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Season 0910 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Premier
Mansfield Town  
0 - 1
 York City
Foster sent off 82
 Pitt 61. Brodie pen saved 63.
Attendance: 2638 (290 from York)
Date: 16 March 2010

Jake Stone at Field Mill

Stags play-off dreams take massive hit

The conditions were perfect for once at Field Mill on this mild Tuesday night; the weather had been lovely sunshine all day and the breeze just mild as kick off approached us, the pitch was also in pretty good condition considering all the bad weather which had preceded the game in the last few months. The first half was simply one of the worst halves at Field Mill of the season, to say both teams needed to win it was not obvious whatsoever as the whole 20 outfield players were hanging back, although York were definitely playing the better football. Leaving the keepers with a very quiet 45 minutes. The managers must've got stuck into the teams at half time because the tempo showed an increase, albeit not the exciting spectacle we all hopes for prior to 7.45pm. The winning goal was smashed in on 61 minutes by Pitt which left one major incident before the full time whistle which was a penalty to the away side before being saved by man of the match Alan Marriott. Once again the Stags were greeted with a chorus of boo's as they left the field to the positive songs all coming from the north stand and the away fans, an all too common occurence lately. In most of the minds of people who care of Stags now they nearly all agree on one thing; the playoffs are over.

It was clear upon kick off that the attendance was going to be one of the lowest of the season, if not the lowest even with a fair few away fans making the trip down from Yorkshire! The QLE was particularly sparce and it begs the question 'Where are the season ticket holders going?'

Mansfield made three changes to the side that picked up a point against Tamworth on Saturday. Challinor was fit again after picking up a knock against Salisbury, he came in for Nix whilst Burgess and Sturrock replaced Williams and Shaw respectively. The most welcomed 'change' of the night for the home fans was most certainly seeing Jake Speight back on the bench, the much needed bit of pace we need. York had dangerman Richard Brodie in the side which they wouldn't have if we played them before the postponement, just a tad unlucky for Mansfield.

Early on there wasn't much action at all it has to be said. Both teams must've had the thought that the opposition were there for the taking because both managers were employing cautious tactics. York had the better of the opening 20 minutes or so without really threatening the Mansfield goal. On many of occasions they won corners and put crosses in but the fantastic Alan Marriott claimed everyone of them with the aerial presence of Foster at the back also aiding the Stags defensive duties.

Stags literally had no moments worth talking about in the first half, they got a great amount of support for the first 15 or so minutes before the fans obviously became tired and bored of the long ball system which was being employed and things quietened down for the last half an hour of the half, in the stands and also on the pitch. The home side were far too narrow causing the defenders to have no option other than to hit it long to Rob Duffy and Blair Sturrock who can't be blamed for their lack of effort in either half, the balls in were just not there however. A big case of the midfield being bypassed left a very forgettable 45 minutes of football.

So as the players went in for their half time oranges and what not they were given the usual chorus of boo's and stunned silence from the Stags fans being once again shocked at how little they had created.

Half time 0-0

Both sides came out with more intent after half time and it looked as if we were in for a better game, it turned out we was but barely so. Briscoe looked intent on causing the York left back problems everytime he was given the ball out wide, unfortunately he was playing more central for most of the game and had less chance to impact. Almost immediately after the start though he made a cracking run down the right and just as he was about to get it into the box his final touch let him down and he knocked it out for a goal kick, very disappointing.

On 61 minutes came the pivotal point of the game. The ball was played out wide towards Courtney Pitt, on loan at York from Cambridge United. Silk seemed to hesitate at first and once Pitt was on the ball there seemed to be only one thing on his mind, he first turned left before cutting in on his right foot and the Stags right back gave him far too much space. He got his driving shot away which was only destined for one place once it left his foot, it smashed into the roof of the net leaving Marriott helpless and sending the York fans into raptures behind the goal, an extremely important goal for them seen as though they previously hadn't won in 7.

This goal only helped to liven the atmosphere in the stands of both sides and this reflected onto the pitch with a bit of heat added into the tie at last. Mansfield fans were calling for the substitution of Jake Speight but before he was allowed to come another major incident was yet to occur.

Just two minutes after York had gone into the lead a cross was put in from the right hand side which looked like it was aimlessly going out of play until a York forward managed to 'keep it in', I put this in inverted commars as it was at least a foot outside of play. The Stags defence however did not play to the whistle and as the goalscorer Pitt got on the ball he was weaving in and out before being tripped by Jon Challinor, a soft penalty to give away but not one they can argue with really. A couple of Stags players contested the decision which ended with Foster getting a yellow card for his troubles.

So up stepped York's main man Richard Brodie to finish the Stags off for the game and most probably for the season. He hit it quiet low to his left, Marriott was on his toes however and made a fantastic diving save to block with his arms leaving the Stags defence to clear, a great roar left Field Mill as if the home side had grabbed a goal, game on most felt!

Just a couple of minutes after the penalty miss Holdsworth answered the cries of 'Get him on!' by replacing Robert Duffy with Kyle Perry then bringing off the hardworking Blair Sturrock for the wanted man; Jake Speight.

This is when Mansfield begun to show a slight hint of promise, geared up from the penalty save and the inclusion of Speight they created a few more chances. Around 75 minutes in Silk did well with one of his powering runs towards the edge of the box and poked it into towards the Stags forwards only for it to be hit at the keeper.

Mansfield had a penalty claim themselves, albeit this one was turned down. The ball was fed through very nicely to Jake Speight and as he was tearing away from the last man he was being pulled back for at least 5 yards, he managed to get a lobbed attempt which went over the advancing keeper but wide of the goal. Had he of gone down it may have been a different story.

This was the final action up front for the Stags however, as they were soon to be down to 10 men. York were looking strong to hit the Stags on the counter and with the ball down the right Luke Foster seemed to cynically bring down the attacking York forward and was given his second yellow card; resulting in a very silly sending off considering his first was for arguing a refereeing decision which was most probably spot on, this is not the action wanted or needed by a captain in amber and blue. He then preceeded to walk the length of the pitch holding up the game, an unbelievable action considering Mansfield desperately needed to get back into the game, he only began to run the last 20 or so yards when egged on by the home support.

York wasted the last 15 or so minutes by making 3 substitutions who very clearly took their time to leave the pitch however it was job done for them as Brodie took the ball down to the corner late in the game and just bought throw-in after throw-in, frustrating the Mansfield players, management and fans as the loss was almost now inevitable.

Man of the Match: Alan Marriott

Report by: Jake Stone at Field Mill

Line Up:
Alan Marriott - 8 Did nothing wrong, caught plenty of crosses and made some great saves.
Gary Silk - 6 Did well. Although he gave too much space to Pitt for the goal.
Luke Foster - 5 Got himself sent off at a crucial stage.
Michael Brough - 5 Seems to want to put the ball out too much rather than use the midfield or keeper.
Andy Nicholas - 6 Got beaten for pace a couple of times, put a few good challenges in, his passing overall was poor.
Jon Challinor - 4 Very very poor display from him, his passing was awful and he gave away a penalty.
Gary Mills - 6 Can't fault his effort however the quality wasn't there.
Andy Burgess - 5 Tried to play football but lost it too much, he was far too central also.
Louis Briscoe - 6 Put in a lot of effort however the same old story of no end product.
Rob Duffy - 6 Won quite a few headers but never threatened the York goal.
Blair Sturrock - 6 Worked his socks off and tried to get the ball down, the tactics didn't suit him today.
Sub Line Up:
Kyle Perry (for Duffy, 65) - 6 Made no impact however he only had 25 minutes on the pitch
Jake Speight (for Sturrock, 65) - 7 Actually got the Mansfield side moving once he came on, showed great pace, movement and touch.
Subs not used: Collett, Somner, Nix.
Opposition Line Up:
Ingham, Purkiss, Sangare (McGurk 77), Graham, Meredith, Harsley, Clarke, Barrett, Pitt (Smith 90), Brodie, Gash (Rankine 77).Subs Not Used: Parslow, Pacquette.
Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)

Season 0910 Reports