Saturday, 7 February 2015

AFC Mansfield 0 Tadcaster Albion 3

FA Vase, fifth round
Attendance: 604

Well, I’m glad I had an interest in this game and that my local lads (Tadcaster) won. There was little about this occasion to appeal to the neutral; it was a one-sided contest at a very plain ground.

To give credit where it’s due, AFC Mansfield have done exceptionally well to get to this stage. The step 6 NCEL side have battled through six rounds without needing a replay to get here and are in only their third season. They were founded by three ex-directors of Mansfield Town who fell out with the rest of the boardroom. The Bulls then are, unusually, a directors’ rather than fans’ breakaway club. The reason for another community club in the region isn’t obvious since Shirebrook, Teversal and Rainworth are within a five-mile radius and Clipstone is just 1½ miles away. Cowering below the town’s two striking disused pit wheels, I’d past the latter’s ground on the way to AFC.

AFC are based at the former home of now defunct Forest Town Welfare. The pitch is surrounded by a gently shelved, narrow cycle track (I needed the zoom lens) and there’s a scoring tower in one corner, left over from its days as a cricket ground. Facilities include a pavilion behind one goal, clubhouse with conservatory, nine partly seated terraces and a flatpack stand acquired from Eastwood Town. Spectators are only permitted access around half of the pitch. Wembley could not have felt further away yet actually been so near in a competition sense.

Taddy nearly got off to a nightmare start when a sloppy and forceful back pass sent the keeper scurrying to and clashing with a post. That was as hairy as it got for the visitors who took the lead on 15 mins. Soon after a Mansfield player was sent off for dissent to the fury of manager and ex-Scarborough boss Rudi Funk (still, for me, the best name in football). He was banished from the pitch too. Taddy extended their lead just before half-time when they burst through the offside trap and the ball was squared to Blissett to stroke home. The killer goal came after 70 mins.

When Taddy missed a sitter soon after the away fans could afford to laugh about it. Events off the pitch then became more interesting than those on it when a fan had fluid thrown over him from the conservatory terrace. Beergate ensured led by the cops. Taddy fans, comprising about half the attendance, had been superb throughout but even they finally stopped singing “Tad all over” for the last 10 minutes and the drummer unyoked his instrument. Job done: we’re through. One way or another the quarter-final will be much more memorable, I’m sure.

The sweet smell of success: Previewing today’s match the Harrogate Advertiser sports writer said: “Progress [for Tadcaster] would shift the smell of the extraordinarily-priced Wembley hotdogs further up the M1.” Well, if I’m not mistaken the whiff has reached South Yorkshire and I’m getting peckish. Extra onions for me, please.

Weather news: It made a nice change not to have to check for a postponement nor don five layers before today’s game. Barney Ronay wrote an amusing piece about cold football matches in today’s Guardian. He says that Graeme Souness “did seem to be at his best when grimacing with shin-barking agony on some frosty cart track of a pitch, eyes narrowed, moustache writhing, the emperor of tiny-shorted midwinter pain-football.”

Mentions in dispatches: A fella dancing around among the Taddy fans is a yellow football shirt looked like Socrates reincarnated. No Captain Chickers today, sadly. Spare a thought for Colwyn Bay who today made one of the longest west-east journeys in non-league football to play Lowestoft. Six hours each way. Further scrutiny of the NLP reveals the wonderfully named Karl-Mike Fondop-Talun of Vase fifth rounders, Stanway Rovers.

vs Mansfield 07Feb2015 from PhotosbyDavid on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Lizbeth Davis said...

Mys husband is really fan of this football. He really enjoys watching sport. So as my anniversary gift, I booked fa cup final tickets reservation. I hope his favorite Team wins this season