SUPPORTERS SHOW REAL HEART TO BATTLE BACK FOR DRAW
IFA League 10th November 2007
Leicester City (Internet Foxes) 2 Mansfield Town (FTYBR FC) 2
Mansfield goals – Rob Allsop, Gary Bird.
With Lewes knocking out Grays Athletic it was thought that Stags Supporters side, FTYBR FC would be without a game last weekend. Frustration came also when it was announced that there would be no chance of the side taking on Tranmere Rovers who were travelling to Chesterfield. The Rovers Board obviously mindful of the fact that no one would want to go to a place like Chesterfield and so to encourage their fans, had decided to lay on free bus travel; meaning their team would be taking advantage.
However at the last minute, an IFA game was arranged away at Leicester City.
The last time the side had arranged to play Leicester saw the local Council call the game off late on but it once again gave the Mansfield side a chance of taking on their Leicester City counterparts who in two previous meetings had not beaten the side of Field Mill supporters. Nick Sankey proving the hero two season's ago with a last minute penalty save in a 3-2 away win and this summer, the Stags side winning 4-1 in a group game at Worldnet.
The mile long walk from the dressing room to the pitches seemed worth it, even after the late start due to Drew Stokes and Nick Sankey getting lost on route, because the side were showing real form and taking the game to City. There looked only one side were going to score, but as in professional football that doesn't always come true. City taking the lead after a mix up in the heart of the Stags defence.
But to the Stags sides credit they did not let their heads go down and again threatened to score. Keith Gilbert going close.
With the experienced Dave Baxter working tirelessly in the centre of midfield it looked only a matter of time before the Mansfield lads pulled level, but strange though it seemed Leicester went two goals up, again slack marking at the back proving costly although credit must go to the City number 9 who was causing problems throughout.
At half time and at 2-0 down manager Steve Hartshorn was, for once lost for words.
“I wondered just what to say. We had most of the possession and created more chances but yet were 2-0 down. We all had a good chat and decided that we were giving them too much room and not getting stuck in as much as we should. I felt confident that we could still get something from the game.”
The confidence Hartshorn had in his team was justified, although it did take 25 minutes of a one sided 2nd half to get a goal back. Dave Baxter won the ball in the middle before nudging the ball to James Bird. His perfectly timed pass fell nicely for the run of Rob Allsop who delicately lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper.
It was 2-2 soon after when Gary Bird ran into the area and with his angle tight and team mates calling for him to pull the ball back, he neatly slotted into the net by the keepers near post.
It was his 2nd goal in two games and capped a fine performance after the keeper had earlier twice denied fine efforts. Gary Bird was rightly named man of the match and the pleasing thing was that his partnership with fellow front man, James Bird, looked to be working well.
Again the game was in control of the lads from Mansfield as they pushed hard for a winner, but they almost got caught out when Stags were caught in possession and were grateful for a bad finish from the City centre forward.
Still the game could have been won as record goalscorer, Ian (Bob) Hoult went through and only had the keeper to beat but saw his effort saved and was then tripped by the in rushing defender and stopped from getting to the rebound. The Ref having none of it.
The end of the game saw both sides congratulate each other on yet another fine and sporting game between the teams.
Due to IFA rules about away teams gaining one point no matter what the result, two points and two goals seemed a worthy reward for an entertaining morning's work.
Manager, Hartshorn was more than pleased in the end,
“The defence looked suspect at first, but went out in the 2nd half and looked extremely solid. Nick bless him had hardly anything to do but when called upon did well. Brunty played well at left back and Jono and Brownie controlled the centre. Ady, well he was Ady, ever dependable. One of those players you would really miss in the side if he wasn't there. He keeps on telling us he is getting on a bit, well if he keeps playing like he did today he can be in my side till he is 70… that will give me at least two more years… lol”
“The midfield did well. Michael was a little harsh on himself, but again played really well as did Rob Allsop. Dave Baxter worked really hard all the way through and even won some headers…and as for last season's players player, Keith Gilbert, well he was his usual energetic but highly critical self. They all played well, couldn't fault any of them and the determination they showed to get back into the game was second to none.
Up front, the two little Birds did themselves proud once again and are developing into a threat for any side to handle. If one Bird scores and the other don't, you tend to find the other has had a hand in the goal anyway.
As for the subs that all came on; Drew, who had been missing for the past couple of games due to work really battled well for his starting place. I was proud of him not only in the way that he played but also in his attitude. Dave Cross, always the cultured and skilful player that he is, showed he had lost none of his touches and Bob, well I put him on with 15 to go and hoped his experience and eye for goal would win us the game and it nearly worked.
All in all I was well pleased with everything. We have I hope turned the corner and I am looking forward to taking on Ilkeston next Saturday morning.”
Team line up and marks.
1 Nick Sankey 7
2. Ady Coupe 8
3. James Brunt 8.5 lol
4. Dave Baxter 8
5. James Brown 8
6. Jono Rowe 7
7. Keith Gilbert 8
8. Rob Allsop 8
9. Gary Bird 9
10. James Bird 8
11. Michael Scothron 8
12. Dave Cross 7
13. Ian Hoult 7
14. Drew Stokes 8
Man of the match – Gary Bird; was a constant threat throughout the game and took his goal really well.
Don't forget to visit the FTYBR website pages on Stagsnet (follow Interactive/FTYBR from the top menu)
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