DAILY TELEGRAPH AND THE TIMES REPORTS
Mansfield missing gifts
By Richard Clarke (Filed: 14/04/2002)
York (1) 3 Mansfield (1) 1
IT WAS fitting that the equine town of Cheltenham should benefit after Mansfield looked a gift-horse in the mouth at Bootham Crescent.
The away win that seemed likely in the first half would have kept the Nottinghamshire side on course for automatic promotion. Their deflating defeat now leaves Cheltenham needing victory in either of their final two trips of the season to go up themselves.
"If they win at Carlisle on Tuesday, then it is all over," said Stuart Watkiss, the Mansfield manager. "But if they lose or draw then it is game on for the last day of the season. It is sure to be edge of the seat stuff.
"I've got to go to that match because we play Carlisle on Saturday," he added, fully aware that Cheltenham finish at Plymouth, the champions-elect, the same day.
Mansfield missed a series of chances at York. Prompted by the astute passing of Scott Sellars, they dominated the first half and took the lead when Adam Murray thumped home a low shot from 25 yards.
But Lee Nogan's header a minute before half-time seemed to dilute their confidence. They stopped passing the ball and resorted to a desperate direct approach.
Soon afterwards, York caught them twice on the break. First John Parkin muscled through to guide home a shot, then Michael Procter crashed home a spectacular shot from the edge of the area.
Mansfield running out of opportunities
By Jerome Pugmire
York City 3 Mansfield Town 1
IF MANSFIELD Town fail to achieve automatic promotion this season they can hardly complain about lack of opportunities. They managed 23 shots against York City, but converted only one and, though the third automatic promotion place is not yet beyond them, the smart money must now be on Cheltenham Town.
Mansfield's dominance, especially in the first half, was constructed around the talents of Adam Murray, a 19-year-old midfield player on loan from Derby County. Murray's movement, positional sense, passing, touch and quickness of mind were well above the level in which he is playing and it was in some way fitting that he gave Mansfield the lead with a blistering 25-yard shot in the 40th minute.
Stuart Reddington, the Mansfield defender, had earlier headed against the crossbar after an opening spell of intense pressure, and so evident was their superiority that it seemed they would coast to victory.
Just before the interval, however, they were snapped out of their comfort zone when Lee Nogan headed his 100th league goal from a Stephen Brackstone corner.
“We didn't take our chances and defended shockingly today,” Murray said. “Our away form has not been good enough and we need to rely on other people slipping up now.”
Poor defending led to York's second goal when, in the 54th minute, Alan Tankard, the defender, misjudged a bouncing ball, allowing Jonathan Parkin to muscle by him and place the ball neatly past Kevin Pilkington.
Moments later Murray almost restored parity with an instinctive lob before Scott Sellars clipped the crossbar with a delightful free-kick from 30 yards. Then, in the 65th minute, Andy White wasted Mansfield's best chance when he fired at Alan Fettis.
York profited from such extravagance and they secured victory in the 68th minute with the game's best goal, scored by Michael Proctor.
Stuart Watkiss, the Mansfield manager, made little attempt to hide his disappointment. “I'm not sure if we've got a dressing room of winners,” he said.
YORK CITY (5-3-2): A Fettis 7 — DEdmondson 5, S Wise 6 (sub: C Fox, 67min 6), C Brass 6, S Jones 6, A O'Kane 6 — M Proctor 7, S Brackstone 7, L Wood 5 — L Nogan 6, J Parkin 6. Substitutes not used: R Howarth, C Smith, A Mathie, L Yalcin. Booked: Wise.
MANSFIELD TOWN (4-4-2): K Pilkington 5 — B Hassell 6, S Reddington 5, ABarrett 5 (sub: D Kelly, 68 6) A Tankard 5 — S Sellars 6, A Murray 9, L Williamson 7 (sub: C Disley, 79 6), W Corden 6 — CGreenacre 5, A White 5. Substitutes not used: M Bingham, J Clarke, MPemberton. Booked: White.
Referee: R Beeby 6.
Latest | April 2002