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Archived News from November 2003

24th November 2003 17:33

Boothless not toothless
By Geoff, downatthemac.com

Town, without striker Andy Booth, went to free scoring Mansfield and showed they could score as well their hosts. Unfortunately they can let them in at the other end.
Town gave Mansfield a fright in the first half but the Stags fought back in the second half to peg the Terriers to a draw. However considering Town's previous results on their travels this was a great effort by the players in blue and white stripes. Town were well in charge in the first half but a goal just before halftime gave Mansfield heart.
In the second half it was Christie coming on as substitute that tipped the scales back towards the home side. Town couldn't hold out for all three points as Mansfield scored right at the end of the second half as well. But nothing can detract from the fighting display by Jackson's team. On that sort of performance Town have it in their own hands to be successful this season.
The Town side that started the game was largely unchanged from the successful team against Hull. Booth was out injured and Fowler was back into midfield after suspension with Schofield pushed up front. Otherwise the team was set up as for last Saturday in the 3-5-2 system. The line up of Town substitutes looked quite strong with Edwards and Sodje on it and a first appearance of the giant loan forward Onibuje for Town.
Town kicked off and had the initial pressure of the game. Stead chanced a speculative shot after 3 minutes but it was collected easily. A minute later Town gained the first corner but Carss couldn't deliver the ball accurately enough. But it was good that the Terriers were putting the pressure on the home side in the early stages. Town were not allowing Mansfield to get into their stride with some sharp tackling. Nearly on the quarter hour Town gained a second corner but, like the first, it was wasted.
However in the 15th minute Town gained some reward for their efforts. A poor clearance by the home keeper fell to Schofield who advanced and chipped the ball into the net. Strangely the high scoring home side hadn't hardly troubled Senior at all so far in the game. The Town players were working very hard to dominate the match. But even so Mansfield kept on plugging away at the Town back line. The Stags were rewarded with their first corner on 30 minutes but like Town previously they wasted the set piece.
In the 31st minute Schofield broke away into the Mansfield half and passed the ball through for Stead. Town's leading scorer fooled the keeper with a clever dummy and slotted the ball home to deservedly put Town two up. The home side had been pushing forward to try and get back into the game but were left open to the sucker punch on breakaways.
The midfield area was being stifled by the hard working Town players but Mansfield were still getting in some dangerous positions. Only to be expected as they were the home side. But the Clarke and his co-defenders held the home side at bay without too much trouble. Town looked reasonably comfortable at the back but Mansfield's rearguard looked worried every time that Schofield or Stead got the ball. However one of Town's main weaknesses was exploited as Mansfield gained a corner in time added on. The ball was crossed and Senior was helpless as Day headed home high into the net.
For the second half Mansfield brought on another striker in Christie. In the first few seconds Senior had to pull off a good block to stop the new strike partnership from drawing the Stags level. Town replied with a Stead shot that hit the post after some good work by Fowler in midfield. The late first half goal had given more balance to the match to the dismay of Town's fans and the delight of the home fans. The home side started to put more pressure onto Town.
Eventually the pressure by the home side paid off in the 62nd minute. It was a set piece for the home side, a weakness of Town, and it was finished off by Artell. Not to be outdone Town went straight back from the kick off to restore the lead and send their travelling fans wild. A great cross by Schofield led to a downwards bullet header from Stead to give the home keeper no chance. It had now become end to end football with excitement in abundance.
Both sides were going full pelt after that next goal. Town needed it to close the game, Mansfield to get something from the game. It added up to good entertainment for the paying customers. In the 84th minute Mendes shot across Town's goal to put Terrier fans hearts in their mouths. But the resulting corner was cleared by Carss. As the final minutes ticked away Mansfield became more desperate for a goal and the Town defence came under siege.
In the 88th minute Senior made a one handed save to keep Town in the lead. He was then bundled over the line by Christie which just earned him a booking and not a goal. In a goalmouth scramble, with a minute to go, Mansfield scored the equaliser by Disley. The home side continued to push Town back but the points were shared between the sides.


Latest | November 2003