ANOTHER REPORT FROM CHESTERFIELD SITE
Stags Scab Scrappy Winner
By Adam Tamsett
Saddened, angered, disgraced, depressed, unhappy, tearful, delapidated. Just a few words to describe the feeling of losing to that team from the other side of the motorway.
Mansfield's last minute goal secured their first win over the Spireites since 94/95 in an eventful game at Saltergate. A great little atmosphere erupted around Saltergate as the players ran out just before 11 a.m. for this much anticipated derby encounter between the local rivals.
The game commenced with neither side taking control, Chesterfield shooting towards Cross St had the first shot on 2 minutes when Hurst had plenty of time to compose himself before shooting weakly at Pilkington. The Spireites also won the first corner of the game, which Rob Edwards swung over everyone's head and out of play. Keith Curle had in midweek highlighted Chesterfield's strength from set plays. He had obviously not done his research, as we have recently been appalling from free kicks and corners, particularly when Ebdon was behind them.
On 25 minutes Edwards broke free in the area after good work on the left, only to see his right footed shot tipped over by Pilkington. Mansfield retaliated and Beardsley in turn also broke free but his shot was weak and straight at Williams who collected with ease.
The opening goal of the game came on 36 minutes after Howson crossed, the ball was flicked on and Gadsby needlessly handballed to give the substitute referee no choice but to point to the spot. Ebdon coolly slotted it home to the top right of the goal; the Blues had just about deserved it.
The equaliser had though been coming when on 42 minutes there was a clever pass onto the overlap of Lawrence who crossed to the unmarked Disley who picked his spot to send the sides in level at the interval.
Half-Time: Chesterfield 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
5 minutes into the second half and Wayne Corden crossed only for Day to head wide from 6 yards out. Day was later to become the central figure of the game in the following incidents. Neither side had settled at all well and there were shouts to bring on Bradley. Rush obliged on 66 minutes in a double substitution where Rush Junior and Bradley replaced the tiring Reeves and Booty. Bradley's arrival proved to be the catalyst of Chesterfield's demise.
Just 3 minutes into their arrival Chesterfield had earned a free kick just inside the Mansfield half and the referee was called over to the flagging linesman and promptly sent off Bradley to the delight of the travelling Stags. According to Big Al on Peak who had spoken to Bradley after the game, Bradley "had his dodgy ankle kicked, then Day put his finger somewhere he shouldn't have and Bradley did spit in his face." Bradley had evidently been wound up all week and his last chance saloon in his career could be seriously tarnished. It might have paid for Rush Senior to emphasise to Bradley not to do anything stupid before he came on if he had not done so.
Tempers boiled over in both camps and on 70 minutes Disley hacked down Ebdon and received just a yellow card. On 78 minutes Lawrence shot from 18 yards out on the right side of the area and hit the bottom left post. The ball was cleared but there was no-one to pass to. A striker's presence was clearly missed and Hurst could not do all the work on his own. The only option was to put Edwards or Rushbury further up field or bring on Allott - probably better leave it without him then!
Mansfield to their credit pressurised well and after a scramble around the penalty area, which culminated in bodies flying everywhere, and Pilkington in the D the Stags finally broke. In the 5th minute of injury time Liam Lawrence flicked the ball home after a long ball in to send the Stags wild.
Mansfield have just exemplified what good a change of manager can do. They have been transformed from a team of tin-pot, pub-team no-hopers to a side more than capable of surprising a few 2nd Division team in the matter of a few weeks by Curle. On paper our team is more than capable of competing with the best but sometimes our style of play certainly lets us down.
Finally a word on the crowd and the case of 'the missing 1000.' The game was nearly a sell out with only 900 tickets left on Friday morning, so we can presume at least half of those were sold. The capacity quoting from Geoff Mitchell on the Official site is 8502. So 8502 - 450 does not equal 6813. Where did they go?
Bradley (No comment!)
Latest | January 2003