Weird And Wonderful

Luton The Weirdist I Will Ever Visit (Photo By Craig Priest's Trusty New Phone!)

Luton - the weirdest place I will ever visit (Photo by Craig Priest's Trusty New Phone!)

The Stags are now one week into the 2009/10 Blue Square season. This time last week we were sitting top of the table after brushing aside Crawley Town 4-0 at Fortress Field Mill.

Three days later it was the start of the away campaign, a trip to BSP new boys – and one of last season’s relegated teams, Luton Town. I won’t dwell on the Luton result – a 4-1 defeat where everybody lost their heads – not what we were expecting! Fair play to Luton, they are a strong outfit and their season last year could have been all too different had it not been for that points deduction.

I have one thing to say to Luton – sort your ground out! It just doesn’t seem right having to walk through what once was somebody’s back garden to get to the stand – that was a new experience! A few seasons ago I thought Bradford City’s ground was weird, but at least it made sense once you got inside. Luton’s never will, no matter how many times I think about it (or look at the fantastic photos that appeared on Facebook).

In those few days after the defeat to Luton all the positive energy seemed to have disappeared. Why!? Yes we lost, but the score is deceptive – it makes us look poor, but the game was a different story. A few people were calling me mad on the way home and via the Facebook page for this blog- “Defeat will do us no harm” is what I typed in the status update, just gone midnight! To my credit I did explain.

There are two definitions of “Winner” to me. The first is “Unbeatable – better than everyone else, too good for anyone to come close.” This to me is arrogant, and I feel if we had beaten Luton then continued on a winning run, it might be what we believed. But as many people will tell you, arrogance will get you nowhere in life. Yes you will be a “Winner”, but you’ll be a lonely one. The second definition of “Winner” is this: “A true winner can accept defeat, a true winner understands the hurt and slight shame of defeat, a true winner can bounce back stronger once they have tasted the upset they inflict on others.” This is a loved winner, this is a brave winner, and deserves the title- this is the “Winner” I think we will become.

 The next step towards this would be bouncing back at Salisbury, the team who gave us our first ever away BSP Victory last year under Billy McEwan. With a ground in practically the middle of nowhere, you want to visit on a nice day, which thankfully it was. Salisbury’s pitch is not one for fast football –  the grass is longer than my local field (which hasn’t been cut in years!), it’s hard to play a pacey passing game. Salisbury seemed to play ‘ariel football’ – getting the ball out quickly and then trying to get crosses in the box, or take a long-range effort if there was no possibly of wing play.

Goal Scorer Kyle Perry Takes A First Half Shot At Salisbury (Photo By Craig Priest)

Goal Scorer Kyle Perry Takes A First Half Shot At Salisbury (Photo By Craig Priest)

Before sounding too much like a scout, my point is that Mansfield were not fully able to play the fast-paced football such as that in the victory over Crawley at Field Mill. We had to battle to show our true quality – and in the end we did. A solitary goal from Kyle Perry in front of the Stags faithful ensured three points were heading back home with us. Kyle tried to set the ‘high-five’ record with his celebration, ‘high-fiving’ every supporter who was at the front. Top stuff.

 It has been said before – ‘A week is a long time in football’. This past week us Stags fans have experienced the downright weird (Luton’s ground) and the wonderful (an early away win in the sun), and in true fashion a mixture of both, as the supporters’ bus slowly rolled out of Salisbury’s car park, the players were doing their warm down and clapped / waved to the travelling fans – weird because I have never seen that before and wonderful why? Because that sums up Mansfield Town Football Club at times, just wonderful.

Next up for the Stags it’s Barrow and Ebbsfleet both at ‘Fortress’ Field Mill. The team have two jobs to do: 1) Keep our record going and 2) Chase the top spot again. Which of course leaves one final job for us supporters to do: get down to the Mill and create that wonderful atmosphere again.

 See you there, and ofcourse thank you for reading.


 “Mansfield Town FC; True Winners?”


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2 Responses to “Weird And Wonderful”

  1. bux46 Says:

    Nice blog Craig

    Well written and caught all the sentiment

  2. Josh Says:

    To be honest, I think to many websites/forums and blog sites are being made Everything should be together to make it more official and everything in one. I think things need to change and get updated…

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