Sky Bet League Two | Wednesday 17th February 2021 – One Call Stadium [Behind Closed Doors]
When you’re on an unbeaten run – you have to be prepared for it to come to an end eventually, the frustration however comes not in seeing said run end, but in the manner it was ended, as Mansfield Town crumbled, throwing away a solid two-goal lead with ten minutes to go.
Throwing the game away to draw would have been bad enough – but to ship three goals and lose is completely unacceptable, and I’m sure Nigel Clough will be asking questions of his players and looking to right the wrongs on Saturday against league leaders Cambridge.
Mansfield were in control of the second half, playing some really good football which led to a commanding two goal lead – thanks to skipper Ollie Clarkes venomous shot, and a cool finish from Jamie Reid.
Bolton certainly had lady luck on their side to salvage their way back to two-two, Aidan Stone was beaten by a freak goal which was a miss-hit cross from the left hand side before substitute Sir Mal turned the ball into his own net, with Mansfield again failing to deal with the second phase of play from a set piece.
The winner was a good strike to be fair but again questions need to be asked of the Stags back line which was all over the place – if bodies, IE Kellan Gordon, are back fit for Saturday, it may be time to freshen things up – shipping six goals in three games isn’t good enough.
Naturally there was a blow up on social media last night RE blowing the play-offs etc – from day one Clough walked in with Bobbie Dog trotting at his heels, the play-offs were never the objective – safety was. Call me pessimistic or whatever, but that is STILL the case – we’ve made great strides and given ourselves hope of a late play-off surge which is STILL possible – but ultimately its safety first and anything else is a bonus.
There’s no denying that with key hitters such as George Lapslie, Kellan Gordon and Oli Sarkic missing through injury we’re a little thin on the ground – maybe it was frustration last night with the talk about Maynard and Cook being let go, but there are reasons behind those exits – we have a young squad and a great opportunity to develop those players but a bit of patience and understanding.
Humble in victory, gracious in defeat – so let’s learn and go again Saturday!
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Aidan Stone | James Perch, Farrend Rawson, Ryan Sweeney, Stephen McLaughlin |Stephen Quinn (Mal Benning 83) George Maris, Ollie Clarke © | Harry Charsley, Jamie Reid, Jordan Bowery
Unused Subs: Marek Stech, Corey O’Keeffe, Aaron O’Driscoll, James Clarke, Tyrese Sinclair, Jason Law
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