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Archived News from September 2007

17th September 2007 22:07

Daily Telegraph report:
Mansfield's fight runs out against Chesterfield
By David McVay
Last Updated: 1:17am BST 17/09/2007
Mansfield Town (1) 1 Chesterfield (2) 3
There was a high noon showdown at Field Mill on Saturday although it used to be late on Friday night when Mansfield most resembled the Wild West.

Football fans' forumadvertisementAs the last chip shop in town closed its doors, Friday fight night then began its painful but inevitable journey to the nearest A&E department.

The old market place is far quieter these days but the visit of Chesterfield, clad in blue, guarantees to stir passions, for this fixture is spiced with vitriol steeped in historical and political diversity. When Margaret Thatcher crushed the unions and decimated the coal industry during the 1984 miners' strike, Nottinghamshire colliers continued to work. In Derbyshire they downed tools. Thus two communities were divided irrevocably.

From the moment Gregor Robertston's third-minute corner drifted into the net, the visiting fans were singing their familiar "scabs" chant. They were silenced briefly by Stephen Dawson's volley, hit, fortunately, with his left foot.

Otherwise, he might have damaged the pink varnish that was discovered on his right toenail the previous week, a result of messing around with his girlfriend the previous night. Allegedly.

The polish, though, belonged to Chesterfield in their 3-1 win, with further goals from Jamie Lowry and Jack Lester, although Mansfield did feel goalkeeper Barry Roche should have been sent off for a cynical foul outside the area.

Even so, it was not the boys in blue or indeed the man in black that fuelled Mansfield's ire. More the silent hombre in the expensive suit who stood throughout the game on the fringes of the directors' box.

It was 14 years ago that Keith Haslam rode into Mansfield and bought the club. Now the locals want to drive the managing director out, a campaign that has endured three years. Ugly scenes followed Chesterfield's third goal as fans confronted Haslam, standing just a few feet away, with language more Johnny Rotten than John Wayne.

James Derry, the Mansfield chairman appointed by Haslam, is trying to buy the club from the current owner, who will then lease the ground back to the new consortium. It's complicated.

"When you see that abuse you wonder whether it's worth taking on," Derry said. "Everyone in football has a shelf life. He seems to have outlived his."

The last stagecoach left Mansfield at midnight on Sunday. Haslam was not aboard. Deep in Robin Hood country, Stags fans will be anything but merry men this morning.

Match details

Mansfield Town: (4-4-2): Muggleton; Mullins, Buxton, McIntosh, Jellyman; Hamshaw, McAllister (Sleath 66), Dawson, Bullock; McAliskey (Holmes 81), Boulding.
Subs: White (g), Martin, Wood.
Goal: Dawson (9).
Booked: Dawson, Buxton, McAllister.
Sent off: Buxton.
Chesterfield: (4-4-2): Roche; Picken, Gray (Downes 62), Kovacs, Robertson; Lowry (Rooney 62), Niven, Winter, Leven (O'Hare 83); Fletcher, Lester.
Subs: Algar, Jackson.
Goals: Robertson (3), Lowry (45), Lester (90)
Booked: Lowry, Winter, Roche, Downes.
Referee: K Friend (Leicestershire)

Sheffield Star report
Friend helps out as Spireites win again
Mansfield Town 1
Chesterfield 3

Spireites made it four wins on the trot and six unbeaten in League Two on the way to winning bragging rights in a tense local derby at Mansfield Town.

It was a tale of a Scotsman, an Irishman and two Englishmen as Edinburgh-born Gregor Robertson scored direct from a corner early on, Mansfield's Dubliner Stephen Dawson levelled soon afterwards with a peach of a volley before Cornishman Jamie Lowry put Chesterfield back in front right on half-time and Sheffield's Jack Lester bagged his sixth goal in six appearances deep into stoppage time.

Between Spireites goals two and three it was a tale of a Friend. Mr Kevin Friend. The Leicestershire-based referee decided not to send off Chesterfield keeper Barry Roche after he sprinted from his area to shoulder over the raiding Michael Boulding.

A yellow card was his only punishment, whilet he brandished red towards Stags central defender Jake Buxton following a second caution, both definite fouls but neither as vital in the context of the game as a whole to Roche's misdemeanour.

Former Chesterfield player Paul Holland, now Billy Dearden's No 2 at Field Mill, thought Roche should have walked.

"I thought it was a straight red. I spoke to their keeper afterwards and he said he thought he was lucky to get away with it," he said.

"I have to be careful about what I say, but if that isn't a straight red then I don't know what is."

Spireites boss Lee Richardson felt that central defender Janos Kovacs played a part in Mr Friend's call.

"I feel for Billy and his players as they'll look at the incident with Barry and say that was a turning point," he said. "But it looked to me as though Kovacs was covering, so it wasn't a clear goalscoring opportunity."

As for the man at the centre of the incident, the referee, he said: "There was a covering player, Kovacs, so it was not a red-card offence. The keeper did clatter the Mansfield player and he admitted to me afterwards that he had a rush of blood to the head, but in my opinion it was not dangerous play."

With Chesterfield supporters overflowing in their designated stand, a factor due to an error by Mansfield who sent too many tickets for sale to Saltergate, Spireites were soon in front.

There was no cagey start following a moving tribute to soldiers Ben Ford and Damian Wright, from Chesterfield and Mansfield respectively, killed side by side earlier this month in Afghanistan, as Lester won a corner on the Spireites' right, Robertson delivered and saw the ball curl straight into the goal.

It was his fourth senior goal, and they've all been scored in different Countries! For Scotland Under-21s, he's scored in Scotland and Austria while his only previous league goal came for Rotherham United in Swansea.

Richardson was quick to acknowledge what type of goal it was. "A fluke," he admitted. "We'll not claim anything else, a good delivery and whoever was on the near post for them didn't deal with it well."

John McAliskey headed home for Mansfield, but from an offside position before Dawson hammered home a glorious leveller after Steve Fletcher had cleared a corner.


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