GIBSON IS READY FOR THE CALL TO ACTION
GIBSON IS READY FOR THE CALL TO ACTION
BY IAN WILKERSON, Evening Post, 14 November 2002
Apart from being an opportunity to display his talents to the nation, Saturday's match between Team Bath and Mansfield Town will give the students' goalkeeper Chris Gibson the chance to catch up with a few old friends.
Gibson left the Stags at the end of the 2000-2001 season and is still in regular contact with Jamie Clarke and Danny Holyoak, both of whom are likely to be in the squad for the big FA Cup clash.
The 20-year-old custodian is the son of former Manchester United and Aston Villa midfielder Colin.
He is currently on stand-by waiting to see if he can reacquaint himself with the Stags by replacing Ryan Northmore between the posts, who is currently struggling with injury.
When Gibson described Northmore's misfortune as a problem with his 'quad', you know you are in conversation with a sports scientist.
He said: "I left Stags and managed to get an office job while I played a bit of non-league with Tamworth when I found out about what was going on down here.
"I came down and decided to give it a go and it gave me an opportunity to combine sport with some studies.
"We have got a great team spirit and we are just going to go out there and enjoy it."
Gibson, who has nine GCSEs and left Stags with a BTEC qualification in sports science, insisted he is willing Northmore to pull through and be fit for the big clash.
He said: "We have a great relationship among the keepers here and I think there is a good chance he will be fit.
"But I am ready to step in if the chance comes along."
Gibson, who is studying for an HND in sports performance and coach education, says the atmosphere at the university is similar to that he enjoyed at Field Mill, where he played in the youth team under current manager Stuart Watkiss, before he was released.
He said: "I loved my time at Mansfield because it was a really friendly club.
"It was the sort of place where it didn't matter whether you were in the youth team or the first team. Everyone got on.
"I'm pleased as well that people like Danny and Jamie are having the chance to play in the first team.
"They always give the youngsters an opportunity and I am looking forward to the chance of meeting up with them afterwards.
"I have no doubt that Stuart will be telling them that they have to be on their game and he will get them motivated and we know they will be physically strong.
"From what we have heard, their position does not reflect the way they have been playing and the fact they got a goal so late at Notts County only goes to demonstrate that they won't give up.
"It's certainly going to be a challenge but it is one we are all looking forward to.
"What we have to do is stick together and give it our best shot."
Cup ups-and-downs... Mansfield's non-league clashes
November 28, 1951
MANSFIELD TOWN 0
Freddie Steele's side had needed a late penalty from Jack Lewis to rescue a replay from their trip to County Durham and were far too confident in approaching the replay.
The non-league side were comfortable 2-0 winners against the side chasing a place in the old Second Division.
Player-manager Steele resigned just before Christmas to take over at Port Vale but Stags refused to let them take his registration to play for another three weeks after Vale parted with the princely sum of £1,599 for his services.
November 22, 1952
MANSFIELD TOWN 8
Stags faced a trip to Seamer Road to take on a team struggling in the Midland League and recorded what remains their biggest away win in the competition.
A crowd of 6,536 saw Oscar Fox net a hat-trick. There were two goals apiece for Chris Marron and Charlie Adam and Sid Watson was also on the mark.
Stags eventually lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest in the third round after winning at Accrington Stanley in round two.
NOVEMBER 5, 1962
MANSFIELD TOWN 9
HOUNSLOW TOWN 2
After scoring two goals to force a replay following the trip to London that ended in a 3-3 draw, Ivan Hollett, currently youth team assistant manager at Field Mill, scored a hat-trick in the second game.
Roy Chapman was also on hand to net three in Stags' biggest FA Cup win since the 10-1 victory over Highgate in 1930, their last season in the Midland League.
Ken Wagstaff, Colin Askey and James Weir were also on the mark.
Stags played Crystal Palace in the next round and, after being forced to a replay by a controversial penalty, all 11 players were booked after lining up by the tunnel and applauding the referee off the pitch.
They won the replay 7-2 and were knocked out in the third round by Ipswich Town.
December 13, 1967
TOW LAW TOWN 5
MANSFIELD TOWN 1
After the original game was abandoned, Stags must have wished they hadn't returned to the north east as they suffered a real thumping at the hands of the Northern League side.
Playing down the slope in the first half, Stags hit the woodwork three times but only had a Terry Melling goal to show for their efforts.
Tow Law netted two goals from England Amateur international Brown after Cairns had brought them level seven minutes after the restart.
Goals from Henderson and Hunt in the last five minutes went to confirm Mansfield's misery.
December 15, 1976
MANSFIELD TOWN 2
MATLOCK TOWN 5
THE Stags surrendered their 12-month unbeaten home record with a tame display as they fell tamely to the Northern Premier League side.
Dave Goodwin put the Derbyshire side into the lead and, despite Paul Matthews putting Stags back on terms, Nick Fenoughty put them back into the lead a minute later.
Colin Foster brought the teams level but Fenoughty made it 3-2 to the part-timers and goals from Colin Oxley and Peter Scott completed the rout.
In true cup tradition, it gave Stags the chance to "concentrate on the league" and they won the old Division Three.
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