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Archived News from September 2004

1st September 2004 0:10

Stags prepare their Sunday best
MANSFIELD Town will be relishing Sunday's visit of Northampton Town (3pm) after their Bank Holiday Monday goal rush against Yeovil Town.
This weekend's match was moved at the request of the Cobblers who wanted their supporters to be able to watch the Austria v England World Cup game on Saturday evening.
"Originally they asked us if we could kick-off at noon or 1pm on the Saturday," said Stags chairman Keith Haslam.
"But we decided to see how it would work on a Sunday. Friday nights have proved very popular in the past here and some folk have said they are quite excited by the thought of us playing on a Sunday.
"It won't be ideal for me mind as I have a christening in the morning and it will be a rush!"
Bank Holiday Monday's game attracted 3,826 fans, 359 from Yeovil, to Field Mill. But Mr Haslam said he was satisfied with that and added: "It's holiday season still and people are away.
"There were only four crowds bigger than our's in the division so we held up well. And I am sure after that performance, they will flood back this Sunday."
Stags just couldn't find their finishing touch at Grimsby Town on Saturday and were punished with a 2-0 defeat.
But they bounced back in style by belting Yeovil 4-1, three goals coming in a five minute purple patch, and manager Keith Curle declared:
"This was the tonic victory we needed, not just for myself but for the supporters and players.
"Yeovil are a very good footballing team that will create chances. But we cut them open and created a lot of chances ourselves.
"Anyone who didn't go to Grimsby on Saturday will see we lost 2-0 and assume we were outplayed. But that's far from the truth.
"We had the majority of the play there but didn't take our chances. Against Yeovil it was simply a continuation of that performance at Grimsby.
"Now we can't wait to play Northampton. We want to put on another entertaining match and play attacking, attractive football with the crowd behind us."
Northampton, of course, have a score to settle after Mansfield denied them a trip to the Play-off Final in Cardiff last season with that dramatic penalties victory in the semi-final.
Added spice to the game is Northampton's upset over the departure of striker Derek Asamoah to Field Mill.
Curle should have a full set of players to choose from as both Lee Williamson (ankle) and Adam Eaton (groin) were expected back in training yesterday.
After continuing with a 4-3-3 line-up at Oxford, Curle surprised a few by reverting to his old 4-4-2 against Yeovil and even using defender Alex John-Baptiste in the centre of midfield.
Both Tom Curtis and Adam Murray were dropped as was on-loan striker Joe O'Neill. And no one could criticise any of those decision by tea-time as Stags romped home 4-1.
"I am paid to pick the team and those lads had been waiting in the wings for an opportunity and all came in and gave good accounts of themselves," said Curle.
"Getting the early goal gives you a platform. Yeovil caused us problems and equalised. But we began the second half at the right tempo and the response of the players was superb.
"I have said there are goals in this team all season and we showed it on Saturday. It was nice to have another game so soon after Saturday. And it was pleasing that my players' attitude after the Grimsby game was that they wanted another game straight away."
It was all in stark contrast to Saturday's disappointment when Mansfield travelled to Grimsby and allowed one of the division's promotion favourites to take a fourth minute lead, the defence asleep as the Mariners hit them with a training ground corner routine.
"It was a horrible start again and it set us back," admitted assistant manager John Gannon.
"We switched off and it cost us a goal. You have to be on your toes and must always expect the unexpected.
"It's always hard when you are chasing the game and leaving yourself open at the back. There wasn't much between the teams on the day, but they took their chances and we didn't - they were decisive moments.
"We were glad to have the Yeovil match so soon on Monday as it gave us a quick chance to put things right."
The prize of a trip to the new Walker Stadium to take on Leicester City is on offer to the winners of the twice-postponed Carling Cup first round clash with Preston.
The game will now not be played until Tuesday, 21st September - the date of the second round.
Stags have also landed a home tie with Darlington in the first round of the LDV Vans Trophy.
The game is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 28th September (7.45pm).
But that may change if Stags beat Preston as the Leicester game would then take precedence.
Mansfield Town Ladies look primed and ready to explode into the new season following an empahatic 7-0 victory against Derby County reserves in the club's last pre season friendly.
The stags were full value for their emphatic win with four goals from Stacey Caunt, two from Kelly Brown and one from Lorraine Mason.
They are away to Welbeck on Sunday in their Divison One North opener (3pm).
from Mansfield Town Official Site:

Following the draw on the 28th August 2004 the stags will be playing host to Darlington for the first round of this tournament.

The initial date for this game at Field Mill has been pencilled in as Tuesday 28th September 2004 Kickoff 7.45pm. However, at the time of writing this can not be confirmed 100%.

The Stags will be playing their postponed Carling Cup game on the 21st September and both the football league and second round opponents Leicester are eager to get the second round game out of the way which would, if we qualify be played on the Tuesday 28th September.

Further details about all these games will appear here as soon as we can confirm dates and times!


Latest | September 2004