Mackenzie pen 31, 68, Ormerod 80, 89.

Tuesday 30th October - Kick-off 7.45pm

LDV Vans Trophy Round 2

Attendance:  3,601

The Stags made several changes from the side that lost at Rushden at the weekend.  Rested were Craig Disley, Liam Lawrence and Kevin Pilkington whilst Chris Greenacre wasn't risked after recovering from a groin strain.  Skipper Les Robinson was also ruled out and is a major doubt for Saturdays visit of Luton.  In came keeper Michael Bingham for his Stags debut, Alistair Asher at right back with Bobby Hassell partnering Lee Williamson in midfield.

The Stags started well and after a swift counter by Blackpool the Stags responded with a fine counter attack themselves, White bursting through the Pool defence only to see his weak shot on goal blocked.  On 9 minutes Asher got in a decent cross but with Bradley poised to head home the ball was headed clear for a corner.   The right wing corner was cleared only as far as Hassell who shot high and wide.  More good work from Bradley on the right saw him get to the bye-line, put in a good low cross but White volleyed over.  On 15 minutes the excellent Pemberton found Bradley whose shot was fired low and straight at the Pool keeper.  The Stags were largely in control though chances were few and far between, though a good cross from the right by Hassell was headed well wide by Barrett when perhaps he could have done better.  However, the game was turned on its head by an incredible refereeing decision.  Reddington produced a perfect challenge inside the area, clearly winning the ball.  However, the referee deemed the challenge a foul and despite prolonged complaints from the Stags players the penalty was awarded which was converted by a seemingly embarrassed Mackenzie.  The stuffing had been knocked out of the home side and on 37 minutes it was almost 2-0.  Trying to shepherd the ball back to Bingham, Hassell made what looked like an inadvertent touch on the ball, however, as Bingham gathered the referee awarded a deliberate back pass and gave Blackpool the chance to go further ahead.  However, the shot at goal was blocked and the danger cleared.  At the half time whistle a clearly incensed Stuart Watkiss was seen arguing with the referee all the way to the tunnel.

Half Time 0-1

The Stags made two changes at half time.  Tankard was replaced by Jervis for his first appearance of the season and Corden was replaced by Lawrence.  The 2nd half was just a couple of minutes old when the Stags should have equalised.  White forced his way to the bye-line and pulled the ball back neatly for Bradley, however, the striker could only fire the ball over from 12 yards.  The Stags best chance of the match came on 52 minutes when White found himself one on one with Pool keeper Barnes, however the keeper easily blocked White's effort.  Bingham was then tested a few minutes later, Barrett saw the ball deflect of his shin and fall to Pool striker Hills, however, Bingham came out quickly and made a fine save, his first action of the game.  However, Bingham was at fault as Pool went further ahead, caught in no-mans land and Mackenzie easily lobbed the ball over the keeper.  The Stags were then twice hit by a counter as the game drew to a close, both times Brett Ormerod broke clear and finished superbly, the first stemming from another Reddington mistake, the 2nd when the Stags defence were completely caught out by the pace of the break.  Pemberton never stopped and towards the end he created a chance for White which was fired over and then hit a bullet shot himself from 20 yards which just evaded the bar.

In front of an excellent crowd the Stags disappointed, especially in the 2nd half when at times defensively they were no better than a struggling Sunday league outfit.  A scandalous penalty decision saw the Stags go in at half time undeservedly behind.  However, the 2nd half was a shambolic defensive performance which given the poor defensive record of the side this season, is extremely alarming.  The Stags also lacked any incisiveness in attack, with Jason White again guilty of missing numerous chances.  Though the Stags rested some key players, most notably Disley who was missed in central midfield, the 2nd half performance was unacceptable from a side in the top 5.  Several fringe players did their cause no good at all whilst the impressive performance of Allen Tankard in the 1st half and Martin Pemberton throughout should hopefully see both start the game on Saturday with Corden switched to the right.

Man of the Match:  Martin Pemberton   

Bingham 5 Error for 2nd goal, but otherwise did OK
Asher  5 Dreadful distribution
Tankard 7 Very impressive half - subbed at half time and he was badly missed
Barrett 5 Still looks rusty and needs games
Reddington 6 Was having a fine game until another costly error
Pemberton 8 Excellent throughout
Corden 6 Withdrawn at half time - not enough possession
Hassell 6 OK 1st half but struggled 2nd half in midfield
Williamson 7 Kept possession well and battled throughout
White (J) 5 His overall game wasn't bad but for a striker his attempts at goal were woeful
Bradley  6 Did OK but also missed some chances
Lawrence  5 (For Corden, 45) - Didn't impress at all
Jervis 6 (For Tankard, 45) - Did OK
Subs Not Used:  White, Bacon, Pilkington