It is going to be tough for Stags without suspended talisman Matt Green on Monday, but I genuinely believe York City missed their big chance last night.
Against a Stags side suffering a degree of stage fright and down to 10 men after 30-goal Green was dismissed, it was down to Gary Mills’ fired-up side to make Mansfield pay with goals – and they failed.
Now they have to come to what will be a packed Field Mill (sorry, One Call Stadium) on Monday and face a Stags side that will have learned so much from last night’s play-off experience and will be backed by a noisy partisan home crowd who will play their part.
York struggled to handle the amount of Mansfield media that turned up to cover the game and were trying to turn people away or send them off into the middle of the York fans to work with laptops and equipment – possibly a better alternative than trying to work in what is one of the worst press boxes in the country.
As always with the play-offs, the night was over in a flash with so many talking points.
The memories that will stay with me, apart from having to give up on the chip shop queue after 20 minutes standing there and still 5being 0 people from the front, were the sight and noise of the massive Stags away following, the emotions as the goals flew in and Green was sent-off, the noisy and animated arguments between Stags’ chief executive Carolyn Still and the Premier Sports TV team on the touchline, the road being closed on the way home, and the welcome sight of the McDonald sign at midnight for the first food for 12 hours!
Quite what was happening between Ms Still and the TV folk was hard to ascertain but the news that she had been arrested that came through while at McDonald brought a surreal end to a tense night.
On last night’s display, York could and should have won the first leg. They had the bit between their teeth and put Stags on the back foot without finding the net themselves (unlucky Exodus)!
Bank Holiday Monday now offers the Mansfield players a chance to write their names into the history books and book a place at Wembley.
Providing they banish those nerves and play as they have done every game since Christmas, last night excepted, I fully expect them to do so.