It is something that football fans of all clubs argue about. What is the the best, most memorable or favourite goal scored by your heroes?
Each week we are taking a look at some of the best to hit the net for Mansfield Town over the past decades. If you have a goal you would like us to feature, email firstname.lastname@example.org with brief details and your memories of the strike and we will try to include in a future article.
This week we go back to Monday, 21st April, 1975, and a promotion party at Field Mill, when midfielder John Lathan scored the spectacular sixth in a 7-0 rout of Scunthorpe United as the Stags claimed the Division Four title.
He didn’t score many goals, but when they came Lathan’s strikes were invariably real beauties and ones to remember — just like this one, which Sidney Ottewell, Keep It Simple and Vice President mentioned on fans’ website Stagsnet.
Lathan was one of those unsung heroes that every successful side needs, a diminutive, battling midfield tiger — and few Stags’ sides were as successful as the 1974-75 side, which scored more than 100 goals in all competitions.
The team swept all before them, staying at the top of the Division Four table for seven months before clinching the championship in style.
A week earlier the midfielder had netted a cracker against Lincoln City, a 25-yard thumping volley.
But his strike on that Monday night, one of 15 goals in two years at the Stags, was even better.
Mighty Mansfield were rampant from the kick-off and missed chance after chance in front of more than 11,000 fans before Ray Clarke chopped in a 20th minute breakthrough.
Clarke later added his second, strike partner Terry Eccles grabbed a brace — though Lathan claimed one of them with the initial shot - and Gordon Hodgson another.
Then came Lathan’s golden moment nine minutes from time...
Lathan ran 20 yards with the ball from inside his own half before unleashing a powerful 35-yard drive that beat the keeper all ends up.
It was a fitting climax to the season for the workhorse of the midfield, who was ever-present in the championship-winning season after missing the first matches.
Defender Kevin Bird completed the goal-fest and the Stags side were to gain another promotion soon after into the second tier for the only time in the club’s history.
Lathan was sold to Carlisle United after two seasons for £11,000 but later returned for a second spell at the club.
He later played in Australia and South Africa and then coached in South Africa and the USA.
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