Thursday, 27 April 2017

Forthcoming games: April & May 2016-17

Sat 29 Apr - Mansfield Town v Grimsby Town - EFLYA U18 - 11am at Clipstone FC
Sat 29 Apr - Maltby Main v Handsworth Parramore - NCEL Prem - 3pm
Sun 30 Apr - Selston v Hucknall Town - CMFL Challenge Cup Final - 3pm at Alfreton Town FC
Tue 2 May - Retford United v Sheffield FC - WVH NMU19L - 7.45pm
Wed 3 May - Collingham v AFC Bentley - CMFL North - 7.45pm
Thu 4 May - AFC Mansfield v Belper Town - WVH NMU21L LC Final - 7.30am at Sheffield FC
Sat 6 May - TBC
Sun 7 May - TBC
Mon 8 May - Rotherham United v Bolton Wanderers - U18 Friendly - at New York Stadium 7pm
Wed 10 May - Market Warsop v Retford United - Notts Ladies League Senior Cup - 7.30pm at Calverton MW
Thu 11 May - Swallownest v Espial - WVH NMU19L - 7.45pm
Wed 17 May - Bridlington Town v Penistone Church - NCEL League Cup Final - 7.30PM at Sheffield United FC
Fri 19 May - Sutton Rovers v Swinton Athletic - Doncaster & District FA Cup Final - at Doncaster Rovers FC
Sun 21 May - Cleethorpes Town v South Shields - FA Vase Final - 12.15pm at Wembley Stadium
Sun 21 May - Macclesfield Town v York City - FA Trophy Final - 4.15pm at Wembley Stadium
More games to be added in due course and no doubt some of the above information will be amended, as fixtures and/or my preferences change... and I've probably inserted several errors too. 
I'm quite sure that somebody, somewhere will let me know.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

FC Bolsover 5 v Clay Cross Town 1 - CMFL North

Wednesday 26th April 2017
Central Midlands League (North)
at Langwith Road, Shirebrook Town FC
FC Bolsover (3) 5
Josh Parfitt 4, 70
Josh Thomas 20, 73
Josh Scully 29
Clay Cross Town (1) 1
Ant Lynam 27
Admission £3. Attendance 248
When we arrived at ROOK TOWN ALL CLUB, via the 'Curry Night' at the Alders in Ollerton, mein fuhrer and I found parking to be at a premium around the ground and all of the programmes were sold out too, due to the massive local interest in this potentially title deciding derby match.
The scene was set thus: a Clay Cross Town win tonight, or even a draw, meant that they would be crowned as CMFL North champions.
But a victory for FC Bolsover, would see them climb to within just one point of tonight's opponents in the table, meaning that the title race was going right down to the wire on Saturday, when the Millers travel to Collingham and 'FCB' entertain Phoenix FC at Langwith Road.
In the event, the visitors misfired on the night, in front of a large and expectant crowd of 248, while 'Boza' grasped the opportunity to close the gap to just one point, with a demonstration of incisive and quality finishing.
And while the home side will be floating into Saturday's game on the back of a wave of euphoria, the Millers will need to put the disappointment of tonight's display to the back of their minds with immediate effect and focus on the job in hand, as they strive to mount a very tricky final hurdle at Station Road.
So given the layout of the league table after tonight's result, there's no pressure on the Millers at all, as the destiny of a whole year's work goes down to the final ninety minutes of the season.
Not much anyway!
Collingham themselves face a re-arranged game at Harworth Colliery tomorrow night, but the early kick off time of 7.15PM will prevent our attendance at that one, which is a shame because it would've been good to catch up with quite a few people I know who are involve with both teams.
You certainly wouldn't have guessed that the Millers were about to be subjected to a high scoring reversal, when they came out of the traps quickly at the outset of the game and Callum Lytham was unlucky to see the his angled shot deflect wide if the left hand upright.
But in the fourth minute the home side launched their first attack and Josh Parfitt broke free through a gaping hole in the visitors defence and lobbed the ball over Charlie Clayton, who had been left with no option but to charge forward from his line, and it bounced up into the roof of the net, to give Bolsover the lead.
The game ensued at a cracking pace and as the ball fizzed about there were several players who could count themselves lucky that the match referee Ian Jackson isn't get the eyes in the back of his head installed under he is promoted up the refereeing ranks next season.
The frantic tempo of the game seemed to be suiting Bolsover far better than it was the league leaders, who would've benefited from slowing things down a bit and taking a bit more time on the ball, as several rushed passes never reached their intended destination and possession was squandered far too easily at times.
But by the time that they had settled in and got their bearings properly, Bolsover had already scored again, when Josh Thomas diverted the ball past Clayton with a clever flick of his heel at the near post from Josh Scully's free kick.
Ant Lynam brought the Millers back into the game, when he spanked a low free kick into the bottom corner of the hosts net, that took the slightest deflection en route to Ryan Hopkins' goal, but it was going in anyway.
Watch out! Scully's going to... err, too late, 3-1!
But two minutes later, Josh Scully restored his sides two goal cushion, when he 'lumped' a long range free kick straight into the top left hand corner, that Clayton had no hope whatsoever of getting near to.
HT: FC Bolsover 3 v Clay Cross Town 1
'Cross' rallied from the restart, with Ryan Ordidge narrowly failing to get a touch onto a right wing delivery, while Lytham was just inches away from reaching Josh Brown's defence splitting through ball, but Hopkins was alert to the danger and sprinted out to get there first.
And when Lytham went shoulder to shoulder with Ross Murcott, trying to get a his shot away inside the area, the ever reliable defender forced him wide and the ball bulged the wrong side of the side netting.
The visitors hopes of a comeback began to evaporate in the seventieth minute, when Parfitt picked the ball up in line with the Langwith Road tea hut on the right hand side of the pitch and tried his luck from long range and the ball bobbled unkindly in front of Clayton and ended up going in for Bolsover's fourth via the foot of the post.
I don't know if the same conditions still apply, but when Worksop Town Under 19s used to play at Shirebrook, we used to tell the players to shoot from roughly the same place that Parfitt had scored from, because on of the floodlights on the halfway line would always be pointing right in the goalkeepers face from behind the attacking player and would make the ball invisible to him for a vital split second or two. It might explain why Parfitt had just made it 4-1.
Three minutes later, the title race was blown wide open as Josh Thomas timed his run to receive a knock over the Millers defence, between them and Clayton and really couldn't miss with such a close range chance.
In a moment that encapsulated Clay Cross Town's miserable night, Lee Clay smashed the ball towards Bolsover's momentarily unguarded goal, after Hopkins had punched left his six yard box to punch the ball away, but it struck his team mate Ant Lynam, who took the sting out of Clay's effort and the home side cleared their lines.
Despite finishing the game with a flurry of activity around the Bolsover area, the Millers had effectively left it too late to be able to change the inevitable outcome now, as Clay went close again from Brown's delivery.
FT: Bolsover 5 v Clay Cross Town 1
It was nice to catch up with Gillian and Jim Watters tonight, who we haven't seen for ages... and of course, around two hundred other people who gravitate around the same geographical sphere we do and are bound to all end up in the same place on nights like this.
It is a shame for Clay Cross that Ryan Bates was out injured and Ryan Watters is away making great strides in is career with the marines, because Bates is nearly as good a footballer as his sister these days, while Watters could always be relied upon to find some way of salvaging games late in  the day.
But I was genuinely being impartial tonight, because I have friends on and off the pitch at 'Boza' and 'Cross'. So good luck to both teams on Saturday, what a nail biting finale to the season, it is going to be.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Mansfield Town 0 v Rotherham United 2 - Central League

Both first team managers survey the scene
Tuesday 25th April 2017
2pm Kick Off
Central League
at Kirklington road, Rainworth
Mansfield Town (0) 0
Rotherham United (1) 2
Trialist 35
Darnelle Bailey-King 75
Attendance 75
Photo gallery: CLICK HERE
Match report on Stags website: CLICK HERE
End of season stuff, played out in a bitterly cold wind (they didn't put all of those wind turbines up around Rainworth for nothing) howling across the Kirklington Road pitch, that preceded the storm of Biblical proportions that arrived right on the full time whistle... I had hailstones as big as a horses knackers bouncing on my car roof as I drove back home to Emmerdale, I'll tell ya Mr Wilkes! 
I suspect that I might not be leaving the house again for another game later tonight, because I'm old, cold and nesh.
For the record, Rotherham won this afternoon courtesy of two very well taken strikes... and I don't really think that there is very much that I can add to that.
Any further comment would merely be a ham fisted attempt to big up an extremely uneventful game up, in a vainglorious attempt to make it sound more interesting than it really was.
Don't try this at home kids, but even if you leave one in your deep freezer overnight until it solidifies, you still can't really polish a turd... so I won't even try.
See you all in Shirebrook tomorrow night for the CMFL North game between FC Bolsover and Clay Cross Town.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Worksop Town 3 v Maltby Main 3 - NCEL Prem

Saturday 22nd April 2017
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium
Worksop Town (1) 3
Jack Waddle 25
Kyle Jordan 49
Steven Wankiewicz 64
Maltby Main (2) 3
Keegan Burton 9
Reece Wesley 41
Sam Forster 82
Admission £5. Programme £1. Attendance 249
Flickr photo gallery from today's game HERE
WTF is it with WTFC!?
All of the disparate (desperate even) groups, who were tearing the club apart in several different directions a few years ago, all seemed to realise that divided, they would be conquered... and having apparently seen the light, they all joined ranks and came together under the same banner, overcoming considerable odds, to stop a club that was sliding into decline from teetering over the brink into complete and total obscurity. 
Alas, that light was merely shining through a crack in the ubiquitous storm clouds, that it would seem will forever hang menacingly over this football club for all perpetuity.
And the self destructive habits of old, encompassing all of the finger pointing, whispering cliques, misinformation, rampant suspicion and mistrust, myopic stubbornness and uncompromising agendas are back with a vengeance/
Although one could never question the loyalty of their staunch army of supporters, who turn up home and away in vast numbers, that are the envy of all other NCEL clubs and quite a few others who ply their trade in higher leagues, it is the unfathomable, volatile, complex and stubbornly uncompromising psyche and mindset of the opposing factions within that core support, that will inevitably see them turn on each other and tear the club apart from the inside, yet a again, each and every time the next mess seems to be sorted out and the Tigers appear to be setting sail for more tranquil seas.
Stop it FFS! 
Worksop fans, lend me your ear, you are all on the same side, so bury all the petty, personal and spiteful differences, scapegoating and vendettas, cut the crap, accept the obvious facts, realise the true potential that a unified Worksop Town FC has and please: lose the air of entitlement and take and on board what the limitations of the club actually are too. 
You're currently a mid table NCEL team, ground sharing at a rented 'home', but at least you still have a team to support... and things very nearly got a whole lot worse.
It genuinely saddens me that this club has once more, morphed into a multi-headed beast, whose many angry faces are arguing among themselves and biting each other, instead of gelling together with a shared purpose to (in the first instance) stabilise the club and then attempt to take it forward in the future.
Nobody could ever accuse the Tigers supporters of not caring, but to my way of thinking (not that anybody should give a flying one what I think... and I generally only have a 53% pass rate with my assumptions anyway), that obvious passion turns all too quickly, into volatility and even anger, under the slightest of perceived differences of opinion. 
Not all Worksop fans are like any of the objective and subjective views detailed above however, it's only the majority of them, most of the time..
Joy Division's front man Ian Curtis knew exactly what he was talking about when he wrote: "Love will tear us apart", some 37 years ago, before he committed suicide.
Hey! Look everybody, it's my extremely handsome
old pal, Craig Shithouse. An unsung WTFC hero.
Oh yeah... and there was a cracking, very evenly matched game of football played at Sandy Lane today too.
I have certainly seen Maltby play better than they did today in recent weeks, but they knew what they would be up against and tweaked a game plan accordingly, to cater for working around the opposition they were facing's strengths and weaknesses... and to cater for a few enforced selection choices and options as the treatment table at Muglet Lane threatens to buckle under the strain.
Three goals apiece, a point each and a sixth game on the knock, in an impressive unbeaten run for the Miners, while Worksop picked up their first point since the 25th March, when they were held to a 1-1 draw against Staveley, before losing their next four games in a row, seemed to be a universally acclaimed fair result.
Keegan Burton was proving to be a handful for Worksop from the off, causing Julian Lawrence and Jon Kennedy a few problems early on, before narrowly failing to glance Josh Nodder's free kick past the Tigers experienced goalkeeper/manager a couple of minutes in, 
But he did open the scoring in the ninth minute, when he burst free on the right flank, leaving any potential suitors in his wake, before hooking an angled shot over Kennedy that nestled inside the side netting just inside the left hand post.
Jerome Slew advanced on the Maltby goal, but twenty yards from his destination, Reece Wesley nicked the ball off him with a calm, composed and timely interception, before showing a delicate gossamer like touch and cultured array of close control, before caressing the ball forward, away from the danger zone.
Adam Scott enjoyed running at the Maltby defence all afternoon, until Dean Smith brought one of his maze like runs to an abrupt halt inside the final ten minutes, with a well executed, firm yet (borderline) fair assassination attempt twenty yards from the visitors goal.
Jack Waddle, whose dad played the best football of a fairly distinguished career at Worksop, nudged home an equalising goal from close range, after Craig Mitchell had struggled to clear the ball in the Maltby six yards as it bounced up awkwardly off the late season surface.
Adam Scott skimmed a shot over the bar, after making a forty yard run that had the home crowd purring with approval and the same player picked out Slew with a left wing delivery, but the Tigers number 9 missed an absolute sitter.
Jordan Hodder fouled Keegan Burton just outside the Worksop area... and I mean just, everybody could see the white dust of the eighteen yard line, but having slammed his initial free kick into the Tigers defensive wall, Hodder couldn't get enough purchase on his second attempt from the rebound.
Wesley, Maltby's defensive mainstay, dedicated a goal that he scored against Retford United last week, to me, in my absence on the occasion of my birthday celebration in that there London.
But today he went one better and treated me to one in person, when just before half time, the Tigers defence did a passable impression of a Sunshine Busload of special needs kids chasing a balloon around on a windy beach from Lewis Bemrose's long throw in and allowed 'Wes' the time and space to slot the ball past Kennedy with a well executed and quite divine left footed finish.
Fancy awarding me with the accolade of a goal dedication just 48 hours before I submitted my vote for the Maltby Main committee members player of the season ;-)
HT: Worksop Town 1 v Maltby Main 2
The second half was just four minutes old when Worksop turned up mob handed and Kyle Jordan levelled up the score with a great hooked shot from just outside the Miners area.
It was a great strike and there would've been very little that Matby's evergreen goalie Jamie Bailey could've done about it as the ball dipped narrowly beneath his crossbar, just a split second after he'd seen it coming.
Straight from the restart, Bemrose shot straight at Kennedy, who has been dealing with long range efforts straight at him like that since he began his career at Worksop Town in his teens, when all the photos were still black and white and nobody in the outside world would've known that he was playing in a most unbecoming bright pink shirt.
There was almost an unsightly furore in front of the main stand, on the only five yard strip of the pitch that isn't completely obscured from view by the multitude of girders holding the roof up, when the Tigers Leon Loftus started bickering with Maltby's Danny Patterson, over who had the nicest hairstyle... at least I think that's what I overheard.
For purposes of clarification, Patterson's demi-wave, held in place by whole tub of VO5 Extreme Styling Clay, is far more becoming for a man of his age than the full on bubble perm sported by Loftus, which in reality serves as warning to everybody about having a DIY perm at home, using the cheap option from Home Bargains unisex range. Hopefully for Loftus' sake, it will grow out soon.
Waddle, Slew and Scott were upping the ante for Worksop, but Richard Adams was patrolling the edge of the visitors area, like an immovable steel 'No Entry' door, while if any Worksop player got a sniff of an opening, Smith, Patterson and Wesley were all over them like a really bad nettle rash.
Alas, the Maltby defence's resistance wobbled momentarily and Steve Wankiewicz towered above them and powerfully headed the ball past Bailey to put the Tigers in front for the first time.
When Iwas working with Worksop Under 19s, all those years ago, Wankiewicz, was nicknamed Cat. Not because of his undoubted agility, but because he used to stay out all night and piss just about anywhere. The last time I was involved with a team who played against him, he scored then too... You can stop that lark Wankie!
As Adam Scott saw his shot turned away by Bailey and subsequently cleared by Wesley, the Maltby Youth Casuals (pictured above) began to chant "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!"
At the outset of this season, Maltby might now have caved in and lost the game now, but the recent transformation is clear for all to see.
Patterson lofted a great weighted ball forward to Smith, who was unlucky to see his flicked header turned over the bar by Kennedy.
Either way, 'Kendo' gathered Jordan Snodin's resulting corner as he plucked the ball out of the air.
Hopewell and Nodder were probing the Tigers final third (not a bestiality euphemism as it happens), but Vankervich (spelt Wankiewicz) was having a good game at the back for Worksop.
Maltby didn't deserve to lose this game, but with time running out, as Kennedy saved from Sam Forster it was obvious that it was going to need something special to get any change out of the home defence, who were by now defending like, errr... tigers.
But in the 82nd minute, Forster, who had been kidding us on and merely testing his range, 'did a Keegan Burton', when he charged forward on the right and struck an unstoppable diagonal shot across Kennedy that nestled sweetly into the net.
The crazy gang of the NCEL, were on their way to taking a point against a big fish that is currently swimming in the NCEL's itsy bitsy pond and it was the very least that they deserved too.
And that my dear reader (I know you're still out there, thanks for tuning in again pal), is how the second leg of my very enjoyable day of watching football came to a satisfactory ending, in the resplendent North Nottinghamshie sun.
FT: Worksop Town 3 v Maltby Main 3
Next weekend, both of these clubs play their final games of the 2016-17 season, when Worksop face Thackley at Sandy Lane, while Maltby welcome Handsworth Parramore to Muglet Lane.
If you've got a couple of hours and five pounds to spare next Saturday afternoon, you could do a lot worse than make your way over to either of these mouth watering prospects of games, if you're in the area.
Thanks to Chris Randall and Johnny Marsden, for your generosity of spirit today, your kindness is greatly appreciated. 
It was, as always, a great pleasure to catch up with the many friends I have at both clubs and several neutrals of my aquaintance who were at the game today too.
In closing, I suppose I really ought to mention, that the Mansfield Town U18 team, won their league title earlier today, it is their second consecutive such triumph... and that the suits at the Stags have invited me to stay on at the club indefinitely, which I am very happy to do, as well as putting in a bit of time to assist, where and when I can, at Maltby Main FC.
WTFC sweeper system. While you lot are buggering off
home for your chippy tea, these lads are still hard at work

Mansfield Town 2 v Burton Albion 1 EFL Youth Alliance

Saturday 22nd April 2017
EFL U18 Youth Alliance
at Kirklington Road, Rainworth MW FC
Mansfield Town (2) 2
Nyle Blake 26, Jason Law 44
Burton Albion (0) 1
Joe Sbarra 48
Flickr photo gallery: CLICK HERE
Mansfield Town:
Wilson, Bloor, Baldwin, Ward, Ratcliffe (C), Harrison, Wilder, Healey, Hakeem, Law, Blake (Reittie 82)
Unused subs - Sundby, Dumbleton, Walker, Smith
Burton Albion:
Hawkins, Cooke (Hart 83), Hutchinson, Hallahan, Cotterill, Dowd, Saville, Harrison (Savage 65), Sbarra, Matthews (Steer 73)
Unused subs - Ollie Fairbrother, Ethan Vale
The Stags youngsters went into this game secure in the knowledge that their fate was in their own hands and a two point haul from their remaining two games would see them crowned as champions for the second year running, regardless of what happened anywhere else.
In the event, they claimed all three ponts against a spirited Brewers side, who obviously hadn't just come to make up the numbers.
Having started on the front foot, with Zayn Hakeem, Nyle Blake and Teddy Bloor taking the game to their visitors from all directions, while utilising the height of Cameron Healey to good effect inside the Albion goalmouth.
Callum Hawkins, the Burton keeper got the faintest of touches to a towering header from Healey to help the ball over the crossbar, but the unsighted referee awarded a goal kick. Match officials are only human and they occasionally make mistakes, just like the players.
Joe Sbarra provided Burton with their first attack, when he cut in field from out on the right flank, but his shot was easily dealt with by Sam Wilson.
Mansfield had one hand on the championship trophy, when Kane Baldwin's long distance delivery found Jason Law with his back to goal and as the visitors defence tried to crowd Law and Hakeem out of the game, between them they managed to knock the ball sideways into the path of Nyle Blake, who crashed it past Hawkins to put the Stags ahead.
Hakeem strode powerfully forward for thirty yards, before wrong footing two defenders who were tracking him and having changed direction, rolled the ball sideways to Healey, but Tom Hammerton managed to intercept his intended pass and cleared the danger, for now.
Bloor's left wing corner towards the Stags skipper, Morgan Ratcliffe, was headed back towards him by Jayden Cotterill and when the Stags number two crashed the ball across the six yard box, it deflected wide off of Danny Cooke's right hand, but the referee waved away the appeals for a penalty, ruling that Cooke had been unable to get out of the way and any contact was purely unintentional.
Eager to ram home their advantage, the Stags created a string of chances,but only managed to clear the crossbar three times in quick succession, with Henri Wilder letting rip with a long range shot, Law turned the ball over from ten yards after Blake had headed Bloor's cross down to him and Kieran Harrison diverted the ball over, when he met another cross from Bloor over with a powerful header.
With half time fast approaching, Jason Law spotted a gap in the Albion defence, put on a burst of pace to shimmy through it and confidently side footed the ball beyond the reach of Hawkins.
Right at the start of the second half, the Stags made hard work of clearing the ball out of defence and Joe Sbarra pounced to take advantage and rolled the ball into the back of the net from close range.and all of a sudden, it was 'game on' again, with everything still to play for.
Keaton Ward carried the ball forward thirty yards, avoiding two attempted tackles, before laying the ball off the Law, who quickly played it to Wilder on the right flank, before taking the return pass and showing some neat touches to get beyond Reece Hutchinson and crossing to Ward who had continued his run, but when the industrious midfielder shot from just inside the Burton area, Cotterill blocked his effort.
Wilder tried his luck with a speculative shot from twenty yards and when the ball ricocheted back to him he knocked it back to Ward, who danced through  the left channel and whipped a cross into the path of Blake and Hakeem, but neither of them could quite get a foot on it and Burton had a lucky escape.
Harrison swerved a free kick from outside the area over the Burton defensive wall, but Hawkins had it covered and plucked the ball out of the air.
Ward teed the ball up nicely for Wilder, but he couldn't keep his shot on target as he blazed the ball wide of the left hand upright.
Burton were still a threat going forward and Wilson did well to keep out a well struck low shot by Charlie Dowd.
Dowd once again, showed good attacking intentions when he combined with Hallahan, but Wilson had read the situation well and claimed the ball.
The Brewers were defending in numbers and piling forward as a compact unit whenever the opportunity to counter attack arose, in the eighty ninth minute of the scheduled ninety, Hammerton broke free inside the Stags area and he unleashed a shot from ten yards and time stood still momentarily as it looked for all the world as if the celebratory champagne would have to stay on ice for at least another week, but Wilson had advanced bravely from his line and blocked the Burton captain's thumping shot.
Play switched ends quickly and Hakeem's persistence saw him release Wilder at the second attempt, but Hawkins twisted and turned the ball over the bar... and moments later, the final whistle signalled celebration time for the victorious Stags as they held on to clinch the title that they had been defending since last May.
What a fantastic achievement for all involved.
FT: Stags U18 2 v Burton Albion U18 0
Anyway... there's no need to go on and on and on and on, we are the champions my friends, and we'll keep on fighting 'til the end.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Ilkeston FC (Academy) 0 v Mansfield Town (Brooksby) 1 - English Colleges League

Friday 21st April 2017
National League U19 Alliance
English Colleges League
at the New Manor Ground
Ilkeston FC (0) 0
Mansfield Town (0) 1
Rhiess McLean 78
Flickr photo gallery HERE
To say that the New Manor Grounfd pitch was inneed of some TLC would be a massive understatement.
During a break in play, the match referee, the right honourable James Thornhill asked me if I could get him some water.
Happy to oblige a dehydrated match official, I quipped "Back in a minute pal, I'll just nip off and get you bottle"
"Oh it's not for me" replied Mr Thornhill "It's this pitch that's thirsty!"
A good point well made methinks.
Myles Saxton played a defence splitting ball into the path of Rheiss McLean as the Brooksby Lads had the better of the opening exchanges, but Charlie Wood dived bravely in and claimed the ball from off of the Stags strikers toe.
I didn't say bravely because the Wood ran the risk of being kicked for dashing head on into a potentially painful situation, because it was his gung ho act of complete disregard for his own safety, as he bounced on the bone hard pitch that posed the real danger... very real actually.
Ilson's Jake Brogden delivered a right wing cross towards Dan Faulkner, but Lewis Matthews did well to clear the ball away. Alas Matthews only last eighteen minutes before he hobbled out of the game, giving Mansfield the opportunity to let the mercurial talent that is Lance Moyo loose on their hosts.
Ryan  Evans set up McLean just inside the home side's area with a clever back heel, but the Stags number nine's shot was tipped over the bar at the expense of a corner, even though he had beaten the keeper. But none of the officials spotted it, so well done to the Robins right back Tom Taylor, that was a mighty fine save pal!
Paul Douglas pounced to claim an under hit back pass, but the visitors keeper, Sam Bennett, forced the  Reds striker to change course and as he ran wide, he sliced the ball past the post. Good goalkeeping doesn't always necessitate actually touching the ball.
Funsu Maveso delivered two good balls into the home side's goalmouth; Owen Clark headed the first one over and Wood punched McLean's flick towards Kieran Lane away.
Charlie Sheridan, who'd got forward to help his attack down the right flank, the last twice I have seen him play, operated more deeply today, keeping tabs on  the attacking threat that Kieran Fisher and Zibusiso Sibanda posed. And all told he won that/those particular battle(s) over the duration of the game.
Evans met Clark's free kick with his head and put the home goal under pressure again, but Wood got up and retrieved the ball.
Moyo was inches away from breaking the deadlock just before the break, when he had showed his initiative to see off a challenge before stroking the ball wide to Evans, who in turn crossed it to McLean and when Wood thwarted him, the loose ball fell to Moyo, who vanished in a cloud of dust as he hooked the ball inches past the right hand upright.
Ilkeston were just moments away from taking the lead through Sibanda, when Sheridan nicked the ball away with a well timed blocking tackle.
Evans was denied a penalty, despite getting his heels clipped as a bore down on the Ilkeston  goal, but having dusted himself down, he set up a chance for Wilson Irons, who blazed his shot from right to left, across the face of the Ilson goal and just wide of the left hand upright.
Wood saved from McLean as he turned on the spot to allow himself the time and space to drill the ball towards the Robins net.
Jack Toon was inches away from netting a cheeky goal, when his intended cross was cleared off the line.
The best water fetcher in development league football.
Evans shot was saved and moments later, Toon's close range stab was deflected round the post.
Finally, in the 78th minute, Irons unleashed a shot from ten yards out, that Wood did well to block, but he couldn't stop McLean latching onto the rebound to knock the only goal of the game in from close range.
Late in the day, Toon hooked the ball into the six yard box and as the keeper and two defenders followed Evans to the near post, he helped the ball on it's way to Irons, who shot wide with the goal at his mercy, as the ball sat up abruptly off of the concrete like pitch.
FT: Robins 0 v Stags 1