ROCHDALE 4 - 0 FTYBR
SOAKED DEFEAT IN 2ND HALF COLLAPSE
Football is a beautiful game in reality but when it is hammering it down and to be played on a pitch which is half frozen and half a paddy field, the mind begins to wonder if a warm game of Subbuteo would not be better.
Rochdale resembled no-mans land in the Somme as the battle weary soldiers of the blue of Rochdale and the amber of Mansfield battled gamely against the dreadful conditions as winter finally hit home.
The Stags supporters side due to other commitments arrived with just one substitute but to their credit battled well in a first half in which they seemed more up for the battle than their Dale counterparts. Rob Allsop becoming the first to be covered head to toe in mud within the first couple of minutes.
The Stags side were playing some neat football which was surprising in the conditions. To be fair both sides opted to play football whereas the easier option would have been just to pump the ball forward as quick as possible and hide from the rain!
Craig Ploughman and Ian Hoult had good chances as did Michael Scothron of giving the Stags side the lead before one laps in concentration provided the chance for league title favourites, Rochdale of taking the lead, which they did.
It was harsh on the side who despite another fine save from Nick Sankey had looked the better of the two teams.
Half time saw the team praised by manager, Steve Hartshorn.
“I thought they had done really well and all that was needed was to up another gear and the game was for the taking. They had looked more up for it than Rochdale, who so far in the season were unbeaten and are favourites for the league title. We were taking the game to them and looking more likely the side to actually win the game. What a difference the 2nd half proved to be though.”
The Referee, who in the past had proved fair and level minded decided to award the home side three penalties. The first of which was harsh as defender James Brunt only slightly nudged the Dale centre forward who at the end of a mazy run went down like a sack of spudz.
The 2nd kick was again harsh when James Brown tried to end a run but pulled out of the tackle in the area, but the kick was still awarded. There was more frustration when Nick Sankey saved the kick, only for it to be awarded once more due to encroachment!
The final kick of the game ended in more controversy when Dave Baxter was sent off for stamping and another penalty kick awarded as the game erupted into bad tempered chaos.
The experienced Baxter seeing red and reacting to a kick which went unseen by the Referee, who afterwards had admitted he had not seen the stamping incident but reacted to the cries of the Dale forward who rolled around in agony in the area. The penalty was converted and a flattering 4-0 scoreline to Rochdale meant a disappointing defeat.
Manager Steve Hartshorn was bitter at the end of the game.
“Dave disappointed me. He's played for us for 15 years and knows better than to be goaded by a chirpy little so and so. To be fair to the Rochdale player he is good but knows it and those type of classy players often use their mouth as well as their feet. Instead of letting it ride he bit and we were rightly fully punished although it seemed like the Ref didn't help us and awarded penalty kicks more for shouts from the home side than anything else. Although saying that the first kick awarded, neither side knew why.”
“Rochdale are a top side who aren't used to losing games and we at least gave them a game which when it looked like they were going to win they began to get a little cocky and cheeky. What we did was for a couple of our players to let their goading get to us and our discipline suffered accordingly.”
This week the side will be hoping to put the defeat at Rochdale firmly behind them when they travel the short distance to take on Ilkeston Town.
It's a busy time for the Stags supporters side as the following week they take on Bury, before the freezing trip to Grimsby on the 15th December.
Team line up and Stats
Nick Sankey 9
Ady Coupe 7
James Brunt 7
Drew Stokes 9
James Brown 7
Dave Baxter 9
Michael Scothron 8
Craig Ploughman 7
Ian Hoult 7
James Bird 7
Rob Allsop 8
Gary Bird 7
Man of the match – Drew Stokes, although if Dave Baxter hadn't been sent off he would have certainly been in contention.
Latest | November 2007