The Big Match Is Here
Friday, 25 February 2011, by Dave Goddard
THE WAIT is finally over this Saturday as Mansfield Town visit the Scholars Ground in the quarter finals of the FA Carlsberg Trophy.
This is by far the biggest game of the season for Chasetown, and the squad have had some good news with skipper Richard Teesdale declaring himself fit after missing Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Hucknall Town. The club is also awaiting news on top scorer Gary Birch who could make a return from his recent hamstring injury.
Entry is all-ticket and there are still tickets available for the match, which will be on sale at the Scholars Ground on Friday between 9am-4pm and 7pm-9pm. The Stags will bring with them a full strength squad plus it is expected around 800 supporters who will be in full voice, so the Scholars need your support more than ever as they look to defeat a third Blue Square Premier team and advance to the semi-finals.
Please note that Church Street will be closed off to vehicles that do not have car park passes from 12 midday and spectator parking will be at Chasetown Sports College around the corner in Pool Road. Home supporters parking here may enter through an entrance adjacent to Jack's Wood as well as through the regular turnstiles alongside the clubhouse.
Visiting supporters will be directed to enter via the gate on the left before reaching the ground's car park entrance (Gate 2).
Turnstiles open from 1.30pm, and kick-off is at 3pm.
VIDEO: Russ out to end Scholar's giant killing spree --->
Duncan Russell is speaking to Mansfield 103.2's Dave Rhodes at this morning's press meeting
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 24 Feb 2011
Manager Duncan Russell is confidant of securing victory this Saturday despite having to contend with Chasetown's giant-killing reputation.
Our opponents in this weekend's FA Trophy Quarter Final lie two divisions below us in the football pyramid but have proven pedigree in providing cup upsets in recent years.
The Scholars have deservedly earned their tag as giant killers having beaten Port Vale on their way to an FA Cup Third Round date with eventual finalists Cardiff City in 2007/08 and dispatching of both Grimsby and Kettering on their route to the last eight of this season's FA Trophy.
'Russ', however, is sure that our ability will show through at The Scholars Ground and it will be us that take one step closer to Wembley.
He said: "Chasetown are known as a cup team who have had success taking on Port Vale and Cardiff before so its a big game for both sides.
"They have beaten two teams in this league already so they are no mugs. They are a very adventurous side and get forward in numbers but I think we can beat them and hopefully we will put that into action on Saturday.
"We will attack them but we also have to make sure that we are sealed at the back and not hit on the counter attack which we will work on in training today and tomorrow.
"We will give them the respect that we would any other team but if we roll our sleeves up and give 100 per cent, then we will go though to the next round."
The Gaffer drew comparisons with BSBP rivals Crawley Town's narrow defeat at Old Trafford last weekend in the FA Cup Fifth Round to demonstrate how closely-fought Saturday's cup tie could prove to be.
He added that with 800 Stags fans packed into the crowd, however, and the prospect of winning some silverware in May at stake, the players would need little motivation to claim victory.
"We are going to go there and try and get through to the next round of the FA Trophy but it's a cup game and we all saw Crawley Vs Man United so anything can happen.
"The team that wins will be the team that wants it more on the day and hopefully that will be us.
"It's the non league FA Cup isn't it. I take it really seriously and I think the players would love the opportunity to step on the turf at Wembley. It's something we have prepared for and look forward to.
"The decibels will be up. It's a nice, compact ground and I am sure that our fans will make a massive difference."
In team news, goalkeeper Neil Collett has been ruled out for Saturday after having a scan on a knee injury earlier in the week whilst Alan Marriott has declared himself fit enough to take a place on the bench as cover for loanee shot stopper David Grof
VIDEO: Marriott at the end of 'long road' to recovery --->
Alan Marriott and Adam Murray are speaking to Mansfield 103.2's Dave Rhodes.
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 24 Feb 2011
Goalkeeper Alan Marriott is delighted to finally see the back of a four month period spent sitting out on the sidelines.
After a frustrating stint seeing numerous specialists and receiving treatment from Field Mill physio Jason Truscott, 'Mazza' could now appear in Duncan Russell's squad for the first time on Saturday since limping off with a groin injury against AFC Wimbledon on 05 October 2010.
Although Marriott does not anticipate being fit enough to start for a number of weeks yet, he is hopeful of claiming a place on the bench at Chasetown after receiving his latest diagnosis on what is now understood to be a hip injury.
He said: "It's been a long road to getting the diagnosis that we've finally got and to break away from Jason Truscott in the training room.
"It's nice to be back in the dressing room, having some banter with the lads and getting involved again. It's been frustrating to get this diagnosis now and you sometimes feel that you have wasted a couple of months.
"I pride myself in how I look after myself. A goalkeeper's fitness is different from everybody else's really and you only get that back by being out with the goalkeeping coach and getting into situations with the lads in training.
"I do not expect to get straight back into the team to be honest. Collett, who I know is injured at the moment, has done fantastic but in a couple of weeks I want to be pushing people for contention. Hopefully I will be on the bench on Saturday.
"I had a similar pain during my time at Rushden & Diamonds that they thought was a hernia problem but basically it my hip on my left hand side tightening up and straining the surrounding muscles. Obviously kicking footballs is not what it needs but it is ongoing and I'm managing it now that I know what to do."
Alan also revealed that a memorial fund has been set up by friends and family, including himself, of former Notts County midfielder Richard Butcher who was a team mate of Marriott's at Lincoln City and passed away on January 10th aged 29.
Monies raised will pay for permanent memorials to be erected in memory of both Richard Butcher and the late Keith Alexander at two grounds poignant to their careers - Sincil Bank and Macclesfield's Moss Rose.
He added: "A lot of his ex team mates from Lincoln have started a fund for a permanent memorial at Lincoln and Macclesfield. We are hoping that fans will donate and some of us are doing the Lincoln 10K Run.
"He was a fantastic lad and to die at 29 in his sleep is devastating. And after losing Keith Alexander 10 months previously, we thought it would be a fitting tribute to have a permanent memorial.
"If you can give a fiver, a tenner or anything you can, it will all help so if you can put your hand in your pocket it will be greatly appreciated."
Alan and his former team mates are hoping to raise £5,000 in total and you can donate to the cause by visiting http://www.richardbutchermemorial.com.
Moult deal close as Russell relishes Mansfield FA Trophy clash
Evening Post, 24 Feb 2011
DUNCAN Russell has confirmed he expects Louis Moult's loan with Mansfield Town to be extended for another month by the end of today.
The Stoke City striker's initial deal runs out after Saturday's FA Trophy quarter-final at Chasetown.
But boss Russell said: "Hopefully it will be tied up today. I believe Louis Moult wants to stay.
"At the moment it's going to be for another month and we are going month to month.
"Of course I would like to keep him for the rest of the season, but that's up to Stoke and we have to negotiate with them on that."
Meanwhile, Russell is relishing Mansfield's weekend game in the West Midlands, even though all the pressure will be on them to go through.
He said: "It's the same for us as Man United against Crawley in the FA Cup last weekend.
"No-one expects an upset but it's the cup and anything can happen and Crawley could have forced a replay.
"The expectations are all on Mansfield Town because they are two leagues below us, but if you look at their past, when they beat Port Vale in the FA Cup, it serves as a warning.
"It's exciting to be involved in this – the non-league FA Cup.
"It's something we have prepared for and I'm looking forward to it. It's a big game for both clubs."
Russell knows it's important for Mansfield to avoid the kind of slow start they have made in recent matches.
"I think it's true to say that we have started off poorly at times and it takes for someone to respond. We have to be right in the first 10 to 15 minutes.
"What we have to do is steady the nerves and make sure we do the horrible things right.
"We have to defend as a team and as individuals and we have to earn the right to play. It's an old cliche, an old adage, but it's absolutely true.
"But if we go about our business in the right way then I can't see us having a problem."
Stonehouse wants striker Moult to stay with Mansfield for the season
Evening Post, 24 Feb 2011
PAUL Stonehouse today urged Louis Moult to stay with Mansfield Town for the rest of the season.
The teenage striker has already showed he is a class act at Blue Square Bet Premier level since joining on loan from Premier League Stoke City.
His stand-out performance came when he netted twice to inspire a fightback in the 3-3 home draw with Newport County.
Moult's loan is due to run out at the end of the month, having joined the Stags just before the January transfer deadline.
But boss Duncan Russell has already expressed his desire to ensure he stays at Field Mill and left-back Stonehouse believes Moult's on-going presence would be a real asset.
"With Keigan Parker going out on loan, we could do without losing another striker, but I'm sure the club are doing all they can to keep Louis," he said.
"Maybe it could be for another month but ideally he would be here for the rest of the season because we have already seen he is a good player who is going to play higher.
"To say he is only 18, he has come in and played without any fear. He's got a bit about him.
"It's definitely helped him playing with Conns (Paul Connor) and they have struck up a good partnership of youth and experience."
Spotlight on Chasetown v Mansfield Town
Evening Post, 25 Feb 2011
Chasetown (from): Price, Turner, Slater, Davies, Teesdale, Peel, M. Branch, Cohen, Bridgewater, Parsons, Jevons, Abbott, Perrow, Hay, Ryan, Birch, Stephens, Smith.
Mansfield (from): Grof, Marriott, Silk, Spence, Naylor, Sandwith, Foster, Day, Stonehouse, Cain, Thomspon, Murray, Nix, Istead, Briscoe, Smith, Connor, Moult, Mitchley.
Team news: Chasetown are hoping that top scorer Gary Birch will be back after a two-week absence with a hamstring injury.
They are also waiting on the fitness of Richard Teesdale, who has a similar problem.
Definite absentees are John Branch (ankle) and Dave Egan (broken wrist).
Mansfield could be without Neil Collett (knee), depending on the results of a scan, but they look set to welcome back Alan Marriott after four months out.
Otherwise, the Stags hope to be at full strength.
One to watch: Richard Davies. A versatile player, comfortable in possession whose excellent mobility allows him to get around the pitch.
Manager: Charlie Blakemore. Has led the Scholars to two promotions during his tenure and is rated as the most successful manager in the club's history
Marriott gearing up for fight to be Mansfield Town number one
Evening Post, 25 Feb 2011
ALAN Marriott today outlined his determination to regain the status of Mansfield Town's number one goalkeeper.
The former Lincoln man had been unchallenged for the position since joining the Stags in January 2009.
But he has been out since early October with a 'niggling' injury, the first long- term absence of his career.
It was finally diagnosed this Tuesday by a Coventry professor as a problem with his hip alignment that he can manage in future by regular chiropractic treatment.
With uncertainty over the severity of Neil Collett's knee injury, Marriott is set to return to the bench for tomorrow's FA Trophy quarter-final tie at Chasetown.
"It has been so hard for people to pinpoint exactly where the problem has been, which has obviously been frustrating," said Marriott.
"It's not a massive thing and I did play with it at first until it got gradually worse.
"The treatment will be ongoing, but it's just good to finally know what I have to do.
"But I don't expect to get straight back in the team. Neil Collett was fantastic before he was injured.
"I have to be 100 per cent and that may still be a couple of weeks away, but hopefully then I will be back in contention."
Mansfield Town warned of Chasetown's set-piece threat
Evening Post, 25 Feb 2011
MANSFIELD Town are being warned to expect a tough time from set pieces when they face Chasetown in tomorrow's FA Trophy quarter-final.
Jamie Brough was part of the Hucknall Town coaching staff when they drew 2-2 with the Scholars at Watnall Road in an Evo-Stik Premier game on Tuesday night.
The Yellows also travelled to Staffordshire for the corresponding away fixture just under two weeks ago, going down 1-0.
Brough has been impressed by what he has seen from Charlie Blakemore's men, but in particular their dead-ball routines.
That is ominous for the Stags, who have conceded at least one goal from a corner or free-kick in their last three competitive matches.
"They are quite a big side and are a real danger from set-pieces," said Brough.
"They have two very good strikers and look to get the ball into the corners and the defenders turning, which helps them get the dead-ball situations in the first place."
Chasetown have already ousted Workington, Kettering Grimsby and Eastleigh – all from higher in the football pyramid – en route to this stage.
And although Brough has high praise for the battling qualities they have displayed so far, he believes Mansfield should have enough to reach the semi-finals.
He said: "It will be tough for Mansfield, especially in front of a hostile home crowd. They really do look after each other and have a great team spirit that stems from a manager who gives them a lot of encouragement.
"You can see why they have done well in the cups because if you have that togetherness, you'll always have a chance.
"But we played Mansfield in pre-season (losing 6-1) and I expect them to have too much for Chasetown.
"They are a professional club and I'm sure Duncan Russell will have done his homework.
"But if Mansfield don't go about things in the right way, or aren't on their game, then that's when they could hit problems."
Perry sends out warning to his former Stags team-mates ahead of FA Trophy clash
Evening Post, 25 Feb 2011
THE world of Chasetown manager Charlie Blakemore might be eccentric, but he certainly knows how to motivate his players – just ask former Stags striker Kyle Perry.
Back in December 2007, with the biggest cup tie in the club's existence against Port Vale just minutes away, tensions were riding high in the Scholars' dressing room.
Players of the Southern League Division One Midlands side knew they could create history by becoming the lowest-ranked team in FA Cup history to reach the third round proper.
With a potential clash against one of the big boys such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in the pipeline, then Chasetown striker Perry and the rest of his team-mates were feeling the nerves.
Blakemore's unconventional yet ingenious response was to blast out M People song Search for the Hero over the stereo system.
"Charlie Blakemore has got a way of getting the lads up for a game. They will go out thinking losing is not an option," said Perry.
"There we were getting ready for our biggest game against Port Vale and Charlie started playing a pop song!
"I think some of the lads were inspired by the words but most of us were just laughing and it relaxed us, which is exactly what Charlie wanted.
"He could see the lads were a bit edgy and by doing that he was able to get us to go out and play at our best against Port Vale – and get the (1-0) win.
"I'm sure he will be looking to do something similar ahead of the Mansfield game.
"To be honest, if I was in Mansfield's shoes and we'd drawn Chasetown. I would be nervous because they usually pull a rabbit out of the hat.
"They are thinking they have done it before and can do it again. For me, when we got to the third round of the Cup, it was massive and got me back into the professional game.
"It's the same motivation for the Chasetown players now because they can get a move further up on the back of their performances."
Chasetown's win over Vale was back in December 2007 and since then they have progressed up the football pyramid into the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
That is still two divisions below the Blue Square Bet Premier, meaning part-timers will take on professionals.
But Perry knows that will count for very little on the day with Chasetown having already proven their giant-killing credentials by slaying Kettering and Grimsby en route to the quarter-finals.
He said: "It will be a tough game for Mansfield and they can't afford to underestimate Chasetown. They are more than capable of beating Mansfield on the day.
"But I think that Mansfield will want to prove something to themselves and their fans. They have probably under-achieved in the league this season and they need a good run in the FA Trophy.
"Both clubs have got some great players. I have played with some of the Chasetown lads and they could play at Conference level. It's just one of those things that it's not gone for them and they have not had the breaks."
The 800 Mansfield fans – Stags sold out their allocation in less than two days – who make the short trip to the Scholars' ground, could be forgiven for thinking they have crossed the border into Wales.
There are sure to be one or two flags bearing the Red Dragon being flown – with a number of Cardiff City fans having become honorary supporters of Chasetown.
Perry said: "It goes back to when we beat Port Vale and then drew Cardiff in the next round.
"We went in front but they came back in the second half to win and go on to reach the final but we earned a lot of respect and the two sets of supporters got on really well.
"We put up a big marquee and looked after Cardiff really well and they loved it so much that they come to support us when they can."
Perry spent just one season at Field Mill before leaving the club last summer to join the Stags' Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Tamworth.
He enjoyed his time in north Notts but confesses his heart will be with his West Midlands roots come Saturday.
Perry said: "I still know most of the Chasetown team and I've been on holiday with Danny Smith and went to the wedding of Mark Branch, so they're good mates.
"They might all have jobs in the week but I know their football means just as much to them as any professional.
"Don't get me wrong, I've got a lot of respect for Mansfield, but there were a few negatives from my time there, whereas at Chasetown it was only positives. I would love to go and watch the game. It will be good to see one of the teams I used to play for reach the semi-finals, whatever happens."
Mansfield game is lining up to be an absolute cracker
IF you drive past the Uxbridge pub and take a look at the match board which advertises Chasetown's home games you will see that this week it says 'Mansfield Town, FA Trophy quarter-final'.
This is a big, big match and one which everyone associated with the club will be looking forward to. This will be a real cracker – with 2,000-plus fans in the ground the place will be rocking.
I will be bringing my drum to the game Saturday but I need to find a fan who is willing to bang it – hopefully one of the Blue Army will be up for it!
It is the type of game that as a player your friends want to come and watch.
I'm playing host to three lads from the Durham University branch of the Chasetown Supporters Club, aka my old uni mates.
They are excited about the game but I am obviously disappointed that I am won't be taking part.
On Tuesday night, I did the warm-up with the lads and my ankle felt ok, so all being well I'll be training tonight (Thursday) and warming up again Saturday with a view to being ready the week after.
I am by no means the only injured player at the club.
Dave Egan (wrist) is out and Richard Teesdale (hip), Gary Birch (hamstring), Jack Farmer (ankle) and Ramone Stephens (hip) are all injury doubts.
We've brought in a couple of new players including returning Scholar Lee Parsons and Steve Abbott from Telford to help plug the holes for Saturday and beyond.
I would not be surprised to see more new faces to help us finish the season.
Last Sunday was Chris Slater's wedding, and it was a good event with lots of the Chase boys attending – only problem was they could've done with a creche for all the littlies in attendance!
It's a strength of the club that we enjoy spending time with each other both on and off the pitch.
That strength will be put to the test on Saturday but I'm confident we can do the business and I can't wait for the game!
Scholars want a sell-out as they lock horns with Stags
By michael beardmore sports editor, thisislichfield.co.uk
SCHOLARS boss Charlie Blakemore wants a 2,000-plus crowd at Church Street on Saturday as Chasetown bid to pull off another massive FA Trophy upset.
The Scholars host Mansfield Town in the quarter-finals, just two rounds away from the final at Wembley.
The Church Street crowd have already cheered the Scholars on to famous results against two other Conference sides in the Trophy this season – against Grimsby and Kettering – and Blakemore is looking for a repeat.
He said: "It's another historic game for the club – we're really excited but we're also really focused.
"Again we are massive underdogs but it's all on the day and we are going to make it as difficult as we can.
"They will have their sights set on Wembley – but we have our sights set on Mansfield!
"It's heading towards a sell-out and that's what we want, we're hoping for 2,000 – there are about 200 tickets left, so people should snap them up as it should be a cracking day. If you had told me at the start of the season we would be mid-table in the league after promotion last year, six points off the play-offs and in the Trophy quarter-finals, I would have taken that.
"But, by the same token, we are not accepting this as the end of our season – we want to kick on further."
Chasetown go into the game on a disappointing run in the Evo-Stik Premier – they picked up a point at Hucknall on Tuesday but lost at Colwyn Bay on Saturday and FC United last week.
But Blakemore said: "It was small margins in all those games – we could have picked up 4-6 points instead of one.
"They were three tough away games and the performances were good considering we've had six or seven players out injured."
Blakemore will definitely be without John Branch, Jack Farmer and Dave Egan (broken wrist) for the clash.
Gary Birch is doubtful but Blakemore hopes skipper Richard Teesdale will recover after pulling up in the warm-up at Colwyn Bay.
Meanwhile, Stags boss Duncan Russell insists his side are well aware of the Scholars threat.
He said this week: "I've been to watch them play. They are a very good, capable, hard- working side and they will give us a good test.
"We are not looking at it as a game against a side from two divisions below – they have already caused damage to two sides in our league so we know what to expect."
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