Bleeding ears and blue skin – the end (of the season) is nigh!

by

And so a long and eventful first season in the Blue Square Premier comes to an end this Sunday.

For a number of the squad the visit of Stevenage Borough will mark the end of their time at Field Mill as boss David Holdsworth tries to build a team he feels capable of challenging for a way out of this league next season.

Speculation is rife who may or may not be on their way and who may be coming in to replace them.

And it looks set to be a summer of intrigue on that front as Holdsworth tries to utilise his extensive contacts to bring in the right men.

Well done to all those who made the journey down to Woking last weekend for the final away trip of the season, particularly the smurf army! We’ve all the ‘blues’ at recent away games but it’s never been running down our faces and arms in bright spring sunshine!

To be perfectly honest I shed no tears to hear Woking were relegated this week.

It was hard work to find the ground, driving round a one-way system of a town  that is far bigger than I ever imagined it would be. More like a small city.

Then, in trying to retrace my steps post-match, I ended up having to turn the car round down a suburban millionaires’ cul-de-sac that I had I accidentally turned down and was forced to ask directions back to the M25. Yes – a bloke does sometimes have to ask directions.

Another good reason for not going back there is avoiding their local radio commentator who must have swallowed a megaphone when he was young. Could you  hear him from where you were?

I am sure Health and Safety busybodies would require him to turn the volume of his mouth down if there were a way to do so. But from 1pm to 6.30pm it was a torturous afternoon and I am suprised my ears were not bleeding by the time I left.

Even David Holdsworth jokingly began shouting his answers at us at the post-match press conference as he tried to compete with Mr Megaphone.

With the season all but over, it was a shame but inevitable that Tuesday’s home crowd for a meaningless game with Altrincham would be small – the third smallest of the season in fact.

I am sure those with Sky TV who stayed in to watch Liverpool and Arsenal share eight goals will feel they made the right decision.

But those who did attend Field Mill enjoyed a cracking game with Stags playing some delightful football with a side that included two youngsters and a third given a debut also near the end.

Tom Naylor, in particular, stood out as he has done in recent reserve games and this 17-year-old has the ability to play in the centre of the Mansfield defence for years to come once he has bulked up his frame to carry his undoubted skill and determination.

Thanks to those who voted for our Chad Stags Readers’ Player of the Year. I will be handing the trophy over to your winner before kick-off on Sunday.

Let’s hope Stags can go out with a win to end 2009 unbeaten at home under David Holdsworth to send out a warning to the league for next year.

And let’s hope those that run on the pitch at the final whistle and the stewards there to look after their safety all behave themselves and we have a far more satisfactory last day to the season than we have had in recent years.

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