South Yorkshire Times December 22, 1945
Mansfield were worth their Points
Denaby United 2 Mansfield Town Reserves 3
how often do league positions give a hopelessly inaccurate reflection of a team’s abilities! Almost every spectator I heard leaving chicle Square on Saturday was firmly of the opinion that Mansfield Town Reserves were the best side they had there this season.
Certainly they put Barnsley Reserves of a week ago in a very sombre shade. If Carter and made better use of all the opportunities that came his way in the first Mansfield might have won 8-2, instead of 3-2. Nor were they all. There was one meteor like drive in the second half that was all the way a winner when it hit the underside of the crossbar and, luckily for Denaby the outer edge. It angled back out of goal to celebrate, but Hayes should never have seen it. There was another occasion, too, when Fretwell had an open goal but shot for the wrong side of the net and the ball cannoned into the side.
The Times car to miss scoring in the first half were amazing. Throughout the game, Mansfield played much better as a team, found their men and approach neatly. It was in the final stages that they faltered.
The scoring timetable was as follows: Vickers put Denaby ahead after nine minutes, Fretwell equalised 20 minutes later, Burton give Denaby the lead after 17 minutes of the second half and Fretwell again equalised four minutes later.
The decider came through a Carter – Harkin movement 15 minutes from time, the former scoring.
Denaby made three reshuffles of their forward line in this half, Cletheroe finally moving up centre forward a few minutes from time in a last effort to save the game. But there was no “what we have we hold,” policy about Mansfield and they were attacking to the end.
The personalities of the match so far as Denaby were concerned were Burton, Vickers and Shephard. Burton indefatigable as ever, was the only forward with any real penetrative power and his goal was a result partly of a mistake by the Mansfield defence, but a good deal more of brilliant anticipation on his part. Barnes pass back under pressure to his goalkeeper, Urien, but Burton, obviously expect him to do so, followed this up smartly and with the ball at his feet, the issue was sure. Vickers Ynys Park, never try to shooting in when he got the ball. Few came his way. Shephard put through some well-placed passes and was the best of the halfback line.
This it was in the later stages that Denaby were seen to best advantage but they were beaten by a well-balanced more thrustfull side, who well deserved their points.