MEMORY MATCH: Fury as nine-men Mansfield Town lose ill-tempered clash with Oldham Athletic

Colin Larkin in action against Oldham in March 2002
Colin Larkin in action against Oldham in March 2002

Mansfield Town will hope to improve on a dreadful run of results against Oldham Athletic when the Latics visit the One Call Stadium tomorrow.

Stags have only won one of their last 12 clashes, that being in the Checkatrade Trophy in January 2017.

Indeed, the 3-2 Oldham win at home to Stags late last season was one of the missed opportunities Mansfield wasted to secure promotion.

Overall, of their 61 all-time meetings, Oldham have won 28 and Mansfield 16 with 17 clashes drawn.

For this week’s Memory Match we go back to March 2003 when Oldham left with a 1-0 win in a game which saw Mansfield end the afternoon with nine men and Oldham 10.

Most fans left the ground complaining about the refereeing of Paul Taylor, whose decisions largely went against the home side as they tried to stand up to a physical Latics side.

Fans were baffled that a fully fit Bobby Hassell was not back in player-manager Keith Curle’s side for the match.

But they were even more baffled when David Eyres picked up some dirt from the pitch and threw it in the face of Liam Lawrence and he escaped without censure soon after Rhys Day was booked for next to nothing.

Then Craig Disley was hacked down in the box but referee Taylor gave nothing.

Bizarrely he did then send off Eyres after an accidental clash with Disley with the Stags man telling the referee it had been accidental.

Unaware of Disley’s support for his payer, Oldham boss Iain Dowie vented his anger at the Stags man, who was injured and unable to continue, literally adding insult to injury.

Tempers frayed and four more were booked in eight minutes before half-time.

But when Wayne Andrews kicked Stags man Ben Doane on the floor after Doane had barged him, again no red – or even yellow – card was produced.

After Andrews had slid in late into the head of home keeper Welch with no punishment, Stags had Day sent off after a simple clash of heads.

More controversial decisions and persistent whistle followed with Adam Eaton became the next player cautioned after a dive by Andrews.

With two minutes left Andrews tumbled easily after a tussle with Lawrence and the referee pointed to the spot, Hall converting the kick.

Boss Curle decided to dish out his own retribution on Andrews and his late challenge saw him rightly shown a late red, though Andrews jumped up and ran off once the card was shown after writhing around in apparent agony.