STAGS BEATEN IN REFEREEING CONTROVERSY
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 0 - 1 York City
Bowman pen 32.
Attendance: 2865 (466 from York)
Date: 11 March 2014
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town lost 1-0 to York City on Tuesday night. A very poor game between two poor sides on the night was completely overshadowed by a dreadful refereeing performance from Darren Drysdale and his assistants who conspired to give a string of terrible decisions which proved key. It was a game that should have finished 0-0, which would have reflected the lack of quality on show but would have been a reasonable result for Mansfield after Saturday’s win over Newport. Instead York were handed three points that they did nothing at all to deserve.
There were five key decisions that the referee and his assistants had to handle.
Key decision 1: 32 minutes
Josh Carson burst into the penalty area on the right and collided with Dempster who appeared to be trying to get out of the way of the York man, and Carson went down. Ref Drysdale paused and looked at his assistant Amy Fearn, who was motionless (NOT putting her flag across her chest) and then Drysdale pointed to the spot. Drysdale told Cox later that he was unsighted for the incident and relied on Amy Fearn’s view. But she VERY CLEARLY did not signal a penalty. At worst, in my opinion, the incident was obstruction which could have brought an indirect free kick. Ryan Bowman took the resulting penalty and clinically put it into the right of the net having waited for Marriott to commit himself.
Key decision 2: 36 minutes
Ryan Bowman rose for a challenge with Dempster in the middle of the park and very clearly elbowed Dempster in the face. See photo here from the @mansfieldtownfc twitter feed
Assistant ref Amy Fearn could not have been any closer while Drysdale was also close by. Astonishingly the inept officials signalled a throw-in as the ball had gone out of play. Dempster, once he had been treated by physio Chris Bowman, was incandescent with rage that Bowman had not been penalised. It was as clear a red card incident as you could wish to see.
Key decision 3: 59 minutes
McGuire flicked the ball into the York penalty area and the ball clearly struck the hand of Keith Lowe whose hand was outstretched from his body. It was very visible from the West Stand and McGuire was rightly adamant that it should have been a penalty. Drysdale and his assistant Amy Fearn ignored the appeals. On the match DVD, the handball is not visible, but it should have been visible to Drysdale and Fearn.
Key decision 4: 69 minutes
Rhead’s shirt appeared to be pulled in the area from a Jennings free kick. On the match DVD, it is not clear.
Key decision 5: 90 minutes
York are handed a second penalty for handball by Tafazolli. During commentary, I said that I did think I saw it flick Tafazolli’s hand and I still think that. It was a pretty similar incident to the key decision on 59 minutes. I think they were both penalties.
In summary I think the officials got only 1 out of the 5 decisions right. And all of the decisions given by the officials favoured York. If any of the other 4 decisions had gone in Mansfield’s favour (as they should have done) the result would surely have been different.
Crap refereeing from a crap referee is how I described it in commentary in the heat of the moment, but I have no reason to describe it otherwise now. Not the first time Mansfield have suffered at the hands of Drysdale of course: he sent of James Alabi and Lee Beevers at Southend earlier in the season, and no-one will forget his performances at Field Mill against MK Dons and Stevenage. And only last Friday, Drsydale completely ruined the League Two game between Bury and Rochdale that was shown on Sky Sports and he was slaughtered by the commentators and managers.
I saw Drysdale drive off home at 10.40pm in his flashy car with a personalised number plate. Only a referee with an ego who wants to be centre stage would surely have a personalised number plate. He certainly made himself centre stage yet again.
None of this should hide that it was a poor performance from Mansfield going forward with a real lack of quality in the final third. Balls into the box, including many set-pieces from Jennings, were terrible. Mansfield reverted to playing a long ball game which is not what they should be doing. Actually it was a little ironic that the few times Mansfield did try to knock the ball around was done in the wrong places, at the back, and several times put the Stags in trouble, when the ball should have been launched upfield. York were just as route one and just as lacking in quality. Yet with this win York sit 7 points above the Stags and just two points outside the play-offs.
The relegation dog fight is closer than ever. Anyone from Hartlepool in 10th (4 points above Mansfield) downwards is still in the mix. And the Stags are now 5 points above Northampton who have a game in hand. Mansfield visit Sixfields on Saturday for a key game.
The Stags have a remarkable record of not having lost away to a team outside the top 7 this season and it would be important to keep up that record on Saturday. Come on Mansfield!
Stagsnet report here
FULL-TIME Mansfield Town 0-1 York City, Tuesday, 11th March
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Referee Darren Drysdale was in the eye of the storm as in-form York City reeled off a fourth successive away win thanks to a controversial penalty at One Call Stadium tonight.
Stags felt hard done to when Drysdale pointed to the spot after he felt John Dempster had brought down Josh Carson, Ryan Bowman putting the spot kick away.
But the decisions continued to go against the Stags, who felt Bowman should have been sent off for an elbow and should have had two penalties of their own as an otherwise impressive York made it seven games unbeaten.
Drysdale even awarded the visitors another spot kick for a handball spotted by his linesman in stoppage time, but this time Alan Marriott denied Wes Fletcher.
Angry Stags must now lick their wounds ahead of Saturday’s testing trip to relegation rivals Northampton Town.
Manager Paul Cox kept his promise to rest players and freshen things up as he made four changes.
Martin Riley came in for injured central defender Ritchie Sutton while James Jennings took over from Junior Daniel at left wing back.
Jamie McGuire replaced Saturday’s hero Anthony Howell in central midfield while Sam Clucas dropped back into the hole behind the strikers to allow Lindon Meikle to come in and partner Matt Rhead up front
The first few minutes were frantic but with neither goal threatened.
It took nine minutes for either side to produce a shot, Bowman firing a tame, low shot straight to Marriott from the left hand corner of the box.
A poor Jennings shot at the other end then conjured up a fortuitous corner which Jennings curled in superbly and the ball sailed right across the face of goal before ending up out for another corner on the other side.
A Rhead flick offered a momentary hope for Meikle in the box, but his first touch was poor as he helped the ball well wide for a goalkick.
Stags were showing a few nervous touches and, stemming from those, York won their first corner on 14 minutes.
Rhead headed that away for a second which was worked short and saw a backheel send Reed to the by-line for a low shot into the sidenetting.
Stags hit back with their third corner before a break in play for treatment to the injured Westlake.
Marriott then confidently came to claim a Hayhurst free kick from the left.
Westlake was still feeling the effects of his early injury and on 29 minutes had to be replaced by Beevers.
But three minutes later Stags were behind after a controversial penalty decision.
Carson had got goalside of McGuire and raced into the box where he collided with Dempster and went down.
Stags and the crowd were furious to see Drysdale point to the spot and Bowman, cool as a cucumber, slotted the ball into the bottom right corner.
More controversy followed moments later as Dempster went down after a challenge from Bowman, holding his head.
It was right in front of linesman Amy Fearn and she was quickly surrounded by home players claiming Bowman threw an elbow. But, after a quick word with her, Drysdale played on to the home fans’ fury.
McGuire had a couple of efforts, one tamely at Pope and a volley wide while Rhead headed at the keeper at his near post as Stags tried to find a platform back into the game.
Riley was booked for a foul on 43 minutes, then Marriott had to punch away York’s third corner.
In stoppage time Clucas was too high with a dipping 18-yard shot from a Rhead nod-down as Stags went in with work to do.
Drysdale was booed loudly back onto the pitch with Stags boss Cox growling into his ear as he walked on.
Stags cleared a York corner before Rhead’s nod-down at the other end saw Meikle scoop a shot tamely towards Pope.
A shove in the back on Carson by Clucas saw the yellow card out again on 56 minutes.
Desperate Mansfield changed to a 4-4-2 formation on 58 minutes, Dempster withdrawn and Palmer sent on up front on 58 minutes.
A minute later Lowe extended an arm as McGuire lifted the ball in the box and made contact, Stags again furious their penalty claims were waved away.
Soon after Rhead almost had the shirt torn off his back in the box at a free kick and still there was no penalty awarded.
Loanee Cain came on for Murray with 19 minutes to go.
As Stags piled forward, Coulson was not far over the angle from 18 yards six minutes from time.
A minute into stoppage time the linesman flagged for a handball in the home box by Jennings which no one else had seen and Drysdale pointed to the spot for another penalty.
This time Fletcher took it and Marriott saved with his knees before Jarvis sent a follow-up straight at him.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott; Dempster (Palmer,58), Tafazolli, Riley; Westlake (Beevers, 29), McGuire, Clucas, Murray (Cain, 73), Jennings; Rhead, Meikle. Subs: Stevenson, Dyer, Clements, Daniel.
YORK CITY: Pope, Oyebanjo, Davies, Coulson (Jarvis, 84), Penn, Carson, Lowe, McCombe, Bowman (Fletcher, 71), Hayhurst, Reed (Montrose, 77). Subs: McGurk, Platt, Ingham, Puri.
Scorers:York: Bowman (pen), 32.
ATTENDANCE: 2,865 (466 away)
REFEREE: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Rhead
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