STAGS’ GOLDEN GOALS — Colin Larkin hits a screamer for Mansfield Town at Chester

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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 sport@chad.co.uk with brief details and your memories of the strike and we will try to include in a future article.

Back in 2004, this was a goal full of hope.

The Stags, after the disappointment of the League Two play-off final penalty shoot-out defeat a few months earlier, were looking to bounce back with another promotion bid.

They went to Chester City on Saturday, 14th August full of hope, despite two defeats. This time they found a win thanks to a terrific strike from Colin Larkin, who completed a 3-0 victory.

For me it was one of the few highlights of a dreadful season that descended into farce with the eventual departure of manager Keith Curle and appointment of Carlton Palmer as his successor.

That was all to come on the sunny August day, where the harmony on the terraces and on the pitch was in total contrast to the future acrimony.

Larkin had already played his part in the Stags taking a two-goal second half lead, crossing for Derek Asamoah to make it 1-0, after a forgettable first 45 minutes.

Then the little striker picked up the ball 12 minutes from time just inside the Chester half. Instead of playing the more obvious pass forward, he ran on with the ball for a few yards before unleashing a 30-yard drive that arrowed into the top corner of the net.

Luckily I was positioned right behind the ball as it flew past the helpless keeper — a perfect view of a perfect goal.

It might not have been the striker’s most important goal in amber and blue — that probably came from the penalty spot as he took the decisive penalty in the shoot-out victory that took the Stags to the play-off final the previous May.

It might not have been his best goal — that would surely have been in that play-off final at Cardiff if an erroneous linesman’s flag had not intervened?

But the long-range strike at Chester was a goal to savour — one of 14 in 58 league appearances.

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