Thompson makes long-awaited debut for Mansfield Town at Telford

JOHN Thompson made his long awaited Mansfield Town debut as the Stags returned to BSBP action after a two-week lay-off at AFC Telford this afternoon.

The former Irish international, who was Stags’ star summer signing, has been working his way back to fitness since suffering horrendous facial injuries during the now notorious pre-season friendly at Ilkeston, which ended up being abandoned.

However, Thompson came through a full 90 minutes in a friendly at Eastwood Town on Monday and was declared fit and ready to fill the gap in the centre of defence vacated by Ben Futcher, who has returned to Bury at the end of his loan spell.

The Bucks’ line-up included Ashley Cain, the young winger who left Field Mill in the summer.

AFC TELFORD: Young; Salmon, Whitehead, Killock, Newton; Valentine, Smith, Davies, Cain; Farrell, Sharp. Subs: Adams, Preston, King, Jones, Robinson.

STAGS: Marriott; O’Neill, Thompson, Sutton, Freeman; Dyer, Murray, Howell, Hegarty; Meikle, Green. Subs: Redmond, Day, Connor, Bolland, Moult.

REFEREE: Darren Bond of Lancashire.