Mansfield Town 3 Wolves 1
Division III, 1 April 1989
Mansfield Town striker Keith Cassells stole the limelight from Wolves hero Steve Bull with some explosive finishing at Field Mill on Saturday.
Bull, undoubtedly the most lethal marksman in Britain, saent his army of disciples crazy with another golden goal.
And the Tipton Tornado must have been scenting a repeat of his December hat-trick against The Stags as he taunted the North Stand after striking a superb equaliser.]But the show belonged to Stags striker Cassells, whose two second half goals sentenced the champions elect to their second defeat in just five days.
But it was one moment of sheer follishness by Woves defender Floyd Streete that tipped the balance in Mansfield’s favour.
The muscle-bound centre half got himself sent off just seconds before half time for what Glamorgan referee Mr Roger Gifford described as ‘foul and abusive language’.
Suddenly the Third Division leaders were reduced to ten men, and even a defensive reshuffle involving substitute left back Mark Venus couldn’t hold the Wolves together.
Mansfield, forcing John Ryan and Gordon Owen wide on the flanks, cleverly stretched the visitors across the pitch like an elastic band until they finally snapped.
It took The Stags only ten minutes to break the deadlock in the second half, when Cassells rose like Superman to out-jump the towering Gary Bellamy and head home Craig McKernon’s high, right wing cross.
But Cass’s second eight minutes from time was straight out of the Steve Bull goalscoring manual.
The hard-working striker - soldiering on with a cut eye sustained as he scored his opening goal - raced onto a long clearance by ‘keeper Brian Cox.
And Bull could only look on in dismay as Cassells unleished a ferocious thunderbolt that flew past the ill-fated Mike Stowell.
The Wolves ‘keeper, on loan from Everton, trod on a nail during the pre-match warm-up and was obviouslt in considerable discomfort throughout the match before being taken to hospital for a tetanus injection.
But he was not at fault with Mansfield’s opening goal after only 45 seconds nodded home by Kevin Kent after Owen had beautifully headed John Ryan’s left wing cross back into his path.
Unfortunately Mansfield;s joy was shortlived when Bull got behind the Mansfield defence for the first time to rifle home an unstoppa-Bull shot from Robbie Dennison’s troublesome lob.
But Bull was rendered powerless by Streete’s sending off and, more importantly, the close marking of resolute player-manager George Foster.
Foster made up for his Molineux nightmare against Bull before Christmas when the Tipton Tornado hammered a hat-trick.
And in the end The Stags might have won by an even greater margin, but for Stowell’s quick reaction when Trevor Christie powered substitute Ian Hathaway’s cross goalwards late in the game.
Mansfield Town: Cox, McKernon, Kearney, Kent, Foster, Coleman, Owen (Hatherway 71), Charles, Christie, Cassells, Ryan. Substitute: Hodges.
Wolves: Stowell, Bellamy, Robertson, Streete, Steele (Venus), Vaughan, Thompson, Robinson (Downing 77), Bull, Mutch, Dennison.