|UNBEATEN RUN ENDS AT UNITED
Saturday November 15th 2008
Inter Blades (Sheffield United) v FTYBR FC (Mansfield Town)
Half Time 3-0 Full Time 4-2
Goalscorers - (United) Adamson, Wood, Paramore, Brown o.g. (Stags) Brunt, Plume
FTYBR FC suffered their first defeat in seven games going down 4-2 away at Sheffield United. Even with a squad short of several players it was hoped that the side would be able to carry on the good run of form that had seen four successive victories in the IFA league but it wasn't to be.
The match started off in somber mood with both sides taking part in a well observed minutes silence for former Follow The Yellow Brick Road player, Matt Genever who had recently passed away. The Mansfield side wore black armbands out of respect.
United, smarting from two recent defeats at the hands of Preston North End and Nottingham Forest, were quickly out of the blocks and causing the Stags side plenty of problems. It didn't help that for the first 20 minutes the side from Mansfield would have struggled to pass wind never mind the ball. Nothing seemed to be going right.
The first goal of the game though came in fortuitous circumstances for the Blades when following a United corner, Jonathan Rowe's powerful clearance cannoned off Sean Adamson and flew into the bottom corner of the net giving, Ricky Okon no chance at all.
The Mansfield sides were down and United quickly added a second when they broke with skill and speed and Andy Wood finished well firing into the bottom left hand corner. All hopes were not dashed though when Dave Baxter teed up James Bird for a near post effort that flashed narrowly wide.
It looked like finally FTYBR had got going but another lack of concentration was rightfully punished. United had won another corner and whereas previously they had been defended well, on this occasion it wasn't. Four players went towards the ball leaving Alex Paramore all the space in the world to powerfully hammer the ball home from close range. It was plain to see that pure frustration had got the better of some players. After recently playing so well, this performance was well against character. The half time break was needed.
The 2nd half started brightly for the Stags side who scored a well taken headed goal from James Brunt, his third goal in 7 games. A good return for a centre half. FTYBR kept up the pressure but United held out well and at times caused concern on the break. James Bird was presented with a great chance of making the game 3-2 but the keeper did well to save both the shot and the claw away the rebound for a corner.
However, after being on top but failing to score anymore goals, the Stags side committed defensive suicide. Andy Wood, the scorer of the United second goal hit a tremendous shot that Ricky Okon parried well, however from the rebound and with no United player around him, James Brown inexplicably headed the ball into his own net. It was a cruel way for United to win the game.
To their credit the Mansfield supporters side kept on going in search of goals, a number of changes were made to personnel and formation, but despite this, United held firm and could have added to their total as the game swept from one end to the other.
With just thirteen minutes of the game remaining, Daz Plume neatly put a flicked header into the back of the net to make the score a respectable 4-2. However the better 2nd half performance did not in anyway gloss over what had been an awful first as Manager Steve Hartshorn explains,
"I know the team can't play well all the time but I really hoped that they would carry on the good form they had shown against Cambridge and Forest, but it just wasn't to be. What I was frustrated at was that for the first 20 minutes, we just didn't get going at all. I don't know why. We were still in bed while the United players had obviously had their breakfast and were halfway through their dinner!"
The team are awaiting a call back from Leicester City to see if they can arrange a fixture for the 6th December 2008 to replace the arranged game against Rage On (Oxford United) which was called off due to the main game featuring Live on Setanta.
Team line up: Okon, C Pinnick, Gilbert, Brown, Brunt, Scothron, Sharpe, Plume, Baxter, Rowe, J Bird, Holmes, Waddington, N Pinnick.
Man of the match - James Brown. Despite his own goal James put in a great defensive performance. Callum Pinnick came very close with an impressive full debut at right back.