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Archived News from September 2015

FTYBR BLOG:Four Killing Strikes Did Our Hero Wield
16th September 2015 14:18

Good people of Mansfield, I beckon you so, for to start with this week I would like to retell to you a short but worthwhile fable. (Stick with me on this please!)
‘The amphitheatre roared in anticipation as the Gladiators entered the arena for a contest between two worthy warriors. The hero in our tale had promised to take battle to his opponent, who in turn was by no means easy fodder. A battle royal ensued; our heroes opponent fought his planned campaign well at first for he wielded his net and spear with vigour, but try as he might, he had no answer for our hero had his mind set on being victorious, for he blocked well with his mighty shield and slashed with purpose with his blade. Our heroes’ bravery and skill was rewarded as his opponent backed away with his defences flailing. Four killing strikes did our hero wield as his brave brother dropped to his knees with a twitch of forthcoming death in his vacant eyes. Previous contests had proved our heroes opponent’s worth, but this day he had more than met his equal, he had been vanquished but complain he could not, for his victor, our hero, had battled better upon the day and was to be rewarded for his gladiatorial mastery. The amphitheatre swayed with glorious glee for our hero had won both heart and mind. More contests would come, more battles would be faced, but upon this day, our hero stood heart beating proud for he deserved his praise and he deserved his victory.’
There are times when players get stick when they don’t really deserve it. Sometimes they don’t get the praise either. It’s like there is something inside a football supporters’ mind that looks to the dark side just to make them feel happy with the world. You could call it, ‘not getting carried away with things,’ Last Saturday was different. Each and every player deserved the praise and so did the managerial staff, for everything that was planned, worked and worked well. Let’s be honest, Crawley were no mugs. They came down from League 1 last season, and despite not setting league 2 alight, had earned some fairly decent recent results. To me, it wasn’t a case of Crawley not playing well, it was our teams’ ability of not letting them, whilst at the same time playing well ourselves. Credit where credit’s due, Stags were better than Crawley because they worked harder to be better and rightly so, reaped the reward.
Am i getting carried away with a 4-0 win? I don’t think so, no. The overall performance was just what I feel the team is capable of. Admittedly I don’t expect it every week. There are going to be games where nothing will go to plan and try as they might, the Stags will lose. To be honest all through the game last weekend, I found myself purring like some overweight Cat lay in front of an open fire, having his belly tickled whilst being fed opulent morsels of delicious scran. From the back to the front, Stags took the game to the visitors and richly deserved their win.
I can’t knock any of the players at all. Rightfully this weeks’ plethora of blogs have poured praise towards, Chris Clements. ‘Best midfielder in the league,’ is one hell of a thing to be stamped on your forehead. To his credit, the way Clements is playing at the moment, gives full justification to the statement. His passing, his overall game reading and the confidence that is abundantly oozing from him puts him rightfully up there as one of Stags’ danger men and no doubt a player other teams will be weary of. It is up to Chris now to keep up his good run of form.
‘Hollywood balls’ Chapman more than played his part in the overall performance. Maybe I was a little harsh on him last week? Credit though because he looked the type of player we know he is and I for one was more than happy to eat humble pie during the StagsPlayer commentary. Well done Sir. More of the same please with the odd cracking finish put in for good measure.
I could go on and on about each player; Rose again impressed and he celebrated his goal like he’d won the Premiership, World Cup and a crafty date with Miss Skegness Easy Knickers 2015, all rolled into one. We love a player here at Mansfield who shows as much passion as we supporters do and in Mitchell Rose, it seems we have that type of player. I will never forget the way he was just as pumped up as we were before the kick off against Counteh. That image I will carry with me forever. Added to his passion, is his ability. Put together in the right way and we could certainly have a strong crowd favourite on our hands.
I would love to come out with the type of speech that was used by a Norwegian commentator after Norway had successfully beaten England back in the 80’s, but for the life of me I can’t think of anyone famous from Crawley. So, ‘Your side took one hell of a beating,’ will just have to do for now.
Like I said, I was purring all through the game, none more so than when Matt Green slotted home his first goal in anger at Field Mill since his return. Spectacular it wasn’t. He will probably not put away an easier chance throughout his career. What is was though, was massive in the development of Matt Green as a ‘football league’ player. I personally think he is League 2’s signing of the season and his goals at this level will prove any doubters wrong who thought that this chap who banged in lots of goals at Non-League level, just might, following his injury filled time at Birmingham City, struggle to re-find his form. He will score 20 plus this season, mark my words. You could feel the relief around the ground as the ball hit the back of the net. ‘The King is back. Long live the King.’ The partnership with Craig Westcarr looked promising and gives Murray another option in his battle plan to destroy League 2.
This weekend Stags travel to Luton. Walking around the stadium is just like a scene from Mr Ben. Folks stand gathered outside their homes, washing babies, cooking vegetables, from all over the world and generally looking at you gone out. Now I am not a massive fan of Luton. I haven’t been since they smashed up our dressing rooms some years back. It seems from then that there grew a shadow between the two clubs. I doubt their fans will ever forgive us for knocking them out of the Trophy semi final. A cup competition their fans thought was a God given right to be theirs. The new breed of Luton fan gives the impression that they are bigger and better than us mere mortals. They aren’t and they need to come to terms with the fact. Back in the mid-80’s, I went to a Forest v Luton game and the away end, for what was then a 1st division game, was sparsely filled with around just a 100 from Luton. Hardly what you would call the support of a so-called, ‘massive’ club is it? Face up to where you are and you may find that teams around you show you more respect. The ground though, strangely I like. It is as though all your relations got you a different Lego set for Christmas which you then built and put together around a grass field. It’s weird yet wonderful to a football ground cognisor as myself. There is no doubt that it will not be an easy game. The atmosphere inside the ground guarantees that, but it is a game Stags can go and win. Just the blip at Accrington aside, Stags have looked decent away from home so far this season and a win there would go down almost as sugary as the win at Mardy Lane.
To finish with for this week, can I say how pleased i was with the support inside the One Call last weekend? It seemed everyone contributed to us all having a good time, from the top to the bottom. Mind you it helps when you are winning I suppose? Before the game, I managed to have time to pop into the Sandy Pate bar for the first time in ages. Well recommended. A lot of people put in a lot of hard work behind the scenes with little or no reward. I stood outside with pint in hand and thought back to the days when we didn’t have anything of the kind. My how going to Field Mill has changed for the better over the years. Despite what reports say, the food is top notch as well.
So all in all, nowt to moan about this week. Life is good, in fact it’s bloody fantastic at the moment. The weekend was full of the love of football without an ugly, grunting mouse-pig in sight. Let’s hope there are more to come.
Steve Hartshorn.


Latest | September 2015