March 30, 2002 Leave a comment
Onandi Lowe single-handedly ripped through the Mansfield defence as the striker scored his first hat-trick for the club to steer Diamonds to an excellent and well deserved 4-1 win at Field Mill.
And the game was capped off by a fine header from Brett Angell to score his first goal for Diamonds just 48 hours after completing a move to Nene Park from Walsall.
The only down side to this afternoon’s marvellous victory was the news that Duane Darby had to be carried off with what looked to be a nasty leg injury.
Diamonds boss Brian Talbot named an unchanged side to the one that recorded a 3-0 victory against Shrewsbury Town last weekend. That meant Duane Darby and Onandi Lowe started in attack.
Angell was named amongst the substitutes while Mark Peters was up against his former club.
For Mansfield, rookie goalkeeper Michael Bingham was called into action for his first ever league appearance with normal shot-stopped Kevin Pilkington out through suspension.
Stags boss Stuart Watkiss gambled in not naming a substitute goalkeeper amongst his five bodies on the bench but former Newcastle star Scott Sellars was included as a sub.
Mansfield went into the game looking for their first victory in three games while Diamonds arrived at Field Mill on the back of consecutive 3-0 victories.
Diamonds made the much brighter start out of the two sides and Stuart Wardley nearly put the visitors in front inside the first minute but his shot went straight into the arms of Bingham.
Then just moments later, Paul Hall went even closer. Picking the ball deep inside the Mansfield half the midfielder skipped past two defenders and his curling shot went just inches over the crossbar.
It was an electric start to the game, played in beautiful weather conditions. On three minutes, Mansfield had a penalty appeal waved away when David Kelly tumbled in the area.
Diamonds certainly started the brighter side. They were controlling large periods of the game, looking comfortable on the ball and creating a few goal scoring opportunities.
After 15 mins: Mansfield 0 Diamonds 0
On 15 minutes, Mansfield created their best chance of the game. A free-kick in a dangerous position caused the Diamonds defence all kinds of problems and when the ball broke to Kelly, Billy Turley had to be quick to react.
Mansfield were now getting themselves back into the game. Greenacre was causing the Diamonds defence some problems but it was clear that the home-side had soon stepped up a gear.
The home-side nearly took the lead on 24 minutes when after a shot from Greenacre was not held by Turley, Tarkan Mustafa had to make a vital clearance off the goal line to stop Kelly getting a vital touch.
There were worrying signs for Diamonds as the half-hour mark approached with Darby hobbling off after taking a whack from a Mansfield defender. But he soon returned and took his normal position in attack.
After 30 mins: Mansfield 0 Diamonds 0
But the pain was too much for Darby who could not carry on so it was an early debut for Angell who replaced the popular striker on 30 minutes.
Mansfield were keeping the pressure on without creating to many chances but on 38 minutes Diamonds took the lead in spectacular style.
It was another special strike from Onandi Lowe. Picking the ball up just outside the Mansfield penalty area the Jamaican powered past a defender and after finding some space he unleashed an unstoppable shot past Bingham.
It was probably what the visitors deserved, although at the time it may have been against the run of play but it certainly gave the lively Diamonds crowd something to cheer about.
At half-time: Mansfield 0 Diamonds 1
Diamonds began the second-half brightly and could have extended their lead inside the first minute when Andy Burgess’ cross should have been stuck away by Hanlon but it hit the side netting.
That miss then proved costly as Mansfield got themselves back on level terms. Adam Murray sneaked in front of the Diamonds defence and burst through on goal to calmly slot the ball past Turley.
But then just moments later Diamonds restored their lead and it was that man again. Lowe capitalized on a mistake in the Mansfield defence and powered another unstoppable shot past Bingham from an impossible angle.
It was a great response from the Diamonds and soon they were looking the better side once again. Hall was creating some exciting runs down the right flank and Lowe was causing the Mansfield defence all kinds of problems.
After 60 mins: Mansfield 1 Diamonds 2
On 60 minutes Diamonds nearly extended their lead when Angell played a cross into the Mansfield penalty area and some confusion between Les Robinson and Bingham, Lowe nearly stole in to grab his hat-trick.
But his hat-trick did arrive on 63 minutes when he fired home Hall’s free-kick after the Mansfield defence failed to clear their lines.
It was a wonderful goal and this was turning out to be another fine performance from Diamonds – the question is could they hold on to three very valuable points.
Greenacre fired wide off the target on 70 minutes but despite being 3-1 in front it was Diamonds who looked the more likely side to grab another goal. Turley was having a quiet afternoon.
Mansfield went close to reducing the lead on 72 minutes when Sellars dragged his shot wide of the target as Diamonds’ defence was exposed.
After 75 mins: Mansfield 1 Diamonds 3
The home-side were slowly getting themselves back into the game and Bradley should have done better when he fired his shot wide off the target when it looked easier to score.
But the game was made safe on 80 minutes. Hall delivered an excellent cross from out on the right wing and Angell headed home from close range to score on his debut for the club.
Lowe was substituted on 80 minutes and went off to a standing ovation from all sections of the Field Mill ground as he was replaced by Scott Partridge.
Hall nearly made it five to Diamonds with five minutes remaining but only brought out an outstanding save from Bingham.
This was an outstanding performance from Diamonds and at the final whistle they fully deserved their standing ovation they received from the excellent support from the fans.
Full-time: Mansfield 1 Diamonds 4
Mansfield: Bingham, Robinson, Disley, Barrett, Pemberton, Murray, Williamson (Sellars 57), Kelly (White 60), Corden (Bradley 75), Greenacre, Hassell.
Subs not used: Asher, Reddington.
Diamonds: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood, Peters, Tillson, Hall (Brady 86), Hanlon, Wardley, Burgess, Lowe (Partridge 80), Darby (Angell 30).
Subs not used: Dowell, Setchell.
Referee: Mr H Halsey