Mansfield Town 1-1 Luton Town
17th April 2017
Although I generally think of both Mansfield Town and Luton Town as long-term Football League members, as recently as season 2012/13 this would have been a non-league fixture, these clubs having dropped down through the Football League trapdoor in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
Since returning to League 2, neither side had managed to reach the play-off places, although Luton went into this one this afternoon with a top seven place pretty much guaranteed - although miles off the automatic spots. Mansfield for their part were part of the whopping chasing pack, one of ten or so clubs who could potentially reach the play-offs, even this late in the season.
I left Caledonia in what I felt was good time to perhaps allow me an hour or so before the match poking about the nearby Pleasley Colliery Museum (if it was open on an Easter Monday), but encountered interminable delays at numerous points on the A1. It really does anger me just how crap a road this is – supposedly the main route between the Capital cities of Scotland and England. The consequence of all the frustrating crawling being, I did not arrive at Field Mill/One Call Stadium until around a quarter to three.
Just time to park my car at what looked like the local dairy, and stride to the ticket office. There to be met by yet another queue: a fucking big, slow-moving one!
|As if all the queueing I did on the A1 was not enough, |
this was the ticket office queue at 2:55pm
The two chaps behind me blamed the fact the ticket office had been closed over the Easter holidays so they, and I assume the majority of the folks in the queue, could not get their tickets. A middle-aged woman turned and complained it had taken her half-an-hour to get here, and she just wanted in the see “The Lads”. I didn’t bother telling her I had just driven for 6 ½ hours to get to the match.
I finally took my seat in the upper tier of the Ian Greaves (main) Stand around twenty minutes after kick-off, with the score thankfully still at 0-0. Not that it stayed that way for long, for the home lot promptly opened the scoring; Alfie POTTER bashing in with his right after his initial left-foot attempt had been blocked.
Luton manager Nathan Jones, who been doing some decidedly un-Christian ranting on the touchline in frustration at the officials, clearly succeeded in positively redirecting his anger into motivating his players during the break, for Luton were much improved in the second-half. They equalised through a decidedly soft penalty award around the 50 minute mark; Danny HYLTON Panenka-ing home 'keeper Jake Kean. Kean was none too impressed with the business, and tripped the goalscorer up as he ran past him to pick up the ball. A yellow card was forthcoming.
|Luton prepare to kick off the second half.|
|Hylton panenkas Jake Kean.|
|Mansfield v Luton - April 2017.|
|Mansfield v Luton - April 2017|
|Mansfield v Luton - April 2017.|
|Alex MacDonald (Mansfield Town) and Luton Town's Lawson D'Ath (No 24)|
|Panorama of Field Mill/One Call Stadium, Mansfield.|
Luton really should have won the match with everything good coming down their right: Hylton missed a couple of close-range headers, and was also involved in another scrambled attempt which could easily have gone in.
Mansfield looked a bit more of a threat up when Alex MacDonald (who I had seen scoring a memorable free-kick at Northampton, a couple of seasons back) came on, and Rhys Bennett could even have won things at the death for the home side, but the former Falkirk player headed just over from a corner kick.
A draw was probably a fair result – one which, it has to be said, dented the home side's promotion drive more than that of the visitors.
|These former Mansfield Town players won the Freight Rover Trophy back in 1987.|
|The Bishop Street Stand is now deemed unsafe for use by fans - |
but apparently safe enough for the camera guys.
|The one remaining stretch of terracing at Field Mill - regretfully out of bounds.|
|Along the roof is a sign proclaiming Field Mill to be "The Oldest Professional Football Ground in the World".|
I thought that honour belonged to Bramall Lane?
|The North Stand.|
|The rear of the Quarry Lane Stand - Mansfield Town FC.|
|The rear of the Ian Greaves Stand - Mansfield Town FC.|
|Ian Greaves being the club manager at the time of the aforementioned Freight Rover Trophy win in 1987.|
And I will close this entry with a piece of information I think it would always be useful to know about a vehicle - particularly so, if one was about to set out to deliver some milk in it.