North Notts pile pressure on Mansfield

RAMPANT North Notts produced a dominant display to claim the bragging rights against struggling local rivals Mansfield with an easy 5-0 win.

The result further piles the pressure on relegation-threatened Mansfield and boosts North Notts’ own promotion chances in a match which saw the teams facing each other for the first time in a league match this century.

But, from the outset, it was clear North Notts would have too much for Mansfield, with William Butler looking back to his best following recent hamstring problems and defensive midfielder Matthew Cooper also standing out.

Mansfield, who may be relegated for the third time in three seasons, had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping them in the contest during the early exchanges as North Notts piled on the early pressure with a series of short corners.

But there was only so much he could do and the breakthrough finally came from a penalty stroke after a goalmouth scramble.

With the Mansfield players contesting the decision with the umpire, William Butler took his time, then coolly stepped up and netted to give the home side the lead.

With the score 1-0 at half-time North Notts manager Faulkner urged his side to stick to their game of fast free flowing hockey.

And it paid dividends as the home side started the second half where they had left off with Singleton, Smith and Jarvis dominating the midfield.

The forwards were also causing havoc with Barton rolling back the years.

But it was the most surprising of heroes for North Notts when little Anil Chutte ghosted into the Mansfield ‘D’ to pick up the scraps from a Butler strike.

Chute took two strikes at the Mansfield keeper before taking the ball for a third time and flicking it over the despairing keeper.

It was obvious this was now a game for the taking. And Notts did just that with William Butler’s superior fitness and skills leaving the Mansfield team chasing shadows. Another penalty stroke from Butler made the score 3-0 and then 10 minutes of sublime pass and move hockey showing the gulf in class.

Two more goals came after fine work from Matt Smith and Jason Barton with Butler the finishing architect.

Notts even found time in the last two minutes to substitute their hero right-back Chutte, who left the pitch to rapturous applause.

Next week sees Notts travel to Nottingham for a tough last game before Christmas against a skilful Sikh Union side.