Sun Factor Four

At Last! The football season returns, all over the country fans got out of bed Saturday and breathed a big sigh of relief. Or was it just me?

 The start of the season has arrived, time to spend Saturday afternoons in stadiums up and down the country, Tuesday evenings on occasion too! Time for the dreaded long trips to follow your team, even they don’t season to matter, as you get out of bed on the first morning and open the curtains to a beautiful day.  I got the feeling there and then, that this year’s going to be good.

Stags Working Hard In Pre-season (Photo By Craig Priest)

Stags Working Hard In Pre-season (Photo By Craig Priest)

We’ve battled hard in pre-season against Rotherham (behind closed doors), Newport, Leicester, Alfreton, Walsall and Hartlepool –  everyone, fans and players alike, is ready for the serious stuff to begin.

 Friday was a surge of different stories from various websites, each one giving a clear message of “We Are Ready” and my personal favourite from the messiah (David Holdsworth) himself: “Bring It On!” The “Link” button on my facebook page went into overdrive! Everyone had that football feeling!

 Steve Evans brought his Crawley side to Field Mill, the first team to visit under manager Holdsworth’s reign. We started our fantastic unbeaten league run against them, would they be able to put it to an end? Could we get out of the starting blocks first and grab a decent league position? Could we create a buzzing atmosphere inside Field Mill? Lots of questions, lots of possibilities on the opening day, beautifully answered with a beautiful game of football –  the best I have seen at Field Mill for a long long time.

 Mansfield Town 4-0 Crawley Town! A result which put us top of the league! Cracking! Steve Evans caused a stir (as normal) after the game, stating the ref was biased and claiming one of our goals to be “at least five yards offside”.  Steve’s comments, of course, laughed away. The truth was Mansfield were outstanding against a tough Crawley side, who forced us to defend even at 4-0.

The atmosphere was brilliant, too, the loudest I have hesrd Field Mill since the visit of Middlesbrough in the FA Cup. A sea of amber and blue shirts sprawled round the stadium, with just a dash (something like 52) of Crawley red. The minute’s applause for the late Sir Bobby Robson couldn’t have been more fitting either, everyone players, staff, supporters were on there feet. The sun shone all game over and the heat could have easily got to the players, but they stayed composed and delivered what we Stags fans wanted; our first victory of the new season, lots of goals and entertainment and the vital three points.

 We are now ahead in our race, heading up the pack, by a solitary goal. The key to winning any race, is to get ahead early, keep up the pace and focus on what is in front of you, not what is behind – no doubt we will be doing just that at Luton on Tuesday evening, and again at Salisbury on Saturday – a game I am personally looking forward too, as last time I was very ill and cant remember little of the game, the power of soothers and vapour rub had taken effect by 3pm!

Let’s hope we can keep hold of our fantastic home record, start a decent away one and most importantly, keep hold of top spot, or at least a tight hold on second too.

 As I mentioned it’s next stop Luton, although it’s our first Tuesday trip, I hope to see many happy smiley Stags fans down there decked out in the sea of amber!

Until that time, enjoy looking at the league table and have a good week.

 Craig.

 “Mansfield Town FC; This Is Our Season”

The "This Is Our Season" Speach, Created on a day over positive overdrive! Word by Craig Priest

The "This Is Our Season" Speach, Created on a day over positive overdrive! Word by Craig Priest

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