Thursday, August 15, 2013
With three home points secured against local rivals Bristol Rovers on the first day of the season, it was the Grecians turn to hit the road and play at the home of newly promoted Mansfield Town, writes Gareth Hughes.
The Stags were relegated to non-league football in 2008 and secured their place in League Two winning 20 of their last 23 games in the Conference Premier, ending their five-year absence from the Football League. Their first game of the season was an away trip to Scunthorpe which ended in a 2-0 loss.
After the game City manager Paul Tisdale commented that he was disappointed with the result and having not brought home all three points. The overall fans view of the game though seemed to be that it was a good point earned as both teams had chances to win with an entertaining and impressive City performance. Clearly it still early days, and with just three new players added to the squad, with one already farmed out on a season’s loan, Paul Tisdale has had to make cutbacks and clearly there will be a greater reliance on the Grecians’ crop of young players, and a general hope that the key experienced men can stay away from injury.
It was clearly party time for Mansfield fans and it could have been so much better for Paul Cox’s men had new-boy Calvin Andrew managed to convert a couple of good first half chances. The former Crystal Palace forward should have hammered Mansfield into the lead after just six minutes, but fired tamely at Artur Krysiak in the Grecians’ goal.
Andrew, also saw a bullet header cleared off the line after 24 minutes by City fullback Craig Woodman as Mansfield continued to press.
James Jennings rifled a shot over the bar from distance in the 17th minute as Stags continued to press for their first goal since their return to the Football League.
In response impressive new signing from non league Staines, David Wheeler then warmed the palms of Alan Marriott on 27 minutes and resurgent Liam Sercombe brought the best out of the Mansfield shot-stopper in the 35th minute when Marriott tipped his sweetly hit free-kick away for a corner as The Grecians turned up the heat.
The second half was just as lively as Jennings corner over the bar in the 49th minute as Mansfield started the second half strongly and there there were chances for both sides with City playing some good football and passing. For City Parkin came close to scoring, Artur Krysiak acrobatically turned the ball over from a dipping McGuire volley and in injury time Jamie Reid fired a tame free-kick at Alan Marriott in injury time which confirmed a share of the spoils.
The long-serving Grecians boss Paul Tisdale said the solid start to the League Two season was a comfort, but could not disguise his slight frustration at missing an opportunity to follow up the opening weekend’s win over Bristol Rovers with another victory: “There were three points there if we’d played better. I don’t think we deserved it on the match - they had pressure, we had good chances too, and each side will think back to a couple of chances missed. “It just didn’t quite happen for us.”
So City are undefeated in the League this season, and this Saturday it’s another home game when St James Park welcome AFC Wimbledon. Will it be the Grecian’s second home win of the new campaign? Come on you Reds.
We are always very keen to hear from those interested in learning more about us, and hopefully joining the East Devon Grecians. Check out our website http://www.eastdevongrecians.com/ or phone 01395 515552.