Mansfield (h) As I Seen It

Pools 2, Mansfield Town (aka Mansfield Sky-diving free-falling team) 4   

League 2  Tuesday March 25th 2014

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at The Vic

For the first time in a millennium I was slightly late into the Vic. This was due to an injury to my right knee, an old war wound from the battle of the Rec, circa1972.
Brushing aside my obvious pain I made it to the Vic just after kick off. Last week I would have missed the first goal but to be honest I wished I had missed the lot of these shenanigans. 

Once again we were made to kick down bank presumably after losing the toss. Pools were off to a flyer - both Luke and Compton racing to the byline and launching great crosses at the Town End. Marlon had a quick shot from range that never bothered the keeper or the defenders.

Some excellent football from Luke and Barmby set up a chance but it was cleared. Sadly the sky-divers took advantage of a ball not cleared and what looked like a miss-hit beat Ned to put the divers one up and Pools under pressure for a good spell, some which was of our own making, as Ned just refused to get the ball out early, and invariably had Luke screaming for the ball and it was pumped into no-mans land. 

Dangerous back passes and missed passes were upsetting the home fans and put pressure on ourselves. The Sky-divers then treat us to an exhibition of free-fall sky-diving that was so impressive even the ref allowed replay after replay of the same moves. This kind of tactic from visiting teams gets my dander up, in fact I nearly spit twice. 
"the punters who stayed at home to watch Manure fall to the City probably made the right choice"
A brilliant move between Barmby, Compton and Luke again on the edge of the box set up Marlon to hit a screamer past the keeper to level it up. The Ditchburn, who was obviously in unhappy mode, commented “Thirty three flatulent minutes and one shot equals s^!t£ football" against what looked like an average side. 

The Mansfield divers were not averse to having a good chop at Pools players and their number four cynically took out Compton just outside the box but the free kick was cleared. In the Rink End there was a great uproar as a Skydiver did a triple Salko with pike in the box and the ref this time was unimpressed. 

As Pools made headway across the box at the Town End, again Luke and Barmby set up Duckworth, who was tripped, and the ref pointed to the spot. After some discussion, Marlon took the ball from Compton and set the ball on the spot. Trying to fool the keeper with a stare at one post he struck the ball the other way and the keeper read it and made a good save. Note to Cooper, this needs sorting out, if you have a penalty taker the nominated player should take it. Discipline seems to be a problem with Marlon and it cost us. 

The discussion at half time was whether the Ditchburn with his medical background would massage my damaged right calf but the response was disappointing and not for publication. 

The second half started well enough for Pools as Walker set up Luke who scored a typical Luke goal - receiving the ball in the box, a sharp turn and shot gave the keeper no chance. Marlon was injured in the build up and took some time to recover. It was around this time that the collapse started as Pools again found themselves under pressure, not clearing the ball and once again miss hitting passes. Ned has to take the blame for their second goal as a free kick out wide on the left was hit to the back post and the keeper was more concerned about the runners coming in than taking charge of what should have been an easy ball to collect but left unattended the ball sailed into the net. 

Full of confidence now, the visitors were piling on the pressure and Pools looked shell shocked as they hit the bar and Ned and Sam blocked shots on the line. We had no answer to the pressure and could do little to help us get back into the game. Compton, who had been a threat, was taken off and at the time it was not known if he was injured. Holden went off injured and it was a tough debut for Dan Jones but in a hard game he did ok. 

Walker was penalized for a challenge as the divers charged into our half. The attacker actually had Walker by the throat but both the ref and the linesman appeared to see it the other way and the free kick resulted in a third goal for the visitors. The “you fat bastard”, as he was known to the home fans, that scored the goal, took great delight in coming up to the fence in the Town End and taunted the home fans. 

Flinders did not improve on his bad day at the office as they scored their fourth of the game, simply executed by a run to the line and a slip by a defender, which made it a very unsatisfactory end to the game for the home fans. 

With the crowd being just around three thousand, the punters who stayed at home to watch Manure fall to the City probably made the right choice, as a defeat of Manure any time gladdens the heart a little.

There was one serious incident on the night, when Sweeney chased a ball down to the corner at the Rink End and the defender blasted a ball at him which rebounded and hit one of the three flag poles. The finial on the top wobbled and just missed Mr Reed who was sat underneath. Lucky old finial.