Early promise fades as Mangos slide
MANGOTSFIELD United’s strong start to the season has evaporated somewhat in recent weeks, as several defeats have sent the club sliding down from a lofty position a month ago to 9th in the league table, as well as being eliminated from all the remaining cup competitions.
The end of September saw a 2-1 home defeat to Slimbridge in the FA Trophy. An own goal by Keith Kearney gave the visitors the lead on 3 minutes, but Ben Brooks levelled the scores from close range on 21 minutes. Slimbridge dominated the play after the break, with Mangos keeper Liam Armstrong in fine form, but substitute Rhys Sarson clinched a deserved win for the visitors with a solo goal on 86 minutes.
Three nights later, under the Cossham Street floodlights, the Mangos were held 1-1 at home by bottom club Basingstoke Town. The Mangos dominated the first 25 minutes and created five or six good scoring chances, but failed to convert any of them. Striker Dan Demkiv finally gave the Mangos the lead on 50 minutes with a fine chipped goal into the top corner, but the Hampshire side, making their first-ever visit to Cossham Street, levelled on 61 minutes through Benjamin Cook. The visitors were reduced to 10 men on 78 minutes when defender Ryan Suckling was shown a straight red card for a foul, but it was 10-man Basingstoke who looked more likely to score and in the end, the Mangos were grateful for a point.
The following Saturday saw the Mangos heavily beaten 4-0 away at highly-fancied Evesham United, with three of the goals coming before half time. Once again, an opposition player was red-carded for a foul and Evesham played the whole second half with only 10 men but, even then, were still able to add a fourth goal to complete the rout, as the Mangos failed to make use of their extra player.
Three days later came an embarrassing 5-2 home defeat against Hellenic League side Bishops Cleeve at Cossham Street in a Gloucestershire FA Trophy tie. The visitors took the lead on 25 minutes through a Jack Watts penalty but Mangos striker Dan Demkiv levelled five minutes later, after good work by Harry Simons. Bishops Cleeve struck twice more before half time and made it 4-1 just after the break. Lee Hartshorn got one back for the Mangos on 70 minutes, but Tristan Haswell then headed a fifth goal for the visitors to complete the rout.
Next home fixtures (all Saturdays at 3pm):
November 2: Cinderford Town
November 9: Bideford
November 23: Highworth Town