Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Austin Powers Count for Little; Today's Quakers Match QUAKERS 1, MANSFIELD 2

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Austin Powers Count for Little; Today's Quakers Match QUAKERS 1, MANSFIELD 2

Article excerpt

Byline: By ANDREW WILKINSON at the Balfour Webnet Arena

DARLINGTON named an unchanged side from that which won 1-0 at Notts County on Tuesday.

Despite struggling at the wrong end of the table Mansfield had won three successive away games and in striker Michael Boulding they have one of the best goalscorers in the division.

Darlington started brightly, Blundell and Purdie firing in crosses from the left though Mansfield stood firm. Then when the visitors came forward Boulding overran the ball as he burst into the penalty area.

There was a delay for Bell to receive treatment after a strong challenge from Ravenhill, however, the Mansfield midfielder was able to continue.

Then Mansfield began to get on top. On 11 minutes Stockdale was in action, the Darlington keeper going down smartly to palm away a low drive from Louis and as Boulding moved in for the kill Foster put the ball behind for a corner which was cleared.

Skipper Foster was soon in action again blocking a shot from powerful striker Louis who had surged down the left and into the penalty area.

Then as the visitors continued to press Louis missed a good chance on 15 minutes. Mullins headed on Bell's free kick but Louis, only eight yards from goal, made a poor connection.

As Darlington's nervous spell continued Foster gave the ball away when trying to break forward leaving three Mansfield players on one Darlington defender, but the defender White stood firm to clear.

Then Darlington striker Wright was booked for hand ball, his tenth yellow card of the season which brings him a two match ban.

Darlington rallied to force three corners and from the third, taken by Hodge, AUSTIN slid in to force the ball home on 22 minutes for his second career goal.

Darlington then tried to get a grip on the game by passing the ball around, but one promising move ended when Ravenhill appeared to be fouled but the referee decided otherwise.

With the pitch cutting up it was difficult for the players to string passes together and one nasty bobble on the edge of the penalty area almost let in Blundell.

As half time approached Darlington had still only managed one shot on target but it was the all important one.

Just before the intervalMansfield's Bell limped off to be replaced by D'Laryea.

Then in stoppage time Darlington were reduced to ten men when central defender White was sent off for an off-the-ball incident which was spotted by the linesman as Mansfield striker Louis was left lying on the ground. White left the field shaking his head in disbelief but the linesman clearly felt that he had spotted a serious foul by the Darlington man.

Half-time: Darlington 1, Mansfield 0.

Darlington brought on central defender Miller for winger Purdie, then on 48 minutes Blundell was booked for a late challenge on Hamshaw. …

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