Press interviews instead of a furious David Hodgson, said: "It was so, so disappointing to lose because Mansfield were there for the taking in the first half but we just couldn't step up a gear. Maybe the fatigue and the travelling caught up with the players but that shouldn't be an excuse. Too many players were under par."
To make matters worse for Quakers their record buy Julian Joachim limped off with a pulled hamstring and could be out of action for several weeks.
Quakers created the first chance of the game when Darren Holloway ran 30 yards from the halfway line and hit a left-foot shot that went straight to Mansfield keeper Jason White. The Stags replied when Richie Barker broke clear but Sam Russell got down well to save. The match lacked any real tempo after that but Quakers looked as if they were going to burst into life before half time when Joachim turned quickly on a Micky Cummins pass inside the box but his left-foot shot lacked the power to beat White. Simon Johnson then burst past three defenders and White was relieved to hold his shot at the second attempt.
Mansfield however found the extra gear that the game craved at the start of the second half and they took the lead on the hour when Alan Sheehan found Reet in the box, and the striker turned quickly to fire a left-foot shot across Russell into the net. Reet went close with another left-foot effort before Quakers, with Alun Armstrong full of running finally managed to wake from their slumbers. Johnson again burst through but was denied by White, then full-back Craig James arrowed a left-foot shot towards the top corner but again the keeper saved.
And Darlington's desperate night was summed up in the 92nd minute when Armstrong crossed perfectly from the left into the six-yard box where Tano Giallanza somehow managed to put the ball over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Latest | September 2006