Lets not blow it this time...

Last updated : 01 January 2003 By Site Staff
Maybe the win flattered us. Hulse withdrew from the squad with a thigh strain which will keep him out for a couple of weeks at least, Ashton is still out with a hamstring injury he picked up against Oldham and things got worse 7 minutes from time when Jack went down clutching his knee - later stretchered off - and Dario says he won't be back in the team for a matter of months. It leaves us with 1 first team striker by the name of John Miles. Dario will now have to pull one of the impressive Ian Jeffs or Kyle Wilson from the academy for the FA Cup game and think about getting a striker on loan for the rest of January.

Onto the game. Well from the start it looked a mess. Hulse was out, again, and our strikers were Jones and Jack... two wingers. John Miles was on the bench but many, like me, would rarther have seen him take the starting blocks. The first half was, well, rubbish.There was nothing creative in the final 3rd of the field. Clueless. Jack and Jones drifted of wide far too many times for my liking. Mansfield though had more of a clue and looked alot tighter than in previous meetings. They applied more pressure on us in midfield and their defence was so much tighter, thankfully their finishing was a question. Especially when Tom Curtis picked up a lose ball in the box but his shot came back off the post Disley could only convert into the Railway End when it fell to him to knock it into an open net.

Other than that, although Crewe were threatening, no team looked like they had the quality to score. We didn't even look like we were 16 places apart. It changed in the second half though. Dario must have bollocked the players because they came out and took a grip of the game. We managed to get a goal from a set peice and Dave Waltons excellent chest and volley.... well.

Then John Miles came on. Something much needed as it gave Vaughan, Jack and Lunt someone to hit it to as Jack and Jones drifted far to wide to many times. Miles got stuck in and within minutes, seconds maybe he squeezed it through 3 defenders before clear on goal - went inces wide(and high). I have to say im a fan of Miles. The first time i properly saw him was at Mansfield in the LDV and his movement and footwork on and off the ball is excellent and can't see why he's never been given a chance to shine.

The game was evens with neither team taking control. I thought Mansfield were always a threat and should we make a mistake, which was possible with Foz and Walton always looking abit unsure on the ball, they would capatilise.

Jack then went down in agony cltching his knee after stumbling on the ball. it didn't look nice at all and took about 5 or 6 minutes to get him on the stretcher and off the pitch. Dario said he is likley to be out for some time. It look like his ligaments had gone and will be shattering news with Dean Ashton, Rob Hulse & Colin Little all out for the next 2 weeks.

Last minute and we finally sealed it, inside the 5 minutes of added time, Brammer finding space to race into the Mansfield half to square it for Miles who carried on into the area and showed great work in placing it into the bottom far corner. Far from a satisfying win, but it'll do.

Looking on the bright side. Bristol City lost... WHEEY. Cardiff drew... WHEY. Oldham won... Boooo. We are 3 points behind 2nd place with Colchester on the 11th as out next league match. Hulse will hopefully be back, but not looking promising. So please, Crewe, lets not blow it this time. Lets show the league what we're made of. They can cripple all our players but we WILL get promoted!

Also must mention the stupidity from one Mansfield fan who got on the pitch to probably hit the referee, who Mansfield fans weren't happy with, but the stewards got to the trouble maker and hopefully gave him a good bollocking. Disgraceful.

Full match report on thursday.