3-2 – Need I say more?

Last updated : 08 February 2003 By Rob Davies

Well, what can I say? Not much I don’t think.

Ian Baraclough and Lee Williamson battle for the ball
When Mansfield’s promotion and Notts’ survival were confirmed last season, it was going to be "6 easy points for County" according to many Notts fans.

Out of those 6 points we have got 1 measly point and Mansfield have taken 4. It shows how how wrong you can be.

Tonight I am pretty much embarrassed to be a Notts fan. I’m not a very accepting person when it comes to facing up to the fact my team is sometimes outplayed by another team, and when that other team is our local and relegation rival it is even harder to swallow.

Ramsden and Mendes
Today was a day like that and my thoughts of dread about the game at Field Mill finally became reality.

A scoreline of 3-2 maybe suggests to some people that it was a close game – it was anything but really.

Stags were at Notts right from the first minute. Wayne Corden went close early on but Richardson cleared his cross.

Notts were dealt a blow on 9 minutes when Allsopp was withdrawn after he picked up another hamstring injury. Heffernan was brought on to replace the Aussie forward.

There were calls from the Notts bench to red card home keeper, Kevin Pilkington on 15 minutes after Notts felt that the goalkeeper had handled outside his box. The officials dismissed the claims of handball.

Notts spent most of the first half defending the almost incessant Town attacks.

Notts played a very predictable long ball game for most of the game, which was useless because either a Mansfield player picked up the ball or if Stallard or Heffernan reached it they were simply muscled off the ball.

Mendes has a shot on goal
The Stags were definitely the livelier of the two sides.

I only remember the home keeper making one serious save from Mark Stallard, while at the other end Mildenhall was kept busy with the Stag’s attempts.

Shortly before half time Stags had two good attempts cleared by Notts. The first was from Andy White but Mildenhall made a great save to deny the Mansfield player. The second was when White intercepted Darren Caskey’s attempted clearance. Richardson cleared White’s effort off the line before Ramsden hoofed it clear.


Andy White celebrates his goal
After halftime Notts had a short spell of pressure on Pilkington’s goal. Stallard missed a sitter, which he was to rue later on.

Because Notts were beginning to get on top, the Stag’s boss brought himself on in an effort to tighten up the Mansfield defence – it worked.

Within minutes the Stags were in front when Andy White finished at close range, much to the frustration of the 2,400 Notts fans at Field Mill.

Mitchell celebrates
Then the Magpies found themselves 2-0 down and sliding fast. Mitchell hitting his shot into the roof of the net after Lee Williamson had put him through.

The Town fans found great delight in chanting "Going down, going down, going down" and "Dearden what’s the score?" How I’d love for Notts fans to be in that position.

Mildenhall after Mansfield get their third
After 71 minutes Mansfield scored their third when Wayne Corden struck a brilliant shot into the top corner.

With about 15 minutes left of the game, Notts could have had 2 or 3 more goals put past them but thankfully we kept it down to 3. If only we could keep it down to 1 or maybe even not concede any, but I don’t see that happening for sometime.

Wayne Corden gets Stag's third
Stallard, one of the few players likely to score at the moment, got two consolation goals on 79 and 87 minutes.

When the fourth official showed the crowd that there was 5 minutes of added time, it was all set for Notts to do a ‘Mansfield’ and get an equaliser in injury time. But realistically I don’t think it was ever going to happen.


It remains to be seen as to whether Notts will have a chance to get revenge on Mansfield next season and which division they will be in if they have that opportunity.