{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from December 2004

16th December 2004 0:15

Meanwhile updated table now on the Youth Team pages

Report better late than never ... thanks to Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag for spotting it - Martin

YA League - Mansfield 4 Wrexham 1
4 Dec 2004

Wrexham Official Site

The Dragons' disappointing recent run of results continued with a 4-1 defeat at Mansfield Town - though the small, narrow playing surface did little to help.

"It wasn't a 4-1 game really," revealed Centre of Excellence Director Steve Weaver. "Both had five or six chances - they took four, we took one!

"The pitch was awkward and bobbly. It was short, and not the widest. It was very tight, especially when we play with two wide men.

"It was a poor match to watch - with both teams finding it hard to control the ball."

Mansfield came out of the traps well, dominated the opening exchanges, and took the lead on the quarter-of-an-hour mark.

The ball was swung in from the Mansfield right and Dragons' keeper Danny Evans chose to punch clear instead of catching it. The ball dropped to the edge of the penalty area, and was crossed back in. As the Dragons' defence was slow to react to the danger, a home player wasted no time in finding the back of the net with a first-time shot.

The Dragons were struggling to match their opponents at this stage of the game, though it wasn't particularly good football from either side.

We then had a great chance to equalise following a well-worked move down the right-hand side. Marc Williams played the ball in to strike partner Jamie Reed who cleverly feigned to shoot but instead laid the ball inside for Phil Gray to shoot, but the home keeper made a good save to preserve his side's slender advantage.

The equaliser wasn't long in coming though, as Marc Williams closed down a back-pass to the keeper. The keeper's attempted clearance was struck straight at Marc, who took touch before slotting the ball into the net.

"1-1 at half time, I thought we were back in the game," added Steve. "I was thinking that we might go on and nick another.

"And we started the second half well, winning tackles, getting behind them and forcing a few corners."

But then, against the run of play, the home side regained the lead.

A free kick just inside the Dragons' half was struck Ronaldinho-like towards goal, and the Dragons' players turned their backs to it thinking Danny Evans would safely gather it at head height. But, somehow, the ball went straight through the unfortunate keeper's hands and into the net.

"It knocked the stuffing out of us a bit," said Steve, "because it was always likely to be a game of few chances second half."

A poor passage of play followed, during which both sides were guilty of continually failing to retain possession and giving the ball away far too easily.

Mansfield added a third on 70 minutes when one of their forwards was allowed a free header six yards out.

"It was an awful goal to concede," said Steve. "But we then had three or four chances in a five-minute spell that could have seen us tae the lead."

Marc Williams was through one-on-one only for a central defender to make a great recovery tackle, Gareth Evans glanced a header just wide, and Marc forced a great save from the Stags' keeper after Reed had knocked back a floated cross from substitute Andy Fleming.

"It just wasn't going to be our day - and then they go and make it 4-1 right at the end.

"It was a poor game, with no real quality on show - though Marc Williams and Jamie Reed did OK, and Kieran Quinn was the only player to rally put his foot on the ball. Too many of the lads had an off day.

"In the couple of months we've hardly been able to do any coaching. The lads have been playing Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday, and when we have had a free reserve week we've had players injured.

"We've lost Graham Roche and Mark Harris this week, and Kev Williams is having an operation on Monday. It's frustrating, because we can't really get on the training ground to try and put things right.

"When we get everyone back we'll do OK. We just don't want to leave too much to do."

Wrexham: Danny Evans, Wes Baynes, Neil Taylor, Chris Evans (Andy Fleming 60), Gareth Evans, Liam Jones, Phil Gray (Andy Spencer 60), Kieran Quinn, Marc Williams, Jamie Reed, Matthew Done.
Sub: Nathan Richards.


Latest | December 2004