Mansfield Town 4 v 0 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Beaker (Moderator) on 08/12/2001
Woeful Town were dumped out of the FA Cup by Third Division Mansfield Town on Saturday,going down 4-0 at Field Mill. It was highly rated striker Chris Greenacre that did most of the damage with a well-taken hat-trick as the Stags ran out comfortable winners.Mansfield Town 4 v 0 Huddersfield Town

Town ended their ten-match unbeaten run with a shocking display and deserved the mauling they received. Punchless up-front,out-fought in midfield and sloppy at the back,the Terriers never looked like making it into the hat for the third round draw. Town manager Lou Macari,without the injured Nathan Clarke,threw Jon Dyson in at centre-back.It was his first game back after a lengthy absence through injury and it was clear from the start that this was a gamble that wasn't going to pay off.

As you would expect,Dyson was clearly lacking in sharpness and he was booked early on(harshly in my opinion)for clumsily bringing down Mansfield striker Bradley after losing possession to him. This resulted in a head wound for Bradley and he had to leave the field for treatment before eventually being substituted.

With the 1,800 Town fans once again questioning Macari's judgement(why not play Adie Moses at the back...after all you bought him)Mansfield went in front,Greenacre lashing a low shot past Margetson on 27 minutes as the defence stood and watched.

Town offered little in response,just playing the long hopeful ball to the out-of-sorts Andy Booth.His partner Leon Knight struggled with no service to speak of as wide men Schofield and Holland failed to get any decent balls into the box. Town were simply not at the races.

Mansfield,backed by the sort of vociferous home support that Town can only dream of,were working harder in all departments and made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time. Town's defence went AWOL and left Corden in acres of space to fire a low drive past Margetson after good work from Liam Lawrence.

At half-time,the general concensus of opinion in the Town end was that the manager should replace young Dwayne Mattis,who was having a nightmare,and Dyson,who shouldn't have started in the first place.He should put Moses on for Dyson and either Chris Hay or Baldry onto the wing and push Holland into the middle alongside Kenny Irons. Simple enough,eh? Not a bit of it!Only Dyson was replaced but instead of a straight forward like-for-like swap,Macari decided to change the whole defence around. Jenkins,who had started at right-back,was moved to the middle,Moses went to right back,Heary to left back and only Gray stayed where he was. Confused? So were the players! The Terriers did step up a gear at the start of the second half and forced a few corners but they never seriously threatened Pilkington in the Mansfield goal. And then on 63 minutes,it happened. The single most bizarre substitution I can ever remember. Chris Hay was coming on to try and nick a goal and obviously put poor Mattis out of his misery as he was getting worse as the game went on....but wait-Macari has other ideas...let's take Kenny Irons off instead! EH?

At first the Town contingent greeted this latest decision with stunned silence....and then a chorus of boos and abuse because Irons looked like the only player capable of putting a foot on the ball and actually passing it to a team-mate.Many calls for Macari's head were heard,because unless Irons was injured(didn't look like it)Lou had to be watching a different game.1,800 can't all be wrong can they?

To make matters worse,Mansfield made it 3-0 on 68 minutes,Greenacre holding off either Moses or Jenkins(couldn't really see which)and firing a low drive beyond Margetson after a long ball from the back. This started a mass exodus from the Town fans and many didn't see Greenacre claim his hat-trick with a sweet volley from Lawrence's low cross on 81 minutes. And it could've been worse with substitute Pemberton missing what like looked an open goal late on.

Mansfield fully deserved their win and on this showing will be in Division Two next season,especially if they can keep hold of Greenacre (got any spare cash Mr.Taylor?) For Town,meanwhile,it's back to the drawing board as this was the worst defeat and one of the worst performances of the season.Things will have to improve with two tough away games coming up in the league.

Teams:

Mansfield Town:Pilkington,Lawrence,Robinson, Barrett,Tankard,Hassell,Williamson,Disley, Corden(Pemberton 81),Bradley(White 18),Greenacre(Asher 85).

Huddersfield Town:Margetson,Heary,Gray,Dyson(Moses 46)Jenkins,Holland,Irons(Hay 63)Mattis,Schofeld,Knight,Booth.

Attendance:6,836

Referee:Mr.M.Pike(Had a poor game overall I thought especially when booking Knight for dissent after Mansfield had repeatedly fouled him without punishment in the second half)

Beaker's MOM: Chris Greenacre-Quality finishing.

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