Spyin' Kop, Mansfield Town vs Liverpool 6th January 2013

Posted by Hazell on January 2, 2013, 06:32:28 PM

FA Cup 3rd Round, Mansfield Town vs Liverpool FC

Field Mill:
Liverpool travel to Field Mill to take on non league Mansfield Town on Sunday for the third round of the FA Cup. I managed to get some views from their end about the upcoming match. With thanks to ParisStag, Dan and bellwhiff from StagsNet.

What were your reactions when you found out who either yourselves or Lincoln City would be playing in the third round of the FA Cup?

ParisStag: Absolutely delighted. I live in paris and live with 3 other footy mad lads. we had the draw on the telly and were waiting. One of my flat mates is a Liverpool fan so it meant a bit more, but to get any top premiership side at home is a very rare occasion.

Dan: Iím actually a sports photographer & I was parked up outside Alfreton Townís ground (our rivals!) listening to the draw as I was working at their game v Leyton Orient. When I heard ĎLiverpoolí I started punching the air and the steering wheel and bouncing up and down in my seat like a lunatic. The Alfreton fans walking past wondered what on earth I was doing. I really wanted to open the door and shout ďWEíVE GOT LIVERPOOL!!Ē but then within seconds the realism hit me that, this is Mansfield Town. Weíve never had anything as big as this in the 27 years Iíve been supporting them & weíd got to play Lincoln yet, who were managed by our ex Manager & whoíd signed lots of our ex players. It was obvious we would mess it up because thatís what Mansfield Town do! So pure delirium was replaced by a tense nervousness and sweaty palms & a wandering mind during the Alfreton v Orient game when I should have been concentrating.

bellwhiff: I was pleased. A chance to get some money in to the club. Home tie too and a chance to take a scalp.

The games against Lincoln; what were your thoughts going into injury time in the original game, losing 3-2? And what were your emotions when the full time whistle went in the replay?

ParisStag: in the first game, going into injury time losing, i had resigned myself to another season without a big 3rd round tie. rhead's equaliser sent me mad! as soon as we had secured the replay, i felt quite confident we would win it.

Dan: I was working at Rotherham on the first game and my dad always texts me the scores. When it came through that it was 3-2 to them and it was nearly 5pm I just thought we were out. My dad was driving after that so couldnít text me the score so it was only when I got to the car that I heard weíd drawn 3-3 and I was buzzing! As for the second game, I was watching it on tv and when the full time whistle went and I saw people running onto the pitch I realised it was all coming true and that Liverpool, yes, LIVERPOOL were coming to our humble abode to play us in a proper game!

bellwhiff: I was pleased we equalised. Only because it kept us in the cup. Didn't want to lose to a local rival.

The last time the two sides met was in 1970, in the League Cup, where it finished 0-0 at Field Mill before Liverpool came out on top, winning 3-2 at Anfield. Do you have any memories of that or if not, have you heard any stories about those games from the older folk?

ParisStag: Can't help on this one as i'm too young. My dad also missed it as he was away at university at the time.

Dan: I wasnít born then but I have heard a few people reminisce about it, saying we were unlucky etc. Someone even posted a photo of the programme on facebook the other day!

bellwhiff: Not really. I heard we were winning with minutes to go.

One thing both clubs have in common is that they have had financial and ownership problems in the recent past and you were even locked out of your own ground at one point. How far along from that are you today and how good has John Radford, your owner, been for the club?

ParisStag: It seems we are now a million miles from those dark days. The club was rotting under the previous ownership and John Radford, a fan of the club, became the saviour we had all dreamt about but not believed would come. He rode in to save the day and has shown since that he is truly dedicated to taking us back up the leagues where we belong. Under his guidance, we really can go very far. Doncaster Rovers are the model.

Dan: JR has been our saviour. Had he not come in then we wouldnít even be here anymore let alone playing Liverpool. We had some local businessmen come in when we finally got rid of the ex-owner who was robbing us blind and they did their best to save us, but it was like putting your finger in a hole in the wall trying to stop water coming out. No matter what they put in it didnít seem quite enough. It was said we were losing £10,000 a week and no one can survive that. These chaps managed to bring in John Radford and have since gone on to form their own local club but I for one will never forget what they did for our club.

bellwhiff: We have bottomed out and have turned the corner. We are on the upswing and although it might take a couple of years but we will be back in the league sooner than later. John Radford saved the club from oblivion. We were bent over and used as a cash cow by (previous owner, Keith) Haslam. I hope the teat dies a horrible death for what he did to my club.

It is an unfortunate situation where a lot of clubs struggle financially these days and it's usual that ties like this mean a financial windfall for clubs such as yourself. How big a difference will this tie make to yourselves in that respect?

ParisStag: Fortunately we are now one of the healthier clubs, financially, in the lower leagues. Lincoln estimated that the money from a tie with Liverpool would have broken them even for the season and part of me feels for them. We've been there and it's not nice. A game like this can really change a clubs fortunes, but in truth, we shouldn't need it. If the trickle-down from the premiership was not so small, far fewer clubs would be in these positions.

Dan: Itís strange because Iím not really sure how deep JRís pockets are. I suppose with the millions heís put into the club this windfall will be a drop in the ocean for someone like him. But I am a believer in fate, destiny & karma and I think that this tie has been given to him for what heís done for us by saving us. With it being the FA Cup as well, itís a true Ďromance of the cupí scenario too.

bellwhiff: I'm not sure that it will make much difference to the club. We are being bankrolled by a generous chairman and I'm pleased that his investment has seen some return.

What do you make of Liverpool, both as a club in general and the situation they find themselves in today?

ParisStag: I have a lot of Liverpool supporting friends and I've seen them both at Anfield and away in the Premiership. They haven't been the best run club over the last couple of decades, but things seem to be slowly changing with the new ownership, though i still think the club's recent transfer policy leaves a lot to be desired. I like Brendan Rodgers. He needs time to bring in his players and style, but when he does, I can see Liverpool becoming one of the big 4 again.

Dan: Growing up in the 80ís as I did, it was dominated by Liverpool. Seeing them now seems a bit strange. I donít have any feelings for the team either way, but to see a team with the history and stature of LFC bobbing around in mid table and losing games at Anfield doesnít seem right. Seeing a team win at Anfield for the first 20 years of my life was a rarity, it just didnít seem to happen. But now itís not a shock when teams such as Swansea, Wigan, Villa, Stoke etc come away with draws or wins which is sad. Whether that is testament to how close the Premiership is nowadays or how poor LFC have got I donít know. I shall leave that up to you LFC fans to discuss  ;D

bellwhiff: I detest Liverpool. I detest their fans. I laugh at their predicament and laugh at how they live in the past on former glories. They need a serious management of expectations.

Fans of every club (bar his own) seem to despise Luis Suarez. As impartial observers (in that he hasn't yet had the opportunity to rile your supporters), what do you make of him?

ParisStag: He's clearly one of the best strikers in world football this season and anyone would want him in their team, whatever their current feelings about him as a person. For me, he needs to learn a thing or two about English football, namely that fans don't take kindly to players who moan about every decision that goes against them. Players who get on with the game, such as Jamie Carragher, are far more widely respected. As for the diving, everyone is at it in the premier league and he's probably being singled out more because of his previous 'personality flaws' displayed in Holland and for Uruguay.

Dan: Thereís no doubt that he is a world class player. I suppose heís like Marmite in respect that you either love him or hate him. Most LFC fans will love him, most others will hate him. But you canít deny the bloke is world class. I would be amazed if he is even in the squad to play at Field Mill, let alone the team. But if he is, then I think that would show the ultimate respect by BR towards us as a team and to the competition on the whole. And it would give the people of Mansfield a huge boost to see our team play against one of the worlds best strikers & be a huge boost if we can keep him quiet!

bellwhiff: Luis Suarez is a talented player, no doubt. He ruins all that with his cheating and his demeanour. He's a disgusting racist, a cheat and I hope that he gets the raspberry kicked out of him on 6 Jan, so when he falls over in future, he will know what it feels like when he really gets kicked.

Most, if not all, Liverpool supporters won't be familiar with your stadium. What should our travelling fans expect when they arrive in Mansfield and Field Mill?

ParisStag: I disagree. The travelling fans, those who go to every ground, will know of it. We have the second oldest football stadium in the country and in the lower leagues it has long been a famous ground. Sadly, with our league status, the atmosphere has slowly wittled away and only really comes back for big games. This is arguably our biggest game since we were relegated to the conference and with the stands close to the action and it being a sell out, Reds fans can expect one of the noisiest receptions they'll get anywhere this season.

Dan: Itís not a bad little stadium to say weíre non league! The away end is the North stand which was our Ďkopí for many years until the local police decided to switch ends, so our home end is now the old away end. It still hurts to see away fans sat in there, especially 28 fans from Ebbsfleet which is just plain wrong. Also our stewards are renown for being idiots. In fact most of them are actually bouncers which you can tell as well. They wade in without hesitation & Iím sure if you type into google Mansfield Town stewards you will find quite a lot of eye opening stuff! I would imagine your fans will be standing as Iíve seen it on TV, well these lot will try and make you sit down (although saying that, because thereíll be more than 28 of you they might not fancy it!) but donít give them an excuse to throw you out because they will relish it.

Advice I would give to your fans traveling is be very careful where you park. The North Stand backs onto a retail park which has got loads of spaces. DO NOT PARK HERE*. Lots of us have been done when weíve parked here. Also there wonít be any parking at the ground either as thatís all ticket and with the cameras being there the lorries will take up loads of room too. A lot of our fans have been parking in the cinema/McNasty's which was ok until recently but a spate of tickets appeared on windscreens even on people who were in the cinema on a Saturday afternoon! With it being a Sunday I really donít know what the parking/restrictions will be like, but I can guarantee the local government will be out in force with their ticket machines so be careful.

bellwhiff: FM is a decent ground. It is the second oldest playing surface on the planet. They'll get a good view.

Which players should Liverpool be looking out for when we meet?

ParisStag: look out for the bullet long throws of Exodus Geohagen and the strength of Matt Rhead up front.

Dan: Matt Green had the season of his life last year bagging 30 goals but hasnít quite been on top of his game this season, although he has been back scoring again after a barren spell. Weíve got quite a few players who on their day can win a match, a couple of wingers called Louis Briscoe and Lindon Meikle who could turn a game, our keeper Alan Marriott is one of the best in non league, but thatís about it really. Iím trying to think if weíve got a player who was rejected by LFC when he was 4 & who wants revenge (a typical FA Cup story) but Iím struggling to think of one

bellwhiff: None of them. Liverpool should batter us. A team is more than the sum of it's parts though. Clements in centre midfield is a thinking footballer and will thrive against a decent footballing side.

Which of our players are you looking forward to seeing at Field Mill?

ParisStag: Obviously i'd love to see the big names. Suarez, Reina and Carra, but of course our national team captain, Steven Gerrard is top of the list.

Dan: It would be nice from a professional point of view to be taking photos of Gerrard and Suarez but I really canít see either of them traveling to the game let alone being in the squad because youíve got important games before & after ours. It would be nice to see if youíve got any new signings making their debut as well (Ince?) as that means weíll always be part of your history & potential quiz question especially if the player becomes a success for you!

bellwhiff: I'm not going because I can't get a ticket. Too many plastic Redshites in Mansfield, so I'm not looking forwards to seeing any Liverpool players. I hope Suarez gets the raspberries kicked out of himself though.

What line up do you expect you'll be putting out against Liverpool?

ParisStag: We'll be playing to our strengths. I expect our pacey strikers, Matt Green and Jake speight/Ben Hutchinson to start with trickey wingers Lindon Meikel and Louis Briscoe both playing. Second half will see big Matt Read come on to cause the defence problems. We play quite a direct style, even for the conference, but we have one of the league's biggest squads and there are plenty of options to change the game plan.

Dan: Itís very difficult to predict our Managers line up. We have a thread every game on our messageboard and Iíve never known anyone predict one right. He bought loads of new players in the summer when really he didnít need to. But if I was to have a guess, I would predict this side but I think he might have a new signing or two in there as well:
Thompson    Dempster    Geohaghon    Beevers
Briscoe    Howell    Clements    Meikle
Hutchinson   Green
bellshiff: I expect the team to be:
Sutton    Ex    Dempster    Beevers
Briscoe    Clements    Howell    Meikle
Hutchinson   Green
And finally, care to predict the score?

ParisStag: I don't normally predict our scores, as it's pretty much impossible these days, but everyone knows we are huge underdogs. The best we can realistically hope for is 0-0 at half time. if we score first or equalise, the place will go bananas.

Dan: I would absolutely love to get a draw so that we can go to Anfield & so BOTH sets of fans can get tickets to see their teams as I understand itís difficult for your fans to get tickets for normal games. However I think we may prove just a bit too tricky for you and beat you 2-0 without the need for a replay ;D

bellwhiff: We will be lucky if we sniff a draw. It'll be 3-1 to you or 1-1.

* Turns out, it has been reserved for Liverpool fans on Sunday: http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/no-access-to-retail-park-for-cup-tie-565393.aspx Thanks for the update Dan!

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