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Archived News from May 2004

2nd May 2004 19:28

Football First match report:
By Frank Jenkiss
transcribed by Carole


DEVASTATED manager Peter Jackson called on Huddersfield Town's young team to hold their nerve after dreams of automatic promotion were dashed by a series of catastrophic defensive blunders against the Stags.

Jackson said the players must now cope with the pressure of needing to secure a better result at Cheltenham next week than rivals Torquay achieve at Southend following this error-strewn performance in front of a massive crowd at the McAlpine Stadium.

The kick-off was delayed for nearly 20 minutes to allow almost 19,000 people into the venue, most hoping to watch a promotion party in the spring sunshine.

Jackson knows the result and performance were a huge let-down.

“It is a terrible anti-climax for everybody and I have no complaints about the result as Mansfield were by far the better team throughout,” Jackson said.

“I am not going to blame my defenders for any of the errors as we play as a team and take responsibility as a team.

“But now they have to hold their nerve and enjoy the occasion at Cheltenham to make sure we win promotion at the first attempt.

“These players deserve to go up after all they have done for me and the club this season and they just need to hold it together for one more game.”

Mansfield secured victory when the home side's defenders slipped up at crucial stages of the game and the Stags could have won by more.

The Terriers entire back line was at fault when they just stood and watched highly-rated former Manchester city defender Rhys Day head in Wayne Corden's corner after 20 minutes.

Young Town defender David Mirfin then gifted possession to Mansfield striker Junior Mendes on the edge of the box after 38 minutes to present the ex-St Mirren and Dunfermline forward with an easy chance to score.

And Lawrence then wrapped up the match for Keith Curle's side, when he was allowed to run and shoot at goal unopposed.

And Huddersfield defender Steve Yates nearly scored a stunning own goal late on, but his powerful header from Mansfield winger Lee Williamson's cross crashed off the underside of his own crossbar.

Lawrence was also denied a hat-trick in the closing stages when Huddersfield keeper Paul Rachubka saved with his legs.

The home side took the lead just before the quarter-hour mark when striker John McAliskey scored from close-range after Andy Booth knocked down Pawel Abbott's right-wing cross.

But after that it was all Mansfield and delighted boss Curle said: “It was a massive result for us and I am really pleased that we have finally secured a place in the play-offs.

“It does not really matter who we get in the play-offs because I know that if we perform like this then we will go out there and give any team plenty of problems.”

Huddersfield Town ……… Mansfield Town
43-----------Possession %---- 57
0------------Yellow Cards-------0 (correction: Lawrence got booked)
0------------Red Cards----------0
2------------Shots on Target---12
9------------Shots off Target----3
0------------Hit Woodwork-------0 (correction: Stags hit the woodwork)
Article included in Football First today, by Michael Norwood, DejaVu Editor

"From next season, away supporters to our humble ground could well be having a different view of the action. For the local police here have taken on the face of it, a huge mistake, according to the vast majority of Stags fans, by deciding to move the away support to the North Stand, a stand (albeit for one game in our history) that has great tradition with the home support. Naturally, the home support is up in arms about such a move, even the most obvious point that currently there is a public house opposite the away end as it stands now, has totally gone over the heads of those involved with such a silly plan. The move in our eyes would create many more problems than it attempts to solve. The reason behind it, as we are being told, is to avoid any unsavoury incidents outside the ground, something which has regrettably sprung up again this season on a couple of occasions, but certainly no more than any other season. The Doncaster home game, was cited as the main cause for the meeting to do something regarding the moving of away fans, following ugly scenes straight after the final whistle. Both sets of supporters were let out into the same area at the same time, despite what people high up have said, if rival fans had been kept apart, in particular away fans kept behind for 10 minutes, as happens at plenty of other grounds, then none of this silly plan would have come to fruition. As said, the natives are not happy, and won't give up without a tough stance, so you may be sitting in the normal place after all next season if all goes well from our point of view."

Michael Norwood
DejaVu Editor - A Mansfield Town Fanzine.


Latest | May 2004