LOMAS ON MANSFIELD TOWN: Elsnik debut one of the most explosive starts ever
Timi Elsnik provided one of the best ever debut moments of any Mansfield Town player with his extraordinary goal after just five minutes of Saturday's resounding win over Northampton Town.
The Derby County loanee made his first League Two start in the Amber & Blue and quickly had fans off their seats with an amazing burst from just outside his own box and into the opposing box before steering home a perfect finish across the keeper.
It was simply sensational and, despite a few early misplaced passes due to being over-eager, the Solvenian acquitted himself superbly in his first proper outing and was only pipped to man of the match by Danny Rose, who netted twice and had a hand in the other two.
It’s hard to remember a better start to a Mansfield Town career and bodes well for the rest of the season when you consider midfielders of the quality of Alex MacDonald and Jacob Mellis were unavailable.
Aged just 20 and baby-faced on his photos, in real life Elsnik is a powerful unit with an eye for a pass and a goal; qualities surely already noted by Frank Lampard.
From the stands he looked a bit like a stocky Chris Greenacre from where we were sat and was always looking to be positive. He could end up playing a key role in the campaign ahead.
After a hard week on the training ground pushing his side to be more positive and forward-thinking, especially when 1-0 up, boss David Flitcroft must have been delighted with what he saw.
This column was written before last night’s visit of Oldham Athletic, but whatever the result of that, Stags have already shown they have more than enough in their arsenal to stay with the play-off battle this season.
The return to form of Rose is another big factor in that.
Having emerged from the shadow of his failed attempt to join Peterborough in the summer, Rose is now starting to remind us of his sparkling form last season.
He even went as far as to apologise to fans after the game on Saturday for his misguided transfer attempt. He scored goals, they clapped him and now that should be the end of the matter.
It is to be hoped he now gets his head down and continues that form while sorting out with Flitcroft to symbolically come off the transfer list and we can all forget it ever happened.
So, unbeaten away from home and with the joint lowest goals conceded in the table with leaders Lincoln, Stags have now proved they have the basis for success and just need to find some sort of consistency.
They do have that game in hand still to come which could propel them into the thick of things.
Flitcroft will be hoping they can preserve that away record at his former club Bury on Saturday, where he helped achieve promotion a few seasons back.
He will then be hoping international call-ups don’t see the eagerly anticipated visit of Grimsby Town postponed the following weekend and join the Crewe trip on the to be arranged list.