Ground: Field Mill (One Call Stadium)
Date: 31st December 2016
Match: Mansfield - Doncaster 1-1 (League 2)
Attendance: 5 042
It is not very common there are league games on New Year´s Eve. Being on a Saturday 2016 was to be an exception though. Crewe was the easiest choice for me (travelwise) but I want to save Crewe for as long as it is possible. In the end I decided to go to Mansfield v Doncaster. Kick-off at Field Mill (or One Call Stadium as it is officially called nowadays) was quite early, 12.15. That meant I had to leave Manchester as early as 07.42 and after changing trains in Nottingham I arrived in Mansfield 10.30. Field Mill was then only a 10-minute walk away. Mansfield Town are nicknamed The Stags and have played at Field Mills since 1919. The ground has a capacity of around 10 000 and the by far biggest stand is the two-tiered Ian Greaves Stand which holds more than 5 000. The Bishop Street Stand, opposite the Ian Greaves Stand, is not in use anymore although there are plans for a new stand. In 1977 Mansfield won the old Third Division and the 1977/78 season is the only season the club have played in the second tier of English football. I took a few exterior pictures and had something to eat before once again meeting up with Julian and Helge. The three of us then bought tickets for the upper tier of the Ian Greaves Stand.
Doncaster are top of League 2 and brought 1 680 fans to Mansfield for this game. For a game in a fourth division that is a very impressive number. During the first 45 minutes the 5 042, second best attendance of the season, at Field Mill had to watch a very poor game. Not a single shot on goal and (obviously!) 0-0 at half-time. Mansfield are not that far from the relegation zone and need the three points. In the second half the home team actually started to create chances and in the 59th minute it was suddenly 1-0 on the (very big) score-board. Mansfield had a few chances to increase their lead but Doncaster fought back and in the 77th minute they were awarded a penalty kick. 1-1 and a few minutes later the visitors hit the post. No more goals though and the game ended 1-1. A boring 60 minutes but the last 30 minutes were really entertaining. I said good bye to the Germans who rushed to Notts County but I didn´t leave the ground until I had taken pictures of the empty stands. At 14.40 my train left Mansfield and three hours later I was back in Manchester.
In 2016 I have been to 56 games, which is my lowest total since 2012. Three new countries (Faroe Islands, Macedonia and Croatia) for me and hopefully 3-4 new countries in 2017. My first game in 2017 will be tomorrow in Sutton and hopefully I will start the new year with a good game!
Field Mill, view from the train station
Field Mill, rear of the Quarry Lane Stand
Welcome to Field Mill
Rear of the Ian Greaves Stand
Mansfield Town FC
Rear of the North- and Ian Greaves Stands
Bishop Street side (there is a stand being the advertising boards)
Quarry Lane Stand
Players and officials entering the field
Last day of 2016!
A packed away end
View of play
View of play
Oldest professional football ground
Quarry Lane Stand
After the game