Frickley 2 AFC Mansfield 3
Light & shade
So the 100% win record ended in a manner that was as unexpected as it was disappointing & frustrating.
There were a few changes from the win at Cleethorpes on Monday, Watt & Liversidge for Jameel & Algar, Dan Palmer in for Tyler but it still looked a very strong team & a strong bench. But after serving up a first half of champagne football, the fizz went flat in the second half & all that was left to drink was bitter.
Frickley took the lead in the 7th minute, comedy defending as first a defender & then the keeper watched the ball bounce over their heads which left Haze with a very simple tap in to an open goal. Probably the easiest of his 75 goals for the club, it also meant that we have scored for 53 games in succession.
Further chances followed, the most noteworthy being Phil Watts excellent half volley which was well saved.
In the 13th minute, Haze beat the keeper & pulled it back for Jack Burton to score. 2-0 & no danger.
Hugo made a very good save to keep the score at 2 nil & the Blues had more chances through Liversidge & Gavin & at times the game was played like a pre season friendly, Frickley were so dominant & Mansfield rarely got into our half
HALF TIME - FRICKLEY 2 AFC MANSFIELD
I have no idea what happened at half time but what we saw was a complete reversal of the first half - Mansfield camped in the Frickley half & Frickley completely devoid of any pace, energy or skill.
Mansfield scored 3 times - all similar goals, tap ins due to defensive lapses (by the whole outfield 10 not just the back 4) & it was only Hugos form that kept it close. Spencer tried to change it - bringing on Tyler, Algar & Williams for Palmer, Liversidge & Patts but all we got was more of the same.
Our display second half was reminiscent to what we were served up fairly regularly in the relegation threatened seasons & I've seen enough of that to last more than 1 lifetime. I'm going to mark it down as a very, very, very, very bad half a day at the office & trust that the players will know that they need a massive bounce back display on Saturday.
Let's leave on a positive note - this team has proven that it wins most weeks so let's not forget that.
WEBMASTER MOTM - only Watt, Smith & McGuire gave anything like acceptable performances. Glitterball goes to Hugo for keeping it to 3 goals for the visitors.
193 through the gate, thank you to everyone who came - word up to the playing staff, people won't come back to watch performances like the 2nd half, sort it out.
Next up, we're away to Maltby on Saturday in the Emirates FA Cup - see you there